Yukon Blonde – On Blonde

Yukon Blonde_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is a melodic humidity to On Blonde, the new album from Canadian indie rockers Yukon Blonde, a sultry and almost sticky feel and ambience embracing and seducing the senses song by song. Already renowned for their seamlessly crafted and contagious pop songs, the Vancouver band went into experimentation mode for their latest endeavour, weaving in textures and sounds bred within psychedelic, digital, and synthetic adventure. It was a move bringing bolder and more fascinating character to music and release whilst breeding an even greater virulence for their maybe unexpectedly purest pop encounter yet.

It is easy to expect infectious proposals from a Yukon Blonde release but the quartet of Graham Jones, Jeffrey Innes, Brandon Scott, and James Younger have found a new epidemic of persuasion and catchiness despite venturing into the ‘unknown’ with On Blonde. Frontman Innes has said about the album, “We were more ambitious writing On Blonde so it’s sort of ironic that in experimenting we created a more accessible record than ever before.” Easy to slip into and embrace, the Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Sleepy Sun) produced, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, Foster the People, Air, Depeche Mode) mixed album simply backs up his words, starting straight away with opener Confused.

The first song instantly swamps ears with a buzzing electro tempting, the potent coaxing quickly joined by spicy guitar and crunchy rhythms. It is soon a stroll of magnetic melodic and vocal tenacity, eighties and spatial breezes a lively simmering within the vibrant body and energy of the song. Down below though there is an underlying rumble in the heart of the encounter, a stirring dark intent which gives real depth and intrigue to the refreshing pop romp. There is a bit of Weezer to the song, a bit of Super Happy Fun Club too, but it emerges as something distinct to Yukon Blonde just like Make U Mine which follows. Its body moves with a funky gait within a mellower more reserved energy, vocals and harmonies floating around ears as they forcibly flirt with the imagination alongside musical echoes of bands like Heaven 17 and Röyksopp.

Variety is a swift essence of On Blonde too, the first pair of tracks coming with individual characters but not as openly as the outstanding Como which follows them. Its acoustic lead soon lures the appetite into a summery canter of endearing melodies and vivacious vocals, all tempered by another great shadow wrapped bassline. A tinge of China Crisis teases throughout but equally a whisper of The Beach Boys floats with the tantalising harmonies as guitars dance with sparkling adventure and revelry within the hazy romance of a song.

yb-onblonde-Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     I Wanna Be Your Man slips into a fuzzier and grittier landscape, one seemingly blossomed from a Bolan-esque seeding. It saunters around which attitude and confidence, every resonating bassy lure and sonic sizzle carrying a glint in their mischievous eye whilst unpredictable and tantalising twists and turns merge with the warm fluid flow of the bewitching proposition. In no time it has seduced and enslaved ears and emotions, an inescapable success and potency cultured just as powerfully by the similarly mouth-watering Saturday Night straight after. The song pounds ears with relentless rhythmic incitement around which eventful vocals and an elegant embrace of melodies rigorously serenade. Every second comes with a flirtation of sound and ideation but also that unpredictable essence which again as much as the fresh investigations of sound infused right across the album, is the spark to new adventure and ingenuity in the Yukon Blonde persuasion.

A sixties hued, folkish ballad in the shape of Hannah steps forward next; its harmonic charm an easy snare for ears. Once it has full focus it unveils bulbous bass tones and evocative drizzles of melodic expression to tighten its hold, though whilst again pushing the diversity of the album, it never manages to come up to the persuasive levels of its predecessors, something the admittedly enthralling Your Broke The Law also cannot quite emulate. In context though both songs are like a lover’s romance with the listener, never leaving them less than enamoured whilst allowing the likes of Starvation to steal more of the limelight which it does with consummate craft. Carrying a Depeche Mode/Daniel Miller like dark croon to its intoxicating enveloping of body and thoughts, the track swings and sways with irresistible and addictive ingenuity, never startling with its temptation but smouldering away for the same long-term effect.

