The romance of light and shadows: a singles round-up

With the ever welcome keen insight of Shauna McLarnon of Shameless PR and the outstanding band Ummagma, we offer up another quartet of singles deserving of your explorations.

First up is the new solo track from Harry Stafford of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies and a rather potent taste of the Manchester hailing musician’s forthcoming album, Gothic Urban Blues.

Painted Ocean is a song which casts a web of intrigue and intimation within a jazz and blues wired dark rock landscape. It is a dark echo of the world we live in yet equally intimates on a personal level as its morose yet spirit rousing stroll works away on body and rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Within its drama bold body, Stafford’s narrative is just as magnetic and enticing; word and sound entangling in a shadow nurtured sea of dark imagination and devilish enterprise further lit by jazz flamed brass across soulful blues enterprise.

Something akin to a blend of The Filthy Tongues and Tom waits, Painted Ocean proved quickly and thickly irresistible and an invitation to Gothic Urban Blues impossible to turn down.

In contrast to the darken skies cast by Mr Stafford, Ukraine’s 6th Crowd weaves an electronic enticement in new single, The Day is Over, which boldly almost viscerally shimmers with electronic luminescence though this is underlined by its own suggestive shadows.

6th Crowd is the solo project of Kyiv based Dari Maksymova who is better known as the front-woman, synth and bass player of post-punk band On The Wane. Her own musical exploration is bred in the heart of synth pop and rave dance floored electro rock adventure and has already offered up a debut single in Самозванцы which was keenly received, together both tracks a taster of her debut EP, Avoid The Void, expected in late spring.

A purposeful rhythmic lure aligns to a similarly dark and immediately firm electronic murmur as The Day is Over stirs, crystalline sparks lighting its temptation. As Maksymova’s radiant tones join the emerging proposal, further light and enterprise is cast by synths yet still that balance of dark and light offers an intimation and tempestuousness which firmly enthrals attention. With Maksymova sharing the song’s heart in her own national tongue it is left to the music to inform the imagination and that it does with almost teasing effortlessness, The Day is Over a source of infection and enterprise sure to lure a greater wealth of ears to its creator and her forthcoming EP.

With a double EP in Fishbowl/ Terrestrial due March 20th, Alienbaby Collective is another fine proposition offering up some potent teasers in the shape of singles of which Degenerate Moon is an infestation of sound, a noise rock bred trespass of ears and imagination as captivating in its melodic craft as it is in fuzz induced irreverence.

Almost menacingly infectious and with a melodic enterprise verging on the toxic, the track is a moment of raw beauty further escalated by the entrancing tones of Liú Mottes, the former guitarist in Blue Crime and New YX and currently part of SOON, Slow Worries, and OBOL LE. Her solo project, Alienbaby Collective creates a sound which holds no fear in going where the listener may fear yet as proven by the bewitching Degenerate Moon it is the source of haunting pleasure, something also epitomised within double A-sided single Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up released even more recently, an incitement which fascinates as it courts emotive responses to its post punk endowed noise rock nurtured predominantly instrumental haunting.

Together both singles suggest, no insist, that Fishbowl/ Terrestrial is a challenge ears and imaginations should take on.

Lastly we have for your intrigue, the new single from The Mystery Plan. With their fifth album, Zsa Zsa, scheduled for an April release through Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings, the US outfit drop the enticing offering of Ballad of JC Quinn as a lead and warm up for intrigue and attention on March 6th.

The song is a vibrant and infectious slice of the band’s dream pop meets melodic alternative rock adventure. With lively “folk nova” rhythms adding to the swinging instinctive funk stroll of the song, it needed little time to reveal a richness of ingredients and flavours as equally swift captivation.

Having already ignited the senses and appetite with previous uniquely sounding and equally contagious single, the Massive Attack-esque Al Gore Rhythms, the North Carolina hailing quintet repeat the captivating deed again with Ballad of JC Quinn; The Mystery Plan laying down grounds for a definite exploration of the sure to be unique charms of Zsa Zsa.

