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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Red Masque - Feathers For Flesh
    Posted: January 06 2008 at 12:17
RED MASQUE, THE - Feathers For Flesh
 
 

THE RED MASQUE biography

"The Red Masque is an original avant rock band from the Philadelphia area. Part art, part alchemy, the group's experimental songwriting style is both angular and eerie, accented by freeform space rock improvisations, intricate acoustics, dark atmospherics and chunky riffs. Unconventional and eccentric in musical form, the sophisticatedly sinister The Red Masque fuses together such disparate musical references as horror movie soundtracks, rock-in-opposition, zeuhl, heavy rock, gothic, psychedelia and kraut rock.


Founded in February 2001 by bassist/keyboardist Brandon Ross and vocalist Lynnette Shelley, the Red Masque went through several lineup changes over the years, but its intent and integrity has always remained the same. The band's goal was, and is, to create original music that pushes the envelope of the listener's expectations. With such influences as Magma, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Gong, Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Art Bears, and Van Der Graaf Generator, The Red Masque's compositions are as intense as they are unique.

One of the group's first concerts was at the Prelude to the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest) in 2001. Other notable shows include the 2005 Rogue Independent Music Festival in Atlanta, the 2001 World Con Science Fiction Convention, the New Jersey proghouse series, Orion Studios in Baltimore; the Philadelphia Landing Pad Space Rock Festival; and The Gate to Moonbase Alpha concert series at the Rotunda in Philadelphia. The Red Masque also organized and performed in the 2002 and 2003 Philadelphia Underground Music and Culture Festival. The Red Masque have also opened up for notable performers and musicians such as Chris Cutler (Henry Cow, Art Bears), The Muffins, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Present. They have also performed on stage with such well-regarded drummers and percussionists as David Kerman (5UUs, Present, Thinking Plague) and Paul Sears (The Muffins, Thee Maximalists).

Steadily growing an audience within the underground progressive and psychedelic music communities for their uncompromising and intense style of music, The Red Masque have released to date one EP ("Death of the Red Masque" in 2001), and two albums ("Victoria and the Haruspex" in 2002 and "Feathers for Flesh" in 2004). "Feathers for Flesh" was released through the Big Balloon Music label out of Washington state and garnered critical reviews in the press, including Wire Magazine, Harmonie Magazine, Progresiste Magazine, iO Pages, Colussus Magazine, Tarkus Magazine, Progression Magazine, Expose Magazine, and various online newsletters, blogs, and review sites. Interviews in various progressive music media also followed, including Progression Magazine and Expose Magazine.

The band is currently working on a third album, "Fossil Eyes", which is due out later this year. A preview of the song "Carbon 14" off of this new album can be heard at
www.myspace.com/myredmasque; additional songs can be previewed through this
link as well or through the band's download page on this site.

To subscribe to the band's email list and learn about upcoming events, or for further information, please email the band at theredmasque@theredmasque.com.

The Red Masque is:

Brandon Ross :: bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Lynnette Shelley :: vocals, lyrics, noises & percussion, webmistress
Brian (Vonorn) Van Korn :: drums, keyboards, theremin, guitar & sundries
Andrew Kowal :: electric & acoustic guitar, 12-string, mandolin, violin
Former Members:

Kiarash Emami :: electric & acoustic guitars and mandolin (2002-05)
Nathan-Andrew Dewin :: electric concert harp, keys, percussion (2001-02)
Steven Blumbeg :: electric & acoustic gutiars (2001-02)
Kevin Kelly :: drums & percussion (2001-early 02)
Marcia Bachochin-Fabirkiewicz :: keyboards (mid-end 2002)
"

Bio taken from the band's website with the band's permission.
 
 
 
 
RED MASQUE, THE — Feathers For Flesh
Review by avestin (Assaf Vestin)
Special Collaborator Zeuhl/RIO/Avant Team

— First review of this album —

4%20stars feathers for flesh; music as their shield

I will not go into details about the band, as you can read them in the band bio here in PA, taken from their website.

