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kaRIN

Thursday, January 02, 1997

Distort Reviews

AIDING & ABETTING

Remixes and a host of covers. Collide is one of those bands that tries very hard, either succeeding spectacularly or failing in the worst possible way. The remixes here aren't uniformly as adventurous or ambitious as the band itself, but many do well. I challenge you to recognize Son of a PreacherMan (coming soon to one of the stranger tributes I've encountered, remakes of songs from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack). Whip It is much easier to identify, and many of you probably heard it on the Newer Wave compilation. The cover of Obsession (Siouxsie, not Animotion) lies somewhere in-between. Compelling listening, if nothing else. Hit-and-miss, as all remix projects are, but with enough nuggets to satisfy fans. Look for a new album next year. That's when Collide really has to come through.

ALTERNATIVE PRESS #115

Though it pales in comparison to a stiff Kamikaze, the music of Collide, mixed and shaken, is intoxicating. This gothic-industrial duo can do no wrong. Whether they're discharging spooky lullabies, napalm cyber-metal orerotic technotica, Collide are holding a high place among the industrial elite. This disc of dubwise remixes gives little to expectation. What lurks behind each measure? Sheets of divine female crooning? Jerking guitarriffs? Mesmerizing dance hooks? Ghostly keyboard chimes? How about all four? The industrial community could use more remixes like those on Distort. Heads up to fans of melodic goth stalwarts Switchblade Symphony and anyone desiring inventive, top-shelf cyber-club music. Damn. 5 out of 5 rating. - Aaron Johnston

CMJ Issue 549

Goth/darkwave outfit Collide has just released Distort, a 14-track disc featuring remixes, cover songs, and one new track. Darker and more sinister before, standouts include the band's covers of Whip It, Son of a Preacher Man and Siouxsie & the Banshees' Obsession.

CULTURE SHOCK #5

We've never gotten a chance to cover this band before, and I'm stumped as to why. Statik, the man behind Collide's machines is a veritable alchemist of electronic sound, conjuring unknown breeds of structured chaos for the next millennium, and kaRIN's sultry ethereal voice is the most unexpectedly perfect fabrication taming Statik's creations. Distort is not the new Collide album. Instead, it's the monolithic remix album we've been hearing about for months. 14 tracks in all, 10 of them are remixes by other artists, as well as Statik himself. A few of the choices of remixers come as no surprise, like Alien Faktor and SMP, or even Waiting for God and Idiot Stare. The end products of these are really not all that surprising, with the exception of Alien Faktor's Abstract Dub Fuck Mix of Violet's Dance. This is really the most innovative work Tom Muschitz has ever done. The best mixes are provided by Das Ich, whose darkwave style mix is of course breathtaking, THC's deranged goa techno mix is simply brilliant, and Crocodile Shop's eclectic electro techno mix is par for their course. The three cover songs are all as excellent as Collide's own material. The one new track, Fear No Evil, shows the duo keeping up their high standards, and gives us a taste of what's in store for the new album. Distort is further evidence that Collide is on the cutting edge of modern electronica. With just one full-length release, they've garnished legions of fans, and gained the utmost respect of their peers. Bravo! (6 out of 6 rating)

D.L.K. #4

A very long full length album by another band coming from the realm of female vocals with electronica music. It is the aggro-ethereal coalition better known as Collide, who previously released a CD and a CDS on Re-Constriction and on the German label Offbeat. Statik, the musical mind of the couple is quite well-known due to his work as a musician, audio-for-video expert, remixer, sound designer or producer with Tool, Prince, Diatribe, Love & Rockets, Michael Jackson, Christ Analogue, Marvin Gaye, Trevor Horn, B-52's, Machines of Loving Grace, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leonard Cohen and Waiting For God. On the other hand the girl, kaRIN, provides all the songs with first-rate ethereal throatwork creating dainty and delicate voicescape atmospheres as well as melodic more easy to listen to lines. But let's come to Distort. Distort is a collection of ten remixes, three cover songs, and a new track; respectively elaborated bykey members of Idiot Stare, Spirits In Sin, Das Ich, Crocodile Shop, T.H.C., SMP and Statik himself; and (covers) coming from the original repertoire of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Devo. As you will discover, Distort is a peculiar piece of work. It is something very interesting and particular due to the unusual yet winning matching of hard dance, techno, ebm, noiztronics and electronica with such a beautiful female voice refusing every sort of radical treatments (intend this as no distortion etc) and laying over all the songs a dense and truly heavenly soft veil of tuneful taste.