Painted Ocean from Harry Stafford is digitally available now with Gothic Urban Blues released March 27th, both via Black Lagoon Records with album pre-ordering available now @ https://harrystafford.bandcamp.com/album/gothic-urban-blues

https://www.facebook.com/harrystaffordUK/    https://twitter.com/harrystaf62

The Day is Over from 6th Crowd is available now @ https://6thcrowd.bandcamp.com/track/the-day-is-over

https://www.facebook.com/6thcrowd

Alienbaby Collective’s Degenerate Moon and Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up are out now through Humm Recordings with pre-ordering for Fishbowl/ Terrestrial available @ https://hummrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/alienbaby-collective-fishbowl-terrestrial-lp-humm10

https://www.facebook.com/alienbabycollective/

The Mystery Plan drop Ballad of JC Quinn on March 6th via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings with Zsa Zsa due for release April 3rd.

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan,

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

From streets and trees

With again thanks to our friend Shauna of the great band Ummagma and leading light of the mighty Shameless PR, we have discovered another clutch of singles sure to ignite your interest.

The Room in The Wood is centred round the creative union of guitarist Paul Cavanagh and vocalist Dave Jackson, the pair back writing and playing together again since the demise of their post-punk band The Room in 1985; a band whose single, Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl still finds an eager place in our ears. That alone sparked real anticipation as what The Room in The Wood might offer and as Charmed reveals, it is pure captivation.

The likes of The Doors, Burt Bacharach, Beck, Fleet Foxes, and Nick Cave have been offered up as suggestions to the band’s sound but as soon as Charmed began its suggestive balladry, it was The Monochrome Set which came to mind and escalated the natural magnetism of the song, To be fair, the track is unique to The Room in The Wood in every way but that additional scent does it no harm as neither the flighty lures of Simon James’ folkish flute and the autumn stroll of drummer Colin George Lamont’s rhythms.

Released via A Turntable Friend Records, Charmed is a slice of melodic beauty with snapping jaws at social disparity and a real joy.

Also released through A Turntable Friend Records is the latest single from the black watch, a LA-based outfit consisting of John Andrew Fredrick, Andy Creighton, Scott Campbell, and Rob Campanella. Crying All The Time is taken from Brilliant Failures, the quartet’s new album planned for release mid-2020 and no finer a teaser for the full-length are you likely to hear.

A slice of psychedelic indie pop, the song has a definite eighties scent to its enterprise; indeed in certain moments and in varying degrees bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound, and The House Of Love came to mind though it would be wrong to say that Crying All The Time shared anything less than the black watch richness.

From the citric jangle of guitar to the rampant incitement of rhythms and Fredrick’s participation encouraging vocals, the single rides pop rock instincts with creative boisterousness. Everything about it is virulent infectiousness yet embraces an organic DIY feel which again harkens back to late seventies/early eighties invention and boldness; another of numerous reasons to swiftly check it out,

photo by DC Cane

With their new self-titled mini album set for release January 31st, Beat Hotel share the second single from it on the 3rd. Bury It Deep is a song with an indie rock jangle and melodic pop catchiness and an ear pleasing invitation to that upcoming release.

Featuring current and former members of The June Brides, The Loft, The Weather Prophets, Distractions, Mudlow, Mojo Fins, and Lolita Storm and based between Brighton and Plymouth, Beat Hotel is the long-time project of guitarist/vocalist Paul Pascoe and bassist Arash Torabi. With drummer Dave Morgan having played on records alongside the likes of Jazz Butcher, Primal Scream, Vic Goddard, and Subway Sect, there was plenty to intrigue from the band’s musical experiences alone and Bury It Deep quickly rewarded with its accomplished enterprise.

There is a touch of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions to the song’s guitars at times, a hue which escalates its natural infectiousness and the melodic prowess of Pascoe and fellow guitarist Stephen Brett. With a psych rock breath adding to the track’s shimmer against the darker lit stroll of rhythms, Bury It Deep soon had ears hooked and with increasing strength by the listen. Released through Occultation Recordings, it is a song which suggests that upcoming release will be well worth a good listen.

Also with a new album in the wings, German gothic rockers MONO INC. release a pair of singles to entice ears towards that bigger proposition.

