Dizraeli – The Unmaster

One of our most enjoyable and invigorating moments within music came a few years back seeing Dizraeli & The Small Gods on stage at The Boileroom in Guildford, every second of their performance pure captivation. Now with his debut solo album, Dizraeli or Rowan Alexander Sawday as his mum knows him has released one of the essential albums of the year; maybe the most striking and yes important encounters of this and any previously recent twelve months.

The Unmaster is an autobiographically inspired collection of songs which rise from a period of turbulence and struggle for creator and the world around him. As global chaos and uncertainty seems only destined to escalate, Dizraeli found his own escape from the suffocating darkness of a mental breakdown to create a release which is as cathartic at its core as it is bewitching in its sounds and imagination. The dark times the Bristol hailing rapper, social activist, producer and spoken word artist went through are the seeds to the intimacy soaked yet creatively flirtatious songs of The Unmaster and we can only concur with the suggestion of its press release, “the album speaks of madness and collapse, struggle and redemption with searing honesty, surreal humour and a soundtrack unlike anything you’ve heard.”

Dizraeli breeds his sounds from a fusion of hip hop, grime and folk across a West African inspired percussive tempting yet there is much more to his music as avant-garde-esque and electronic uniqueness among other hues help build the drama of every one of the album’s twenty one tracks. Within those mutually compelling moments there are spoken word glimpses of the shadows within and observed by their creator before and in the album’s birth while other times are almost like echoes from his darkest moments given seconds to return between songs to impact and emotionally arouse as the longer incitements around them.

We will concentrate on the fullest moments of time within The Unmaster but as he slight but rich opening track I’m A Wave (Part One) reveals, every breath and moment within the release is as impactful and compelling as another. The first track looms upon the senses with grey flumes building an increasingly dark embrace which searches out every corner of the imagination before Madness strolls in sharing its own thoughts of a sunless climate intimate and socially spreading the world. Rhythms dance with a hypnotic shuffle as unique and manipulative as the sounds around them and the examination escaping the throat and thoughts of Dizraeli.

Alone the song provides a reason to check out the album but then again the same can be said of most tracks including Ketamine Honey. Its street lit beginnings within a crepuscular breath leads to another rhythmically inspiring proposal quickly escalated by the urban jungle of sounds and its author’s magnetic suggestiveness with a vocal presence to match. There is virulence to every aspect of the track which sparks eager participation as the imagination paints with its intimation, qualities just as rousing within the likes of Rising Son and especially My Mama. Following another brief slither of emotion drenched release posing as Daylight Came, the first of the two stretches from its poetic beginnings within a cosmopolitan lure of percussion to swing with a melodic and hope enriched smile. The track took me back in some ways to that time with The Small Gods but again grew to something truly unique to album and Dizraeli. Its addictive enterprise and insistence is matched by that of its successor, a delicious track which has a gospel like tincture to its proud declaration and ridiculously catchy exploits.

I Freak Out is another which was under the skin within seconds as wooden percussion quickly tempts a broader web of African inspired rhythmic enticement. Body movement was an inevitable response as too a devouring of its emotive tapestry, again a form of instinctive involvement repeated in this case within the evocative Oi Oi and its skilfully painted canvas. Every sound and syllable comes with an unpredictability and ingenuity which makes you stop and pay eager attention, our thoughts and appetite devouring every creative moment with relish.

The dub tinged Shift Up Fatih pulsated and beguiled from its first lungful, manoeuvring thoughts and pleasure with ease while after further slices of poetic and openly intimate incitement with Creatures In The Ceiling pure dark haunting seduction and I The Unmaster sheer tenebrific captivation, Everybody Here’s Golden adds its own plaintive look on a world clasped by insanity. Again as every word makes a poignant and striking impact so the sounds aligning their thoughts equally stir and motivate, a kind of creative animation which just as wonderfully lights up the dark carnival-esque dance of Show Some Love.

The Unmaster ends with the deeply and emotive personal affirmation of living that is After She Gave Me The Sea, arguably Dizraeli’s heart at its most raw and open before leaving on a final tapestry of sound and inspiration in The Infinite Mix.

