Industrial Rock: Over the course of five studio albums and a number of remix releases, Los Angeles based duo Collide has seamlessly moved from the goth industrial of their 1996 debut, Beneath the Skin, and incorporated elements of trip-hop, dream pop, and even Middle Eastern influences. On Color of Nothing, their first full-length of new material in six years, kaRIN and Statik sound rejuvenated, embracing their history while pushing theirmusic further. Everything is polished without being over-produced, as Statik’s arrangements are the perfect foil for kaRIN’s elastic vocals going from seductive whisper to gritty scowl. The album opens with the scorching punch of industrial rockers, “Wake Up” and “Soul Crush,” both revealing the path Color of Nothing is taking with searing guitars and pulsating synths right out of the Trent Reznor playbook. But this isn’t merely an exercise in hero worship, as Collide finds its identity when they take a more deliberate pace. The sexy grind of “Freaks Me Out” and the explosive rhythms of “Side to Side” are Collide at its strongest and most expansive. And still, the band doesn’t shy away from the dance floor, as heard on the addictive “Say What You Mean.” Color of Nothing isn’t so much a return to form as it is a band showing unflinching confidence in its capabilities.
Collide is one of those artists I turn to for background music — which isn’t to say that the duo’s music is without its edges, just that usually it’s the kind of cruisy, atmospheric electronica that makes the rest of the world fade away.
Not so with their new album, Color of Nothing.
Statik and kaRIN have come out fighting, with guitars leading the attack.
Opener “Wake Up” announces this urgency, the swell and subside of electronica topped by explosions of buzzing guitar as the song unfurls. The energy runs through the entire album, taking on a dance-floor groove in “Soul Crush,” an infectious swagger in “Side to Side”, a slow burn in love song “Fix”.
It’s still distinctively a Collide album, with Statik commander-in-chief in the studio and kaRIN’s bringing the evocative vocals (indeed, here there’s more of a consistent collision of those smooth vocals with spiky instrumentation than before). She touches on themes ranging from the global (“Blurring the Edges,” “Pale Blue”) to the intensely personal (“Intruder,” “Freaks Me Out”); from comfort, to resignation, to defiance.
A fitting soundtrack for 2017.
'Color of Nothing' is Collide's 8th studio album and their first one in six years following 'Counting to Zero' in 2011. That album was a rather downtempo, melancholy affair that although well-executed, largely lacked the fire that they exhibited on 'Two Headed Monster' from 2008. There's fire aplenty though in 'Color of Nothing' and it begins with the aptly titled "Wake Up". If Collide's fans thought they had lost some of their industrial edge previously, I can tell you that it's back in full force now. The harder edge here is provided by the guitars of Kevin Kipnis (Purr Machine) and Scott Landes. Statik is still handling programming (electronics, percussion) and kaRIN has never sounded more seductively witchy. Something about the ways her voice was recorded on this album is really different. She is still immediately recognizable but there are places where her vocals are elusive as smoke. Statik incorporates a lot of melodic/rhythmic industrial loops on this album, perhaps more than he's ever used before. Where Collide had once flirted with taking over the mantle of the 90's band Curve (ie; The Secret Meeting - 'Ultrashiver') here on 'Color of Nothing' they do so forcefully and unapologetically. They even invited Dean Garcia back again to play bass on a track ("Fix"). This is a bigger, bolder and heavier album than they've ever done before. Although there's no definitive unified concept here, this is one of those albums that plays best as a whole rather than trying to pick some hit song, of which there isn't really one here. They're all good. Even though it took me a while to really get into 'Color of Nothing' it was worth it, and I think Collide's fans will think so too. It's an album that could only have been put out by a goth-industrial outfit of the calibre of Collide, and was worth the wait. I can only hope they'll feel like touring it.
Posted by Steve Mecca
Collide categorise their music as being a mix of mix of Darkwave, Ethereal, and Industrial; occasionally tough beats and sometimes crunching guitars combine with the sweetest vocals, all washing over the listener in waves of euphoria and emotion. Wake Up exemplifies the bands approach and sound, confecting an unholy but rather majestic trinity of Skinny Puppy, Goldfrapp and NIN to make something very new.
Here is the full review translated (with google) into English:
I can hardly believe it, but Bent & Broken is actually almost seven years ago. Seven years, in which the music of kaRIN and statics always ran with me again and again. But new material was not there and so Collide got something out of my focus. If I had been asked, I could not say with certainty whether the band still exists. See you tonight. A friend told me why I had not said anything to Color of Nothing, the new one of Collide. Like right now? New album by Collide?
Of course, the hope to get this time from the US to be sampled itself for us rather illusory. But what do you have a coffee cup for? They are looted and bought the album. I mean hello? We talk about Collide? What can go wrong? I'm still a bit nervous. Was it a good idea to buy the album blindly? Have kaRIN and statics ever developed musically? Or is Color of Nothing just a best of?
Color of Nothing
From the first bars is clear to me: This is not a best of. The sixth album of the duo from Los Angeles convinces. The album has exactly the "Wow factor", where the mouth simply remains open. The fascinating, charming and mysterious voice of kaRIN gives the music exactly the touch, which distinguishes the music of Collide. The instrumentation is unusually rough and angular. Some songs are reminiscent of the style of the Nine Inch Nails, which gives the music a great and unusual drive.
The atmosphere of Color of Nothing is quite different from that of Bent & Broken. Each song has a different character, its own aura. Sometimes, the music seems cuddling, sometimes disturbing dissonant. Nevertheless, all the songs have this mysterious charisma, which has always been the hallmark of Collide. Aesthetic, dreamy, enchanting and incredibly great are terms that go through my head for this album.
Yes lick me at the ass is the cool
Color of Nothing is a great album. For me it is the best album of the band. It combines elements that have always been part of Collide. Collide makes things different in nuances, but it is these nuances that make the difference between very good and extraordinary. It is a new and impressive stage of musical development for Collide. There is no sound for me on this album.
Rarely fascinated and inspired me an album on so many levels. I can not point to this or that one detail and say "THAT is really cool!" There are so many little things. It's the whole thing that convinces me. Whether it is the change between different moods, the sometimes subtle, sometimes dominant instrumentation. Or the sometimes direct, sometimes ambiguous texts. Or the tempo change. Or the wonderfully processed rock elements. Or even with her almost alien voice.
Two things still bother me on this album. On the one hand: Collide obviously do not have a promoter or distribution partner, who cares about Germany. On the other hand - and this is directly related to the aforementioned problem - is the album in Germany exclusively as a download to get. If you want to have a CD, you have to import it from US for US $ 12.83. But apart from that, Color Of Nothing is a real black gem of electronic rock music.
I’ve always admired the esteemed and unclassifiable outlet that is Collide, and I can honestly say Color of Nothing is by far their best release to date. Rooted in dark wave, electronic at its core, Collide’s overall sound is distinct and uniquely its own.
Made possible by Pledge Music, Color of Nothing is the dynamic duo’s sixth release and they created something that is musically profound. Hypnotic, atmospheric, and majestically epic each song is a piece of the greater whole, building on what has come previously to create a seamless aesthetic movement. Intricate and full of many layers, the album seduced me before the end of the second track and my attention was immediately drawn into its contemplative and passionate world, which is lavishly illustrated by Statik’s amazing mixing and sound design and kaRIN’s spell binding ethereal vocals.
It’s rare that I find an album I love so much but Color of Nothing delivers on all accounts. It’s delightfully delicious from beginning to end and I found myself hitting repeat over and over again. Do yourself a favor and purchase this majestic piece of art. You won’t regret it. - NIN
Available at www.collide.net/store, iTunes, and Amazon.
The Monkey isn’t a music journalist. I’m just a middle-aged guy small furry mammal who makes his living (well, used to. Sort of) talking about film. But I do have ears, and music often fills those ears. So, I guess in a kind of nonprofessional, subjective sort of way I’m a music suggester. And today I’d like to talk to you about one of my favorite bands, Collide. After a six-year wait, they’ve just come out with a new studio album called The Color of Nothing. If you’ve never heard of them before, how does The Monkey even talk to you about it? I mean it’s a lot like trying to explain what opposable thumbs are to marmoset’s, and believe me you don’t want to have that conversation.
Statik and kaRIN, the duo that make up the band, have been producing sonic world’s that defy neat labels for twenty-five years, and I’ve been listening to them almost from their start (Holy crap, I’m old). Much like The Monkey’s often called everything from a dilettante to a shiftless malcontent over the years, they’re classified as industrial, goth, and darkwave, and they are all that and more. They are kind of like a musical Large Hadron Collider smashing together genre’s and producing something never observed by humans before. Yes, if you like Ego Likeness, Android Lust, or I: Scintilla it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll devour Statik’s landscapes of noise, and the seductive siren voice of kaRIN with the wild abandon of The Monkey at a Chiquita factory. But that doesn’t do justice to the unique sound of Collide either. You don’t listen to a Collide album, you experience it. And The Color of Nothing is an experience worth the six-year wait.
From its deeply layered opening track Wake Up, to the hypnotic closing track Pale Blue, The Color of Nothing is eleven tracks of rapturous, swelling, slightly sinister, poetic compositions. It’s like the sound of eleven unmade short David Lynch films. It’s that strange, and mesmerizing, except you won’t feel like an idiot if you don’t ‘get it’. If it hasn’t become clear already, The Monkey Loves Collide (and probably has a schoolboy crUSH on kaRIN). I also urge you, dear readers, to head on over to your music streamer of choice and give it a listen. Better yet buy a few copies so they can continue to make great music for years to come.
The internet has made it easier for musicians to release their own music. Big labels aren’t a necessity. All you really need is a passion for your craft and support from your fans. Collide is fortunate enough to have both. The LA-based musical team of Statik and kaRIN have put out their own albums for years; however, this time they did something different. They launched a kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for their latest release Bent and Broken and their fans generously gave their support.
In the musical world one way to enhance a great song is by remixing it. Bent and Broken is a double remix album containing tracks from the electro-tech duo’s prior releases Counting to Zero and Two Headed Monster. Fans from across the globe submitted their remixes for consideration and seasoned vets—including cEvin Key/Ken “HiWatt” Marshall (Skinny Puppy), Chris Vrenna (Tweaker) and Shikhee (Android Lust)—also lent their talents to this sonically stimulating release.
The songs that comprise the first CD (Bent) are a luxurious mixture of atmospherics, rich electronic soundscapes, hypnotic synths, and kaRIN’s sensual vocals. Disc two (Broken) veers into club friendly territory presenting an exotic mix of darkwave and synthcore madness.
Another way to enhance a great tune is by putting your own spin on it and kaRIN and Statik did just that. kaRIN’s sultry vocals give new life to “Orgy” (by Robert Smith’s The Glove project) and their take on Queen’s “She Makes Me” would make Freddie Mercury proud. Of course these two creative geniuses had to give their fans an extra special treat – a new tune titled “Bent and Broken,” which finds the unit further expanding the edges of their sound.
Bent And Broken is a stellar release in which Collide manages to create their own audio universe with a little help from their friends. The remixes retain the band’s signature stamp while elevating the songs to a new sonic plane. Fans will be pleased and darkly-inclined music lovers will have a new group to add to their repertoire.
"The first half Bent kicks off with some of its most impressive tracks, beginning with an ominous, throbbing remix of "Mind Games" from Counting to Zero (which is an excellent single in its original form) by cEvin Key and Skinny Puppy collaborator Ken “HiWatt” Marshall; "Orgy,” an eerie, serpentine cover of a tune originally created by Cure frontman Robert Smith for his side project The Glove, featuring some of kaRIN's best vocal work; and an ultra-cool cosmic cover of Queen's "She Makes Me,” based on a solid foundation of acoustic guitar and now one of my all-time Collide faves. Another standout is the title track, which appears here for the first time, and pulses with the same dark energy of the opening cut, but with a lighter, more inquisitive touch..."
"...The sound is expansive and full of beauty and resonates long after...It’s pure reveling in the material making it as loud and bombastic as it can get."
"Across the board it’s pretty much top notch production value. Bent and Broken will make Collide fans go back and excavate and re-evaluate previous works in their original incarnation to discover what seeds are there that caught the remixers’ ear in the first place. Very much recommended."
Veteran musicians- kaRIN and Statik have done it again with their prolific, top notch, Industrial/ethereal/goth music. TODAY is the day...new release date for Bent and Broken and it's a double cd set!! kaRIN's vocals are breathier and true magick as well as Statik's programming of beats and gem noize!
This double for your pleasure release is oh so yummy with remixes of some of their greats - remixes by Statik, cEvin Key, Shades of Red and many more contributors. This is a get on your blasters and outer space suits and fire up this release kind of goodness that Collide keeps evolving with each release!
Loves: "Orgy", "Lucky 13", "Clearer (Shades of Red mix)","She makes me","Mind games (Statik mix)"...
The CD, as well as immediate download is now available from our website. It is also available on Amazon.com, on iTunes.
Loathed by some, loved by many.
While some listeners consider a remix something akin to filmmaker George Lucas going back to the well and bastardizing the source material, there are a lot of music remixes that surpass the original songs in surprising ways. Most of my favourite musicians are not afraid to tinker around with their source material after it's been released. These same musicians often take more time crafting their remixes, putting additional effort into making the restructured songs something that is different enough from the original version to merit release without making the song sound trite or too diluted.
At almost twenty years into their musical partnership, both kaRIN and Statik of the California based duo Collide are certainly no strangers to the studio. Together they have put out numerous releases, remixes, and side projects that span many musical genres, with most of their material appealing to fans of both electronic and darkwave. Their latest release, Bent and Broken, is a double CD of b-sides, covers, a new studio track and numerous remixes of material from their past two studio efforts, Counting To Zero and Two Headed Monster.
There are numerous moments to highlight on Bent and Broken, two ethereal interpretations of 'Tears like Rain' rank amongst my favourites. The dark and moody remix of 'In The Frequency' by Tweaker's Chris Vrenna is also high on the list. There is a clever cover of 'Orgy' from the Robert Smith side project The Glove that is well worth a listen. And, of course, the wicked 'Mind Games' remix by cEvin Key and Ken Marshall of SKINNY PUPPY is sure to please fans of the genre.
The title track, 'Bent and Broken', is a new studio song from Collide, and the track is a standout from these two discs of material. There is an interesting interpretation of 'She Makes Me' by Queen that is worth a listen. And 'kaRIN, You're Not Yourself Today' sounds more like something the Art Of Noise might have left on their studio floor, complete with odd vocals and notes that sound like they are comprised of digitized and programmed keyboard vocals.
Bent and Broken is available from the band’s website (and self-managed label) in both physical and digital formats. The 2 CD compilations will please fans both new and old. Collide remain a very stoic force in the independent music scene. They keep an interesting and eclectic mix of company, many of whom have contributed their skills to the remixed material on this new release. Do take the time to check out this compilation of 26 new tracks. - See more at: http://www.lithiummagazine.com/collide-bent-and-broken-album-review#sthash.Id3wEbtn.dpuf
by Mike Bax
Style: November 2012
Wide-ranging gritty electronica and seductive/ethereal female vocals.
Bent and Broken sees Collide back in collaborative mode building upon the powerful approach taken on their 2004 release Vortex. The tracks here include a new song (the title-track Bent and Broken), two steeply twisted covers (Robert Smith's Orgy from his Glove project and Queen's She Makes Me) and freely adventurous remixes of earlier Collide material both from Collide themselves and multifarious guest musicians/producers. Following an online remix contest a dazzling array of contributors were chosen to provide content for Bent and Broken - big names as well as less familiar artists: Vrenna, cEvin Key, Android Lust, Katarrhaktes, Tom Gipson, Alyssa Finnivan, Antigen5, iNGRUO, Matt Gatsos and The Black Sheep Project, Psych-Nein, DJO2, LgVela, Synkraft, Diffuzion, DJ Forensic and Whitney Kew... The unity of Bent and Broken is quite a coup considering the diversity of the styles encountered - gutsy, plastic, digital mangling; harsh industrial electronica juxtaposed with synth washes and feminine vocal expressions; dreamy gothic nocturnes and fractured cyber-lullabies. Bent and Broken is perhaps the ideal introduction for anyone not yet familiar with Collide.
Artwork: Since my version is an electronic download I can't comment on the physical packaging of Bent and Broken except to say that Collide generally produce high-quality materials with a loving personal touch throughout. Cover art here is of a consistent metallic grey-blue hue - shot through with glass-mirror-cracks, jagged razor-edged, liquid smooth or soft-focus blurred. Sharp portrait shots of kaRIN and Statik intersperse with recording information and track details. As is appropriate given the collaborative nature and Kickstarter funding approach to this release a generous thanks section concludes the booklet.
Overall: Bent and Broken is the latest release from the proudly unshackled independent band Collide. This two CD package contains twenty-six tracks and in excess of a hundred and thirty minutes of music sprawling across a broad range of associated genres. The project is funded almost entirely from Kickstarter contributions so that fans have been provided with a sense of involvement right from the start. Those who donated $10.00 or more to the Kickstarter page received a digital download of the album a week in advance. The band also have a generous policy of giving away interesting items with their releases: autographed CDs, a Collide necklace, a signed drum head. The album can be downloaded from the band's official website where it can also be purchased in CD format along with a range of associated Collide ephemera - not least a special limited edition black metal aluminium USB drive, laser etched with the Collide symbol and preloaded with the album, and artwork. Tracks from Bent and Broken can also be sampled via the official release page.