From one triumph to another as the indie rock sculpted Favourite People bounces around with varied guitar jangles and contented bass grumbling within another rosy veil of keys. Just as the energetic musical creativity of the track, the vocals have an animated and frisky intent to their presence and enjoyment, and though once more it is a song which you can only really compare to Yukon Blonde themselves, there is a small urge to suggest the likes of XTC and Talk Talk as hints.

The release ends with the electro rock stomp of Jezebel, a sultry temptress of a song adding a final rich twist and spark in one masterful slab of aural gold. On Blonde is seriously compelling, a whole diverse summer in one spellbinding embrace. Yukon Blonde do not light a blazing fire in the belly and heart with the album but it is the hottest, spiciest warm glow felt from a release in a long time.

On Blonde is available now via Dine Alone Records / Caroline UK digitally and on CD/Vinyl through most online stores.

http://www.yukonblonde.com/   https://www.facebook.com/yukonblonde

RingMaster 18/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Department – Alpha

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Like an A-Z of synth and electro pop bred in a parallel universe, the debut album from Swedish/British synthwave band The Department is one of those introductions which simply absorbs attention. A feisty mix of nostalgia and fresh imagination with a perpetually virulent infectiousness, Alpha blossoms with familiarity and new invention, embracing past decades whilst opening up new adventures. Two years in the making it is mostly though, one fascinating and exciting proposition leaving ears and pleasure with seriously greedy appetites.

The Department is the creative project of Londoner Rob Green (vocals / synth), who used to make progressive house records in the mid-nineties under several monikers, and Gothenburg musician Magnus Lindström (synth) who also plays in Swedish electro band called Mr. Jones Machine. United as The Department in 2012, the pair has since played with the likes of Naked Lunch, The Woodentops, Ekkoes, and Kids On Bridges, and at such venues as Romo Night club in Sweden, the 100 Club, Analogue Nights, The Hope & Anchor, and The Macbeth, all to increasing attention and acclaim. As mentioned they have spent the past two years working on Alpha, a release which in return immediately thrusts the duo into the full gaze and frontline of modern electro rock and pop.

From the first embrace of opener Don’t Give Up, the band’s album is a revolving kaleidoscope of recognisable sounds and flavours crafted into original and bracing exploits. Song one makes a slow and suggestive entrance as electronic percussive coaxing brings a slightly portentous feeling to the immersive and stark breeze of the synths. As their presence and melodic expression expands, so does a warmer underbelly to the emerging song, spreading and intensifying with every passing melody and hook. Not only musically but also through the Dave Gahan like vocals of Green, there is no escaping the Depeche Mode essences flirting from within the melancholic yet vibrant landscape the song. It is a transfixing spice embraced by the expressive and evocative imagination of The Department.

The potent start to the album is straight away reinforced by both Take My Hand and Glass Houses, the first of the two opening with chilled synthesiser minimalism reminding of The Normal. Its industrial lilt leads to broader endeavour and a breath of early Human League to tempt the imagination, and if you had to pick any general if loose reference to describe Alpha, the late seventies era of the Sheffield band alongside Fad Gadget would be our choices. The song itself is a wonderfully small yet again busily lively encounter, sparking in ears and the imagination with its gentle revelry whilst its successor provides a more anthemic pulsing and melodic catchiness which offers hints of the synth pop days of Al Jourgensen and Ministry. It too remains a restrained and reserved romp of energy yet has plenty to urge feet into action, and at barely two and a half minutes long, is one sublime slice of synth pop.

16470_584444331690660_2953593570011598044_n  Come Inside has a great steely twang to its opening rhythms and opening hook, their union making for a compelling lead into another minimalist terrain as pungent and provocative as any full-blooded sonic rampage. Infection loaded, a given with every track upon Alpha, the song has a swing to its body and energy to its melodies which is almost Heaven 17 like, a whisper backed by the equally catchy essence of Green’s vocals.

