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Saturday, January 04, 1997

Some Kind of Strange reviews

1340 Mag

Collide deliver their latest, Some Kind of Strange, via their own Noiseplus Music label. I wasn’t sure at all what to expect from Collide, but whatever expectations I may have had were shattered after only one song. At the end of track 1, Crushed, all I wanted from the band was to hear more of their art.

I don’t really know how to describe Collide, which is always a good thing, but suffice it to say that you can hear pieces that explore many of the same veins as artists like Torn Paper Dolls, Eva O, and maybe quieter Evanescence. It’s not really like any of those bands, but if you like those bands then you’ll find plenty of things to love here. The instrumentation here is sparse and reserved, there are elements of the world of electronica throughout, and the music is without a doubt a spotlight that points towards kaRIN’s beautiful voice.

kaRIN’s vocals here are done very well and her voice itself is tremendously haunting but also very feminine and understated. It makes you want to listen closer to understand where the journey is leading. So, listen close, because the journey is more than worth the admission price….Key Song: To many great songs to single one out.--Mark Fisher

Beyond the Grave

Seductive Aggression is what collide can be described as. Collide is a gothic/industrial duo from Hollywood California. They combine seductive vocals and deep lyrics with aggressive music and tones to create their music. Some Kind of Strange is Collides 4th album and they seem to be getting better and better with every release.

This release has the same emotional depth as past releases. The best way I can think of to describe their music is songs of the soul. Their deep lyrics and seductive vocals will penetrate your very being. This is by far one of best albums I have heard all year. This CD also includes the talents of cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy as well as Danny Carey from Tool. I recommend this CD to anyone looking for something different. Fans of the new success Evanescence will love this album.

Bite Me Magazine

Have you ever come across an album that you’ve immediately fallen in love with? An album that made you fall in love with music all over again? Well, Collide’s Some Kind of Strange is that kind of album. In fact, it is THAT album.

I’ve listened to this CD a countless number of times and I’m still in awe of its beauty and perfection. Statik & kaRIN’s latest foray is a seductively captivating piece of work that exemplifies the extraordinary talents of these two gifted musicians. If they said this record took 20 years to complete I would believe it because of all the thought and detail put into each exquisite tune. Some Kind Of Strange will make an immediate and lasting impact with its collection of ornate compositions that play out like lullabies for the soul. kaRIN’s poetic lyrics and sensual vocals flow over rich melodies, intricate soundscapes, and exotic arrangements all laid forth by Statik.

An impressive cast of musicians (cEvin Key, Kevin Kipnis, & Danny Carey to name a few) adds to the layers of depth and emotion intertwined within this masterpiece. Some Kind of Strange begins with the sultry rhythms of “Crushed”. The mystical journey continues with the haunting electronics of “Modify,” the dreamy textures of “Inside,” and the Eastern accents of “Tempted”. Not to be overlooked are the alluring tones of “Shimmer” and the wickedly addictive “Complicated”.

Without a doubt, Collide have outdone themselves, as no stone was left unturned. Even the album’s artwork is as stunning as the material. It’s a polished package from sleeve to disc. Some Kind of Strange is nothing short of amazing. It’s easily one of the best albums of 2003 because it is a record that can be appreciated by music lovers of all ages. There are thousands of reasons why you should own this disc. Find out why and order a copy at www.collide.net-NIN

Dark Realms

Some Kind of Strange is a dark and tantalizing collision of the exotic and the erotic that follows in the footsteps of the bands previous release, Chasing the Ghost. The CD begins with the hard- edged, heavy rhythms of the alluring "Crushed". The hypnotic and breathy vocals of songstress kaRIN weave a sultry and irresistible spell of seduction while electronic wizard Statik works his magic to conjure one provocative composition after another. Members of Skinny Puppy and Tool lend their percussive talents to some of the tracks as well. "Mutation" starts out light and dreamy then incorporates a powerful, driving dance rhythm. "Shimmer" evokes images of an erotic enchantress with its bewitching Middle Eastern melody line, while 'Complicated" is sheer, unbridled electronic sensuality. Collide succeeds once again in creating mesmerizing and intoxicating music that is Some kind of Strange'.-Devon King

Drowned in Sound.com

No doubt about it, there is something just so undeniably seductive about a girl talking re-e-e-ally slo-o-o-wly with a deep, softly spoken hush that vocalist Karin knows about only too well. As one half of ethereal gothic 2-piece Collide she really pricks up the hair on places I didn’t even know I had, her captivating velvety charm gliding over Collide’s darkwave beats in tracks such as ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Slither Thing’ with an effortless ease, massaging your mind until you’re at her complete helpless mercy; though the coital undertones beguiling those aforementioned song titles may also have something to do with it.

