In Rotation, January 2006
Mistress McCutchan, Andrew Fenner and Kim Traub
The Arid Sea New Roman Twilight
Track Listing: Life is Brief... Life is Long, Weighed Against a Feather, Mercy Killing, Ringing, Passage, The Moon Follows Mercury, Hanging, An Image in the Flames, Closing In.
This album brings me back to that dreamy dark rock of the early to mid-90s; its a style I dont hear much these days amid the heavy electro releases. It feels like early Faith & Disease, with male vocals. Think of a mellow, downtempo Franz Ferdinand. (Reviewed by MM)
Aquefrigide Un Caso Isolato
Track Listing: Detesto, Anima, Soffio Veleno, Mefisto Hobbit, Trota, Vegetale, Ago Primavera, Carne Cruda, Paralisi Anemica, Freddo Mercurio, Nebulosa, Testa Infesta, Strix, Fenis 6 Morto, Fragile No Elektro.
Industrial dark metal with male vocals all sung in Italian. Heavy bass, drums, and guitar. High urgency passionate screaming by noisemeister Bre Beskyt Dyrene, well known bizarre and charismatic figure of the avant guard Roman underground...issued over pounding industrial beats and grinding metal (with occsional surprising acoustic guitar)...dealing, of course, with dark subject matter. If you are into industrial and/or dark metal, this is definitely your cup of tea. (Reviewed by AF)
Depeche Mode Playing the Angel
Track Listing: A Pain That Im Used To, John the Revelator, Suffer Well, The Sinner In Me, Precious, Macro, I Want It All, Nothings Impossible, Introspectre, Damaged People, Lilian, The Darkest Star.
This cd has been in constant rotation on my stereo! Depeche Mode is a band Ive grown up listening to, one of the major parts of my music collection when I was a teenager. Their previous releases Ultra and Songs of Faith and Devotion left me cold, but Playing the Angel is the Depeche Mode I know and love, yet theyre older, wiser, and crooning lyrics accordingly. Its evocative of the same dark brooding as Black Celebration, and as brilliant as Violator. My favourite picks are Suffer Well, with its classic DM dancey goodness, Damaged People and Macro, because its Martin Gore, and The Darkest Star. I cant say enough about this album; I strongly recommend picking it up today! (Reviewed by MM)
Death Before Dancing Endtime
Track Listing: Drama On TV, Ghost, Dreamsequence, Black Window, Abortive, Headlights, Endtime, Bite Your Fist, Mirror, Perfume, Midnight Blue, Imaginary Others, Lipstick, Emotion Lost.
Originally from NYC, this duo of John and Christine Christian have relocated to L.A. before releasing this strong full length debut. The clarity and power of sweet female vocals and dark male whispers over synth driven, Gothy dance music is appropriate for a a band called Death Before Dancing. With the frenetic energy of early 80s new wave, Endtime starts off simple and strong with the condemning Drama on TV. They sound best when they emphasize the Euro-trash sound and attitude (think Berlins Metro) especially in dirty little numbers like Headlights, which one could easily imagine as a big club hit. Christines vocals have that monotone delivery of a bored New Wave diva (think the Waitresses) that is sometimes sexy, dangerous, and very effective in the retro-dance setting.
The lyrics are biting and darkly emotive, combined with infectiously moody grooves. Perfume brings the vocals down to even darker realms with androgynous, sexual growls, then the intensity shifts with the howls of the haunted Imaginary Others. The collection ends with the frantic punctuations of Emotion Lost which is a tease to the potential experimental range Death Before Dancing may also have in store for listeners. This is a very appealing freshman release, dripping with Gothic resonance and old school dancability. (Reviewed by KT)
Scanalyzer On The One And The Zero
Track Listing: Moretech, Zwischenspiel, Scan?, Hifishit, Monotreme, Zwischenspiel Zwei, Herstius, Zwischenspiel Drei, One Seventy Five, Screamer, Additionally All That Work, Neutron Dub, Modsinth, Zwischenspeil Vier, Screenbitter.
This joint effort of Wade Alin of Atomica and Chris Randall of Sister Machine Gun is a sort of darkwave synth-off, both electronic artists trying to outloop, outgizmo, outgroove, and outstrange one another... plus, you can dance to most of it! All instrumental except for some odd sprechtstimme here and there. All in all an enjoyable session of noisemaking from two electronicists who simply have too much going on for a single band to encompass. (Reviewed by AF)
Kate Bush Aerial
Track Listing: (Disc 1:) King of the Mountain, Pi, Bertie, Mrs. Bartolozzi, How to Be Invisible, Joanni, A Coral Room.
(Disc 2:) Prelude, Prologue, An Architects Dream, Painters Link, Sunset, Aerial Tal, Somewhere in Between, Nocturn, Aerial.
I was so excited to hear about the release of this album and King of the Mountain, the first single, sounded incredibly promising. Well, let me tell you, after getting this double album and popping it into the stereo, I sat back in wonderment. And disappointment. This album was terribly boring. Does Aerial describe the utter spacey blandness?I think Ill go cleanse my aural palette with Hounds of Love instead. (Reviewed by MM)
The Silverman Nature of Illusion
Track Listing: (Disc 1:) Nature of Illusion (parts 1 & 2).
(Disc 2:) Woodland Calling.
This work by Phil Knight of Legendary Pink Dots/Tear Garden fame, is atmosphere that is tense, spooky and relaxing all at once. It feels like being lost in dark, mossy woods and being hyper aware of every sound and nuance around you. As I sit here working on various creative projects, Nature of Illusion fades in and out of conscious awareness which is ideal for music to have in the background of experience. But its not to be ignored as environmental white noise either. There is something very organic feeling about these electronically created ramblings, much like some of the instrumental artists of a label like Projekt or spacey realms of Eno.
Dots fans will enjoy this for the skeletal vision of LPD music that can be derived from listening to Knights solo work. Its quiet moments are just as effective as its more Eraserhead-like abrasive beginnings. Featuring Edward Ka-spel on one of the first lengthy tracks, the non-verbal vocals are not the only organic offering in this electronic monologue.
(Reviewed by KT)