Dutch art collective Radar Men from the Moon thrust forward their new LP Subversive II: Splendour of the Wicked on 10 June, their fourth release on Fuzz Club Records and we’re delighted to provide you with the premiere.
The quartet who approach music as avant-garde exploration have fashioned their own genre, which is affectionately being coined ‘psych-house’. Subversive II comes as the second instalment of a trilogy of sounds which aims to explore, deconstruct and subvert the creative process. Subversive I, released September 2015, was lapped up with eager anticipation and although an instrumental offering, what they lack in lyrics they make up for in density of sound.
The album opens with ‘You Filled the House with Merciless Sand’ and begins the aural assault – a nine minute plus offering which builds repetition and layered sound, whilst constantly reaffirming the concept that each note is a grain of sand. After some three and a half minutes, things get interesting with distorted guitar and motorik drumming drawing attention. The synth element adds a positive twang to an otherwise darkly mooded piece. So far, we’re not presented with what is known as the ‘RMFTM sound’, however ‘Splendour of the Wicked’ is quick to rectify this. There is no build with this one, just straight into the sound we know and love and for those who are unfamiliar with the band; this would be an excellent starting point with its infectious repetition and oscillating tones. The change of tact mid-song keeps the mind alert and has an almost playful encompassed within.
‘Masked Disobedience’ is the shortest track on the album, but that makes it no less powerful with its blend of celestial static to open and conclude. The heavy synth introduction followed closely by empowered drumming and guitar swirling make for a heady mixture and its easy to get lost in this one in no time at all. This is the evolution of the RMFTM that we know and love, with added volume and a refined sound. ‘Rapture’ induces a trance like state with its dreamy opening and then moves to an acid-house dance vibe alongside a metallic clatter, a tone forged by the industrial landscape of the bands home town Eindhoven.
The album concludes with ‘Translucent Concrete’; an industrial opening not dissimilar to that championed by The Soft Moon grabs attention before a heavy noise dance rhythm kicks in. The ceaseless beat and thundering bass cleverly conceal the nuances within and this is one powerful track which requires several listens before you can even begin to understand the complexity. If this is what this sounds like on record, one can only imagine the intensity of a live performance.
Overall, the album is very much in keeping with the sound that has forged a path for RMFTM and fans will not be disappointed in what has been delivered. It also offers a versatility that has allowed the band to express themselves and show a side that has evolved from its predecessor LPs. When listened to back to back with Subversive I, it is clear to see what the band are trying to achieve and I anticipate this leaving many with bated breathe as to what treats we are in store for in Subversive III.