- Audio CD (28 April 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Different
- ASIN: B00151A6QQ
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Imagine a time when our inveterate need to compare became less important
than sitting back in our easiest chair and listening without prejudice.
Sometimes the smallest things can be the best.
Crystal Castles defy logic and design in delivering these
sixteen extraordinarily compact little pieces to our door.
Ms Glass and Mr Kath are to be congratulated for both their vision
and economy in keeping this album tightly focussed and contained.
The buoyant rhythms are lovably naive, deceptively simple and thoroughly intriguing.
Sometimes delicate, sometimes blisteringly violent . Always interesting.
The vocal arrangements are elusive, ambiguous and strangely affecting.
Despite it's willful perversity there is, nonetheless, a finely honed pop
sensibility running all the way through the project like a golden seam.
Highlights include the joyful bouncy castle wonder that is 'Courtship Dating';
the bizarrely moving 'Knights'; the cheeky duck and bleep of 'Air War' and
the gently rolling wizardry of 'Magic Spells'.
In short, there is enough on here to make a very good 10 track album but unfortunately it outstays its welcome.
brilliant a fantastic mix of crazy beats and electronic wizardry
compared with some of the stuff thats out there this group should be massive
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such a great album. Sounds great on vinyl and the artwork looks fab.Published 13 months ago by Char
Great album, love every song, very good price and it came one day earlier than i expected, a must buy.Published on 18 May 2013 by Jake Walker
The Castles are great and this is a good place to get to know them. However, iii is much superior.Published on 24 Dec. 2012 by Barry Cross
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 morePublished on 22 July 2011 by Thomas H-M
Came across a few tracks on Youtube recently, and loved them so much I bought 2 albums :)Published on 19 Aug. 2010 by Amazon Customer