Heavy on the heels of their Misguided Angels CD(*), Darrin C. Huss and Per-Anders Kurenbach push out their mixed up EP, Sanctuary. Providing more of their excellent blend of EBM, synthpop, trance and new wave, to name a few, Sanctuary is a fine collection of music - albeit a little repetitive considering that Sanctuary appears seven times over in various forms and mixes. They also add a remix of Misguided Angels from their previous CD as well as new (to North America at least) track Unbreakable, the latter also mixed up in another version on this CD. Since you can refer to the previous Misguided Angels review for more information on Psyche themselves, as well as the exclusive interview in this issue, I'll drop right into the music.
Sanctuary is a fast, moving track with heavy bass, smooth melodies and vocals. Unbreakable is a bit more low-bro and not as invigorating, but nonetheless a good synthpop track. Following this is the Negative Format mix of Sanctuary - with grinding computeresque melodies and rhythmic pulsations and a definite progressive trance make-up. Vocals and lyrics become secondary with the drum'n'bass background meshing together with bubbly synthetic overtones becoming the forefront of the track. This is truly a "mix," and not just "another way it could sound" as some bands will put out claiming as a track remix. It's refreshingly different yet recognizable as Sanctuary and stands as a highlight to the Sanctuary release.
Also a lovely surprise was the Headscan remix of Misguided Angels, title track of Psyche's previous release which I lauded with much acclaim already. Taken the Sanctuary single even further, we also have the Implant, Massiv In Mensch, Icon of Coil, DJ Coon, Elektrohandel and Akanoid Vs. Clark Nova mixes of Sanctuary and another version of Unbreakable as well by Massiv In Mensch. All keep a similar EBM/synthpop/trance-like tone, but remain distanced from each other.
While admittedly, seven styles of the same song might be a bit much, at least you have a long string of trance-DJ material here for those that enjoy it. Which I can, when in the mood. I must give kudos to the Logan's Run samples in some of the latter examples of the track, however. "May you find sanctuary..." etc. is uncannily fitting.
Post: 1057 Steeles Ave. W., P.O. Box 81630, Toronto, ON, M2R 3X1, Canada
Web: http://www.artoffact.com &http://www.psyche-hq.de
(*) Reviewed in Legends #112, July 2001.