Electronic Music Guide – “Mecca”

Mecca

“signalsundertests is a collaborative music project by Ricky Graham and John King. Hailing from Belfast in Northern Ireland, they have toured throughout the UK and Europe and have even shared the stage with the likes of German electronic pioneer Ulrich Schnauss. Rickys work has even featured on BBC Radio 1. Their debut album ‘Mecca’ features artists from Japan, Germany, Finland and the US. They combine ambient, experimental and even touch on progressive rock to create a wall of sound. The album title Mecca is a word of Arabic origin but it’s also been taken into the English dictionary as a word that conveys the idea of something that is most important. The album definately conveys a message and what follows is a description of what’s on offer here. Title track ‘Mecca’ starts with edgy and almost paranoid electronics accompanied by the subtle use of guitar. The beat that comes in is crisp and pronounced. Guitar washes carry the track before an enslaught of powerful electronics. It’s quite an opener and not for the faint-hearted. ‘#000000’ has more of an ambient/experimental feel altogether. Although it’s dark and textured, it’s a contemplative piece for sure. ‘Pushpull’, the albums third track, is an appropriate title. It feels like it’s pulling you one way and pushing you at the same time. How they have achieved this is clever to say the least. The vocals make it come on like one of Massive Attacks finer moments. ‘FFFFFF’ is a slow considered piece where stabs of emotive ambience give the track moments of sheer beauty. ‘Mecca (JKing Remix)’ gives his own unique take whilst not veering to much from the sound of the original. The sixth track ‘#339900’ is recorded live in Antwerp. The live recording adds an extra dimension to this track. Everyone is doing their own thing but the sounds come together effortlessly and with great aplomb. Closing number ‘Glisten’ is for us the albums main highlight. Tinkering electronics, warm guitar and serene vocals make for a beautiful end. You might not get this album on first listen. It’s needs a few plays to be appreciated. But when you do you’ll be glad you gave it a chance. The depth of this work is quite something! You can listen to and buy their work by clcking on the myspace and bandcamp links below. Also well worth a listen is the myspace and Bandcamp pages of Ricky Graham. We especially like the tracks ‘Beautiful Beginning’ and ‘Music Box (DJ Elemental Remix)’. You can buy both these tracks as a single on the Ricky Graham Bandcamp page below for next to nothing. You name your price (this goes for all their releases). Proceeds will be donated to the Motor Neurones Disease Association of Northern Ireland.”

Album rating 8/10

Read the review: http://bit.ly/fnltKH

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