“When you grow up and you’re reading and being told stories, one theme that permeates everything is the love story. The prince rescuing the princess. The man rescuing the woman from the demon or goblins or whatever image of evil the fairy tale depicts. And it’s bullshit. I feel it leads to many issues in society.”
“Men are conditioned into wanting to solve other people’s problems and having too much of an opinion on people’s problems, rather than listening to someone and saying, ‘How can I support you?’ Instead they’ll jump to conclusions and try and fix problems. It’s a classic part of male / female psychology and drives some people insane.”
“The whole concept of Death Of A Romantic is to let go of the old idea of romance. If you’re really in tune with zen and the principal of Buddhism, where you’re alive to everything. Then everything becomes pure love and pure joy.”
“Something else I wanted to address with the concept of Death Of A Romantic is that while it’s beautiful have a partner, it is definitely not essential. We need to be comfortable in our own skin. That’s such an important part of life and, for me, I’ve learnt that being comfortable in your skin comes through letting go of stories about everything. Not just romantic stories. We try and paint a picture of every little moment.”
“Letting go of these stories has meant I’m more in love with the world than ever, and more in love with my girlfriend than ever. It’s pure love. I’ve let go of the stories so I can love myself, my girlfriend and my family more than I ever have. I’m not telling myself a story anymore; I’m in it. I’m in reality. I’m not in my head. Less fear. Less paranoia. More communication. More love.” Mako
Often the individuals who conjure up the most unbelievably brutalist textures and uncompromisingly dark designs are the ones with the biggest hearts. Indulge in just a moment or two of Steven Mako Redmore’s art and you’ll understand.
His second solo album (third album in total, including the self-titled OneMind album with DLR) Death Of A Romantic sees Mako luring us into one of the most bleak sonic universes he’s created so far and holding us captive for a lean, mean 10 tracks.
Unrelenting in its assault, the album sees the Bristol artist deftly flipping between his own palette and a more Samurai-centric range of references. Drawing for sounds and beats that are consistent across any label he releases on (from Dispatch to his own Utopia imprint) while remaining rooted to the Samurai aesthetic gives Death Of A Romantic an edge and dynamic range that Mako has never explored at such depth before.
One moment we’re being pelted with razor-sharp breakbeats in a manner that wouldn’t have gone amiss on his solo debut Oeuvre; ferocious in energy and dark emotions (Grieve). The next we’re lying on a bed of technoid pins as rifle-like snares ripple and flex through our senses and prickle the skin with an urgent sense of physicality (The Choice Is Yours).
Elsewhere we find ourselves locked into a tribal mindset by surprise as percussive elements quickly double up between hectic Headzian mentasms and demonic human textures (False Promise), we’re at once massaged and disarmed by filtered breaks and harmonic drones (Even Treasured Memories Fade) and sent off packing with a dreamy, steppy finale that’s broken up by some of the brightest splashes of synths on the album (We Can Love All)
And that’s just half of this tightly-packed and forthright exploration. One of Mako’s boldest collections to date, and a fitting addition to the Samurai cannon, leave all stories and archaic notions of love and romance at the door and simply feel it.