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The weekly catch-up 06

Metal, Alternative, Alt-Rock, Prog-Rock, Post-Punk, World Music and more in this week's review.

Ultravox: more prog than new romantic? Prog Magazine argues that The Midge Ure-fronted Ultravox may have been 80s chart regulars but their sound owed more to prog and Krautrock than 80s pop. When it comes to a really good prog-related story, Midge Ure's got a corker. “I was once asked to go and meet Rush, with a view to producing them. They were big Ultravox fans. So I flew over to Toronto, and we had a lovely dinner. Then we got round to talking about their album. They asked what my take on it would be, if I were producing. And I said, ‘I would simplify it.’” He laughs heartily. “Suffice to say I was on the plane home the next day! Via Louder.

Gavin Murphy Songs | Alive: Ireland-based artist Gavin Murphy presents his new single ‘Alive’, a 'chin-up' anthem for our times when depression has become so rampant in this age of lockdown. The new track comes hot on the trails of the single 'The Sound of Heartbreak'. "My new single 'Alive' is about embracing the positives in life. To witness the sunrise at dawn is a beautiful heartwarming experience. Appreciating the simple pleasures in life and reflecting upon good memories, can help us through difficult times,” says Gavin Murphy. More info.

The Mystery Plan | Silver Lining feat. Big Supreme: Indie pop outfit The Mystery Plan has announced their new album 'You Also Have Eyes', set for release in mid-July via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings. Produced by Jason Herring, Rob Tavaglione and the legendary John Fryer, this long-player continues a tradition of collaboration with Fryer that includes their 2020 'Zsa Zsa' record and 2017 'Queensland Ballroom' album. The band are previewing the single 'Silver Lining' featuring Big Supreme on vocals. Written during the pandemic, this song is an ode to looking at the bright side of things. The accompanying live lounge-styled video was shot and cut by Jay Thomas in Charlotte, North Carolina. More info.

Triangle Space | Victoria: Revelation of Prog-Rock, international band Triangle Space (Sebastian Amado from the United States on guitars and Carlos Giron from Colombia on drums) has just released their second EP 'Victoria' on all streaming platforms. The band demonstrates on the three tracks a modern sound compared to their first EP. ‘Victoria’ is, according to the band, a reflection of Sebastian Amado's ideas and feelings as a guitarist. With sound influences, they navigate Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Plini, Intervals and Animals As Leaders. The band that was featured on Mexico City's international compilation "Guitar Shymphony" was named "The Best Prog Rock Band" in their hometown (Cucuta, Colombia) in July 2018, where they played at the "Bari Rock Festival". Listen to Alive.

Dona Iracema | Velório: Powerful, affirmative, politicized, irreverent, doing “caaticore” (hardcore with a Brazilian northeastern accent and elements of baião and forró), it's difficult to stay indifferent to the sound of this Brazilian band. With the double release of the album and movie 'Velório' (Wake), the band shows all their creativity. The film, with its own aesthetics and narrative, is an essay on death and neglect in times of pandemic. The audiovisual production shows the band playing all the songs of the album, each one telling their own story. “The video complements the content of each song. In the first song on the album, for example, as we talk about necropolitics, we use newspaper reports about murders and deaths. In the song "A morte do Anjo" (The aDeath of an Angel), we have a moment where a wake is portraited", explains the band. Listen to Canto Velório.

BArTc | Insubstantial as Ghosts: BArTc is London based experimental electronic audio visual artist Jason Barton, with his nom de plume comprising the symbols for three chemical elements - Boron (B), Argon (Ar) and Technetium (Tc) - while also giving nods to both Hungarian composer Béla Bartók and his own surname. 'Insubstantial As Ghosts' is Barton’s debut album and contains fourteen highly atmospheric soundscapes. Initially inspired by instrumental electronic records in his father’s record collection by titans such as Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre, Barton soon gravitated towards underground ‘industrial’ icons such as Coil, Einstürzende Neubauten, Chris & Cosey and Skinny Puppy, as well as digging deeper into the work of early German electronicists such as Cluster, Musique concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, plus the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Citing sound recordist (and Cabaret Voltaire co-founder) Chris Watson as another influence, adding that “I have always loved environmental sounds and often carry a field recorder on my travels which I use to create texture in my pieces.” Listen to Malleus Incuss Tapes.