Collide’s mission involves rocking the listener on a sensuous cradle of sultry laid-back beats with a deliciously sinister undercurrent, although the ambiguity of lyrics such as “I am future I am past / I am haunted I am blessed” can often be mysterious to the point of fanciful, recondite nonsense. Though much of this album seems intent on casting a dark hypnotic spell on the listener, slight crescendos of noise are allowed to permeate the likes of ‘Somewhere’ (thanks to Tool’s Danny Carey, who provides live drums) and ‘Mutation’, bursting open some rare guitar distortion. Industrial Goth anoraks (or should that be long dark cloaks?) may be interested to learn that Collide’s other half, the moody-looking Statik, is currently involved with the re-formation of Skinny Puppy and indeed SP drummer cEvin Key provides live drums on ‘Euphoria’; giving you some idea of the kind of circles Collide are mixing in.

With female-fronted goth-rock coming into the increased focus of the media, thanks to Evanescence and soon-to-be-big Finnish newcomers Velcra, it appears that all Collide need is a guitar-heavy hit-single and the future is theirs. One things for sure, in Karin they have a jaw-droppingly beautiful cover-star in waiting.Author: Mat Hocking

Ear Pollution.com

On their website, Collide offers a ProTools screenshot of one of their songs. I'm just a simple fellow and I have enough trouble actually counting all 48 tracks, and the idea of keeping track of all the instrumentation across each of those bands requires more memory space than my brain can support. And so, when I use words like "textured" and "lavish" and "sensual" to describe Some Kind of Strange, Collide's latest effort, you can see for yourself that these words fall short of the thousand such superlatives that such a picture provides.

Collide is just the sound of two people -- Statik (noise) and kaRIN (words, voices) -- but, from the wealth of audio which surges from their sound, you would think there is an army of musicians providing the music (and, in some cases, there are appearances by guest musicians providing live drum and guitar work).

Some Kind of Strange is their fourth record and is a regally paced affair which is never hurried in its execution. Filled with ethereal grandeur and symphonic polish, these 11 tracks are the love children of Delerium and Nine Inch Nails who have been abandoned in the center of a Middle Eastern bazaar. The climax of "Euphoria" is a rising maelstrom of distorted guitar sound, a razor wind which tears around kaRIN's sensual and stately voice.

"Tempted" is everything Balligomingo wanted to be for the "darkchilde" club-goer: a twisted back on itself lyric filled with eternal yearning, exotic beat patterns to turn the children of the night into serpents on the dance floors, and an acoustic tinged chorus to remind them of daylight. "Mutation" flickers in the shadows, a blossoming web of voice, power guitar, acoustic interludes, and quivering echoes which coalesces into a living thing for a brief instant before being washed away by a lingering spring rain. "Crushed" begins with an all-compass points call of percussive tones before exploding into a dark songbird with wingspan that reaches to the horizon. In every song, kaRIN's voice spreads through your cerebellum like a slow syrup, tickling and teasing your eager receptors with the luxurious croon of her words. She is never hurried by the complex rhythmic textures flashing around her, and her pacing and phrasing only serves to mesmerize you that much more completely. Could this be what Odysseus heard when he was lashed to the mast? Could the song he heard have been a predecessor of "Somewhere," the sound of water and rock crashing together in measured cacophony behind the luring trill of the siren's voice? Some Kind of Strange is aural opium, a heady drug which induces fever visions, seductive nightmares, and grand passions in equal part.Mark Teppo

Fac193

The fourth effort from LA’s Collide is Some Kind of Strange and their hypnotic mixture of gothic imagery, abrasive sounds and trip-hop beats is better than ever.

Augmented with drumming contributions from cEVIN Key (Skinny Puppy, Download) and Danny Carey (Tool), this batch of tunes carefully tiptoes around the stereotypes and pitfalls of their peers to remain a step ahead of any and all imitators. The unique sonic landscaping of “Modify” and “Mutation” are potent highlights here, showing off Statik’s marvelous programming prowess and Karin’s sultry voice and words.

