~reviewed by Mick Mercer
The sixth album from a band whose avowed intent is the “merging of external and internal, implying peripheral stylistic trends, glitters and voices of the outside world as external and a personally coloured traditional harmony and internal.” What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I’m thinking it lost a hell of a lot in translation.
The basic idea is to merge Goth with sounds of the Orient, which means the Indian sub-continent and Middle East rather than China, Japan or anything remotely Gamelan (which is so Eighties!), and the end result is something striking and stirring. It isn’t anything you haven’t already heard dozens of times before in this new world of New Age Industrial Ambient witterings that surrounds us, because plenty of bands are toying with the sounds of the Arbabic and Asian worlds. It creates drowsy, swaying music, and percussive instruments have to be produced with gusto to breathe life into the arrangements because nobody ever seems to want to attempt at fast vocals on these records.
So, tons of sitar, or something similar, and sumptuous rhythmic deployment, but not much in the way of anything memorably melodic. Music, not songs, and fitting well into any filmic category this is a ravishing experience of the highest order and you’ll feel yourself transported effortlessly to….well, nowhere really. This world doesn’t exist, which is an odd reality. West only truly meets East in clubs usually, unless you count Tourist music in faceless hotels. I was fascinated by most of it and loved the attack of ‘Satellite’, which they could have done with more of to offset the predictable elegance. What we have here is a wonderfully detailed, challenging but accessible artistic concept which goes way beyond being an artistic conceit.
Of course, whether it can be used for anything more than intellectual background music I can’t say, but I personally fail to see what can be pulled from it in inspirational terms. Admire it, enjoy it, try to understand it, and Good Luck.