Collide – Bent And Broken (DCD – Noiseplus Music)
Posted on 27/12/12
The graceful duo Statik and kaRIN better known as Collide is an established project of the electro-wave scene. The band can look back on an impressive number of high quality releases, which they’ve mainly released on their own label Noiseplus Music. “Bent And Broken” is not a new album, but a kind of little pleasure to enjoy themselves and the Collide fan basis.
We get an impressive number of remixes from songs that were released on the albums “Two Headed Monster” and “Counting To Zero”. We next get a few interesting covers and the new song “Bent And Broken”.
“Bent And Broken” unfortunately is not the kind of song that caught my attention. It sounds sweet and delicate, but without the typical Collide-magic. I next was wondering how the cover versions would sound. “Orgy” was originally written by Robert Smith and Steven Severin for The Glove. The cover version by Collide has a delicate sensual touch mixed with Eastern sound influences and is not bad at all. The other cover version is a rather surprising choice. We here get a cover of Queen’s “She Makes Me”, which is quite noticeable for the evasive, ethereal vocals of the angelic kaRIN.
Over now to the remixes on the 1st disc. There are several remarkable and even outstanding pieces. The remix of “Mind Games” by Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key and Ken Marshall is a slow opener, but with deep resonating vibes and again the essential, sensual vocals of kaRIN. The “Great Apes Mix” of “In The Frequency” is more into solid guitar riffs, showing a real transposition of the original song. The Black Sheep also did a good job with the remix of “Pure Bliss”. It’s a kind of ghost-like version with a great progression. But the best remix is the one by Statik himself! He deserves the award of best remix on this disc for “Mind Games”. It sounds pretty industrial-dub like while I also like a kind of scratching sound treatment. Statik contributed to some other remixes as well and in the end it all becomes clear that you can’t be better served than by yourself!
The debut part of the 2nd disc is astonishing! Psych-Nein did an impressive job on “Tears Like Rain” while Chris Vrenna shows all his composing and remixing skills on “In The frequency”. DJO2 and his “Oxidized”-remix of “Chaotic” is a hard interpretation with bewitching rhythms. The brutal and hard sounding “Clearer” remixed by Synkraft is another attention grabber. But the absolute masterpiece was made by LgVela and the “LgVela Dance Mix” of “Head Spin”. This is pure dancefloor food made of beating bass drums and sexy vocals. This is pure lust!
Let’s stay on the dancefloor with some technoid vibes made by Vinnie Saletto featuring DJ Forensic on the remix of “Pure Bliss”. Synkraft again did another great remix. “Chaotic” is another heavy piece of music.
It all becomes clear that this is an album meant to please the fans, but I think it is also a way for Collide to revisit some songs from the past few years. It’s an interesting and meaningful album.
Listening to electro duo Collide is a little like walking by the ocean; a quiet, calming ocean. But as with that aquatic environment, beneath the surface, there are currents to pull you in unexpected directions, rips to take you deeper. And that is what the mammoth remix double album Bent and Broken (Noiseplus), kindly downloaded to me by the band, has explored, tagging the essence and developing the core of the music to take it further. So not just those calming rhythms, but the crash and foam as well.
Prime example is ‘Chaotic’, from the 2008 album Two Headed Monster, itself a rollicking, infectious tune. There are three versions on Bent and Broken — one mesmerising with strings, another yet more chaotic with electro pop and whizz, the third even further ramped up with the fuzz into a dancefloor firecracker.
There are also three versions of ‘In the Frequency’, making it equal favourite for remixing, and two of four others. All up, there are 26 tracks split 15/11 on Bent and Broken, mostly reimagining Two Headed Monster and last year’s Counting to Zero (reviewed here): two hours of largely dreamy soundscape. There is also a sprinkling of new material: ‘Orgy’, a worthy cover of a The Glove song that makes the most of kaRIN’s understated snarl; straight-up Collide-style ‘Bent and Broken’, and a cinematic cover of Queen’s ‘She Makes Me’ featuring acoustic guitar.
Matched with Statik’s musical chops — this album’s production rewards listening through headphones — kaRIN’s vocals are one of Collide’s assets: distinctive, seductive, malleable, swinging from seductive to ominous to pacific.
So I probably could’ve done without the fast-forward/rewind whimsy of ‘kaRIN, You’re Not Yourself Today’, but it’s a single blip on an otherwise smooth journey.
A highlight is dreamy ‘Lucky 13 (Damaged mix)’, ramped up with industrial stylings that provide a darker, almost ironic cast. It doesn’t surprise it comes courtesy of Android Lust, whose next album is being Kickstarted towards completion.
‘Tears Like Rain (Cloudburst mix)’, such an awesome line from the movie Blade Runner, here drops the pace into maudlin territory, gentle keys creating the soft pitter patter of hopes and dreams slowly melting; the Psych-Nein mix transports ‘Tears Like Rain’ into a casbah discotechque.
‘Clearer (Serrated Edge mix)’ is smoother than the name suggests, but has one of the heavier beats and widest ranges, from an almost industrial attack to minimal electronic hand claps.
And so on, with extra beats here, trip hop there; candlelight anthem here, dancefloor there.
The album closes with a seven-and-a-half-minute meditation of ‘Utopia’. Ahh.
Collide are a well known entity in their scene, there is no dispute there but where they have wound up on this album will be the subject of a lot of other reviews out there. This one included. As time has gone by, Collide have morphed into one of the strangest pairs working in what could be called rock and roll; only by the slimmest of margins. Their records have contained songs which would strip the conceptions off even the most primed of ears, and in this, they have done what few can say out there: they have outlasted the class of 96 which they came from who jumped at the chance to fill the void left by Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia (who, incidentally, plays bass on some of 'Counting to Zero'). If you're my age, you'll easily remember all the new acts eager to take up the reigns but ask yourself this... where are they now? Are they doing their eighth album and even if so, who cares? Really, who does. Collide are still with us, Karin and Statik continue to explore the edges of their sound with a set of steel nerves. Nothing fazes them, go on and read an interview, these two don't make any pretenses; it is about the music first and foremost. All other trappings fall to the wayside.
Be prepared to drop the tempo and soak in a luxurious mixture of atmospheres, guitars, loops, and that voice. Oh that voice. This release has the same tactile sense of smoke languidly curling up into the still air from a 30s movie starlet lounging about at some off the strip bar waiting for a moment's peace from the chaos of public life. You sit and watch it rise and as it merges with the surroundings, there is a sense of beautiful symmetry which cuts through the haze: you have been here before but it is never the same and it never will be. This is not to say that 'Counting to Zero' lacks in power, far from it, Collide have decided to let their arrangements loosen a bit and go for capturing a live sound instead of the usual precise level of tension they're better known for. Rough and ready is how it sounds to me, and even though it does, I have no doubt they agonized over each minute letter and detail of this new work far far into the night.
Many times on here, the backdrop of Statik's arrangements are drawn back to the barest hints of a song in order to let Karin's vocals shine through and shine they do. Like a mercurial stream of glimmering diamonds caught by the prospecter's eye amidst all the dust and dirt, she speaks and sings in ways I had not expected. I'm hesitant to call any of these additions to their catalog torch songs but some of them are so deliciously sad and contain so much longing that I cannot help myself. I just wonder if they'll ever take over a piano bar and reduce what they've done even more, I really was not prepared for how diverse and daring their newest wound up being. There have been hints, there have been overtures but now there can be little doubt that even if you take away all their toys they'll still make it slinky and seductive with whatever they find. I believe that would be called talent, my friends. Some artists heal with what they do, Collide wound this time out by virtue of how nakedly unashamed these songs are. It will hurt for a short while but as they are so fond of saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
What has happened in their world, is it just artistic license going on here or has everything been turned upside down. We'll never know, and it isn't our business anyway so let us just partake of the sumptuous repast they've put before us. No seriously, shut your mouth and listen.
El Desierto De Hielo
(translated) "Collide mixed, with skill and elegance, post-industrial electronic and saturated guitars, trip-hop atmospheres hypnotic and ethereal, as if it were about Curve relaxed, dreamy or a few NIN almost Gothic Massive Attack. "Counting to Zero" is a dark work, sensual and exciting, where all the element."
"Collide mezclan, con maestría y elegancia, electrónica post-industrial y guitarras saturadas, trip-hop hipnótico y atmósferas etéreas, como si se tratara de unos Curve relajados, unos NIN ensoñadores o unos Massive Attack casi góticos. “Counting to zero” es un trabajo oscuro, sensual y fascinante, donde todos los elementos funcionan con precisión milimétrica y aportan una dosis afilada y calculada de frialdad."
"...the end result is a sonic force that chills your bones, heightens your pulse and makes hot, sweet love to your neurons...kaRIN's hushed, seductive and slightly otherworldly vocals and Statik's skill with sculpting massive grooves out of simple beat patterns allow the band to stretch in different creative directions without losing their sonic identity... which is a very good thing, because with this album they've established that persona more clearly than ever.
Beginning with the texturally complex, almost psychedelic "Bending And Floating", this veteran Californian electronic duo have taken aspects of their last effort (the all-classic rock covers album "These Eyes Before") and synthesized them into the band's signature dark-edged electro-rock template. "Lucky 13" is a slinky, seductive groove with an almost bluesy swagger. "In The Frequency" is a low-and-slow trip-hop gem, and "Slow Down" is a trippy kaleidoscope of ambient rock. "Further From Anything" begs for club play. There are other standouts, as well, but I'd be rambling. Suffice to say that Collide's expert synthesis of electronica, moody rock, and dark dance is among the finest you're likely to hear anytime soon. "Counting To Zero" finds Collide firing on all cynlinders. Kudos to Statik and kaRIN! (Noiseplus Music)
Collide are back, and its happy days.
This is probably the album I have had the most difficulty adjusting to, possibly in my life! On listening to their previous albums of Collide I could almost instantly pick out the highlights for myself. Some of the tracks were an instant “love at first listen” type of scenario. Like a voice pitched and tuned perfectly for your own ears, they felt like comfort beyond comfort where you could just close your eyes, sigh with relaxation, and know you are with something that was perfectly working in tandem with your own inner soul.
This time round it’s been a real nurturing process. And I don’t mean that to sound like the album is poor and I was just desperate to like it, more a case of the band really are making the audience participate further by listening more intently. I was of course worried that something had gone horribly wrong when I first listened to the album – although I knew I was doing two other things at once ads I was doing so – but the end I knew I had to give the album its due and listen closer. Turns out when you first fall in love with any art, it is conceivably going to be a different process when you return for more. First love is never the same and this is true of anything you attach yourself emotionally to.
My second journey through the album assured me that there was nothing particularly wrong with the album at all. I was worried though that the album perhaps lacked songs that leap out at you (as when you have your first listen), and that is probably what set off my alarm bells in the first place. This is undoubtedly a Collide album and a decent one at that. What we do have are several tracks that grow steadily with each listen.
The album starts with Bending and Floating which Collide fans may smirk at as they listen. Not only is it a very “Collide” type of title for a song, but it pretty much does what is on the tin. The music and vocals bend and float. This again is perhaps more reason to be suspicious upon your first listen as they play a song that will be very familiar to fans ears. It’s very graceful and pretty, yet it doesn’t offer us anything new to get too excited about, but enough to realise at least you are with friends you can trust. Lucky 13 takes a dark twist back to the burlesque of the likes of previous album Two-Headed Monster; and whilst it feels like a track that belongs on that album, it is a real treasure that sparkles with a naughty fairy-tale-esque quality. We then take a trip in more of a distorted feel in Mind Games which to be honest is a perfectly original song from the band; further stretching Statik’s sound engineering skills as a master of the sound art form.
Then we get what I consider to be a truly great tune from the album, In The Frequency. Quite how I missed it upon first listen can only condemn how half awake I must have been at the time of listening. This is where kaRIN really shines through and commands the audience with her soft and seductive chords.
Clearer keeps the music on the alternative side of industrial rock. For fans who dreamt of the merging of the likes of Kate Bush and NIN; then Collide is the dream to follow. We’ve had many bands that honour the likes of industrial rock blended with soothing voices: Curve probably were a band that did it to perfection and Collide have carried it off in their own direction. And here they broaden that spectrum further.
The tunes keep coming, and again the argument remains. The more I listen to this album the more I like what I hear. I am reminded of past glories. In fact if I had heard this album before any of Collide’s previous efforts I can safely say that I know I would have felt very much at home with a band who it felt to me like were making music just for my ears alone.
If I am to find a low point, I would say that towards the end of the album it does utilise perhaps a little bit too much of the techno-beat side of music and vocal interference that I sometimes find repellent. Beyond that criticism this album is not really going to let fans down. Some may find it a challenging listen, to who I would encourage to keep listening – as it only gets better.
I am always tickled chains and shackles when a longtime favorite group/friends, deliver indeed, Noiseplus. A mature sound from Collide this year with their hot off the press new album, Counting to Zero.
"Bending and Floating" starts the party and kaRIN never sounded better vocally...so breathy and ethereal and romantic from voice to guitars, and shoegazey-soundscape which creates an amazing track. True to the Collide sound, yet a place you get to when you have "Found Yourself" folks!
“Lucky 13” is a sexy "dance", a come hither musically with kaRIN on vox. Statik is indeed a musical genius and shows his "programming” on this album that accompanies kaRIN's already yum vocals and songwriting expertise.
There's more, Counting to Zero (title track) is a Beatlesque/steampunk gem and the industrial-dance throwback, “Further from Anything”. “In the Frequency” is dreamy and has a subtle power!
This new album is very exciting, the growth and range is huge from Collide and from their nearly 20 year musical partnership, you hope that a band can arrive to a place like this.
I Die: You Die
“In the Autumn a paler rose blooms on the wood’d lee side;
In the Autumn a young man’s fancy darkly turns to thoughts of Collide.”
Yeah, that’s right, I’m abusing Tennyson’s trochaic octameter as an intro. Whatever, the point is that it’s autumn, the perfect time to slip into a new Collide record. It’s somewhat remarkable that this is only Collide’s fifth proper studio LP when they’ve been such a fixture in the dark music scene for so long – it’s been 15 years since their debut LP, Beneath The Skin. But, before anything else, they’re an act known for painstaking craftsmanship when it comes to the most minute aspects of their compositions’ production and atmosphere (as Alex said, check Statik’s credits in the major music industry), a calling which certainly accounts for the time it takes to properly assemble albums as layered as Collide’s.
It’s that slavish devotion to perfection when it comes to texture which has prompted me in the past to use Curve as a first point of comparison when trying to describe Collide. In fact, your intrepid reporter would like to note that he went on record (in traditional dead-tree media, no less!) as calling Collide “the post-apocalyptic inheritors of Curve’s legacy, dipped in shiny black paint and slinkier than a Slinky” several years before their first collaborations with Curve’s Dean Garcia. That comparison may no longer be as useful as it once was, however. As Counting To Zero indicates, things have changed over the years in Collide-land. There’s a subdued feel to the new record, and I mean that in the best way; while not relying on the sonic extremities and oodles of overdrive-laden guitar of their early work, songs like the spacey title track and penultimate “Slow Down” are as evocative as anything Collide has done.
Much of Counting To Zero, especially its first half, builds upon the swampy, loungey feel of 2008′s Two-Headed Monster. It’s an ingredient which has always been present in Collide’s gumbo (good work, Bruce – swamp and gumbo – keep torturing that analogy), but has come more to the forefront the longer it’s been simmering (nailed it!). It’s a good look for Statik and KaRIN, feeling very much like a natural evolution away from their noisier days. Collide’s music has always been “deep”, however one wants to take that term (the trip-hop elements of their sound, for example, are still in full effect), and it’s encouraging to see them finding new ways to stay true to and explore the particular combination of mystique and virtuosity which has made them such an endearing and enduring force for all these years.
Buy it. (Plug: I’ve purchased the bulk of Collide’s discography from the band’s own webstore, which they run entirely by themselves. They always have loads of bundle deals going on, they package everything with love and extra goodies, and are hands-down one of the best examples of bands delivering their stuff direct to their listeners in these wild and woolly days of contemporary record buying. If yr thinking of copping Counting To Zero or anything else by Collide, do so straight from the source. You’ll be glad you did.)
What with the arrival of the first new Skinny Puppy album in four years, an ohGr record only a summer old, and an ohGr tour on the way, it would be easy to overlook some of the other great music being released. Collide's new record, Counting to Zero, sees the duo further augmenting their electronic sound with live instrumentation. Rather than any sense of sub-WaxTrax! dancefloor nostalgia, Collide have embraced the snaky grooves of glam and shimmering colors of shoegaze. Live guitar and bass, including guest Dean Garcia of Curve, are woven with Statik's programming, well known from work on albums by Tool, Prince and, of course, Skinny Puppy, for a result not unlike a forgotten sibling of ohGr's most industrial-glam moments. kArin's voice has never sounded fuller and has taken a central place in the mix. "Slow Down" fuses almost-Pink Floydian guitar with shimmering electronics. The seductive "Lucky 13" could be by Siouxsie and the Spiders From Mars. The smoky ballad "Human" evokes Bauhaus as if produced by Brian Eno, while "Tears Like Rain" is reminiscent of the best aspects of Greater Wrong of the Right. Think Cocteau Twins with teeth or a slicker, groovier My Bloody Valentine wrapping itself around an electronic core. Vibrant and current, this record reignites an aspect of dark rock that has lain dormant for far too many years. If you yearn for an era when 120 Minutes was a weekly appointment or had the soundtrack for the Crow on repeat, this is the record you've been waiting for.
