DARTO – Fundamental Slime EP

Formed in Seattle in 2010, experimental electronic act Darto have spent years carving themselves a niche in the musical underground. Their music, while always interesting, isn’t always completely accessible; that said, somewhere within its darkness – for those able to invest the time – haunting songs eventually emerge. Don’t expect big hooks, though, since Darto are all about the overall mood. On their 2018 EP ‘Fundamental Slime’ (recorded by the legendary Steve Fisk), the songs take many cues from the darker and artier side of the late 70s – a period after Roxy Music had all but abandoned art for pop sheen and Ultravox were not the worldwide hit makers known to millions, but a Roxy/Eno obsessed synth band.

Continue reading

DEVILS HUNT ME DOWN – In Medias Res: II EP

In an age of digital music and at a time when so many listeners seem to be cherry picking bits of albums from streaming sites as opposed to viewing a piece of work as an artistic whole, the long player format sometimes seems to be floundering. This fact hasn’t escaped Seattle’s Devils Hunt Me Down, who’ve chosen to release their 2017 album ‘In Medias Res’ as three four track EPs as opposed to saving it up and putting it out as a whole. Sometimes this approach can be interesting (see Joshua Ketchmark’s trilogy of releases in 2012, where the singer songwriter used each one to explore a different style), but sometimes, it just leaves the listener wanting more with works that seem fractured.

Continue reading

MIND VICE – Humanimality EP

mind vice epIn the mid-90s, lo-fi producer Conrad Uno was a busy man. He put his name to various Mudhoney projects, produced the Supersuckers, Fastbacks, Zeke, The Groovie Ghoulies and countless other bands. He founded the PopLlama record label. In terms of commercial success, however, he’s probably best known as the man who produced the debut album by novelty rock band The Presidents of the United States of America, a record that spawned sizeable hits in ‘Peaches’ and ‘Lump’.

Continue reading

RANSOM AND THE SUBSET – No Time To Lose

ransomHailing from Seattle, Ransom and the Subset borrow from a variety of bands to create their musical canvas.  Rather than sounding overtly plagiaristic, their debut release ‘No Time To Lose’ merely celebrates many different pop and rock styles, creating an eleven track musical journey that’s sure to connect with lovers of post nineties power pop at some place along the way.  The fact that it borrows so heavily from classic influences is no surprise when taking into consideration that singer songwriter RanDair Porter has called upon Ducky Carlisle (The Major Labels) and Brian E. King (Oranjuly/Parks) to bring these songs to life.  Neither producer/multi-instrumentalist is exactly shy of tapping into the past for key inspirations and  King’s Oranjuly project, especially, proved a fantastic exercise in celebrating pop’s golden years, resulting perhaps even one of the finest one-album bands ever.   All the studio help/arranging in the world would be of no use, of course, if the band weren’t up to scratch…

Continue reading