The Secret Meeting is a recent music project involving kaRIN and Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia of Curve and the result is a hothouse flower of an album, a lush, sustained sonic whorl, rich in all sorts of studio-created sounds, that blends elements of electronic, goth, industrial, darkwave, guitar-noise, rock, and ethereal soundscapes with singer kaRIN’s thickly layered, warm, alluring vocals.
Some of the highlights on the album Ultrashiver include the seductive, aural-cocoon opener “Touch”, which goes by in the blink of an eye, a fine meld of Collide and Curve, as kaRIN weaves multiple lines of her sinuous, seductive, breathy, sometimes wordless, “dissipating-sigh” vocals around a dark sound of guitar, bass, and electronic noises that builds up in tempo on the choruses, creating a more dynamic atmosphere as the song progresses.
“Am I Here?” goes for a more goth-electronic feel, similar to Curve’s “Horrorhead”, but without the guitar-driven fullness and pace of that song (the noise level of the guitars and electronics is tempered by the swampy, seductive miasma of the choruses). KaRIN’s heavy-lidded, hypnotic vocals call to mind a mellow Siouxsie Sioux, especially on the inflection of some of the lyrics when kaRIN sings “…written in the wind…”. Her vocals are embellished with druggy sighs as the song moves to a slow groove of a steady beat and swirls of guitars that brighten and get more expansive on the choruses.
The ghost of Curve is definitely present on “Every Little Thing” (“Every little thing has a meaning...”), with kaRIN singing in a higher, breathy, mysterious tone, sounding very Toni Halliday-like lyrically and vocally, although not as icy and disdainful as Toni (kaRIN projects warmth with her voice and delivery, whereas Toni of Curve projected coolness and distance).
“Beautiful Noise Machine” is a musically shifting number (soft verses contrasted with louder choruses) with reverberating, “water-ripple” guitars and, depending on the chorus, noisy guitars to plangent areo-guitar. KaRIN sings in a tone laden with sweetness, her words hanging drowsily in the air for brief moments as she sighs “I’ve been contemplating...need a place to put my emotions...I’ve got to get back up..."
The engaging “Blacker Than Blue” incorporates complex, electronic blips, loops of metal-sounding guitar riffs, a quicker-paced, thumping beat, industrial noise and squiggly electro sounds, and karRIN’s manipulated vocals as she sing-talks on a break from the “verse, chorus, verse” structure. This song is a shape-shifter in tempo, captivating the listener by the constantly changing sonics.
On “SoulCreeper” kaRIN’s vocals float over the musical arrangements like a dark angel, similar to the hollowed-out sound of Toni on Curve’s “Coast Is Clear”. A faster tempo of low-end, vibrating bass, warped metal sounds, and the blending of kaRIN’s lower-register vocals on the choruses creates a dark, intoxicating vibe.-- thanks to Jen Stratosphere Fanzine
The beautiful collaboration between the 2 cult American bands of CURVE and COLLIDE is a fact and their debut album "Ultrashiver" shipped out. Expect the darkness and sensuality of COLLIDE with the dynamic and exciting touch of CURVE. A pearl for the ears... To discover in emergency.-Seba
"Search for the Hidden Gem"
Hypnotic, meandering, fluid, flowing through water. Push open the dark nondescript doors and enter the opium den. Your senses quickly take in the smell of fragrant smoke as you wonder over to a corner bed of pillows. Adjusting to the dimly lit room, your spirit comfortable and intrigued by the dancing flickers of the candle light kissing the walls, a dragon chasing pipe full is handed to you, and with the background hum from the music you become intoxicated. Your spirit and mind set loose to dance with the smoke that clouds the room. Your mind is tripped out, your body relaxed, your eyes in a comfortable yet confusing haze. You have become one with the “Ultrashiver”.--thanks Mike
…Try to rearrange things
I can see a strange place
Because a picture tells a thousand words..
Am I Here, The Secret Meeting
So, needless to say I’ve been hooked on the incredible fusion of styles that Collide weaves together on their past releases, otherwise I wouldn’t have pre-ordered Ultrashiver. kaRIN and Statik of Collide have teamed up with musician Dean Garcia of Curve to produce the line-up named ‘The Secret Meeting,’ and I’ve got the album right here. I fully expected to love it, and I am not disappointed. This is gothic music without the self-indulgence, a musical landscape populated by acts like Theater of Tragedy, Switchblade Symphony, Delirium, or Portishead, and fans of those line-ups would quickly find Collide takes up the slack where those acts leave off. Their massive release Vortex from 2005 cinched it for me, with remixes and new material taking up equal portions across a two disk compilation that still stays in heavy rotation on my hard drive. And I just love the overall aesthetic that Noiseplus Studios appears determined to inject into the music industry brings a much needed sense of soul to the gothic/elctro/industrial genre as a whole, so I fully expected this side project to be a complex and engaging composition.
I close my eyes and see shit like this when I’m listening to these tunes like some sort of a light show for a surrealist world filled with a timeless madness. Honestly, this album is a soundscape for daydreams. I find myself more and more zoned out in thought through to the last track, ‘Imaginate…’ It’s hard to review an album I like so much, that flows so smoothly from track to track. It’s a wash of sound, full and compelling yet never intrusive, never jarring. Psychedelicly transcendent, is how I’d sum up the overall tone of the album, the surrealist landscape conjured by the album artwork and the joyful shivers the musical depth brings forth in tracks like ‘Shiver X’ and ‘Every Little Thing.’
The Secret Meeting album Ultrashiver is by no means an album of throw-away tracks that didn’t make it into a Collide project. Instead there’s a complex and underlying statement within some strangely beautiful dream realm, some surrealist vision painted with the lyrics that warp and weave between the collage of artwork and the arrangement of the tracks.
The songs can all be sampled on thesecretmeeting.net, you can hear both ‘Am I Here?’ and ‘Every Little Thing’ on the myspace page, and I recommend getting the album now while the sales at the website are up. This shit will change your perspective and feed your head.
