Public Domain Resource – Dead Surface | Review by RingMaster

Until the arrival of their debut album it is probably not too far-fetched to assume a great many like us were not aware of Public Domain Resource and their magnetically crafted contagious sound. The recently release of Dead Surface has certainly addressed that lapse and such the potency of the synth pop bred waltz marking this fifteen track temptation the only recommendation is for you to go immerse yourself in this band. It is an album which ebbs and flows at times to both intrigue the imagination and occasionally leave the appetite wanting a little more from particular moments but taken as one radiant proposition the album is a riveting and vibrantly refreshing slice of electronic adventure.

The Bergamo based project consists of Pietro Oliveri (music, synths, programming, vocals) and Ugo Crescini (vocals) though founded in 2012 it was initially a solo venture for Oliveri before Crescini linked up with him in March of last year. The band’s first year saw the appearance of Under The Ground, a track which reached 3rd place in the Industrial Music chart on Soundclick.com. Its successor Nemesis-The Third Day and the following The Hang were no less eagerly received either with the two songs riding high in IBM charts and all three now appearing upon the Space Race Records released Dead Surface. Combining a weave of sounds and flavours from eighties synth pop to EBM and varied electronic spicery, it is an encounter which warrants plenty of encounters to discover all its little nuances and seductive essences but one which constantly rewards with those unveilings. Whether the album will rival your all-time favourites time will tell but certainly it will earn and deserve a regular feature on your adrenaline cast playlists.

The album starts with its best track, a title Ideals never relinquishes despite the strong challenges to come. Opening with a delicious bassline right out of early songbook of The Cure, the track immediately has interest hungry and eager to learn more. Tantalising electronic strokes soon join the persuasion alongside energetic rhythms and roving synth temptation but it is the excellent vocals of assumedly Crescini which seal the deal. It is hard to know who provides vocals actually each voice clearly distinguishable but only if you know which belongs to whom, something we could not find out in time. A more than healthy Depeche Mode feel evolves to wash through the song as it expands its lures and enterprise as well as a sturdy rock element to the vocals especially, it all adding to a masterful infection clad synth pop triumph.

The following Red Lines has a more tempered energy to its candescent electro glow aligned to shimmering enticements and also has little difficulty in seducing ears and thoughts. There is a rich emotive breath to the track from its opening note and first lyrical syllable and though as it progresses and builds a rich intensity in its melodic colouring and emotional depth the pervading shadows within never waiver or lessen their evocative call. Its successor Under the Ground is a similarly crafted blaze of melodically hued imagination, different in sound and delivery but as provocatively expressive and built with dark edges to provoke the imagination. Both tracks continue the impressive start to the album before passing over to another pair of pinnacles on the release.

The title track from an arguably predictable opening dips enthrallingly into a darker climate of voice and sound which brings thoughts of New Order to the fore. It is when the song takes a breath and puffs out its melodic chest and rhythmic muscles around a pulsating nagging electro core that it ignites a virulent fascination of sound and shadowed seduction. The melodic groove which laps at the heart of the song alongside impassioned piano strokes only go to accentuate a Heaven 17 like bait fuelling the outstanding track, its success straight away matched by Fiat Lux. Admittedly the song took a little linger to fully convince but evolved into a strong favourite. Like those before, it has a unique character seeded in familiar yet fresh seeds. Once more thoughts drift to the eighties, this time from the chilled atmosphere which reminds at times of post punk band The Passage and a discord kissed vocal delivery which persuades like the haunted expression of that band’s creator Dick Witts crossed with the wily tones of Fatima Mansion’s frontman Cathal Coughlan. It is a ravenously addictive slice of electronic tempting adding further depth to the album.

After such a strong passage maybe it was inevitable that the release would wander a little in potency which it does with the slightly predictable Negative Fields and the unsurprising Nemesis – The Third Day, though both are undeniably enjoyable and conjured by accomplished craft as they sandwich the arresting electronic landscape of Always Prey for Them – The Reich’s Station. Their enjoyable presences are soon lost to thought as the minimalistic beauty of Mishima San and the impossibly addictive Your Blood Is Mine combine to ignite the passions all over again; the first an elegant stimulation of melodic mesmerism and sultry synth pop engagement which is as epidemically contagious as any full on virus and its successor a multi-spiced electronic web which hustles and imposes its grandeur on the senses whilst holding them in a warm atmospheric embrace. Both tracks are irresistibly memorable, something you can say about the majority of the album as proven by The Hang. Heavy in texture and similarly weighty in infectiousness the song is a slow burning rousing of the imagination which needs longer than some to fully convince but does so without reservation before The Second Day takes its swipe at winning over emotions, its inevitable success going on what has gone before soon confirmed by its resourceful and skilful electronic maze of adventure.

Completed by two more than decent remixes by TourdeForce (Red Lines) and Retrogramme (Under the Ground) as well as the Magnetic Fields edit of Mishima San, the thrilling Dead Surface is an exhilarating incitement of a united dancefloor and individual passions. Increasingly more impressive with each romp through its insatiably addictive and inventive body the album marks Public Domain Resource out as a new protagonist in exploratory synth pop, a band draped in shadows for not much longer you suspect.

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