V/A Primal River Valley
By Marcus Pan
The past by way of the
future, claims this two disc set of various artists doing electronica and
industrial. Latex Records offers this, and theyre pretty well known for
this sort of thing the most recent that comes to mind is Electro-Age
I. We begin with the bubbly opening by Mystified w/Orange County,
Eden River Valley I, who also close this compilation with the final
track on disc 2, Eden River Valley II. This is an instrumental to set
you in the mood for Primal River Valley its surreal, bubbly
and has the inundated feeling of being overtaken by a swift river. Appropriate.
Asmodeus X kicks us off with the chant-laced strangeness
of Krishna (Weird Blue Light Mix) which continues the trend of
futuristic melodies and bubbly percussion all capitulating to an unending
buzz-based bass counterpoint. Grigori 3 comes in smoothly, slid into from
the previous Krishna with an imperceptible segue. The heavier
guitar-laden strains of Awakening are tempered by the continued
electronic ambience. The swap of harsher male and sweeter female vocals during
Jailbirds Majestic Sacrifice is well done and memorable.
URNs Shadow Dancer is a bit stock, but a decent
attempt at melding somber goth-rock lyrics with a faster industro-electrical,
if a little commonplace, vibe. Somna M. Bulists Invocation to Raphael
(Suite Myx by Soy SOS) is very floaty and tribal, an earthy enjoyment
during the otherwise futuristic stance of Primal River Valleys
disc 1 thus far. After this we effortlessly slide the angelic vocals of Hungry
Lucy with the tribal and earthy flavor as we move to the seventh track,
In the Circle. I enjoy this one immensely.
The seven minute plus Martyr from Seventh Image
starts annoyingly loud following the smooth rhythms of Invocation to
Raphael and In the Circle. Much more ambient-experimental, it opens
with boorishly laden windy chord progressions that go nowhere of importance. It
gets a bit more interesting in a spacey sort of way by slipping some unexpected
Kraftwerkian electro-gibbers combined with deep resonating male vocals and
squiggly fast moving waves of tone that at once shocks you and surprises you
out of the lower down reminiscence begun by Somna. At 7+ minutes, I would think
cutting the first two minutes of Martyr just for the stroppily fast
paced fun parts a good idea without losing much of the movement.
The sample-laden Jackal Head by Kali Yuga comes next
with its cliché laden vocals and muddy movements of common placed
melodic procession. I find myself unimpressed, before we move into a
HeadAche remix of Silvercords Autopilot, a
drumnbass barrage laid against the swirly vocals of
Silvercords original. Disc 1 closes with Fallen by Container.
Surreal morbid male vocals with surrounding piano movements, its middling
Disc 2 of Primal River Valley brings us seventeen
tracks to the firsts eleven. Opening with Containers Finding a
River, this track has a very disconcerting feel about it with its ghostly
vocals though lasts barely over a minute. Then Nila by Solace continues
the surreal trend with ghostly melodies and synthetic movements. We next step
to one of the few tracks here over five minutes in length
Teotihuacan. It has a growing feeling as it begins, but seems to lack
direction though makers Flint Glass grow a strange and surreal tribal rhythm
into it that gets a bit dnb. Very trippy. Cryptomnesias
Daimonic Shadows keeps a similar ghostly vibe, but the rhythm comes out
more on top. Thus far throughout disc 2 were finding the journey
enjoyable, but not overwhelmingly so.
It seems that disc 2, more at the outset, is much more
trippy and tribal than the first. Shidoshis Seven Veils actually
seems to start a bit before the end of track 4, with its chanting monks sliding
in. As it rolls into itself were finding the excitement that was missing
from the previous 5, as beats pick up and complicated rhythms loop and jig. A
very trance-laden track that would be brilliant at just about any rave
Ive been to. Dreamside keeps up the pace and remains dreamy, adding
female vocals to the mix with Goddesses. Elektronikas
Darkness comes next with its more industrial methods and sweet female
I was happy to come across Anguisettes
Spherical as we move through disc 2 Jyri Glynns violins
have always been a personal favorite. Spherical was a highlight to their
demo and it sounds brilliant here. Cruxshadows was a surprising find here,
with their strong and moving East selection. This is a track that speeds
things up and borders on the surreal and tribal effortlessly, using bolstering
male vocals to ground the track while female voices coalesce above against
weird back and forth rhythms and stabbing synth lines. A definite highlight to
the entire two disc set.
Human Shame by Ashes Adryft, which follows the stompy
Cruxshadows number, seems to settle in effortlessly after, segueing nicely and
giving a DJ-done feel to the track line-up. By Divine Eye by Lex
Decimate weve left behind the dreamy landscape and went factory-driven
with a stronger and older school industrial sound. Primal River Valley
closes with another short, bubbly and breathy selection from Mystified w/Orange
County, Eden River Valley II.
The end result is that Primal River Valley is your
standard compilation. Theres a handful of really good ones such as
notables Anguisette, Elektronika, Cruxshadows and Hungry Lucy. Theres a
lot of so-so ones, and theres a handful of tracks I wouldnt refer
to at all. But thats the deal with most compilations anyway hit or
miss as we play through them. Some stroppy yummy industrial mixed a bit with
futuristic trance and a bit of tribal sensibilities, its not a bad
collection, but we probably could have done a lot of clean-up and came out with
just one CD rather than two.
Post: 5857 Brookstone Walk, Acworth, GA, 30101-8473, USA
 Reviewed in
 Their latest,
Morningstar, was reviewed in Legends
 We reviewed Grigori 3s demo back in Legends #125.
 For a review of Hungry Lucys Glo release,
turn to Legends #134.
Fully Automated remix CD was recently written up in Legends #155.
 Quite some time ago, in Legends
#109, we reviewed Swan on a Black Sea.
Elektronikas Night & Day was reviewed in Legends #151.
 No album yet, but Anguisettes
demo was written up in Legends
 Their Mystery of the
Whisper was reviewed in Legends