Monday, 21 April 2014

Black Light Secret – The Risk Of Absence EP


Perhaps picking up on my comments about the ‘fun’ elements of Kev Ellis’s Space Cadet CD (which I hear is close to a sell-out in its physical format, so if you read the review and like the sound of it best get along quick as it will be downloads only very soon), I had an email from Lee of Black Light Secret who wrote to say that they were a space and prog rock band from the West Midlands, who formed about seven months ago and are “just having fun with what we do.” They’ve a couple of EPs up on their Bandcamp page, this one which has been available since March, and Veil, which was released in December 2013. They are, simply, ‘M’ on guitar, samples, synths, and programming, and Lee on bass and samples.

It’s five tracks of robust but not overly heavy music, with a definite space-rock bent and some nice guitar and bass lines, that they correctly describe as having something of an up-tempo vibe. That’s generally the modus-operandi across all of the tracks, with some pauses for more reflective interludes, so there’s not a great deal of variance to what they’ve laid down and from that angle it’ll be interesting to follow their page and see how they develop themselves as they produce more work, particularly since those interludes do hint at a wider palate. And the structure of their tunes wanders around just a bit, so that there’s not a hook that really grabs the new listener from the start. That might well be a stylistic choice, though I suspect it’s more from simply getting together, finding a starting point and seeing where they go from there. They play to a starting theme but then get themselves quite a way away from it at times so there’s something of a disconnection happening. That’s also the jazz influence that they note, I’d say.

But their music does have a definite joyousness to it as well with some spacey electronics going on, and you can feel that as they are putting the tracks together they’ve got a smart sense of enjoying what they’re doing and that comes through very strongly in their compositions – you can imagine two musicians just having a good time getting their tunes down and so that up-tempo, up-beat, vibe is in itself engaging and makes these tracks highly likeable if not immediately individually memorable. They’ve all got the pace and sharpness to them that the racy opener, ‘Shoeburyness’, promises and so a second run-through brings them into better focus – instrumentals that benefit from coming around on a repeat visit really… and I’ll be giving them more than just that for sure.

 Black Light Secret @ Bandcamp

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