Over the past few years, some favourite moments on television shows like True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Fringe and NCIS have had something musical in common - they have all had songs by Collide playing in the background of key scenes. Album number seven from Collide (a Los Angeles, California duo comprised of members kaRIN and Statik) entitled Counting to Zero, brings a similar sound to eleven new tracks.
The material on Counting to Zero sounds a little less rooted in EBM/Goth and a bit more focused on elements of sublime song structure and even a bit of jazz ('Lucky 13'). The deviation is slight and doesn't take anything away from Collide's core sound, which remains rooted in intricate soundscapes sculpted by electronic maestro Statik. Statik's electronics, married with kaRIN's dreamy vocals, create a sound that is reminiscent of the better material from the Bristol movement a few years back, but with an ever-present edge towards darkwave.
One of my favourite things about Collide is that they are utterly independent musicians. Forming their own label (Noiseplus in 2000) and quietly continuing to perform their art form without the financial backing of a major label is not without its challenges. This year fans were given the opportunity to contribute to Counting To Zero in the months leading up to its recording by donating online to the band's cause. In return, the band would credit contributors on their album. For a band that seldom tours, living in California and trying to pursue their art form in as full-time a fashion as finances will allow, the band was indeed true to their word and the last pages of the album artwork contain a listing of contributors eager to hear more material from Collide.
In the early nineties, when I was heavily into shoegazer music and was utterly enamoured with a British band called Curve, I was given to review a copy of Collide's debut album, Beneath the Skin. The similarities between Toni Halliday's vocals and kaRIN's vocals were enough to get me immediately interested, and Collide's more EBM-tinged material has kept me coming back year after year. It is fitting that Collide and Dean Garcia from Curve collaborated a few years ago on a project called The Secret Meeting and Dean's subsequent solo material SPC ECO was released in North America on Noiseplus Music.
While 'more of the same' is often a term I feel might diminish the musical output from many bands… when it comes to Collide, 'more of the same' is ultimately what I want to hear from the band. Considering how much I enjoy Collide's material, more of the same is exactly what I hope to hear from the band every time a new album comes out. Collide is a band that likely wouldn't work too well if they deviated TOO far away from their core sound, and even with the subtle changes on Counting to Zero, they have managed to deliver another atmospheric album of quality headphone music that won't soon leave my iTunes 'Recently Played' rotation.
- See more at: http://www.lithiummagazine.com/collide-counting-zero-album-review#sthash.cxaEPD13.dpuf
Reviewed by Mike Bax
Style: October 2011
Electro, darkwave, trip-hop and seductive female vocals.
Counting to Zero sees Collide doing all that they do best with even more class and finesse. Plaintive piano and cinematic strings run a thread of elegance through a number of the tracks on this album, a contrast to the distorted guitars and crunchy electronics. The downtempo pace of much of the music heightens the moody, stalking nature that Collide creates so well. There is a fine balance of intricate detail and deft sparsity with gritty effects; crawling synthetic atmospheres and programmed ephemera embellishing the guitar, drum and bass core. The resultant mix often allows the vocals space to soar as on Bending and Floating; meander ethereally or haunt the corners. Further From Anything sees Collide drive the pace up a few notches: a driving drum beat and layered guitars heaving behind a slinky vocal arrangement that comes from different directions; languid and cool against the sonic maelstrom.
Artwork: Counting to Zero arrives in a hand wrapped shroud of black tissue sealed with a sharp Collide sticker. The band clearly take great care and interest in presenting their craft; the generous accompanying package includes: a signed poster; a glossy photograph; a press release sheet; a postcard; a signed monochrome card; a small logo card and a badge (at least it does if you order direct from the band's site - you'll just get the CD otherwise). The jewelcase is fronted by a beaming, wind-whipped portrait of kaRIN (as on the poster); hair and light threads curling horizontally toward a faint overlaid zero. The rear cover shows similar trails of light streaming across a stark landscape and over a distant crag. Track titles are here in simple font to the left. Inside is a lush sixteen-page booklet brimming with sleek photographs, lyrics, track-by-track credits, contact details, websites and a huge - huge list of thanks. Again, the band have taken the time to sign the booklet. A final sultry image of kaRIN bathed in light hides behind the disc.
Overall: Vocalist kaRIN and multi-instrumentalist Statik return with their seventh studio album joined by bassists Kai Kurosawa, Kevin Kipnis and Dean Garcia with Scott Landes providing additional guitar work. Familiar names now, Collide are further known through side project The Secret Meeting (with Curve's Dean Garcia) and remix work from such notables as Charlie Clouser (NIN, SAW), cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy) and Rhys Fulber, (Frontline Assembly, Delerium). The eleven recordings here flow smoothly as a lush multi-faceted whole; the emotive, expressive deep piano chords and electro-crackle of Human; the shady dream pop and quiet interludes of the title track Counting To Zero; the heavy guitar and buzz-synth wall-of-sound of Clearer. Of course, kaRIN's distinctive voice and siren-song approach unites the songs, but there is a powerful unity of vision also in Statik's filmic-cyber-grunge sonic diversity. Interweaving the harshness of noise and distortion with musical grace and saturated colour, the beauty and passion of unique song: Collide are riding the peak of their wave. Visit the Collide website for details on this and all previous Collide releases.
It happens to be the stormiest day to hit Portland, Oregon so far this winter. The rain is pounding on the roof as soggy leaves skitter by in micro-tornadoes. Warm within my home, I’m enveloped in a cocoon of sound, lost in Counting to Zero-- the latest release from Collide. I can’t think of a better way to spend an isolated day, completely absorbed within the lovely sonance of kaRIN’s feminine voice fused with Statik’s genius programming.
Counting to Zero opens with the hauntingly beautiful, “Bending and Floating”. “Lucky 13” is sexy, grinding, and rule-breaking, “everything comes around that goes around”. “Mind Games” is another very sexy track, the magic of Statik’s sequencing illuminates a perfect backdrop for kaRIN’s words and vocals. “In The Frequency” gives a trippy, mind-altering, other-worldly experience. Mind your head with this one!
“Clearer” reaches through time and space, incorporating an Appalachian dulcimer sample to the already lush tapestry of sound.
The title track boasts of something called a “zizzle”. I asked kaRIN to clarify. “The zizzle was given to Statik by an old friend of his,” kaRIN states, “it is sort of like a toy that makes sounds”. Indeed, the Zizzle Zoundz claims to be: “an electronic music machine, [that] can give you a variety of sound bites whenever you place a Zoundz object on one of its glowing spots on the amoeba-shaped sound board”. Sounds like a fun little gadget!
Finally, as this trying year comes to a slow and all but grinding closure -- and as the rain continues to fall outside -- I hope all who read this will join me, warm in heart, counting to zero with this latest brilliant release by Collide.
This duo comprising vocalist kaRIN and musician Static hail from the the City of Angels. In 1992 they began their exploration into electronic rock, electronic body music, Eastern mysticism and synth pop, and this is their fifth studio album, following on from 2008's 'Two Headed Monster' (discounting the 2009 covers album 'These Eyes Before'). Their music is seductive, sensuous, slinking, stalking and seriously groovy, like a slow rhythmic rumba of love with a sultry femme fatal. Lying somewhere between Goldfrapp and Muse at their most moody, it is packed with amazing sounds, hip grinding guitars, and swaying beats that make you want to get down and dirty and flirty. Captivating kaRin's delicious delectable whisper blows sexily into your ear, breaking what's left of you resistance, you have to surrender to the orgasmic ecstasy. This is the perfect soundtrack for putting your parter into the mood for love, or simply want to chill out and unwind, as kaRIN breaths softly “concentrate, gather your defences, slow down” ('Slow Down'). It appropriately starts with 'Bending and Floating' with sounds like the music to a James Bond love scene. After that you are taken on a slow burning, spell binding journey into the sublime, particular highlights being the 'Lucky 13' waltz, the catchy string laced title track 'Counting to Zero' and it climaxes with the suitably titled eastern infused 'Letting Go'. The only song that breaks the mood is the more urgent 'Further From Anything', which erupts out of the speakers after the atmospheric 'Tears Like Rain', catching you unawares. Everything is self financed and released on their own label Noiseplus, and you can sashay your way to www.collide.net/news/ for more low down. A mesmeric record that is perfect for late night relaxation and recreation, dim the lights and feel the rapture, a seductive 8.75/10 (Phil)
Re Gen Magazine
Category: Goth / Industrial
Album: Counting to Zero
Blurb: The seventh album from the electro/goth rock duo may not be a stretch for them, but is full of the same rich production and performance we’ve come to expect and love.
There are those artists and bands whose sound is so distinguished and identifiable that you immediately know what to expect when a new album is released. In some cases, this is a detriment indicative of a lack of progress or exploration, while in others, it is simply the musical DNA that binds the whole of the artist’s output together to form a cohesive path of development and style. Collide is one such band. For nearly two decades, kaRIN and Statik have carved their own niche in underground music, incorporating gothic atmospheres and dark electronics with an ambient rock sound that is as much rooted in the contemporary sounds of today as in the bluesy, jazzy sounds of old. In so many ways, the band’s seventh album, Counting to Zero is a quintessential Collide album… but unlike many others, this works to their advantage.
As the shimmering guitars, somber electronics, and ethereal layers of vocals introduce us to the slow, epic opener of “Bending and Floating,” there is no doubt that it’s a Collide record. And then, “Lucky 13” comes in with a strutting rhythm and a subtle string refrain that sounds somewhere between a cabaret nightclub and an Arabian harem, scratchy guitars filling out the mix as kaRIN’s sultry voice soars in like a smoky jazz diva. Similarly, “In the Frequency” moves with a slow beat and a smooth bass line that evokes images of hazy city streets by night, while the sullen piano of “Human” and the title track provides a nice classical backdrop for the swirls of electrified ambience, the breathy vocals echoing into the ether while the drums apply just the right amount of power and restraint in equal doses. Especially noteworthy on this album, as exemplified best by “Mind Games,” is the use of vocoder on kaRIN’s voice, enhancing the atmosphere of the accompanying electronics while showcasing her precision of pitch. Once again, it’s nothing we haven’t heard from Collide before, but done so well on Counting to Zero that it sounds as lusciously fresh as ever. Other tracks like “Further from Anything” and “Clearer” amp up the rock energy, the balance of organic guitars and drums meshing well with the subtle but elaborate programming, each distorted sound working to augment rather than overtake each other.
Ever the model for self-sufficiency, Collide’s music is self-produced and self-released via their Noiseplus Music label. Their path is their own, and while many will listen to Counting to Zero feeling that it is no different from past works like Two-Headed Monster or Chasing the Ghost, it can honestly be said that no other band sounds like Collide. The diversity of their music appeals to a broad range of tastes, from the slower, jazzier numbers to the heavier electro/rockers. It may not be the most adventurous the band has been, but the richness of Statik’s production and kaRIN’s vocals shine throughout, making Counting to Zero at the very least another enjoyable entry in the Collide discography.
Few bands in the world make music that could be described as “beautiful” as Collide. Sweeping synths, gorgeous vocals, the word “big” keeps rising up. There is beauty and grace in almost every utterance from this band. And now, after a bit of a misfire covers album the duo are back with a terrific return to form. Eleven languid, sexy, sometimes sad, always beguiling songs from Statik and kaRIN that represent some of their strongest work to date.
Perhaps less electronic than previous work, the band strike an interesting balance of wailing guitar (and “wailing” serves the *perfect* word to describe the guitar work here) and washes of synths (and “washes” serves as the *perfect* word to describe Collide’s use of synths). The whole thing sounds like a soundtrack for a mid-period David Lynch film. One of his sexier ones. But the music just forms a backdrop to kaRIN’s spectacular voice which gets stronger with each recording. She growls through rockers like “Clearer” and purrs through the mid-tempo title track, and bounces through the almost-poppy “Lucky 13″. She never strikes a bad note through this utterly satisfying album and one wishes she received greater, wider-spread acclaim throughout the electronic community as one of the strongest vocalists we have.
As prolific as they are creative, Collide are consistent experimentalists, who pick up an idea, try it on for size and move on to the next thing. So while not every recording they share with us scores across the board they are wonderfully able to absorb those qualities that work well and incorporate them into future work. The results being a solid, dense, packed audio experience like Counting to Zero. It’s a worthy effort and one of their very best to date.
Vampires in the Sunburnt Country
Collide’s Counting to Zero really does add up
American duo Collide remind me a little of Massive Attack, but the midnight version. I’ve got a promo copy of their latest and seventh studio album, Counting to Zero (Noiseplus), on high rotation, and their electro cruise is so smooth – find a place under the lasers in the fog and let your slo-mo bat-catching go wild. Suggested track: ‘Lucky 13′, suitably slinky beats with singer kaRIN hitting some sultry notes down low.
It doesn’t pay to get too complacent, though. They like a little mid-song pause, a little change of tempo, just to keep you on your toes. See ‘In the Frequency’ for a fine example: fuzz guitars making highlights, and a gradual fade to grey, setting up the heavier bass attack of ‘Clearer’.
kaRIN and programming partner Statik perpetuate their distinctive sound – her fetching pipes remain the lead instrument as the layers of music builds and fades in step – while pushing their studio savvy out all the speakers. There are shards of Vangelis, Goldfrapp, John Foxx, Portishead … some Middle Eastern notes, too. The album is both perfect mood music for a chill-out as well as a funky stereo-sound experience.
The tone is set from the opener, the slow-building ‘Bending and Floating’, a doorway into a rich electronic landscape the name of which kind of says it all, really. Across the 11 tracks, the vocals do float above the electronic current, and there’s some bending going on, too: keyboard and strings on the exemplary title track with gorgeous guitar courtesy of Scott Landes, a quietly catchy lead track in ‘Mind Games’, a fractured electro snatch and grab in ‘Tears Like Rain’.
‘Human’ is a slow burn, kaRIN exercising some range to bring added emotion – “who’s going to fix you when you’re broken?” – to an outfit who can come across as sonically icy rather than fiery.
‘Further from Anything’, with Secret Meeting collaborator Dean Garcia (of delicious, departed Curve) on bass, changes gears nicely for a last-half jolt before the slide to the end, concluding with the poppy (and suitably named) closer, ‘Letting Go’.
With more than half the songs clocking in at more than five minutes, the album takes almost a full hour to unwind, and it can lull. kaRIN’s default vocal setting is a lullaby croon and it will take you away – to a good place.
These are fantastic. Probably the best cover album I've heard - they made each song their own.-Mikeylove
It takes a lot of guts to release an album's worth of covers, but when a band is as talented as Collide it's a gamble that pays off. These Eyes Before presents old classics re-done with Collide flair. What makes this disc so great is its overall cohesiveness. Instead of sounding like a bunch of covers thrown together Collide managed to create a mood and a flow that ties these tunes together in such a way that it sounds like a collective whole.The record is further proof that as a unit there are no limitations to Collide's musical expressions. kaRIN’s vocal interpretations breathes new life into each phrase, and Statik's technical wizardry creates the tapestry that weaves these songs together. Whether you’re a fan of the originals or a fan of the band's electro-alt-darkwave sound you'll be pleased with what this album has to offer. Collide's These Eyes Before is proof that you don't need millions of dollars to produce a high quality record.
Electro-rock-goth cover album. The Collide signature sound is turned toward a series of unpredictable rock and pop classics that have their origins in a rather diverse range of modern genres. kaRIN's slinky, ethereal vocal style most immediately stamps the band's individuality all over these familiar pieces - she takes on hits from such huge acts as Pink Floyd, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles with confident cool. Managing to redefine music that everyone knows so well is no small feat - yet kaRIN does an excellent job, managing to make the songs her own without appearing affected or trying too hard. Statik's instrumental skill complements the singing perfectly: be it the distorted, crunchy guitar work and pounding drums of Depeche Mode's I Feel You, the strings and psychedelic soundscaping of The Moody Blues' Nights In White Satin or the brooding alien electro terrain of the truly unexpected Rock On; originally a hit for David Essex.
These Eyes Before comes in a jewel case with a generous sixteen page booklet. The front cover image shows singer kaRIN in retro monochrome film star pose - blue eyes reflecting the fine font of the album title. The rear cover holds track titles and website information whilst the tray insert shows kaRIN once more - here in caged darkness. The first image of Statik appears inside the booklet opposite a page of credits - again black and white, shadowy. Subsequent pages take a track by track approach listing additional musicians and writing/publishing credits. The booklet concludes with two pages of thanks and appreciation. Appropriately the disc itself mimics a vinyl 45 from yesteryear.
These Eyes Before takes it title from the lyrics of Nights In White Satin and comes as the sixth or seventh studio album from the band and follow-up to the 2008 album Two Headed Monster. Having delivered cover numbers before, Collide here have compiled a complete disc of iconic recordings from the last five decades. This release removes any doubt as to the band's desire to break down genre restrictions or expectations and provides considerable insight into the kind of influences that have informed the distinctive Collide sound to date. kaRIN and Statik could so easily have rested on their laurels and continued producing high quality discs of their own unique material, but instead their adventurous spirit seems ever keen to go beyond - collaborative music such as the Ultrashiver album, the remix double disc Vortex and now These Eyes Before. The music is available to preview on the band's website.
Collide spent the past year putting together this 10 track covers album for your enjoyment, and as usual they are proving to be masters of quality in the results. Those already familiar will know of several cover songs they have done on previous albums in the past, but they have never gone all the way to produce a full on covers album until now.
