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Crystal Castles [VINYL]

Crystal Castles Vinyl
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: 18.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
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Frequently Bought Together

Crystal Castles [VINYL] + Crystal Castles [II] + (III)
Price For All Three: 29.07

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  • Crystal Castles [II] 5.95
  • (III) 5.00

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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (5 May 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Different
  • ASIN: B0015XQGMW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,177 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Let's call it electro-stentialism, or nouveu nihilism - that brand of desolate dance music that eschews pure hedonism in favour of a bleak wail into the abyss. Black Lips, Hearts Revolution; all that screechy 8-bit electro blah. Cynics might align Crystal Castles with this dark-hued, hipster scene. In truth, Crystal Castles have nothing to do with fashion. Their power lies in their ability to conjure visceral emotion from seemingly inhuman noise - namely Ethan Kath's digital distortions writhing under Alice Glass's agonised vocals.

Yes they're bleak, but this runs far beyond an ambition to be achingly 'now'. Crystal Castles, for all their associations with the Klaxons and Skins, transcend zeitgeist. To listen to this debut album is to be cast adrift in a vortex of deafening pain without a safety net. The sound they create on tracks like 'Vanished' - as lyrics skip by in a elliptical burble of indistinct enunciations - encapsulate the feeling of being young and alive in 2008. The doubt, the fear, the itchy self-destruct trigger finger; the feeling you could do anything in the world, but that nothing would ultimately mean anything. Crystal Castles simultaneously reject and embody Generation Empty Gesture and fire out a cacophony of existential impotence.

While their music may sound robotically callous, make no mistake about it - this electro escape hatch sends you into a turbulent atmosphere of profoundly human emotion. Mostly gnawing emptiness. A blast of famed studio experiment, Alice Practice, or the resolutely unintelligible Xxzxzcuzx Me prove that Crystal Castles are honouring nothing meaningful. It's a stark here and now, and you can forget that fuzzy embrace of musical heritage too. As instrumental splurge, 1991, demonstrates; this is the soundtrack for 20-something chaos seekers who grew up playing Ataris rather than listening to Kraftwerk.

Weilding sonic light and shade, tracks like Magic Spells downshift to mellow, ambient meloncholy. It's a loaded, chilled epic clocking in at 6 minutes, barely able to power its way through a lethargic dose of comedown hugs. With such sublime depth on offer, Crystal Castles marks a nuanced emotional territory that dance music never covered before. --Sophie Hammer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not quite what I was expecting! 4 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
I did enjoy this album, but I have to be honest, it wasn't quite what I was expecting! After reading other reviews and some interviews with the band (who seem VERRRY weird and subversive!) I was expecting something a lot edgier, more challenging and difficult. And while there is the occasional strange wig-out and the vocals are often quite harsh and dischordant, large parts of the album are fairly conventional melodic electronica, and really quite gentle at that, you could almost say ambient! In fact, I was sometimes reminded of Aphex Twin's 'Selected Ambient Works Volume 1', or of Boards of Canada during their more upbeat, melodic moments - especially because of their similar use of vocal samples. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all, just, as I said, not quite what I was expecting!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discordant electronica 13 April 2008
Format:Audio CD
I have been waiting for this album for a while since the track "Air War" was included on a Rough Trade compilation from a couple of years ago. The Toronto duo have turned out a fascinating clutch of songs which reminds one of the best of leftfield electronica of the past thirty years. There are scrappy, distorted tracks such as "Alice Practice" that evokes a saturday afternoon in an amusement arcade and then there are smooth, haunting recordings such as the six minute "Magic Spells" and the single "Crimewave". Definitely a band to take notice of.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, fine, not bad. But- 30 Jan 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is a curious album. On the whole it's got some reasonably good light housey/electro tunes, with a distinctive French disco influence. It's not a revolution in music, it won't blow your mind and make you re-consider everything you know to be music - but it's not bad as background music. If someone had recorded this in 2005, it might have been brilliant.

Unfortunately, it seems that an insane woman (possibly an ex, she seems very angry) has broken into the studio at nights and screamed over a few of the songs. Whether the three songs affected were left in by accident as nobody at the record company noticed, or they were included for some sort of post-something art expression, I'm not sure. Either way, if you delete the mp3s of the songs the album becomes a surprisingly bearable listen.

Also, someone seems to have mistakenly added a bit of DFA1979 to the end of the first song, but it sounds good nonetheless.

How curious indeed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for a while but far too long 7 Dec 2013
Format:Audio CD
Crystal Castles' music is reminiscent of old 8 bit computer game music punctuated by vocals that are in equal parts angry and intense, and soft and melodic. The first 6 tracks play out really well, changing pace and tone with each track. Sadly however this album is far too long and 8 tracks follow that are mere filler and I begin to feel as if they have run out of ideas. Then follows track 15 which is a brighter and more in keeping with the first part of the album. Finally comes track 16 which is a welcome change and for the first time we hear some soft guitar.

In short, there is enough on here to make a very good 10 track album but unfortunately it outstays its welcome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album 18 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great album, love every song, very good price and it came one day earlier than i expected, a must buy.
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Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
totally love this album went straight out and got the other two
brilliant a fantastic mix of crazy beats and electronic wizardry
compared with some of the stuff thats out there this group should be massive
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5.0 out of 5 stars One to tap your feet to 24 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Castles are great and this is a good place to get to know them. However, iii is much superior.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album 19 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD
Came across a few tracks on Youtube recently, and loved them so much I bought 2 albums :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Desolate, Beautiful
I bought this after falling in love with courtship dating and becoming completely captivated by the wonderful alice glass and it did not disappoint. Read more
Published on 22 July 2011 by Julia Havard
1.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Castles
Saw them on Jools Holland one evening and quite liked - however this album is rubbish.
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by R. Hoodless
3.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Castles from She-Ra?
Just thought I'd note that the blurb says they're named after the She-Ra cartoon? I'd have thought the 80's videogame "Crystal Castles" would have been a more likely source, given... Read more
Published on 29 April 2010 by E. Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Furious Thrashings
Like the sweet-but-sick sounds of Towers of Asia, the Toronto boy-girl duo of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass create everything from adolescent plastic pop suitable for Dance Dance... Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2010 by Faux
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and enjoyable dance collection
I first heard about Crystal Castles through brilliant teenage drama Skins where after a traumatic incident involving one of the character's fathers, he was caught up in an... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2010 by Stampy
5.0 out of 5 stars replayability
It's loud, crunchy electronic music with emotional highlights. Not all the tracks are playable for a party but a few are just fantastic (Vanished, Air War, Good Times) and the... Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2010 by M. Monaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need To Buy This Album!
Crystal Castles are a two piece, male/female electronica band originating from Toronto, Canada. This band has changed the electronic Indie genre for the better. Read more
Published on 1 May 2009 by D. Cunliffe
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