EFFIGY Vol.2.1

Although not as good as Collide's work in and of itself, this collection of remixes (and cover songs) will satisfy your urge to hear more Collide until the next release. The amazing combination of kaRIN's vocal work with Statik's storming synth has been groundbreaking in this genre. Remixes by Alien Faktor, Waiting For God, Crocodile Shop, Regenerator, Idiot Stare, SMP, Das Ich, Spirits in Sin, and Statik himself, take Collide songs andwarp and distort until they are almost new songs. Covers of Devo's Whip It and Siouxsie's Obsession will bring a smile to your lips and lump in your throat. Wow, these guys are just amazing. If our feature on Collide in issue 3 did not entice you to rush out and buy their first album, Beneath The Skin, perhaps giving this a 4.5 out of 5 will. - KC

THE INDUSTRIAL BIBLE

The semi gothic, semi electronic band known as Collide has made quite a name for themselves over the past two years. With music akin to modern electro and vocals likening to wispy goth, Collide have managed to merge together two separate musical entities. Distort is a 14 track CD featuring numerous remixes from their debut, as well as a pair of cover tunes (Whip It and Son of a Preacher Man), and one new track, Obsession. I was glad to see that this US release only borrowed one track from Collide's Euro MCD, Skin. That particular mix for Beneath the Skin, reworked by Das Ich, was one of the highlights on the Euro release and still retains its integrity and dark atmosphere. Other remixers on Distort include Spirits of Sin with their Egypt Mix of Falling Up, Alien Faktor with his Abstract Dub Fuck mixof Violet's Dance, Waiting For God and their Full Moon Version of Falling Up, Crocodile Shop with their Pitched Version of Black, and SMP's rhythm heavy, percussion strong mix of Strange. The oddest of these mixes comesfrom Tom Muschitz (a.k.a. Alien Faktor.) He takes Violet's Dance and really turns it around, utilizing only small vocals snippets, a throbbing rhythm line, and deep bass sounds. It's unfortunate that this is also the shortest mix, clocking it ant just under the 2 minute mark. Regenerator rework the same track, adding a certain airy feeling to kaRIN's vocals and dividing the piece into two separate atmospheres. During the chorus, this piece has a full electro feel, but during the refrains it loses the electronic elements and sounds like unadulterated goth. This CD should hold fans over until some new material surfaces, which hopefully won't be for too long.

IMPLOSION

Now this disk I fell in love with immediately. It has everything I like in goth-industrial music: hard, aggressive rhythms with beautiful female vocals. kaRIN's vocals have a sinister beauty I liken to Toni Halliday of Curve on some songs and a lot like Siouxsie on many others. Shit, they even cover Siouxsie's Obsession. They also do a killer cover of Devo's Whip It. There are a number of remixes on here. Some, such as the Waiting For Godremix of Falling Up work very well giving a very nice heavy industrial treatment. Overall, an excellent disk. Highly recommended. - David G. Barnett

INK 19 ON-LINE

I am a sucker for the female voice. There has always been something invigorating and seductive about the juxtaposition of femininity and harshness. Distort is a collection of remixes and covers for those awaiting Collide's follow-up coming out next year. Statik, who is credited with the music aspect of Collide, has worked with many of my favorite musicians, spanning from Tool and Machines of Loving Grace to Love and Rockets and Leonard Cohen. But within the confines of Collide, the music is original and seductive. Distort offers a look from the remixer's mind into the eye of talent. Every track offers liquid pleasures from the organic styled synths to the intriguing sexual voice. - Drew West

INK 19

Collide is the best of two worlds: dancefloor prowess coupled with lyrical grace. Distort, their remix CD, is a way-station between Collide's excellent debut Beneath The Skin and its anticipated follow-up. Collide, in releasing their music to a half dozen remixers, have opened their own Pandora's box and let the mutations fall where they may. Luckily, the end result, while wild and varied, was consistently excellent. For example, gabber-geek George Sarah of T.H.C. weaves vocalist kaRIN's throatwork on Pandora's Box over slipbeats, while Idiot Stare's Chad Bishop blisters feet with his homicidally danceable reworking of Violet's Dance. In all, a great collection of remixes for a great band. - Sharon Maher

JESTER P&P

This CD is basically a remix CD containing a few tracks which were released on compilations and tributes exclusively. A perfect blend of haunting vocals and heavy darkfloor. Definitely one to get. The remixes do not take away from the originals which often is the case for Remixed CDs. An exceptional CD from an exceptional band. - St. Dave

MAGNET #33

"Dreamcore" duo Collide returns with Distort, the remix version of its highly acclaimed debut, Beneath The Skin. I'm not a huge fan of remixes, but some of the efforts here are worthwhile. Regenerator, Das Ich, and Waiting For God are among the contributors. Four bonus cuts - covers of Whip It, Son of a Preacher Man, and Siouxsie's Obsession, plus the original Fear No Evil - give fans a reason to nab this disc. - Bryan Reesman

MUSICIAN PHOTO JOURNAL Vol.2 Issue 1

This is the first taste of Collide I've had, and let me tell you, I was impressed. The combination of Statik's techno like beats, and kaRIN's beautiful "throat work" turned me on. This is the first dance, ambient, electronica with vocalizations that I've thoroughly enjoyed. Distort starts out with a dancish Pandora's Box and goes on to faster beats in covers of Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man and Devo's Whip It. In my opinion, they are far better renditions than the originals! Their cover of Siouxsie's Obsession is haunting and orgasmic. I'm looking forward to hearing this virtually unheard of band. Thank you Re-Constriction for bringing us to the next level.