The choices are a mix of classics (Pink Floyd, Beatles, Bowie), modern popular (Depeche Mode, Radiohead) and then also a few less predictable tracks (David Essex, Chris Isaak).
The album opens with two quite breathtaking renditions of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” and then The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin” (from where the album takes its title). These two songs were perhaps placed at the frontier to welcome in fans of the band and of the songs without making anyone feel ill at ease with what they were doing as the shoe does indeed fit on both tracks.
Finding time to recover from these two accomplishments is not permitted as the album continues through more rock and pop friendly tracks. Of course the merits of their success on each song can be viewed in many ways. Some songs they manage to completely rejuvenate, others sound more familiar to the originals but with another band putting their sound over the top. The Beatles “Come Together” is a song worth any bands time, but the original equally hard to remove yourself from.
Much more of a surprise is their cover of Radiohead’s Creep. And I will be honest that I wasn’t expecting much from it. I’m not the worlds biggest Radiohead fan (nor enemy), and although I like the song Creep it was forced into my youthful ears back when it was released on far too regular a basis by DJ’s in every pub, club, bar and student union. Collide have done the magical job of altering the song enough for it to still to sounds like Creep; but significantly different from how you are used to hearing it. And this is why the duo work so well together. Statik works his magician’s wand over the sounds and kaRIN lets the words become her own representation of sound.
Much more relaxed and subdued is the David Essex cover of “Rock On,” whilst Depeche Mode could well enter and win a competition for the most covered modern band. Collide take a stab at “I Feel You” which is a very distinct sounding song (like with “Come Together”) that Collide here decide to make very subtle changes in the music while largely following closely to the format of the song. Again it is the two artists putting their own tweaks here and there throughout the song that make it work.
A more relaxed fit to the bands vibe is “Space Oddity” which is perhaps one of the more ‘removed from the original’ tracks and could be quickly mistaken for their own song if you were to remove the opening oft quoted lines. The vocal work by kaRIN on this track is just perfect with layered backing making the sound much more surreal.
Next up is the much more playful “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” which perhaps can be seen as an influence on some of their earlier work. kaRIN get’s to get her more moody and punk self out from time to time in this song. Whilst she is still the ethereal mistress of dark subtlety, its nice to see her always checking out new territory and then mastering the mood.
It is an intriguing project to listen to as you get an incite into how they approach the songs and also get a good look into what music outside of creating their own makes them tick. The downside to this of course is that their taste in music may not cross over with your own, so as the choices are varied there may well tracks that strikes more of a high notes than others; depending upon how open you are to interpretation.
And this is what is so vibrant about this band is their approach to their produce. There are always new ideas shimmering away and every other year we are presented with something new artistically from them. For my own money I think their versions of “Breathe” and “Knights in White Satin” easily equal the originals. Being a fan of both this band and those songs it is a pleasure to see that they unified perfectly. But everyone has their favourites, and this is some of theirs.
This California group's fifth full-length shines a new light on the duo's darkly sensual grooves. Formed in the mid-90's amidst the industrial rock frenzy, programmer Statik and vocalist kaRIN have steadily built a solid reputation and audience, fully independently, and their work has been instrumental in diversifying an increasingly testosterone-laden electronic dance/rock scene. They have befriended and worked alongside artists like Tool, Skinny Puppy, and Prince, but fittingly, it's their own work that garners them the most attention. "These Eyes Before" is a collection of 10 covers, beginning with Pink Floyd's "Breathe", which is transformed into a lovely and fantastic soundscape with an appropriately spaced-out vibe, and of course kaRIN's smooth and ethereal vocals. The Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin" is also respectfully updated, with a superb mix of organic instrumentation and sleek programming. Other standouts? Depeche Mode's "I Feel You" is trippier and better-produced than the original. Bowie's amazing "Space Oddity" is given a wonderful modern electronic cyber-grafting, with kaRIN's breezy vocals pointed to the celestial heavens. Chris Isaak's "Baby Did A Bad Thing" effectively brings some smoldering, gritty rock to the table, and Fleetwood Mac's percussive "Tusk" is recreated, with actual marching band, and it all closes out with another Pink Floyd classic, "Comfortably Numb". Normally, I'd shout "heresy", as some things are just sacred, but Collide admirably pull it off, adding a cool and deep layer of mood to the song's already-potent melancholy. A superb release, and perhaps their best yet.
Collide has always turned out amazing covers of songs, as evidenced by their stellar versions of "White Rabbit" and "Haunted When the Minutes Drag". kaRIN and Statik now treat us to an entire album of covers. Featuring songs by so many influential and iconic musicians such as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles, These Eyes Before feels like a graceful homage. And finally, a Goth band does "Creep" by Radiohead - It's about time! While every song has Collide's signature slithering style, I have to say much to my surprise, my favorite track is "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" by Chris Isaak because it just suits kaRIN's vocals so well. Well Done!! (Curse)
A cover...singing someone else's song...it can be a tricky thing. Usually a cover is great or it's just not.Collide can cover a song. This doesn't surprise me. One of old fave songs is "Nights in White Satin". Wow..Karin, Staik...this is genius! It represent the song and it adds an ethereal/goth tone to it that I would never have thought of and it's gorgeous!!! The album is a really nice release for this band. This band has covered a song or two in their career and these songs obviously mean alot to them...to put their own flair on these songs...made me like these songs even more! Great job Collide! "Creep" is super sick- Karin's vox are dreamy and edgy.
Little Rat Bastard
Collide is the combination of the dark sultry voice of kaRIN and the largely electronic arrangements of Statik. Their sounds together is a mix of different styles and influences most prominently industrial and trip-hop. Together they have been making and recording music as Collide since 1992, and have been running their own label, NoisePlus, since 2000.
‘These Eyes Before’ is Collide’s fifth studio album and this time out it is a ten track collection of new covers. Now, as much as I love cover songs, usually a collection of them will ultimately be disappointing with only one or two worth listening to. This is so not the case with ‘These Eyes Before’. Collide hooks you in from the very start, and astounds you track after track with the revisioning of some classic songs you never expected to her like this. They have smartly book-ended this collection with two great Pink Floyd covers (”Breathe” & “Comfortably Numb”) and packed in standouts like “Nights In White Satin” and the surprisingly great, “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing”. The real show stopper here is a cover of Radiohead’s debut hit, “Creep”, just awesome. There is also an excellent cover of Space oddity that the legendary David Bowie would be proud of. They are all so good, I could just keep going but…
You will no doubt be hearing at least a few of these songs pop up in the soundtracks of this years movies and TV shows. ‘These Eyes Before’ has a great ambient, mood setting sound, and is so fresh that I have to imagine that producers will be knocking down doors to get one of these tracks in their scenes. Ps. On a side note, ‘These Eye Before’ was sent to us in perhaps the coolest little hand made press kit I’ve seen in a long time.
4 1/2 stars
After only a year absence since their last album, Collide return with this pet project, a whole disc full of cover songs. Already established as a band who can reliably do justice to material they have not penned themselves (see their version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and Love and Rocket’s “Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)” for prime examples). This time out they have gone the whole hog and created an entire release full of wonders.
Whilst some choices are fairly predictable (Is there a band out there that hasn’t covered Depeche Mode at some point), there are some other interesting choices that befit the bands charms whilst there are some very unpredictable choices.
The band held a competition for fans to try to guess who and what they were covering, and whilst some smug smart-ass bastards out there managed to get a few lucky pot shots and ran off with some Collide stash, there is no predicting how some of these tracks have turned out. Whilst “Breathe”, “Knights In White Satin” and “Space Oddity” could well be some of their best covers, the way in which they cover some of these is a real mind boggle. Probably the biggest surprise (and a good one) is their version of “Creep.”
Some titles they have picked do sound perhaps too close to the originals (But it is hard to remove yourself from the likes of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You” and The Beatles “Come Together”). Then again they are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, merely taking it for a spin on their own turf. And there are two ways to cover a song well. One do something different with the song and secondly simply pay homage to it with your own voices and instruments. Collide manage to do both throughout the album. Whilst every song is a well known track they have purposely avoided acts that sound too close to what they are known for producing, so the inclusion of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”, Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” and even David Essex’ “Rock On” make for enjoyable diversion.
They have book ended the album with Pink Floyd tracks… and once they have singed off with the weird and wonderful “Comfortably Numb” the question of what may come next rises. Not a band to rest on their laurels; I’m sure they’ll respond to that in good enough time. In the meantime this is a fascinating study of a band who devote so much of their time to creating music. To have such a personal representation of what has inspired them over the years put to disc is a brave and ultimately rewarding choice they have made.
Noiseplus Music unleashes the latest: These Eyes Before; a new release by Collide revitalizing 10 classic rock favorites every music aficionado will recognize and cherish.
Truly something for everyone is reflected in These Eyes Before. I love it when I open up a brand new CD and immediately begin to sing along! Collide’s talent shines with silky vocals and multi-faceted soundscapes creating a cavalcade of entirely unique and new experiences, melding both past and present audio delights beautifully.
If ever a band composed an entire CD of cover songs and, making them their own, without losing any integrity of the original work, then Collide succeeds within These Eyes Before . Take “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane) covered by Collide on Chasing the Ghost ; which rose in college radio and underground music club popularity until critical-mass, acquiring mainstay status at gothic clubs around the world. (Try ‘Goth Bowling’ to Collide’s rendition of “White Rabbit”!)
Most notable favorites include “Come Together”, “I Feel You”, “Creep”, and “Tusk”.
Statik’s layers of synchopated noise march “Tusk” alongside the Putnam City North High School Marching Band, cohesively delivering a surreal, 50-yard-line gyration effect.
After the acclaimed escape under the Secret Meeting wings kaRIN and Statik from Collide are back with a new album. “These Eyes Before” is a kind of concept featuring 10-cover versions from very famous and international recognized songs. Covering artists like Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Beatles, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, The Moody Blues, Chris Isaak and David Essex is quite of a challenge. Collide feels very comfortable with some songs while other ones sound like having been definitely tougher to achieve. But in the end I might say that the band perfectly adapted the original versions.
The songs remain all easy recognizable, but the Collide touch is definitely there. I think it’s not that easy to work on such famous song while adding your own stamp on it. The two debut songs are definitely well crafted. “Breathe” fromPink Floyd opening the release is an astonishing cover version with wafting guitar parts, a slow and sensual rhythmic and the sexy vocals of kaRIN. “Night In White Satin” fromThe Moody Blues coming next is one of my favorite cuts. I really like the kind of evasive mood reminding me a bit of Hungry Lucy. Another remarkable song is “I Feel You” from Depeche Mode. This is one of the songs where Collide definitely feels the most comfortable. It all sounds a bit like ‘coming home’. The way they covered this Depeche Mode masterpiece in a somewhat darker and floating way is brilliant. A quite surprising cover version is Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing”. I have to confess I really like Chris Isaak and if you know the original version, you’ll have to admit this is not the most easy song to cover. Musical wise it’s quite impressive, butChris Isaak’s particular vocals were a bit harder to cover. A very last recommended piece is “ Comfortably Numb” from Pink Floyd (again). This version features impressive atmospheres and outstanding guitar parts. A cover of Pink Floyd is always a big challenge, but it all sounds really easy for Collide. A very last cover I want to pay attention for is Fleetwoord Mac’s “Tusk”.
Collide here surprises with quite bombastic drum patterns while the guitar parts are once more irresistible. “These Eyes Before” is an album that will surprise numerous fans of the band and even music lovers who aren’t that familiar with Collide!
A Model of Control
It's amazing to think just how long it's been since the last full Collide release. Some Kind of Strange was released way back in April 2003, and the extensive remix album Vortex a year later in April 2004. That's nearly five and a half years since the last actual new material, and while The Secret Meeting album last year was an appetiser, it wasn't quite the real thing.
So the patient wait for new material continued, until August when pretty much out of the blue a release date in September was confirmed at last for Two Headed Monster. And as Tongue Tied & Twisted fades in, it couldn't be anyone else other than Collide - suggesting that, on first glance anyway, that the band are picking up where they left off all those years ago.
Surprisingly, this isn't quite the case. While this is still unmistakeably the work of kaRIN and Statik, when the savage power chords tear across the opening track like slashes of a knife to herald the chorus, it becomes clear other influences have been allowed in. If nothing else, the whole sound doesn't just centre around Karin's vocals like they used to - there is a lot going on here, and repeated listens are required to pick up the subtle things going on.
This cracking opening track is simply blown away by the racing thrills of Chaotic, a hitherto rare uptempo track that works very well indeed, the fast-paced drumming by Danny Carey from Tool underpinning a track that strikes me as a symbolic shift - teeming with energy and drive, it's a world away from the languid sound you so expect from the band. A Little Too Much's slinky pop thrills - back to the usual pace, really, but all seems to be in technicolour, rather than the usual darker colours.
Pure Bliss takes us back to more familiar Collide territory, a long, spacey track that is exquisite as the title suggests. Spaces In Between surprises by bringing quasi-breakbeats to the mix (that'll be Danny Carey again), and another high octane chorus driven by torrents of multi-tracked guitars...and then we reach the first track where I'm still not sure about it. Silently Creeping sends me back to some older Collide songs, but not in a good way - it's smokey, bluesy feel seems to jar a little as all the parts don't really appear to belong together, not to mention that the track as a whole sounds like a track they've done before that I can't quite place (and it's going to bug me, this).
Head Spin also takes ideas from previous Collide songs, but makes (in my view) a much better fist of it. Considerably less...dense than much of the rest of the album, the sparse beats and electronics push Karin back to the fore and brings attention back to the lyrics - which are as obtuse as ever, but have the suggestion of being about something sexual. Another poppy track, this, that works brilliantly.
The title track is another Collide-by-numbers, really. Dreamy, spaced-out and languid that while is nothing bad, isn't much to write home about, and to a point, Shifting's orchestral shimmer brings out the same opinion in me - after the big leaps forward earlier in the CD, these tracks feel like something of a disappointment. Thankfully, the album doesn't finish in this vein, closer Utopia being a glorious ballad that seems to open up the night sky and send the stars shining though just for you - really, it's that good.
So, yeah, this was worth all the wait. Collide deliver what we perhaps expected, and then some, showing such a confidence with their established sound that they have been able to stretch and shift it into new arenas, and hopefully along the way gain some more fans, too - they've been a "well kept secret" for far too long.-Adam W
Not only are Statik & kaRIN amazing individuals, they are exceptional musicians as well, and Two Headed Monster is proof. Collide has been creating music since 1992, and the independent darkwave/industrial unit’s sound has evolved since. Each album (all on the duo’s Noiseplus imprint) has always been a unique and enjoyable listening experience. The latest, Two Headed Monster, is nothing like the past.
The record incorporates a variety of elements and styles, yet still retains the group’s signature hypnotic sound. A lot has happened since Collide’s last release, 2003’s ‘Some Kind of Strange’, and perhaps those experiences contributed to Two Headed Monster’s adventurous nature. A perfect example is “Chaotic” – with its propelling energy, dark electronics, and collision of beats this track best represents the twosome coming into their own. Statik knows the value of dynamics and interesting changes and his assured songcraft is matched by the versatility of kaRIN’s voice, which can be bold, childlike, dreamy, and sultry depending on the mood of the song. Her childlike musings add a bit of innocence to “A Little Too Much,” which soon transition into a sweet whisper that floats over trippy guitar strummings and dreamy electronics. The variety continues with the electro trip-hop inspired “Spaces In Between”. “Head Spin” is a catchy, playful tune that derives its character from Middle Eastern textures and a sizzling beat that pops. KaRIN’s dreamy vocals glide over the rich tapestry of the album’s title track, and the grand finale arrives with “Utopia”. With its beautifully layered electronics and buzzing guitars this bold and dreamy piece will transport you into a tranquil state of mind. It makes for a perfect ending because when it’s over you feel like you just experienced something amazing.
Tool’s Danny Carey and Curve’s Dean Garcia lent their creative talents to a few songs, and I’m sure they are proud to be associated with such a fine offering. Two Headed Monster is a high quality work of art that deserves attention. Hear for yourself and pick up a copy at www.collide.net. ; While you’re there, take a virtual tour of Statik’s studio and do some holiday shopping from kaRIN’s ‘Saints and Sinners’ collection. -NIN
I hate when it happens; I receive a CD to review from a fairly well-known band months after it’s been released. Reviews are already published, verdicts are out, and I’m left with the unenviable task of confirming or denying sentiments previously espoused while still trying to remain original and unbiased in my opinion. First- the prejudice: I’ve always has a soft spot in my heart for Collide. I’ve enjoyed them since their initial release (BENEATH THE SKIN) back in 1997. Although I haven’t kept up with everything they’ve done, I’m familiar enough with their material to assess what they’re delivering here. If you want to cut to the chase and just determine whether to buy this latest Collide product or not, then I’d say BUY IT without a doubt. If you’re interest in my reasons why you should, then read on.
Collide kind of started out as a female-fronted electro-industrial mélange with dark goth pop inclinations. There were a few bands out there at the time doing this kind of thing but somehow Collide managed to do it better. When every other female vocalist in the genre was getting compared to Siouxsie Sioux, the vocal talents of Collide’s kaRIN invited a broader range of juxtapositions. The aural complexities Statik produced, especially on their earlier releases helped set the band apart from the glut of female-fronted gothy-electronica bands that populate the genre.
