Thomas Ragsdale seems to be in a constant state of movement. He’s not one to drop an album and savor that feeling of satisfaction and accomplisment, as for an artist like Ragsdale that taste turns bitter if he’s not onto the next thing right away. In 2018 alone Ragsdale dropped four releases; two EPs and two full-lengths under his own name. He also released Ffion’s Odyssey, an electronic duo Ragsdale is involved in and one of the first releases for his Soundtracking The Void record label.
That’s just 2018, and that’s just the projects I’m aware of.
Not to allow the gears to rust and momentum to wane Thomas Ragsdale is readying another release, his first of 2019. The Pentagram comes out tomorrow, January 18th, on Soundtracking The Void. The Pentagram is dark techno at its finest. Three tracks that pulse and sway like modulated rhythms from beyond. This is one hell of a way to kick off the new year.
“Raven Sway” is the opening track, and also the first to be released. It’s subtle in its rhythm with a dance floor exterior and a living, breathing interior. It’s nuanced, repetitive, and complex in that it reveals unknown territory with repeated listens.
“The Pentagram” by contrast is vast, cavernous, and beautifully bleak. It’s like side 1 and 2 of Phaedra rolled into one five and a half minute song. Ragsdale’s film work has allowed him to encapsulate narratives and emotional changes in his work smoothly and expertly. “The Pentagram” is all atmosphere and Gothic doom.
“Clover” walks us out the same way we came in, with a steady techno pulse. This time Ragsdale takes the rhythm of an all-night rave and sews it together with the ambient flourishes and the gazing-into-the-abyss moods of his more atmospheric work. The results are an all-encompassing and visceral experience.
The Pentagram continues Thomas Ragsdale’s artistic and creative streak he’s been on for quite some time. Within those 20 minutes of electronic bliss, Ragsdale mixes all the elements and the sonic magic of his solo work and his Ffion project to create yet another essential listening experience. One that engulfs the senses and engages your frontal lobe on a truly visceral level.
The Pentagram drops Friday, January 18th via Soundtracking The Void. Preorder the EP here.
7.9 out of 10