The album’s debut single As If Transformed comes next, a captivation of cyber drama driven by effect wrapped vocals, sonic niggling, and a fuzzy bluster of electro wind around an endearing weave of melodies. The repetitive nature of lyrics and sound only adds to the theatre and shadowed heart of the encounter, an emotional edge which definitely has a Frank Tovey like exploration to them. Its dark fascination is mesmeric but instantly outshone by the tenacious beauty and vibrancy of Days Of Liberty, a song on an addictive rhythmic march whilst draped in just as irresistible and vivacious melodic radiance. It is pure addiction with NEXT SINGLE all over it.

Through the cooler air and emotion of Not For You and the wonderfully sinister seduction of Skin Vultures, the album’s magnetism is only compounded. The first of the pair provides a mellower tone and smoother flow to its presence compared to the previous song, with synths gliding over the senses as the baser elements of the track pulsate with heavy emotion and suggestiveness matched by Green’s equally expressive tones. The second of the two is seeded with a Fad Gadget like provocative drama, every slither of electronic bait and melodic entangling of ears, offering new avenues of reflective and emotive exploration. It is a dark caress of a song but again magnetically loaded with bewitching echoes and touches of warmth and captivating light.

The enchanting beauty and shadowed emotion of Slow Down keep thoughts and emotions gripped next, its elegant sonic poetry followed by the just as finely textured and enthralling Let It Go. It too opens its heart with a merger of light and dark, continuing the personal and musical intimacy which veins the whole album and arguably finds the most dramatic and traumatic depths within The Waiting Room. There is a thick Martin Gore feel to the songwriting and voice of the song; it’s haunted dark tones a seemingly volatile yet firmly bound incitement within the inescapable threads of melodic temptation lighting the gripping encounter. The track is gorgeous, a croon come dark serenade earning its place as the pinnacle of the album and as the most immersive and incendiary proposal for ears and imagination.

Even The Sun offers a potent and pleasing encounter next, though after the last song it is a paler incitement through no real fault of its own. It still feeds appetite and satisfaction nicely before The Gothenburg Reprise Remix of As If Transformed brings the album to a close. Anticipation for Alpha from fans has been eager and no one has been left short in pleasure and enjoyment by the outstanding release. The Department had some big expectations to live up to but they surpassed those with ease whilst giving us all a very welcome dose of nostalgia.

Alpha is available from March 27th via Hard Cell Records, digitally and on CD @ https://hardcellrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.thedepartment-official.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Department/248106308657799

RingMaster 26/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Filter Distortion – Transition

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It seems that the lure of eighties electro and synth pop will never diminish as old bands try to relive their past successes and new bands explore the spices of that decade in their own ideation. UK electro band Filter Distortion is a proposition which wears the inspiration of that era boldly on their creative sleeve, yet twists and transforms it into something distinctly fresh and modern. The proof is in new album Transition, a transfixing collection of virulent electro sculpted songs which ignite ears with infectious imagination and provides the first pop classic of 2015.

The Liverpool quartet of Ian Hall, Wesley Hughes, Phil Morton, and Phil Gofton spent the last year creating and recording Transition before working with engineer and producer Daniel Woodward on its mastering. The result is an encounter which croons and seduces the senses as only eighties electronic music can but with a hungry invention and enterprise bred by electro pop invention and evolution of today. From opening track Black and White, band and album has senses and emotions bound in melodic enterprise and magnetic sounds. Bookended by the revving of a motorbike, for a reason more obvious to the band, the song swiftly blossoms into an Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark like enchantment. Outstanding vocals are soon caressing ears within a weave of synth cast elegance, casting their temptation throughout as keys provide a spatial romance for the senses. It is an evocative embrace aligned to darker shadows which only add depth and intrigue to the rich charm and contagion of the song.

