Exposé Online banner

Radio Massacre International — Rain Falls in Grey
(Cuneiform Rune 256, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, 2009-07-01:

Rain Falls in Grey Cover art I was initially concerned that my lack of experience with RMI’s back catalog might be a hindrance to writing a useful review. I needn’t have worried, since this release is a drastic departure from the general thrust of their previous work. Far from being another entry into their oeuvre of sequenced electronic sounds, this is a rocking stab into the heart of space rock. As a tribute to Syd Barrett, early Pink Floyd is the jumping off point for a set of tunes both epic and compact, free and composed. The guest players on wind instruments and electric violin add dimensions to the music that, while maintaining a clear connection to their inspiration, even Syd and Co. never dreamed of. The sax work on the title track makes me think of Sun Ra covering “Interstellar Overdrive” – which is not a bad thing at all. Some sequencing pops up from time to time, reminding the listener that maybe the distance between Dark Side of the Moon (post-Syd, I know) and Phaedra is maybe not so far as you would think. I doubt many Exposé readers believe that space rock is a dead genre, but this stellar (pun intended) release is ample evidence to anyone who cares to listen that there’s life in the old starship yet. And given the versatility that is amply shown here, I will be very concerned if I hear RMI’s next album will take on symphonic prog. Be afraid, be very afraid.

by Paul Hightower, 2009-07-01:

Head pixie Daevid Allen’s cover art, featuring a colorful half-toned rendition of Syd Barrett, provides the first clue as to what lies within this jewel case. Call it retro-psych, post-modern psych, psych psych… whatever. I call it pretty damn good. British trio Radio Massacre International are better known for their EM and space rock, though Barrett’s death – days before they began work on the album – forced a course correction resulting in this disk, a sort of love letter to Syd that’s more than just a tribute. Echoes of Floyd circa '67/'68 do poke their heads through the patchouli haze, including nods to “Astronomie Dominie” and “Interstellar Overdrive” within the four-part extravaganza that opens the album and which comes crashing to a close on the succinctly titled “Syd.” It encompasses many classic psych rock trademarks pioneered by Barrett-era Floyd, but also echoing Daevid Allen’s work with early Gong, and even the intense psych rock of early Porcupine Tree. Several tracks are graced by the saxes, clarinets, and flutes of Martin Archer whose playing lends them the same soulful magic that Dick Parry gave the Floyd on their seminal mid 70s albums. The album closes with a spacious and bluesy guitar improvisation by Gary Houghton that is emotionally wrenching and about as heartfelt a musical statement as I’ve heard in a long time. RMI fans expecting more Berlin-school EM may be in for a surprise with this one, but I have a feeling it will be a pleasant one.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 37 , 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Radio Massacre International, Cyndee Lee Rule, Martin Archer

More info

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dream Theater - Awake – Over the past few years, Dream Theater has become one of the most talked about bands in several music circles. It's is a band about which most people have a strong opinion. If you like heavy metal...  (1995) » Read more

Nathan Mahl - Exodus – It’s been at least five years since Shadows Unbound, the band’s previous album; now Nathan Mahl returns with Exodus, a large-scale concept album – dare I say rock opera, based on the second book...  (2009) » Read more

Kryptästhesie - No Age – I’m not going to get into any generalizations about whether Italian bands can be any good at psychedelia – certainly examples can be found at all levels of quality. This release from...  (2002) » Read more

Sea Level - Sea Level, Cats on the Coast, On the Edge & Long Walk on a Short Pier – The Allman Brothers in their prime were no doubt one of the best American rock bands of the early 70s, covering a little bit of everything and doing it all extremely well — never a shortage of...  (1999) » Read more

Hawkwind - The Elf and the Hawk – This is a must have, Hawkfans. The Elf & the Hawk is a reissue of Brian Tawn’s fanzine Hawkfan (No. 12 to be precise) from 1986 plus a few bonus tracks. Hawkfan is the Hawkwind newsletter,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues