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Radio Massacre International

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For more than a decade, Radio Massacre International have established themselves as a fave among aficionados of modern electronic music. Lately, the band has taken an eclectic redirection with their music, effectively blending elements of EM with spacerock and progressive music. While most changes of direction often disappoint fans, Radio Massacre International’s new music has proven to be an astounding delight for all.

Here are the band’s latest batch of releases, including a solo album by one of the members...

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RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: Philadelphia Air-Shot (DDL on Northern Echo Music)

This release from 2008 offers 59 minutes of progressive electronic music.

The band consists of: Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goddard, and Gary Houghton.

This release features material recorded live in Philadelphia and comprises the band’s second set from their live-in-studio session which was broadcast on the Star’s End radio program (on WXPN). The material was recorded on November 11, 2007, and broadcast on November 18, 2007.

Using “Bettr’r Day’s” and “Rain Falls in Grey Far Away” (both pieces from the band’s Rain Falls in Grey album) as launching points, this set evolves into an hour of live improvisation that applies prog sensibilities to the contemporary electronic genre...with glorious results.

Sprightly keyboards and molten basslines serve as a delightful opening. Astral space guitar provides buoyant propulsion as the melody sweeps into play. Percussion rises to support the nimble guitar pyrotechnics, while the bass defines agile riffs of earnest fluidity. There are some truly breathtaking pinnacles as the guitar goes stellar with delightful sustains of excruciating bliss.

The spry keyboard sequence continues to provide a bouncy foundation as the band slides into a passage of celestial embellishment with fiercely blazing electronics and guitar contortions that defy quantum logic. These contortions endure for some time, delivering exhaustive exhilaration that will thrill even the most jaded audiophiles.

A period of meticulously crafted intensity ensues as the keyboard loop fades (mutating as it leaves) and shrill tonalities rise to duel with each other. As this glorious cacophony ebbs, brooding pulsations and aerial glissando sweeps establish a pensive phase that escalates with mounting severity, ultimately reaching an airy passage of incredible fragility.

Seemingly aimless meandering coalesces into reverent cohesion as heavenly keyboards generate an inspirational turf while slide guitar notes cavort and twirl overhead. Twinkling chords emerge from this gaseous flow, drawing the guitar into more guttural expressions of cerebral disposition. An outburst of bluesy guitar achieves dominance for a while, pursuing dreamily ecstatic riffs of sparkling passion.

Everything recedes for a slowburning finale of moody electronics laced with dreamy guitar auralscapes.

The music on this album flows with adroit expertise, establishing fanciful passages that build to enthusiastic intensity only to sashay off into a different flavor of euphoria before ascending again to vibrant glory.

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RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: Rain Falls in a Different Way (DDL on Northern Echo Music)

This release from 2008 features 77 minutes of mesmerizing rock music.

Joining Dinsdale, Goddard and Houghton on this release are: Cyndee Lee Rule and Martin Archer.

The band routinely release “companion” albums in connection with their “official” releases. This is one such, being a second companion to their Rain Falls in Grey album. (To read reviews of that and the Blacker release, go here.

Of the releases covered in this column, this one exemplifies the band’s fusion of contemporary electronics with progressive sensibilities, exploring tuneage that is crafted with more than the band’s customary EM sound.

Traditional drums play a vital role in this music, contributing powerful rhythms that convey grandeur and immensity. But not every instance of percussion resounds with momentous impact; some occasions are relegated to the mid-range so that the beats endow without overwhelming.

Technically, the role of guitar remains the same: vivid and cosmic in scope. The riffs are searing and compelling in their stratospheric nature. Combining elements of blues, space rock and progrock, the instrument glows with paranormal supremacy. Whether blazing with rock-out tendencies or simmering with glissando delicacy, the guitar provides a pivotal glory for each melody.

Which is not to diminish the contributions of the keyboards, for they generate the lush foundation for everything. Airy texturals and demonstrative keys are integral to the music, as are the profusion of sparkling electronic effects that litter the songs.

Bass provides a rumbling inclination, sometimes geological in its presence, other times hiding within the fluid mix.

The addition of Archer’s saxophones and woodwinds and Rule’s violin lend the music a classical undercurrent that is twisted into progressive delineation by the band’s application of these fresh aspects.

These compositions are superb examples of power-rock given over to progressive proclivity. Applying the flowing structure the band have mastered in their EM work, these tunes radiate solid beauty with their molten fervor.

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RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: E-Live 2008 (CD on Northern Echo Recordings)

This CD from 2009 offers 75 minutes of dazzling electronic music recorded live the Technical University of Eindhoven on October 11, 2008.