We have done The Unmaster a slight injustice by not mentioning every gripping track within its fascinating body but equally left plenty for you to discover for yourselves. This is an album which will connect on different levels with different people and as a companion bring an understanding and reassurance to anyone with mental health issues. As suggested at the start, The Unmaster on numerous levels is one of the essential explorations of 2019.

The Unmaster is out now: available @ https://dizraeli.bandcamp.com/album/the-unmaster

https://www.dizraeli.com    https://www.facebook.com/Dizraeli/

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lost in Wonderland: Against the Sun

   Against the Sun Artwork

    Guildford band Lost in Wonderland first came to our notice here in 2011 with their impressive performance at local venue The Boileroom. Out of the three or four bands playing they were the ones who grabbed a lingering attention on the night and stayed as a thought in the mind since. The recent release of their debut album Against the Sun offered up the chance to find out how they had evolved from that more than decent performance and appealing sound of eighteen months or so ago.

The first thing notable as Against the Sun unveiled its passionate and superbly crafted songs, was the band still had the breath and flavoursome presence from our first introduction.  Lost in Wonderland and their music has certainly grown in maturity and strength but still retains the expressive heart and emotive fire which marked them all those months ago. Formed and led by songwriter, vocalist, guitarist Alexis Demetriou, a graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, the band is one which has gigged extensively with acclaim and a strong continually growing fan base in its wake. In many ways it is a surprise they have not earned a wider awareness and recognition before now but as the album treats the ear the sense that things might change soon fill the air.

Completed by fellow ACM graduates Max McPherson (lead guitar and backing vocals), Kim Griffin (bass) and Stephan Seiler (drums), Lost in Wonderland takes seeds and influences from bands such as Creed, Pearl Jam, Tool, Nickelback, Shinedown, Staind, and Alter Bridge, their inspirations open and clear as they fuse them with Middle Eastern vibes which hold a lure all of their own and melodic grooves that leave lips licked and emotions entangled. The band also is also no stranger to punctuating their rich sound with metallic muscle and forceful heavy rock intent; the finely shaped combination music which captures the imagination with ease. Whether it is a sound and album which has discovered its distinct voice and presence yet can be argued but both stand with heads held high in the company of bands mentioned.

Emerging squalling guitars register the first impact on the ear, a response soon elevated by the firm rhythms and probing basslines which follow as well as purely mesmeric fiery guitar play as the opener Rise Again steps forward. The vocals of Demetriou are as expressive as the music and share the passion driving the song. The melodic enterprise at times wrings spicery of Alter Bridge and Nickelback into its impacting flames and though it holds a familiar taste it is come with a unique flavouring.

The following title track rises like the breaking day sun, its warmth and melodic caresses wrapping around the ear as sturdy rhythmic sinews and crisp emotive intensity veins the encounter. Like the first, the track blends shadows and light musically and lyrically with impressive craft and grace, the songwriting and its realisation earning nothing less than acclaim and enthused focus. As the thread and representation of social and personal life emerges through the loosely attached theme inspired by Lewis Carroll’s timeless creation of Alice and her descent through a dark and seedy underworld, the album and tracks like the heartfelt No One Else to Blame and the exotic Enough bring stronger inventive pleasure. The second of this pair of songs is a riveting merger of muscle and melodic eloquence bringing thoughts of Audioslave and Stone Sour to the fore. It is an excellent track with those Middle Eastern teases loud contagious whispers and the perfect gate way to this equally impressive album.

The album continues to impress as each song unveils its heart and craft. Further highlights in one overall thrilling level come in the vibrant shapes of previous single Lost In Wonderland with its Poets Of The Fall like beauty, the Finnish band often coming to mind across the album, the potent and emotionally scenic Where Will You Be, and the pulsating Unwanted. The last is the closing track and leaves one with no alternative but to enter the world of the release right away, the song an infectious and sensational sunset on the album whilst at the same time turning the key to a new dawn with the release.

Against the Sun is an excellent album which melodic rock fans, especially those with a grunge and hard rock heart, will devour with eagerness. Lost In Wonderland has left those thoughts and impressions earned many months ago confirmed yet a big underestimation. This is a band all should become acquainted with.

https://www.facebook.com/liwmusicuk

RingMaster 25/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright