REVIEW: Moksha - "A People Undone"

By Wilde

Chain Border

A People UndoneTaking their name from a Stephen Donaldson villain, Moksha consists of Robert Bustamante on electronics and Sean Whitehead on vox, with John Bustamante and Ben Static supplying guest vocals. One thing I'll give these fellows, at least they keep the percussion interesting. However, they seem to have a bit of a Depeche Mode fixation.

God I'm Sick - This one starts out with a stereo sound check, then straight into the strings. The beat is slow and subdued, and the vocals are basic goth with overdone echo effects. Let's not forget the choral effects in the background. The vocalist here almost reminds me of the fellow from Gene Loves Jezebel. He's got a similar Kermit the Frog thing going. Later in the track, some horns are used for atmospherics.

Miss - Here we have a piano riff and some occasional really soft vocal samples, at least at the opening. Doesn't seem to be much to this instrumental overall.

Rawhide - This one starts with a basic Herbie Hancock-style electro riff, with some high synths. Then the slow bass kicks in, and a galloping beat. Eventually the melody (string synths) takes over. From here on it's a slow rave beat. Rawhide reminds me of an old remix of a Christopher Cross song, mixed with Hancock's "Autodrive." Synth piano abounds.

You and Me - Boinging bass, spacey synths, trip hop beat, and a tambourine. I think a different person does the vox on this one; lots of echo effects here, but basically the same cadences.

Consecrated Virgin - It starts out with a heavy industrial beat, with lots of choral synths, radio samples, and a couple of slicing sounds. The bass is a fast synth riff, overlaid with a higher-pitched melody line.

Mind Evil Mind - The whole track is a sawtooth high-range bass synthesizer riff with tubular bells and a slowish, kick drum/hi-hat beat, very subdued overall. They throw in the occasional high woodwind synth for variety.

Anarchy of Separation - This track has the choral synths again, but lower, with chiming synths and a ticking beat to start. This evolves into a slow industrial beat, with a fingerstyle synth bassline. The echo effects on the vocals are back on this one, a little more angsty, with the sound somewhere between Ogre and Skold. Not a whole lot of noticeable changes as the song progresses; this seems the whiny ballad type of track.

The Risk You Take - This is an acoustic guitar based waltz with soft, undistorted vocals, another ballad. The vocals on the song's chorus are distorted. It's hard to say whether or not this is a good thing; it breaks up the song somewhat.

Eggshell - This one starts out with soft synths. Steady kick/hihat beat here again, with a muted bassline and quick, plinking melody line. After a while, some piano and choral synths come in a bit, with slightly angsty vox. Doesn't seem to be a lot of changes in this one either. Moksha appears to be the type of band that likes to pick a melodic structure and stick to it. Honestly, this track reminds me of the 80s spate of rock ballads of questionable quality.

I Quit - Here we have a soft bass line, syncopated rhythm line, and string and flute synths. There's a very Hall & Oates feel here. Then Moksha adds a plinking synth overlay like the previous track, followed by a chiming melody line. This one seems to be yet another instrumental.

I Can See - A descending piano line starts this one off, with woodwind melody. String synths are added, and a light kick drum. After a while, more drums are added, as well as what sounds like a harpsichord. Damn, instrumentals abound on this album. Later in the track, some synth drums are put in, and what sounds like a mandolin.

Brokenshell (Mentallo & the Fixer Remix) - Brokenshell starts out with monastic style choral vox, fading into a synthesizer buzz, then into a remix of Eggshell. Mentallo & the Fixer later add periodic mutes, then briefly distort the living hell out of the track. Backward masked drums ensue, followed by more distortion. Then they bring in a chunk of another track entirely, do something blatantly odd with the drums (sounds like a badly done echo effect), and follow with aquatic and radio effects. It seems that they weren't sure what direction to take the remix in, so decided to just fuck with it until it sounded really silly.

Overall, this is an interesting disc, albeit not particularly accessible. It definitely has the air of a semiserious side project, which, considering the band's background, isn't too far from the truth. Those into the experimental end of industrial might want to have a listen to A People Undone.

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