By Marcus Pan
I first heard of Chiasm on the DEC(1) releases. Also
five years ago their self-titled review was about(2), of which staff writer
Govella wrote: "Chiasm immediately stands out as more intellectual than your
typical electro fare. Leaving behind the tyranny of the beat..." A truly
invigorating and truthful quote and Emilie has done nothing but improve her
intellectual style since then with the release of Relapse.
The subtly breathed Embryonic that utilizes
surrounding electronics as a driving factor and only very minimal rhythm make
up open Relapse wonderfully. The classical style, slow dirge piano that
opens Still is also pleasantly if simply arranged. X-Ray really
does come across sounding like that in some futuristic hybrid surrealist way.
The spurts of fast-hit rhythms are attention grabbers and Emiliegh's vocals,
while always angellic, take on an even more effervescent quality. Track seven,
Incision, sounds like it might be so pretty at its outset but is so
severely scratched on my CD submission I can't do naught but wish for it.
Delay laces garbled voices into its introduction
before opening into lower-octave song than we've seen thus far. It drags across
the floor schtoppily to a minimal rhythm that will cut out without warning
leaving you clinging only to Rohn's concise alto voice. Phobic speeds
things up nicely before we get a little low-down dirty with the following
Needle on track 9.
Needle bubbles up from a deep growl below, saturating
above in a strange ethereal twisting mass of interestingness. The
Relapse CD closes with two remixes of previous tracks
Rewind and Surrender with different takes on each. The
Floating Tears Mix (by Zentriert ins Antitz) is somewhat lengthy, but
pleasing to the ear with very bubbly synthetics and high pitched melodies
coalesced against darker rhythms. The high-octave melody versus the low-octave
rhythm formula has usually made pretty decent material.
I really dig Relapse, for its modern make-up and
bar-pushing creation. Rohn doesn't stick too close to convention and pushes on
what synths can do, showing their qualities as much for melodic intonations as
for rhythmic percussion. Better than I remember the previous self-titled
release and much wiser in its make-up, Relapse is sure to please both
electro/industrial fans as well as those looking for a new diva to follow
Box 130684, Ann Arbor, MI, 48113-0684, USA
(1) Detroit Electronica Colation the 1st was
reviewed in Legends #95, the 2nd reviewed in #119
and the last review (thus far) was in Legends
(2) This was
reviewed in Legends #100.
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