I did expect Dean Garcia to create dramatic dance riffs against kaRIN’s high and haunting vocals and Statik’s noise manipulation, something expressed most directly in the track ‘Beautiful Noise Machine,’ but what I didn’t expect was a paean to superhero powers (’Shooting Laser Beams’). I do dig the guitar work from Rogerio Silva and Scott Landes that’s woven into a couple of tracks, and with this all woven against the haunting artwork by Teodoru Badiu that makes up the album and the site flash come together to create a very potent little experience.-Wes Unruh
Debut album of The Secret Meeting project was released at the beginning of July 2007. The project is an effect of cooperation of Collide duet and Dean Garcia - ex-leader of British band Curve. I don't know how did it happen that the three of them found themselves in the studio but the album "Ultrashiver" should draw attention. On the CD there are 10 incredible compositions; electrified, melancholic, hypnotizing compositions that for a moment may seem psychodelic or even dizzling; the first track isn't enough, all of them must be heard ,if possible, at the same moment.
The first tacts introducing "Touch" give a shiver. Pleasant, even comforting our ears after a heavy day, composition with wonderful, delicate Karin's voice provides escape from surrounding reality. The second piece "Am I Here?" seems to be the right question because that album takes us on a long journey with our imagination. "Beautiful Noise Machine" is also remarkable song where title match the composition as it may seem calm but in fact is interwaved with energetic refrain. At the end "Shiver X" and "Imaginate" are also relaxating and consists of the same kind of magic. It is the perfect album for long and cold evenings.
The album, along with its cover, seem to be well-considered. Even though all the songs are in calm and tropical tune one can still find the same energy presented by Collide. For some people the compositions may seem monotonous at the beginning but I recommend to listen to it again and in whole. The one who knows the output of the mentioned band will never say a bad word about that album.-Marcin
The Secret Meeting is a long-distance collaboration project between kaRIN & Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia of Curve and, as one would expect, the result is nothing short of outstanding: no surprise if you consider the skills and the sum of experiences of these three individuals (who collaborated with Skinny Puppy, Tool, Prince, Cohen, Eurythmics, Jagger, O'Connor etc).
If you love Collide and Curve you must of course check this out (we know you'll love it), but for those of you who don't know the two bands, imagine an alternative electronic band that would probably do fine on mainstream radio but has more to offer than most of what mainstream radio plays. The quality of The Secret Meeting's music is above the ordinary and you'll hear that in the production and the arrangements. Darkwave at heart but reaching upwards towards more solar and ethereal electronica heights, "Ultrashiver" features ten tracks of beautiful songwriting completed by gorgeous ethereal female vocals. Echoes of Conjure One/Delerium, Lycia, Massive Attack, Recoil, Balligomingo, darkwave bands such as Black Tape for a Blue Girl, female-fronted rock bands like Evanescence or Lacuna Coil (but not nearly as guitar-heavy), the most electronic of Madonna's records, Nine Inch Nails, Blue Man Group (I could swear I recognized a sample). The list could go on and is by no means meant to be definitive. The sound of this particular band draws from so many different areas and yet is so consolidated and original that it is able to create an all new character and is definitely worthy of your time and attention. Check it out. --Marc Urselli-Schaerer
It’s a safe bet that a lot of goth fans are excited about this supergroup of sorts. Statik and kaRIN of scene mainstays Collide have teamed up with Dean Garcia of ’90s electropop outfit Curve to bring you the Secret Meeting. The project was completed through the mail, each side adding their own ingredients before shipping it back. Despite this, the three musicians have a pretty potent chemistry. In a lot of ways Curve and Collide have a similar sound and the Secret Meeting is more variations on the theme of dark electronics, smoky atmospherics and ghostly female vocals straight from a seductive nightmare. It’s both ethereal and poppy and should cast a wide enough net to get the fans outside of the club kids dressed in black and waving glowsticks. Mature is not generally a word that gets used to describe goth music, but that’s exactly what this album is. That sexy, slightly older woman in the corner with the dark hair and cigarette holder between her teeth stained with a hint of lipstick? This is her soundtrack.--Brad
DJ Luiz Soncini
Just like the CD artwork suggests - this is a new world, full of fairy-tales, surrealism and obviously new soundscapes. The Secret Meeting represents the union between kaRIN and Statik from Collide and the legendary Dean Garcia from the extinct Curve. "Ultrashiver" fills the listener with its explorations through contemporary music. The tracks sound connected and count on cohesive melodies, enthusiastic rhythms, loud guitars and the harmonic, sensual vocals by kaRIN. There are 10 themes in this narcotic album, from which "Am I Here?", "Beautiful Noise Machine" and "Shiver X" stand out. Of course, touches of Collide' softness and Curve's fierceness come to mind, but here you will find perfect equilibrium and audio identity of its own. It is definitely worth tapping into this exotic world, raucous and emotive, so very well-crafted in the meeting which is a secret no more.
Listen up peeps there is a new project out there that you MUST check out. The Secret Meeting is a collaboration between the dynamic duo Statik & kaRIN (collectively known ad Collide) and Dean Garcia of Curve. This accomplished collaboration melds the best of both Collide and Curve; however, The Secret Meeting is its own animal – one that will please fans of both groups and entice countless others. An exotic hybrid of darkwave, trip-hop, and industrial Ultrashiver is a stunning release that will take the listener to new dimensions. The songs are lush with well crafted instrumental work, and the band’s flawless execution allows each composition to embody its own distinct physical entity. kaRIN’s sensual vocals are both intoxicating and soothing and they coat each track with warm ethereal tones. Her voice melds nicely with the warm Middle Eastern textures of “Am I Here?”. Raw and rough riffs slice through a tranquil electronic landscape on “Blacker than Blue,” and the harsh industrial components of “Forwards and Sideways” will light up any dance floor. It’s hard to listen to Ultrashiver and not find The Secret Meeting intriguing. Two of the album’s tracks have already been enlisted for CBS’ ‘NCIS’ so no doubt you’ll be hearing more from this great group, but why wait go to myspace.com/thesecretmeeting and get your copy of Ultrashiver today and while you are at it be sure to check out kaRIN’s cool designs at www.saintsandsinners.tv and sign up for newsletters at www.collide.net. -NIN
Evansville Sept. 2007
Combining the talents of California darkwave electronic duo Collide and former Curve programmer Dean Garcia seems like a pretty promising match, as both acts have specialized in swirly mixtures of moody yet sunsual grooves and aggressive electro-rock. Ultrashiver is quite possibly some of the finest and most developed work yet, from either camp. Ranging from the subtly-layered vocal melodies of the percussive"Touch" to the delicate and melodic closer, "Imaginate", which abursts into a swell of epic noise and drums grooves alongside the sweetly mysterious vocals of kaRIN, this tran-continental collaboration flows beautifully. Echoes of Curve lurk wintin the dubby electro-with-guitar-feedback of "Every Little Thing," wheras Collide's penchant for ghostly texture and bold grooves envelop "Beautiful Noise Machine." Fans of edgier dance-rock with heavenly voices will find immediate sustenance in The Secret Meeting.
