In the last few months no debut album has impressed me as much as "Here Lies One Whose Name Was Written In Water". The Minneapolis based formation Aesma Daeva (a Persian angel whose name means "shining one") delivers a set of heavenly songs, combining the best of several musical styles in a profoundly mature and professional way. Originally named 162, the band reached its current line-up when guitarist/composer John Prassas and producer Nick Copernicus disbanded their original projects (162 and 0dark:30) to combine their efforts. Classically trained vocalist Rebecca Cords was chosen to lend her voice to their music and thus Aesma Daeva was born.
The first chapter of the cd, "A Quiet Chamber Kept For Thee", shows instantly what these talented musicians are capable of. "O Death (Rock Me Asleep)" is an amalgamation of crisp electronics, powerful guitars and Rebecca's competent voice. Normally I'm not too fond of heavy guitars, but John delivers them with such verve that I can't help but appreciate them. The second track, "Downvain", is an excellent example of this (even though it's a bit too loud for my personal taste), providing aggressive assaults interrupted by moments of quiet, synthesized sections and of course Rebecca's soothing vocals.
"Stay" is by far my favorite song on this disc. An atmospheric introduction, followed by a stunning electronic melody and heavenly vocals lead to a beautifully layered crescendo. A highly original mating of styles, executed flawlessly. "Disdain" completes the first chapter, a mid-tempo song with many changes and Rebecca's singing carried by the composition in an effective way. Chapter II, "Here Lies One Whose Name Was Written In Water", is more atmospheric and ethereal than the first four songs, with the most impressive and very dark "Introit II" as my personal favorite.
These songs are in ways reminiscent of The Third and The Mortal during their "Painting On Glass" period, but with the addition of Aesma Daeva's further incorporation of more prominent electronics and synthesized percussion. Another name that could possibly help describe Aesma Daeva's sound is Die Form, although there is still a fair difference between the two. It's more the overall feel and especially the same excellent female vocals that make this a valid comparison. It's those vocals that are also explored more intensely during the second chapter, with beautiful acapella parts and songs only filled with minimal piano and string arrangements. Good examples of this are "Communion" and "Sanctus".
Completing the cd are two different versions of "Darkness", a song very suitable for the dancefloors. This track reminds me a little of Delerium's "Prophecy" (from their Syrophenikan album), mainly due to the way the electronics flow along, as well as the obscure sample that surfaces occassionally.
If you're not afraid of other styles invading the sound of a (sub)genre you appreciate, be it goth, metal, ethereal or electronics, then Aesma Daeva is definitely worth checking out. A well-produced, mature and simply gorgeous album, which can be sampled in mp3 format at their web site.
Hopefully they're here to
Stay. They deserve it.
Official web site: http://www.pmcmgmt.com/aesmadaeva/
Label site: http://www.accession-records.com
The cd is available through Isolation Tank, as well as Metropolis distribution.
AKIRA YAMAMICHI "Pulse
Beats" 3" miniCD
~reviewed by Kirin
People have asked me why I listen to experimental noise. I've been accused of having a "fascination with the pointless." Being an oddly optimistic nihilist, I find the accusation flattering. Especially in cases like this CD. Yes, it's "just" a collection of pulse tones and sifting noises, but ah, how cleansing it is to let oneself fall into them. How pleasant to let each journey through this disc be a new one- letting in outside sounds, inner emotions, and observing it all flow into a constantly original experience. This CD will never feel like the same piece twice. It somehow accentuates the perception of one's own moods and thoughts, and makes one aware of other small sounds; for example, while I listened on this particular occasion, I noticed the sound of someone sawing wood outside; I noticed the sounds of my dog drinking from the water bowl; I noticed the slight rocking of my trailer, from the wind blowing outside. It's amazing the meditative state this disc inspires. Truly! Ultimately, I would suggest you approach this disc as you would a meditation, or as you would a psychedelic journey. Lay down in a quiet, safe place, dim the lights, and make yourself comfortable; now, close your eyes, and let yourself be drawn into the secret world that begins where "Music For A Reason" ends.
No Track Listing Available:
(CD consists of 3 pulse variation pieces.)
Distribution: Staalplaat/Soleilmoon www.staalplaat.com; www.soleilmoon.com
PO Box 83296; Portland, OR 97283
PO Box 11453, 1001 GL, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(Kirin's Pick of the Month)
und Werde" CD
~reviewed by Kirin
When I got this CD, and was opening it, I noticed that my mouth was actually dry, my heart was beating faster, and my hands were shaking just a little. An Allerseelen CD is an event. A ritual. An experience to be savoured completely. I have never been disappointed.
In case you are not familiar yet with Allerseelen, here's a bit of history. Allerseelen was founded in 1989, and is basically one man (Gerhard Petak,) who goes by the name of Kadmon. He's quite handsome. Oh yes, well, of course that doesn't matter, but it's still *true*.
He lives in Austria. Kadmon has also written a journal called Aorta for a number of years, and is now writing one called Ahnstern. At the end of this review, I'll list the address where you can write to him for subscription and back issue information. I encourage the study of these journals to anyone of open heart and open mind. They are an education unto themselves. The name "Allerseelen" is German for "All Souls." I highly recommend every single Allerseelen album, and every compilation on which Allerseelen songs appear. No, I'm not just saying that. Every single album, 7", and compilation that contains this mans work is worth your money and your time. I have *never* heard an Allerseelen piece that sounded weak, poorly done, or uncared for. Kadmon and Allerseelen represent a standard of excellence that is almost unheard of in the world today- be that the music world, the writing world, or the world in general.
On to the album at hand. Kadmon's music is, by intent and effect, a spiritual experience, in the sense that each album is a ritual journey of sound, or of "art as life ritual". Stirb und Werde is no exception. Stirb und Werde refers to the journey of death and rebirth- of pain and death followed by transcendence and illumination. (The title means, literally, "Die and Become".) Perhaps it would be better to say, this album expresses the actualising of what death and illumination represent in the old Solar cults such as Mithraism. Yes, I know it might sound a bit confusing, but trust me, if you're going to let Allerseelen into your life, you might want to do some reading. Julius Evola's books "The Mystery of the Grail", and "The Hermetic Tradition" wouldn't be bad places to start.
The artwork in Sturb und Werde is taken both from photographs of the sanctuary Externsteine in Westphalia Germany, and from stills of Kenneth Anger's film "Lucifer Rising" (part of which was also filmed at Externsteine.) Externsteine is significant in the "death and illumination/rebirth" concept, because the natural sandstones at Externsteine were turned into a "solar temple" by the early Celts, and the sanctuary-as-ritual site is alleged to be as old as Stonehenge.
Some say it was even the same "solar cult" that used both sites. The cover of "Stirb und Werde" is a picture of a hole in the rock at Externsteine where, every year, on June 21st, the sun shines on what seems to be an altar.
The music on Stirm und Werde follows a progression, beginning softly, and almost tentatively, like the first rays of sunlight on the horizon; and, like the sun, a few minutes after this CD has begun to arise, it becomes almost overwhelmingly brilliant. Track two, called "Glacial Light" is one of *the* most powerful pieces of music I have ever heard in my life. Track three is a haunting and melancholy beginning to this musical process of dying; track 3 is called "Hibernation," and is followed by the caustic and surreal death knell called "Fire Bird". Fire Bird reminds me very much of the dark fury heard on Allerseelen's last album, titled "Sturmlieder". Track 5 is a piece of Nietzsche's poetry set to music. The track is called "All Lust Wants Eternity," and is a ferociously elegant bit of pure Allerseelen magick. Track 6 is "Baptism of Fire," and I don't suggest you listen to it on repeat for very long. Then again... the results could be fascinating especially when combined with darkness and flashing lights.
Track 7 seems to be the turning point of the album- still in darkness, but turning toward where the light will come; moving toward the Golden Age, but still shackled in Iron. It's an almost whimsical arrangement, and very physically exciting and inspiring to hear. It's a track full of hope and desire; it seems to articulate the very heart and soul of Icarus. (The movie "Wings of Desire" comes to mind. If you haven't seen it, do so. Don't ever see that disgusting piece of trash that America turned Wim Wenders' masterpiece into. City of Angels, or whatever the hell it was.)
Track 8 is titled simply "The Return." Fragile, and tentative, the effect of this song is somehow disturbing, unsettling, and wrought with life-affirming fear. Track 9 is "Siberian Symphony", and it reminds me of crossing a long stretch of desert, with the heat bearing down, no one to love, and nothing left to live for but life itself. Siberian Symphony is as refined and stately as it is despairing. This album is no Disnified version (thanks Clive, for that great new word in my vocabulary,) of the process of transcendence and illumination. If you've ever had the gift of watching a spider moult, "Stirm und Welde" is more like that. It's a nail-biting, gut-wrenching, fist-clenching process, right up until the very end.
Track 10, "Blaze of the Dead" is a bit like having a very bad hangover, falling asleep with your head near the phone, and then having the bloody thing ring at about 5am. (The phone, not your head. That will ring later.) Blaze of the Dead could wake the dead. No kidding.
Track 11, "Flame" is the piece that also appears on Athanor's recent "Lucifer Rising" compilation. It is a song of primitive virility and timeless radiance. The poetry used in "Flame" is also from Nietzsche, and is truly exhilarating when set to this music.
Track 12, titled "Die and Become" reminds me very much of the scenes in Lucifer Rising where there is a woman laying in what seems to be a sarcophagus, carved into the side of a rock. Her hands are folded across her chest, and, as I recall, there is water running near her. It is a very powerful and poignant image- this woman lying peacefully within the substance and strength of the rock, and the current moving swiftly alongside her.