The Book of Fire and Louder Than Hell are the opening two songs upon The Book of Fire LP which will be released January 24th via SPV / NoCut in Europe and ADA / Entertainment One in North America. The eleventh full-length from the Hamburg quartet, it is a concept album of a “time when knowledge gained over centuries was systematically erased…A time of the inquisition”, an adventure the two singles suggest will make for a fascinating exploration.

The band’s sound is a weave of gothic rock and folk scented metal evenly embracing familiarity and uniqueness. The Book of Fire is a canter of melodic dexterity and lyrical intimation and straight away coaxes attention with its melodic lures before bursting into a bolder and heavier surge. Martin Engler’s tones soon unveil the track’s shadow bound tale as the rhythms of bassist Manuel Antoni and drummer Katha Mia echo that darkness.

Louder Than Hell similarly takes the imagination into a saga of drama and darkness and with matching enterprise from its electronic enticing to robust rock exploits. With Mia’s tones a rousing company to Engler’s lead and the guitar of Carl Fornia weaving suggestion as potent as the lyrics, the track makes for a stirring encounter, eclipsing its companion on the way with both tracks joining those previously mentioned in luring intrigue and attention the way of the bigger proposals they come from.

The final single we urge you to go explore is The Delicate Balance of All Things from Beauty in Chaos featuring Wayne Hussey. The song is the first appetiser for the LA-based collective’s new album, The Storm Before The Calm, a release due February 21st via 33.3 Music Collective which as its predecessor sees the project formed/led/curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo (Human Drama/ Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel) uniting with the craft and talent of numerous musicians.

Also a potent part of that debut, Finding Beauty in Chaos, The Mission’s Hussey joins Ciravolo in The Delicate Balance of All Things, his distinctive tones a calm and suggestive presence within the psych bred web of guitar and the melodic shimmer from their evocative strands. Craftily infectious in groove and gait and hauntingly dramatic in tone and imagination, the track simply bewitched ears and appetite while laying the seeds of eager anticipation for The Storm Before The Calm.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/  https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom    https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/   https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/track/charmed

http://johnandrewfredrick.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theblackwatchmusic   https://twitter.com/blackwatchmusic   https://theblackwatch.bandcamp.com/track/crying-all-the-time

https://www.facebook.com/Beat-Hotel-107226936009024/   https://twitter.com/paulbeat70   https://beathotel2.bandcamp.com/album/beat-hotel

http://mono-inc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/monoinc   https://twitter.com/mono_inc

https://www.beautyinchaosmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic/   https://twitter.com/MichaelCiravolo

MONO INC.’s THE BOOK OF FIRE TOUR Dates

06.03.20 – Münster, Skaters Palace

07.03.20 – Köln, Carlswerk Victoria

12.03.20 – München, Backstage Werk

13.03.20 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau

14.03.20 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof

15.03.20 – Pratteln, Z7

20.03.20 – Berlin, Columbia Halle

21.03.20 – Leipzig, Haus Auensee

27.03.20 – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle

28.03.20 – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann

29.03.20 – Saarbrücken, Garage

03.04.20 – Hannover, Pavillon

04.04.20 – Hamburg, Sporthalle

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Roars within shadows

Courtesy of the similarly talented Shauna McLarnon (Ummagma/Shameless PR), we have a collection of tracks which not only deserve attention, they simply demand it.

NYC-based, The 1865 has already left an ear gripping mark on 2019 with the release of their debut album, Don’t Tread On We!, and are ensuring it is leaving with a just as potent  slice of their inimitable sound through new single, John Brown’s Gat.

Formed in 2017, The 1865 embrace influences from the likes of Bad Brains, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, and Minor Threat to their sound and listening to the new single it is easy to imagine that X-Ray Spex are another to inspire their creative instincts. Taken from their first full-length, the track was written in honour of John Brown, “a white man who believed that African Americans should not be enslaved and eventually he lost his life on behalf of his Nubian brothers and sisters.”

