The duo of Kyoko Baertsoen and Walter Wilhorst officially formed Lunascape
in Belgium in 1997. Their history goes back several years to 1993 when they first met. But it wasn't until 1997 after Kyoko finished touring as the lead singer for Hooverphonic
that they formed Lunascape
During these few short years they released a billboard hit single "Tears From The Moon", released two full-length albums and have two songs included in two Imax movies.
After their success thus far overseas in Europe, 2005 marks a new chapter in the history of this band as they license some releases to Dancing Ferret Discs
in N. America. The first release and exposure to this audience was in the form of their popular new single "Mindstalking" featuring a video of the same and various remixes. This was followed closely by a compilation album including tracks from the previous two albums and the Imax tracks and previously mentioned singles. The initial reactions were very positive. This leads us to early 2008 when the next grea album titled Innerside
is released including a special double-disc limited edition version featuring other unreleased tracks. The band continues to grow in popularity with many great opportunities to explore and further develop their talents and opportunities.
The sound of this duo is a mix of ethereal and trip hop with traces of various pop styles. The most notable comparison that can be drawn is with Kyoko's smooth vocals to that of Sinead O'Connor
and Delores O'Riarden
. Fans of these and female-fronted trip hop bands will most likely enjoy the works from this group.
Innerside - Review
This is the latest work from this talented duo which is easily recognizable yet innovative and fresh.
Once again it comes packaged with beautiful artwork, song lyrics and band photo. On the regular edition (reviewed here) there are a dozen stunning new tracks while the limited edition contains an extra disc of another ten pieces.
We pick right back up where we left off with their previous works on this disc with the dark and moody grooves with a beautiful ethereal overlay featuring the Kyoko's smooth vocals. The full landscape of sounds feature a grooving bassline on all tracks, whether downtempo or upbeat while the percussion drives it all along. "Outside" kicks off the album and sets the tone for the overall style with these features as well as some smooth electronics to provide a great backdrop. Guitars kick in on several other tracks for a slight edge or just to add a little more somber moods such as in "Surrender" amongst others. The album moves along in this fashion as a full body of work of nice pieces but sandwiched between two stellar tracks. While the first piece has that smooth and moving groove, the finale "Shimmering Sun" is an excellent ethereal piece, still maintaining that smooth bass, percussion and symphonic backdrop.
The more I listen to this album the more I enjoy it. After having described the overall body and moods of the album, it's hard to say much more than that. There are a few favorites for the most likely favorite styles of readers here, which lean to the gothic and ethereal genres more than the dreampop and trip-hop. These include the already mentioned "Outside" and "Shimmering Sun", the brilliant start and finish to the album. In addition to these, the darker ambience of "Into the Core" is nice along with the somber "Truth or Dare" and even the somewhat catchy pieces "Electro Love" and "Chemical Lingo" continue to catch my attention.
Overall we have another outstanding work here that fans should really enjoy. While we only review the single disc edition, based on track previews that are available, picking up the limited edition is a nice addition to any serious fan's collection.
Reminiscence - Review
After a somewhat disappointing collection of remixes of "Mindstalking", I finally got my hands on this full-length album.
It contains an excellent selection of tracks from previous European releases and builds on the moody ethereal and smooth trip hop electronic sounds. Since this is a collection of all original tracks, there aren't any distracting remixes to deal with and so all you have is this duo's excellent sound in the form of a dozen tracks and two extra videos.
As I stated in my review of the "Mindstalking" single, this track is a great addition to this album and forms a sort of core sound for this band. The darker electronic style with Kyoko's melancholy vocals are a nice touch that form the prominent mood over all. This remains throughout much of the album even though it's a sort of compilation of previous works. "Praise Me" picks up the pace a bit and adds more of an edge and is probably one of the most club-friendly tracks on the album besides the groovy "Mindstalking". Then we come to the hit single "Tears From the Moon" with it's slow downtempo style. Those that enjoy the smooth ethereal sounds from Projekt
bands should enjoy this and many other selections of similar style.
The remaining tracks start to span and cross more genres mixing various styles and languages. The inclusion of the Imax track "Lane Navachi" from Haunted Castle 3D
is a nice treat for the medieval fans. This and "Yairo" have quickly become favorites of mine with this style that drifts away from trip hop back in time. However, for the electronica and trip hop fans there are still plenty of selections to enjoy on this album including "Your Shadow" and "Carolyn" which should be favorites within this genre.
Overall this album comes together nicely and recovers fromt he slightly disappointing remixes of the Mindstalking
Mindstalking - Review
This was my first exposure to Lunascape
and since I had been hearing great things about this duo, I was looking forward to hearing what they were all about.
The was treated by the "single edit" which is most like the album version and I was pleased to not be disappointed. However, I struggle with a lot of singles when the material presented is the same song remixed a dozen different ways. By the time I was finished listening to the disc in it's entirety, I was getting tired of this song.
The track itself isn't bad, in fact as I noted earlier I was pleased with what I heard. What was disappointing was the number of repeated remixes. It's definitely not something meant to be listened to all in one sitting, but for fans to pick and choose their favorite mix from and just listen to that.
If you do pick individual remixes, you'll probably find some that you'll enjoy no matter your preferred style of music. The "single edit" has that smooth, moody groove to it that I really enjoy in ethereal, female-fronted electronica and trip hop. The fast dub and funky mixes I'll leave to those that are more into the techno and pop sounds. Tapping the Vein
provides probably the next best mixes for those into the darker ethereal and goth genres of music. There are eight mixes total on this disc of this one track, so there is plenty to choose from.
The extra tracks are just remixes of tracks also available on other albums. Both of these "Yairo" and "Lane Navachi", are excellent tracks with that sort of celtic style and the remixes are well done, remaining true to the original sound adding just a bit of variation.
The real treat for those that haven't picked up the Reminiscence
album is the video clip. This is a well done and enjoyable video bringing to life this excellent track.
In summary, the single track itself is excellent, but many of the remixes leave much to be desired and the video clip is a real treat.
Label: Noir Records