Colin Moulding | The Hardest Battle: Music legend and XTC co-frontman Colin Moulding is back with new music, this time as a solo artist, presenting his new single 'The Hardest Battle', released as a CD single in 4-panel digisleeve. Containing two songs - 'The Hardest Battle', 'Say It (original version)', and an exploratory demo of the title track, The Hardest Battle represents XTC founding member Colin Moulding's first-ever fully solo release. In celebration of this release, Colin Moulding also presents the video for the title track, directed and filmed by Henry Meredith at St Mary’s Uffington (interior) and Salisbury Cathedral (exterior). Featuring Tomas Silberberg as George IV, the costume was provided courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company. More info.

Caoscracia | Tempestade em Copo D'água: Band announces new song release on its Youtube channel. The premiere will be on August 05th at 9 pm, the song will be made available on all streaming platforms the following day. Follow the band’s Instagram.

Chaosfear | Inside The Extreme World: Brazilian thrashers Chaosfear re-released their first and out of print EP, ‘Inside The Extreme World’, originally released in 2003, on all traditional streaming platforms celebrating World Rock Day! At that time, the band featured Danilo Freitas (drums) and Anderson de Franca (bass), along with Fernando Boccomino (vocals/guitar), the only remaining member of the original lineup. Listen to Chaosfear.

Scars | Scars 30 Years – The Singles Collection: Brazilian veteran thrashers SCARS could not pass up on World Rock Day and to commemorate the date, as well as their 30-year career, the band is officially releasing a mega pack of 15 singles with rarities under the name ‘Scars 30 Years – The Singles Collection’. There are a total of 37 previously unreleased tracks, encompassing alternative versions, edited, remastered, demos, rehearsals, live, re-records and much more. For now, this package is only available in digital format on all streaming platforms, but the band is studying the possibility for a future physical release of a boxset containing 15 CDs. Watch Scars 30 Years - The Singles Collection on Youtube.

Plenty | Enough: Celebrating the release of their new album, ‘Enough’, which is divided into ‘Old', ‘Borrowed' and ‘Older' sections, Plenty have made videos available simultaneously for songs that represent each. The dark and brooding ‘The Blessed Ones’ is a 2021 version of a track originally recorded in 1988, the atypical EuroBeat driven ‘Soap & Water’ is a unique cover of a 2001 Suzanne Vega song, while ‘Sacrifice’ is an original demo of a haunting piece from 1987 that evokes Japan, The Cure and Robert Fripp. The videos have been created by Plenty bassist David K Jones. Formed in 1986 from the ashes of Liverpool-based post-punk band A Better Mousetrap and Warrington art rockers After The Stranger, Plenty was a group that featured singer Tim Bowness immediately prior to him joining up with multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson to found No-Man. More info.

LearningToDive | You Said It Best: Bravo Bonez, the artist behind LearningToDive, crafts a melancholic soundscape across a mix of atmospheric and sparse instrumentals that give way to vocals that perfectly reflect the song’s story. The grounded and present vocals of the protagonist reach out to Alba Rose’s ethereal voice, as the character reflects on a family being reunited. It’s just as well then that the video is shot at Ocean Sound Recordings Studio, against the beautiful Norway landscape, where LearningToDive recorded his album ‘Norwegian Pop’ away from his family and loved ones. In much the same way the track serves as a decree of a desire to return to love and a life left behind, any listeners who wish to return to someone or something in their past will find some solace in its reflective nature. Listen to LearningToDive.

em agosto chove | Que Tudo Destrói: Formed at the end of 2019 in Palmas Brazil, em agosto chove is an alternative rock group that experiments and mixes genres, the result of the influences of its 7 members. With the release of the first album ‘Ritus Movedissus’ scheduled for August, ‘Que Tudo Destroi’ is a sample of the themes and atmospheres that will be worked on the album. With an immersive and ethereal chorus of voices, the song speaks of an astral experience, with its lyrical self wandering through a mystical underworld, between life and death. In this dystopian scenario, he is confronted by discoveries and sensations that challenge his beliefs: “It has to weigh/between heaven my earth/death in the eyes/that destroys everything”. Listen to em Agosto chove.


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Midge Ure, Ultravox, Chateau Neuf, Oslo, Norway by Helge Øverås CC BY-SA 4.0

Gavin Murphy Songs | Alive album art

Silver Lining feat. Big Supreme | The Mystery Plan album art

Triangle Space | Victoria album art

Dona Iracema | Velório album art

BArTc | Insubstantial as Ghosts (live) album art

Colin Moulding | The Hardest Battle album art

Caoscracia | Tempestade em Copo D'água album art

Chaosfear | Inside The Extreme World album art

Scars | Scars 30 Years – The Singles Collection album art

Plenty | Enough album art

LearningToDive | You Said It Best album art

em agosto chove | Que Tudo Destrói album art

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