Radio Massacre International
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Rain Falls in Grey (2007) , 6/10
Time & Motion (Cuneiform) , 6/10

The British electronic trio Radio Massacre International (Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goddard and Gary Houghton) harken back to the all-electronic German ensembles of the 1970s. Unfortunately, they diluted their ideas into so many recordings that none is particularly relevant.

The first recordings were: Startide, recorded in 1993, the epic double-disc Frozen North (Centaur, 1995), chronologically the first release, The God Of Electricity and Diabolica, recorded in 1994.

Republic (1996), containing three monoliths, Burned & Frozen (1997), Organ Harvest (1997), Gulf (1998), another set of three lengthy pieces, the double-disc Borrowed Atoms (1998), Bothered Atmos (1999), that basically adds four pieces to the previous one, the 68-minute piece of Been There Done That (2000), Zabriskie Point (2000), the seven-movement The God of Electricity (2000), Planets in the Wires (2001), Maelstrom (2002), Greenhousing (2003), People would really like Space Rock (2004) and countless live albums were largely improvised, but often derivative and tedious.

Emissaries (Cuneiform, 2005) is a two-CD set consisting of a new studio album and a live 2004 performance, largely inspired by cosmic music of the early 1970s.

Septentrional (2006) contains five mid-size meditations.

Lost in Space (2006) is a six-CD career retrospective.

The mood of Rain Falls in Grey (Cuneiform, 2007), ostensibly a tribute to Syd Barrett, is best represented by the quiet jamming of the 12-minute Bettr'r Day-s. However the emotional core of the album is Emissary, a majestic Pink Floyd-ian crescendo with loud and transcendent jazz-rock saxophone and guitar improvisations. The album closes with the eleven-minute mirage of Far Away, somewhere between ambient music and baroque adagio, evoking Peter Green's suspenseful bluesy otherworldly spleen.
The tour de force of the album, the 17-minute Rain Falls in Grey, is also the least friendly. Its first few minutes are noisy and disjointed. The instruments try to rise from the chaotic counterpoint but they are forced in a limbo of unresolved tension until they are swallowed into a glacial black hole. This is the album on which the band lets traditional instruments take over the electronic instruments, almost the counterpart to Emissaries.

Blacker (Northern Echo, 2007) is dominated by the 28-minute This Is Scenery? and by the 17-minute Enormodome.

Fast Forward (2008) is a compilation.

Time & Motion (Cuneiform, 2010) is a varied double-disc collection. The 17-minute Kairos is a superbly architected narrative, whose free-jazz chaos, frantic cosmic sequencers, terrifying noises and gothic choirs eventually coalesce into a galopping jazz-rock jam and a repetitive minimalist coda. The Clockwork Time Dragon is even more open to external influences: it is basically a duet between a saxophone and the sequencer, the equivalent of a sax-drums duet in jazz. An exotic saxophone pens the triumphant 18-minute 30 Years (Slight Return). Maybe A Last Look At Joe's House is a melodic Pink Floyd-ian shuffle (not electronic at all). The rest seems uncertain about which direction to endorse, swinging between the droning ambient psychedelic music of Aeon the guitar-driven dancing and rocking Chronos, and the 21-minute disjointed psychological game Nine:Four:One. By the same token, the abstract galactic soundtrack Fission Ships Pt. 1 and subliminal dissonant chaos of the 24-minute Fission Ships Pt. 2 seem to emphasize the gap in between.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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