Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Review: Ross Tregenza - 'Snowdrift'


After sending Goteki back to bed recently, Ross Tregenza hasn't wasted any time in striking out in a new direction. His début solo EP 'Snowdrift' has it's roots in the slower and more introspective end of Goteki's “Death Electro” sound. But here Tregenza takes the opportunity to call on his vast experience as a computer game sound designer and widen his scope to include more blues and indie rock, as well as orchestral elements into the mix.

The title track is a haunting ballad that maintains a dance floor appeal and a twisted pop sensibility, but feels far more complex in it's construction recalling the likes of David Bowie's 'Hours...' with it's mournful pace. Tregenza's track record of appropriating other people's music has been a pretty solid one, and the cover of Crystal Castle's 'Vanished' is a nice one to add to the list. It may not be vastly different, but it fits the feel of the EP and the piano parts give it an icy edge.
The remix of the title track however is a sheer slice of genius. Re-imagined and re-worked into a fake live track, it has all the pomp and grit of Depeche Mode's 'Devotional' and some believable crowd noise – Only Type O Negative's 'The Origin Of The Feces' does a better job at faking it. Finally the closing instrumental 'Wolves' channels the likes of Nick Cave & Warren Ellis' soundtrack work along with a hint of latter day Sisters Of Mercy for a groovy and moody closer.

If its a fresh start from Goteki Tregenza is after then 'Snowdrift' is a good first step. The EP is built to slowly evolve beyond the more comfortable and recognisable elements of his back catalogue and into something much bigger and more interesting. There is still that electro grounding, but the orchestral and more overt use of rock elements makes this a more diverse experience. It will be interesting to see where Tregenza takes things from here.

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