Definitely fantastic music for the dark hours of the day, Some Kind of Strange serves as a template on how it should be done. Review by Jack Alberson

From Dust Zine

Collide’s fourth full-length continues down the path set upon with 2000’s Chasing the Ghost... While the general sound is in many ways similar to that album (and has evolved even further from the sounds of the original albums), Some Kind of Strange is its own animal, a bit funkier, more exotic and sensual than the former. Even with a number of guest appearances (cEvin Key, Kevin Kipnis or Purr Machine, Danny Carey of Tool, etc.), Collide are perhaps more solidly Collide than ever before, and are going stronger than ever, especially on tracks like “Euphoria,” “Tempted,” and “Complicated.” Sonically there is more variety, the vocals and musical tapestries woven are richer and fuller, and the production smoother than ever. If Chasing the Ghost grabbed you, Some Kind of Strange will immerse you.-Reviewed by E. David-

Godsend Online

Collide - "Some Kind Of Strange" CD - The third studio album from this California duo shows yet another step up, in both production and songwriting. COLLIDE's electronic dance/rock grooves are packed full of depth and moody texture, with vocalist kArin's ghostly, seductive voice carving a marvelously mysterious melodic path between the circuits. Lines can be drawn to acts like CURVE, though COLLIDE seem to go for a far more lush and even elegant sound. Guitars and live drums accent the programming, and 'Some Kind Of Strange' will appeal to a wide cross-section of modern rock listeners. From the slinky trip-hop vibes of 'Slither Thing' to the surprisingly successful and mature balladry of 'Inside', to the heavier SKINNY PUPPY-like crunch of 'Mutation', to the subtle Eastern-tinged exotica of 'Tempted', COLLIDE successfully prove their mastery over their sound-world and show that they are at the top of their game. Superb work. (Noiseplus Music)

Gothcore.nl

You won’t meet many of them these days : artists who prefer to record and release their music all by themselves, just because of the artistic freedom and keep control of every creative activity. Collide is one of those exceptions. This duo, based in Los Angeles, US, is formed by kaRIN (vocals) and Statik (noise programming) and ‘Some kind of strange’ is their fourth release. Behind the excellent artwork we can find even more superb music. Gothic floating sounds with a psychedelic touch are the concept of this piece of art, sometimes based on smooth relaxing soundscapes with dance influences, the other time expressed by sprankling guitar parts. Statik was involved in albums of Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool before, but he prooves with this CD that he is a very talented artist anyway.

The softly caressing voice of kaRIN fits very well in this dreamy kind of music, having some resemblances with bands as Portishead, Clan of Xymox and Delerium. Although ‘Some kind of strange’ is a mainly self-made product by kaRIN and Statik, this duo got a little help from famous friends like cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy) on live drums in ‘Euphoria’ and Danny Carey (Tool) on live drums in ‘Somewhere’. The contributions of less famous musicians as Rogerio Silva and Kevin Kipnis even have a greater impact on me, because they created some fantastic guitar lines with an almost hypnotical effect.

Just have a listen to those wonderful sounds of ‘Euphoria’, Slither thing’ and ‘Tempted’ (although, you better listen to the album from the beginning till the end) and be part of the dream world of Collide.9.6-John Buis

Horror Web Dark Reviews

Sensual, powerful, exotic, and haunting. These are the words that just scratch the surface of describing Collide. At once they are filled with dark and brooding emotion. The next they are ripe with a dangerous sensuality. The music is filled with layers of sound and emotion with meaningful lyrics and hypnotic vocals that make for a unique listening experience.

Chasing The Ghost, Collide’s previous release, drew a significant amount of critical acclaim. Without a doubt Some Kind Of Strange has taken a significant step forward both in vocal work and arrangements. Easily their best endeavored to date, it blends gothic textures with electronica and powerful percussion right from the start in Crushed, the first track of Some Kind of Strange. kaRIN's sultry vocals are layered and mixed well above the arrangements throughout. Altogether adding to the lush keyboards, guitars and backing harmonies making this so well structured that it’s hard to chose just one song that stands above the rest.

