V/A - Black Paradigm - "An Insight Into New
By Haydn Black
At last, after aeons of waiting comes a compilation CD of
Perth bands. I just have one major problem with it: Doof-doof-doof.
If this was any old CD I'd have never even treated it to a
second glance it because I despise electronica.
However, as this is clearly the result blood, sweet, tears
and electrons of a lot of people, most of whom I know (or know of), and because
it's the product of my adopted home town, I feel obliged to review it with as
open a mind as I can muster.
It wasn't easy, but I'll have to admit that Black Paradigm's
been in my CD player more than it has any right to be.
I've never found electronics, particularly of this genre
interesting, and I find it hard to appreciate the aesthetic qualities.
I just don't get it, and never have.
But more years than I care to count of exposure to the
electro music hammered out on clubs and compilation CDs has given me a
framework on which to judge, and repeated (initially forced) listenings have
convinced me this is a genuinely good compilation.
The first cab off the rank is RED KERB KISS, a fairly
full-on slice of electronica which should, ultimately, help you decide if this
CD is for you. There's melody, programming and sequencing, and you can tell
thought has gone into the track. It does all the bleeping and blooping its
supposed to, and a few things it isn't to make something quite listenable.
BIO MEKANIK's "Embrace The Machine" follows. Perhaps a
reaction to Alien Sex Fiend's 'Ignore The Machine?' I'm not sure, but skin me
alive and pickle me in a jar if that's not a Babylon 5 sample. This is faster
than their Dark Eyed And Starry They Were Volume 2 entry, while picking up the
thematic baton from Red Kerb Kiss.
ANUBUS COMPLEX is dark electronica from the first note, but
it transfers to repetitive beats mixed with a few eerie sounds, silence and
distortion follow making this not the kind of thing you'll be humming down the
CAMBION is the ambient project of Aaron (formerly the bass
player with Heratech). "Odic Fluid (Mellow Mix") is extremely laid back and
reminds me of some of Aphex Twin (and the like) which I've heard on various
late night music radio shows.
Perth's most likely Industrial duo [CELL 7] popped up on
DE&STW2 with the very industrial sounding "Red," but here "The Second Man"
harkens to what I assume is their techno/trance side. If it were an album track
I'd designate it 'filler' status, but they have made an attempt to play with
sounds which is always nice.
LETHE is probably one of my favorite of the
techno-influenced tracks, and features the only female hand on the whole
compilation. In an odd way it reminds me of a jazzy Shinjuku Thief, but that
may be the flute noises distracting me.
FATE RAZOR - King Circuit - Formerly Crimson Boy, this is
one of the few tracks which makes attempts to straddle between basic techno and
the tenants of industrial. It fits in nicely with the evolution of this band,
but it is entirely too short at just 2 minutes.
AUDIO CEPHLON was just one of the tracks I could never get
my head around, it was, if you'll forgive the awful spelling, far too "phat and
funkee" for me.
There's certainly a touch of the medieval in MIDDLE
CHAMBER's self titled track, so if you haven't been convinced by now that there
is some (albeit under utilized) promise in the electronic genre - this will do
it for you. Less swirly and girly than Projekt stuff, and more robust than Dead
Can Dance (if they were 100 per cent electronic), Middle Chamber manages to
sound unique. More please.
As I understand it, HOGANS ANTI-HEROES actually took lessons
in making electronic music. Again, they suffer from the discrimination I bring
to things electronic, it is simply too techno for my palate, but it is saved
from being completely unenjoyable by moments of piano to briefly break up the
Yet another alumni from Dark Eyed 2, AEON's "Stasis" is more
electronic and beat-oriented than their earlier (and darker) outing ("Kether").
It continues the theme of repetitive bleeps and breaks, with a few samples
and/or sound bytes thrown into the mix.
Less in the vein of dance-oriented music is the darker and
ethereal sound of SYNTHETIC, which mixes in some voices (rare on the CD) which
some slabs of white noise and some feedback and some growled vocals one might
expect to find on a Cold Meat Industry record.
I may never give myself over to the techno side of the
force, but I'll at least have an inkling why others do. There's talk of a
second compilation, and if there is I'll plonk down my $15 for one.
If you'd like to get a copy, and can't get one at your local
record shop, then e-mailing Tremere@iinet.net.au would be the thing to do.