Messing around on forums is usually something we do for sport: something to waste our time with when we are meant to be doing something significantly more important and which very rarely yields anything other than a smile or a funny website URL. And then there are those gems you find lodged in the back of a thread on Fitlads in the middle of the day, because you just happened to be logged on at the right time.
messFX is one of those gems.
When we ran into this Leicester-based musician, he already had five albums online and a sixth being plugged, so we did the dutiful thing and had a listen (a review of which will be live next week), and then decided to go through the rest of his music too. One of the few times that time can be spent well-wasted is when you find a musician online who challenges you mentally. Electro-beats have always been a favourite of ours, and it is his quirky, challenging attitude towards music that kept drawing us to check out the next batch.
First starting to record under the name thomST*R, his experimentations with Reason 2.0 led to the creation of his first album, Genesis, in August 2008. From there each album has been an advancement of that same curious experimentation. Summer 2009 saw a collaboration with Moonshot’s Richard Woolfe on a project called Epic Colour, which resulted in the solo album We Are The Ghosts, and mixes as part of Moonshot’s album Angels Wear Black, made available on iTunes through EML.
With remixes being the bread and butter for most burgeoning electro musicians, it is exciting to hear that he is working on some for rock band InMe, due to be released, we hear, towards the end of the year.
Going through his previous albums, you can see what kind of skills messFX possesses right from the get go – Genesis has some fantastic tunes, including a rework of the theme from Saw that is genuinely just as creepy as the original. His music doesn’t require vocals to work, which is something that is usually a difficult concept to get your head around, but if it is something that has worked well for artists like Venetian Snares then there is a sign that it can work.
In the world messFX’s music creates, video game characters come to life, fall in love and get killed right in your ears, and this is something not usually felt without a controller and a TV. Technical skill is something that he has developed over the course of his studies, and each album is a benchmark on how far he has progressed in that way. Constantly changing the styles of music he imitates produces a slice of everything from DnB electronica, to oriental-fusion, hitting orchestral strings along the way, and all with a fresh take on each that screams ‘This is what I want to hear’. We don’t think that he would have pumped out six albums in less than four years unless he did it for the joy of creation, and this is something that comes across with each and every new offering.
And then there are the songs that seem created to personally scare you senseless. While we sift through his back catalogue and mark tunes for later rocking out to, why don’t you check out the messFX version of Aphex Twins’ ‘Come To Daddy’. If you make it to bed without needing a night-light, you will have done better than us.
Check out previous, and current work, on his website
Thanks to Thom Wielding for the image of messFX and Genesis’ Album Cover