Radio Massacre International (comprising Steve Dinsdale and Duncan Goddard on keyboards, and Gary Houghton on guitar) is one of the most notable EM bands to surface among the fashionable retro sound (being those who seek to recreate the wondrous heydays of the Berlin School sound from the Seventies). Their mastery with sequenced layers coupled with searing space guitar has set RMI leagues above most contenders, while their innovative melodies deliver more than just nostalgic EM.
Recently, RMI has taken a strong interest in applying their creative energies to producing some dazzling space rock music that relies on the more traditional ensemble of guitar, keyboards and drums. Fans of their previous recordings will not be disappointed, while this new venue is guaranteed to attract hordes of new followers who seek a band worthy of carrying on the old Ash Ra Tempel torch.
RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: People Would Really Like Space Rock If They Would Only Give It a Try (CD on Northern Echo Recording)
This CD from 2003 features 79 minutes of spacier than normal electronic music recorded live at Britain's National Space Centre, in Leicester, April 28, 2003.
As the liner notes expounds: "While there's probably drums on less than 20% of the material contained within, this recording marks our expansion into the realms of space-rock, in our continuing quest to ignore the boundaries others have bestowed upon us." All true--and laudably so. Prepare to be dazzled and stratospherically awed.
Delicate electronic textures blend with pulsating keyboards, combining to create a lush soundscape that uplifts as effortlessly as it mesmerizes. Enticing melodies spill forth with relentless force, bonding molecularly with engaging rhythms and seasoned with spicy and fiery guitar riffs that frequently rocket beyond mortal imagination, achieving passages that will astound and delight even the most jaded EM audiophile.
Applying these signature styles to gutsier compositions, RMI establish themselves as space rock maestros. Nimble-fingered chords generate astral melodies of superior quality, while the cosmic strains of tortured guitar deliver an infinite array of ecstatic pinnacles. Even the softer guitar passages achieve a transcendental disposition, triggering hypnotic states with their calmly wavering atmospherics.
As promised by the liner notes, drums play a minor role in accomplishing this galactic demeanor in the music. Looping keyboard riffs often serve as rhythmic devices, concocting tempos from non-percussive sounds and generating a sinuous propulsion for the rest of the harmonic flow.
With serene determination, RMI prove that superb space rock is a state of mind that can successfully explore space without traditional rock characteristics.
RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL:E-Live 2003 (CD on Northern Echo Recording)
This CD from 2003 features 75 minutes of breathtaking electronic music recorded live at the TU Auditorium in Eindhoven in the Netherlands on September 27, 2003.
This release marks a reversion to RMI's more traditional sound, with sweeping synthesizer pastiches and dreamy excursions that evolve into thrilling configurations of complexity. Generally sidestepping a slow-build structure, intensity is reached swiftly, then maintained with a rigid resolve that continues to add elevation to the eye-opening compositions. Fingers fly at lightspeed across keyboards, generating lush and compulsive riffs that clutch the attention and refuse to let go. Peripheral effects abound, chittering and snarling and bubbling at the edges of the music, frequently becoming sucked in to pepper the central gestalt with unexpected results.
Rhythms are provided by E-perc and artificially induced non-percussive tempos, adding more pep to the already quite lively tuneage.
As usual, the space guitar flourishes with unbridled expressions of sonic passion, scraping the inside ceiling of the skull with emphatic wailings and intricate elaborations. Heart-stopping peaks are reached with cavalier delivery, only to be abandoned for even loftier vantages, until the audience finds themselves adrift in a miasma of glittering pyrotechnics that refuses to pause to afford breathing room. Neck muscles are guaranteed to get a severe workout from these dynamic riffs.
RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: Walking on the Sea (CD on Northern Echo Recording)
This CD from 2004 features 71 minutes of comfortable electronic music performed live at the Virtaa Arts Festival in Tapiola, Finland, on January 31, 2004. A bonus track is included that was recorded in studio a few days prior to the concert.
A delicate and extended opening excellently captures the frigid nature of the Finland venue, leading to RMIís typical sequenced layers which suitably usher in the searing space guitar and substantial body to the tuneage. Keyboards commence their nimble-fingered output, elucidating complex chords that agitate the atmosphere and stimulate all the senses accordingly. Hissing percussives are generated via electronic means, and then punctuated by clever synthetic embellishment, resulting in a tasty passage not unlike a flurry of dueling of cybernetic bees. Meanwhile, the guitar reasserts itself with demonstrative riffs, joining its cosmic outcry to the glittering insects and setting the sonic stage for the next development...a brief diversion of playful melodies before a moody conclusion replete with blooping diodes and echoing ambience.
Pensive percussives merge with furrowed-brow keyboards, achieving a crystalline passage which leads to a recurrence of hissing impacts laced with heavenly airs. A gradual ascension commences, lifting the listener from ground-level and elevating the music to windblown heights...for a finish that quite literally scrapes against the skyís ceiling.
The third track, a brief one, explores rhythmic elements and chiming keys in a hesitant composition that lulls the audience in preparation for the grandness to come.
That grandness flourishes unbridled in the fifth track, combining all the previous sonic aspects into a majestic conjunction of dazzling brilliance and stunning scope.
The studio track embodies an icy consistency that elongates into a chilling excursion across arctic pastures of atmospheric distinction.Reviews of prior RMI releases can be accessed here and here and and here.
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