Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kids on Bridges – Something in the Water

art_RingMasterReview

With a spicy jangle to its warm melodic invitation, Something in the Water is a song which dares ears to ignore it. The new single from UK trio Kids on Bridges knows it is on to a winner though, safe in the knowledge that its electronic enterprise and vibrant rock ‘n’ roll tenacity has a catchiness even the common cold would envy.

Liverpool based Kids on Bridges consists of Christian Bragg, Daniel Rankin and Andrew Culshaw, a trio which, since emerging in 2014, has supported the likes of Beck, Hot 8, LCD Soundsystem, Soulwax, and Friendly Fires, and been Britain’s only representatives to play alongside Stevie Wonder at the Special Olympics in LA. Add working with New Orleans legend Zigaboo Modeilste and Jennie Vee as well as playing a string of gigs in America marked out by sold out shows at LA’s iconic The Viper Room and Tipitinas in New Orleans, it is fair to say Kids on Bridges is on a lively roll.

The successor to their successful previous single When The Needle Drops, the magnetic Something in the Water is looking to stir things up in 2016 the same way. Straight away keys and guitars cup ears in their respective romancing and jangling, bright pulses and eager beats laying potent bait alongside as emerging melodies and harmonious vocals wrap and dance energetically in ears.

It is a captivating start with something invitingly familiar to it at times; a scent of previous synth pop spiced decades mixing with nineties indie pop boisterousness as the song grows. They are spices which only hint without drawing exact comparisons though, essences which add extra flavour to the electro pop revelry that Kids on Bridges have honed as their own.

Spirit lifting songs always make potent singles and Something in the Water certainly qualifies as a moment of rather enjoyable fun.

Something in the Water is released March 11th across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/KidsOnBridgesMusic    https://twitter.com/Kidsonbridges

Upcoming Live Dates:

16th March – Highbury Garage, London

22nd March – Liverpool, supporting Blancmange, details tbc

1st -3rd April – Threshold Festival, Liverpool

30th April – Polyfest, London

Pete RingMaster 10/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Lazy Habits: Self Titled

If there has been an album as inspirational and dynamically outstanding as the new self-titled release from Lazy Habits then we must have missed it. It is simply immense, a release which unleashes energising provocative songs to engage the senses but also one to party to without inhibitions or restraint. Whether the intention, the album plays like a glorious wake to us, a celebration of modern British culture and urban life top and tailed by the opening soulful crawl of Processional and the celebratory feast of Recessional. In between the album unveils honest tales of life with all its barbs and warmth, lyrically and musically, through a sensational mix of hip hop, New Orleans jazz, soul, and Big Band majesty spawned in the 50’s. It is unique and quite brilliant.

The 8 piece Hackney, London based Hip-Hop collective began in 2007 as the brainchild of one MC. Now a formidable and giant imaginative octet, the band has lit up stages alongside the likes of Mos Def, Soulwax, The Specials, Bonobo, Chali 2Na (Jurrasic5), and Beardyman, their onstage energy a colossal live experience once tasted never forgotten, as well as thrilling festivals such as Glastonbury, Bestival, Secret Garden Party, and Electric Picnic with their renowned insatiable energy. Debut EP On the Wagon put them on the radar of the media whilst following single Even Out took them further than ever into radio and TV awareness and attention. The new album is going to bring them national if not further afield recognition or quite simply justice just does not exist.

It would be wrong to say that The RR has a deep knowledge of hip hop but we, like a moth to a flame, never escape the lure of the genre when it is as unique and instinctively adventurous as with this release. The year has treated us to adoration evoking experiences from Shrikes, Janice Graham Band, and Dizraeli and The Small Gods, all showing a conjuration of aural alchemy from a multitude of flavours which is irresistible. Lazy Habits with their own one of a kind magic stand by their side and deep in the heart. The band calls their sound as “Beats, Rhymes and Brass of the highest caliber.” No argument here.

Released through Run ‘N’ Jump Records, the album as mentioned opens with the slow gait of Processional, the breath of the track an emotive warmth brought through the emotive wiles of the brass to leave the senses captivated and ready for the following Ashes. The new engaging treat teases the ear with stabbing melodic strokes as the vocals lay their lyrical prowess across the heated sky of the song. The jazzy gait is a smouldering weave which ebbs and flows like a melodic tide from the horns, at times a soft tender kiss and in others a more playful companion. It is an openly delicious appetizer for what is to follow.

The whole of the release is titanic but two of the loftier peaks come with next up Surface Dirt and aforementioned single Even Out. The first is a smoking blaze of jazz scorched ambience and hip hop preciseness which again leaves the senses in a smouldered embrace. The rhythms and percussion incite a disorientating compliance without losing sight of the licking sonic flames whilst the frenetic climax leaves one breathless with no respite coming from the unbelievably infectious Even Out. It is no surprise the track brought such acclaim for its energetic yet carefully primed viral beckoning. It is a song where one coaxing of the chorus has you in tandem with its flow and intent to join with a sure stance from there on in, and a track which is a lingering joy from there on in.

Every track deserves a mention to be fair, the likes of Perfect Sentence, The Road, and the striking current single Bulletin to name just three, all inventive glories, but personal highlights come with the sumptuous Memory Banks which features the mesmeric tones of songstress Babysol, the titanic Starting Fires, and the magnificent Please People. The first is a delicious dessert of harmonies, provocative bass lines, and elegant passion. It is a seductive love affair for the ear and heart brought through a sharp and finely honed mesh of lyrical licks, distinctly different vocals, and melodic expanse which you can just not let go of. Starting fires has an infamy from having been controversially pulled from national radio playlists last year due to its release unfortunately coinciding with the London riots. It is a beaming storm of aural supremacy with the union of vocalists Babysol,arguably at their finest moment on the album and the fire of the band musically and inwardly at its fullest height. The third of the trio is a spiral of insatiable hooks and orgasmic teasing, a song as catchy as the deadliest virus and as thrilling and senses enlightening as the recovery.

The album will be tagged as hip hop no doubt but it is so much more, that genre one spice in a maelstrom of invention and unpredictable heart fuelling imagination. If mischievous and swinging melodic enterprise with a cutting edge and inciting endeavour appeals than Lazy Habits is your only destination.

http://www.facebook.com/lazyhabits

http://www.lazyhabits.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright