REVIEW: Cesium: 137 - "Regrets"

By Chris Eissing

Chain Border

RegretsDear reader. I will not waste your time with long-winded masturbatory descriptions and opinions about this music. I will save that for later. For now, I will get to the point. This is good shit. Combining a host of new and legacy technology and every trick and turn in the book from Skinny Puppy and the Communards, to Nine Inch Nails, to the best of today's dance/new wave/dark wave Cesium: 137 has created a successful crossover of old and new.

Working with the central theme of Regrets the majority of the album is a sampling of different mixes of the central motive. Normally a CD full of different mixes of one theme is more masturbatory than one of my reviews, perhaps even more masturbatory than a Junior High student with the new Swimsuit Edition and a gallon of Jergen's during a 4-day weekend. Instead this is a great exploration utilizing the talents of Cesium: 137, and guests.

The opening mix, the Advanced/Decay Version plays as rough as Skinny Puppy backed up by Nitzer Ebb. Rough around the edges, smooth and sweet with its rhythm and overlays, it is dark and solid. The Yendri Mix is barely recognizable as the same song; with gated rhythm right out Depeche Mode and keyboard overlays that would make New Order kick in the CD player. It softens the distorted blown-out sections and lets them slide into place smoothly.

Bloodletter carries a fat mid-eighties alterna-dance rhythm right out of the Communards or Book of Love. The vocoded vocals hearken back to the analog of scientific synthesis. Haujobb - The 1K Mix takes the theme to a different sphere. Dancing on the edge of becoming sterile techno it is held in check with sweet strings, which lets it float on gusty winds. It strengthens as it progresses musically.

KBN - Colony of Droids Mix is one of the most divergent from the musical theme. Working in subtleties and subsonics its biggest strength is releasing the vocals from being an anchor, and letting them float above the listener through masterful use of stereophonic.

The Quiet Eye - Red Eye Mix may be one of the best remixes on a theme I have heard in a long time. Taking the theme away from a standard 2 and 4 dance rhythm, it uses and stomp-esque fat-bass shuffle and lets the major themes speak for themselves. Not weighted down by the inessentials or a cumbersome wall of sound, it has stripped the theme down to its bare essentials.

Regrets is one of the finer musical explorations along a theme I have seen, in any genre. It showcases the talents and collaborative visions of a select few, without descending into competitive visions, or an attempt to out-weird each other. It is a must for anyone looking to spin a night along a theme, but doesn't want to come back to the same sounds and song. Plus, the CD comes with a decent MPEG movie set to the band's music.

Contact Information:
Post: Tonedeaf Records, PO Box 1736, Philadelphia, PA, 19105-1736, USA
Phone: (215) 925-7763

Legends Online