OUTBURN

From track one this album will hook you and will not relinquish you until you have surrendered to it. The first sounds of kaRIN's siren voice will trigger a Pavlovian response of salivating and attacking anyone who mighttry and remove this disc from your stereo. Keyboard guru Statik takes on remixing five of the tracks without disappointment while other hands in the remix include Alien Factor, Das Ich, T.H.C., SMP, Regenerator, Waiting For God, and Alien Factor. Crocodile Shop's Mick Hale provides one of the best tracks with his mix of Black. Distort is an album that you will simply love forever thanks to kaRIN's inescapable vocals ranging from cooing whispers to smoky ethereal cries and just down right great music. The album provides diversity with the ambience of songs like Falling Up, Strange, and Deep and the beating thrust of Son of A Preacher Man, Whip It, Black and others, all a listener's tastes are provided for and blended unbelievably well. This isn't simply a remix album, and thank god for that. We are not offered four or five remixes of three tracks here. There are two versions Pandora's Box, Falling Up, and Violet's Dance but whoever put together the final order of this album was smart enough not to put them back to back. They were put far enough apart that while you'll realize you've heard it before you won't be thinking "Not this song again." Distort is offered as an appetizer to tide us over for Collide's album due out next year some time and if this is a snack I can't wait for the main course. - Doc Benway

SONIC BOOM and VOLTAGE #5

Distort is the penultimate Collide remix album designed to satiate the media clamor for a new Collide release just a little longer. Unlike most remix albums which tend to concentrate on only the popular tracks from an album, Distort has more than a single remix of two tracks. This means that tracks like Black and Strange, which received little attention on the original release Beneath the Skin, get a chance to shine here. Of courseall of the various Collide compilation appearances and cover songs make their appearance as well including the Devo's Whip It, Siouxsie's Obsession, and from the Cyberpunk Fiction soundtrack Son of a Preacher Man. As luck would have it, the album is rounded out with a brand new track Fear No Evil which serves as an excellent indication of where Collide is heading in the future. Distort is certainly one of the best remix albums released in recent memory for not only the depth and extreme diversity of the remixes but for the track selection as well, making this record a definite must have.

STORMING THE BASE

Much anticipation was built up for this, and I think I was actually wanting just a Beneath The Skin remixCD - i.e.. Buy Skin, you dolt. The build up of Pandora's Box, remixed by Statik, is pretty amazing, with more and more things being pulled out of the box and added onto the song. The Spirits In Sin remix of Falling Up is one of my favorites, making it more sultry and surging. It's very minimal, but the open space leaves more room to hear kaRIN's voice. And never will that be a bad thing. And, stepping into the Beneath The Skin remix by Das Ich, we're treated to bass guitar. Gee, thanks! But when I heard the light saber-type sound, all was safe in Collideland. It's still the song. Crocodile Shop's remix of Black, I like, but I didn't find that it worked all that well with the vocals... but I liked the techno and electronics used throughout it. Deep, remixed by Regenerator, soothes me. Very slow and mild, it retains all the sound of the vocals and doesn't detract one bit from the sound. Very simply: Pretty.

SUB #2

While Collide was waiting for their second album - as is often the case - they offer us a remix album in sinusoidal curve. The remixers are Idiot Stare, Das Ich, Alien Faktor, Waiting For God, Crocodile Shop... and Statik,of course. In the end, it's ten remixes, three covers and one previously unreleased track. Really good, professional work. 4 out of 5 rating. - DD

THE LANCE

These two electro bands (Collide and Waiting For God) feature female vocals and are the best that Re-Constriction have to offer among their other "industrial rock" bands. Collide have released a 14-track compilation ofremixes, cover songs and one new track (for those anxiously awaiting new material to follow Beneath The Skin and Distort). Covers include Siouxsie and the Banshees' Obsession, Devo's Whip It and their interpretation of Sonof a Preacher Man for a Pulp Fiction tribute. Exceptional remixes to note are Regenerator's remix of the already intense Deep and Idiot Stare's mixof Violet's Dance, which makes a great club track. It's wonderful to hear women kicking butt in the industrial world.- Jill Grant

WPTS

This disc is absolutely amazing. Remixes from more names than I care to list breathe new life into several tracks from the group's debut album; also on Distort are three (remixed) covers and a new song. I am disappointed that there aren't more dancefloor-oriented remixes; I'd also have liked to see Violet's Dance (Abstract Head Crash mix) and Beneath the Skin (Constrictor mix). Nonetheless, Distort is wonderful and highly recommended to those who don't think "pretty industrial" is an oxymoron. Even better, it is very inexpensive, especially if ordered direct from Re-Constriction, so you've no excuse for not getting a copy. - Brian Parker

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