Instantly the guitar of band founder Sacha Jenkins (The White Mandingos, The Wilding Incident) teases ears, its sonic nagging swiftly joined by the bold rhythms of drummer Chuck Treece. It is a compelling start only more irresistible once the tones of vocalist Carolyn “Honeychild” Coleman (Apollo Heights / The Veldt, Badawi) stirs up even greater enterprise and animation in the song. Constantly twisting and turning in unpredictability and contagious imagination, the song swept us up in its creative theatre and punk rock rapacity; emerging  as one of the best singles to pleasure our ears this year.

Just as captivating in its own unique way is the debut single from dark electronic collective Dispel. Rising in a senses embracing fusion of darkwave, synthpop, and gothic rock, Modal Consequence is an atmospherically caliginous hug of sound and intimation providing an enthralling teaser to the band’s first album due early next year.

Dispel is the creation of Scott Dispel, a founding member of hardcore band Face Value and also currently the drummer for TEXTBEAK. Within the band, he is joined by vocalist Ravensea and Sean Gallows, the trio reaping inspirations from artists such as Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Clan of Xymox, Depeche Mode, VNV Nation, Delerium, The Misfits and The Cramps for a sound within the single which openly aligns familiar hues to bold new imagination.

Taken from their debut full-length, Lore, and “the moment where the Hero/Heroin takes that first step into that dangerous realm of the unknown” in their journey, Modal Consequence quickly envelops the listener in its dark hues, suggestive textures which prove as instinctively catchy as they are hauntingly sunless. Within that rich allure, the siren-esque tones of Ravensea captivate as she shares the drama and unknown horizons of the song’s protagonist.

With an Evanescence meets Nightwish breath to its electronic adventure, Modal Consequence quickly and firmly had us absorbed and keenly anticipating the arrival of Lore.

Another artist with a new album due early 2020 is Atlanta songstress K Michelle DuBois and she presents a magnetic appetiser in the shape of new single Feast or Famine. She admits she is not sure yet if the latest track will be part of the album’s collection of offerings yet such its inescapable captivation and another example of its creator’s instinct for exploring new and eclectic adventures, the song only provides a thick lure for its larger successor.

With guitarist Dan Dixon and drummer Chandler Rentz alongside on the song, DuBois weaves a sound enfolding eighties pop and electro inspirations in indie rock and darker textured flavours. There is a Stevie Nicks hue to her presence and the seduction of the music itself and equally echoes of the Blondie and Divinyls influence she welcomes though here too something individual arises from a rich blend and, within Feast or Famine, effortlessly enthrals.

The track harmonically shimmers into view, quickly catching its infectious stride as synth and rhythms unite in a catchy stroll over which DuBois’ vocals easily captivate. The electro pop heart within the rock bred body of the song pulsates, its charm a beacon for the bolder rock ‘n’ roll traits of the track to latch on to like a moth and from start to finish, it all together provides one riveting contagion.

Whether the track makes the final line-up of that upcoming album we will find out soon but it only sparks keen anticipation of that impending release as too does its predecessor, Waves Break, it similarly a virulent like of electro pop ‘n’ roll, with both available at https://kmichelledubois.bandcamp.com/track/feast-or-famine

Finally we eagerly suggest checking out the new EP from US shoegazers, The Veldt. The arresting Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose bears another collection of tracks soaked in the band’s distinct and soulful sound and infectiously takes ears and imagination on atmospheric adventures.

Consisting of identical twins Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass), Marvin Levi (drums) and Alex Cox (guitar), The Veldt has consistently sparked our imaginations since their releases first emerged in the late eighties/early nineties. Some have fired us up more than others but each flight of their mood thick sound has been a source of fascination and reward with Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose one of the most potent.

The band’s sound is bred on the essences of shoegaze, dream pop, and soul and woven into soundscapes which seduce as they envelop, almost devour the senses. They are emotive affairs as proven by the new EP which come thick in intimation, rich in intimacy, and drenched in catchiness. EP opener, The Color Of Love Is Blue immediately proves the suggestion, its initial melodic invitation an echo of eighties indie pop but wrapped in the atmospheric density and emotion which marks The Veldt sound and an individuality which we can only slightly compare to the little known and now demised Japanese band, Tokyo Chaos City.

