ATONALIST FEAT. GAVIN FRIDAY: Atonalism 2xLP/CD Audiotrauma
I normally assume Audiotrauma releases to be of an Electro-Industrial nature, so was pleasantly surprised to find this album coming out of their stable; a blend of Free Jazz, stilted electronics and broken piano, with obscure vocalisations, reminiscent in part of some of the works of scene giants, Neubauten.
The introduction of Saxophone may be enough to send some people running at the mere mention of the instrument. Personally I have a fair few albums that incorporate the format; and Atonalist utilise this well as foundation to tormented lyrics, heavy guitars and the occasional punching of old school EBM and aspects of Metal.
Incorporating a multitude of styles and genre hopping is a dangerous game. However; ‘Atonalism’ reeks with a confidence and gusto and as such, every element sits well alongside their not so obvious partners in crime. The end result is an album that is enjoyable, for all its oddities and split nature; and dare I say it, it feels remarkably original and refreshing to boot.
SONIC AREA: Music For Ghosts CD Ant-Zen/Audiotrauma
Arnaud Coëffic of Chrysalide and Audiotrauma fame co-releases this latest project with the excellent Ant-Zen. With an almost lucid fairy tale approach to electronica, fused to an alternative approach to the steam punk aesthetic, the resulting album presented crosses many a boundary whilst remaining tethered to an industrial platform.
Thematically rolling along like wired up cabaret of bizarre electronic performance, simplistic bleeps and beats provide a landslide of drama more often than not, as is blatantly evident and none more personified by the combination of ‘The Endless Staircase’ and ‘Eureka’; the latter oozing pomp and circumstance, that rides its overindulgences well.
There is an aura of genuinely original concepts throughout, which remains remarkably familiar to the listener. A touch of the bizarre creeps within every nook and cranny, providing a diverse tapestry of styles that transcend a lot of modern day electronica; tiptoeing on the edges of the obscure, ever threatening to fall off the ledge. The emphasis is heavy on waiting for the release to fall over and become a mash of wasted talent, indeed you are almost expecting a disaster to happen; the clever programming skills involved however are one step ahead and every chop and stab of lunacy is firmly chained to the floor.
“Music For Ghosts’ is one of those excellent albums that comes around rarely and should be embraced by all fans of obscure and playful electronica, with a penchant for industrial theatre.
CHRYSALIDE: Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life CD Audiotrauma / Artoffact Records
French act Chrysalide have been making waves for some time now in Industrial circles. I witnessed them live at WGT in Leipzig a couple of years back and they provided one of the more impressive performances on the bill, blowing away some of the lesser acts playing to larger audiences.
A fair array of styles are mashed together to form the beast that is ‘DBSIAL’, from traditional EBM, to the Digital Hardcore of ATR, fused together with simplistic, yet riotous abandon. Outsiders will point their finger at the immediate comparisons with Skinny Puppy, but where SP have become a washed out parody of their former selves, Chrysalide sound fresh and new with Oghr-ism’s spat out with rejuvenated gusto. There’s no doubt as to where immediate influences lay once the ‘Last Rites’ barrage of “I Do Not Divert Eyes’ and ‘Fucking Doubt’ kick in, teetering on the edge of plagiarism; then again, who cares when its so well done?
Unsurprisingly, a remix of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ makes an appearance at the end of this lengthy affair; I expected it to be a direct cover as it came across live, but I can tell it isn’t. Either way, it’s entertaining enough, if not dangerously teetering on the edges of copyright control.
‘Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life’, is a fairly exciting release overall, carrying the mantle that many older generations have left abandoned. The only negatives are on some small areas of production scattered throughout the album and some tightening of the belt buckles as to what tracks should make the album, not simply the unnecessary inclusion of all that was written.