Collide has morphed somewhat from their beginnings; grown and changed but always retained the unique core of their sound- complex and beguiling. I think Collide’s turning point was their involvement with Curve’s Dean Garcia. For those unfamiliar with Curve (probably a minority), the band’s was essentially a fem-fronted duo consisting of Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia. Curve sits somewhere between shoegazer and noise pop on the genre meter. Last year kaRIN and Statik collaborated with Garcia on a one-off (so far) project called Ultrashiver resulting in an album titled THE SECRET MEETING. The end result was a lot more Curvish than Collidish in my estimation- not a bad thing at all. That album got great reviews but true to its name is a commercially “secret meeting”. However, what Collide retained as a result of that project has ultimately influenced their new material on TWO HEADED MONSTER.
With the exception of kaRIN’s sultry-slinky vocal style (a hallmark of any Collide project), I wasn’t much impressed with Collide’s last studio album, SOME KIND OF STRANGE from 2003. In spite of guests cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy and Danny Carey of Tool it was altogether too slow, and the songs just didn’t seem that compelling to me. Flash forward to 2008’s TWO HEADED MONSTER and you have a whole different animal. First off, Collide sounds more like a band here than a recording project. I can actually imagine this album being played live more than any of their prior material. Although “Tongue Tied & Twisted” (line from a Pink Floyd song, eh?) opens the album with a dark, lurching semi-slow groove, the pace changes briskly with the followup, “Chaotic”. Here you begin to notice the drum work (undoubtedly courtesy of Danny Carey’s reprise here) and the fact that kaRIN’s vocals seem more integrated with the music in the mix. Stylistically, kaRIN isn’t that far removed from Toni Halliday and it shows in numerous places on TWO HEADED MONSTER. I think the songs are a bit more accessible (probably unintentionally so) in structure on this album without falling into commercial cliché. This is a feat many bands strive for but few seem to accomplish without concession or conceit. And it is for this reason that TWO HEADED MONSTER transcends being merely a good album and becomes a great one. There are enough mood and tempo changes, enough twisted sonics, potently placed power chords, dynamic shifts and compelling rhythms to satisfy the most demanding alt rock listeners. Every corner turned by another track on TWO HEADED MONSTER holds a dark and delicious delight. TWO HEADED MONSTER could well be the breakout album for Collide, bringing them a much broader fan base than just the dressed in black set. Then again, who knows? They run their own record label (Noiseplus Music) ensuring artistic integrity and a meager promotional budget. One well-placed track on a TV series or a movie soundtrack could propel them into the spotlight. Unlike a lot of bands who achieve “overnight success”, if TWO HEADED MONSTER is any indication, Collide are ready for it.-Steve Mecca
Delusions of Adaquacy
The core of Collide, kaRIN and Statik, have been creating and releasing music for over a decade, mostly on their own Noiseplus music label. Two Headed Monster is their fourth full-length release and finds them collaborating with Dean Garcia (formerly of Curve) on bass for one song and Danny Carey of Tool on drums for four songs. Additional members of Collide’s live line-up, Rogerio Silva, Kai Kurosawa, Scott Landes, and Chaz Pease, also contribute distorted guitar, bass, and drums. This is Collide’s most lush, warm, and accomplished album to date, with a atmospheric mix of rough and raw guitar sounds and flowing beats, electronics, and vocals.
KaRIN’s vocals are always a tantalizing highlight and that’s no different on opener “Tongue Tied & Twisted” where her sinuous and breathy voice twines around a winding, siren-like guitar line and drum beat. The song exerts a mid-tempo pull with seductive verses of gritty, distorted guitars and wordless sighing accents and chorus parts with dark blasts of sledgehammer rock guitar riffs and cymbal smash contrasting with kaRIN’s sultry vocals as she bittersweetly draws out the lyrics “Couldn’t tell you / how I feel / couldn’t tell you / what was real.”
“Chaotic” sweeps in at a fast pace with a dashed out beat, low-register bass line, and driving guitars, as kaRIN sing-talks in a slinky tone against a James Bond theme song-like reverberating guitar. Dean Garcia is featured on bass and the song and kaRIN’s vocal delivery are reminiscent of Dean’s former band Curve. Electronic beeps, laser zips, and submarine blips fill out the dense sound as kaRIN’s soft-edged vocals take on breathy pauses in the chorus, with her ghostly vocal refrain remaining suspended in the air for a moment before it’s pushed aside by the darting electronics and propulsive drum beat and guitars.
“Pure Bliss” is vocally true to its title, with kaRIN’s voice blossoming on the line “You bring me pure bliss…”, radiant and wrapping luxuriously around the measured-pace, somber Cranes-like piano notes, fleeting electronics, and slow blues guitar licks that unfold in jags. The chorus brings the noise, with loops of intensely churning guitar, cymbal smash, and kaRIN’s velvety vocals filtered through a megaphone.
“Silently Creeping” comes on like a torch number, complete with Twin Peaks-like deeply reverberating guitar strokes, orchestral strings, and a spacey, synth organ sound. The chorus is a dark weave of flame-like, wavering guitar lines, drum beat, cymbal shimmer, and kaRIN’s mellifluous vocals that alternate between a lighter, honeyed tone and an aching, low-register inflection.
“Shifting” bends mournful guitar notes and orchestral strings and horns against a scratchy beat, evoking an old-time feel to the song, along with kaRIN’s warm, but longing vocals. The closer “Utopia” ends it in a dream state, with delicate, reverberating guitar lines, a lush bed of strings, kaRIN’s airy, echoed vocals, and burnished guitar distortion that glazes over the blissful languor.
Collide, a long-running independent industrial/darkwave band is the brainchild of Statik and kaRIN and has been around since 1992. While I’d not call the band a commercial success per se, their music is always a welcome treat for fans of slow-building industrial riffs intertwined with sultry vocals. I’d feel I was cheating saying the band sounded like Curve, but seeing as both Statik and kaRIN collaborated with Dean Garcia from Curve on Their Secret Meeting side-project, and that Dean returns for a song on Two Headed Monster, I’m actually quite alright with comparing them to Curve.
Also in the mix, is Danny Carey from Tool, who lends his weighty drums to four tracks on Two Headed Monster (Statik has done some work with Tool in the past, providing some sounds & effects to some of Tools material). Collide’s four piece touring band contribute instrumentation on the recording where needed as well.
Two Headed Monster is absolutely a Collide recording, but its not a recording that sounds like it picks up exactly where Collide’s Some Kind Of Strange left off. having worked with Dean on The Secret Meeting album, and then delving back into Collide material has taken the band into some more ambience in places - and I’d say a little more towards some pop songs with ‘Head Spin’ and ‘A Little Too Much’. Statik’s ability to churn out a musical backbone to a song made out of different bloops and synthesized buzzings makes for a totally unique listening experience. If you’re willing to jump on for the ride, Two Headed Monster will take you places most commercial releases cannot - and that’s right into the minds of it’s two creators. Another thought: Collide are not a band you want to rip into your computer at 128 bits and expect great things from. Two Headed Monster is headphone music of the highest order. Don’t sell yourself sort and accept truncated computer files as a means of playing the CD. Collide is some heady stuff - so treat it as such. Review by Mike Bax
There are so many indie bands out there turning out club-friendly tracks in the “darkwave” genre – a music industry catch-all that loosely covers a variety of moody, down-tempo, sensual and exotic music styles often favored by the Goth community – that it takes a little extra something to stand above the crowd… something that this LA-based duo has managed to do for many years without the assistance of a major label, which is no small feat.
I’ve been digging Collide since I discovered them via their second album Chasing the Ghost, and since then I’ve heard their music pop up all over the place – including genre films like The Covenant and Resident Evil: Extinction – and lately their assembly of a live touring band (with regular members including guitarists Scott Landes & Rogerio Silva, drummer Chas Pease and bassist Kai Kurosawa) helped to transform their low-key electro groove into a harder, more aggressive industrial-rock sound. They also pursued an interesting side project last year dubbed The Secret Meeting, in collaboration with Dean Garcia of Curve (a band with many of the same styles and themes in common), and released the album Ultrashiver to generally favorable reviews.
Still, I’ve been ready for original Collide material for a while now, and thankfully, the reward for my patience arrived with the release of Two Headed Monster, their fourth full-length album of all new tracks.
Described by the band as a study in “the duality and balance of life from an alien point of view,” the themes of Monster involve an examination of human nature from an outsider’s perspective. “Sometimes I feel like an alien from another planet,” explains singer-songwriter kaRIN. “I never have followed the path that most people take, doing what they think they are supposed to be doing.”
Taking the unexpected path is something Collide has managed quite well over the years, and although they may surprise darkwave fans expecting to hear more of the same, sticking to the old groove was definitely not their intention. “It’s still important to me not to remake the same songs that we have made before, and not to tread on anyone else’s path,” states kaRIN’s creative partner Statik, the band’s chief instrumentalist.
The path they ultimately chose is much closer by nature to straight modern rock than down-tempo electronica. The focus appears to have moved from the creation of subtle, hauntingly erotic moods to more of a pulse-racing momentum – and for the most part, I’d say this was the correct choice for keeping the material fresh.
Make no mistake, the signature Collide sound is there: kaRIN’s calm, wind-whispering vocals still float like a mist over Statik’s deliberate beat structures, which now are even punchier thanks to some harsh synth textures and extra-gritty guitar riffs which have evolved from mere accents into a central sonic element. Adding greatly to the effect are explosive rhythm contributions by Tool’s Danny Carey, a frequent Collide contributor. But despite this dialing up of the grinding instrumental machinery, the soft vocals still cut through the mix with surprising precision. The result may be a bit less slinky-sexy than their previous work, but the emotional content is stronger.
This new paradigm is immediately evident with opening track “Tongue Tied & Twisted,” its rusty-edged guitar work reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails' Fragile period (my personal favorite), the high-rolling tempo and thick vocal harmonies of “Chaotic” and the bouncing beat and wah-wah effects of “A Little Too Much,” which recalls the “wall-of-sound” approach to Curve's early work like Frozen.
The dark piano strains and swirling Pink Floyd guitars that kick off “Pure Bliss” hint at the coming turn to a more brooding menace, finally bursting into dark flames of heavily distorted downtuned guitars and overdriven vocals to become one of the most emotionally satisfying tracks. This one's a strong repeater, and definitely the best of the bunch.
The more hypnotic tone that pervades their earlier albums does seem to sink in again on the second half, with electronic noise and overdriven rhythm guitar driven further back in the mix in favor of warm atmospheres and smoky sensuality. Among these, the wide canvas of “Silently Creeping” is the most powerful, with its rich orchestral washes and low fuzz guitar wails, and the pumped-up '90s style trip-hop of “Shifting” runs a close second. The album closes on a mellow note with the soothing immersive swirls of “Utopia,” topped with some impressive lead guitar chops.
Another common thread among these songs – and one of the band's consistent strengths – is the seamless integration of multiple layers of sound. With heavy drumming and robust bass pinning down the low end, and kaRIN's vocals occupying the top of the sonic spectrum, there's a lot of room for intricate guitar licks and noise-rock synth mayhem in the frequencies between. Statik's production skills just get better and better with each effort, and it's no surprise he's been a go-to name in music programming, with a resume that runs the gamut from Skinny Puppy to Prince to Christina Aguilera.
Overall I really like the direction Collide has taken lately, and I’d like to hear them push even deeper into the more aggressive material displayed here. I think this approach is even more keenly suited to their live performances, which remain a rare and unique experience, since the band does not tour widely or often. If you’re not able to catch one of their shows, I’d recommend also picking up their first concert DVD Like the Hunted through their website [www.collide.net]. While you’re there, check out kaRIN’s “Saints and Sinners” clothing line, and take a virtual tour of Statik’s NoisePlus studios. -Gregory S. Burkart
It's Five years since Collide’s previous album Some Kind of Strange. In that five year period the band have released a double disc remix album, put together a live act, recorded a live performance on DVD and even did a side project with ‘Curve’s’ Dean Garcia aptly title ‘The Secret Meeting’. (Garcia also features as guest on this new album). The past two years plus has also seen them put together this new work. So laying around in the L.A. Sun is hardly what Collide are known for.
Two Headed Monster – Seems to be an extension of the Collide name. This being the coming together of the collective minds of its two members: kaRIN on Vocals & Lyrics, Statik on noise duties.
This 10 track album you’d half expect to burst into life to remind fans that they are indeed still alive and full of energy. That burst of energy is saved for the opening of the second track ‘Chaotic.’ What we get instead is a rather stripped back effort on Statik’s part in ‘Tongue Tied and Twisted.’ With song titles like these, Collide are certainly acting just as sinister as ever. Coming from a band that is brimming with inventiveness, ideas, and a deep love for their fans – one can almost imagine such a wonderful duo having far too much fun “playing evil” with childlike glee when writing song titles.
If their first album was an experiment to test the water, their second being a very Industrial Rock venture and their last album becoming much more soothing and ethereal – then this new album sees more of the dance vibe being brought to the fore in its opening numbers. Fans will be much more used to Statik creating noise through guitar and beats whilst taking influence from other cultures around the globe. Here he is much more the sound mixer and distorter. This tends to be a trend reserved for remixes themselves, but this time out Collide have decided to infuse as much interference as possible on their new babies.
kaRIN as ever hasn’t lost any of her charm or seduction behind the microphone. With such a beautiful voice laid down it sometimes sees a shame for the soundman to etch away at it for effect, but this is partly what Collide do so well although possibly to better effect in the past. It isn’t viable to say that Collide could produce work that isn’t thoughtful or well produced. What we have here certainly feels like a departure from before. There is something much more simplistic going on in terms of the music writing itself and more focus on the effect of the music and vocals. It isn’t comparable to any previous effort except maybe the level of experimentation on their very early material.
With so much chaotic mixing in the early half of the album it is hard to pinpoint anything that stands out making for the album coming off as a whole rather than a collection of different sounds. But then ‘Silently Creeping’ hits and Collide become so wonderfully burlesque!
There is usually a track on a Collide album that bumps along rather breezily and seems uncontrollably upbeat and chirpy compared to the songs that surround it. In this case that may well be ‘Head Spin,’ which makes for a welcome change in tone. They are after all trying not to let you settle too much. Changes of path are a must for any opus. And also in every said opus is bound to be something much grander where the sheer tone takes over and makes you stop and listen. That track comes immediately after in the shape of the title track ‘Two Headed Monster.’ This is a very distinctive Collide song and a good indicator to new ears of what kind of band Collide are.
Continuing the plodded drums and guitar is ‘Shifting.’ A jazzy and string laden orchestral affair that leads us towards the end of the album. So dance mix madness meets the Collide Burlesque show. A ‘Two-Headed Monster’ indeed. If it were a contest then undoubtedly the second half is bound to go down more of a storm with traditionalists. Collide can’t go wrong in the trip-hop ethereal world. Anything with too fast a dance beat is going to be more hit and miss with the some fans, or maybe these are the tunes that become more attention deserving once they have sunk in.
The album sadly has to end somewhere, and surprisingly it ends with the type of song that the fan base might have expected it to have opened on. Certainly a fitting end tune to send us away (annoyingly) wanting more. It's magical, it's pure Collide, its kaRIN enticing, it's Statik fusing these charms to teasing effect and once it has slowly drifted away from our reach you slam the “Previous Track” button in fury as you don’t want it to end. The song, ‘Utopia,’ also sees kaRIN doing something very new. An expert at seduction, cooing, wavering, and now apparently reaching as well. Her voice is here unsure in places and yet suddenly totally in control. It’s a magic track that very few people know how to pull off, and yet it’s one that Statik understands oh so well and he surrounds her with wonder which is the effect it seems to have on their audience as well. Wonder and amazement.
This California act's fourth full-length CD strikes with a powerful and dynamic blow, balancing the heavy with the sweet as well (or better) than any band I can think of.
Anchored by the tough and darkly-evocative electronic grooves of programmer/instrumentalist Statik, and led by the sensual, ethereal vocal stylings of kaRIN, Collide's modern rock attack is multi-faceted and melodic. Some place them firmly in the 'industrial' or 'gothic' category, but here Collide move way past those classifications and take bits of hard rock, as well as swirly shoegaze aspects, into their lush mix. 'Chaotic' features drums by Tool's Danny Carey and bass by Curve mastermind Dean Garcia, and this synthesis of live instruments with Collide's electronic foundation makes for one of the band's finest, and most sonically well-developed songs to date. 'Head Spin' is a twisted pop song with an unusual tempo, while the thumpy and hallucinogenic 'Two Headed Monster' could almost be mistaken for Skinny Puppy (who Collide have been known to associate with), if not for the cool and seductive female vocal. The dramatic 'Shifting' shows an almost orchestral side, and this vibe works well, showcasing this group's skill at any style they tackle. Simply, 'Two Headed Monster' is Collide's best work thus far, and any follower of dark and stylish modern rock should investigate now!
After taking a brief hiatus to work on The Secret Meeting with Dean Garcia from Curve, Collide returns with this latest release. Whether the album's title refers to the song writing duo os Statik and kaRIN or something deeper, Two Headed Monster definitely explores Collide's diverse musical abilities. From the electro-driven aggression of "Chaotic" and "Spaces In Between" to the lounge-friendly ethereal sounds of "Silently Creeping" and "Shifting," kaRIN's urgently sultry vocals offer a come-hither compliment to Statik's cinematic soundscapes. The album also features contributions from Garcia and Tool drummer Danny Carey, as well as the poppier "Head Spin," as heard on the hit CBS show NCIS.-(Jonathan)
There is just no slowing down with this duo as the ideas just seem to flow and almost year after year we're presented with great new material. This latest work has the band putting together some of their best material to date crossing many genre boundaries and remaining as true to their sound as ever. With ten powerful yet smooth tracks on this disc, it is packed with a booklet of lyrics, cool pics of both members as well as tons of other info.