Wonderful music, and if you doubt me, check out their website (www.thesecretmeeting.net) and hear it for yourself. --Rob Wickett
The Secret Meeting is an experiment that will make Darkwave fans literally scream in joyous union. And it is a Union that The Secret Meeting is all about. It’s basically the combination of three very talented muscicians and songwriters. Two of which (Statik and kaRIN) already have their own band formed in LA (Collide). The third member is the UK’s very own Dean Garcia (One half of the musical front for the now sadly split up Curve) who for the better part of the last decade has been toying in the electronic experimental arena.
The simple idea: The UK part works on some songs and then sends them to the US counterparts to fiddle with. They are then sent back for the final polish and hey presto! Without them ever meeting in person – they have produced the album ‘Ultrashiver’ – under the rather quaint band name of The Secret Meeting.
The album opens with a track that makes no game about what you are in for. And it is also made abundantly clear to those that have been fortunate enough to have discovered the artist’s previous work that the shoe fits. ‘Touch’ keeps things at a fairly low tempo, but is intimately seductive. Statik and Garcia keeping the distortion right there, but the noise level is kept on a par wth kaRIN’s whispery cooing. Match made in heaven? Sounds like it was sound engineered there too. But it’s hardly suprising. Although Collide have their differences from Garcia, they also have many similarities, and Collide are self-confessed fans of the Garcia/Toni Halliday collaboration.
This is followed by the very catching ‘Am I Here’ which the band have been using on their myspace to help promote the album. So in essence it’s kind of like the first single of the album. And is certainly one that sees kaRIN and Statik in particular do what they do best. It does indeed sound like the balance went far over into the Collide camp than any other track on the album. There is just no denying kaRIN’s vocal superiority. There is also a very seductive eastern influence in which Statik has incorporated so effectively in the past with Collide. Dean keeps the level; The gorgeous ‘Soul Creeper’ proving his past as a bassist, and present as a techinical experimentalist.
The remainder of the album is just a jaw dropping exercise of how they make this kind of work easy. You’d think they pulled clichés out of a hat and thought they’d have a pop turning them on their head. For Rock Anthem-esque – See ‘Beautiful Noise Machine,’ this track is full of so many riffs and beats you’d heard from 100 bands before, and they totally make it their own and even make it a tune that you know you’d get excited about hearing live (But let’s not get ahead of ourselves).
There is a tendancy to keep the electric noise flowing – but usually lead by a very alluring beat. kaRIN swoons about all over the place making this album seem like some kind of an erotic lullaby, of course with resplendant dark edges intact.
Fans of both parties will not be disapointed, and it certainly whets the appetite as Collide are curently working on their next album. For now, The Secret Meeting acts as more than just filler material.-Steven Hurst
"The Secret Meeting is where you arrive when Curve meets Collide, in a state that flexes between sharp pangs of emotion and deliciously blurred oneness with all things. From the first inttrigueing vocals and vibrant effects in "Touch", this music coaxes walls to fal, relaxes your muscles and your mind, and encourages you to move and to breath deeply. Ultrashiver is going to be mindblowing on a big, floor-shaking sound system. Vocalist kaIN has never sounded silkier, stronger or more sensuous, playing with tempting and focused harmonies alongsideDean GArcia's overarching palette of pulsing, sliding, bounching guitars and bass. Galvanized by programming master Statik, songs such as "Beautiful Noise Machine" and "SoulCreeper wrap up a full range of textures and tricky mood changes into a lucious, seamless experience so carefully brought together that it feels effortless.-- thanks to Carolee
The project known as The Secret Meeting is a new collaboration formed of member kaRIN and Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia from Curve. As this collaboration spans the globe with Garcia in the UK and the other two in Los Angeles, CA, it is quite a domentration of how great minds and talents can take music at any odds and put it together into something really great. The CD comes packaged in a jewel case with a large booklet with lyrics and full of what I would call some strange, but very intresting and cool psychadelic artwork (and for more, be sure to check out the website, very cool indeed).
I'm sure there was a lot of speculation from critics and fans of Curve and Collide about what the final result would be from this collaboration. Since both bands build on a similar background of a mix of grunge, shoegazer, goth, industrial, pop and psychadelic music, it's no surprise that we end up with something that one would really expect from this group. Over the course of the ten tracks on the album we are really presented with some great material, an unusual mix (as can be expected from the likes of Collide) of great music and vocals.
"Touch" slowly kicks off the album and sets the stage for the rest of the disc. As it slowly builds we're introduced to the airy electronics, somber bass and kaRIN's undulating, smooth vocals. We get a taste of some moving beats and the overall psychadelia that's created through the subtle mix of electronics and guitars. Leaving behind this somewhat somber and dreamy mood that permeates not only "Touch" but starts off "Am I Here?" as well, we're launched into the guitar crunching and industrial riffs about midway through "Every Little Thing" and then it all sort of comes out in full force again about halfway through the appropriately named "Beautiful Noise Machine". These crashing noisy riffs in the middle of these otherwise somber, dreamy tracks are what takes this music style and turns it all upside down and inside out and often leaves the listener feeling the same way. The side-effect is that you may have to be in a certain place or a certain mood to really let the music take over and do it's thing, otherwise these moments could be seen more as "interruptions" than the driving, grinding, fun pieces of music that they are.
As we make it to "Blacker Than Blue" we reach in my mind the apex of the album and what is the best "description" of what this collaboration have become. As you listen and take this piece apart you hear the main attributes of kaRIN's silky smooth vocals and the crushing guitars over the layers of electronics. The beat is nothing that you would find on a discoteque dance floor, but though it's somber it remains moving and interesting. All of the layers come together from the laid back, dreamy elements to the flip-side and the industrial noise. We continue to move on through these heavy textures on "SoulCreeper" though definitely more moving with a solid beat that forms a distinct backbone on this track. And how could you go wrong with a track named "Shooting Laser Beams"? If ever there were a psychadelic hint on this album, this is definitely it.