Euphoria, the second track, is hypnotic and echoing. Filled moments that will give you goose bumps, it is a wonderful example of Statik’s musical technique. Also of note is the drum work on this track provided by Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key. Modify moves onto a more layered electronica sound with added acoustic guitar with rich underlining strings that complements kaRIN’s vocals. Somewhere then builds with several tempo and mood swings that are dominated by kaRIN's soaring and evocative vocals. Filled with more pronounced electronics and percussions (which is provided by Danny Carey of Tool fame) Somewhere will likely be the track with the most appeal to the general listener. Slither Thing is a slow and richly arranged number that crosses the boundaries between a slow dance and a jazz-style number. The tempo drops further with Inside an electronic ballad. Both put kaRIN's sensually shimmering vocals to the forefront and are mixed to new heights pushing the instrumentals right to the back. Mutation is a heavy track outside the acoustic guitar-based chorus. The sharp contrast between the various passages--ending in rain--is simply incredible.

kaRIN's evocative opening in Tempted leads into a lush symphonic-styled tune. Filled with powerful acoustic string arrangements and a touch of Eastern influences, Tempted is probably the most sultry and erotic track. Shimmer continues in a similar vein but at a slower more electronic ballad tempo. Complicated is complex and thickly arranged upbeat number with plenty of vocal layering as well. It’s Gothic sensibilities are more pronounced than any other track. The final track So Long is slow and raunchily electronic in arrangement, with multi-layered vocal harmonies. Filled with throbbing beats and complex layers, it builds to a calm climax then hauntingly fades making it a perfect ending to Some Kind of Strange. Dave Ghoul

Grave Concerns

"The most recent achievement from this already highly regarded eclectic duo. "Crushed" begins the disc w/ strolling electronic programming that accents glowingly around Karin´s sexy & sassy vocals. They bring to mind a more unnerving Portishead or an electronic blend of other female fronted rock acts like Curve, Garbage, & Tapping The Vein but their far from sounding like knock off clones. "Euphoria´s" hazy intro. opens into a pretty & fragile Trip Hop vibe next to the soothing guitars, & the beautiful vocals, while "Modify" continues much in a similar vein but a bit slower w/ churning, bleak organic synths provided by composer extrordinaire, Statik. "Somewhere" intensifies things up a bit w/ pounding drums & the sensual vox plays like an aural lullabye layed atop delicate keys. "Slither Thing" draws upon a "4ad" pop style of mesmeric, mellow grandeur, while "Inside" is the epitomy of pretty. It´s so pretty it´s pouty w/ alluring psychadelic winds & naturally, the powerful vocals of Karin. "Mutation" mutates from heavenly serene soundscapes to more hard rock edginess & vice versa. "Tempted" is a lush, middle eastern gem & not unlike something from Delerium. "Shimmer" & "Complicated" provide more haunting & smokey Trip Hop infestation w/ Karin´s trademark angelic vocal style & Statik´s innovative synth work.

All in all, "Some Kind of Strange" is a radiantly bold step that excels their previous work, shaking off the Gothic-Industrial tag. These songs have commercial attraction written all over them & should appeal to fans of not only dark music, but also Trip Hop & the aforementioned bands. A stunningly & sensual piece of work. Along w/ the sincere lyrics this is an exotically vivid journey into the depths of the human soul."[-Marcos-]

In Music We Trust

Okay, so everyone has their pants in a knot over Evanescence, but they were certainly not the first band to put a female voice to sexy-spooky epic-industrial rock, nor are they the best. Exhibit one: Collide.

Following in the footsteps of the Gathering and Sunshine Blind, this So-Cal duo (with help from such notables as cEvin Key and Danny Carey) churns out a heady cacophony of futuristic and mechanized sounds powered by distorted guitars, robotic rhythms and bigger-than-life synthesized symphonics, and then caps off the beautiful mess with the super-sensual, threatening purrs and dangerous coos of Collide's vampy vocalist, a beguiling beauty known only as kaRIN. Not only is she more interesting to look at than Evanescence's Amy Lee, her voice can soar and slide with loads more feeling, conviction and allure. She gently yanks you into Collide's dark and dramatic world, and it's a place you'll likely want to stay for some time.-Scott D Lewis

Kerneldump

I got an advanced promo copy of this album about a week before it was released and was a very excited boy for a few minutes. This album is supposed to be some years in the making, and it shows. I think this album is much more refined than previous. While the sound is still very smiliar to previous efforts, this album shows a definite improvement in technique. All of the little details are perfected this time around, it's all smoothed out and shined up.

