Vienna Ditto – Ugly – EP Review

Vienna Ditto have a new EP – Ugly – coming out on CD through Ubiquity Project Records on the 14th October.

Vienna Ditto - Ugly  - EP Review

Vienna Ditto – Ugly – EP artwork

The EP comes in various iterations from a three track to seven on the CD version which has four bonus live recordings. I will concentrate on the three compositions all formats will offer.

With each piece of work running at around the four and a half minute mark, the listener has plenty of time to immerse themselves in the evocative music that is Vienna Ditto. Opening with the title track which has a background sound of a boot being pulled out of warm sticky mud  and this sets up the EP for a slip slide into the deeper recesses of the mind.

By Way Of An Apology is an atmospheric laden piece in which Hatty Taylor seduces the audience with a sultry vocal whilst the instrumentation wraps the ears in a shadowy embrace and the over all effect draws the mind to paint images of dark and fog shrouded gothic buildings. My pick of the release.

Sadly Stop is just that – the end of the standard EP and once again the music is visually stimulating with its circular repetitions. It would be very easy to conceive of any of Ugly appearing on a French Arthouse film. Fortunately they aren’t so the audience is able to find a much easier route to access while they create their own film score in their head.

I look forward to future releases by the duo who make up Vienna Ditto.

Ugly – EP is available on iTunes*

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Katana Splatter Combo – Risky Island – EP Review

Katana Splatter Combo is a solo project of Nikos Tsamasiros who hails from Athens, Greece. This is a look at his newly-released debut EP titled Risky Island, which is a visceral combination of math-tinged experimental rock and instrumental hardcore, composed entirely in MIDI sounds.

As you can tell by the considered approach – thank you once again Robbie for taking the time. If you have a band you just want to review, please feel free to drop me a note to tim @ emergingindiebands.com

Katana Splatter Combo

Katana Splatter Combo

With those varied elements it would be easy to make the mistake of overcomplicating things and producing a frantic mess. Thankfully, this is not a trap the artist falls into, as each composition contains a nice balance of energies which means no one track outstays its welcome.  From the beginning Risky Island proudly bears its homage to video games, with a 24-second “theme” designed to loop on the title screen of the best retro game that was never made. The first “proper” track, Stage 1 – Forest showcases the razor-sharp bite of the heavier influences, with angular and distraught riffs flying thick and fast. I found this track the catchiest off the album, love the way the song begins quietly before launching into the heavy MIDI guitars.

The album continues with Stage 2 – Underwater, which continues the frenetic proceedings with breakneck riffs before calming into a (relatively) relaxed groove, perfect music for the submerged shenanigans of an 8-bit hero.

At this point it would be good to reiterate out how catchy these songs are – these tracks get stuck in my head so easily! The next track is Stage 3 – Sky, a rapid succession of phrases compounded by percussion which would make Zach Hill sweat. In my mind’s eye I can see a level from a Mega Drive game playing out to this song, on some secret base set in the clouds.

Stage 4 – Beach is one song I can’t particularly imagine going well with the typical sun-and-sand coastline imagery, as it’s extremely dark and dissonant. It is however a compelling track which grows into a monster by the end.

Lastly we have Stage 5 – Volcano and Final Boss, the cacophonous finale to this hectic ride. Sustained bass notes play under a series of bouncy lead guitar to lend Risky Island a triumphant conclusion.


I really enjoyed this album, both for the music and the concept. After speaking to the artist his appreciation of bands such as Tera Melos, The Mars Volta and Hella began to show through in the music, though there is plenty of individuality in these compositions. Somehow, the lack of human performativity works well with the frantic musings of its math-rock inspirations, as this kind of music definitely has something robotic about it.

Turning the album into a videogame soundtrack completes this concept, and making it readily available on the internet will broaden its accessibility. Thank you Nikos Tsamasiros for bringing us Katana Splatter Combo and the chaotic statement that is Risky Island, I look forward to future releases from you.

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Samuel Organ – Y – EP review

Thanks to Robbie for yet another review.

This is a look at Y, the latest solo release from multi-instrumentalist Samuel Organ, best known for his work with the genre-defying Brighton (England)  group The Physics House Band. Unlike the largely chaotic output of the latter, this EP is a collection of laid-back electronic tracks all with unique personalities.

Samuel Organ

Samuel Organ

Y begins with Drench, which is for me the stand out track of the collection. The lazy, hip-hop groove and angelic synth pads make the song reminiscent of classic trance music, like the sonic embodiment of that post-euphoric rush after an eventful night out.


Next up is Slowww, which uses a series of sampled noises to create a dirty, industrial rhythm while various synths provide a really pretty melody throughout its short time span.

Finally there’s E/\/\ER/\LD, the (somewhat) hipster title for another slice of scuzzy electronica, at once clean and bright yet pleasingly jumbled and dirty.

Y weighs in at around the ten minute mark which left me wanting more, though there are two more Samuel Organ EPs to dig your teeth into. According to the artist there is an album in the works, in the meantime check out more of his work and everything by The Physics House Band as there’s a lot to explore and appreciate.

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