a blue flame – when your whole world turns to dust

Last year ears and acclaim were seriously caught up in the swinging rock pop adventures of What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, now a blue flame follow up its success with when your whole world turns to dust, a release which may be takes a touch longer to spark the same kind of reactions but gets there all the same.

a blue flame is the solo project of Leicester based songwriter Richard Stone and when your whole world turns to dust his third album with the first, someone else’s dreams will fill our home released in 2013 as Woodman Stone.  For his new offering Stone has ventured down the gentler melodic side of his previous album but managed to find the same eclectic flavours which marked out its praise collecting presence.  Essences of folk, swing, and cabaret peak out within when your whole world turns to dust. There are moments when it rocks with full eagerness but generally it basks in a mellower climate yet the same instinctive infectiousness which drove its predecessor again infests the new album whether tempting with an emotive croon or a spirited roar.

With a host of skilled musicians such as Andy Robertson, Adam Ellis, Damon Claridge, and Tony Robinson alongside the vocals and guitar of Stone, the album opens with Back to the Stars and immediately has the body moving to its slow sway and smouldering jazzy hug. The dark inviting prowl of the bass is courted by the seductive flames of brass, both suggestively skirting the magnetic tones of Stone. It is pure captivation setting the release off in fine style.

The following We Feel Like We Feel brings a 60’s pop scent to its melodic surf twanged breeze, a touch of The Everlys flirting with its Bit pop suggestiveness. It is a mix of essences then emulated with different flavourings within the excellent Don’t Wait where it is hard not to be reminded of The Divine Comedy, its English heart and infectious canter a tapestry of imagination and creative zeal.

A Mariachi scented Latin lure graces the show tune-esque rapture of the outstanding 21st Century Blues, a song which almost creeps up on you with its addictive chorus and imagination sparking enterprise but sure to have you making vocal contributions in no time before The Future’s a Mystery lays reflectively upon  ears and thoughts. Its calmer air and tone is an emotive caress, a melancholic serenade given greater emotive depth and texture by the cello of David Dhonan.

The acoustic cored stroll of A Better Way wears a great fifties influence to its intimate saunter, Robinson’s brass lures, as the lyrical reflection , an easy tempting to get carried off by while The Words Wouldn’t Form dances with ears and appetite draped in folkish hues. At this point we are midway through the release and Stone’s songwriting and imagination increasingly shows itself to be as ripe and magnetic as it has ever been but stepping forward with fresh maturity and boldness track after track.

The summery All We Need to Know similarly leans on English folk bred inspirations for its engaging meander, textures given more urgency and mischief in the rousing stroll of Everything’s a Lie immediately after. The second of the two also has an indie pop catchiness and joviality which takes thoughts to bands such as Jim Jiminee and The Sundays, a flirtatious element quickly grabbing feet and appetite.

The song’s energetic intent is gathered up and given further tenacity in Empty Head, the first in a pair of tracks which launch the kind of rock pop antics which lit up the last album. There is a fire in its belly and devilment in its character which simply carries the listener eagerly away into the waiting rock ‘n’ roll jaws of See What Tomorrow Brings. It too has a sixties essence in its tone, the keys as much to credit for the inviting flavouring, but equally a meatier almost rapacious edge which only inflames song and the pleasure it brings.

Completed by the smoky jazziness of Love Will Set Us Free, the increasingly compelling when your whole world turns to dust leaves real anticipation of major things, if not now, ahead for Richard Stone and a blue flame. Whether the album outshines one of our favourite releases last year in its predecessor, we are still debating but certainly it rivals it and most other melodically teasing offerings out this year.

when your whole world turns to dust is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/when-your-whole-world-turns-to-dust/id1279472334

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

James Cook – Adventures In Ausland

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There has always been an inescapable magnetism to the creativity and songs of UK singer/songwriter/producer James Cook, and the release of second solo album Adventures In Ausland certainly does not lose any of that imagination sparking prowess. In fact it takes it to new levels with tracks which are bred from even greater maturity and inventive expression in sound and lyrical enterprise. The new release reaps the masterful essences of its predecessor Arts & Sciences, evolving them into richer and more intricate textures and arrangements. The expected pop heart of Cook’s songs is still as infectious as ever but with no disrespect to what came before, it has grown up to offer even more compelling and invigorating explorations of his distinct English chamber rock.