Most of this album is kARIN's silky sweet voice layered over and through Statik's distortion. There a lot of fuzzy heavy guitar and groovy, velvety rhythms. There are a lot of moments when the song will go from loud and distorted to quiet and clean, and somehow it sounds good. The song "Euphoria" is a good example.

The song "Inside" is a really cool, jazzy / trip-hop love song that deserves special note.Score: 8--Ethan

KSCU

kaRIN & Statik are back with their new release, which was 3 years in the making. Well worth the wait, too. Collide's music just keeps getting more and more intricate and intense. Layer upon layer of sound mixes with kaRIN's voice, which always sends chills down my spine when I hear it. She has got to have one of the sexiest voices I have ever heard. Add the incredible production by Statik, and you have one of the most distinctive sounding releases so far this year. Some stellar guest stars on this new CD as well, including cEvin Key from Skinny Puppy, and Danny Carey from Tool.--eolsen214

Moonshadows

"...A beautiful and well conceived musical artwork, with a extraordinary female voice with such amazing sounds and we can feel such as an heavenly peace, obscurity, cruelty, madness, as we can mix all of this and we don't get tired of listen such precious band.. Professional...

Musical Discoveries

The latest offering from California's Collide is an eleven track album entitled Some Kind Of Strange (Noiseplus Music (USA) Noise 002, 2003). Fronted by their stunning female vocalist kaRIN, her collaborator Statik is responsible for the instrumental arrangements. A bevy of guest artists contribute percussion, acoustic and electric guitar on various tracks. The band's website is loaded with further information, soundbites, photos and additional features.

Some will recall that kaRIN provided some of the original vocal work for the early Balligomingo demos but she did not contribute to the finished Beneath The Surface (review) project. Collide's previous album Chasing The Ghost drew significant critical acclaim. Suffice it to say that Some Kind Of Strange has taken a significant step forward both in vocal work and arrangements. Make no mistake--this is a female vocals album clearly cast between gothic and electronica; it is certain to appeal to Balligomingo and Delerium enthusiasts!

Some Kind Of Strange blends gothic textures with electronica and powerful percussion right from the start in "Crushed." Layers kaRIN's sultry vocals are mixed well above the arrangements. "Euphoria" is a more accessible tune--lush keyboards and guitars compliment sweetly soaring heavenly style vocals while powerful instrumentals and sensual vocal textures dominate "Modify." The album builds to "Somewhere" a richly arranged Balligomingo-style tune with several tempo and mood swings that is dominated by kaRIN's soaring and evocative vocals.

Equally interesting is "Slither Thing," a slow and richly arranged number crossing boundaries between a slow dance- and jazz-style number. The tempo drops further with "Inside" an electronic ballad; layers of kaRIN's sensually shimmering vocals are mixed to new heights with instrumental arrangements being pushed right to the back. The electric guitar parts and backing harmonies are as notable. "Mutation" is a heavy track outside the acoustic guitar-based chorus. The sharp contrastbetween the various passages--ending in rain--is simply incredible.

The album's standout track is clearly "Tempted." kaRIN's evocative opening leads into a lush symphonic-styled tune and remarkable guitar-backed chorus with tremendously accessible multi-layered vocal harmonies. Balligomingo enthusiasts will agree this track has single potential! "Shimmer" continues in a similar vein albeit at a slower-- electronic ballad--tempo. The band's gothic orientation emerges in "Complicated," a complex and thickly arranged upbeat number with plenty of vocal layering as well. Slow and raunchily electronic in arrangement, the multi-layered vocal harmony of "So Long" concludes the album.

Release Magazine

Wow, the opener on this album totally blew me away. “Crushed” contains such force and talent that it scares me. Collide makes a kind of trip hop-ish, edgy, melodic, emotional and very interesting electronic mesh of sounds, with the beautiful Karin’s sexy voice bringing the songs home. All these components really come to life in "Crushed", and it gives me the shivers every time I hear it. Lucky me then, the album has almost the same caliber throughout, except for some uninteresting pieces here and there.

Collide has been a bit of a blank page for me, but I’ve heard their awesome remix of Front Line Assembly’s “Predator”, a remix that gave the track whole new life. The duo consists of Static and Karin, from USA, where they interact with a lot of interesting people. Static is said to be a guest on the upcoming Skinny Puppy comeback album, and kaRIN sings on Cevin Key’s Plateau album “Space Cake”. Sure enough, Cevin Key also helps out with drums on this album.