Track 13, "Deadly Pale Twilight" also reminds me very much of the film Lucifer Rising in its tone and atmosphere. It even reminds me, in some ways, of Bobby Beausoleil's soundtrack... it has that strange, awesome, unnerving effect of being both resplendent and horrifying at the same time. The beauty of all three artists, Anger, Beausoleil, and Kadmon, is that they take that resplendent horror, and use it as a tool for spiritual awakening.
The final track is titled, as was the first, simply, "Light". The fragile timidity of the first Light is replaced by a light more focused, a light more full and more bright, and more sure of itself. The passion, and the power, and the absolute beauty contained in this final arrangement, is spectacular. This final track is two minutes and twenty-two seconds of pure, unmitigated rapture.
The only other creative majesty
I could even begin to compare this album to, would be the experience of
standing before one of Anselm Kiefer's expansive, devastating, and regenerative
paintings. If you have ever doubted art's ability to destroy and re-create
those who will let themselves be touched by it, pick any ONE artist I have
mentioned in this review, immerse yourelf obsessively in his work, and
see who you are when you come out the other side. Succinctly, Stirm und
Werde is a masterpiece of the 20th century, and a sentinel of the Golden
Age that must surely follow this modern world of darkness.
Websites about the writings of Julius Evola: http://darc.occult.net/bkwyrm/evola.htm, http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1404/wolf.html
An online source for purchasing Evola books: http://www.buy.com/books/searchresults.asp?qu=Julius+Evola
Artcyclopedia of works by Anselm Kiefer: http://artcyclopedia.com/artists/kiefer_anselm.htm
A few interesting sites regarding the films of Wim Wenders (esp. "Wings of Desire"): http://castle.uvic.ca/german/439/wings.html, http://www.panix.com/userdirs/bfrazer/flicker/wingsofd.html
Regarding Bobby Beausoleil, and his recordings: http://www.beausoleil.net/bobby.html, http://whitedogmusic.com/
Websites about Kenneth Anger's work: http://victorian.fortunecity.com/updike/723/index.html, http://www.sci.fi/~phinnweb/links/cinema/underground/anger/
Two online sources for purchasing Kenneth Anger films: www.buy.com, www.bigstar.com
Website regarding Kadmon's work as Allerseelen, and his journals, Aorta and Ahnstern. (Site includes information on how to order both the music and the journals.) http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Amphitheatre/6522/
Stirm und Werde Credits: Kadmon: Music, vocals, arrangements and mixing. Sabine: Vocals Salt: Arranging and mixing. Allerseelen's Label: Aorta c/o: Petak Postfach778, A-1011, WIEN, AUSTRIA
Storm Records: (U.S. Distribution) http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-78038/blood/storm.html
P.O. Box 3527, Portland, OR, 97208-3527 USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Almond "Open
~reviewed by ::CyBeRiNa FLuX::
In the very early 80s, Soft Cell set forth as one of the very first electronic bands. Along with Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, they changed the face of music forever. Having influenced countless bands, Marc Almond's thirst for performing didn't die with the disbanding of Soft Cell. After a few other short-lived projects, he embarked on a solo career in 1987, and hasn't stopped since. With his characteristic sexually charged lyrics and new romantic style, Marc Almond has released a new, more mature album called "Open All Night."
Setting the mood for the release is the first track, "Night and Dark," with a very Latin feel. The haunting violin and minor key induce visions of candlelit romance, quite contradictory to the love gone wrong lyrics.
In the second track, "Bedroom Shrine", the music style shifts to a more modern electronic feel. The lyrics lean towards the obsessive side as he sings of a shrine setup for an object of lust that he's kept a secret, but he's certain he will never have.
"Black Kiss," listed fourth, is a song written about a love hate relationship. In between lyrics of the desire to be hurt by a "beautifully evil" woman are samples of a voodoo priest. With backing vocals of a soulful choir, bluesy vocals, and the magick chanting, this song is a hodge podge of the darker style of the real New Orleans with hardly any of the New Orleans sound.
A duet with Kelly Ali, the singer of The Sneaker Pimps, can be found on the fifth track. The song, "Almost Diamonds," is an ode to love lost due to infidelity. Singing of the pain of the shattering discovery that what's too good to be true always is, the duet carries on with beautiful violin solos intertwined within clever lyrics.
The sixth track is the deliciously swanky "Scarlet Bedroom." In this devilish song, Marc Almond invites the listener to join him for an evening of debauchery. Seductively purring "Call me cruel and call me heartless, but please call me tonight," it's hard to resist the spell that is placed with the provocative lyrics and smooth brass backing. In the Sinatra-esque ending, he queries you to take part in his couture film and to perform a strip tease for him in the back seat of his luxury car as quick last words before leaving.
The tenth song is a particularly special surprise. Working with The Creatures with Budgie's percussion and Siouxsie Sioux's famous velvety vox, Marc Almond quite proudly presents "The Threat of Love." Starting out with Marc's chilling solo voice, Siouxsie stands by providing clever insertions of operatic backing. Not too long into it, she comes in full force singing back and forth with him about the folly of falling in love despite its difficulty to avoid the inevitable.
Next up is the highly jazzy "Bad People Kiss." Infused with the beautiful blues of the upright bass, this song is classically cool. Followed up appropriately with the dozenth track, "Sleepwalker," a clever remake of Raymond Scott's 1949 swing hit.
For the United States release, there were three bonus tracks. The first of which, fourteenth on the list, is "Satan's Child." Singing for someone "who always likes to dress in black to mourn the feelings that they lack," he calls out towards a person who lives on the shameful side of law and morality. With a slightly rockabilly guitar line matched with swingish lyrics and modern keyboards, this is another favorite from this release.
I must admit that this CD
is nothing of what I was expecting when I saw Marc Almond's name adorning
the cover. However, as an avid jazz and electronics fan it was a great
find, as it blends the two genres smoothly along with many others.
Marc Almond: http://www.marcalmond.co.uk, email@example.com
Marc Almond Management: Take Out Productions NYC 212-977-3170
Think Management Europe 44-171-771-8854
Instinct Records Under license from Blue Star Music Ltd 26 W. 17th St #502, NY, NY 10011, 212-727-1360
ALP "At Home With
~reviewed by Kirin
Albums like this are what fascinate me so about noise-music. Roger Horberry, (also of O Yuki Conjugate,) went all 'round his flat in Amsterdam, in 1997, putting microphones on things. His disc drive. His tea kettle, toilet, refrigerator, fax machine- you name it, he recorded it. He says, "I used to sit in my flat at night and listen to all the little noises around me- the heating, the washing machine, a kettle boiling, etc., I wondered if there was any beauty in all this sonic loose change." This "sonic loose change" he recorded in '97, was then taken back to England in 1998, where Roger did what noise musicians do to the source material they collect. I will not pretend to know what that is. I love what they do. I have very little understanding of how they do it. Anyone wishing to fill me in and explain these mysteries, feel free to do so. I'm so all-ears I look like Ross Perot.
Anyhow, Roger's "At Home With Alp" is as delightful as the first smell of morning coffee. I think perhaps because these are the sounds of home, (however manipulated and changed,) they give off a definite warmth and familiarity. It is truly stunning how comforting these sounds are, and what happiness they exude. One of the complaints people often have about this kind of music is how "inhuman" it is. What could be more human than the sound of the waterpipes, boiling water, the washing machine, and yes, even the disc drive? Are these things not a part of us now, even as much as we may claim we wish them not to be?
Are we not simply foolish
Pavlovs and Luddites who long for the Good Old Days, and yet cannot bear
the "Port-a-Potties" at music festivals? We drool when we hear the modem
dial, and yet we claim disdain for the technological world we live in.
Sometimes it's nice, I think, to stop complaining for just a moment, and
see the small beauties in the things around us; yes, even the sound of
the microwave, and the whistle of the kettle. If we're dying of technology,
at least let it be a poetic death. Let it be with a sense of awe and wonder
for the sleek and efficient world of machines, and for the myriad of subtle
and fantastic sounds they make. They have always been art.
Soleilmoon Recordings: PO Box 83296, Portland, OR 97283 www.soleilmoon.com
(Limited Edition of 1,000)
~reviewed by Kirin
These pieces remind me, in spirit, of Jean-Michel Jarre's "Calypso." (Which, by the way, if you can ever find, is a treasure.) The ability to make electronic sounds feel soaking wet, is one that has forever intrigued me. "Richochentrance" may be the pinnacle of just how delightfully submerged sound can become. This music is a journey; the physical experience of which is akin to noticing the sound of a bubbling brook, and then of somehow becoming the brook, rushing madly to the sea, and falling deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the ocean; this music is the act of becoming water, of expanding from the sea to the sky, of falling back to earth, becoming the brook, and into one's body again. Such remarkable, esoteric journeys are gifts, and, wonderful to find, hidden in the soft, salt folds of modern technology. This is why I remain eternally in awe of the power and the effect of sound, upon the human mind, body, and soul. "Richochentrance" is a gem. Find it, and let it own you.
Label: Lunar/Amplexus (Italy): firstname.lastname@example.org
Distribution: Staalplaat/Soleilmoon www.staalplaat.com, www.soleilmoon.com
PO Box 83296, Portland, OR 97283
PO Box 11453, 1001 GL, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Azoic Where Broken
~reviewed by Jett Black
In listening to music on this cd over and over and over again... I feel like an FBI Profiler. Serial Killer and Slasher-horror vid flick saturate musical themes found here.
"Nilaihah" opens this 69 minute 48 second collection of 13 tracks which have already become popular adds both to radio program and hyper-dance club formats all across northern America and abroad.