First drawing attention with the band Nemo, which released a trio of well-received albums between 2004 and 2008, Cook has made a bigger impression matched by equally potent acclaim through his solo work. Between Nemo and Arts & Sciences, he also appeared in and wrote songs for numerous Mighty Boosh episodes, collaborated with Imogen Heap, and released the baroque pop album The Dollhouse with violinist/string arranger Anne Marie Kirby, who once again links up with Cook for the new release. The time between his outstanding 2012 solo debut and Adventures In Ausland, saw Reverse Engineering, Vol. One unveiled, a covers release revealing rich inspirations to the life and music of the musician with classic tracks interpreted and regenerated in his own inventive image. It was a thrilling insight into the man as well as simply an exciting encounter but it is his own work which gets the fires flaming brightly as proven again by the new album.

Two years in the making, with songs written in the likes of Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Genova whilst its recordings took place in Vienna, Prague, Berlin and London, Adventures In Ausland (Ausland the German word for abroad or elsewhere) brings in many ways an international breath to its still distinctly English sound. Certainly lyrically the album sizes up the world and its light and dark aspects whilst wrapped in an evolving invention which you feel can only come from the imagination of an Englishman. The release opens with the delicious Bees In November; its opening sigh of strings arranged by Cook and Kirby, an immediately evocative caress. They soon make way for a warm electronic and guitar enticing subsequently followed by a soft blaze of vibrant brass, all infesting ears and imagination with a sultry glow and vivacious temptation. The beats conjured by Tom Marsh add potent bait to the mix but it is the distinct voice of Cook and the continuing masterful call of the strings which steals the passions most forcibly. Both bring emotive intrigue and unpredictability to their invitations, lures sparking excitingly in thoughts and emotions, as well as the captivating body of the pop fuelled song.

The opener is swiftly matched by the following Lilly (A Lover’s Dream), a song which glides resourcefully through ears with melodic elegance and passionate reflection coloured by the mouth-watering weave of strings. There is an a3495452677_2element of The Divine Comedy and The Bluebells to the song, a spicing which flavours the light footed melodic waltz of the song. As mesmeric in charm and sound as it is sultry in ambience, the song is a glorious embrace with an air which transports thoughts into unique scenery as does the next up Financial Tango. There is a Morricone flame to the opening climate of the track, though soon making way for the punchy stride of the song and its thought jabbing narrative. That scorched flame of brass does reoccur across the pungent premise and body of the track frequently, stirring up senses and imagination as potently as the striking enterprise around it.

Both Dog Arms & Dilemmas and Art Deco, keep the flight of the album boldly varied and gripping, the first with its gentle wash of vocals and melodic enterprise soaked in a provocative heat of brass. Vocals layers lie slightly misaligned to each other at times for a pleasing ingenious and addictive tempting whilst the entanglement of strings and brass powerfully ignites air and ears with voracious passion. It is a smouldering treat of a proposition but one admittedly soon left looking a little pale by its successor. The fifth track feels the closest to the last album, its dance of sawing strings and quirky synth adventure within agitated rhythms and another great vocal call from Cook, a bridge between the two albums whilst pushing its smart pop sound to new levels. Broad hints of Thomas Dolby and XTC tease at thoughts as well as essences of David Bowie as the song flirts and seduces the imagination and emotions. It is a riveting and scintillating encounter which leaves an already greedy appetite hungrier.

   Bring Back The Boom offers a keys led stroll with a landscape of brass and lyrical incitement next, its atmospherically musty tone and shadowed premise an enthralling encounter, if lacking the spark of earlier songs slightly. It still leaves album and pleasure high as does the absorbing melancholic presence of The Blackout and the mischievous romp of Jamie with its swipe at misguided dreams and modern pop attitudes. The pair of songs again easily pushes thoughts into action whilst leaving ears basking in weaves of strings, brass, and melodies bred with a grandeur that only pure adult pop can conjure.

The wonderful call of Tideland with Cook at his most vocally potent on the album within a suggestive net of coaxing hooks and emotionally shadowed keys, comes next to bewitch senses and feelings. The rhythmic allurement of Marsh and the commanding strumming of Cook only accentuate the power of the majestic and increasingly towering track but it is the strings and vocals which drives the lingering tapestry of sound and imagination most potently. The impressive lure of the song is continued through closing track Ausland/Outside, a piece of beauty which envelopes and seduces ears with a thrilling maze of strings and vocals. It borders on disorientating at times but only to ignite the encounter and emotions to greater potency.

