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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

REDSHIFT: Wild (2002)

No disappointment and only good material, Wild is a very nice gift from Redshift

1 Red 1 14:39

2 subEther 10:25

3 Vega 5:50

4 Jupiter Collision 4:52

(DDL 35:41) (V.F.)

(England & Berlin School)

It was during the preparation and rehearsals for their 2002 Hampshire Jam show that the members of Redshift thought of creating a mini album for the people that will come to see them. A 36-minute mini album was made on CD-R and would be sold exclusively at the show which featured the band's 6th album, Faultline. There were 12 copies of WILD left, and they were quickly sold out after fans of the band, who were unable to attend the show, heard about it. Since then, there has been tremendous pressure from fans so that Mark Shreeve's band re-record it. The band members always refused until the illegal download sites and bootleg retailers forced the English quartet to revise their position. That's how WILD ended up in downloadable format on the Redshift website. This mini album contains 4 tracks recorded between 1995 and 1997. Of this number, there are 2 long mostly improvised tracks performed in concert and 2 shorter ones played and recorded in studio.

Recorded during a Mark Shreeve performance at the 1995 KLEM Festival, Red 1 is one of his compositions performed with his brother Julian and James Goddard. While not being a pure a Redshift track, the sonic imprint is there with a dark and murky opening along a chthonic choir humming over gloomy organ layers. The sequencer hiccups a bouncy rhythm structure at the beginning of the 3rd minute. From then on, it's heavy zigzagging rhythm activates a good Berlin School that soaks in a Luciferian mood. The rhythm is lively and driving with explosions of guitar that spits out good solos. It goes off on another tangent about 20 seconds into the 5-minute point, when the sequencer misses a key and tumbles in a seductive way. The orchestral mist layers follow the tangent of this fiery rhythm, giving a Middle Eastern feel to a track that feeds off its fury. An atmospheric bridge offers us an herbal tea after the 8th minute. Synth layers pile up in this murky area and dissipate as soon as clear arpeggios make a provocative waddle. Red 1 starts on a roll, driving at full speed before embracing a finale lulled to sleep by the seraphic flute of a tender and dreamy mellotron. It may be a Mark Shreeve composition, but it's big Redshift!

In a more hushed recording, SubEther is an encore from the 1996 Jodrell Bank concert where the English band played the majority of the Ether album. Let's say it's a semi-improvised track built around a powerful bass line. Its introduction of more than 3:30 minutes makes hear these luciferian voices between passages of flutes and/or hazy violins. The rhythm gets activated around this bass where a sequencer movement makes its keys jump in and out. It lacks the heaviness, but the rhythm is lively with evanescent guitar parts. We'll be honest in admitting that the musicians seem to be looking for themselves on this encore that was absolutely not planned in the show schedule. Despite this, there is an amazing cohesiveness that shows the band was solidly together at the time. Strong winds propel Vega to our ears. Heavily falling chords create a carpet of reverb from which the electronic tones of the vintage years escape. Composed by James Goddard and Mark Shreeve in May 1997, the music floats in an intense atmospheric phase with a powerful mellotron whose fluty chants sound like many of the band's openings before the fateful rhythmic explosion. Jupiter Collision is another improvised studio recording by James Goddard, Julian and Mark Shreeve. A very catchy track centered on a powerful bass line on which the musicians throw their ideas. It makes a very solid English electronic rock in the pure Redshift tradition.

No disappointment and only good material, WILD is a very nice gift that Redshift made for their fans. I like this initiative which lets us discover a very good electronic music which would have been lost without this idea of the English quartet.

Sylvain Lupari (November 11th, 2021) *****

Available at Redshift Bandcamp

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