From its great start, the EP only pulled us in with richer potency, the bewitching Black and Blue and its fuzz infested climate and Fit to be Tied through its virulent romance of ears wrapping greater seduction and pleasure on the senses. From Daniel’s compelling tones to every aspect of the band’s invasively spellbinding endeavours, the tracks tantalised and ensnared; traits which persist across one of the band’s most absorbing releases yet, both Camus and Dakini smothering infatuated ears with their own imagination consuming charm and drama as emotional intensity comes in equally hypnotic waves.

Completed by the A.R.Kane Mix of I Like The Way You Talk and a Carlos Bess / Jason Furlow Mix of Dakini, the relentlessly absorbing Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is the epitome of captivation and indeed pleasure.

And that is a roundup of some striking offerings which to ignore will only mean missing out on some real pleasure.

 

Both John Brown’s Gat and Don’t Tread On We! from The 1865 are out now, available digitally via Apple Music, Spotify and directly from the band via Bandcamp, as well as numerous other online stores.

Upcoming live dates for The 1865:

Dec. 07, 2019 New York – The Kingsland (with H.R. and Human Rights, MAAFA, The Screws, Rebelmatic, Universe Ignore Her, Foxtails) – 18+ event

Jan. 09, 2020 New York – Max Fish (with Rebelmatic)

Jan. 18, 2010 New York – Brooklyn Academy of Music BAM Cafe ||| Black Rock Coalition Celebrates MLK (with Major Taylor) – All Ages / Free and Open To The Public

https://www.facebook.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band

Dispel’s Modal Consequence is available now @ https://dispelmusic.bandcamp.com/releases  as a free download with Lore set for release on January 10th, available on vinyl and CD, as well as digital download with pre-orders taken now @ https://www.dispelmusic.com/Album/

https://www.facebook.com/DispelMusicdotcom/

https://www.kmichelledubois.com/   https://www.facebook.com/KMichelleDuBoisMusic   https://twitter.com/kmichelledubois

Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is available now @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.theveldtmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/VeldtThe/   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

Beauty In Chaos – Beauty Re-Envisioned

With their debut album, Finding Beauty in Chaos, an acclaimed release last year, Beauty In Chaos has returned to its contagious adventure for their second full-length, Beauty Re-Envisioned. Revisiting those earlier tracks though does not mean that the new release is simply an easy echo of songs which have already enticed keen attention, indeed what we found was a whole fresh exploration based around a mix of dramatic remixes, bold new visions and alternative versions of those original encounters.

Beauty in Chaos is a LA-based collective led/curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo (Human Drama/ Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel) featuring a host of renowned luminaries and unsurprisingly Beauty Re-Envisioned is littered with them. For the album Ciravolo admitted “I basically handed the keys to the car over to an amazingly talented cast of producers, engineers, re-mixers, DJs and artists… giving them near total autonomy to throw the puzzle of ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos’ on the floor and reassemble it as they hear it.” What has emerged is a proposition in its own right aside of that first offering, one bringing new bold characters and potency to songs which over past months had already become good friends.

 Beauty Re-Envisioned opens with a snarling MGT Remix of the Beauty In Chaos take on the T-Rex classic, 20th Century Boy. With Al Jourgensen’s rapacious tones enticingly scowling across its infectious electronic bounce and harmonica scorched canter, the track reveals itself  as virulent as it is feral and proving an immediate impossible to refuse invitation into the album which swiftly further rewards with the glorious embrace of Man of Faith. The Preacher Man Mix again has the ever potent tones of the Mission’s Wayne Hussey, one of our all-time favourite vocalists, and The Cure bassist Simon Gallup at its heart, the track a quickly addictive slice of shadow wrapped melodic rock as seductive as it is voraciously rousing.

Canadian duo Ummagma add their creative touch to Look Up next, the band’s instinctive atmospheric craft and radiance soaking the inescapably absorbing song around the temptation of vocalist Tish Ciravolo while the Collide Mix of Un-Natural Disaster springs even stronger alternative /industrial metal ferocity and intensity into the dUg Pinnick, Zakk Wylde and Ice-T embracing track. Both songs had us fully and greedily hooked as too the acoustic version of Storm with Ashton Nyte at its vocal helm. Written by The Awakening frontman and Michael Ciravolo, the song finds a new earthier intimacy and emotive depth without losing a sense of the catchy virulence in the original’s veins.