The outstanding start is swiftly matched by the vibrant and slightly livelier Pressure, though again it is a reserved stroll of a track with swarthy bass and rhythmic tones courting an evocative synth exploration. Finding a more Depeche Mode like flavouring to its enthralling recipe of craft and electronic persuasion, the track wraps inescapable and resourceful temptation around ears. That leads to an already hungry appetite for the release to get greedier and thoughts keen to dig deeper into the sound of Filter Distortion, something rewarded straight away by the addictive catchiness of Resonator Express and the emotive balladry of Midnight Drive. The third song on the release explores a different eighties seeded avenue as darkly lit strains of keys collude with melodic radiance, the union a riveting dance on ears whilst its successor produces a familiar tempting infused and invigorated with the lure of great vocals and tangy melodies. Thoughts of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys return but equally those of The Correspondents as the croon and boom of the song provides another irresistible enticement.

     Frequency Modulation hits the dance-floor next, its bubbly electro canvas potent bait for feet whilst keys and melodies flirt salaciously as vocal samples inform and spark thoughts. Think Picture 28Thomas Dolby does EBM but turned inside out by the invention of Filter Distortion and you get a hint of the inventive and composed stomp lighting up the air before the masterful hug of new single Neon Nights and subsequently previous single Cameras in the Dark appear. The first of the two is pure contagion, chorus and hooks gripping drama revelling in the variety of the vocals and the sultry breath of the sounds around them. It is a captivating doorway into the album and the band’s resourceful sound matched by the second of the two tracks. Featuring guest vocalist Cheryl Anna, the song has a more indie feel with effect lined vocals and a pungent bass tone revealing new veins of the great diversity and exploration running through the band’s songwriting.

When the Lights Go Out provides a darker soulful offering next and though the song misses igniting the passions as successfully as earlier songs, it is an engrossing tune to capture the imagination before Lost Boys gives that OMD inspiration another airing. The track is glorious, every vocal and musical note an epidemic of insatiable persuasion. It is fair to say that there are only highlights on the album but some songs stand slightly above others and the album’s penultimate proposition has one of the loftiest views.

The closing Game Over ensures the album ends on a good and ear catching footing but with its lack of real vocals and unremarkable instrumental premise, it is the least favourite track upon Transition and the only time you almost hanker for another of the album’s treasures instead.

Filter Distortion is quite simply a band for electronic pop fans of all decades. Their sound bridges eras but develops its own personality and uniqueness in doing so, whilst in Transition, the band has as suggested offered the year its first essential pop triumph.

Transition is available now as a digital download and limited edition vinyl @ http://filterdistortion.bandcamp.com/

http://www.filterdistortion.co.uk/

RingMaster 13/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Nine Seconds – Nothing To Confess

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Nothing To Confess is the second electro stomp from the collaboration of vocalist Oliver Spring of Sleepwalk / tEaR!dOwN / Nerve Conflict ) with No Comment keyboardists René Ebner and Thomas Kowalzik which goes under the name Nine Seconds. The successor to their successful and well received debut Poladroids of 2013, the project’s new album is an insatiable march of synth pop driven EBM. It is bursting with electro anthems which simply declare defiance from feet and enjoyment as unacceptable. That is a strong weapon for any album to have and a potent essence to Nothing To Confess but to temper its success, it is not always backed up by songs which forge a lingering grip or leave expectations challenged. To be honest though with the infectious tenacity and magnetism the album holds it is a missed opportunity easy to forgive.

Flickering electro sounds open up first track Attractive Lies, their one dimensional coaxing leading to a more flavoursome web of synth spawned enterprise and harsher rock energy. Vocally Spring brings raw texture to the song too, his coarse melodic roar cradled in a tantalising blend of causticity kissed endeavour and hook lined virulence. In no time the song is a contagious antagonist dragging body and emotions into its aggressive devilry and setting up listener and album for the following adventures, starting with Antistar Machinery. The second song has an even darker character and ferocity to its hypnotic enticing which with a similar trait to the vocals, is swiftly dominating attention and imagination. Holding a nice strain of harsh industrial belligerence in its infection fuelled persuasion too, the song continues the strong and impressive start of the release.

