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Mark Asquith "Marco" (London)
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Scorpio Rising
Scorpio Rising
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 4.84

10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Repeto Sessions, 7 Feb 2003
This review is from: Scorpio Rising (Audio CD)
Death in Vegas' first album slouched broodily in the 'best album of the year/1990's/1890's/ever' bar. It was badly lit and little known, but anyone who offered it a drink soon realised it had full member status. Few stayed to chat, as 'Dead Elvis' became morose after its second tequila, and those who did were found comatose and alone by the end of the night.
Really, it was quite good.
Listen to the first three songs on Dead Elvis and you will suspect a band of endless variety, consumate musical knowledge and a shape shifting sound, layering organ riffs, husky guitars and jubilant celebration over a taut central theme. The latter half of the album drifts off into skeins of blurred conciousness, only to come sharply back into focus at the end. It was more than music, it was an attitude to life.
Then they slipped, but not far enough to write them off as a one album band.
The title of their second album 'The Continuo Sessions' is emblematic of what is good and bad about DIV: They thrive on repetition.
Scorpio Rising has as many different musical styles as Dead Elvis (it even takes on Chinese opera in 'Killing Smile'- it fails, but you love them for trying), that is not the repetition I mean. The songs themselves are repetitive: they take one theme or bass sequence and re-iterate it. Although most dance music does the same, dance/ambient/techno productions leave much more space around their themes so you do not notice the repetition so much. DIV are much tighter and closer to a traditional band structure so it stands out more.
When this works, yes it really, really works, but when it is bad, it is boring. The standout best example of this is 'Your hands around my throat' which starts a two note melody line, only to trip you up with an unexpected, counterpoint rhythm. This then carries the whole song, with its darkly S&M lyric (reminiscent of the murderous intent in their previous Aisha). It is this sparse, unindulgent yet unhinged force that is great about DIV. The worst example of this repetition is one of the later tracks - It is so dull (four-ever chord sequence) i cannot remember which, but a good proxy are the Liam Gallagher/Paul Weller contributions. It is at these moments that you suddenly feel conned - 'wait a minuite is this stale indie guitar rock i've been listening to all this time?'
Death in Vegas are not a stale indie band, they are schizophrenic geniuses capable of building visceral tornadoes of sound. However when they lose their discipline they are like an english rainstorm - all bluster.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2011 8:29 PM BST


Dubmission, Vol. 2: Remixes
Dubmission, Vol. 2: Remixes
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dub escapes the seventies, 7 Feb 2003
I have always liked dub Reggae, my only problem being the faintly ludicrous experiments it liked to go on half way through an excellent tune. A lot of this is probably due to the founder prophet Lee Perry's insane whims: he burnt down his Jamaican studio for no apparant reason, the very one where dub reggae grew up and Bob Marley was produced.
The roots of modern dance music were dub reggae: it can be seen through ska, punk, the less synthed up parts of the eighties and most of the nineties (drum n' bass, Massive Attack, any music demanding large reverberating bass bins and 'sonic explorations'). There remains a strong dub reggae scene, with figureheads such as Jah Shaka or Lee Perry still peddling strange, creative and addictive sounds.
This compilation is the best, most enjoyable dub i have come across. And crucially it has transformed itself, evolving alongside many of the forms it has influenced. There is a drum and bass type track towards the end which spells out unmistakably the debt owed by many of today's DJ's. The beautifully deep rainbow of bass sounds leaves a few floating horn notes or echoing vocals floating on its surface, but is primarily occupied with the huge space it opens in the listener's subconcious. Dub was traditionally innovative with technology, exploiting the limited 70's 8 tracks and equipment in a similar way to Pink Floyd. This technological innovation got lost somewhere along the way and the form became over nostalgic. Dubmission exploits modern production techniques to get more out of your sound system than almost any other genre.
Many of these tracks have been remixed twice or even three times over. Burning Spear's classic 'Slavery days' has the fractured vocals echoing over the decades, but the pool of music surrounding it is utterly modern. A disciplined, warm and much needed re-interpretation of a seminal genre, and a much richer alternative to many glossy 'chill-out' albums that only last a few listens.


Dubmission, Vol. 2: Remixes
Dubmission, Vol. 2: Remixes
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Dub escapes the seventies, 7 Feb 2003
I have always liked dub Reggae, my only problem being the faintly ludicrous experiments it liked to go on half way through an excellent tune. A lot of this is probably due to the founder prophet Lee Perry's insane whims: he burnt down his Jamaican studio for no apparant reason, the very one where dub reggae grew up and Bob Marley was produced.
The roots of modern dance music were dub reggae: it can be seen through ska, punk, the less synthed up parts of the eighties and most of the nineties (drum n' bass, Massive Attack, any music demanding large reverberating bass bins and 'sonic explorations'). There remains a strong dub reggae scene, with figureheads such as Jah Shaka or Lee Perry still peddling strange, creative and addictive sounds.
This compilation is the best, most enjoyable dub i have come across. And crucially it has transformed itself, evolving alongside many of the forms it has influenced. There is a drum and bass type track towards the end which spells out unmistakably the debt owed by many of today's DJ's. The beautifully deep rainbow of bass sounds leaves a few floating horn notes or echoing vocals floating on its surface, but is primarily occupied with the huge space it opens in the listener's subconcious. Dub was traditionally innovative with technology, exploiting the limited 70's 8 tracks and equipment in a similar way to Pink Floyd. This technological innovation got lost somewhere along the way and the form became over nostalgic. Dubmission exploits modern production techniques to get more out of your sound system than almost any other genre.
Many of these tracks have been remixed twice or even three times over. Burning Spear's classic 'Slavery days' has the fractured vocals echoing over the decades, but the pool of music surrounding it is utterly modern. A disciplined, warm and much needed re-interpretation of a seminal genre, and a much richer alternative to many glossy 'chill-out' albums that only last a few listens.


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