Starting with a wind and occasional percussions and then hissings that go stronger and stronger with some chanting and cries floating by, this haunting and frightening atmosphere creates a tension and anticipation in me, the listener – what will come next? An explosion of sounds? Yes! A powerful, fuzzing and fantastic bass gives a great complex rhythm accompanied by the rest of the band, and Lynette’s cries. This is a very powerful entry, one that grabs me strongly and gets my undivided attention. TRM know how to create a compelling, even frightening atmosphere, whether it be in a fast, bombarding way, or in a slow, more minimalist and gloomy fashion. Their sound pierces, traverses through my brain leaving deep markings (in a good way). The opening sung lyrics – “I Live In A House Of Ash” – as Lynette performs them are mesmerizing! Her voice is as beautiful as it is powerful and controlling. She manages to convey feelings very well with her deep evocative voice. However, in this case, if TRM would have only vocals and the band would not be as effective as them it would lose much of the effect. This brings me to the point, that the band plays very well and with passion. The drums are all over the place when needed and give the right amount of support when they recede more to the background.

While you might recognize influences in their various songs, I feel they have well crafted a sound of their own, a niche that they inhabit and a comfortable place they hold. They cover a ground from quiet (yet it can still sound terrifying) and unhurried (as in the songs Passage, Beggars & Thieves) to the fast, furious and complex (parts of House Of Ash and of Yellow Are His Opening Eyes); they also play a more conventional sound, but then shift away suddenly and make it more complicated sounding or the other way around, move to the simpler from the more complicated parts (see Passage). Basically they are varied with respect to the complexity and intensity of the music they play. They move from angular form to a smoother, softer and rounder sound. They also tend to go for the more epic form of songs; long, with various different parts and complex with regards to structure and playing style. They are not afraid to experiment, and do this in the sound they create and in the composition’s structures, not forgetting the original theme and musical idea that started the song. Another aspect to the band is the more avant-garde approach as can be heard in the last two songs. In “Yellow Are His Opening Eyes”, Lynette’s voice as she narrates/sings, reminds me of Diamanda Galas. What a fabulous voice! In this song when the abstract, rhythmless part ends, they show how they can rock (heavily) and do it very well, in a sophisticated way with an influence from King Crimson Red-era. In fact the King Crimson vibe can be heard in various points in the album (again, Red era). It’s as if they’ve taken KC sound and “mutated” it so that it fits their vision. You might think that beauty is absent here. Well what is beauty in your eyes? I think that all the songs here are beautiful; but if you want a more common perception of beauty then, Beggars and Thieves with its folk sound is definitely the song here which will appeal to the wider musical palate. With another powerful vocal delivery, Lynette is fantastic in this song, backed up by the excellent musicians in the band. With the closing song, Scarlet Experiments, comes experimentation as the name implies. The songs is amorphic, going up and down in volume, it has “disturbing” sound effects, hissing vocals; it is abstract as if someone were painting a musical canvas not sure what he wants to paint, only having a vague image in his mind, a very basic idea; and he uses the brush with violence one moment and then calming down the next to bring to life his unclear vision. It is a sort of exercise in “drawing” the music to describe your vision.

I find this album to be a magnificent listening experience. The band performs wonderfully, bringing to life a vivid vision which is as beautiful as it is complex. I recommend this highly to people who want an artistic, adventurous and experimental form of rock that takes in what is perceived as common and usual and absorbs it into what is viewed as unusual.

Go to their websites to listen to their music!

Posted Sunday, January 06, 2008, 12:12 EST
Review Permanent link | Submit a review for this album

 
 
 
 

1. House of Ash (12:07)
i) Corridors
ii) Judgement
iii) The King's Lament Pt. 1
iv) The King's Lament Pt. 2
2. Passage (14:12)
3. Yellow Are His Opening Eyes (14:47)
i) The Summoning
ii) Outscream
iii) Vacant
4. Beggars & Thieves (9:38)
5. Scarlet Experiment (3:46)

Total Time: 44:30

Line-up/Musicians

- Kiarash Emami / electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, keyboards, vocals
- Lynnette Shelley / vocals, erhu, psaltery, pots, pans, slinky and other objects
- Brandon Ross / bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Vonorn / drums, percussion, keyboards, theremin, electric guitar, bass, vocals

Guests:
- Damian Boucher / violin (1)
- Sue Wolfsong / vocals (5)

Releases information

Big Balloon Music, BBM 1102



Edited by avestin - January 06 2008 at 12:18
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 12:29
ah, finally someone else who recognizes the qualities of The Red Masque Clap. for me the best modern band there is

A shot of me as High Priestess of Gaia during our fall festival.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 12:31
Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

ah, finally someone else who recognizes the qualities of The Red Masque Clap. for me the best modern band there is
 
Hehe, I added them last year and there was no reply, silence... I brought them up a few times in several threads and still no response. I though maybe a review might steer things up.
 
