Artist: Radio Massacre International
Album: Septentrional

Released: 13 May 2006
Label: DiN

Radio Massacre International is a trio of English musicians (Steve Dinsdale, Duncan Goddard, Gary Houghton) known for their extended concerts of epic aural excursions. RMI proudly admits that their performances are largely improvised and often veer off into areas dictated by mood, circumstance or whim. Their recorded output reflects the diversity and complexity of this work, which is often compared to that of the Berlin School of cosmic music that emerged in Germany during the 1970s. But RMI is not simply re-creating the music of this era, but rather further exploring and contemplating the expressional mode and the instruments that made it possible - in hopes of realizing new ideas. Enter third millennial idea-man Ian Boddy and Septentrional (56'14"), his interesting collaboration with RMI. For this album, Boddy has extensively edited and arranged hours of new RMI studio recordings into five tightly orchestrated and varied pieces, adding his own percussion riffs and rolls when needed. While the tracks sound like something made by RMI, they are more condensed and agile. Gone are the sprawling and time-warping jam sessions of previous releases. On Septentrional Boddy successfully retains the essence of RMI's music as well as displays its variety. The feel of the album shifts in turns between the stark and elegiac soundscapes of "Seven Sceptres of Sephulcrave" (11'43") and "The Last Laugh" (8'20") to the athletic and brisk spirited "The First Cry" (11'06") and "Trident" (11'19") and the nimble and supple complex web of minor key melodies on "Searching Septentrional Skies" (9'20"). Here the slow early section drifts by, generating momentum for the gyratory sequencer rhythms. So goes Septentrional, a cofunction that yields abundant musical rewards - addressing the ideal of only being satisfied with not what came before but what comes next.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   1 June 2006

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