Alex Banks – Siren Call (Spotify)

“Through a brilliant modular sound design witch rise from the depths of abyss, dark, hypnotic, with enormous driving energy, - Siren Call - from Alex Banks is a warning through frequencies. Top Notch concept! ”

Siren Call is Nagamag pick from Tephra EP

The ideas emerged from two months in the rugged, black volcanic surroundings of the Canary Islands, Spain. Banks armed himself with a restricted set of equipment taken from his studio in Brighton and set about focusing on the core of his musical expression.

The 5 track EP draws an abrasive array of intertwined melodic structures - one that could only be formed by an adept sound designers’ skillset. The title track and single ‘Tephra’, is woundingly brash, jagged and skull reverberating, it paints a mental landscape appropriate to where the tracks were born, in the context of a melodic hook line.

Following on from his second studio album, Beneath the Surface which was released on Mesh in 2019. Banks’ reimagines a different story, one of which was sculpted by his time witnessing unearthly volcanic landscapes. The change in scenery he recalls brought a welcomed ‘change of mindset’ than the earlier intense period of locking himself away in his Brighton studio with intermittent bursts of time spent by the coast to foster creative thought. It brought a different intensity to Banks’ sound, one that impressively finds a line between home listening and club-focussed dance-floor bangers.

Reviewed by Nagamag on January 6, 2021