To be fair no track ever lets that stature drop too far but some lack the same stirring spark, such as Borderland (2nd Attempt) with its pungent intimidating atmosphere over a rebellious smile of sound, though this lurks more than unleashes its inhibitions. It is intriguing and again easy bait for dance-floors with a healthy spice of bands like Depeche Mode and early Ultravox to its sinew sculpted provocation. The lack of that particular addictive essence which ignited its predecessors is the key to its inability to stay with the listener long term, especially once Pompeii energetically bubbles in ears next and quickly takes all thoughts and focus in its arms. Exhausting in its sonic persistence and vigorous movement, the track is an irresistible lure turning Nothing To Confess back into an epidemic of sound and temptation.

As Waiting For The Last Kiss plays next, the vocals reveal one of the limitations of the release. Though Spring is a potent presence and vocal agitator, there is at times no daring in the Nine Seconds - Nothing to confessdelivery and diversity of his attack. This admittedly is more a flavouring of the scene rather than something specific to the band itself but it is telling that the better moments on the album see him and the band stretching that aspect more. The song itself is an enjoyable if familiar design and another soon put aside as firstly the sinister instrumental Malfunction 09 encourages the imagination and The Forgotten Man provokes the appetite with its eighties post punk/electro punk spiced challenge.

   No Shut Eye (Fight Back mix) ferments nicely in the ears next; it’s fiery heart and similarly inflamed creativity an evocative proposal which suggests sonic anarchy more than it actually realises. The song makes for a tempestuous enticing though No Shuffle soon puts it in its place with a tapestry of robotic beats, android like vocals, and an engrossing weave of effervesce electro invention prone to psychotic eruptions. It is a thrilling and dynamic slice of electro revelry stealing top honours from those earlier successes.

The album’s last unique track is Planet On Fire, a journey through a sultry ambience by portentous vocals and a fiercely smouldering intensity. It is another excellent canvas for the imagination to play, though for once feet are left to amuse themselves by the thought provoking exploration. The track shows another side to the band’s exploration in songwriting and makes for an intriguing conclusion to the album.

Nothing To Confess actually ends with the obligatory genre remixes; here Waiting For The Last Kiss being given a Nine Seconds vs Cryo Club Mix and Attractive Lies a Nine Seconds vs Mind.In.A.Box reworking whilst Antistar Machinery is treated to a Nine Seconds vs Leaether Strip interpretation. It is the main body of the album which impresses though. Yes it feels like there is a classic lurking within the release which the band could not quite find but when it sounds this enjoyable and provides an hour of body inciting tempting it is hard to imagine too many worrying.

Nothing To Confess is available now via Space Race Records @ http://spaceracerecords.com/releases/nothing-to-confess/

https://www.facebook.com/nineseconds

RingMaster 09/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Antigone Project – Self Titled EP

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Creating electronic rock with seemingly a healthy influence of eighties synth rock and new wave, French band Antigone Project recently released their debut self-titled EP. It is a proposition which merges numerous potent flavours into atmospheric flights of sound, each soaked in evocative ambiences and embracing as many nostalgic essences as it does fresh endeavours. The release grows on the ears and psyche, making a strong first impression but evolving into an even more stirring proposition over time and plays. It is fair to say that it did not quite ignite a fire in the belly even then, but like a lover’s caress it coaxes and lingers for a thoroughly enthralling and enjoyable proposal.

