Say Psych: Album Review: Radar Men From The Moon – Subversive III: De Spelende Mens

Rating: 8/10

Dutch experimentalists Radar Men from the Moon follow their recent collaboration with Gnod, under the Temple ov BBV pseudonym, with the final instalment of their Subversive album trilogy. Subversive III: De Spelende Mens is set for release 1st December 2017 on Fuzz Club Records.

The quartet who approach music as an Avant-Garde release Subversive III as the third instalment of a trilogy of sounds which aims to explore, deconstruct and subvert the creative process. Subversive I, released September 2015 and Subversive II: Splendor of the Wicked, released June 2016, were lapped up with eager anticipation and although an instrumental offering, what they lack in lyrics they make up for in density of sound. The bands influences stretch far beyond music and their creative approach looks at literature and philosophy for inspiration. This LP takes its name from the work of Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, who produced a text called ‘Homo Ludens/De Spelende Mens’, which translates as ‘The Playing Man’.

The album opens with ‘A Secret Howl in the Ambient Night’ which features an industrial siren-esq. warning, uncharacteristic noise vocals and lashings of delay and reverb. An eeriness exudes from the track as it progresses with a haunting synth and throbbing bass line. ‘Drunk with God’ is instantly harder hitting, with a motorik drum beat which merges with celestial static before a synth thrusts an infectious riff forth. As with many RMFTM tracks, it builds in cleverly constructed layers of sound which when isolated do not represent much, but when taken as a whole, something deeply alluring emerges. ‘Beeldenwereld’, or ‘Imageworld’ essentially constitutes a rampant piece of industrial techno with bleeps and bounces in all the right places; a nod to the industrial past of the city the call home, Eindhoven.

‘Abstractions and Society’ follows with a mellower approach, constructing soundscapes with repetition and layers. Half way through, industrial noise is utilised alongside several layers of clicks to create a heady mixture of sound, marking a shift in the tone, with the tempo increasing. ‘De Spelende Mens’ consists of miscellaneous noise before ‘Transgression Cave’, a doom laden piece showcases their influences and highlights the importance of collaborations with bands such as Gnod, who have clearly rubbed off on them musically. ‘Spectacle Prey’ takes a step back to their earlier albums, with a faster pace and a catchy countenance. This is the type of track that attracts fans to the band and tracks like the 19 minute ‘Black Canvas, Dark Majesty’ are what make them stay.

The Subversive trilogy has undoubtedly taken the band and fans alike on a musical journey; exploring and exploiting sound, traversing genres and experimenting with untraditional elements. This approach has offered RMFTM a versatility that has produced a truly creative and unique collection, the overall result being a truly revolutionary remarkable aural offering.


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