The alluring beauty of I Will Follow You featuring Evi Vine and the mutually fascinating draw of the Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Michael Anthony (Van Halen) contained Drifting Away in their respective Cotton Socks and High Water mixes only entangled pleasure and imagination, each making a less striking impact initially but only more hungrily consumed by the listen while the Kitty Lectro Mix of Man of Faith offered up a more eighties post punk/electro pop energy and enterprise to the already devoured encounter with similar force of appetite involved.

The enjoyment of Mr Hussey’s voice did not stop there as immediately his tones infused power and emotion to The Long Goodbye (Au Revoir), the track not exactly stripped back to its core but certainly exposing its melancholic heart with greater clarity as emotive piano, evocative strings, and sonic intimation wrapped intense vocals.

I Will Follow You returns with its IVaD Mix as in turn does Storm via the Vampyre Mix, again offerings which left pleasure full before another slice of 20th Century Boy sees Rolan Bolan and Wayne Hussey united in a great southern kissed, glam nurtured funk ‘n’ roll arousing which just had us bouncing.

Beauty Re-Envisioned is completed by the crepuscular Eclipse Mix of I Will Follow You and the compelling Fall & Sway Mix of the Ashton Nyte featuring Finding Beauty in Chaos, another two tracks which had little difficulty entrapping ears and enjoyment.

We will admit we are not naturally drawn to remixes and especially releases based on such collections but such the quality of the songwriting behind the tracks here and the rich imagination in their evolutions Beauty In Chaos have again simply enslaved.

Beauty Re-Envisioned is available now @ https://beautyinchaos.bandcamp.com/album/beauty-re-envisioned

https://www.beautyinchaosmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic/   https://twitter.com/MichaelCiravolo

Pete RingMaster 20/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ummagma – Compass

Though any Ummagma release is welcomed with eager intrigue and anticipation by us among a great many the recent Caravan single raised the ante for the band’s new album with its captivation soaked release. The fact, though we have had numerous singles and EPs between, that Compass comes a lengthy seven years after its same day released two predecessors only added to the excitement coated suspense. What the duo’s third full-length offers is their most eclectic and rousing collection of tracks and quite simply their finest most exhilarating moment to date.

The pair of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov embraces everything from shoegaze, dream and synth pop to electronic and rock driven imagination with plenty more in the abundant enterprise of their new encounter. it is a release and collection of songs though which still revel in the atmospheric and ambient dreamscapes the Ontario based pair has earned thick acclaim and a potent reputation for. The album’s first single suggested that the Ummagma sound had evolved to a whole new tapestry of adventure and diversity, a bold aural kaleidoscope now confirmed and taken across a compelling array of individually and uniquely fresh landscapes by Compass.

The album opens up with Rolling and instantly infests the senses with its animated funk incited rhythms. Hitting its joyous stride soon after, the track bounces along dragging the listener to their feet, Kretov’s vocals a ringleader to the boisterous escapade. With its Talking Heads meets Dalek I Love You like shuffle, the track gets the release off to a thrilling start, one more than accentuated by successor Caravan.

The second track similarly had attention and instincts alive with its rhythmic introduction alone, bold tenacious beats a tribal intimation within the suggestive sonic vegetation that surround them. With body and imagination swiftly enslaved, McLarnon’s ever siren tones warmly caress as the song expands its scenically melodic emprise while the alternating blend of the duo’s voices only adds to the cinematic lure and enticing climate of the exceptional encounter.

Otherwise is next up, the song sharing another individual clime of sound and flavour as Caribbean-esque hues gently but firmly trot within an evolving dream pop serenade. More than ever it proved so easy to sink into the soundscapes of Ummagma as within just three songs Compass had unveiled a new plateau of craft, imagination, and temptation; an enticement nagging at the senses as eagerly within the electronic ambience coloured LCD. With voices as much a lively texture as the sounds courting the same evocative space, the track swept across the senses to, if not quite to the same heights as its predecessors, strongly captivate.