The final trio of tracks maintain that same hypnotic element with an even broader range of musical styles. From the goth/industrial genre perspective, the excellent bass and percussion on "Forwards and Sideways" are stellar as they move along with a solid groove, building, adding layers of guitar and more body. "Shiver X" dives into the shoegazer pattern of starting somber and gradually building with layer upon layer of crunching guitars to a climax then dropping off and starting all over again. This brings us to the final piece "Imaginate" which wraps up the album with style. What more can be said? kaRIN's vocals carry the piece along gracefully over the grinding music, which is amazing how it all fits together, though it's all so different.- Thanks Jacob
When i heard that Dean Garcia (ex-Curve mastermind) and the US darkwave band Collide were about to work together in a project, i got quite enthousiastic. Collide is seen by many people as the US counterpart to the sound that the British Curve, most notably in their most recent years, introduced in electronic darkwave music. Of course Toni Halliday has her own typical voice, but Karin of Collide most certainly has as well. She gives the songs a warm ethereal feeling in the dreamy, sometimes very trippy darkwave pop and triphop songs that Statik and Dean Garcia have made for The Secret Meeting. A very accomplished collaboration that results in excellent songs such as ‘Touch’, ‘Am I Here?’ and especially ‘Every Little Thing’, ‘The Beautiful Noise Machine’ and ‘Blacker Than Blue’. Intoxicating and otherworldly, with surrealistic artwork and mushrooms on the cover, with stories about superheroes and laserbeams in ‘Shooting Laser Beams’, rich in sound and with well performed and gripping arrangements. Although you’ll be perfectly able to trace the influences of Collide as well as Curve in The Secret Meeting, the recording as an original product surely has it’s significance since the best of both worlds merges here in accessible dreamy songs. Somewhat comparable to Curve and Collide, but also to Massive Attack, Recoil, Lush and Slowdive. A wonderfully and good album and recommended to those who love adventurous alternative music with a fair amount of electronics in which darkwave, dreampop, triphop and industrial meet each other.-TekNoir
I don't suppose you've ever asked yourself the question: 'What would happen if Dean Garcia, from Curve, got together with kaRIN and Statik from Collide?' But if you have been pondering that question then The Silver Meeting's Ultrashiver will give you the answers you need. Collide's sound, all synths and female vocals, was never a million miles away from Curve.
"Am I Here?" features a spiralling guitar and a sensuous vocal. There's a nice line in quiet/loud dynamics. It's all very good, but I'm still undecided whether I need any more Curve or Collide in my life. What I need is something essential. Songs like "Touch" and "Every Little Thing" are expertly produced, but I find their perfection makes them harder to connect to. There is some discordant guitar near the end of song that threatens to break the surface, but it's too little too late. However there are better things to come. Take "Beautiful Noise Machine" which breaks the status quo. There are guitars that rock. There's a palpable tension in the air, that complements the song's more languid sections. "Blacker Than Blue" also features loud guitars. It could just be that I like synths and guitars working together. There's an excellent echo-laden guitar on this song, before a spoken word section, which builds tension before the chorus returns. This song nears the seven-minute mark and doesn't get boring despite its length.
"Soulcreeper" hammers the final nail in the coffin for this album being perceived as something to put on in the background while polite company make polite conversation. It's not exactly Motorhead, but there's a sense of danger and urgency that would put most off their vol-au-vents. "Shooting Laser Beams" wins points for originality, as it ponders the question: 'If you could be a superhero, what super powers would you choose?' The early 80s disco zapping noises seem unavoidable in the context. After the smoothness of this song the harsh textures of "Forwards and Sideways" are shocking. Luckily kaRIN's voice remains the human aspect to which we can associate. "Shiver X" has the sound and - perhaps more importantly – the magic of early Curve.
Ultimately it is unlikely that this album will change your life. It is technically talented artists making quality music. It would also be a mistake to label it as 'trip-hop' or background music, despite a couple of songs that suggest this. I'd like to see The Secret Meeting play live, as I suspect that is where these songs will really come alive – the human aspect will be in ascendancy over the machine.- Stuart Moses
The Secret Meeting is the blend of two different artists-collectives. kaRIN & Statik of the image-wise and talented yet underrated electro-gothic Collide and half of the original formation of UK based project Curve . They actually met, -very 21st century- through the Internet and decided that they should collaborate in some way. Thus The Secret Meeting was born. The producing skills of both Statik and Dean Garcia are immediately found. The overall sound of the record is excellent, beautifully finished and carefully arranged. There is a large amount of details to any song, giving a twist to many taken-for-granted sounds and giving a special richness to an otherwise easily grasped record. Between both producers, they have covered work with Tool, Mick Jagger, Skinny Puppy, Eurythmics, Leonard Cohen or Sinead O’Connor, giving a special insight in a world of artists that are not limited by a scene and are capable of giving in to a good tune.
Another think that must be commented on is the imaginary that comes with The Secret Meeting and, in general, the work of Noiseplus. The combination of virtual and genuine constructions make a surrealist world were inanimate and live unite under a haunting sky. Evocative and alluring.
Collide and Curve unite, and due to the combination of both ‘ingredients’, all songs are marked by the voice line, and surrounded by arrangements and sounds. ‘Touch’ is a perfect opening: fleeting sounds open to a foggy, haunted voice. Then the song erupts, with a perfect combination of indie sounding guitar patches, percussion lines, heavenly voices ingenuousness, and a tinge of dismal and dark heaviness. The Secret Meeting, however, is hardly dark. It moves more into a sort of alternative sound that can be easily absorbed and is fairly catchy, sensual and easily followed in its complexity. It reminds me of a mix between Delirium’s ‘Karma’ and the indie sounding Medicine. Collide’s main singer emerges as a possible mainstream diva.
The catchiest song is ‘Am I here?’ with an oscillating sound, it moves around a simple percussion line with an absolute spotlight on the ever present voice and swinging guitar lines. The overexposure of the voice is what makes potentially different compositions sound more or less the same and gives The Secret Meeting a unifying identity. All songs follow a similar premise: a mix of melodic guitars, mid-paced drums, many extra arrangements, a high in the chorus and the overpowering voice. The main problem with this is that the record manages to sound very pulled together, yet after listening to it numerous times; there is still no song that splits open and surfaces out of the unity of the album. The use of some stronger riffs in various songs, crosses over in styles, but doesn’t shake off the neo-trip hop, alternative sounding pop-rock songs. ‘Ultrashiver’ is already starting to look like a hit.