Adventures In Ausland is a very different album to its predecessor creating an even more striking and masterful proposition of pop fuelled, imagination driven drama. If James Cook is still a secret to be discovered for you, than this release is an introduction which can only lead to lustful pleasure.

Adventures In Ausland is available now @ http://jamescook.bandcamp.com/album/adventures-in-ausland

jamescookmusic.com

9/10

RingMaster 30/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Latimer House – Birdcage Walk

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The make-up of Latimer House is a diverse mix which makes their new single and its sound a bit of a surprise as our introduction to the band. Made up of guitarist Joe Cook from London and drummer/ percussionist Jiří Kominek from Toronto, who set the seeds for the band in 2010 when linking up and playing together, alongside bassist Michael Jetton from Virginia and Baku hailing keyboardist Anar Yusufov, the Prague based band have a sound as English as it comes. New single Birdcage Walk has an eccentric and quaint air which plays like a mix of Ian Dury meets Cockney Rebel with a rich spice of The Kinks and Tankus The Henge in its creative toxin. From the varied globe covering line-up it is an unexpected proposition but one which engages with an irrepressible charm.

Birdcage Walk is an edited version of a track from the recently released Latimer House album All The Rage. Following and along with first single This Is Pop, the new release makes a potent and intriguing temptation for their debut album, one easy to expect a whole new wave of appetite for the band’s sound to be woken up by. Consisting of a collection of tracks recorded in 2012 with engineer Derek Saxenmeyer, the February unveiled All The Rage brought an eager spotlight upon the band with others, one set to one increased by the new pop folk tempting of Birdcage Walk.

Guitars and rhythms immediately enchant ears as the song opens up its melodic caress. It is right away a gentle and endearing stroll which sways with enterprise and quaintly jangling suasion. The vocals of Cook go much towards bringing that British feel but musically there are elements of XTC with whispers of The Divine Comedy to the song which only add to the distinct caress. Cook’s voice has a dulled yet vibrant monotony which increases the charm offensive of the song whilst matching the earthier lyrical narrative, writing which itself brings a Squeeze like essence to the whole persuasion. With keys colouring the more singular stroll of the track and its shuffling dance, Birdcage Walk makes for a captivating encounter. It does not ignite a fire in the belly it is fair to say but as a summer breeze certainly hits the sweet spot.

The song is accompanied by Until Then, an openly rawer and dirtier stomp with blazes of horns and melodic tantalising which themselves have a rough edge and fiery touch. Within that appealing almost teasing scenery a jazzy air and indie rock intrigue plays with thoughts whilst the guitars cast a sonic flaming which brings its own distinctive hue to the spicily varied landscape. Longer to convince but eventually just as persuasive and enjoyable as its companion, it along with Birdcage Walk just infests the imagination and makes an exploration of All The Rage a must and attention on Latimer House ahead inevitable.

Birdcage Walk is out on Honk Records now digitally, CD, and on ltd Ed vinyl @ http://latimerhouse.bandcamp.com/track/birdcage-walk

http://latimerhouse.com/

8/10

RingMaster 07/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Runaway Orchestra – Self Titled

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Approaching the self-titled album from Runaway Orchestra it would be fair to say eager anticipation was not really in abundance. The thought of a collection of cover songs was not off-putting but certainly did not fire up any real excitement or strong intrigue. The ten track album proceeded to take barely two songs to slap any doubt or lethargy towards it down to the floor and firmly transfixed and mesmerised thoughts from there on in.  Certainly not every track found the same strength of passion towards it as did others but the album as a whole was one shapely and magnetic pleasure equipped with a powerful and lingering lure to re-join it often.

The album is the work of Tam Nightingale who enlisted the sultry tones of solo artist Sophie Madeline to explore and bring sirenesque radiance to the re-imagination of classic songs. Also featuring musicians from The Divine Comedy, UNKLE, and Cinematic Orchestra, the result is a delicious warm stroll through the charms of an aural sun and its seductive warmth.  Released through Mr Bongo, the album brings the melodic beauty of Madeline and the folk caresses of the music in a summers day worth of luxurious luminance, the release basking and offering a full journey of hazy elegance from its vibrant sunrise to its dreamy sunset. It certainly emerged as a real surprise, a mouth-watering treat easily putting those earlier thoughts in shameful exile.

