Tyrantbane - Flame

Published Tuesday 26th November 2019
Tyrantbane - Flame
Tyrantbane - Flame

STYLE: Dance/Electronic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 178489-29069
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: CD EP

Reviewed by Toby Fournier

Released on Netlabel day 2016, the four-track 'Flame' is the first release of Tyrantbane, described as the political identity of the Croydon-based band/collective Secret Archives Of The Vatican (SAOTV). So, if SAOTV want to say something about modern political life, it will be released under the name Tyrantbane, rather than as SAOTV. Understand? This short set admirably tackles four areas or ideas of resistance to tyranny or, what in SAOTV's own words, is resistance to ". . .the apparently inexorable rise of the political right and their disdain for culture." The format of each track is the same, ie, put a sample of someone (presumably renowned) talking about one of each of the areas or ideas and put this sample over middle-eastern-tinged electronic music. Track one, "Conscience", contains the only sample I recognise, Muhammed Ali (the boxer), talking passionately about why he would not agree to being conscripted to fight in the Vietnam war (". . .why should I kill for you, when you don't even stand up for me at home. . ." - I paraphrase.) "Despot" has someone who knows what he's talking about take us through a chillingly prescient description of the societal conditions required for despotism to flourish. "Precipice" has someone other than David Attenborough telling us what we all should really know by now, while "Disobedience" is about just that: when/why we should disobey unjust laws. A lot of thought has gone into this release and no little technical expertise. The beats are fresh and while the middle-eastern flavour can wear thin (a little variety please), the samples are considered and not sonically overdone. My only criticism of 'Flame' is that I'd like a little more ooomph at the bottom end, but that aside, this is a well-intentioned and well executed set of compositions (even if I don't recognise three quarters of the speakers).

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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