Volume 92, Issue 74
Tuesday, February 9, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Evil toys with techno while Leeb lives
FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY, BILL LEEB, FRIENDS AND COMPANY
When Bill Leeb started making music, it is doubtful he knew he would become one of the most influential musicians of this decade. Leeb is the man behind the industrial machine called Frontline Assembly, the dreamy Delerium and many other innovative musical projects.
Cryogenic Studios is Cleopatra Records' version of a Bill Leeb music sampler. The album is a great way to be introduced to Leeb's talent and contains tracks from five of Leeb's nine musical endeavours. The first two tracks are from Equinox, his trippy drum and bass project and are an excellent introduction to the projects' sound.
"Transmutation," one of the two Frontline Assembly tracks is also a treat. This song is the oldest one on the album and gives the listener a chance to hear how the group sounded in their beginning.
The two Delerium tracks can only be described as beautiful. Delerium, the most well-known project Leeb has created so far, has developed a reputation for combining catchy dance rhythms with dreamy programming and sampling from various ethnic groups. With the relaxing chanting in "Desert" the listener will be relaxed and smiling within seconds.
The two tracks from Leeb's techno project, Pro>Tech, are reminiscent of work done by the Chemical Brothers. Although Leeb uses samples similar to those used by the coveted techno gods, he finds a way to use them in his own unique fashion.
While most of the credit for Cryogenic Studios has been given to Bill Leeb, he has also worked with well knowns in the industry, such as Michael Balch, Rhys Fulber (Cubanate, Fear Factory) and his current partner Chris Peterson.
This album is a must have for the avid collector of FLA albums and fans of electronic music ranging from drum and bass to ambient and industrial. Cryogenic Studios is an excellent introduction to one of Canada's premier musicians.
The duo of Volker Lutz and Thorsten Brenda, also known as Evils Toy, have released five albums to date. With their new album, Angels Only!, Evils Toy explore a different path and take a more techno approach to songwriting. This difference in style is a great change in pace from their previous work, allowing for the duo to create an original sound.
With more musicians today adjusting their music for a mainstream audience, it is easy to assume the same of Evils Toy. After a single listen, it is obvious the changes were not done to expand their audience, but rather their creativity.
The album lacks the energy and aggression of their past industrial albums such as Illusion and Human Refuse, but the techno ambiance Angels Only! does possess is an approachable rave sound. Songs like "Angels Only!-above" and the heavy bass and piano-synth driven "Forever?!" have a stronger techno sound than the others, but it's still possible to mistake the whole album for a techno one.
Although the album is a change in style for Evils Toy, Angels Only! contains some of their best songs to date. Tracks like "Transparent Frequencies" and "Back on Earth" are sure to win over old and new fans with catchy programming, sampling and deep, dark vocals which signify their unique sound.
Angels Only! has a few tracks which are not on the same level as the others. As well, "A Girl Called Bitch" seems to lack any of the intensity or rhythms of a solid industrial song, whereas "Contact" is a boring instrumental which never seems to pick up.
Despite the change in style and the aforementioned weaknesses, this album is still an excellent pick which exemplifies the unique style typical of Evils Toy.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999