I really think you should give this piece of plastic a try, especially if you would like a more edgy and harder take on the Delerium sound. This album is a winner. JOHAN CARLSSON

Smother.net

I wouldn`t say this is some kind of strange; it`s more like some kind of wonderful. Beautiful female vocals are layered over electronic synthetic soundscapes. The result is staggering and morphs into what many have been searching for in their attempts to find the perfect band. You have your heaviness, you have your melody, you have the beautiful atmospheres, and you have danceable beats. It`s all addicting, all wonderful, and simply a textured delight. Both gothic and EBM fans will be delighted to hear this album and so will you.- J-Sin 4/03

Soul Eclipse

I got exactly what I wanted from this cd... eerily beautiful music and vocals that blend together perfectly. If you're already a fan, I doubt you'll be disappointed... Some Kind of Strange definitely is not a rehash of what they've already done, but it still gives you what you've come to expect. The sound is a little smoother than it has been on Collide's previous releases, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's also not very surprising, since that was the direction their music was starting to travel in with Chasing the Ghost. The only gripe I have (and the reason this cd got "only" 4/5) is that there isn't a whole lot of variety in sound, and after awhile the tracks start to blend into each other. But the music is so good that you probably won't care. There isn't a song on here that's not worth listening to.-Kat

Southwest Texas (SWT) University Star

Here we have the new album from the Los Angeles based band Collide entitled Some Kind Of Strange released on Noiseplus Music.

Again, kaRIN and Statik of Collide have outdone themselves in making an amazing masterpiece with awesome production, wonderful vocals and excellent lyrics. This new record has a lot of the same qualities found in their last album Chasing The Ghost, like “Crushed” sounds a lot like the song “Transfer” with some rough guitar and a slower beat, and some of the others possess that dark but sensual feeling that is found in the song “Halo. It is also quite different from the previous albums, Beneath The Skin was more raw, had a lot of heavy guitar, and had a lot of industrial layering to compliment it, (“Strange,” Beneath The Skin” and “Falling Up) Distort the remix album kept a lot of that going as well, while Chasing The Ghost took a more darkwave and ethereal-type direction, being more sensual and eerie (“Halo,” Chasing The Ghost,” “Frozen” and Monochrome.)

Some of the songs on Some Kind Of Strange like “Complicated, “Somewhere” and “Shimmer” seem to resemble the more melodic gothic styles of Curve’s 1993 album Cuckoo (songs like “Unreadable Communication,” “Crystal” and “Superblaster”) and some of the other tracks like “Slither Thing,” “Modify” and “So Long” show some of the characteristics of the trip-hop sounds of the Sneaker Pimps’ 1996 album Becoming X, when Kelli Dayton was still doing the vocals for the band (“Becoming X,” Spin Spin Sugar,” Roll On” and “6 Underground.”)

Another thing that is so great about kaRIN and Statik, is that they love to include their friends in the recording process of their albums, and this time we have cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy and Danny Carey of Tool playing drums on the song “Somewhere. This album gets 5 out of 5 stars for presenting something a little different and original all the same.By Jake Roussel

Starvox

I think Blu still loves me, despite me being MIA the last few months. Really I do. Because she sent me Collide.

I had a feeling that she did when my husband picked up the then still unopened CD and said “Collide? I like them. I have heard some of their stuff. Mind if I take a look?” Hey, it was 9am on a Monday Bank Holiday, I didn’t give a flying fudge.

“Cool, cEvin Key and Danny Carey.”

“Huh? Skinny Puppy and Tool? Oh shit, it’s industrial.”

“Give it a listen. You might be surprised. I don’t remember them being industrial.”

So after editing down Turning Japanese and choreographing the CanCan (Hey I am a dance teacher), I found myself a glass of wine, settled into my bedroom and gave a listen. Thank you Blu.

I love atmospheric music. I love music that seems to paint a canvas with sounds that create visions and landscapes of ideas, fantasies and mysteries. Collide does just that. This is no uncharted territory. Many bands attempt and usually fail at this genre and idea. There are a few that succeed. The Changelings are one of these bands. Black Tape for a Blue Girl, especially of their latest album are icons to me in this kind of musical painting. Collide is definitely one of those bands that are to be respected and to be taken seriously.