Equally the dream nurtured pop of Elizabeth 44 proved a beacon of persuasion and manipulation, guiding hips and attention with a knowing smile as McLarnon again beguiled, while Blown straight after was swiftly under the skin through its opening indie strokes of guitar alone. As its atmosphere grew and thickened with crystalline synth tempting and a hazy breath the track only enhanced its hold especially as cosmopolitan shapes and melodic silhouettes came forth to dance with keen rhythms and conjuring imagination.

The following predominantly instrumental F-Talking is one of those Ummagma tracks which sparks a fresh inference upon the imagination with every listen, its ambient search and discovery enthralling and interpretation never concluded with successor Galicticon, a spatial float across an expansive melodic sky of equal intimation, just as potent on ears and thoughts.

The diverse character of Compass continues at pace with Lotus strolling in on a shoegaze swing as Kretov walks its wiry threads. There is a touch of Paul Haig to the excellent song which only adds to its rich presence as too a Cocteau Twins like seducing which makes for a similarly alluring essence within the pastoral summer of High Day that follows with matching fascination.

The pair of Colors II and Cretu ensures a fair share of the imagination is cast on their adventures too, the first a slice of indie rock with a folk meets post punk shading and the second an ambient glide across mercurial and unpredictable scenery, every instrumental second a dawning of new suggestive sights to captivate thoughts and senses.

The radiant Bouquet brings Compass to a mesmeric conclusion, its hug shadow clad yet brightly seductive and breath foreboding but rousing. It is an eagerly magnetic end to an album which charmed, tantalised and absorbed from start to finish with moments of creative rapture set in between. Ummagma just go from strength to strength, from bold adventure to striking imagination releases by release; Compass the indisputable proof.

Compass is out now via Leonard Skully Records; available @ http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/compass

https://www.facebook.com/ummagma   https://twitter.com/ummagma

Pete RingMaster 31/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ummagma – Caravan

This June sees the release of the first album in seven years from Ummagma and to herald its arrival whilst offering a rather delicious teaser the indie pop duo has just released the two track single Caravan. As ever the pair’s sound is as eclectic as it is evocative and as is the trend with atmospheric senses involving mastery the new single evokes and inspires the imagination to individual adventures alongside its own.

Emerging in 2003, Ummagma is the creative union of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov. Ontario based, the pair’s sound is an imaginative fusion of everything from dream pop and shoegaze to post-punk, indie, space rock and much more, it all immersed in a tapestry of ambient and electronic enterprise. The duo has regularly been compared to bands such as Cocteau Twins, Curve, and Daughter but as Caravan alone insists, references which only hint at rather than reveal the richness of the band’s music and imagination.

It is fair to say that our personal appetite to Ummagma’s music is constant but has flourished in varying strengths across their releases and ahead of that new album in Compass, has reached lustful greed courtesy of Caravan. The song instantly had ears gripped as drums set out their ridiculously hypnotic and rousing stroll. Atmospheric suggestion is just as swiftly at play with the imagination, its soundscape of warm wide plains blossoming with suggestive vegetation. McLarnon’s warm magnetic tones are also soon caressing ears as the song sweeps into a synth pop-esque canter, Kretov’s subsequent vocals just as tempting within the pair’s web of musical insistence.

The song is pure adventure, an intimate travelogue of intrigue, intimation, and craft which had the body bouncing and ears enthralled from start to finish.

Ty i Ya accompanies Caravan offering up its own individual temptation; one funk lined and eighties synth pop bred. There is something of Dalek I Love You to the song which only added to its quick appeal and it too brings an atmospheric cascade of enterprise and suggestion which mesmerised throughout even if with varying degrees of strength across its evocative landscape.  Ummagma is a band which is unafraid to push their boundaries and the imagination of others in unexpected ways, Ty i Ya proof it so often works a treat.

It is probably fair to say that any album, indeed release, from Ummagma is eagerly anticipated in numerous corners, Caravan ensures Compass will definitely be truly keenly awaited.

