Exposé Online banner

Radio Massacre International — Rain Falls in Grey
(Cuneiform Rune 256, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, 2009-07-01:

Rain Falls in Grey Cover art I was initially concerned that my lack of experience with RMI’s back catalog might be a hindrance to writing a useful review. I needn’t have worried, since this release is a drastic departure from the general thrust of their previous work. Far from being another entry into their oeuvre of sequenced electronic sounds, this is a rocking stab into the heart of space rock. As a tribute to Syd Barrett, early Pink Floyd is the jumping off point for a set of tunes both epic and compact, free and composed. The guest players on wind instruments and electric violin add dimensions to the music that, while maintaining a clear connection to their inspiration, even Syd and Co. never dreamed of. The sax work on the title track makes me think of Sun Ra covering “Interstellar Overdrive” – which is not a bad thing at all. Some sequencing pops up from time to time, reminding the listener that maybe the distance between Dark Side of the Moon (post-Syd, I know) and Phaedra is maybe not so far as you would think. I doubt many Exposé readers believe that space rock is a dead genre, but this stellar (pun intended) release is ample evidence to anyone who cares to listen that there’s life in the old starship yet. And given the versatility that is amply shown here, I will be very concerned if I hear RMI’s next album will take on symphonic prog. Be afraid, be very afraid.

by Paul Hightower, 2009-07-01:

Head pixie Daevid Allen’s cover art, featuring a colorful half-toned rendition of Syd Barrett, provides the first clue as to what lies within this jewel case. Call it retro-psych, post-modern psych, psych psych… whatever. I call it pretty damn good. British trio Radio Massacre International are better known for their EM and space rock, though Barrett’s death – days before they began work on the album – forced a course correction resulting in this disk, a sort of love letter to Syd that’s more than just a tribute. Echoes of Floyd circa '67/'68 do poke their heads through the patchouli haze, including nods to “Astronomie Dominie” and “Interstellar Overdrive” within the four-part extravaganza that opens the album and which comes crashing to a close on the succinctly titled “Syd.” It encompasses many classic psych rock trademarks pioneered by Barrett-era Floyd, but also echoing Daevid Allen’s work with early Gong, and even the intense psych rock of early Porcupine Tree. Several tracks are graced by the saxes, clarinets, and flutes of Martin Archer whose playing lends them the same soulful magic that Dick Parry gave the Floyd on their seminal mid 70s albums. The album closes with a spacious and bluesy guitar improvisation by Gary Houghton that is emotionally wrenching and about as heartfelt a musical statement as I’ve heard in a long time. RMI fans expecting more Berlin-school EM may be in for a surprise with this one, but I have a feeling it will be a pleasant one.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 37 , 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Radio Massacre International, Cyndee Lee Rule, Martin Archer

More info

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Harmonia 76 - Tracks and Traces – 1976 was a transitional year where Brian Eno changed his context for working with electronics to an ambient perspective. This was due in part to his meeting with synthesizer duo Cluster (Moebius and...  (2000) » Read more

Aka Moon - Invisible Sun – Invisible Sun is the tenth release by Aka Moon whose name derives from the band members’ experience with the Aka pygmies of central Africa. Invisible Sun is a part of Aka Moon’s musical triptych...  (2001) » Read more

Frigg - Frigg – Not to be confused with the German Frigg, a jazz quartet led by guitarist Bert Wrede, this Finnish seven-piece is an acoustic fiddle orgy. Five members play fiddle at least part-time, bringing to mind...  (2004) » Read more

The Ever-Expanding Suckholes - Asking Directions to Her Hair – Been looking for a band that defies classification? Here ya go. This Newark, New Jersey band is all over the place on this pre-CD cassette release. Their web page lured me in on a ‘King...  (1999) » Read more

Il Giro Strano - La Divina Commedia – Around a core six-piece of organ, guitar, bass, drums, sax+flute, and powerful lead vocalist Mirko Ostinet, Il Giro Strano were ex-members of equally obscure bands Tramps and Voodoo. They recorded...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues