CD: Parasomnic PSRD004 / Mannequin Oddio Media [2005]

A Love Set To Music
This Is The Place Where The Dead Help The Living
A Valentine
All Yours
Tomorrow Romance
Wait Here
Goodnight, Princess
(And Sweet Dreams)

Although quite dark and droning, further framed with ambient type qualities, this is by no means standard dark ambient fair. Opening with ‘A love set to music’, static, random voices, and a fleeting melody filter through, giving the impression of someone scanning late night radio band width. Whilst other musical realms are explored throughout the album, it is this introductory late night ambience that permeates much of the album. Likewise with the album seeming to be constructed via a cut a paste method, it is apparent that a pastiche of samples (including snippets of classical music), are combined and manipulated alongside female vocals that were recorded specifically for the album.

The tensile droning atmosphere of ‘This is the place where the dead help the living’ introduces a more accessible musical aesthetic with its beat laden trip hop programming. ‘All Yours’ is additionally a highly commendable piece of droning classical melodies and electronic beats, that reminds slightly of Beefcake’s sound. The looped and layers female vocals of ‘True Romance’ sweep over a dense undercurrent to give an uplifting if not melancholic tinged sound to otherwise a bleak droning soundscape.

One criticism to raise though: at 75 minutes in length, this album is far too long. Not all tracks seem to hit their intended mark and as with fillers on any album, are not essential to an album’s overall direction and flow. To my mind with some careful culling, a shorter, clearly focused and of course more engaging album would have been achieved (or isn’t that what CD burners & ipod’s were invented for – to allow overly critical reviewers to put on their producers hat?!).

Last comment would have to relate to the cover, where initially I found it a touch misleading. With its rather uninspired black and white imagery it gave the impression that it might be some awful pretentious ethereal darkwave or gothic type musings. Luckily I did not judge the album by its cover, as they say.


[Anaphylaxis] / [Parasomnic] / [Mannequin Oddio]

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