Kristy Venrick steps into the pulsating mix, "Drown", with decisive pace and formality. Kristy also makes guest vocalist appearances on several Oneiroid Psychosis song recordings fouind on Garden of Remembrance. Kristy's vocals find their wings in "the Summoning". Oneiroid Psychosis slip inside "Terrible Space" with an influx of eerie sophistication and haunting disintegration, tradmarks of their style. Throughout this collection, samples from dramatic horror films infuse the original lyrics and programming. hallowed and twisted vocals haunt every track with great variety, and horrific grace and beauty.
Try this one. I am certain
you will agree that no Dark Dj playlist will ever be complete without featuring
at least one track from this album. Avid fans of The Azoic, and club goers
everywhere should insist upon it. All 13 tracks work their way into playlists
everywhere. I recommend "The Sad Word", "Drown", "Nilaihah", and "Suffocation".
The Azoic http://www.nilaihah.com
Nilaihah Records P.O. Box 82614, Columbus, OH 43202 email@example.com
(Anthony's Pick of the Month)
Bare Wire Delicatessen
~reviewed By: Black Orpheus (AKA AF)
Bare Wire, is Simone grey. She is an extraordinary find, amidst a sea of unoriginal convention. Her intensely poignant "Delicatessen," arrived in my mailbox with no fanfare. It should have. This album heralds another opportunity, to connect with the self we forget about. Other music lulls, and dulls the senses.
This does quite the contrary, it sharpens them. Every time I listen to this album, I am shaken by it's appeal to that part of myself that is most vulnerable.
The format of this album, is refreshingly original. I haven't really encountered anything like it. Each song is a short vignette that leads into the other. Simon gray's voice, has been compared to that of Jewel, Tore Amos, Sarah McLachlan, etc., among others.
These weren't the choices that occurred to me. I thought of Jazz great Nina Simone. There is an intensity, and a rawness present that is seldom achieved by w.a.s.p's. Delicatessen is the story of a woman in love. It is that desperate love, born of CO-dependence.
It begs requital, with it's great, weeping eyes. The object of her affection, is unmoved by her love, or entreaty. It ends with her resignation to the beloved's indifference. "Gridlock," is one of the songs that moved me most. "I can't seem to get myself there. I can't seem to get myself, across your threshold and into your room, across your floorboards and into your bed, across your sheets-like this ocean wide, like this canyon deep, I can't get inside, cannot even see." The stark bass supports the mood of depressed obsession throughout the album, as do the keys, and percussion. There can be no mistake it is the haunting, plaintive refrains of suffering that stand, superimposed across this landscape. This is easily one of the best albums, I've heard in a long time.
If I impress nothing else
upon my readers, let it be this...Please, for your own hearts sake, seek
this album out. This is that rare work of art that can, and will move you
irrevocably. This is the music, we find ourselves longing for. It is substantial,
and fit to feed ones soul.
ERISTIKOS home Eristikos multi.media, P.O. Box 61113, Phoenix, Arizona, 85082
Birmingham 6 "Resurrection"
~reviewed By: Black Orpheus (AKA A.F.)
Birmingham 6 take their name from a group of men accused of IRA sponsored terrorism, and imprisoned under false evidence. You likely saw the story popularized in "In the Name of the Father," with Daniel Day-Lewis. The band's inception began in late 1991, when the Danes Kim Lohde Peterson, and Michael hillerup got together. You will no doubt recognize the social, and political criticism in the music. In less capable hands, this might become boring. Birmingham 6, has been anything but boring to me. I first heard their cover of KMFDM's "Godlike," and have been a committed listener ever since. Resurrection, is a retrospective of sorts. It includes it's share of rarities, and hard to finds. It is my hope, you'll enjoy this most excellent band, as much as I.
"Radicals" was one of the plethora of great songs on this album, that I enjoyed immensely. It opens with a great religious sample, of some tent preacher lambasting people he doesn't know. The lyrics are not to be taken too literally, I believe. They have all the makings for some future scapegoating. "If I had a shotgun I'd shoot myself to hell, And if you really loved me, You would do the same as well"...Kids, do NOT attempt this at home. The programming is well done here. The distorted vocals, add to the mood of angry depression. This is my new Friday night, time to get ready music.
"Israel," was one of the best songs I've heard by B6. It opens with the narration, of a series of bombings in Israel. The beats kick in, almost immediately. There is a sample of traditional music, that lends itself to to the emerging whole. The vocals are intermittently whispered and spoken. I was impressed with the arrangement of the song. The keys, and programming are well done. I really like the use of sampling by B6. I don't think a great many bands employ the use of samples, with the measure of success that they do.
"Policestate"(mutual blade), is a high energy dance track. There is a lot of musical texture to this song. More importantly, it all works. B6 has been compared to KMFDM, but let there be no mistake; they are no clone. I can hear the influence, but this band stands on it's own legs. The lyrics are concerned with the escalation of police powers, and the resultant abuses, due to the absence of stringent checks and balances.
I loved the sample, it was appropriate to the song, and it's mood. There are few bands that can avoid wearying the listener, when addressing such weighty topics. I give B6, a lot of credit for this aptitude.
My recommendation is buy,
buy, buy. The potential returns on this investment, are limitless. If you
enjoy techno, and industrial in the least; I'm assured you'll embrace this
Web Site: cop int'l COP INTERNATIONAL, 981 AILEEN ST. ,OAKLAND, CA 94608
Blue and Holding "Hell"
~reviewed by ::CyBeRiNa FLuX::
From the high glamour and urban dire of Hollywood, California, allow me to introduce Blue and Holding. Formed in 1994, they have been playing the Hollywood club circuit for quite some time. Now with "Hell," they are debuting on a national level. The vocals, provided by Monika Khoury, lull the listener in a college alterna-pop meets heady lounge jazz style. The music itself is a very modern, urban blend of jazz with laid back, funky bass drums, combined with hip-hop influenced keyboards, and distorted guitar lines that dig in or float along in just the right amounts for the mood of the music.
The first track, "Alright," starts the CD out wonderfully with one of my favorites of the bunch. With dreamily distorted guitar lines and sultry vocals, this song should come with a warning label that states that it will make your head swim. Do not operate heavy machinery while enjoying this song.
Another captivating track is found in the third title, "Sleep." With appropriately lazy vocals, slow pulsating keyboards, and distant guitar lines, Blue and Holding displays their ability to match the musical mood with the lyrics presented.
With keyboards throughout reminiscent of the abaragoney digaradoo, the tenth selection, "Christina's Arms," provides a unique contrast to the poppy guitar lines. Finally, I'd like to make mention of the twelfth track, the version of "Nicole" that they recorded with Slope. Strongly electronic compared to many of the previous tracks, the song is composed with an ultra-smooth jazzy style.
The lyrical content of the
album could be improved upon, but the musical ability throughout the band
makes up for it. "Hell" is a decent debut album that promises more great
releases in the future!
Blue and Holding: http://www.tonecasualties.com/data/CT/BH/BH.html
Casual Tonalities (A Division of Klasky Csupo Inc) 1258 North Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038 http://www.tonecasualties.com
BRUME & TOY BIZARRE
~reviewed by Kirin
"Brume" is French soundpainter Christian Renou, and "Toy Bizarre" is electromagician Cedric Peyronnet. The first part of the CD is Brume working on sounds provided by Toy Bizarre, and the second part of the CD is Toy Bizarre working on sounds provided by Brume. Most of these sounds are very organic in nature, lending themselves easily to the "electro-organic" nature of both these artists. Everything from the human voice, to the sounds of chickens clucking is used; delicate birdsongs, and looming voodoo ambience fill the spaces in between. This would be perfect music for reading, say, William Hope Hodgson's "The House On The Borderland." That is, if you can bear to read by candlelight, to music that is ever as haunting and perversely exciting as any classically suspenseful story could ever hope to be. This is also the sort of music that I am fond of using for alternative soundtracks to movies like Pumpkinhead and Hellraiser. Oh yes. Movie in, sound off, stereo on, sound loud, lights out, candles lit; heaven.
By saying these things, I
don't mean to lead anyone to think that this is "haunted house music" in
the traditional vein. This is definitely not the soundtrack to "Carnival
of Souls." These sounds are the sounds of life, distorted. They are haunting
because they are possessed, because they are changed, because they are
unpredictable, and shocking, and alluring, all at once. If this is the
sound of a haunted house, it is a haunted house that has been put in a
blender, and then set free upon the shifting sands of hell.
Soleilmoon: PO Box 83296, Portland, OR 97283 www.soleilmoon.com
Staalplaat: PO Box 11453 1001 GL Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.staalplaat.com
Cleen "Second Path"
~reviewed by Wolf
If you're an avid club visitor and your DJ has a clue then you have most likely heard Cleen's "Believe", a track from their debut mcd "Designed Memories". Or maybe you're, just like yours truly, simply a dedicated follower of a certain gentleman by the name of Daniel Myer and have already had the pleasure of listening to both their releases.
For those still in the dark, Cleen is yet another haujobb sideproject, mostly a product of electronic genius Daniel Myer. After projects together with Forma Tadre, his haujobb co-conspirator Dejan Samardzic and many solo releases, he has now joined forces with vocalist/composer Thorsten Meier (DJ at the Jolly Joker club in Germany) . Whereas haujobb continues to push the boundaries of experimental electronics, Cleen delivers yet another disc for the dancefloors, reinventing pop and techno with irresistable high-energy songs. Compared to "Designed Memories" this release will probably appeal to a larger audience and it also marks a step forward in the development of their own sound. An interesting example of this is the new mix of "Did You Forget", which appeared on "Designed Memories" as a demo version.
