The Skints – FM

11025921_10152390035169058_2850862736871011324_o

There are numerous and varying essences which make a great record, elements which create an escape or certainly a potent diversion from everyday issues and drudgery. There are some which go even further, capturing the imagination as forcibly as ears and emotions whilst taking the listener into a landscape that is familiar in some and many ways to their own personal life’s scenery. These are the standout moments in music and FM is without doubt one of those. The third album from UK reggae/dub quartet The Skints, the release is a fascinating and seriously thrilling adventure, an encounter from the band drawing on their own personal pleasures growing up and in turn connecting with the listener’s. FM is an inescapable thrill fuelled by fun, fierce enterprise, and ridiculously contagious imagination…oh there are some rather bewitching sounds involved too.

Following on from their previous acclaimed albums, Breathe. Build. Believe. and Part & Parcel, of 2009 and 2012 respectively, FM is a tantalising proposition which in some ways can be described as a concept album. The release from the East London quartet of Jon Doyle (bass), Marcia Richards (keys/sax/flute/melodica/vocals), Jamie Kyriakides (drums/vocals), and Josh Waters Rudge (guitar/vocals), takes the listener into the heart of an imaginary London pirate radio station, The Big FM / Frequency Murderation, 103.Skints. Across its length we are entertained by four radio shows with the DJ Mr Versatile Breakfast Show, the alter-ego of Tippa Irie, setting the album’s broadcast off. The release is a tribute to the radio culture the band and indeed we have all loved as music fans, whatever our tastes, an ‘education’ and experience arguably lost in the modern internet age. FM is quite simply spellbinding in premise and invention, the songs finding The Skints at another creative plateau yet unafraid to give a nod to their early inspirations and own rawer sound whilst weaving diverse tapestries from roots reggae, dub, rocksteady, punk, Motown, grime, garage, and soul plus much more.

FM is summer in one excitable embrace and instantly steals ears and passion with This Town which follows the opening Breakfast Show skit. Featuring Tippa Irie and Horseman, the song is an immediate seduction. Vocals caress ears as guitar and pulses stroke with equally engaging intrigue. It is potent bait swiftly given greater colour by the irresistible tones of Marcia Richards. The image001song has attention and appetite instantly in its hands right away as a skittish air only adds to its compelling aural smile. London life has never been so warmly and magnetically shown but it is just the start. Both guests add their distinctive and captivating vocal adventures to the invigorating stroll, it all leading to a croon of a chorus which surely no one can resist. The track is spellbinding leaving a huge grin on heart and face and pleasure ready for what is to follow.

In The Night steps in next, its melodies and harmonies gliding over the senses, serenading ears with aural poetry. Elegant and reflective, the song also shows a darker yet unthreatening side, Horseman again adding his rich deep tones as energies brew heavier attitude around him. Imagine By The Rivers meets The Clash and you get a sense of the great contrasts colluding in beauty, though admittedly not the real uniqueness of the offering. Its mesmeric elegance is followed by Come To You, a summery waltz in ears with Richards as vocally enchanting as the pop bred melodies and steamy prods of keys and guitar. You can easily visualise or imagine a video of the song such its cinematic air, for us the singer spreading her melodic romance from the open carriage of a London park situated steam train, its wheels dancing around a track in the sultry heat of summer.

The excellent My War brings a darker edge to the release, the song a cover of the Black Flag track. It is still a fascinating melodically enhanced invitation but has a snarl to its voice and attitude lined swing that breeds an additional intriguing edge to the provocative narrative and shadows. The track is the end of the first show, Dancehall Dilemmas with Dr. Ranking Pegasus (aka. Horseman) opening up the stations next clutch of offerings. Featuring a ‘call from listener Danny’ it evolves into the excellent Friends & Business, another song with an addictive swagger and punchy rhythmic enticing commanding feet and passions with consummate ease. Ska bred with a soulful nature to its heart and vocals, the track also has a mischievous almost vaudeville moment which only adds to the addiction spawned by the slice of rock pop.

Both the feisty sway and swing of Where Did You Go? and the more serious presence of Tazer Beam keeps album and listener aflame with invention and pleasure. The first is yet another call of the summer with intimate melodies and irresistible rhythmic and percussive lures courted by bewitching vocal prowess across the band. As with many songs by The Skints, you feel you know the proposition ahead of ears yet everything about it is fresh and unpredictable, a skill sparking greater lustful reactions. The second of the two songs, explores a darker and grittier premise, looking at gun and associated violence on both sides of street culture. Tippa Irie returns to bring his pungent style to the immersive tones of song and band, contrasts again sublimely crafted in sound and lyrical expression by the band.

After the melodic spell of The Forest For The Trees, sorcery of vocals from across the band kissing ears as words and reggae honed strokes work on the imagination, the Grime Hour With Rivz (aka MC Rival) welcomes Eyes In The Back Of My Head. Also featuring the ‘DJ’, the track almost prowls ears, the hip hop incitement of Rival an alluring and compelling protagonist against the similarly imposing sounds surrounding his spits. Tempering it though, keys and vocals from the band bring their own smouldering seduction; whilst seemingly inspired by the tense streets being explored, the guitar reveals noir lit drama in its creative designs. The track gets under the skin, constantly evoking thoughts and emotions before Got No Say provides its own distinctive and individual flirtation of eagerly simmering keys, siren-esque melodies, and another thrilling and adventurous vocal union. In many ways the song might be the most pop of them all on FM, though as ever it never allows itself to settle into one singular premise of sound.