The Antigone Project is the creation of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Frédéric Benmussa, initially a solo project formed in 2002 and expanded over time by the addition of lead guitarist Nik Nonotte, bassist Manu Ventre, and drummer Fred Monaco. With shows alongside the likes of Moriarty and many festival appearances subsequently under their belt, the Paris quartet has continued to evolve and hone their sound over the years, fusing French and English sung songs into an attention luring collection of songs inspired from the likes of Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Joy Division, Tool, and numerous more. Last November the band released this, their debut EP, and the Florent Livet (Phoénix, Housse de racket, Bloc Party) mixed and Antoine “Chab” Chabert (Daft Punk, Justice, Detroit) mastered proposition was swiftly drawing acclaimed loaded reactions.

As The Voyager spreads its elegant charm across ears it is easy to see why the release has been keenly embraced so far. With radiant and vocal melodies emerging from keys as a spoken narrative whispers in raw tones, the song is soon sparking the imagination. It eventually erupts into a magnetic flight of sonic intrigue and suggestiveness as rhythms roll across its broadening a1738344167_2scenery before settling into a more restrained grazing of evocative vocals from Benmussa and matching sounds. Predominantly though there is a spatial air to the track, a vast soundscape of aural drama and sonic adventure which drives the music and sets the release off in striking style.

The following Lux Machinae bubbles with electro vivacity from its first breath, a darker yawn of keys the only shadow to the track’s melodic dance. Benmussa again immediately impresses with his vocals whilst musically the song has a flirtatious essence of bands like Blancmange and Depeche Mode to its character. Rawer tones from the guitar also infuse the flavoursome tapestry of the song, helping create an almost fiery heart and presence especially in the raucous finale where vocals are as emotionally aflame as the rich sounds around them.

Diversity is openly available on the release as shown again by the guitar led entrance of Egolist. The track glides into an eighties bred sway of sound from that initial coaxing bringing a definite Visage flavouring to the French language delivered temptation. A relatively gentle stroll from the start with a slightly brooding texture to its persuasion, it breeds an increasingly intensive drama which subsequently fuels every emerging aspect of the impressive and riveting romance with the senses. It is the peak of the release but straight away backed by the celestial seduction of Alphabot. Keys once again take charge as they steer the song, creating a soaring sonic expression nicely tempered by a great darkly lit bassline. There is a feel of Interpol and UK band Silhouettes to the emotively crafted croon which only aids the seduction enveloping ears and imagination. The song does not leap from the speakers but binds the listener into a long term and persistent tempting which is just as potent as the more immediate thrills of other songs.

The EP also comes with a trio of bonus tracks, starting with the rhythmic jungle and melodic incitement of Eko. The song explores another avenue to the band’s sound, its body taking on an indie and rock rawness to stand aside of its predecessors. The track is a riveting look into another corner of Antigone Project’s sound and invention, and definitely is more than just a bonus treat, much like God Played A Trick On Us which equally explores new territory with an underlying folk lilt to its emotive balladry. As it simmers with increasingly livelier intent, keys and guitars create a magnetic cradle for the alluring vocals. The song reminds ears in many ways of Colin Vearncombe and his project Black, rivalling anything else on the EP before the outstanding Infinite Pulse provides a closing weave of electronic tempting. Its sizeable enticement comes complete with a bass lure surely inspired by The Cure as well as vocal and melodic theatre bred from seeds of The The. It is a striking end to an excellent introduction to the Antigone Project who, in bridging nostalgic and modern sounds in their unique yet welcomingly familiar way, you can expect to see in more intensive spotlights from hereon in.

The Antigone Project EP is available now via Samla Music @ http://findiemerch.com/en/antigone-project-antigone-project/ and digitally @ http://dooweet.bandcamp.com/album/antigone-project

https://www.facebook.com/antigoneproject

RingMaster 07/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Desert Ships – Skyliner

Desert Ships press image 2014

Four mesmeric flights flooded with celestial hauntings and shoegaze fascination, the Skyliner EP from UK band Desert Ships is as both band and release names suggest, an expansive and sultrily aired adventure. A release which is cinematic in its touch on the imagination and warmly sensuous in its lure on the senses, Skyliner shimmers and radiates like a mix of The Horrors, House Of Love, and Brian Jonestown Massacre with just a tinge of Inspiral Carpets for spicy measure. To be honest that is still a loose description of the psychedelic fuelled exploration found within the release but a good starting point for something distinct to Desert Ships.