But different to the aforementioned bands, Collide adds something a bit more. They add grit. They add dirt to the landscape. They add the grime and the dark, dirtier undertones…even sexual and erotic undertones to this kind of music that I don’t believe the others have. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying The Changelings or Black Tape for a Blue Girl are goody two shoes. But these two, kaRIN and Statik are the black sheep, the dark cousins of the family of landscape artists (hmm, have I just created a new label for a genre of music?)

I am now, as I type this, at the end of the third track off the album, that being "Modify". It ends almost, well, forgive the ugliness of the wording, snorting. And then a soft lovely sound brings in "Somewhere". kaRIN’s voice is lovely, with a touch of Kate Bush to it. Pushing and diving throughout and within the notes finding new depths and heights to go almost simultaneously. How that works and happens, I don’t know. Somewhere floats among the waves finding their peaks and valleys taking you on an oceanaic journey that leaves you satiated and questioning. Another strange combination.

And perhaps that is what Collide is all about. A strange combination. Their representation of themselves through their press pack sure does echo my feelings. They admit that they are opposites, trying to find a middle ground from where their music can soar. But middle ground is the wrong phrasing because that can mean something of a mediocrity and Collide definitely doesn’t know the meaning of mediocrity.

So back to kaRIN’s voice. It is not only Kate Bush I hear. (wonder if she is an influence to her?). But I hear a bit of Siouxsie in there. A bit of Monica Richards (who is thanked on the album). But what is the best part of it, is that it is like a really fine dish. You can taste the essence of the ingredients, but when put together well, the dish takes on its own identity and can be compared to no one.

The engineering on the album is masterful, the balance of instruments and voice incredible. Now Statik, who mixed and engineered album is in charge of noise. I don’t know exactly what instrument that would be, but it makes him a damn good engineer. I find that if a member of a band mixes and engineers an album, there is always a imbalance either away from or too towards the instrument of the engineer (Belisha, Killing Miranda and Faith and the Muse being fine examples of exceptions to that perception). I am interested in hearing exactly what “noise” playing is. I suspect it’s keyboards but I don’t want to put my two cents in…just yet.

There is a problem with reviewing this album and it goes back to the analogy of the fine dish. This is just a fine, excellent produced and created album….oh jesus, I just got to track 6, "Inside". Can I say wow? I think this slithers more than preceeding track called "slither"? This just wraps itself away in that breezy way of a summer day. The first song I have ever heard in this genre that calls for a white wine? Light chardonnay. Or perhaps a reisling? But again, it’s guttural. It’s sensual and erotic…but doesn’t make you feel guilty, dirty about enjoying it.

Wait a second, let me go back to what I was saying. Yes. A fine dish. You don’t taste individual ingredients, just their essence which makes it taste so good. Not too much pepper or basil. The meat done to perfection. So you can’t pick out one thing. You can just take it as one dish to savour and enjoy.

Damn, this is an album for a bubble bath for two.

So I have gushed and guffawed over this album (and it’s now on it’s second playing in a row by the way)…..okay, I have to say something of constructive critiscm. Hm. Um. Okay. Here goes.

The press release enclosed jumps from first person speaking (kaRIN) to third person quoting kaRIN. That was a bit unsettling. I hate all these strange spellings of name. They not only are a pain in the bum to type, and make my spelling check have fits, but they are a bit silly.

There you go. My constructive criticsm. Fix your press release and spelling your names correctly. Consider your knuckles slapped.

Now the rest of you – go buy the album. Jezebel--Blu

Sublevel

Imagine yourself in the humid heat of summer, stripped to near nothing, covered in delicious sweat, languid and supine. Now, crank up the erotic possibilities, and you have a rough idea of the atmosphere set by Collide's Some Kind of Strange. Easily their best work to date, Collide has put forth a solid release filled with sexy rhythms and an overall sultry atmosphere, though possibly unlike anything one might have expected. Some Kind of Strange moves into a mellow groove filled with edgy guitars, touches of acoustic, topped with masterful and highly textured programming.

While undoubtedly dark, Collide continues in their tradition of genre blending so much so, it is uncertain where one might want to categorize this disc. Hints of psychedelic, undertones of trip-hop, and allusions of electronic only barely begin to describe the sound contained within. All I can say is I was wowed by the presence this CD maintained throughout.

kaRIN's vocals only serve to add to the appeal on this disc, having come through clearer and with a high polish that just wasn't quite on this level before. Clean and seductive, every word flows from her mouth with sensuous ease- spicy, sexy, and definitely appealing.