The release opens up with its potency fully unrefined from the start through the stunning tracks Happy Together and Life’s A Gas. The first, a re-working of The Turtles track, is simply irresistible, the song instantly mesmerises with the bewitching voice of Madeline and the stringed emotive kiss securing an immediate ardour upon impact. Opening up its arms to a full orchestral embrace with compelling textures coaxing further rapture, the song is wonderful and overall steals the show despite the mighty efforts of the other tracks. From its magnetic presence the song passes on to the following T-Rex song and yet another irresistible temptation. The acoustic touch of the guitar and as proves to be a permanent pleasure, the heart thrilling vocals, make an invitation impossible to decline before the track expands into another feast of orchestral light and melodic enterprise with vocal harmonies and the throaty bass shadow adding yet more unbridled enticement. Whereas its predecessor for these simple preferences easily outshone the original, this song does not surpass the richness of the Bolan version, but comes so close it is dazzling.

After such a start there had to come a point where the album loosened its grip but with next up For Lovers the time was not ready, the striking and thrilling cover of the Wolfman and Pete Doherty 2004 hit injecting an energy and vivacity into the tune without losing the originals emotive depths. Within three songs the release shows artists who do even singular covers how to make songs engrained in the heart of the world their own with craft and imagination without losing the seed and core which gave them their stature in the first place.

Tracks like the take on Bob Dylan’s If Not For You and the Lisa Lougheed/ Racoons theme song Run With Us do slip below the immense plateau already reached though both still leave a full pleasure especially with the ukulele craft of Madeline in the second of the two, whilst splitting the pair is a great version of It’s A Beautiful Day, another senses grasping wash of melodic grandeur with a restrained heat but wholly seductive charm from voice and sound.

The next major highlight comes with a storming cover of The Beat Goes On, the band turning the Sonny and Cher song into a hypnotic alchemy of primal beats and angelic glamour, its melodic reserve and celestial harmonies eager conspirators with the pulsating heart of the track to total submission of the passions. It is stripped down mastery elevated into something more powerful and impacting through imagination bred craft soaked in whispers of longing.

The final trio of songs do not quite live up to what came before though again it is just the brilliance of the likes of the just mentioned track which confines their appeal rather than any shortcomings. Nevertheless songs like Daniel Johnston’s True Love Will Find You In The End and the closing Two Of Us with a full dual vocal presence for the first time only ensure the album ends on a satisfying high.

If you have any doubts about Runaway Orchestra project or album allow us to say dismiss them and enjoy one impressive musical attraction.

8/10

www.facebook.com/RunawayOrchestra

RingMaster 15/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sebastopol: The Hateful Mob

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    Taken from their critically acclaimed debut album Hello All Stations, This is Zero, the new single from UK band Sebastopol is an infectious little treat of a song which requires little effort to immerse within its melodic cinematic charms. The Hateful Mob slowly and seductively coaxes the passions into a vibrant stroll of warm temptation and visual evocation to leave a certain energy and lust to further investigate band, and if not an already had meeting, the album.

The 2011 formed London band consists of vocalist and bassist Nick Powell, guitarist Phil Richards, and drummer Tom Standage, a trio who grabbed strong eager attention with the previously mentioned album and first single from it, Send The Boats last year. Released via Warm Fuzz, the independent label run by award winning producer Ian Shaw, The Hateful Mob was recorded like the album at Drop Out Studios in Camberwell and mixed by legendary post punk producer Mick Glossop (Van Morrison, Magazine, Public Image, The Wonder Stuff). The band has been described as a modern, darker reboot of The Police and the new single is evidence to why though just as rightfully you could suggest the likes of XTC, Teardrop Explodes, and The Divine Comedy, certainly in regards to the new single, its enticing strong whispers throughout suggesting these further comparisons.

The single engages the ear immediately with beckoning melodic caresses of guitar soon accompanied by firm inviting basslines, crisp rhythms, and gentle vocal expression. It takes no time in captivating thoughts and senses with a delicious melodic hook linking the temptation of each declaration of passion driven verse and the subsequent chorus of simmering shadows behind shiny sonics and a golden contagion of melodic infection. Between the riveting summer of the chorus the verses smoulder emotively and musically, the bass of Powell especially inciting to the visuals instigated within thoughts by the song. It is an upbeat song which ignites a measured sense of loneliness, regret, and lost joy skilfully despite its continually catchy and bright gait, the songwriting a sculpted treat to inspire the sounds it bears.

If Sebastopol has yet to glow upon your ear than The Hateful Mob is an irresistible gateway to their accomplished and instinctively crafted addictive sound and equally impressive album.

http://sebastopolband.com/

8/10

RingMaster 02/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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