We start out slow and heavy with "Tongue Tied & Twisted" with some excellent grinding guitar and kaRIN's smooth vocals softening the edge and bringing it all in for a smooth. We leave this slow, grooving beat for something a little more intense with an upbeat rhythm. This piece, aptly named "Chaotic" really pours on the intensity through a mix of distorted electronics and guitars through each chorus. These first two piece remain something of the anchor for this album and have quickly become new favorites from this group. However, there's still plenty of great material as we grind on through the other remaining pieces.
After a fun romp through "A Little Too Much" we're brought into a somewhat downtempo piece with dark, brooding piano to start off "Pure Bliss". This slowly builds as guitar and somber percussion join, but by the time we hit the chorus hang on to your seat as the distortion and intensity kicks in once again. Then as suddenly as it began, we're left once again with the somber, smooth sounds and rhythm moving slowly along to vanish once again amidst the chaos one last time before fading off nicely. As the album moves one we drift through more of these up and down intense pieces such as the deftly slow "Silently Creeping" with intense choruses and soft and somber verses in between.
As we near the end of the album "Head Spin" is an awesome piece with some great, heavy and pulsating electronics and a beat that keeps things moving a little more and is almost fun and happy, in a dark and brooding sort of way. As we drift through the title track and "Shifting" we're finally left with "Utopia" which is another favorite and a great way to wrap up the album. This piece is dreamy and intense, once again going through an intense chorus with distorted grinding guitar, but more on the level something along the line of shoegazer and so it still remains quite dreamy and ethereal.
That wraps up another great work from this band and it should really please fans both old and new as they create new music while maintaining their true sound perfectly.
After the adventures in the side-project The Secret meeting with Dean Garcia (Curve), Collide is now back with a new album named Two Headed Monster. Each album of the darkwave rock band Collide is musically a strong album. That quality can also be found on Two Headed Monster. Like no other Collide manages to merge influences into their own unique sound, in which elements from triphop, gothicrock, industrial and metal are combined.
Collide is a band that really can be labeled as a band that defies genre borders. Singer kaRIN delivers her sensual vocals to the music due to which, next to the dark atmosphere, it gets a romantic touch. Collide knows like no other how to translate the traditional mystery of gothic to a modern state-of-the-art electrorock sound. The arrangements, programming and songs produced by Statik are mostly well done and of course the sound is flawless. We don’t expect anything else from Statik given his experience as producer.
Highlights on this new Collide studio album, which gets released five years after the previous album Some Kind of Strange, are a.o. the uptempo song ‘Chaotic’, immediately followed by the playful sounding song ‘A Little Too Much’, which next to an infectious guitar sound, also flirts with pop music which makes it a very radio friendly tune. The song ‘Pure Bliss’ represents the hypnotic touch in the Collide sound, which most probably finds its roots in the psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s. ‘Spaces in Between’ transports the Collide sound towards the dance floor of the industrial clubs.
The energy, accessibility and danceability in most of the tracks on the first half of the Two Headed Monster album is the most striking change compared to the more ethereal work on the previous album. The song ‘Silently Creeping’ however is the exception that sets the rule as this slowly compelling track with low-pitched guitar which almost sounds like a metal type of guitar, really grabs the listener by the throat. ‘Head Spin’ is next and this is the kind of swirly swinging tune with pop sensibilities you can find more in the oeuvre of Collide, of which the contrast with the previous track couldn’t be much bigger.
Title track ‘Two Headed Monster’ combines a triphop rhythm with the grandeur of a symphony orchestra. In ‘Shifting’ almost the same majestic touch is combined with a dark atmosphere in an almost soundtrack like track. The album is closed with the dreamy song ‘Utopia’. Again it can be noticed that KaRIN’s voice is a strong asset to this new album. Collide obviously has been undergoing a remarkable musical growth and have found new musical grounds due to their collaboration with Dean Garcia (Curve) and again this really comes forward in their new album Two Headed Monster. Two Headed Monster is without doubt the best album Collide has made so far.
Trippy darkwave veterans continue to weave their wicked web.
Although divided into 10 tracks, Collide's music is more like one nocturnal journey into sound, and if you're up for the ride, it's a treat. Electro beats and synth fixes drop shards of silver into the pond, and up top are the chocolate-rich vocals of the purring kaRIN. Disarming guitar riffs compete for attention with slow piano refrains before you're immersed in great, velvety washes of sound. This is what Cristina Scabbia's side-project with Trent Reznor might sound like. Don't expect much to sing along with, but do expect to lose yourself late at night to this surreal and immersive alchemy Enjoy your tip.
For Fans of: A Perfect Circle, Innerpartysystem
Singer/lyricist kaRIN and producer Statik have been working hard since they were featured in these pages in June '06, and their efforts have paid off. Dark and dreamy, Collide's latest goth-tinged album Two Headed Monster brings to mind the work of Garbage, Sneaker Pimps, and Evanescence. From the frenetic drum grooves of "Spaces in Between" to the bubbling and soaring synths on "Head Spin," the band's tracks make excelent alchemy of kaRIN's floating vocals and Statik's gritty soundscapes. And even though the album carries more than a touch of menace, there's enough pop and dance influence here to keep things fun and sexy. This in one monster worth tangling with. -Michael Gallant.
With so much news from the ohGr camp lately and the info from cEvin about Subcon's 2009 plans I posted yesterday, it's easy to forget that there's a lot of great music coming out from related artists as well. Beehatch's second release is on its way, Phil Western has released his second fantastic Kone album, Justin Bennett is featured on the new Bahntier, and the Legendary Pink Dots have just put out a magnificent record in Plutonium Blonde.
Not to be outdone, Collide have just released their first album in a number of years, Two Headed Monster. You might recall that both members of the band have contributed to Puppy related albums and cEvin Key was featured on their last full-length. Lead singer kaRIN is also slated to appear on the upcoming Tear Garden release. Collide's new album is an impressively diverse mixture, the sound invigorated by the inclusion of live guitar, bass, and drums (the latter supplied on a few tracks by none other than Tool's Danny Carey). Chaotic, featuring Dean Garcia of Curve, pounds intensely in the space between the dance floor and the pit while A Little Too Much throbs with a 90s-Bowie-esque groove. Spaces in Between is breakbeat gone epic. It could've fit in nicely on Greater Wrong of the Right. Head Spin stands out with some delightfully retro synths riding atop a bassline from that spot where Graham Central Station and ELO met at the corner of Welt. The electronic and live instrumentation on this album mesh with kaRIN's ethereal voice to form a sound that includes dashes of industrial, goth, glam, and shoegaze yet is altogether new. Two Headed Monster is available here on Noiseplus.
(translated from Russian, original review here)
With every new studio release American gothic-rock/industrial group COLLIDE with confidence and steadily come near to own album-masterpiece. New CD "Two Headed Monster" is not exception. In the present situation this is the most diverse, multi-layer, mature, hard and complex record of duet.
Alongside with well known and already trade mark dark and melodic, sexually swinging inspired trip-hop/gothic-rock/industrial compositions ("Pure Bliss", "Silently Creeping", "Two Headed Monster", "Shifting") for the first time we can find on album of band several tough, fast running and aggressive tracks, reminding on its sound traditional American industrial rock in the vein of NINE INCH NAILS and MINISTRY, but in this case they are based on not simple, beautifully bending and ornate melodies, which only COLLIDE write today on gothic-industrial scene. Besides, for the first time you will hear in band’s repertoire song, which is fabulous mixture of shoegazer, dream-rock and postrock.
Running a few steps forward I will say, that this is romantic aerial final track "Utopia" – listening to this song I feel every time like it gives me the shivers and like spring flowers start to blossom in soul. Cosmico-orgasmic track! I hope this is not the last song in baggage of COLLIDE which is down in such style.
But let’s return to the beginning. Additional guitarists, drummers and bass-players were participating in recording material for "Two Headed Monster" and this is immediately caused some interesting effects in sound of many songs on album. In the first place it concerns compositions "Tongue Tied & Twisted" and "Pure Bliss", where not very typical for COLLIDE roaring guitar power, heavy grooves and rush appeared (they are more typical for alternative American rock, grunge or nu metal). Songs "Chaotic" and "Spaces In Between" sound a little easier, but faster and also quit a noisy concerning saturation by various synthesizer and guitar parts. Last thing pretends, to my opinion, on the role of central club action, because contains explosive, almost punk-rock energy, heavy and impetuous breakbeat rhythmic outline and quit a dense industrial dance sound. It seems to me, that COLLIDE didn’t produce nothing similar in the past concerning speed. At the same time there are distinct pop-influences in such melodic and emotional womanly songs as "A Little Too Much" and "Head Spin" (I found arrangement of this playful and very sympathetic dance track concurrently original and even unexpected). Some of you again can draw parallel between COLLIDE and CURVE, GARBAGE or even latest successful hits of Kylie Minogue, but I wouldn’t do this today because kaRIN and Statik already exceed in many aspects both abovementioned groups, reaching very high level of musical performing and composing and during the years of existence fostering very own sound, which can be described as "style of COLLIDE".
Properly speaking, in all its glory and diversity this tasteful style is represented on new album. Old and new fans of band should only to make themselves comfortable in front of home stereo monitors and to get incomparable with nothing audiophile enjoyment. I will add that album "Two Headed Monster" is recorded excellently, sappy and deeply in contrast to new-fashioned studio experiments with “loud sound”. Also I will not forget to admit very stylish graphic design of booklet with sexual photos of charming gothic fashionable woman kaRIN. It is simply not impossible to not fall in love with her! Especially knowing that everything she does with her sensitive and bewitching cat/tigress-like voice on album already can’t be described with use of usual words and letters. Undoubtedly kaRIN also progresses with sound of COLLIDE, opening in yourself new vocal abilities, hues and emotional reserves. Paraphrasing words of A.P. Chehov, I can say that everything is perfect in kaRIN –appearance and soul and pure vocal… All in all I understand now that for Statik she is at the same time muse, friend and fetish object, maybe therefore he don’t and can’t lose inspiration and continues to write such a lovely music, dressing it in laces of cosmic and earthly electro-noise-industrial arrangements. Shatteringly beautiful album!
vAlien/DJ Commando LABELLA [Machinist]
I like the warmth of Collide. For all the complexity of the layers, and for two people they sure erect a stern musical firewall, yet inside, and outside, of all the quivering power they remain resolutely human when some pairings find themselves sterilised by the whole balancing act.
‘Tongue Tied & Twisted’ starts of all musically taut and vocal intentionally dithery, then shrinking and crouching when brutal guitar slashes intersect the supple undulations, all of which is good, as you learn to listen out for different aspects of sections while retaining a sense of a definable course. They also mask the melody which then walks straight across in front of you, like a shire horse at a traffic light.
‘Chaotic’ is far noisier yet still enjoys exploring the basement of sounds, wriggling and dusty, spaces allowing the feverish electronic sparks some light, while the vocals stick to the shadows, the battling percussion and swerving guitar distracting us. ‘A Little Too Much’ has no such modesty, the vocals exuding purpose as the music courteously falls back, and a sumptuous feel bathes in melodic sunlight, with a beautiful slowly blooming chorus, and there’s some tweaked, sour guitar to frisk the air up a little. A subdued opening to ‘Pure Bliss’ doesn’t disguise the wayward dreaminess, the cutely absorbing lyrical flourishes, or the coiled tension. ‘Spaces In Between’ swipes the best china off the table and slaps down tectonic plates instead, the rhythmical fizz scampering as the vocals remain imperiously controlled, the song like a giant figurehead of a ship transplanted onto a lethal skateboard. Looming, zooming. It’s a crazed little caper, and we all like those.
The bleached bones of ‘Silently Creeping’ wobble like a hall of mirrors, hot with that fake mirage effect. ‘Head Spin’ is vocally saucier, the sound still a deceitful hammock, restful but jabbing you with playful little shocks, lulling you cheekily. I’m not sure what the mildewed intensity of ‘Two Headed Monster’ represents, seeming shorter and pretty open-ended, and there’s more tortured drowsiness about ‘Shifting’, a downcast post-Portishead opulence evident. Closer ‘Utopia’ moves from hazily choked to timidly vanishing, which makes for an odd end.
You can’t go by one listen or you might think it’s got a delicate gloss and doesn’t demand as much as previous releases, or provide as much variety, but the weirdness aspect is actually quite high, and at other times they’re at their most accessible. I’d have preferred some more noise at times myself, but the resounding impression is that here is a gorgeous record.
I am addicted to this stuff like an opiate drug. What’s not to die for? It is very well crafted, hypnotic, dreamy, compelling, seductive, alluring, sensual, dangerous, crazy, insightful, provocative, driving... I run out of superlatives and breath. If you aren’t already into this band, you owe it to your soul to discover them pronto. If you already love them, expect more of what you expect. They seem to keep getting better at it; more refined and expert, like finely buffed jewels. I can’t say what it is that keeps this group well ahead of the pack, but I suspect it has something to do with integrity of aesthetic vision, not to mention they are teh hotzor.-Andrew Fenner
Industrial gothic guitar and electronic music with ethereal female vocals. Collide have a massive sound - pounding drums drive rich tracks of gritty guitar and sinuous bass full of energy that are in powerful contrast with singer kaRIN's voice. The singing is delivered with a languid cool, refusing to be hurried by the beat of the music kaRIN wields her seductive voice as if calmly controlling a tempest. The guitars are for the most part heavily effected - corrosive distortion creating a dense grainy feel for much of the time, broadened by various other flange or chorus type pedals and who knows what else - there's a lot in this sound. Statik also introduces various synthetic effects and textures that keep the mix percolating - peripheral details and bubbling ephemera that break up the surface like grunge layers on a photograph, and an almost orchestral sound on Shifting. The passages where the band wind the intensity down do a lot to add to the interest value of the album - sultry softer moments, downward spiralling interludes and even a few whole tracks of downtempo trip hop shadow. The album generally lowers the pace as the second head of the Collide monster rises to dominance - a more dreamy atmosphere, less noise and fuzz. That said there is an enjoyable variation of approach from start to finish, each track taking an unpredictable trajectory from the last.
Two Headed Monster comes in a jewel case with a glossy sixteen page booklet. Imagery is primarily centred on shots of the band. Singer kaRIN appears on the front in reflective symmetry a conjoined two headed monster, hair lifted by unseen currents, shot in a limited palette of near sepia tones. Indeed this dark bronzy brown hue runs throughout the package - on the back another portrait mirror image with track titles rolling down the centre. Within textures of jagged stitching, cracked earth and twisted branches form backdrops for a wealth of information: lyrics are here, extensive credits, a whole page of thanks and plenty of studio photographs of the band.
This is now the fifth or sixth album from Collide depending on how you count things (the double disc Vortex being largely a remix collection). This current release, once more on the Noiseplus label, sees the band more solid, confident and polished than ever; true to their darkwave heritage still, yet with some more dance floor elements and at times even leaning a little in the direction of edgy pop. There are elements in the music that further explore some directions taken on the Secret Meeting project where the Collide duo teamed up with ex-Curve main man Dean Garcia. The ten track Two Headed Monster comes five years after the last full studio album and it's worth the wait - all of the controlled chaos, the thick catchy riffs, the inventive programming and crepuscular mystique - it's all here only even more well-produced than before. Have a listen on the band's website.
It’s been 5 years since Collide’s last album. You’d therefore be forgiven for expecting this 10 tracker to burst into life. What we get instead is a stripped back effort on Statik’s part in Tongue Tied and Twisted. He is much more the sound mixer and distorter on the opening parts of this album. But then Silently Creeping hits around the midpoint and Collide become so wonderfully burlesque!
kaRIN hasn’t lost any of her charm behind the microphone. With such a beautiful voice laid down it sometimes seems a shame for the soundman to etch away at it for effect, but this is partly what Collide do so well.
There is the breezy and upbeat, Head Spin, which makes for a welcome change in tone. The jazzy swaying of Shifting continues the burlesque aspect in a string laden orchestral affair and title track, Two Headed Monster, is a very distinctive Collide song and a good indicator to new ears of what kind of band Collide are.
With song titles like these Collide are acting just as sinister as ever. A band that is brimming with inventiveness and ideas – one can almost imagine them having too much fun ‘playing evil’ with childlike glee when naming tracks.
The album sadly has to end somewhere and a fitting end tune to send us away rwanting more is delivered in the shape of Utopia. kaRIN does something very new. An expert at seduction, cooing, wavering and now apparently reaching as well. Her voice is unsure in places and yet suddenly totally in control. It’s a magic that very few people know how to pull off. Yet it’s one that Statik understands oh so well and he surrounds her with wonder which translates to the audience as well. Wonder, and amazement.
Collide, the Los Angeles based industrial darkwave project centered around kaRIN and Statik, has been in existence for over a decade and is on its sixth album, which is indicative to the attention to detail that goes into all of the duo's releases. It's not just about the songs with Collide, it's the intricacy of the production, often featuring multi-tracked vocals and numerous electronic and organic layers, as well as the whole album package--the band still embraces high quality booklets in the iTunes age. A little while back, kaRIN and Statik collaborated with Curve's Dean Garcia in The Secret Meeting. Although Garcia contributes bass for Collide on "Chaotic," the influence of Curve and it's mix of guitar noise, electronic beats, and powerful feminine vocals are more pronounced here than on the band's previous releases. Two Headed Monster is focused primarily on atmosphere, although it never loses its pop sensibility. Its standout track, "Head Spin," clocks in at over six minutes and is driven by a repetitive synth groove, but still has the sing-along quality of a midtempo dance club number. Two Headed Monster is an album that requires a good set of speakers. There are so many little joys to be discovered in the production, a new treat to be discovered upon every listen. - Liz Ohanesian.