Some Kind of Strange is so well structured and constant that I can't even pinpoint one song that stands out above all the rest. They are all equal in quality, mood and presence. Its atmosphere is quite dominating and continues to linger long after the disc has ended. Hmm, warm and sticky like hot fudge on a melting sundae.

"Crushed" is a great song to kick off the disc, boasting hypnotic and unusually structured beats, rich guitars and lush sequences. "Euphoria" is a soft and shimmering gem with slightly more subtle approach on the electronics, using soft strings behind the highly pronounced, distorted guitar (some might like to know cEvin Key guests as drummer for this track). kaRIN's vocals are dreamy and layered in places emphasizing their sweetness. "Modify" introduces acoustic guitar into the mix along with the rich underlying strings and more textured electronics. The acoustic guitar in this piece really gives the track a hot summer night feel.

With more pronounced electronics, "Somewhere" continues the thread of warm atmospheres. The guitar here is more varied in style, still accompanied by strings and excellent live percussion from Danny Carey of Tool. I'm a sucker for atypical beat structures. One gets tired of the old 4/4 style monotony. "Slither Thing" really pushes forward the strings, backs down the guitars a couple notches, and takes a more rhythmic approach to the electronics. The primary attention is put upon kaRIN's purring and sexy vocal style.

Taking things to a down tempo level, "Inside" is more unusually structured with pronounced breaks and light use of funky guitar. It's very drifty and light compared to the other tracks on the disc. "Mutation" strolls back into something slinky, brings back the bigger guitars, and the beats come up a little. Here and there, the track slips back into the dreamy. The track with the most erotic atmosphere is probably "Tempted". Hints of the east, acoustic guitar and strings make up the primary musical foundation while drippy drums skip along in the background.

"Shimmer" is one of tracks that tend to echo through my brain most often after listening. The music is pushed pretty far back, again allowing kaRIN's vocals to lie in the forefront with the ethnic drums swaying along behind her. "Complicated" is more electronic in nature with nice sequencing and wide variety of sounds. Guitars are present, but not so pronounced and blend into the electronics. Some vocal effects are added at times, but mostly layering and light echoes.

"So Long" makes an excellent exit to Some Kind of Strange. I'd say this is my winner on the disc. Big crunchy keys pulse through slow and steady. The airs bounce about amid the throbbing beats. Lots of swirling textures and complex layers are used, but not so much so that it becomes chaotic. kaRIN's vocals are also played with heavily here, bouncing around from left to right and overlapping in such a way it makes the head swim. It builds nicely as the track progresses and then fades out slowly so that it lingers in the air like a pleasant perfume. They say all beauty fades in time, but we can always hit the play button again.By Laura B.

This is Corrosion

Some Kind of Strange is the fourth release for the Los Angeles-based duo of kaRIN and Statik, also known as Collide. Collide is a suffusion of sultry female vocals and an almost industrial sound.

As with their previous release, Chasing the Ghost, Collide has used the talents of Chad Michael Ward from Digital Apocalypse Stuidos for their cover artwork. Presentation is an integral part of an album and this album is a visual gem. CD packaging and artwork are as essential to a release as the music itself. This is a very strong reason for not copying music, beside the obvious loss of revenue and appreciation to the artist for their hard work.

The album starts out with the track Crushed, which is an excellent example of what their music is all about; kaRIN's lush vocals floating in a torrent of guitar-driven and electronic music, balanced by soothing soundscapes and acoustic guitar. Though this band might be labeled as gothic, it doesn't quite fit, being somewhat down tempo and with a much fuller sound than found in many classic goth bands.

Euphoria, the next track, combines female vocals with varying acoustic and electric guitar, producing a most powerful sound. Modify progresses with a slow, twisting sound of acoustic guitar, layered with a dense background of electronic/orchestral sound. Track 5, Slither Thing, adds an almost lounge sound to the mix, which I found oddly catchy. Mutation is yet another superb example of kaRIN's soothing vocals, interwoven with crunchy, industrial music, creating something not easily fit into any one genre. Overall, this a strong, consist release, representative of Collide's sound and worth a listen, as are their previous releases. Listeners of such varied artists as Delerium, Nine Inch Nails, Switchblade Symphony, Clan of Xymox, etc. would enjoy this band.-legion 8 out of 10

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