St. Ride - s/t
(Mizmaze/Snowdonia 199?, CD)

From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)

St. Ride is an Italian trio that play quirky electronica that incorporates space electronics, dance, drum 'n bass, oddball voice samples, and a parade of avant-garde electro noodlings. The whole things is a bit free-wheeling and the band do a good job of communicating an accessible dancey feel while painting the dancefloor with all manner of experimental sound textures. The sounds range from pleasant to grating and from recognizably earthy to completely in space. The tracks all have a collage feel as if each member is pasting his contribution over the next without beforehand discussion as to what the others are doing. The results aren't particularly mind-blowing but the tracks are for the most part creatively constructed and there's lots of good fun freakiness throughout. Tangerine Dreamy floating electronics, radio transmissions from space, angelic harps, drugged voices, and pulsating fuzzed tones all coexist and cooperate in a primordial stew of atmosphere and sound.

Among the tracks that really grabbed me are "Eskimon" and "Eskimoff". The former features totally freaky spaced electronica with a quirky dancey feel. Eskimoff" is similar but less dancey and more purely spacey. I liked the bubbling Tangerine Dreamy electronics and sparse atmospheric guitars. "Report" consists of fuzzed tones that pulsate rapidly between left and right speaker which was a bit jarring given that I was listening with headphones. Making the experience all the stranger were the more pleasant orchestral electronic waves moving steadily in the background. And "Area X" is a weird mixture of freaky hip-hop, floating space electronics, and distorted Indian/Middle Eastern themes.

In summary, St. Ride's brand of spaced out, somewhat experimental electronica certainly has its interesting moments. I particularly enjoyed the seemingly unrelated sounds and atmospherics that just seem to work well together. Lots happening that multiple listens will reveal.

For more information you can visit the Snowdonia web site at:
Email Mizmaze at
Contact via snail mail c/o Snowdonia; C-O Cinzia La Fauci; Via Che-Rubini 84; 98124 Messina; Italy.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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