As I said, a disc for the dancefloors, but definitely not your typical ebm/industrial-dance project. Cleen puts bands like Apoptygma Berzerk and the like to shame, delivering material that's just as danceable, but infinitely more interesting when it comes to innovative song writing. High on my list of the best releases of '99 in this particular genre.
The disc starts off with "Sunburst", a stomping dance track with high club potential. It's not my personal favorite, but I wouldn't be surprised if this will be played a lot on the dancefloors. "Freak", the second song, brings out the one flaw on this album: the vocals. Frequently they're a bit flat and almost off, conflicting a little with the otherwise flawless compositions. This might irk the vocal purists, so beware if you're picky in that area. But "Freak" is still an excellent track with interesting lyrics and the skillful utilisation of a *gasp* Dune sample (the German euro- ravers, not the movie). And it's not the only interesting sample on the cd, because "Cutting the..." features a section borrowed from Glen Danzig.
And it works amazingly well, giving the song a powerful orchestral opening which is shortly joined by again highly danceable electronics. More excellent club material.
And thus Second Path guides us through an intelligent landscape of different styles of electronic music. The trancey "North", the dark and irresistable new version of "Did You Forget", the pleasantly strange "Seperate Live" and the happy "Transparent". That last one has, together with "Freak", a distinct New Order/ Pet Shop Boys feel to it, yet more intricate and updated in its sound. These songs might very well be a hint at the sound of Daniel's upcoming project HMB, which has been described as music in the vein of New Order, OMD and the Pet Shop Boys.
"Stronger" is interesting, but one of the lesser songs on the cd, in my opinion. "Nightflight" reminds us that Cleen does not just crank out dancey techno-pop, whereas "Can't See", the album's seven-and-a-half minute long gem, is a slow and moody trance trip, reminiscent of "Believe". And in songs like this the whispery vocals work extremely well, which is why I think Cleen should stick to that rather than make attempts at actual vocalisations. Personally I do not have have a problem with the few occassions on which the singing is a bit sub-standard, but it should nonetheless be pointed out. Still, this album is too good to pass by for that sole point of minor criticism, due to both its original diversity as well as the outstanding overall production.
From floorfillers to headphone
explorations, shameless synthpop to highly intelligent techno...it's all
on there and "Second Path" can be seen as a sign of even better things
to come, with a remix album and a new full length, "Solaris", already in
the works. However, one question remains: where does Daniel Myer find the
time to sleep?
Additional info: Official web site: coming soon Label site: http://www.metropolis-records.com For Europe: http://www.zothommog.com
Creeping Myrtle Ode
to the Urchin
~reviewed By: BlackOrpheus(aka A. F)
I've heard it said "There's not a string attuned to mirth, but has its chord in melancholy." With that, I'd like to introduce you to Seattle band Creeping Myrtle. You would be well advised to set aside any stereotypes you might have about Seattle bands. Grunge notwithstanding, Creeping Myrtle turns the smirks to surprised smiles. I hadn't heard of this band until recently. They are one of those bands in the old tradition, a band that is largely carried on the merits of their talent alone. Believe me when I say, this band has no shortage of talent. I 'll wager "Ode to the Urchin," is as fine a calling card as any band could hope to pro-offer.
"The Shy Reserve," starts out with quiet, delicate guitar work. The vocals are delivered in an intimate manner. There is a change up in the tempo, just after the intro. This is when the percussion, adds its licks.
The "shy reserve," is a thing of beauty. It imparts that sense of near taciturn self-expression, and yet holds nothing back. When Prater sings "I follow shadows through nights of my splendor, I follow shadows, Things that I saw when I was in the light," you follow his journey through his "Shy Reserve," and more importantly; you identify with it.
"Step In the Sun," was a song that I enjoyed particularly. The writing is sublime. The poetry in the lyrics, makes this the kind of song that you have a strong emotional response to. "I'm searching the cloud coat for my calico bride, Step in the sun, Are you the one that I need, Lay here with me, I'll make you sigh, as we float down the stream," is a great example. I notice that at least on this album, the opening guitar really lays the foundation of mood. The vocals are the predestined accompaniment, to the melancholy voice of the guitar. They are mated by nature of their resonance. The piano entrance on this track, was like encountering an old friend. There is a lot of passion here. The feeling ranges from quiet contentment, to bursts of euphoria.
This really wouldn't be complete, without mentioning "Of What May Be." The intro on this song, is decidedly more energetic. It is an invitation, joined to a more upbeat guitar,"Come take my hand in a magickal union, And fly with me to what may be, A web of our freshly unraveled love, and wonder." The writing is consistent throughout the album, this track is outstanding, however. Valentine's Day is coming up, I'm sure Prater wouldn't mind anyone quoting him.
Creeping Myrtle was well
worth my time. The first thing I thought of when I heard them, was how
British they sounded. "Ode to the Urchin," reminded me of The beattles,
and The Verve. This is plainly speaking, music with legs. It has a very
'live' feel to it. It isn't overproduced, and it doesn't rely on effects.
There was a time when the only way you "made it," was if you could really
sing, and play. Creeping Myrtle harkens back to such a time. I hope to
catch a live show soon. As for you, I challenge you to treat your ears.
They'll thank you...
Web Site: Creeping Myrtle - New CD on Doldrum Records: "Ode to the Urchin"
Label: Doldrum Records Official Website doldrum records - p.o. box 21689 - seattle, wa 98111-3689 - u.s.a.
~reviewed by ::CyBeRiNa FLuX::
Deadsy is the latest major-label band in the gothic genre with their debut album, Commencement, put out by Sire for a release date of Spring 2000. The band has quite an interesting bio with their singer, Elijah Blue, being the son of diva Cher and rock legend Greg Allman. Not to mention their old bass player, Jay Gordon, also happens to be the singer for Orgy. Finally, the CD almost never was! Apparently, after sending out just a few promotional copies, Electra decided not to release it after all, and Sire picked it up. The heavy and distorted guitar lines combined with Dr Nner with his retro-synth style make for a sound so unique that I can honestly say I’ve never encountered it before.
With noticeable influences by bands as diverse as Gary Numan, Type O Negative, and Korn, the CD carries out a wide variety of styles from alternative rock to synth pop to metal and everything in between. Talent that can touch on more than one musical groove really pushes my buttons, but there are a couple of tracks that pushed the wrong ones. There were three songs in particular, though, that are very promising.
The first of those tacks that really took hold of my attention was “She Likes Big Words” with its early 80s retro synth-pop feel. Starting out with some great analog synthesizer programming, and a funky bass line, the song progresses into some very upbeat and catchy lyrics.
The very next song, “The Elements”, has distorted and heavy guitar lines and a lyrical style that makes for a combination that rivals the darker alternative rock bands like Smashing Pumpkins or The Toadies. I can easily see this track charting well on College Music charts, or even top 40.
“The Mansion World” is my absolute favorite. Dr Nner shows off an analog synth mastery that hasn’t been found in new artists in a very long time. Like wizardry, he mixes a potion of great effects throughout the song including particularly clean vocoded lyrics that are very strategically placed. The guitar lines add to it giving the song a heavier and more modern feel. I can guarantee you that this track will gain plenty of radio play as well.
Elijah’s catchy lyrics really make each one their songs stick in one’s head for days. That’s a really good thing to have going for a band. One particular song, “Fox on the Run” had a style that I didn’t particularly care for. Yet still I found myself singing it throughout my entire day.
Considering that was a song
that was low on my list, you can just imagine the impact that “The Mansion
World” must have made on my whistling repertoire! With the ingenious lyrical
composition, and spellbinding analog synth work, this CD is a must have
for all fans of Goth rock and that antiquated synth sound.
Currently there is no official web page yet, but check here for more info on Deadsy: http://home.talkcity.com/InfiniteLoop/elijah-blue/deadsy.html Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Label: Sire/Warner Brothers Sire - http://sire.ear1.com/ Warner Brothers - http://www.wbr.com/
Newsflash (11/05/99) It said in this weeks issue of Kerrang that Deadsy have been dropped by Warner Bros. Deadsy are currently shopping for a new label.
~reviewed by ::CyBeRiNa FLuX::
The duo that makes up the Electro-industrial outfit Decoded Feedback is an ultimate example of the newer style of industrial. In 1998, they took their rank on Germany's alternative music charts with their album Bio-Vital. With their newest release, EVOLution, they prove that they have no intention of slowing down.
EVOLution is broken down into three separate sections. The first section, entitled D.N.A., contains all of the previously unreleased titles. Starting out is the title track, "EVOLution", providing an excellent introduction to the CD. It blends beat loops and sequencing typical of Electro-industrial with samples of English horns and strings with such precision that you would never think it to be an out of the ordinary combination. The lyrics portray apocalyptic premonitions with lines that paint a chilling picture for the listener. "I've seen the world in its creation. Oceans blue shining in perfection. Time will destroy this illusion. Atomic bombs in waves of mutilation". Another favorite track from this section would be the highly danceable third track, "Infect Me."
In the second section, cleverly titled Genetically Altered, Decoded Feedback has included songs from their past releases remixed by other popular industrial artists. The first of these remixes that struck my attention Breathe on the ninth track, remixed by In Strict Confidence, another Zoth Ommog Industrial Dance duo that has done quite a bit of work in the past with Decoded Feedback. The Funker Vogt remix of "Bio-Vital" however, steals the show for the remixed portion of the CD. Funker Vogt has infused their militaristic style in this Decoded Feedback staple. Taking what was a hard beat, and making it yet harder and a little bit more upbeat, this track is certain to become a dancefloor hit in Industrial clubs in the U.S., in Europe, and around the world.
The final part of the disc, also wittily labeled, is called Cloned, and contains only the final track of the release. Here you will find a cover of Bio-Vital done by another German chart topper by the name of Frozen Autumn who successfully mutates the track into a catchy synth-pop tune.
