ALBUM REVIEW: Radio Europa – ‘Community Is Revolution’

8/10

Originally formed around Tangled Parrot Records in Carmarthen, the Welsh collective Radio Europa are back with a new album ‘Community Is Revolution’. For this record, the line up is composed of Whettman Chelmets, Steven Leigh, “Alec” and Simon Tucker. Mixing mind-bending meditative sounds with bursts of chaotic electronic noise, and often using dialogue to enhance the music, this latest offering is released on 19 July via Wormhole Records.

While ‘Snowlines’ deals in unsettling ambient jazz, the highlight ‘Riding The Rails’ delivers stinging stabs of bass, percussive noise and warped German dialogue, creating a maverick construction not a million miles from the sort of demented machine music The Fall would sometimes produce from the late 90s onwards. ‘Something Beautiful’ is indeed just that, a dreamlike piece that twists mesmeric vocals around loose, hazy chords, and ‘Warning Signs – Chant For Peace’ comes from an altogether more frightening, chaotic place where law and order has broken down, quickly jumping back into an almost parallel universe for its second half. On ‘The Ugly Spirit’, we are hit with thudding bass and awesome electronic textures, with beats occasionally slipping out of place to create odd new patterns.

‘The Plug Has Been Pulled’ is a more spacious offering, which grows into its natural, sparse form slowly as the drones subtly absorb the otherworldly sounds that emerge from around them. Following on nicely, the soundscape ‘Mystic’ is very much a continuation and development, before the atmospheric ‘Hell’s Waiting Room’ conjures up a brooding sense of doom.

The splendid ‘Cities Of Red Night’ radiates a solemn beauty, until ‘The Unwelcome Arms Of The Fascist Empire Wannabes’ takes it into a frightening, slow robotic march topped with deep, terrifying bellows and the sort of old modem sounds you might hear if we all still used dial-up internet. By the final track (‘The Unwelcoming Arms Reprieve’) you have no idea what planet this LP has ended upon. Recommended for those who want to take themselves on a trip.

 

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