Always a mainstay in the trip-hop industrial scene, Collide is back with yet another beautifully compiled full-length album. Featuring some of the band's best work to date, "Two Headed Monster" offers some of their most intricately written songs, while still maintaining that classic Collide sound.
The strength of this release is the band's ability to maintain those elements of their music that the fans have come to love over the years, without falling into boredom. Though many of the tracks utilize a bit more of an industrial rock feel than the band's previous work, the songs still maintain the trademark unmistakable hypnotism of kaRIN's vocals.
The only possible slight downfall of this album is that there is no real 'standout' track or tracks that could be picked out as an instant single or club hit, unlike the band's previous releases. So while this album may not find an easy place on the radio or the dance floor, it still comes with the highest recommendations for a good sit-down listen. - Valdyr
Placing a greater emphasis on the organic elements of their music, Collide still provide fans with what they know and love.
Collide have certainly come far since their inception, and credit should be granted to this dynamic duo for doing it on their own terms, having released all of their music via their own Noiseplus label. While they have hardly kept quiet since their last album of new material, 2003's Some Kind of Strange, releasing a remix album, a live CD/DVD, a re-release of Distort, and their collaboration with Curve's Dead Garcia in The Secret Meeting, their latest album, Two Headed Monster presents Collide fans with more of what they know and love: scathing electronic and guitar textures, dark atmospheres, and mystifying vocals and melodies. Never ones to stray from balancing beauty and aggression, Two Headed Monster may be perhaps the band's most rock-oriented work.
Beginning with "Tongue Tied & Twisted," we are immediately treated to the Collide formula as layers of Statik's distorted synth scrapes mesh with the drums of Tool's Danny Carey, which slightly resemble The Downward Spiral-era Nine Inch Nails, while kaRIN's voice reverberates as beautifully as ever, her cadence during the chorus recalling elements of Maynard James Keenan (think "Ænima"). "Chaotic" and "A Little Too Much" then chime in, the former track with a raucous beat evocative of mid '90s noise-rock like Medicine, while both songs are chockfull of gritty guitars and ambient melodies that immediately put one in the mind of Curve, although that could also be due to the presence of Dean Garcia on the bass. Collide have often been likened to Curve, but never has the comparison been quite as evident as on these two tracks, and it's hardly a detriment. Try listening to the bopping rhythm and catchy melodies of "Head Spin" and not imagine go-go dancers and psychedelic light shows. "Pure Bliss" brings us back into Collide's more familiar territory as a somber piano and fluid guitar sustain create a dark mood offset by kaRIN's lush vocals before blissfully erupting into an energetic chorus. The same can be said of the title track, which bears the distinction of being the shortest song on the album. One of the more impressively off-kilter tracks on Two Headed Monster comes in the form of "Silently Creeping;" beginning with a somewhat jazzy rhythm, analog synth tones that recall the cinematic soundtracks of the late '70s and early '80s, and tried and true tremolo guitar dives, the song takes an abrupt and discordant turn in the chorus. Though hardly the most linear progression, it is perhaps one of the most musically adventurous tracks the band has yet composed. The album closes out with "Utopia," yet another classic Collide track with their expert mix of lush ambience and grating synth and guitar textures, all carried by kaRIN's emotive voice.
Aided by live members Scott Landes, Rogerio deSilva, Chaz Pease, and Kai Kurosawa, kaRIN and Statik prove with Two Headed Monster that a band can indeed carry their sound into new directions while retaining those elements that defined them in the first place. Still balancing the guitars with the electronics and with no shortage of live drums, the emphasis on the organic qualities of the band's music seem much more prevalent on this album, but there are still plenty of those noisy synthesizers that fans love. Besides that, kaRIN's vocals and melodies are as sharp as ever, enticing and mysterious, and always adding the right amount of soothe to Statik's noisy musical seethe. Two Headed Monster is not a dramatic departure for Collide, but it could do well to not only please longtime fans but also gain them a few new ones along the way.-Ilker Yücel
Careening down the fire escape just ahead of the inferno, out into the street under a torrential winter's downpour. You pause to look back at the flames exploding out your window, looking up and down the lonely lane you'll be calling home. In the midst of all this destruction, in the waves of heat curdling into a thickly acrid lung-choking mixture you hear something, "Two Headed Monster" is what's lulling your reeling senses.
Precision, yes. Craftmanship, absolutely. Collide's fourth album delivers an overwhelming knock-out. You're falling back into it, falling forward still drowning... gasping for breath. If it's addiction you seek, if it's compulsion you want chronicled: here's your homily. With a deftness few possess, Karin and Statik thunder into the pole position of slinky elegance. Believe me, this is no album for the meek. There are no half measures anywhere on this thing. I refer you to the track "Chaotic" and warn that the riffs will consume you before you have time to even notice what's going on.
This is the LA band who exploded years back with their debut, "Beneath the Skin". I make note of this only to illustrate how far they have come since that by-gone year of 1995. A more intrinsically flawless symbiosis of technology and human deviance you won't find this year, this much is certain. This is the rain on flushed skin after an escapade to be mentioned only in hushed tones. With the utmost confidence, Collide return to the world with their new work wrought delicately in the darkest of desires. I swear I can almost hear angels weeping while listening to this. - PETER MARKS
If one considers Collide’s cadre of Monster cohorts includes Danny Carey (Tool), Dean Garcia (Curve), as well as their team of live musicians, it seems logical that “Two Headed Monster” would be their most organic, rock-oriented album to date. Down to its trotting snare-flecked heartbeat, “Head Spin” is a swooning romantic; kaRIN’s vocals ebb and flow velveteen, glimmering to its sweet violin-like strains, thrumming bass guitar, and buzzing whimsical synth. KaRIN’s dreamy espionage croon in “Silently Creeping” is like a flashback to old Portishead, with their guitars set to a shimmer before both submit to a fray of burly dissonance and drums during its chorus. Dragged in by fractured piano and strangulated guitars, “Pure Bliss” proves to be rather bipolar as kaRIN’s bluesy presence intermittently summons a raucous drum and guitar outburst. Heavily echoing Garcia’s work as Curve, guitars break, swerve and dive-bomb though clusters of off-kilter drums in the aptly dubbed “Chaotic”. So never fear, fans of their hauntingly sensual history; Collide’s electronics may take a less obtrusive role within “Two Headed Monster”, but kaRIN and Statik are only broadening their arsenal, not replacing it.
The fourth studio release from, the appropriately dubbed “darkwave” band, Collide is a must have for your scene music collection. Industrial sounds and melodic rhythms by Statik blended with the often haunting, never disappointing vocals of kaRIN form the perfect audio soundtrack (minus some sounds of pain of course) for your next bondage and flogging scene.
Collide is the passion of two individuals creating beautiful music with the help of the occasional industry friend. In this case those friends are Danny Carey of Tool, and Dean Garcia of Curve. Although generally considered Industrial, Collide’s music brings together influences from around the world to convey the messages with deep feeling. With a strong undercurrent of raw emotion and dark, murky nights, Collide projects their thoughts into your head.
Personally, my favorite track on the CD is “Shifting”. For me it evoked an image of a leather-clad woman walking down a dimly lit hallway towards an open door, strutting as she approaches her victim, tied to the wall at the end of the room.. Granted, not exactly what the song is about but it does the trick for me.
The phrase “never judge a book by its cover” has never been more wrong in the case of Collide. One look at Statik and kaRIN in the booklet and you are instantly aware of the sounds you are about to hear. They respectively embody their artistic abilities and message. Statik projects a sense of dark raw aggression that comes across in the sounds he manipulates to form the setting for kaRIN’s voice. kaRIN on the other hand oozes sensuality and the suggestion of pleasures to come. Together the package is complete and I dare a listener to not be impressed with the melding of talents. -Mistral
Collide have been on the go for a fair old while now, and their brand of dark electro-goth has always managed to stir something deep inside me. There is a human element to their music that lifts it out of the generic, putting them far ahead of their peers. It's been a long time since the last proper Collide album, "Some Kind Of Strange", although there has been a remix album, a live DVD and the Secret Meeting side project with Dean Garcia from Curve to keep me happy and their hands far from idle.
But it's very reassuring to have an actual, proper, new Collide album to slip into the CD player. Lights suitably dimmed, headphones in place, phone taken off hook, and relax. And, oh, it's good. Half a decade gone, and it's like they've never been away. There are changes to their sound, but it's minimal, and sees them stripping away more of their industrial past, leaning more on ambience and moods.
It's still the vision of Statik and kaRIN, although Dean Garcia pops in for visit and Danny Carey from Tool pitches up with his drum kit on a handful of songs. The songs themselves have a tendency to come slithering in, insinuating themselves in places you'd rather have left alone, although there is still room for peculiarly melodic pop tunes like 'A Little Too Much'. It also sounds as though the remix project has left its mark, as some of the songs seem to have absorbed some extra vibe. Hell, 'Head Spin' could be an unlikely hit single!
But it's when Collide do that Collide thing that it all makes perfect sense. The track 'Chaotic' is almost a template for everything that is good about what they do, with a sensual yet rocking burst of darkwave that takes you far away on an aural experience you can't wait to repeat. Closely behind in second place is the quite stunning 'Silently Creeping', a song I intend to put on a loop for a few hours, just to see what happens.
It's another fabulous extravaganza in the history of Collide, by far the best darkwave / electro-goth / insert appropriate genre here release of the year, and one of the best albums of the year in any genre you're likely to hear. Go get it now.
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
Collide is such an underrated band. They really don’t get the recognition they deserve. Just ask my kitties. Whenever I play a CD (good or bad) they hide under the bed. However, when I put Collide’s Live At The El Rey in the stereo for the first time ever they didn’t hide. If that isn’t a seal of approval I don’t know what is. Live At The El Rey is by far one of the cleanest live CD’s you’ll ever come across. It even blows the roof off of some major label live recordings. The mix is just right. (No doubt due to Statik’s technical genius). The instruments don’t drown out the vocals, nor does the crowd drown out the band. Collide fans will rejoice because all the favorites are here, and with the aid of newly added, talented musicians their tremendous electro-gothic-industrial sound is expanded to something even more magnificent on stage. kaRIN’s voice is pure perfection. If you ever doubted her talent, you’ll become a true believer after listening to this disc or viewing the band’s recently released DVD ‘Like The Hunted’. All in all, Collide’s Live At The El Rey is perfection at its finest. Visit www.collide.net and experience the euphoria for yourself. –NIN
Dark Realms Magazine
Essentially envisioned as a studio project, Collide has successfully made a name for themselves in the realm of darkwave music without ever performing live. Their seductive brand of dark digital rock is the product of composer and electronic wizard, Statik, and the sultry songstress, kaRIN. For this rare live performance, four additional musicians accompany the duo as they play for an intimate yet avid crowd at the El Rey nightclub in LA. The album contains many of Collide's most popular songs from their prior studio releases. Songs like "Beneath the Skin," "Slither Thing," and the band's rendition of "White Rabbit" take on a new dimension while watching kaRIN weave her musical spell with them. The band has also released a Live at the El Rey DVD that documents the entire concert and features various other videos, interviews and bonus material from Statik and kaRIN. It may be quite some time before Collide commits to a full-scale worldwide concert tour, but until then, this CD and video documentary of one of their rare performances truly captures the magic of the moment.-Devon King, Dark Realms Magazine
Principally a studio electronic band, this document of Statik and kaRIN's 9th ever (!) live appearance presents them as a well-oiled rock machine capable of translating these songs ably into a live experience. From the driving dance-rock of the seductive 'Beneath The Skin' to the slinky trip-funk of 'Razor Sharp' to their modern re-interpretation of 'White Rabbit', COLLIDE prove that their songs are what count, whether it's electronica or guitar-and-drum-fuelled rock. This album works, to put it succinctly, and this is yet another new leaf turned for this independent group who continue to thrive on their own terms.Bravo!
Last year the US darkwave band Collide did their first concerts while they already have 5 albums out. This is what you can call perfectionism. By the time they did El Rey in Los Angeles during the tour the band thought the show was perfected enough to do something more with it. This performance was directly filmed with very professional equipment and multiple camera angles, and of this a live album as well as a DVD release is out now. The cd recording is sold seperately from the DVD and of course has the same tracklist, with an extra bonus consisting of the video of ‘Euphoria’.
Collide clearly is in perfect shape and a concert is really recommended. This is very clear when you see the recordings and listen to the live cd. This recording could as well be seen as a best of by Collide. Tracks like ‘Beneath the Skin’ , ‘Crushed’ , ‘Complicated’, ‘Falling Up’, ‘Slither Thing’, the Jefferson Airplane cover ‘White Rabbit’, ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum’ and ‘Euphoria’ are all performed and present on this cd. Now you hear the band live it is striking all the more that this is a very unique outfit. KaRIN’s voice is strong and musicwise Collide plays a powerful elixir consisting of heavy rock guitars, electronics, gothic synths, dance influences and triphop. kaRIN and Statik have selected some fine musicians for the live line up of Collide. This is enjoyment for over an hour, listening to a band this nice.-Review by: Steven Hurst
What more of an introduction to this album can I give than what I have said about their DVD released at the same time. It was a big step for this studio project to step out, find live performers and convert their music into something that a six-piece live group could play. Through their respective talents and work they have pulled it off and this is their first live album released. It features live performances from tracks throughout their entire career including a nice hour-long set spanning fifteen tracks. This disc also includes a bonus track which is the "video edit" version of their recently popular piece "Euphoria".
When you listen to their studio albums, the listener is often lulled into a sweet sense of euphoria through the downtempo tracks that vary between this euphoric sense and the onslaught of electronics and guitars. One thing that comes out of their live performance is a lot more energy, more grinding guitars and percussion. At times this can really be over-the-top, which is great for an energy boost, especially while there in person, but I found the crashing cymbals at times began to wear on me while listening to the album, because the listener isn't always in a position where the adrenaline is pumping and you want to be right on the front row. However, through all of this, kaRIN's vocals remain solid, strong and clear as if she were still right in the studio recording them. Of course you're not going to get a lot of the vocal processing that goes on in the studio albums, but the overall mood is still there very solid and steady.
The track selection for their live playlist is an excellent choice of tracks including many of their popular tracks and featuring many of the more upbeat pieces. Of course it just wouldn't be complete without "Razor Sharp", "Crushed", "Slither Thing", "Wings of Steel", their awesome cover of "White Rabbit" and the fun piece "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum". Their performance of this last track is awesome and is a great way to wind down the show, but it just wouldn't be complete without their finale "Euphoria", and so they close the show with this piece and once again we have another great work to enjoy for a long time to come. Rating: 4/5
Live at the El ReyFor years – over ten actually – Collide have been creating music from their studio. Statik and kaRIN have always remained outside the world, reachable only by closing your eyes as you spin their released CDs. It wasn’t until 2004, nearly a decade after the duo of kaRIN’s vocals and Statik’s extra-sensory noise came together originally, before Collide appeared and played any venue.
The crown jewel of the recent live endeavors of the group has given us two assortments of media wonderment. The first is the CD, Live at the El Rey, and the second is the DVD Like the Hunted, which I will talk about in more detail sometime later. To form their live outfit, Collide needed to find others that would help them realize the sound that they could create in the studio. Thusly they’ve enlisted Rogerio Silva (guitar), Chaz Pease (drums), Kai Kurosawa (guitar/bass) and Scott Landes (guitar). Live at the El Rey plays like a best hits collection. Beneath the Skin opens us before moving into Crushed and Complicated. All throughout the recording is masterful with the only audience sounds being during the breaks between songs rather than a muddied unprofessional sound you expect with most live recordings. And the sound is full and glorious, rivaling even Collide’s previous studio work, with the full assortment of live musicians that played.
The CD was recorded on April 14, 2005 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California. One of the most striking things about the CD is Karin’s humility – her short talk between Complicated and Falling Up shows how thrilled she is to be making music and to have people listen to it. She’s astounded by the fact that Collide has been making music for ten years successfully, and just as astounded at the fact that they really do sound that good. One of the few truly approachable figures in music history.
Her voice is phenomenal as always, high and sultry and laced with bitterness and sexual energy all at once. Falling Up sounds gorgeous with her voice like this, and the multiple guitar work and live drums brings power to the track like never before. Razor Sharp has always been a favorite of mine, found here on track 9, just as sultry as ever with a great job on bass by Kurosawa – live bass gives the track a punch that wasn’t there before.
The Grace Slick cover, White Rabbit, elicits screams from the crowd at its onset. Guitar work here is brilliantly done live. Again a lot of stock must be placed in Kurosawa’s bass breakdowns as well. The El Rey set is closed with Euphoria and Live at the El Rey has the bonus track of Euphoria’s video edit to close the album with sixteen tracks.