Caravan is out now through Leonard Skully Records; available @ https://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/caravan with Compass released on June 21th also via Leonard Skully Records digitally, on black vinyl and on CD with artwork by Alexander Kretov.

https://www.facebook.com/ummagma   https://twitter.com/ummagma

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Virgance – Paradigm 3

The_Virgance_Paradigm_3_promo_pic_1.jpg_RingMaster Review

Looking for an escape from the turbulence of the modern world, from the grind and imposition life so often brings the day? UK artist The Virgance is one who provides such opportunity through his new album Paradigm 3, a celestial post-rock fuelled instrumental flight on the wings of shoegaze expanding through immersive ambiences which just suck you right in. Close your eyes and drift in thought and the album simply transports ears and mind to another fascinating and warm landscape, though it too has shadows to intrigue the imagination and stir the emotions. The release is a fascinating exploration, one which occasionally ebbs and flows in potency from time to time with personal tastes but one which from its first mesmeric note through to its final wash of atmospheric beauty, leaves a rousing glow in its wake.

The Virgance is the solo project of Colchester hailing Nathan Smith, former guitarist of UK indie band Ripley and the co-producer of electronica outfit Loveless. Early 2014 saw Smith emerge with his debut album Lost Continent, a release luring critical acclaim and eager awareness the way of The Virgance. Its successor in the January of this year only lured greater plaudits and attention, Hiko Shrine reinforcing the reputation and expansive nature of Smith’s composing and sound which Paradigm 3 now explores to richer success.

cover_RingMaster Review   From opener 25 Years ears are entranced and the imagination ignited by the almost ravenous kaleidoscope of sound and textures slowly and magnetically swamping the senses. The guitar craft and enterprise of Smith is as lively and enthralling as the ambiences and beauty oozing from the keys, and equally the darker hues and character of drums and a bass which at times are virtually stalking the psyche from within the sonic drenching of track and air. For us the best instrumentals, even within an open theme or inescapable atmospheric suggestiveness making major hints on the imagination, are those allowing thoughts to conjure new and different exploits with each and every listen and certainly that is the case with Paradigm 3 and each individual emprise of sound and invention.

Through both the rockier Epiphony and the haunting Sequester Smith ‘traps’ the listener in a cloud of sonic seduction and less prominent but equally alluring rhythmic contrasts. The first of the two pieces blossoms with its great subtle repetition within an absorbingly crafted sonic journey whilst the second is like an evolving spatial mist, an enthralling brewing of slightly sinister tinged intensity in sound emerging within noir toned drama.

From one big highlight to another and the more minimalistic and earthbound Moonolog. A simple union of bass and guitar alone has ears gripped and thoughts involved whilst around them a tension slowly but clearly grows in the lining and atmosphere of the track. Calm and warm sonic caresses ultimately keep any volatility at bay but the hints are there to ensure the track continues to dispel expectations and predictability.

There is a great raw edge, and at times thicker expulsions, within Paradigm 3; another underlying constant which chooses its moments to temper the universal flight and fiery elegance within the likes of the senses smothering Saturnine which embraces controlled causticity to fine effect. In contrast, Down The River leaves rougher traits under wraps as its siren-esque swelter and ethereal vocal bewitchment, courtesy of Shauna McLarnon of dream pop duo Ummagma, swallow ears and emotions. The first single from the album, it sparks thoughts of new worlds and old civilizations but again terrains with fresh scenery every listen.

The album is completed by firstly Dissipate, a brief and fiercely potent stretch of sound and imagination which is as strangely harrowing as it is mystically compelling and finally No Return, itself a darker and seemingly harsher environment initially, but emerging like a celestial butterfly shredding warm resonance with every melodic flutter, though again darker elements bring an extra resourceful slither of intrigue.

   Paradigm 3 is spellbinding, an exploration you will only be glad you have not missed. It is best heard in one full odyssey of sound and stimulation though admittedly that does run the risk, if not paying attention, of tracks merging into one and another and losing some of their defining features. However you embrace the album though, it is a proposition that shoegaze and post rock fans especially will find great rewards in.

Paradigm 3 is out now on CD through El Vals del Conejo and as name your price download via The Virgance Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

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