NIKO SKORPIO: ESCAPE FROM HEAVEN
CD: Some Place Else SPECD06036 [2006]


Dawn : the Gathering of Vultures
Fall of Fame
Escape from Heaven
Downfall of the Absolutes
O
No Longer Still
Shugal
Dudael, parts 1-3
Opus Desolatio
A Chasm in the Desert
The Psychogeometry of Dispersion
Towards Distant 93

Niko Skorpio (or Niko Sirkia) is the man behind the Finnish Some Place Else record label. A label, it must be said, with some rather intriguing artists and releases already under its belt. He's an artist whose been on the scene in various guises since 1990... or thereabouts... and his later music is best described as a mixture of post Industrial / experimental music. Once part of This Empty Flow (whose release is reviewed elsewhere - read here) and also with Thergothon, Reptiljan, A/H and Cold Once Turning Dust amongst other projects. A devotee of Throbbing Gristle, Coil and PTV, he wears these musical influences with pride whilst adding his own bit of weirdness into the mix.

"Escape from Heaven" covers the period 2000 - 2005 and features 9 tracks of very diverse music. Therein the problem slightly manifests itself. If variety be the spice of life then "Escape from Heaven" is 16 jars of Schwartz's finest. I've been raking my brains trying to think of a recent release that covers so many genres (forgetting about compilations of course) within one recording and can't come up with one. On "Escape from Heaven" you'll hear the following: rhythmic guitar rock, drone works, dark ambience, experimental freak outs, touches of the avant-garde in playful mood, actual songs, post Industrial noise, some martial sounding bits and a few others which haven‚t been named yet. All of which, when looked at written down, seems like a fucking mess of the highest order. The funny thing (not in a "ha, ha" way), is that by being so diverse with his music the recording actually sits well and holds the interest. Any parts you don't like you can just skip over until you find a piece that suits. Which was probably, I would assume, the intention by Niko in the first place. Dip in. Enjoy. Dip back out again. Repeat as you feel. With 9 tracks there's bound to be something to tickle the old fancy. As they say.

Now comes the dreaded but. But... will anyone without a suitable musical palette tolerate these variations so easily? After all you would feel rather short changed in buying this only to find you only liked the guitar rock stuff. It doesn't matter one iota how good the other musical styles have been presented and played if you don't bloody like them in the first place. Which is a crying shame as the music Niko has released on here is very, very good. Exemplary in many cases. Lots of inventive touches that are never dull or routine. How many of you though would be willing to take on the more obscure aspects on "Escape from Heaven" is open to debate. Best leave it to the ones who are astute enough to enjoy music that veers into challenging mode at the drop of a hat.

This release was made just for people like us. People who have the knowing edge when it comes to music. People who can identify with what Niko has set out to achieve so admirably with this release. Best to leave it to the professionals after all. Us, in other words.

ANM

[Niko Skorpio] / [Some Place Else]

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