Decoded Feedback is a gem
made of radium in the Industrial genre. With infectious beats, and message
giving lyrics, the band attempts to blur stereotypes. Their greatest triumph
is their ability to break down the walls of gender stereotypes. The band
is composed of vocalist Marco Biagotti, and a female keyboardist named
Yone Dudas that presents quite a rarity in Industrial music. Be sure to
check them out on their upcoming tours with Haujobb and the Zoth Ommog
Festival during the Spring of 2000!
Decoded Feedback: http://www.interlog.com/~defcode/
Released and marketed by Metropolis Records PO Box 54307 Piladelphia, PA 19105
Under exclusive license from Zoth Ommog http://www.zothommog.com/
~reviewed by Admortem
DotFash. An unusual name, but a name that will sure to be heard on every alternative radio station in the near future. This up and coming band out of Florida has just released their first full length CD. This self titled CD is chock full of potential radio hits, including the song "When all is said and done", which was released on a soundtrack of the motion picture "Raging Hormones". DotFash originated in 1996 under the name "Pheromones," and since then experienced many ups and downs ranging from technical difficulties that delayed releasing their debut album by eight months to opening for national acts like Hate Dept. and Orbit.
DotFash regard themselves as being "a modern euro-goth pop rock band," however, after listening to their self titled CD I did not hear all of those different influences that are suggested in their self labeling. What I did hear is a pop rock band that hasn't developed a sound uniquely their own. Each song on the CD is similar to the others, both in sound and in energy. Their music is reminiscent of popular radio bands such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Dishwalla, Matchbox 20, Tonic, etc. etc. This being the case, it is no surprise that DotFash's CD fails to grab my attention.
DotFash has a sound that
does however appeal to the masses. The lyrics and style generate that same
sort of angry, youthful essence that has been the rage throughout the 90's.
It is not surprising that many teen/college aged fans identify so completely
with the band. Tousled hair, sideburns, with hands shoved in loosely fitting
pants pockets, DotFash serves as an outstanding representative of what
the early alternative scene has evolved in to today.
Band's website: www.dotfash.com E-mail address: Jsin7@aol.com
Dotfash PO Box 10181 Pompano Beach, Fl 33061
Label's website: www.soularise.com
DEATH IN VEGAS "The
Contino Sessions" CD
~reviewed by Kirin
One of 1999's hands-down gems. If you buy only one CD in the next six months, make it this one. Beyond the fences and boxes of genres and styles, Death In Vegas took the worst of everything beautiful in the world and made it hideously sensual. What, you don't believe me? "The Contino Sessions" is full of Nick Cave swagger, Polly Jean swing, and everything sacred and irreverent and strung out in heaven. Shades of Portishead, threads of Sneaker Pimps, screams of darkwave techno, bone shards of promises that other bands have been making for years, but Death In Vegas delivers, lock, stock, and smoking barrel.
From the first seconds of this disc, my chin was on the floor. And then I got to "Aisha." Katie bar the door- what have they done? I can't get this song out of me, and I don't just mean my head. It's in all my hands and my feet and my blood and my bowels. Mean and lewd and feral and sweet, ONLY Iggy Pop could have done this song. There could be no other. The combination of Death In Vegas and Iggy Pop seems almost apopalyptical, inevitable, and proof that yes, for every Iron Age, a Golden Age must follow. Welcome to the light at the end of the tunnel.
If I sound a bit like I'm raving, I am. I'm downright rabid. I'm foaming at the mouth. I'm jumping up and down BEGGING you to go buy this CD. I'm putting up a tent, I'm setting out benches. It's time to spread the good news. Death In Vegas are here. Let them drop you in the water. Let the dove come down upon you. Rise up, go forth, and tell the people- Death In Vegas are the bees knees, the cat's pajamas, and the best damned thing since plasma physics.
The gods all suck!
On this recording, Death In Vegas are the following people:
Writers, producers, and mixers; Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes.
Bass: Matt Flint
Guitars: Ian Button
Vocals: (Vary from song to song;) include Bobby Gillespie, Jim Reid,
Dot Allison, and Iggy Pop, and the London Community Gospel Choir.
Drums: Matt Flint, Will Blanchard, Simon Hanson.
Keyboards: Spencer Bewley, Seamus Beaghen, Gary Burns.
Double Bass: Ali Friend.
Handclaps: Spencer Bewley
Concrete/Time Bomb Recordings/BMG email@example.com@timebombrecordings.com
DIARY OF DREAMS
"Moments of Bloom"
~reviewed by Blu
"Moments of Bloom" is Diary of Dreams first U.S. release and boy has it been a long time coming. Although previously available only in Europe, they have a small following here in the US that have been lucky enough to be exposed to this German darkwave band through excellent DJ's, word of mouth, tape swaps and reviews. Those of us owning any of their previous CD's went to great lengths to get them. Why you ask? Because this band is simply phenomenal. They've got a nice web page up at that chronicles their history thus far listing lyrics and a complete discography. Here we go with my obsession with lyrics again these are great, go check them out. Thanks to the band and webmaster for making them available to us. (Sidenote: the snobby artist in me loves that they've kept a running theme on their CD covers too).
This particular CD is a terrific introduction to Diary of Dreams with 8 tracks spanning their previous bodies of work plus 3 previously unreleased tracks. Its hard to describe the sound of this CD as Diary of Dreams is well known for covering many spectrums of "goth" music - from almost ethereal ballads, strong neo-goth, darkwave, to electronica and industrial. There's something for everyone on here and Adrian's deep vocals are black liquid icing on the technically sound and competent cake.
"Cholymelan" starts out softly with an innocent piano melody that evolves into a more complicated sythn string with a heavy beat and ends with melancholy spoken vocals (mandatory girl stuff: love that accent!). "False affection, False creation III" is a heavy, brooding song with a good dance beat similar to Clan of Xymox stuff. "End of Flowers" is one of my favorites with its haunting introduction and bitter lyrics encased in Adrian's outstanding vocals that will be sure hit among the "swirly goths" for dramatic dancing purposes. This song is also accented with an occasional guitar and a female voice. "But the wind was stronger" is another favorite of mine with a driving melody that always makes me want to go dance. "Ex-ile" moves into an even more aggressive stance with alarming, strong vocals, "Retailiation" is another one that I predict will be popular at the clubs, while "End(giftet)?" is slower but sticks in my head with its catchy melody and features, yet again, some nice spoken vocals. And finally with the three new songs- while "Moments of Bloom" and "Touch II" are seductive in their slow winding rhythms; "Predictions" is my favorite (its a dancing thing again...taptaptap). <cough>... and don' t forget the hidden track...
Enough of my babble, point
is, this CD is awesome. I for one am happy they finally have a US
release. Hopefully they'll get the recognition they deserve now. Go buy
it before everyone else does.
Label: Metropolis, PO Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105 www.metropolis-records.com
Management: Cest La Mort
Diet Of Worms "To
Thine Own Self"
~reviewed by: Black Orpheus(A.F.)
Diet of Worms is a very talented Florida export. You like o.j., Disney World, South Beach culture? Forget that, this is what's making Florida known. It's the music. Their sound is unusual, not particularly common. They embody elements of industrial, electronic, even metal. This would hardly begin to define them however. I can only tell you, it works. They opened for Christian Death a few weeks ago. I thought their set was an unusually strong one. I approached their vocalist Damond, and told him I'd love to review their cd. He graciously offered me one on the spot. I can't be the only one who saw something in this band. It's not their first tour with Christian Death. They've also done a Drac Fest and toured with Switchblade Symphony. They're still unsigned! The line starts to the left, no pushing...
"Deceive," has a Led Zepp feel. It has that slow, sexy groove. The vocal delivery supports the tempo of the song. There is an intermittent piano part, crisp drumming and a great supporting sample. The keys shouldn't be overlooked either. "What is there left to believe, you are who you deceive," this is the question posed by the song. I like the song writing, it has moments of brilliance.
"Stripped Down," has a quick uptempo intro. Punchy delivers an ever fierce onslaught of guitar lashes. The vocal track is layered over an angrier supporting track that howls in it's anger and pain:"My eyes guide my swollen disease; I'll inject you with the decay that stripped me clean." The song is carried on the back of outrage. Distorted vocals, lend themselves to the overall feel impending eruption. The song is only a precursor to the already palpable simmering emotions.
"To Thine Own Self," rounds out my discoveries on this disc. It is also the title song. The intro is electronic/vocal. Damond has got one hell of a voice. It lends itself to the material, wonderfully well. "My hands press you into a place your conscience never went," is a great commentary on the dysfunction of sex without consequences. The electronics continue throughout the song with the lauded guitar of Punchy, again. There is great sampling here as well. I really like this song. Hell, I like the whole album.
In conclusion, I hope you'll
join me in my discovery. Diet of Worms is not by the purest definition
a gothic band, Type 'O' Negative wasn't either. It isn't technically a
rock/metal band either. It is some kind of extraordinary hybrid. It's subject
matter and experimentation musically; make it a band of interest. They
are well worth checking out. If you ever catch them on tour with a gothic
favorite, sit up and take notice. I think you'll be surprised.
Web Site: Diet of Worms
DNA LE DRAW D-KEE CD
~reviewed by Kirin
Anagram: Edward and Elke/DNA Le Draw D-Kee. Now the Dots fans are awake. For the rest of you, Edward ka-Spel is vocalist, keyboard player, and much, much more, to the Legendary Pink Dots, and Elke Puecker, his wife, is also an accomplished musician, appearing on many Dots side projects and musical meanderings. Ryan Moore plays drums and bass for the LPDs, and plays drums, percussion, guitar, and bass on this album. Calyxx is Edward and Elke's son.