Touch opens with a nice haunting effect, Am I Here brings your vocals to an almost surrealistic electronic realm where sounds are turning into vaporous colors ...very out of body type of effect! Every Little Thing will probably get a huge nod from college radio because it is just that much closer to "alternative" without being predictable, Beautiful Noise, well now, i have heard that one countless times on the station and the shimmering electronic modulation with your ever present seductive vocals, heck, can you say winning track? Blacker Than Blue I would sum up an electronic Mid Eastern vibe without it being that consciously noticable. Then when the guitar licks kick in, it's as though you are the Goddess of the Night coming down from Mount Olympus...it is super charged with energy without being exhausting.... Soul Creeper, I wasn't sure what to expect considering the name of the track. The track percolates and punctuates in all the right places and the reverb on your vocals was a wonderful marriage of vocals meeting electronica.... Shooting Laser Beams I would have anticipated to have started the way Soul Creeper did. However, none of you played by the "rules" and instead gave an electronic track with a retro type of psychedelia nod.
The title Forwards and Sideways made me think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory however this piece is a bit more pensive than that film could have handled. It plays heavily with being coy, yet bold, intense yet quietly shimmering. How you pull this off will always remain a mystery to me. Shiver X is a sort of nod to the goth rock underground with the minor guitar keys, however, it never fully falls over the line to be classified as goth per se. Imaginate just may become a new created word in the lexicon of the American vocabulary. It's a very fluid track that brings the listener on an electronic float down a dark river in the caverns of the mind.
Overall, the 3 D effects on your vocals are impeccable. (I do listen to everything on a BOSE so I do have the advantage to some degree than many other listeners.) The Cd is at once seductive, as is typical of the Collide body of work thus far, electronic enough for the club kids and alternative enough for college radio. In my estimation, this CD, like your previous recordings is a winner and should win you even more fans than before.
From the artwork to the actual song construction, you spared nothing in creating a work of quality. I can foresee a LOT of people doing the horizontal lambada to the CD though, so any kids from this should be called something related to the band! It simultaneously caresses the ears while drawing the body into a multitude of rhythmic responses. It's certainly a winner in my book!-Mike V
The Secret Meeting is kaRIN and Statik from Collide joining forces with Dean Garcia, formerly of the UK Britpop shoegazers Curve. Some would call their music ‘Gothic Electronica’ but there is so much more to The Secret Meeting than meets the ear on the first listen. The word ‘Gothic’ conjures up images of darkness, hopelessness and torment. The Secret Meeting, on the other hand, create atmospheric sounds that swirl around like Electro-Psychedelia, allowing enough light in to create shadows within the textures of their music. Their ethereal vibe and warm production breathes hope into Modern Rock and vocalist kaRIN, with her Kate Bush-like coo, creates a mood that casts away demons instead of drawing them in. So, in essence, Gothic they ain’t! Their songs are rhythmic without being classified as ‘Dance Music’ although you can actually move along with the infectious grooves that seem to gravitate within the context of each song. The first set of songs, produced by Garcia, are more guitar heavy than Statik’s productions on the second half of the album, but the mood that each set of songs creates an underlying tension that continues to build throughout the album, although the tension is never too much and there are moments of beauty around every corner that helps to relieve that tension. There are highpoints on the album including ‘Every Little Thing’, ‘Shooting Laser Beams’ and ‘Touch’ but this is a work that is best heard as a whole. (NOISEPLUS MUSIC)-reviewed by the Minister of Information - Stephen Schnee
Secret from whom one wonders – Ms Toni Halliday perchance! For this wonderous album is the product of kaRIN and Statik from Collide working with Dean Garcia from Curve. I am already a big Collide fan, and so inevitably I’ve got a sort of ‘Collide with Dean Garcia’ perspective on the album, but Garcia’s guitar work fits in perfectly with kaRIN’s gorgeous wistful and seductive voice and Statik’s incredible twisted and driven noise manipulations, to give the whole Collide sound a subtly different feel on this release. It’s certainly not a gimmicky concept of just having Garcia help out on a few tracks and then pretending it’s something different when it’s not – this is a CD wide concept that totally justifies the new moniker. It is also an album that will appeal greatly to Curve fans, as this is every bit as warm and velvety one minute, and spitefully seductive the next as Curve were at their best. A bit pointless choosing particular tracks as there are so many that I’d want to highlight, so I’ll just mention the superb posterist Bosch style artwork which is a fascinating piece! Nice to see an album as excellent and addictive as this comes nicely wrapped too! - Mike
The Secret Meeting is the new collaborative project between kaRIN & Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia of Curve. It's quite a fine release. If you are a fan of Collide, you will definitely like this new project. The dense layers of sound that are the trademark of Collide are certainly present in the tracks of The Secret Meeting, but the presence of Dean Garcia has seems to have had the effect of giving a bit of a nice, sharp edge to the music, and given it a more Rockin' sound overall. I like the effect of the churning guitars giving a sense of turmoil and menace to the thick sheets of "Elektro Noize" that envelops each track, courtesy of Statik and Mr. Garcia, all tied together with the "so-damn-sensual-it-makes-a-man-wanna-go-insane-in-the-membrane" vocals of kaRIN.- E.O.
This is a lovely record that reminds me of when Indie was good, just before Shoegazing made the mistake of going amateurish, and could have both charm and dark depths. It's Collide and Dean from Curve, to cut the story short. As I've compared Collide to Curve myself in previous reviews I'm not surprised by this union with Dean Garcia, or surprised everyone else finds it a natural link too, but they have always been gliding forwards in their own direction as well as showing similarities in approach, just as you can say they create music in the same way Garbage once did when seamlessly undulating. It's a style thing, not a copy thing, and kaRIN has no rival in terms of the breathily insistent vocal stakes, as though she's a steadily released gas. Are there great differences then? Not really, with the sound more late 90's than strictly now, because understatement is in, chunky streams are out, as this has hidden strengths. 'Touch' brings wispy tendrils together like a maypole in a stormcloud.
'Am I Here?' is a minxy twister, the bass compass sending them in tight circles. It's noticeable that even when going up through noisy levels this is still a flat pool of sound spreading confidently outwards, creating a glossy feel. 'Every Little Thing' is slicker, with a lustrous guitar glow around the slower but bumpety beat. 'Beautiful Noise Machine' is the catchiest so far, a glorious soft sensitivity and a surging chorus, then the initially shy 'Blacker Than Blue' stirs some hot guitar into a thickening rhythmical sauce, although the vocals could have risen with the power instead of remaining supine, and there is a bit where it sighs like Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love' which is funny.
