Something For The Weekend?
SEEKING inspiration from neither memories nor current affairs but rather colours, East London’s POCKET LINT’S ‘E.P. Four’ is now available on CD with Deliberator Records or via download at Bandcamp.
“The EP is based all around colours as I had noticed many of my songs previously mention colour, so I decided to take it to its conclusion,” said Mark Heffernan, the solo artist behind the project.
“The first song has a colour piano that I woke up thinking about. I gave colours a note and this is what the cover represents. After the first song which has the colour piano, all the others have titles based on colour: ‘Noir,’ Red Dust,’ ‘Violet Apples,’ and ‘White Sands.’
‘Noir’ is my attempt to create a sort of film noir feel. Lots of strings to give it a bit of a Bernard Hermann feel. [Psycho, Taxi Driver, Vertigo.] I am a huge fan of older films. Hitchcock, the golden age. I hate the over explanation of modern films and I think, hope, some of that is apparent in the music.”
The EP retains a thought-provoking, challenging air throughout, but those who pick up that particular gauntlet, will reap the rewards.
There’s an at times eerie, early Peter Murphy feel about the vocals that drift in and out with perfectly timed, split-second precision.
The EP’s opener, ‘Disguises’ demands your immediate attention. It isn’t enough to merely hear the five tracks, you need to listen to them. And listen until you fully comprehend their structure and brilliance.
Perhaps the ultimate challenge is track two, ‘Noir.’ But mixing menace and beauty, it also offers the greatest prize, providing as promised that lush cinematic, sweeping soundscape.
“Red Dust’ is based around the idea of the last moments of the Mars opportunity rover and used Lou Reed’s guitar tuning from early Velvets days: ostrich tuning,” added Heffernan. “I also used this to record the feedback notes it begins with. ‘Violet Apples’ also used this tuning to create the drones.
“White Sands features a bolero drum pattern which was a little in joke as both ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘White Room’ are also rock boleros.”
And we shouldn’t have too long to wait for a follow up, with new material already in the pipeline.
“I am currently working on ‘E. P. Five’ and Deliberator and I are planning an album, which will be a little like the Cocteau’s ‘Pink Opaque’ in that it will be a compilation of my first four E. P’s.
“I also hope to complete another large work, after ‘Themes for Silcaville,’ my soundtrack album. This will be based on Oscar Wilde’s life.
“But I don’t think I necessarily want the music to convey anything more than it is. It is personal to me, but I hope that it paints pictures for people. I used to tell stories with my music lyrically. Now I prefer to paint vignettes, dropping the listener into a specific moment. I see music as visual. I want people to picture images as they listen.”
Away from the new E.P. if you’re looking to explore Pocket Lint’s back catalogue, I’d suggest seeking out, ‘The Stranger,’ ‘Girl In Water,’ and ‘Spring Blossom.’
And eternal kudos to Pocket Lint for throwing down this challenge. For where we are challenged, we learn, and that’s the trade off in play here.
LISTEN TO ‘E.P. FOUR’ HERE: E.P. Four | Pocket Lint (bandcamp.com)
T W O
FRATERNITY OF STRANGERS, the much-anticipated debut album from electronica act OUI PLASTIQUE, is released today and will be available digitally from February 25th.
Oui Plastique are Martin Nyrup and James Thomas, based in Denmark and Italy respectively and have been working together for several years, first on a collaborative album by their individual projects, ‘Perpacity,’ and ‘DVL,’ and more recently as Oui Plastique.
‘Fraternity of Strangers’ features melodic synths and programmed drums, maintaining a cinematic and atmospheric feel throughout, with the emphasis on songs that will remain with you for the foreseeable future. Lyrically, the album deals with the themes of loss, ‘Failure’ and ‘Silenced,’ facing your fears, ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘The Fear’, and even the capitalist system, ‘The Final Delivery.’
“We actually met on a radio programme back in 2015,” explained Nyrup.
“The show played a track by DVL called ‘Drone Fly.’ which I found immensely interesting, and which just clicked with me. Also, I loved James’s voice on this. So I asked him if he´d be up for perhaps doing something together.
“I had a bunch of incomplete Perpacity material lying about, which we started work on, and ended up doing the collaboration album between Perpacity and DVL called ‘Convergence.’ We wrote that album ridiculously fast, but it was, to our surprise, very well received.
“Later, we were asked by Unmute if we´d be interested in doing a couple of Mute covers as a tribute. We were but decided we needed to have a different name, so that we wouldn´t be associated with our other projects. We came up with ‘Oui Plastique,’ simply because we liked the sound of it. I´m a Dane living in Denmark and speak very little French. James is a Brit living in Italy, and although fluent in Italian, his French skills are limited also.
“So, the first Oui Plastique songs to materialise were actually covers, but we’ve used the last two years working on ‘Fraternity of Strangers.’ All songs were written together from the ground up as a duo. It´s been a very equal process between James and I. We took the time needed until we were satisfied with the result. We hope others will like it too.
“We didn´t want to do a generic cover for the new album, so the young chap sitting on the stairs is actually my father, and the two people kissing are my grandparents. I didn´t know how James felt about that idea when I presented it, but he loved it, and pushed for us using that image.
“As for our musical influences, I´ll pretty much listen to anything these days. I love the producing aspect of creating music, so I´ll just as much listen for ideas, vibes, and structures, which can add something new and interesting to what I´m doing in the studio. To try and better my skillset really. Sitting with a book and just chilling to music, it´s certain it will be something electronic inspired. Anything from the ’80s till now will do fine.
“James listens to a lot of different music too and is equally influenced by electronic artists like ‘Nine Inch Nails’ and ‘Depeche Mode’ as rock groups like ‘Deftone’s’ and ‘A Perfect Circle.’
“As for what the listener will take away from the album, well I hope they´ll immerse themselves within the soundscape, listen and try and relate to James’s lyrics, as there’s a lot being said within these lines, and also, to enjoy the journey that listening to a full album can sometimes give.”
T H R E E
BASED in South-Western Finland, EENIAN DREAMS have just released their latest single, ‘Someone Like You.’
A relatively new indie project, the group consists of Pauliina (vocals) and T. C. Newman (synths and producing) who had known each other for several years before joining forces musically.
Apparently, ‘Eenia’ is, “a fictitious dreamy reality where your spirit can wander freely exploring new landscapes and emotions.” It’s also, “…a project that draws widely from the worlds of electronic music, indie, synthpop, cinematic music and Goth rock.”
But unfortunately, that’s not what I heard.
I listened eager for inspiration, for a seductive entry into this brave new world of indie, cinematic, Goth rock, but I was left cold and indifferent. I’m sure the kings and queens of the water cooler will love it, but it’s definitely not for someone like me.