For this release, Steve Dinsdale (on keyboards, sequencer, and floor percussion), Duncan Goddard (on keyboards, sequencer, and bass), and Gary Houghton (on guitar) are joined by Martin Archer (on saxophone and additional keyboards).

With three songs occupying this release, each piece is afforded ample opportunity to evolve and expand, resulting in sumptuous melodies that reach grandiose proportions.

Track one begins with heavenly textures enhanced by glorious guitar sustains. Melancholic horn and fanciful keyboards creep in, coaxing forth bubbling electronics and inspiring the guitar to commence its nimble-fingered exhibition. After a suitable period of pensive coalescence, a dreamy melody surfaces and begins percolating. Airy tones and auxiliary keyboards establish a gradually slowburn ascension, punctuated by the thumping rumble of a bass guitar. Hints of percussion lurk deep in the mix, so faint that their presence is quite subliminal until their rhythms flourish in conjunction with several keyboard riffs. By that time, those riffs have established a serpentine flow of mesmerizing demeanor. The guitar swells from liquid strokes into astral significance, then softly erupts with stellar fury. With each passing moment, another thread is added to the mix, until the pastiche is dense with vibrant expression. The bass is growling with passionate vigor. The keyboard loops are undulating with regal luster. The rhythms are adroitly cooking. Additional keyboard riffs are expanding the central theme with lively animation. And the guitar is going ballistic with pyrotechnic verve. A stunning climax settles down with piano seasoning and sparkling effects.

The next piece explodes with freeform percussion, guitar noodling, and bubbling electronics. It is the band’s style to emerge from such seeming chaos festooned with improvised cohesion, and that’s exactly what happens here. Growling electronics churn for a while, then the guitar launches into a bluesy passage of endearing quality. Delicate tones rise in tandem with saxophone hints, ultimately allowing the sax to wail in the spotlight while the electronics indulge in minimal gurgling, both aspects eventually circling a display of guitar virtuosity. E-perc enters the flow and things slide gracefully into a contrast of cosmic extremes and earthy harmonics. There’s even a flash of harmonica amid the spiraling ascension.

The last track begins with hesitancy, each instrument testing the water with shimmering conduct, before the bass heralds the commencement of solidarity. Percussion sets a fractured beat, and the guitar emerges with enough fervor to bake the paint from the walls. And suddenly the keyboards roll into play with a puissant urgency, sucking the rhythms into a complimentary tempo. The guitar is close on their heels, contributing emphatic enhancement as everything escalates into an incredible crescendo that lasts a satisfyingly long time...ultimately reaching a contemplative wind-down.

Once again, the band displays their mastery with improvisation, achieving blazing cohesion that is delightful and intensely rewarding. This music is dazzling in its emotional content.

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STEVE DINSDALE: New Church (CD on Northern Echo Music)

This CD from 2009 features 47 minutes of moody electronic divinity.

A sense of cathedral reverence dominates much of this release, but that veneration soon gives way to more stellar expressions of speculation.

Heavenly keyboards establish a divine panorama, generating a luminous firmament that is swiftly populated by dreamy riffs of a very vaporous character. Church organs enter the flow, enhancing the overall divinity. The appearance of grinding mechanical elements grounds things with industrial hints.

Denser keyboards generate a psychedelic flavor that is punctuated by languid beats and eerie effects. The melody adopts a pensive demeanor, as if brooding over lost epiphanies. An airy vista is reached wherein solitary beats establish an imminent nobility in which electronics exchange mammoth sighs leading to glittering tones of inspirational definition.

The stage is now set for an emotional escalation. Contemplation perches on a vertiginous edge, surveying a realm of seething potential. Moody steel drums emerge from ponderous rhythms, generating a sense of expectancy, while stratospheric keyboards goad everything to dizzying heights. From this elevated vantage, haunting textures generate a spooky mien as the music brushed against the underside of heaven.

The keyboards adopt a more piercing resonance as the upward ascension continues, breaking through the ozone layer and entering interplanetary space. Expansion ensues, and more dire tonalities enter the mix, evoking masterful demands for states of being beyond hope.

Ultimately, a realm of true infinity is accomplished with regal keyboards supported by rich textures of glistening charm.

These compositions embody a voyage that begins in traditional theological terrain and evolves into more comprehensive doctrines that unify wonder with modern sensibilities. The listener provides a human perspective as celestial marvels are explored and states of divinity are shorn of all mysticism, ultimately reaching a level where true immortality is revealed to be cognitive creativity.

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