'SoulCreeper' comes on like Kate Bush fronting cracked and distressed funk, the sound whisked and grizzled, the vocals lighter and clinging to the skeletal, agitated framework. 'Shooting Laser Beams' is a bit lightweight and lank, drooping while the words hint at emotive revenge, 'Forwards And Sideways' is far stronger with a wickedly taut atmosphere and quite trim, with a little head trauma. 'Shiver X' is a curious choice for the single, with simple seepage kept linear with a tidy guitar line and a somewhat syruppy vocal delivery. It's twinkly, for sure, but fairly standard. 'Imaginate' is fairly Curvetastique, and a winsome closer, the vocals soft like a demure fan across well behaved flames.
It's not a wildly demonstrative album but nor, more importantly, is it as direct as Collide records or as heated as Curve, landing somewhere between the two and creating something you need to live with for a while. We've actually been listening to this back and forth to the vet on daily visits to our cat on a long journey and gradually the sounds start to appear bigger. It's a grower.
Morpheus Music Reviews
Restless, gutsy darkwave songs with slinky, prowling female vocals. Ultrashiver is built primarily around a guitar, bass and drums set up - an almost live sound driving the album, yet there is also a wealth of electronic enhancement and sonic manipulation to broaden the sonic spectrum and excite the ear. At the beating heart of each song is kaRIN's distinctive voice - intimate, disdainful, dripping with coiled sweetness, sprawling in predatory languor. Reflecting the same grit and sugar mix, churning guitars brim over with distortion, squeal amid sci fi feedback or pick out rolling flanged patterns whilst electronic atmospheres and peripherals provide contrasting subdued hues. The overall effect is quite a dense sound mass broken apart into brief softer interludes where a rippling synth, some smoother programmed tones or a low-key sustain guitar paints a lighter scene for a moment. The Secret Meeting don't play with obvious melodies, preferring instead a driving intensity threaded through with sensual moodiness - electrodes connected directly to tissu, a nocturnal shroud draped over everything, an ethereal light shafting through storm clouds.
Eye catching artwork accompanies The Secret Meeting both on the sleeve design and the website. Surrealist photomontages reflect the sonic juxtaposition of the music - the front cover centres on a winged human torso with a spherical topiary head inlaid with the dial and mechanics of a clock face - this form emerges impossibly from an upturned snail shell suspended against a brooding sky. Lush green grass carpets every panel, anchoring disparate elements in a procession of peculiarities. On the rear is a tracklist set out aside tree-like mushroom forms and a glass stream. Inside the insert opens into five panels - one side given over entirely to lyrics for the songs, a quadruped skeleton, a flying fish a polished gramophone horn and owl - the other side holds an image of each artist framed in scorched close-up, almost monochrome but not quite. Generous thanks and credits are found inside also along with contact details.
The story goes that Collide vocalist kaRIN contacted Dean Garcia (of Curve fame) whilst surfing the web - a guest vocal was the initial idea, a complete collaborative album the end result. Ultrashiver then features the combined instrumental talents of both Garcia and Collide's other half - Statik bringing their complementary approaches into a decisive shared trajectory, there are also appearances from guitarists Scott Landes and Rogerio Silva (both familiar to Collide fans). Inevitably this new project manifests aspects of the musical heritage from both sides and so will delight current fans, but The Secret Meeting has a personality of its own something that sounds new and familiar both at the same time. The album is released through Noiseplus Music and sleeve notes indicate a two step recording process passing initially through Garcia's U.K. studio and then into Statik's hands at Noiseplus. -Paul Jury
The Secret Meeting is the combined efforts of kaRIN and Statik of Collide with instrumental help from Dean Garcia formerly of Curve. After listening to this album, I concluded that a more perfect mixture of artist's could not have been more beautifuly matched.The music is very reminicent of both bands (showing the striking similarities they both share) but the music still has its own unique qualities. kaRIN's voice is seductive, soothing, and at times her voice sounds like Toni Halliday (former vocalist for Curve) almost to the point that I first thought it was Toni singing! The music itself is a union of trip-hop grooves, lush electronic atmospheres, and edgy bursts of distorted guitar. Both Garcia and Statik's compositional genius is a force to be reckoned with on this album. Having lent their talents to such acts as TOOL, Eurythmics, Skinny Puppy and many more, you can only imagine what they have achieved together on "Ultrashiver". This album could have stood as a Collide or Curve release individually in some respects, but the interplay between these very talented artist's has forged something just as beautiful, full of emotion and totally captivating that pay the utmost homage to both bands.--Craig Harvey
Combining the talents of California darkwave electronic duo Collide and former Curve programmer Dean Garcia seems like a pretty promising match, as both acts have specialized in swirly mixtures of moody yet sensual grooves and aggressive electrorock. U1trashiver is quite possibly some of the finest and most developed work yet, from either camp. Ranging from the subtly-layered vocal melodies of the percussive "Touch" to the delicate and melodic closer, "Imaginate," which bursts into a swell of epic noise and drums grooves alongside the sweetly mysterious vocals of kaRIN, this trans-continental collaboration flows beautifully. Echoes of Curve lurk within the dubby electro-with-guitar-feedback of "Every Little Thing," whereas Collide's penchant for ghostly texture and bold grooves envelop "Beautiful Noise Machine." Fans of edgier dance-rock with heavenly voices will find immediate sustenance in The Secret Meeting. Wonderful music, and if you doubt me, check out their website (www.thesecretmeeting,.net) and hear it for yourself.- Rob Wickett
The Secret Meeting is the coming together of the past, the present, and the future of dreamy, electronic pop music. Comprised of kaRIN and Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia, the musical half of Curve, this project is met with much anticipation. And with Ultrashiver, the high expectations are justified. While hints of both Curve and Collide are to be expected, The Secret Meeting arises as its own entity. During quieter moments, Garcia seemingly forces kaRIN and Statik to shed some of the trip-hop elements they have incorporated in their own music and replace it with shimmering syths, smoothing out some of the rough edges and allowing kaRIN's purrs and coos to become hypnotic, as heard on the disc's opener, "Touch." But it's with the grinding guitars of "Beautiful Noise Machine" and the pulsating electro-rocker "Blacker Than Blue" where The Secret Meeting becomes more than just the sum of its parts--simultaneously more outwardly aggressive and adventurous yet more accessible than any of the members' parent bands. Ultrashiver is sonically challenging and constantly shifting moods with its eerie soundscapes and endless walls of guitar, all of which is anchored by kaRIN's otherworldly voice. Lush, mesmerizing, and addictive, The Secret Meeting creates music that is familiar yet refreshing.- Brian Lumauig
kaRIN and Statik and the kernel of the renowned Industrial Gothic band Collide. With Dean Garcia (Curve) their new project is The Secret Meeting and this is their first production; a seductive, tempting mix of the sumptuous atmospheres typical of the aforementioned two bands. But Ultrashiver is so much more; it is a gift from three artists with an impressive degree of maturity playing on genre borders.
