Makaras Pen — Makaras Pen
(Projekt 245, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01If you’re in the mood for dreamy female vocals drenched in reverb, there’s a bunch of bands you can turn to, many of whom populate the Projekt roster, but if you feel like a little more energy in the presentation, the list is a bit shorter. Which is why Makaras Pen is such a welcome addition to its genre — dreampop, darkwave, shoegaze, whatever you want to call it. Former Tearwave writer/guitarist Doug White puts a lot more aggressive sounds into this new band, though for the most part Emma Willis’ vocals fit into the dreamy, reverby arena. She’s just backed by bass and drums that don’t sound half-asleep, and the guitars really grab you at times. Not that anyone is likely to compare it to punk rock or heavy metal, but it’s pretty far from the gentle strums and jangles of most darkwave. Willis handles the gentle, breathy side of the vocals quite well, and for the other side, while she’s no flashy belter, she can notch up the intensity and volume to be heard above the louder parts of the songs as well. OK, so it’s not progressive, and there’s nothing in 15/8, not even a Mellotron (though it could be hidden back in the expanse of reverb), but it’s quite a good listen, with appeal beyond the shoegaze niche.
Related artist(s): Makaras Pen
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more