This album was inspired when Frans de Waard, of the Korm Plastics label, called "The Legendary Pink Dots Household" and suggested they take part in the Korm ambient series. Edward relates, in the promo material, that he felt the project was a challenge, because his experience of ambience was that it was music which was intended to be ignored as much as enjoyed. I, of course, do not agree with this assertion, having become rather fond of Brian Eno's work, myself, but, nevertheless, this album reaches Edward's goal of being more enjoyable than ignorable.
The only thing I do not like about this album is that I am very irritated by samples of baby sounds. I loathe them. van Gelis has even found himself on Kirin's "Skip This Track Due To Baby Sounds" list.
It's not that I don't like children, truthfully. It's that their sounds, sampled, disgusts me. I have no idea why I find baby samples repulsive, but one whole part of this CD was a vulgar experience for me, because of just such sampling. Other than that, it's a glorious ambient CD, bursting with depth and breadth of sound. 'Tis the clicks and the glitches and the drones and the drips that make ambience so lovely, and
"DNA Le Draw D-Kee" is a
small universe of sounds to be explored. Don't let my anti-baby-sound thing
get in your way; (unless, of course, that bothers you too,) because this
is a truly resplendent collection of sounds, and well worth owning. The
cost of the CD is worth the first minute and 13 seconds of track 2 alone.
Okay, the first 2 minutes and, okay, the first 3 minutes. Oi. You get the
Pink Dots Website, with DNA info: http://www.brainwashed.com/lpd/
Soleilmoon Recordings: PO Box 83296 Portland, OR 97283 www.soleilmoon.com
~reviewed by Kirin
A mesmerising combination of Nicole Blackman-type spoken incantations, This Mortal Coil-like whispered furies, and the technical brilliance and heresy of Doubting Thomas and Leaether Strip. A CD like this could easily fall into a treacherous world of overly-sugared vocals and oversimplified philosamplical meanderings, but not so with Drumatic.
The female vocals never reach the place beyond elegance which becomes insipidness, and the music slithers gracefully and tauntingly around the vocals in a way so provocative as to be downright lascivious.
Furthermore, may the gods
bless Betsy Martin for the moments she sounds deliciously like Chrissie
Amphlett. (You know, the DiVinyls...) The lyrics are beautiful both as
intonations, and as thought processes- a rarity, and a phenomenon to be
treasured. Some tracks on this CD, such as "Blister," and "Endorphin's
Ache," are seriously, frighteningly beautiful. This is definitely "Best-heard-in-the-dark-with-many-candles-burning"
music. I'm not sure it's actually possible to recommend this CD highly
enough, without grabbing you by your collar and begging you to go find
it. Unless, of course, you're the type that responds better to commands.
Let me just put it to you like this. Now that I've heard this music, I
can't imagine life without it.
Tone Casualties 1258 North Highland Ave. Hollywood, CA 90038 www.tonecasualties.com
EVERLAST "Whitey Ford
Sings The Blues" CD
~reviewed by Kirin
Yeah. I see that look on your face. But have you ever actually *heard* this album? Well? Have you? Yes, I know he once rapped as an Italian, and then as an Irishman, and now he's a bluesman. A lot of people in America are Irish and Italian and proud of both aspects of their heritage. A lot of people in America, yes, even white people, hurt, and hurt badly. Some white people even live in the same hard parts of town that black people and brown people live in. Pain is equal opportunity.
Death and hardship and sadness come to us all. So why *shouldn't* Whitey Ford be able to sing the blues?
There are a few goofy rap songs on here that made me roll my eyes, but they're short, and jeez, I can always press "skip." The rest of the album gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it. Just listen to the song "Ends." The depth of feeling and emotion that flows through Whitey Ford Sings The Blues is breathtaking- this album is the concrete foundation that Kid Rock built his castle on. Kid Rock will do well to live through his fame and come out the other side as well as Everlast has.
And did you know that Everlast almost died last year? Seriously, the man had a heart attack, and nearly died in the hospital with a torn aorta. 29 is pretty young to almost die of a heart attack. Open heart surgery before 30. That's deep. Funny thing is, he wrote this album before he had the heart attack. 'Seems to me the boy's roots run much deeper than people give him credit for. He was spiritually alive and well BEFORE he got sick. How many of us can honestly make *that* claim? I can't. Everlast has also converted to Islam (I think it was 3 years ago now,) and 'been tryin' to live the clean life required by that system of belief. He's a better man that I, Gunga Din, 'cause I sure ain't up to all that. Face it, it takes guts in this life to follow your heart, even as people point and laugh. It takes a pretty strong person to keep growing in public, and saying, "Here I am, take it or leave it."
Oh, you say, but like Kid Rock, Everlast was born and raised in the suburbs, not the ghetto. To which I can only ask you, why is that if black kids from the suburbs make techno music, it's all good, but if white kids from the suburbs make rap music, it's a joke? Easy now, let's not be pointing fingers! If white boys like Kid Rock and Everlast put some good music out into the world, and somehow even learn about Life along the way, who are we to say, "It ain't real"? Listen to "Ends" "Money (Dollar Bill)" "What It's Like," "Get Down," "Pain Killers," "Today(Watch Me Shine)" "Death Comes Callin'" and "7 Years," and tell me it's not "real." It's freakin' real, and if you can get past all the "It Ain't Cool To Like Everlast" b.s., you'll hear the soul of the Neville Brothers echoing loud and true through this music.
Listen to the words of say, "Next Man" and tell me that Everlast hasn't been around the block enough to know what conscious people always feel- profound anguish.
Just give the disc a spin. You don't have to tell your friends.
You can always hide it when
they come over. Or, you could "get real" and say, "You know what, that
Everlast disc is pretty amazing, you should hear it!" If you won't chance
it just because those so-called friends might laugh at you, you wouldn't
be able to really hear the music anyway.
Executive Producers: Carl Stubner, Everlast and Dante Ross
Tommy Boy Music www.tommyboy.com 902 Broadway New York, NY 10010
Fallen Tear The Drowned
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
THE DROWNED WORLD is a project initially conceived by Giorgio and Jean Paul. At the outset, this was a three track demo that was created for their own amusement. The songs were somehow passed around and they were contacted for more songs by newly acquired fans. The overwhelming response led to new ambitions and the current CD was spawned.
From the shores of Italy, this music was placed on www.riffage.com where this reviewer sampled the songs through a playlist another listener had compiled.
The first striking concept is the Italian grave yard cover photo. It depicts a head shot of a statue in what appears to be the throes of ecstasy.
Many writers have pondered the orgasmic release upon the soul when exiting the corporeal body. It is only fitting that these songs have such an image as these songs mesh a conglomeration of human emotion through their English lyrics and stimulating musical arrangements.
"Bliss" opens the disc with swirling white noise and tinkles, progressing towards a march like drum beat that opens upon a vista of minor guitar chords very reminiscent to Faith and The Muse. It is a darkly sensuous piece to center you for the tracks that follow.
"Dark Again" slams us out of our reverie with classic guitar licks and tenor vocals lamenting about "watching the road that brings no one back / hearing the grass that grows upon their graves."
"Buried Under The Sea" has a classic road house blues type of drum beat groove that makes this song exceedingly erotic. The percussion entwined with the minor guitar chords and symphonic harmonies of the synthesizer sent chills down my spine. The lyric, " I lay outstretched upon the dusky wave" croons and elicits our voyeuristic tendency with other lyrics that are highly suggestive and fraught with double entendres. This song is also making a lot of college air play and after hearing it, have no doubt as to the rationale why.
"Teenage Queen" is a light romp reminiscent of the Go-Gos classic Vacation at the opening bars. This is a light poppy Gothic/New Wave tune that naturally deals with young lust of a teen queen in all her beauty.
"Broken Toy "becomes more serious with simple acoustic guitar chords opening this and segueing into a gentle tambourine and percussive beat with chant like hushed singing. The opening chords progress into the more electric and synthesized version to further complete the tune, adding " our love is nothing but broken toys."
"Charming You" further delivers the expert handling of this material with New Wave like percussion and a healthy marriage of guitar and synthesizer to make this a danceable and fun romp. All the right minor chord swirls are in the background with deep groaning vocals wistfully singing in the ether part of the expanse as a backup to the tenor vocals in the foreground.
"Burden In My Hands" is naturally a double entendre that does not fail to smile at itself while delivering a heart wrenching lyric. It is about giving the object of ones affection everything. Ultimately this amasses into lies, deceptions and loneliness which in turn leaves one alone with "this burden in my hands." This is a harder edged song than the rest of the showcase, which sounds like hybrids of Field of the Nephilim, Faith and the Muse and a pinch of Rosetta Stone. The vocals are taken to new heights with the utilization of echoes and loops at various parts of the song.
"Car Crash" is an instrumental composition which begins with a snare and the increasing synthesizer coming from the void. It is accompanied by the ever present minor guitar chords that I am totally fond of in this style of music. It cascades in gentle rivulets against a back drop of dark luscious velvet, seducing and enticing. It is a night time drive where the only company is the white lines of the road and the swirling landscape from the sides. It stops abruptly to give rise to more frenetic minor guitar chords, distinctly detailing via audio that the crash has impacted with a slow motion plummet. The music ascends into more frantic and anxious guitar licks and ends in what can be interpreted as the final impact.
"Shots and Echoes" opens to a swirl of sound and quarter drum beats to make this very danceable while remaining faithful to the Gothic sound. Descriptive of a the noise of silence as a drop of rain is watched "as it bleeds on the ground." A sound that it is "too loud , echoes a shot with following echoes." Nice poetry to depict the ripples on the water of ones emotional pool.
