CD Review

Null Factor – “Purity”

By Manda L. Earp

PurityHey kids! Get your asses out to your local electro-industrial-goth club, pronto. Chances are, if you hang out there for more than 20 minutes, you are going to hear some of the dark, seductive mixes of Null Factor. And trust me – that is a very, very good thing.

Null Factor, the name of the electro-industrial outfit put together by solo artist extraordinaire Dan Harvell, has quite a widespread, cult-like following in various clubs across the country. And Harvell’s newest masterpiece, Purity, is sure to lure in more sheep to add to the flock. With luscious tracks of distortion and anticipation, this is an album any fan of the classic-electro scene can succumb to.

Track one on Purity, entitled Total Disregard, is what could be called “typical” underground electronic music, though I do not mean “typical” in a derogatory sense. It is something you’d expect to hear at any industrial or techno club; the good thing about that is, this is a song you definitely want to hear. The distorted vocals are perfect for the dark groove the song provides and the synths are nothing less than tantalizing.

As great as track one is, track two is even better. Critical delivers an opening with a slow, anticipatory beat which has you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering when it is going to take off and blow you away. And it does. Remember the scene from Matrix: Reloaded when everyone in Zion is dancing to a very tribal, sexual beat and the scene occasionally flips over to Neo and Trinity getting it on? That seductive sound is exactly what this song encompasses. The slight raspy quality in the singing voice adds an evil, soul-tingling feel to the track and that creepy feeling grows even stronger as the track fades to conclusion.

Bring on the strobe lights and Goths for Circadian Rhythm which is, by far, the best and most astonishing song on Purity. The slow-building introduction gives way to an alluring, purely gothic sound; if a vampire had you trapped in his bedroom and was trying to seduce you so that he could suck the blood from your veins, this would be his theme song for doing so. The beat is enticing and fearful and the darkly demonic lyrics are fascinating. Null Factor could retire happily on this song; this is his masterpiece.

Virtual Suicide, the sixth track on Purity, is weird, and I say that in a good way. The introduction showcases a voice that is slowly and eerily distorted, like slowing down the speed on a record player. But even with the bizarre introduction, this song is “fun” – something you get out on the dance floor and enjoy whole-heartedly (or, as I like to say, “something to shake the asses of the masses”). Luckily, the fun quality of this song does not sacrifice the dark element Null Factor is so highly praised of producing. And with a title like Virtual Suicide, how could this track NOT be slightly dark? The lyrics further illustrate the haunting idea behind this song. “Forever is a long time,” repeated over and over again, grows quite disturbing.

Purity’s title track, which is the ninth song on the 11-track CD, is a gloomy, lyrical composition, which touches upon a more industrial element during the introduction. Again, this song builds a sense of anticipation in the listener, but it’s good anticipation. The rhythms switch back and forth, going from dance-like sounds to trance-like moments of, well, purity. There is a nice sense of juxtaposition with the brighter background beats and the darker, deeper vocals and lyrics. The mixture of slow to fast, dance to trance, is electrifying.

Disrupted (Poison Floor Extension), Purity’s final track, introduces itself with a fast, cluttered opening, weaving together many electronic sounds into a wonderfully disjointed and confusing blend. This song, with its intoxicating rhythms, should be (and must be in some places) a favorite in the underground music scene. Disrupted is a long, creative mixture of tempo, sound and structure and since there are few vocals on this track, it’s easier to fall victim to the delirious feel of the composition. But the ending comes too soon, and as the track fades into its final notes, you find yourself wanting – craving – more.

I could say a million nice things about Null Factor and Purity, but it’s just easier for you to pick up a copy of the CD and form a million nice conclusions of your own. Trust me – you will.

Contact Information:
Ballistic Test Productions
Post: 90 Wingarden Court #129, Scarborough, ON, Canada, M1B 2K3
E-Mail: ballistictest@rogers.com