Formed in 2012, the London trio of Mikey (vocals/guitar), Daniel (bass/vocals), and Claude (drums/vocals) swiftly sparked attention and acclaim with the release of their debut album that same year. The Mark Gardener (ex- Ride) produced Doll Skin Flag soon drew regular comparisons to the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, and occasionally the film scores of John Barry. Its success was backed by the band’s equally praised live presence which saw them tour with bands such as The Prodigy, Band of Skulls, The Rifles, and Babyshambles as well as play numerous festivals over the past couple of years. Reuniting with Gardener again in the studio, Desert Ships now unveil their new EP, a release taking its predecessor as a launch pad for broader and more expressive aurally visual experiences.

The release opens with its epic title track, a seven minute plus excursion into magnetic harmonies, sonic exploration, and fuzzy show gaze seducing. From its first breath there is a fresh and smouldering temptation at work, guitar coaxing Desert Ships-Skyliner-artwork -Final-HRthe lead into a weave of vocal harmonies and expression from across the band. That in turn is cradled by a tapestry of keys bred elegance and enterprise. The song emerges as a gentle maelstrom of gripping ideation and aural fascination, the vocals as varied and riveting as the spatial grooves and rhythmic shuffle courting their narrative whilst every immersive note is an exotic kiss upon the senses. Like soaring through a refreshingly muggy landscape, the track is enthralling leaving body and emotions submerged in blissful exploration.

The slightly slimmer length of Shell Shock is no less eventful next, embracing ears with a synth pop spiced temptation straight away. Laying down an eighties flavoured yet modern canvas of melodic hues, bands like China Crisis, Modern English, and The Flaming Lips coming to mind, the track croons with cosmic lustre and psychedelic colour. Again the imagination is sparked by and emotions immersed in an ethereal tapestry of sound and voice, the song the perfect pop proposition. It is a description which almost applies to the following Heart Beats and it’s more grounded but no less transfixing splendour too, though the magnetic offering does not quite have the infectious glow and compelling grandeur of its predecessor. All the same the feistier track is a masterfully and enticingly grooved invitation which is hard to resist as it reveals further shades and turns in the band’s creativity.

Skyliner is concluded by another epic holding of ears with its longest and relentlessly suggestive track, Ausgang. Somewhere between cheerfully funereal and livelily meditative, the persistent breeze of sonic and melodic enticing is a vibrantly repetitive affair which probably outstays its welcome but still provides an instrumental soundscape to create imaginative tales within. Though the EP is not one of two halves, like the previous track the closer lacks something of the first pair of songs but has plenty to entice and feed an already keen appetite for release and band.

Desert Ships has provided a treat of an encounter which is at its stunning best at the start and whilst slipping a level of persuasion or two in its latter part, perpetually leaves expectations and anticipation of big things from and for the band ahead rife. Ultimately Skyliner is a gorgeous flight which more than deserves a full investigation.

The Skyliner EP is available now @ http://desertships.bandcamp.com/

http://www.desertships.com

RingMaster 11/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mechatronic – Dystopia

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Though it might not be setting a blaze of originality, Dystopia the new album from Swedish synth pop band Mechatronic, is a rather charming and enjoyable encounter. It makes no demands and does not really stretch senses and imagination but the twelve- track release does offer a contagious embrace to make a very satisfying forty five minutes or so in its company.