"Time Lapse" encapsulates how "everything last just for stolen hours...made of a second." The split second between being with the one you love and the moment of melancholy that waits, lurking in the "dark shadows" to take them away. This song is accompanied with mournful guitar work and a slow steady single drum beat. This could easily be confused as something from the annuls of The Cure. Intensity builds and the rhythm progresses, indicative of how that split second can immediately change everything. They creatively stress the instruments to imitate pelting rain between the swirls of sound.
"Land" begins with what could be interpreted as industrial. Droning guitars that are reminiscent of a buzz saw cutting away the acreage of ones life. Again, the classic Gothic guitar riffs are evident while expert implants of exotic sounds are layered within the fabric to "take you to feel what I have felt through these lands of desolation wastelands of burned ground wilderness."
"Till The End of Night" more classic The Cure like homage on a song that has us "wandering through this moonless night searching for a life." A soul, blocked from transmutation, must go through the wanderlust and is forced to "travel till the end of night."
"These Dark Skies" repeats slightly the success of Buried Under The Sea with a very similar road house type of beat only the guitar work is more mournful and pronounced. We see that we are "living under these dark skies withblind eyes enclouded by your vanished smile." The eroticism plays a secondary role where we are forced to confront the memory of tears, emptiness and the loss "while everything fades in these dark skies."
"The Drowned World" is ambitious and successfully crafted. The depiction of death in its many guises are blended beautifully in some of the most original work.
The band members, just like death itself, remain and enigma on their web page photos.
The composed lyrics provide excellent insight of mourning and loss without ever becoming trite.
This is a highly recommended
body of work for those who like the classic Gothic genre sound. I am quite
sure it will be some time before it is removed from my CD player.
Fallen Tears Web Site : http://members.tripod.it/falllen_tears Fallen Tears E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Kay Gardner "Ocean
~reviewed by Michael Ventarola
If I was forced to grab CDs out of my collection to rescue from a burning fire, this is among them. Ocean Moon is actually 2 albums in one. It comprises the instrumental portions of Mooncircles and the majority of Emerging, minus one track, by Ms. Gardner. This CD is a re-release of a classic and is readily available from one of my favorite music shops, Ladyslipper (http://www.ladyslipper.org).
Back in the days as a baby witchling, there was very little in the way of recorded music for Pagans. What was available was generally a poor cassette recording of really lame music. We supported the music though because it was the beginning of what now has become quite an art form that is usually heralded as New Age.
I happened to stumble upon Mooncircles during its vinyl incarnation and discovered an expanse of sound unlike any that had been recorded up to that point. The notes deftly transported me back to a time of our Pagan ancestors. Within each track you will hear some of the most melodic flute and guitar compositions to ever truly evoke magic in your life. Ms. Gardner skillfully weaves notes that can only be described as sheer ecstasy and boundless joy.
Over the years, that vinyl album received a lot of repeated plays and did ultimately wear down. Luckily, the brilliant ladies who run Ladyslipper brought this classic into the new era by releasing it on CD format.
What makes this the music so special is that it can be utilized for craft working, meditating, or even during those long intimate nights with that special someone. This is sound that fits anywhere in your life without being overpowering and never boring. I am still playing this music 19 years after I initially purchased it if that should indicate its longevity for you.
These tones speak to our spirit in multifaceted levels, guiding us along the path of enlightenment by focusing our minds eye onto our chakras. It harmonizes the anima/animus within us, helping to compliment that which makes us the embodiment of light spirit in Her presence. This recording remains a hallmark that should be in every pagan household.
Ms. Gardner has continued
to record many other landmark albums which in time shall also be reviewed.
If you are unfamiliar with her body of work, go to the Ladyslipper link
and listen to the many sound samples that are available. Familiarize yourself
with one of the most gifted musicians in the womens music movement and
know that the God and Goddess speak to us through her gift of music.
Ladyslipper, Inc. www.ladyslipper.org P.O. Box 3124-R Durham, NC 27715 USA email@example.com
Grace Overthrone "The
~reviewed by Mike
When Gothic and non-Gothic friends try to convince me to lend them a CD that is up for review, I know I have a hit on my hands. Such is the case with Grace Overthrones latest work, The Grimm Masquerade.
This band has been around for about 5 years and in that time has managed to sell out of everything from the artwork of their covers to the CDs themselves. This music is so broad in style that it leaves me wanting to classify it as Modern Gothic/ Dark Rock. Reviews of their live shows have been nothing less than spectacular.
The lead singer, Lena Grimm, is a blonde beauty who breaks with the tradition of dark hair for dark music. This should not in any way deter you from sampling this music. Ms. Grimm has a power house vocal style that leaves many competitors in the dust.
Tony Mac, the music maestro and wizard behind the various sounds, has swarthy good looks and an easy going style. Again, this should in no way fool you into thinking this music is pabulum drummed up by nice looking people. This duo works our everyday angst into musical compositions that we can identify with because what is written is true in nature and based upon circumstances in their lives.
"Stop" opens up with a dark background, rich with drum beat and guitar work. Lena is warning us that we are f* ing with the wrong person. This song is appealing because it addresses those times when we encounter someone who tries to get over on us and we have to get a bit ugly and stop them in their tracks. This song is expressed in a lower register that makes it almost anthemic.
"Fight" takes a harder, dark rock edge while still being danceable. A song that deals with having to fight in our significant relationships with someone who has clearly been oblivious to our needs. To listen to this work you would think and entire band lineup of at least 5 was creating all this music.
"Father" is the type of song that gives just enough to let you come to your own conclusion. It could be about incest, a priest or God. The lyrical ambiguity is what makes this song work well due to the many levels it can be interpreted as. The lovely drum beats open this song, while the guitar work gives the traditional Gothic chords. Lena continues to sing with fiery passion and multi-layered emotion that is inescapable. The range of her vocals are very evident and show cased strongly in this song.
"Tripping With God" uses dark ambient sound coupled with trip hop drums that segue into guitar work that continue to unfurl. Lena asks us if the light that is coming through is a hole in the wall or is it God?
"My Insanity" further intensifies the emotional boundaries declaring, "my blood is poisoned from the bed I've made." Self recrimination never sounded so good. The vocal over sampling gives rise to the multi- faceted personalities within each of us.
"Porcelain God "is that place we have all been to at least once in our lives. Lyrically, this can be either an homage to the porcelain toilet we have retched into from a bout of drinking or a hopeless declaration to that eyeless statue of a religious image. The vocals echo and are compressed, bouncing off the walls of sound. The dark elements weave a hidden clock like sound, ticking away moments of our deep despair while we wonder if the one who drove us to this place is watching our inner torment and turmoil.
"Rolled Into One" opens with brooding sound effects and whispers. We then are taunted with Lenas vocals to a background of drum and guitar work. She lets us know that she is "the pain of your birth, the blood of your cuts and the lust of your pleasure." She is the dark degradation of our humanity that smacks us in the face with the reality of our pain and pleasure rolled into one.
"As Good As It Gets" is not to be mistaken with the movie of the same name. This song further demonstrates how commercially viable this band is. It is a dark tune yet retains some elements of something that would likely end up on regular radio in a top 40 category. This song really appealed to the non-Goths in my crowd as well. With these lyrics, we are confronted with realization that "this" is all we have and we question if this is as good as it gets. Definitely a worker's anthem for busting their butts in a 40 hour week and surveying their turf to realize, they still dont have a thing to show for it. It also extrapolates upon the emotional void of self doubt that we retain in relationships. It is a reminder to stop and listen to the silence in our own heads to question where we are in our lives.
"Run", not to be confused with the Gossamer tune of the same name. This song is the awakened angst from listening to the above mentioned silence. It is the overwhelming pervasive fear we fight in an attempt to block the voices in our head. We run into the shadows of our psyche to escape ourselves only to have to confront them again.
"Radio Garbage" is a tongue in cheek slap to commercial radio. The song opens with compressed and drifting vocals into something that would pass for top 40. Lena and Tony then kick into overdrive with the guitar and vocal work about corporation warfare and suburban posers. Every style of music is incorporated into this song to make this a truly brilliant track. Lena guides us on this tour of "full sonic suicide" with cynical lamentation similar to Deborah Harry during her early Blondie years. The samples used could not have been any more perfect for a song.
"Inversity" leads us to that point of total self absorption. This reflects being with someone who assisted during our time of adversity. It is not love or affection that keeps us bound but the usefulness one can provide us. Lena becomes the black widow spider with lyrics that engage, "you sold your soul for me, you took my pain away, I think Ill keep you." She also lets us know that if you rely or place demands on her she will leave and forget of your existence.
"Monotony" wraps up the CD, allowing us to see the sweet with the aforementioned bitter. This is not a song of a cruel person, just someone who cries at the deceptions we have to deal with a world gone mad. It expounds upon the realm that the pain we see in others and experience ourselves is just another day to someone else. It darkly broods and guides us to question if we stop and notice the sorrow around us or do we just dream about being taken away from all this insanity. Are we to play the game of bravado as a means of survival?
Grace Overthrone presents us with a dalliance of a new age of dark rock music that is continuously bringing them more fans with each outing they undertake. Lena Grimm throws us into a myriad world of pain, ecstasy, and disillusionment. The talents of Tony Mac at the arrangement helm make a duo sound like a full orchestra.
Lenas lyrics allow us a peek inside her world but at times she will turn the mirror back on us to reflect if these type of things happen to us as well. She purges her demons vocally while maintaining an animated and beautifully toned singing style. The episodic vocal compression and over layering work to highlight her sumptuous voice.