Glad there's two of us! Smile
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 12:34
Discovered the album a few weeks ago ... thanks for the recommendation BaldJean!Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 13:22
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Glad there's two of us! Smile
 
 
Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia MikeEnRegalia wrote:

Discovered the album a few weeks ago ... thanks for the recommendation BaldJean!Clap
 
 
Make that 3....
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2008 at 22:06
Do I hear 4?....
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2008 at 00:36
Picked up Feathers for Flesh 'bout six months back - not too long after you suggested them in the RIO thread (my time-line could be a little out of whack). Snagged it at a second hand record store and found myself digging in my wallet for spare change, yes, it was that cheap. Spun it 'bout 4 or so times in the Library while I was trying to write an essay, but haven't listened to it much since. AMMMusic was rocking my world at this time, so there wasn't much time for other records ;) Need to dig it out again, it certainly hasn't receive to attention it deserves. 

Edited by Black Velvet - January 07 2008 at 00:39
“If there is one question I dread, to which i have never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it is the question what am I doing.”

-Samuel Beckett
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2008 at 18:53
For Lynette's voice alone it is worth it.
In any case, there's KC influence as well as other bands, but all in all, they manage very well to create an artistic vision of their own.
Anyone else?
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2008 at 18:59
^ agreed ... she has an awesome voice, very good technique and really expressive. And she's obviously heard quite a few PH albums!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 08 2008 at 02:55
Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia MikeEnRegalia wrote:

^ agreed ... she has an awesome voice, very good technique and really expressive. And she's obviously heard quite a few PH albums!

Well, they list VdGG among their influences, so certainly she has.

BaldJean and I; I am the one in blue.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 08 2008 at 14:31
^ she does some nice "vocal dive-bombs" which remind me much of PH (H to He, Pawn Hearts).Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 08 2008 at 20:33
Hi guys
Just saw this thread. Thanks for taking the time to listen to our strange music :)
 
If you are interested, we have free live downloads we just posted a few minutes ago.
These are from out last show on December 8th, 2007 at the Highwire Gallery in Philadelphia. Special thanks to David Pym for the recordings
 
Downloads

"Carbon 14" (Live):  http://www.designbyredeye.com/01-Carbon14.m4a

 

"House of Ash" (Live): http://www.designbyredeye.com/02-HouseOfAsh.m4a

 

"The Spider Is The Web" (Live): http://www.designbyredeye.com/03-TheSpiderIsTheWeb.m4a

 

"Tidal" (Live): http://www.designbyredeye.com/04-Tidal.m4a

 

Enjoy!

 



Edited by velvet - January 08 2008 at 20:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 08 2008 at 20:33
and  yes, HUGE fan of PH :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2008 at 09:10
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Do I hear 4?....
 
 
 
Yup
 
Hadn't seen this thread before?
 
Jean, are you aware that Lynette frequently posts in Progressive Ears?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2008 at 09:17
Sean, Jean and I are very much aware of it. I currently communicate with her in PM and just answered one of hers 5 minutes ago. Wink

BaldJean and I; I am the one in blue.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2008 at 15:07
Very interesting. Very true to 70's avant music, but the vocals were a bit off.
http://www.last.fm/user/Avantgardian
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2008 at 22:37
Bump
 
Trivial note:
TRM played in a private birthday part of one of the admins of PE. Lucky him....
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2008 at 15:06
Lynette posted this in Progressive Ears:
 
Member: The Red Masque QuoteBookmarkModerate • | 3/11/2008 1:40 PM
This is not a press release from the band or anything, but I'm just excited that the mixing on our new album "Fossil Eyes" is complete as of yesterday. We meet next weekend to go over mastering and then it's off to the label. I've been working on the album art and cd booklet all week, and I'm excited that the two long years of work (AND STRESS) is finally almost over Obviously I'm a bit close to the project, but I am personally very happy with the outcome.

For those of you who have been waiting for the album, thank you for your patience.

Lynnette


-------------
The Red Masque
FREE downloads & videos: www.theredmasque.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/myredmasque
Redeye Design LLC: www.designbyredeye.com
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2008 at 23:16
News from TRM taken from a thread opened by Lynnette in Progressive Ears:
 
"We just finished our new album. It's going off in the mail tomorrow to the label!!!

sorry, had to share the news. It took us sooooo long to finish this thing but now it's finally done!
Lynnette

"
 
 
And here's a link to an interview with the band:
 
One of my most anticipated albums of this year.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2008 at 00:52
Wow, this sounds really interesting. I have to check them out!
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