Setup - Review
Well we finally have the follow-up album to the highly acclaimed work Installed from this international collaberation of synthpop artists with the music created by DJ Ram. For synthpop fans that are not familiar with this project, it's similar to a compilation of some of the best synthpop artists around, but has the common thread and style in the actual music through a single creator. The disc comes in a regular and limited edition version, the regular album is what is reviewed here and presented on the Gothic Paradise radio shows including 13 excellent new tracks.
I was very pleased with the album Installed and so I was looking forward to this release for a while. The selection of artists presented is excellent to say the least and at least as good as the previous roster. Starting it all off is Darrin Huss from Psyche on vocals on the track "My Preservation". I was extremely impressed with this piece with it's haunting trance-like style that fits perfectly in with the Darrin's vocal style as if DJ Ram were an integral part of that band from day one. Then it's just one excellent piece right after another with favorites basically ranging through all of the first eight tracks. Regular visitors to Gothic Paradise will recognize and understand why favorite tracks include vocalists from Iris, Rename, Colony 5 and Distain!. Though it's not entirely up to the vocalists as the music on all of these tracks are really moving and catchy in many different ways. On the flipside, while Tom Shear is another favorite artist with his deep vocals and fast-paced music from Assemblage 23, but the track he lends his vocals to on this piece is a choppy, break-beat mess... though in the end it does somehow sound OK, but not a favorite on the album.
As we start to reach the end of the album we're graced with an instrumental piece "Apollo-Soyuz" which shows how the electronic DJ can whip together a moving and dynamic track. The pieces that are left lack the feeling and power of the previous tracks and I can't even listen to "In A Hour From Now" in it's entirety as the lyrics are too much like a rap song. But the final track is a nice finale to the album using tempo and intensity to it's fullest potential building and fading and featuring the members from Distain!, another favorite synthpop act that fans will certainly recognize.
That wraps up the album and I think that most listeners and fans will really be pleased with this release. I know I am and it will easily take it's place beside Installed as a prominent item in my collection.
Label: A Different Drum