I will contend that this is a CD you must rush to get if this even remotely interests you. They do sell out quickly and this reviewer was forced to go without their last CD due to this fact. Luckily I joined their news list that accompanies their web page and was able to get advance notice of this release.
If you are looking for something
that remains true to the dark music form but provides a wealth of new sound,
this is the music to get.
Dark Music.com 1245 W. Guadalupe Rd. Ste b6-290 Mesa, AZ 85202
GOSSAMER EP's: "Sweetest
Misery" & "Memoirs: A Premonition"
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
By the time you read this you may have heard something about the sensational band Gossamer from Ohio. These young artists have single handedly been on top of the Gothic charts at Mp3.com for the last few months. Their two EPs Sweetest Misery and Memoirs: A Premonition have been staying within the top ten spot for sales for the same length of time, usually holding the top two spots. Their web page is at www.idrecords.com.
A major coup for this band came about when they were placed on the Cleopatra compilation The Unquiet Grave in which their song Run is featured. Run was re-mixed by Wayne Hussey of Sisters of Mercy fame and a commendable job it is. The original darker version of this song is featured on the Memoirs EP.
Despite the band being placed within the gothic category, their sound could be best described as dark pop.
They blend a style of gothic and trip hop on some songs while also utilizing more classical Celtic sounds for some of their ballads. I have heard comparisons to the Sisters of Mercy, however I would state that Gossamers sound is much better.
It is not often that a total marriage of vocals and instrumentals come together to draw the listener in with the degree that this band has. The first noticeable thing that stands out is the lead vocalist, Chris Gray, who has a deep, seductive and masculine sound that would make anyone swoon. Mr. Gray manages to transform lyrics into realms of subtle passion and pain. The lyrics themselves are at times, wrist slashers and among some of the more mournful that I have heard in quite some time. A whole new genre of Erotic Existentialism could actually be built around their entire sound. Despite the stark lyrics, one cannot come away from listening to this music without feeling they have been totally seduced by the voice from the speaker. This is truly auditory sex if ever there was such a thing.
The irony is that those who
are not gothic music fans have also been enraptured by these songs. I tested
the songs out on many people from all backgrounds both at work and at home.
The age ranges were from the early twenties to the mid fifties. Amazingly,
everyone that heard them really got into their sound whether their major
form of musical preference was rap, hip hop, techno or heavy metal.
Gossamer web page: www.idrecords.com
~reviewed by Wolf
Long gone are the days of Homes & Gardens and Freeze Frame Reality. Even Solutions for a Small Planet is a thing of the past and, as important as each of these releases were at the time, haujobb is only looking forward. Earlier this year Daniel Myer and Dejan Samardzic released ninetynine, which received its share of mixed reviews; too obscure, too far from their original sound vs. excellent electronics, the best they've ever done. Personally I think it's more than anything what haujobb stands for: constantly reinventing their own sound and pushing the boundaries of electronic music.
ninetynine remixes is (obviously) the follow-up ep to ninetynine. In the tradition of Frames and Matrix the latest album is given the ever-popular remix treatment and if anyone's music is suited for this purpose then it's haujobb's. Most remix albums tend to sell like candy because of the big names that provide the remixes. Just look at Headhunter 2000 and :Wumpscut:'s Totmacher (Deadmaker). And that's why haujobb have gained even more of my already massive respect for them, giving lesser known musicians and newcomers such as Photic Sonar and For a Space the chance to show their skills. Aside from that Daniel and Dejan probably figured that they're qualified to remix their own work with just as much style as anyone else, which is why more than half the tracks have been reworked by their own hand, be it under the names of some of their side-projects such as s'apex and Architect. In comparison to ninetynine this cd is slightly more danceable (but it all depends on what you prefer to dance to, doesn't it?) and could therefore possibly appeal a bit more to those who were disappointed by ninetynine. But don't expect anything radically different, the general sound of ninetynine is still there. Some of the tracks aren't even all that far from their original versions, especially the two mixes of "doubleyou". On the other hand, Daniel's monikers s'apex and Architect provide a more four-to-the-floor take on respectively "ninetynine" and "cutedge" with straightforward beats that were certainly nowhere to be found on ninetynine.
Surprising to me was the remix of "overflow" by Infam. Andre Geissler's music has always been more of a cold EBM style with apparent Front 242, Depeche and Kraftwerk influences, but his take on "overflow" resulted in a very clubby disco track. Nonetheless interesting material and it makes me curious to see what's up next for Infam.
Even though every remix is good in its own way there's one that definitely takes the cake for me: the "red sparrow mix" of "overflow". Remixed by newcomer Matthias Spittler this version is much more darker and atmospheric than anything else on the cd, with hypnotizing bells, a well-placed sample from "Psycho" and Vanessa Briggs' loungy vocals placed at strategic points throughout the song. I hope we'll hear a lot more from this talented musician in the future.
ninetynine remixes is a safe bet for die-hard haujobb fans, especially the ones that are still around after ninetynine. And for everyone else it's certainly worth checking out, if only for the "red sparrow mix" of "overflow". Speaking of that particular track, it's quite obvious that "overflow" is a popular one among the remixers. And it does have a lot of potential, but my only criticism towards this ep is that I would have liked to see some of the other tracks off ninetynine on here. Then again, there were already enough mixes of "less" on the single and various compilations and "x-flow" was in itself essentially a mix of "overflow".
Damn, can't even find one bad point about this cd...except that I fear that it'll mark the beginning of another long waiting period for new material.
But there's always a ton of side-projects to look forward to and in the meantime I'll be playing ninetynine remixes a lot, that's for sure.
It's intelligent, it's innovative...it's
Official web site: http://www.accession-records.com/haujobb/ Label sites: http://www.metropolis-records.com [us]
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
For those not aware, the group Suspiria disbanded in 1997 due to differing creative visions. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Mark Tansley, the electronic genius behind the band, teamed with a new vocalist, Apollos , and formed Intra-Venus. Pray Silence is the result of this musical union. Mark Tansley is credited for writing and arranging the music and Apollos credited with vocals and lyrics.
The graphics on this CD utilize computer enhanced photos reminiscent of Fritz Langs film Metropolis. There is a stark and cold component in these graphics, meant to lead the listener down the road of the vision that Mr. Tansley set out to accomplish. Overall there is a fetid emotional dissociation that overshadows the body of this 8 song work. The lyrics to all the songs are included, which to this elder goth is always a welcome addition. Vocally, the songs reflect the man as machine ideation without the tonality of any impassioned provocation hinted through the songs delivery. This at first was quite disconcerting because it would lead one to think that this is emotionless music when in fact it is a testament towards the nihilistic view of searing away the emotional component towards personal and spiritual interaction.
The music is very much in keeping with the current trend of electronic dance music. Every cut on the CD could actually work for a dance club with 3 stand out tracks that should not be missed.
The disc opens with (Welcome to) Paradise, a mid-tempo dance track wrought with existential lyric reflecting upon societies disenchantment and laissez-faire attitude, a hell in paradise if you will. The second cut, Last Chance is a "shake yo ass" song that is sure to be a dance club favorite, and is one of the three songs mentioned. The elements of the music utilized current electronics but borrowed some late "disco" synth grooves with a very subtle undertone of goth minor chord elements that actually made the entirety of the song work well. The song deals with internal resolution to break away from a situation that was previously controlled by another. It is left intentionally ambiguous as to who or what was in control. Celestial Sin continues with the mechanized dance sound with a subtle house beat underneath ethereal style high notes. This is probably the closest to an homage to the dark Goddess while castigating man for playing into "her" hands due to our distorted views. Unclean with compressed vocals, is a much harder driving pulsating beat than the other tracks. It elaborates upon the introspection of our isolation while rebuking "us" for our auto-pilot like thought processes where we have bought into the false dreams of modern man. Feature Length is my second favorite on this disc in terms of club dance. Keeping with the spirit of forlorn separateness, this track poses the question "are you all you hoped to be" while also highlighting the sound byte element indicative of living in the spot light of todays artistic environment. We are each a player in the dark comedy of life hunting for the next angle that would bring us the comfort from a performer living on the edge. The performer willingly obliges to shatter their existence and can only hope it was "worth" it. Deathwish slows down the groove a bit to declare forthrightly the total disgust upon surveying the landscape of ones reality and the hindrances imposed upon ones will. This is very straight forward "I wash my hands of you" and "I am sick of this".
Force Invisible depicts a vista of a darkened world where we are have turned our backs on the light, wandering lost and alone in a world of decimated values and suspended belief.
Lastly, Paradise (dark life) brings us full circle to the opening track. This is my third not to be missed cut especially if you are a fan of the group KLF. Using the same lyrics as track one while mixing in the KLFs What Time Is Love basic track layering works flawlessly here. I could fathom the intention being the body of this entire work may be too cerebral for many. Hence, if this song is mixed in with the KLF song in the clubs, the vision of Intra-Venus can be ascertained in a digest version of what the album set out to do.
Overall, the message lends
toward our comprehension that despite our mechanized society, we must not
fall victim to thinking like machines without the utter and dire consequence
to our lives and our spirit. To continue to do so would find us plummeting
down the abyss of an emotionless void with no hope of returning.
website: http://www.nightbrd.demon.co.uk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Nightbreed Records 2nd Floor 177 Wollaton St. Nottingham, NG1 5ge, UK
Kismet Wake up Gods
~reviewed by ::CyBeRiNa FLuX::
Kismet is a Macedonian offering. The band, residing in Australia, has had several releases to date. "Wake Up Gods" is their debut American release on the Californian label Tone Casualties. Their combination of traditional Balkan instrumentation with modern rock and electronic staples give way to a vastly unique combination of world and electronic styles. From danceable beat loops to spine tingling chants, wailing guitar solos to bizar