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City 21 by Radio Massacre International and On the Other Side by Steve Dinsdale

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RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL: City 21 (CD on Northern Echo Recordings)

This CD from 2011 offers 64 minutes of dreamy electronic music.

Radio Massacre International is: Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goodard, and Gary Houghton.

This music constitutes the soundtrack for a documentary film by Chris Zelov. More information on this film can be found here.

Electronics, guitar and rhythms mesh to produce some very trancey tuneage.

The electronics rarely resort to atmospheric backdrops, instead they craft enticing melodies which often recede into secondary status to allow other elements to flourish. But there are several instances in which keyboard driven electronics rise to guide things with majestic grace.

Most prominent among those "other elements" is the guitarwork that often erupts into soaring astral chords of a piercing demeanor. At other times, the guitar offers pastoral strumming to evoke a dreamy introspection.

Percussion plays a vital role here, not just providing motivational propulsion but frequently taking centerstage and gently dominating the songs. The range of timbres present in the rhythms is wide ranging, from softly sinuous beats to momentous impacts reminiscent of clashing battleships.

The main difference in these compositions (from RMI's previous work) is in the presence of numerous very short tracks (1 to 3 minutes long)--but fear not, there are a still a number of longer pieces (8 to 132 minutes) wherein the band flaunt their slowbuild style of structure, allowing threads to entertainingly evolve with sidereal sonic additions mutating the progression. While moments of intensity exist, the general tone to this music is one of appealing gentility. Which certainly does not diminish the occasions in which the music achieves an ascending euphoria which, while lacking in any overt intensity, captivates with gripping drama.

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STEVE DINSDALE : On the Other Side (CD on Northern Echo Recordings)

This release from 2011 offers 48 minutes of fanciful electronic music.

This solo outing differs greatly from a RMI release. The music is far more lighthearted and fanciful, almost whimsical in its sprightly nature.

The electronics are diverse, but share a crystalline edge in their sound. There are some gutsier sonics, but the overall character remains spry and sparkling. Keyboard riffs are supported by auxiliary tones, but there are few textural backdrops, the backgrounds tend to consist of threads that are run behind things and even they persist in evolving through animated phases.

Meawhile the keyboards are quite nimble-fingered, generating bouncy riffs that twist and cavort with enthusiastic fervor.

Some rhythms are present, but most of them originate from the cyclic application of non-impact pulsations.

These compositions all share a cheerful buoyancy that is frequently enhanced by hints of grandeur that slide into play as the CD progresses. And once those epic traces start showing up, they do not recede but linger and smolder, escalating to even more dramatic passages.

There's a distinct contrast among the songs, too: some are sparse and almost toylike, while others present as dense structures full of activity. It's an interesting pace as the modes switch back and forth, keeping things entertainingly lively.

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