Formed in 2002, Mechatronic consists of Wilhelm Äretun (vocals/programming) and Emma Hortlund (lyrics/synthesizers). Already under their belt the Uppsala duo has a couple of well-received albums in the shape of Promises From the Past and Dreams, of 2003 and 2012 respectively. Uniting synth and future pop into a brew which is as nostalgic as it is fresh, the band is now poised to work on feet and imagination, not forgetting attention, with the Space Race Records released Dystopia.

The album swiftly embraces ears and thoughts with opener Falling Apart, its atmospheric coaxing offering a chilled John Foxx enticing and very early Ministry like presence. The plain yet alluring vocals of Äretun add another enticing element to the start of the song, his tones flourishing further with the subsequent harmonies and energy the singer infuses into his delivery. With the synths shimmering vivaciously as they radiate infectiousness, the track leads the listener into a minimalistic but seriously catchy proposition which does not startle but certainly lights up a keen appetite for it and the album.

The strong start is easily surpassed by the following pair of Endless Search for Something and Don’t Bother to Knock. The first of the two songs strides with contagious manner and enterprise, electronic hooks and tantalising melodies enslaving the imagination whilst the vocals and their unfussy lyrics easily induce participation from its recipient. An enticing eighties breath again washes ears with elements of bands like Blancmange and Depeche Mode spicing up the temptation impressively laid down, an open familiarity enveloped with Mechatronic’s own invention to provide a riveting treat. Its successor brings a darker and more intensive weave of sound which comes wrapped in an elegant ambience of evocative melodies which swarm tenderly and provocatively over the senses. Once again, as with all tracks upon Dystopia, there is infectiousness to the song which makes a physical and emotional engagement with its magnetic persuasion very simple.

The title track comes next with an industrial seeded chill to its intriguing almost sinister aural narrative. This of course comes with another healthy dose of addictive hooks and sonic tempting which just adds to the fascinating texture and tapestry of the song. It is a potent mix of shadows and light, though for personal tastes it does not explore its darkest elements as deeply as wished, preferring to stay within the energetic pop invention of the band. It is nevertheless another twist in the presence of the release, as is Niagara, a flowing electronic waltz smothering ears is a warm and rapturous seduction. It is not the quickest persuasion on the album but turns out to be one of the most lingering and ultimately enthralling with thoughts and emotions.

Trapped in a Nightmare is another encounter to walk rich shadows musically and lyrically, a tempestuous atmosphere challenging the melodic flames glowing beneath. The song is a captivating proposal but lacks the spark and virulence of earlier songs. It still brings something inviting to the album though before the drama and intrigue of Sinister expands across the senses, its aspects living up to its name. There is a cinematic quality to the track, closing eyes bringing visions of black and white scenery around lone and lonely figures walking empty streets emotionally and physically, before a dead world erupts around them.

Across the sultry ambience and intimate emotions of Beyond the Silence and the exotically charming Broken Promises, band and album ignite a fresh wave of pleasure. The first is a sweeping seducing of picturesque melodies and suggestive sonic hues whilst the second dances with masterful simplicity and ridiculously captivating hooks. It is an outstanding romp which like the album is not trying to reinvent the scene but just give it a refreshing and joyful injection of fun. The same can be said of the next up Vicious Words, though despite being an accomplished and potently satisfying companion, it leaves no lasting impression unlike its persistent predecessor.

The album is completed by the electro pop flirtation of This Moment, a decent enough ear appeasing suasion, and the dystopian landscape of the predominantly instrumental Dying Together Isn’t Going to Solve Anything. Without setting fires, both make a fine end to an impressively engaging proposition. Dystopia is not without niggles, the over familiarity of some songs to supposed influences and between themselves the strongest question to cast over it, but Mechatronic tenaciously succeed with the self-same songs through their irrepressible contagion and melodic invention. It makes for an easy going and rewarding encounter which will successfully light up any day.

Dystopia is available now from Space Race Records @ http://www.poponaut.de/mechatronic-dystopia-p-13266.html?osCsid=9967e8061365165712433db6cdfea4cc

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RingMaster 19/09/2014

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