DJ Mr. Versatile Evening Session is the final show of the broadcast and gives us the mouth-watering beauty of Tomorrow. The song epitomises everything impressive about The Skints. Songwriting alone as enchanting and immersive as the melodies and imagination fuelling every slice of ingenuity held within FM. We have obviously repeatedly mentioned the thrilling melodies and harmonies which ignite songs, but have to also point out the dark throbbing lines cast by Doyle’s bass, the instrument and its dramatic strings perpetually casting additional theatre within the tracks.

It is a masterful end to a stunning release. The band’s previous albums were the mark of a band persistently finding new heights and depths in its sound and invention. Now FM is yet another landmark for not only The Skints but indeed reggae seeded ingenuity as a whole.

FM is available from March 9th via Easy Star Records @ http://easystarrecords.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=115_68927 and digitally https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fm/id962280939

http://www.theskints.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/theskints

RingMaster 09/03/2015

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/

onlyjoe – Play With Fire

onlyjoe

Three EPs in and it is fair to say that UK reggae band onlyjoe just get better and more compelling with each release, the undeniable proof coming with new and fourth EP Play With Fire. It is a magnetic blaze of seductive invention and incendiary intent which leaves senses and thoughts fully awake whilst emotions eagerly accept and join the sultry ride. Consisting of the title track and three remixes, the release from the London based ten piece continues the impressive emergence of the band through their self–titled debut and even more so the Revolution and Wicked Lands EPs. It brings the heart and creative fire of the band openly into view yet again whilst moving those self-same elements on to greater potency. The buzz around the band and anticipation for this new release has been an eager hunger and Play With Fire soon tells you why.

Since emerging onlyjoe has earned a strong vibrant reputation for their inventive sound and open passion, as well as their appearances and adventures alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professer, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and many more, which has seen them grow into a formidable proposition. Play With Fire as it recruits the passions seems like the key to the next level of plateaus and awareness, a release reaping the seeds set by its predecessors to prospectively bloom into a new realm of acclaim. Of course time will tell but it is hard to suggest anything to the contrary will emerge.

The title track saunters in with a smouldering ambience to its air and vocals whilst brass and keys drizzle their individual temptations square_160across the riveting expanse to help accelerate the pull of the track. The triple vocal juggle is masterful bait alone; Jago, Zico, and Galak all different and distinct lure for ears and emotions within the guitar caresses and rhythmic enticement. Add the flames of sax and trumpet whilst the bass pulsates with just the right shade of shadow and contemplation, and you have a sizzling provocation alongside a thought provoking narrative, quite simply you have a lingering persuasion. The track slowly disperses rather than ends ensuring its touch and voice remains to the very last second as an impacting suggestion, the track overall a unique and powerful merger of modern and traditionally seeded reggae.

The remaining tracks on the EP come in the shape of remixes by Dubkasm, DJ Madd, and the Sleepy Time Ghost & Hylu remix. All in their individual premises and approaches bring new reflections and looks from the original version, though all miss its stature and potent success as an instigator and seducer. They do bring fresh ventures to embrace though even if you always turn back to their inspirer for the real deal.

Released through Unit 137, Play With Fire is a single all reggae lovers need to investigate with full satisfaction and pleasure guaranteed, whilst onlyjoe show it is a band destined to the mightiest of horizons.

http://www.onlyjoe.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 13/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

onlyjoe: Revolution EP

The voice of change and standing up with purpose has never sounded as good as it does with the new EP from UK reggae band onlyjoe. Led by the absorbing single Revolution, the five track release brings a message and uplifting energy in unison with a fine craft and emotive heart. It sweeps one up in a rising emotion and intent that is impossible not to be inspired by as the infectious and stirring sounds within Revolution flow and pulsate.

      onlyjoe is a nine strong London band which has lit up stages with their highly energetic shows and sounds alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professor, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and more. A force and notorious for ripping up the dance floor, onlyjoe has established a formidable reputation and presence amongst underground parties, clubs and major festivals throughout the UK. Revolution is the first sure step in taking it to the fullest level of awareness and audiences, something it is hard imagining from this release alone will not be successful.

The title track squeals in on sonic breaks as the band begins littering and spotting the ears with tempting melodies alongside glorious and warm brass sounds. The song commences to sway and bob with eager teasing riffs and boisterous beats, the rhythms and melodies the kinder with the song the fuse and match to spark and ignite the senses. The smooth mesmeric vocals of Zico grab the emotions and draw them in for the excellent gravelly tones of Jago to bring an inciteful intensity and defiance. It is a perfect mix that ripples within the hypnotic quality sounds surrounding them. Revolution was written just before the London riots and prophetically seems to soundtrack the rest of the year from after that particular moment

The EP also includes an instrumental dub version from Hylu and a trio of remixes from artists that have inspired the band. The first is from Bristol based dubstep don, RSD. He sends the track into different heights with his intriguing and inspired manipulations, his version having a pulsating darker vein that resonates throughout. This is followed by a mix from UK hip-hop legend Skitz in collaboration with the excellent The Sea. It is a version which seems to pull the light and dark sides from the song to place them to the fore in an enthused and dazzling battle. In what are all absorbing remixes this is the best and most fulfilling. A jungle version from Unit 137 family member Sleepy Time Ghost closes off the release in a strong and pleasing rapture of sounds.

Every track on Revolution is a brew of invention and sounds whilst the impressive original version of the song brings energy and thought to drive and inspire each and every day. It is compulsive and deeply effective with onlyjoe the freshest and most vibrant voice in UK reggae.

Be sure to check out the video for Revolution below which features their performance at Occupy London at the end of 2011.

https://www.facebook.com/onlyjoemusic

RingMaster 04/05/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.