The Secret Meeting's debut album finds Curve's Dean Garcia in yet another collaboration, this time with the members of Collide, producing a varied album that couples atmospheric electronica with a rock and roll vibe not dissimilar to Curve's gritty Brit-rock edge.
One certainly can't accuse Dean Garcia of resting on his laurels. Since the dissolution of Curve when Toni Halliday amicably left the renowned duo, Garcia's thrown himself into a plethora of rather intriguing projects, from oddities such as his collaborations with Jason Novak in Glytsch and his two Headcase albums, to the higher profile groups such as KGC with Sascha Konietzko and Lucia Cifarelli of KMFDM, as well as producing music for his daughter Rose Berlin. Adding to his prolific discography is The Secret Meeting, in which we see him working with kaRIN and Statik of the American electronic group Collide.
As to be expected, the band's debut album, Ultrashiver is full of elements of both groups while managing to find a musical middle ground to give The Secret Meeting a flavor all its own. For Collide's part, kaRIN's distinct voice soars as blissfully as ever, adding an ethereal quality that complements her sense of dark melodies. Her layers of harmonies add greater depth and ambience to the music, particularly in the trip-hop leanings of "Am I Here?" and the almost trancelike psychedelic groove of "Every Little Thing." There are even some jazzy moments to behold on "Shiver X," which could easily play the part of soundtrack to a Michael Mann crime thriller. Then there are tracks like "Forwards and Sideways" and "Touch," both of which strangely begin with the same atmospheric sample loop (a holdover from Garcia's work in Glytsch apparently), carrying his signature dirty beats and gritty bass drones, very reminiscent of his instrumental work in Headcase and in later Curve. "Blacker than Blue" is another standout song with percolating arpeggios of edgy electronica and chugging guitars that evoke the heavy Brit-rock bravado Garcia is so known for. And just in case you thought The Secret Meeting was incapable of humor, the lyrics about superheroes and their powers on "Shooting Laser Beams" will surely bring a chuckle to the listener.
It can be said that The Secret Meeting is a more varied cooperative than KGC, for while Dirty Bomb was an excellent album and certainly not lacking in collaborative spirit, it was clear that the definitive KMFDM components were relegated to the production while Garcia's post-Curve compositions took to the fore. On Ultrashiver, there is a greater sense of sonic variety, incorporating the best of both worlds. Some may find it a dubious pairing as many have described Collide as an American version of Curve, indicating some sense of redundancy. However, Ultrashiver is anything but; the songs hook you in as well as anything by either band, from the catchy melodies to the supercool electronica to the down-and-dirty rock vibe that permeates throughout. As the first album of new material from the members of Collide since 2003's Some Kind of Strange, and as another outing from Dean Garcia, fans of either band should be very satisfied with Ultrashiver.-Ilker Yücel
It is official. I no longer miss Curve. I'm over their dissolution thanks to this wonderous new record from Curve's Mr. Dean Garcia and LA duo Collide. Dean's been a busy man since Curve ended, his solo works have been amazing, his venture with KMFDM members Sacha and Lucia was solid but all of his work has been missing the one aspect I never figured he'd find again: a vocalist to fit his musical stylings. He's found it with Collide's Karin, my friends. I do not know how it is that this band was put together but I can only thank them for doing it. "Beautiful Noise Machine" is very aptly named. Subdued guitar work, low-key beats, luscious vocal harmonizing and then a chorus that'd have done Curve proud. A lot of this work I wonder about the origin of. Then again, it's so well tailored to fit kaRIN's voice I have to accept that I'm listening to something decidedly addictive. I picture windows being kicked out by black, shiny boots somewhere in the middle of nowhere when I hear this tune.
"Blacker Than Blue" sleekly arrives after with the sort of builds Collide are famous for but there's that damned Garcia knack for inserting hooks into places you'd never think of. Drifting... luxuriously narcotized synthesized bliss. You want to let it all go and then you cannot, the alchemy of Statik and Dean just will not let you. The crunchy guitar riffs hit hard, the sing-a-long words form a chain... struggle all you like, you'll only wind up harming yourself if you turn this album off. Kindly make more of these, all involved. This meeting won't be a secret for long.-Peter Marks
Rock Sound Review
"Somewhere out there in cyber space, in between social networks and porn and eBay, a beautiful 21st century baby has been born. "Ultrashiver" the result of a cross-continental collaboration between kaRIN and Statik of Collide and Dean Garcia of Curve, is something rare, a newborn with a mature outlook on life. Dreamy, delirious, reeking of atmosphere and heavy with lush layering. The Secret Meeting create songs which are like looking into a very deep well. There is mystery and darkness and a sort of a silky stillness. Languorous industrial beats and often eerie electro experiments are teamed with guitars at times swirling at times jarring, and often just quietly beautiful, while kaRIN's sultry yet searching vocal meandering intoxicate. This is one secret best shared.-Sarah Cosgrove
While we knew that Curve recently split in a definitive way, the fans will be reassured to learn that Dean Garcia will have not remained unemployed for long. He indeed became allied with the very good Collide for a project which turns out as high as their respective discographies! The fusion is total and we like to find the influences of each in each of the compositions of this first album. If Collide seemed to sink into a too soft rhythmic or if you find that Curve sometimes missed delicacy, you will find your happiness in this project while keeping a place for a kind of sensuality. Garcia brings out the kinkiest side of the duet with an edgier rhythmic where fleet in a remarkable way, the excellent voice of kaRin. "Ultrashiver" is a total success and a whole conceptual album where it is difficult to bring out a particular song. (CX:8)
When Collide seemed to virtually disappear from the music world I was bummed. They were one of the better darkwave/industrial bands I had heard, and their vocalist, Karin, had a unique and cool voice. So you could imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this band which is a collaboration between the members of Collide and Dean Garcia of Electronica/Shoegaze band Curve. It seems safe to assume that a majority of people have no idea who these bands are, so with that in mind, I am going to move forward with the review as if this were a totally new band without any past to reference.
The Secret Meeting plays an interesting blend of darkwave and electronica, with an emphasis on Karin’s lush and delicate vocals. The music is often slow and mellow with darkwave-inspired synths contrasted with slow, groovy beats, occasional guitar sounds (they lack the form to truly be called riffs), and ambient noises. Karin’s breathy, almost erotic, vocals are often layered with indistinct chanting and reverberating vocal harmonies which gives a lot of the songs an ethereal, almost dark, new age quality. It’s not a sound that has never been done before, but the band pulls it off better then most.
Almost every song embodies the above characteristics, but standout tracks would include “Am I Here” with its trip-hop beat, dark vibe, subdued, distorted guitar sounds, and Karin’s vocals which are truly alive with subtle sensuality. Another song worth noting is “Beautiful Noise Machine” which takes its guitar influence directly from bands such as Slowdive, with its use of a full, lush, melodic sound that is dripping in echo and fuzzy effects and is played over a chill groove, soft electronics and has one of the more memorable choruses as well.
While up until this point I have had nothing but good things to say about this band and album, there are a few things that some may see as a problem. The main issue that some may encounter is that due to the mellow nature of the songs that emphasize atmosphere over catchiness, by the end of the album you may not be able to think of any one track that you actually were able to retain in your mind. With repeated listens that problem slowly dissipates, but the listener must be willing to give the album the multiple listens and attention it requires first.
Overall, as the rating suggests, I am very happy with this album as it has everything I liked about Collide, wrapped in the more delicate sounds of trip-hop and shoegaze. The sensuous vocals of Karin have never sounded better, and the increased focus she receives in the form of multiple layers and experimental chants sets this to a new standard for her. Musically, the lush new age feel of the electronics, mixed with Slowdive-inspired guitar sounds, contrasted with the gloomier sounds associated with darkwave is near perfect, and we can only hope that this wasn’t just a one-album side project.
kaRIN and Statik of Collide fame join forces with Dean Garcia (Curve) to get together on this new project. Energetic alternative pop is blended with airy industrial dance along with ethereal melodies and blissful arrangements are what makes “Ultrashiver” really outshine everyone else. Rich textures and darkwave atmospheres percolate the Secret Meeting into an out-of-this-world combo that is completely intoxicating. Beautiful!
The Secret Meeting is not just one of the current projects of former Curve song-writer, but it is in fact a collaboration between Dean and trip-hop darksters Collide. If you had told me that Collide and Dean from Curve were collaborating, I might have told you that the mixture of personalities would not work. But having heard it, I can tell you that the match was indeed made in heaven. What I have heard from their debut album "Ultrashiver" has been just incredible. Musically, it sounds like a perfect fusion of Collide and Curve. The two styles mesh perfectly and kaRIN's voice more often than not actually does sound a lot like Toni Halliday. So much so that before I realized that this was a collaboration with Collide and when I heard one of the tracks, I thought it was a new project for Dean and Toni. It is obvious that Toni has had a huge influence on kaRIN as she has had on many other great female singers.
The contrast between Dean's and Statik's writings styles creates a harmony of dark atmosphere and downtempo groove. kaRIN's vocals accentuate an already blissful soundscape of spacey dark chambers. Definitely worth checking out for anyone who likes either Curve or Collide or trip-hop music in general. This is probably the best pure trip-hop that I have heard since Massive Attack's 100th Window.
Bravo almighty on one great and impressive effort. Ultrashiver is fantastic. I have only had it for a week and have lived it some 20 times. That's rare for me to dedicate that much time and intensity to any CD of any genre. With every re-visit I gain more. Heck, it even makes me horny too...LOL That's also rare for me too!
From content, writing, production, arranging, packaging and the very notecard and materials sent with it....it is well thought through and total pro to every detail. My sincere congratulations upon the wonderful and appropriate new name and all the work you poured into this work of art. I wish you every success and continued growth. If the industry doesn't dig this one then they truly need hearing....and feeling aides! You certainly deserve all attention.
Ultrashiver is the debut release from The Secret Meeting, a collaboration between Dean Garcia (ex-Curve) and Collide members, kaRIN and Statik. It's an intricately woven artpiece, where emotions, imagery and sound capture the perfect moment. The voluptuous voice of kaRIN liquefy the sensual melodies and lingers long after it fades into silence. To cage the sound into a genre would break the delicate enchantment it possesses. Ultrashiver is ethereal velvet, extravagantly vulnerable and enticingly pained a splendid epic!-Tess
Noiseplus Music, distr. Matrix esparto. Exit: June 2007 After 32CRASH, union inspired of Face 242 and Implant (see chronic ici-même), Alfa Matrix again celebrates a happy marriage while convolant in right weddings (musical) KaRIN and Statik of the group electro American Collide (” the best unknown underground group”, known as the promotion and I approve) with Dean Garcia de Curve, reference impossible to circumvent of the English pop noisy. As with 32CRASH, the child born of this union, baptized Ultrashiver, is much more beautiful than his parents who are however sexy each one in their kind. The éthérée voice (and one nothing rascal) of KaRIN ciconvolutionne lascivement to the tormented guitars of Dean Garcia, extremely constant - even carried to the naked ones - by synthetic arrangements of Statik. It is beautiful, large, extremely, planing (Touch), noisy (Beautiful noise machine), surprising (Blacker than blue), entêtant (Shiver X) and always new, new and original. In short, there is strictly nothing to throw in this essential album. The Secret Meeting laid an exceptionally gifted child, already brilliant. What tops will reach it while growing?! Jean-Marc Ligny
For those of you not up to speed on the goings on in cybergoth world, The Secret Meeting is a collaborative project between long time Zeitgeist / M4L favourites Collide and ex Curve fella, Dean Garcia.
Now my knowledge of Curve can easily be written in block capitals on my pinky nail, but I absolutely adore the cold yet sensual darkwave electronica of Collide. So, I was a tad concerned that this project might strip away some of the lustre from my precious. But it was a needless worry. It's certainly more organic than their electronika based releases, but the added warmth works well.
It's also considerably more commercial, but not in a dirrty way, and there's no reason why songs like 'Am I Here?' couldn't find their way on to radio. After all, the alleged TV show, NCIS has already picked up on a couple of the tracks. I do miss some of the sharper corners Collide used to exhibit but when there's songs like the exqusite 'Blacker Than Blue' to rip my soul apart, it's a price I'm willing to pay.-Stuart A Hamilton