Collide has always been a studio project. But if you can find the right combination of people you can take even the most studio-enclosed sound to the stage. I’ve seen many acts fail at this, trying to turn an electronica band into a live outfit and looking more like a couple of gonads lost on a huge stage alone. And studio music can easily lose its power when put in a live venue. Collide has added musicians, increased the sound and is not only just as powerful outside the studio in front of you as it is within – it’s even moreso.-By Marcus Pan
Collide has been a duo act for many years so when word of a live album and dvd were made on their website, I began to wonder how will they reproduce the studio tricks live. My suspicions soon flew out the window upon hearing their live album from April 14th, 2005 simply entitled, Live at the El Rey. The set list is the same as on the dvd, “Like the Hunted” with the exception of a extra edit version of Euphoria. Other than that, the listener will be able to live or relive the live experience Collide has to offer.
The line-up is also the same, with Scott Landes and Rogerio Silvio on guitars, Kai Kurosawa on warr guitar / bass and Chaz Pease on drums. Again I was really amazed to hear a warr guitar played within a metallic based band. This, to me gives the music more dimensions. Kudos to Kai! Also kudos to the main duo kaRIN and Statik. Both of them over the years have created such beautiful music together. The twin guitars of Scott and Rogerio also add their style into the fold as well. I was surprised to hear the “live” drum sound within the songs, Chaz does them much justice.
One of my favorite songs of Collide has always been Crushed, so to hear it in a live setting was a treat. They beefed up the song to make it, dare I say, better than the original. I can see this band becoming a household name very soon withing the gothic/industrial genre. They have the makings of being one of the best of the newer modern music. This along with the companion dvd, Like The Hunted are essential for both new and old fans alike. One can only wonder what Collide has in store for us on their next studio album. I’m sure all of us fans will be waiting eagerly. -Ron Fuchs on February 4th, 2006
The optimum completion to Collide’s "Like The Hunted" DVD is their "Live At The El Rey" CD...
In crystal-clear, voluminous sound quality, the CD offers us the chance to listen to 15 live songs, i.e. such classics as "Beneath The Skin", "Somewhere" or "Euphoria".
Even without pictures, the recording transports the kind of magical mood that must have filled Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre on April 04, 2005. Supported by bassist Kai Kurosawa, guitarists Scott Landes and Rogerio Silva as well as drummer Chaz Pease, kaRIN’s and Statik’s compositions sound profound and equal to the original electronic arrangements that the band performances are based on. Statik managed it exquisitly to re-arrange the original tunes and add some rock feeling to the songs.-Dom, 06 Feb 2006
The Collide Experience (Live At The El Rey Review)
Sometimes, when composing a live album, bands take serious risks. Live venues are, by and large, are simply not the best for recording quality and many live albums that I've heard have left me wanting. There have been a scant few exceptions to this rule, of course.
KISS: Alive III, Marilyn Manson "The Last Day On Earth Tour" being two of the ones I considered exceptions. The great thing about live albums is that they tend to capture the most essential elements of the rock and roll experience. It's the reason you show up, dress your best (or worst) and go. You wanna be up front, feeling the sound rattle your body. You wait with trepidation for that one member of the band to point at you, touch fists with you, blow you a kiss...something...anything personal. One connection that you know the band member may forget but a moment you'll remember forever. That's where it matters, doesn't it? Then there are The Rock And Roll Moments that you look forward to. Maybe a lyric gets screwed up, maybe they say something that will be remembered forever, no matter, that part can be captured and forever immortalized in digital electronic media and with certain permissions, can be used for a variety of ends.
The Collide Camp informed me that their DVD "Like The Hunted" had been sent to me but I never expected "Live At The El Rey" to accompany it. What a pleasant surprise. The only shame of receiving the items when I did was that I had to work. The next morning would prove to hold no moment free for me to properly listen to it either but then came the moment. I woke up for work...my last day of the week to be twisted on Stackers to survive another dull and boring night at work. I took a few spare moments while in the shower to let it spin on my CD player which needs to desperately be replaced. I heard the near-doomlike sounds of the intro flowing in and the music built. The funny part was that I could barely hear the crowd. Normally, the crowd either adds or takes away from the recording but with this particular Live compilation, they added even as far in the background as they sounded.
Then I went sideways. kaRIN's vocals came in loud and true, blending and harmonizing perfectly with the music. There was no doubt in my mind that this album was going to be good but now, my suspicions were cemented and forever sealed. kaRIN, Statik, Kai, Scott, Rogerio and Chaz went all out in their performances and nothing was held back...no quarter asked, none given. AND THIS WAS ONLY THE FIRST SONG!!!!
I was able to listen to about two or three tracks before I went to work and all through the night I waited and quietly bided my time. I wanted to hear the rest of the disc. I couldn't wait!!!
Finally home this morning I finally was able to sit down and listen to the rest of it...I can honestly say that, as a fan, "Live At The El Rey" will join that once-duo of KISS and Marilyn Manson in terms of the best live CDs of all time. Performances never lacked. Nothing was missing. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and much much more than I expected.
The live cover of The Fun Boy 3's "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum" was great, their cover of "White Rabbit" far surpassed the original, Beneath The Skin, Crushed, Slither Thing, Modify, Razor Sharp and Euphoria were done more than beautifully. Collide took away my power over my own ability to describe the performances. I think the whole disc can be brought to two words...Simply Excellent!!!!
I walked away from the CD once it was over wishing I'd been AT the El Rey the night of that concert. This disc is a must-have for anyone proclaiming themselves to be a fan of music within the gothic genre or even of Collide in general. I can't believe you're still reading this....GO GET YOUR DAMN COPY!!! And THAT's The Genocydal Maniac's Bottom Line.-jen (dj.ste.mairet)
Recorded live at The El Rey Theatre in 2005, Collide’s Like The Hunted DVD is an amazingly crisp and clear video experience. Featuring 14 songs, this 65 minute concert was filmed with 5 cameras plus a second angle crane camera, all of which serve to capture every minute of the concert’s electrifying energy. The DVD was shot by Kevin McVey, who managed to convey the true essence of this magnificent unit. The truth is, Collide doesn’t have the big budget backing of a major label, but because their love for their craft is so intense they still managed to put out a very high quality, professional video. Many Collide fans have not had the pleasure of seeing the group in a live setting. The expanded unit made its first stage appearance in 2004, thanks to the addition of some very talented musicians—Scott Landes (guitar), Rogerio Silva (guitar), Kai Kurosawa (bass), and Chaz Pease (drums).
Like The Hunted showcases a whole new dimension of Collide’s material, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing the band live this DVD is about as close as you’re going to get to the real thing. Recorded digitally, the audio and visual is just breath taking. You’ll feel like the convert is in your living room. In addition to some great live footage there are also lots of special features for your viewing pleasure. Collide included a stunning photo gallery and some entertaining videos. Be sure to also check out the interview with Statik & kaRIN. The chemistry between the two of them is great. I never knew Statik was so funny, and I’ve hung out with him a few times. In this interview he really cracked me up. If you’re a Collide fan you owe it to yourself to buy this DVD, and while you’re at it pick up the accompanying Live CD, Live At The El Rey. Both can be purchased at www.collide.net -NIN
Fans have been waiting since the mid 90's to get a chance to see elusive Goth faves Collide bring their soothing, yet scary - dark, yet warm mishmash of industrial and etheral to a live stage. In 2004 lucky fans in Los Angeles finally got a chance when Collide made their live debut. For those of us who don't live in southern California, the band was nice enough to film the show and put out a DVD. Shot in a simple, intimate style, Like The Hunted is a concert film that not only captures the essence of the band, but also makes the viewer feel like they are part of the audience. Singer kaRIN prances back and forth onstage like a nervous cat in heat while sound architect Statik and the rest band brings the dense sound of the songs to life around her in a blur of motion and surgical precision. All while looking like Goth royalty in black leather. With bonus features that include all the band's videos (a highlight being an almost unrecognizable cover of Dusty Springfield's "Son Of A Preacher man"), interviews (come on Statik - let kaRIN finish a thought before interrupting her) and acoustic renditions of "Modify" and "Deep". This is the most revealing document ever produced on this mysterious band.-Posted by Brad Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Industrial dream act Collide have been coming forward in leaps and bounds in the past year and this Live DVD is evidence of the hard work they put in. It only seemed like yesterday (and it hasn’t been long at all) since they put together a live act to support the two prime members of the band (kaRIN and Static) and then hit the road. And for a band still fairly unknown in most parts of the world – it certainly helps the band’s image to not only support their work with Remix albums, but now the live album too.
The DVD itself comes with plenty of extra features including acoustic performances and three videos shot for their songs ‘Preacher Man’, ‘Razor Sharp’ and ‘Euphoria.’ This is also complemented with a gallery from their photo-shoot collection and there is also a 15-minute behind the scenes/interview with kaRIN (vocals/ words) and Statik (Noise).
The performance itself has the added bonus of having been presented with two different edits of the camera work – So if you enjoy the performance, you can watch it again and switch to the second edit to enjoy it from a different perspective.
Collide have selected 15 songs to perform here taken from all three albums in their back catalogue as well as from their previous remix album ‘Vortex’ which also included cover tracks.
The sound quality is good and although the visual aspect can look a bit grainy on some shots – it’s certainly shot well enough to give off some atmosphere – this of course is helped by the production visual aspect of the background screen effects. kaRIN thankful keeps here voice heard, as there is a tendency for some vocalists to be drowned out by heavy noise. What is also avoided is the tendency for live acts to rush through songs so quickly it kills pleasure of hearing them. All songs sound good making it hard to highlight any moment – but fans will no doubt love their favourite tunes being played. What could have been employed, and Static gets the brunt of this one, is an effort to mix things up slightly giving a different sound, or extended feel to some of the material. The most obvious point of reference for this is the Cure who always extend and mix up ‘A forest’ (usually towards the end of a performance). This is merely a hint for future reference. It makes a live audience appreciate the performance all the more to have a long lead into a song, or an extended epilogue out of one whilst retaining the core soul of what the song is about. Here though it is the songs played well and nothing more. And there should not really be any heavy criticism for a first effort if the material is put forward well enough.
A decent first DVD release then, comprising all they have to offer via media so far. If anything though, it could have done with a better (longer) interview piece. The documentary (and at times joke laden) feel of the 15 featurette here is good, but die-hard fans will no doubt want better questions about the band and not just about there beginnings which most fans will know all about by now anyway. But as it’s a first – this featurette does help introduce them to new audiences. Statik and kaRIN’s comic relationship on camera certainly deflates any sense of them taking themselves too seriously.
This release also comes in the form of CD which includes the whole of the performance and the Radio-Edit of ‘Euphoria’.
Collide - "Like The Hunted" DVD - Coming from the mid-90's industrial scene, the duo of Statik (noise) and kaRin (vocals and words) has been among the more successful to date. Their self-released studio albums have been influential documents while remaining firmly electronic in nature. Translating these songs to a live experience could have been a typical pre-programmed setup in lesser bands' hands. Here, the California duo round out their sound with 4 additional musicians, crafting a guitar-and-drum fuelled rock experience. COLLIDE's original songs, like the blistering 'Beneath The Skin' or the seductive 'Slither Thing', are grafted new wings. A superb and commanding presence from kaRin leads the live band from aggressive electro-rock hybrids to elegant and atmospheric dark-pop songs. And besides the excellent live concert, you get added bonuses of COLLIDE's promo videos, interviews, and other live footage. A great set and recommended.
For a band that was pretty much strictly a studio project up until late 2004, they have really taken a jump and done a lot with their live lineup and live work. This DVD is just the next logical bold step from this band in their adventure into the live scene. What we have here is a real gem for fans of this band. Even with their live performances, they've still only done a handful including a west coast tour and a few other performances, so in reality it's still a rather small group of people that have actually seen them live. This DVD gives us all a chance to see a little bit more behind the scenes, their live show and some excellent videos.
The music from this band speaks for itself and for further information I'll refer the reader to the other reviews here on the music and the individual albums. So we'll delve into the live performance and the features on this DVD for a bit here. The stage presence of the live band is awesome, featuring live drums, kaRIN's captivating form, live guitars and as always, Statik sitting in the background kind of keeping everything together and providing all of the experimental electronic sounds. Everyone performs well and lends their own talents so well to the stage performance. This DVD captures this live performance very well providing multiple camera angles, nice shots of the audience and all of the performers. This really ends up being one of the better live video shoots that I've seen, providing some up-close views as well as capturing the entire stage at once and really making the listener feel as if you're right there on the front row of the live show. And while I would have loved to have been there in person, it's so convenient to watch it in the comfort of your own living room with the sound adjusted to your own preference.
Apart from the excellent live performance from this group with their concert at The El Rey venue, the DVD also contains a gold mine of other features. These features include an excellent video interview in a couple of parts and different locations with Statik and kaRIN. The interview gives the viewer not only some insight into how this duo pulls their music together, but also gives you a good look at them off the stage and out of the spotlight, especially when Statik finally loosens up and starts to actually talk in the latter part of the interviews. The features include a huge photo gallery that plays in a slideshow with their music playing in the background featuring live and studio photos throughout their career. The real treat for me had to be the actual bonus music videos including two versions of "Razor Sharp", the fun and strange video "Son of a Preacher Man", and "Euphoria", as well as a couple of bonus live videos and acoustic performances and videos "Modify" and "Deep".
That pretty much sums up the DVD in a nutshell. I've spent hours going over this material, watching the live performance, digging through the photos, watching the music videos and interviews and know that I'll be able to spend hours more enjoying the material here. Fans of this band absolutely have to pick up this DVD.
kaRIN and Statik have pulled their sublime studio sound and fleshed it out with additional live performers. I think Collide have always struck me as akin to Switchblade Symphony with the stage presence of "The Cult" and the sound of Battery at times. Karin's vocals on "White Rabbit" (A cover of Jefferson Airplane of the late sixties) is the best cover that I've heard in about five years. I highly recommend this dvd along with the live cd (for your car-listening)
Any techno-head worth his or her salt is either very familiar with Collide’s work or should be. Comprised of singer/found-artist Karin (an occasional value-add to Front Line Assembly) and synth-god Statik (Skinny Puppy, Tool), the duo have made their musical mission one of the most-watched in electro history. Only recently have they taken their unique sound on the road, as seen here in the CD/DVD release “Like the Hunted.”Above and beyond the glossy professionalism of the overall sound (it’s not often that bands come off like wizened road rats on their 8th-or-so live gig) is the trademark combination of kaRIN’s intensely sensual crooning (picture a young Siouxsie in full seduction mode, often half-whispered as if she’s fixated on Neptune) and Statik’s uncanny noise innovations, which range from trance-inducing samples to nu-metal stun-buzz. It’s the ultimate combination of goth, industrial, metal and fashionista post-punk, delivered as if they’d been tasked with saving the entire electro genre. Collide doesn’t relegate itself to one type of song but instead explores everything from psychedelic synth-pop (“The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”) to Evanescence-like anthem-metal (“Euphoria”). The key ingredient – what truly gives the band a high-odds shot at success as an album-oriented band rather than being doomed to one-shot vampire-disco status – is their very personal sound, a trick most bands learn five albums into things.
The bravest step forward here is their decision to bring other performers into their bizarre, reclusive but crucial little world – this live set (recorded at the El Ray in Los Angeles) is enhanced immensely by the addition of living, breathing humans playing drums, guitar and bass. Thus, unlike so many onesie and twosie techno acts whose live shows consist of one guy stomping the boards, there’s plenty to keep the camera busy in the DVD.
You’re advised to keep Collide in your sights, as they could easily break through the stratosphere with their next studio record.
Rating: 5 out of 5-Eric Saeger
Kaleidoscope Issue #21
Now this is a true gem! One of my favourite bands, but they very rarely play live (though as theyre American my opportunities to see them would be zilch anyway) so on one of their incredibly rare shows they decided to film it for release. And here it is filmed at the El Rey in Los Angeles in 2005, the result is stunning. Very well filmed and directed, you really get the feel of the concert, and the sound is superb. Given that this was something like the bands 5th ever show, their style, presentation and delivery puts bands of far greater experience and financial backing to shame! Tracks from across their albums with some of their infamous cover versions including the radical reinterpretation of The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum fly past as this concert makes for compelling and highly enjoyable viewing. Apparently the DVD supports that multi-camera-angle button that sits idle on most remotes, but I couldnt get it to work! As for extras, again there is no shortcomings as after a typically mashed around interview presentation film we have two acoustic shots, two different live performances, and then 4 of their glorious video clips. Their videos are truly wonderful, combining the effects and contrasts of a Marilyn Manson video with their own fantasy world imagery part organic / part mechanical! So why they split these extras into two separate root menus is beyond me, and is the only thing about the whole package I wasnt keen on as it prevents a free flow of all the songs without having to faff about with the remote. But this tiny niggle aside, this has to be one of the best DVDs ever released by a band without major label bankrolling, and really does deserve to be in your collection you will not regret it! Very, very highly recommended! - Mike Francis
Since I first heard Collide on a magazine cover disc many moons ago, I've had more than a slight obsession with them. However, I was slightly worried when I heard that they were taken their studio bound musical experiments out on the road for the first time.
After all, the delicate duo had attained moments of perfection on their studio releases, and I was loathe to see / hear them bludgeoned into submission by a backing band. Fortunately, that hasn't happened.
The main portion of “Like the Hunted” is a live performance at the El Rey in Los Angeles on April 14 of 2005 with the main duo of kaRIN and Statik ably assisted by some well chosen hired hands. It still seems strange to watch a band that you've only ever pictured in your head, going through their live paces, and nothing really lives up to the mental imagery. However, they have done an excellent job of taking classics like "Slither Thing" and "Complicated" and translating them into something different, but still excellent.
For the geeks amongst you, the show was filmed with 5 cameras and was recorded digitally into a Pro-Tools HD system. The concert part of the DVD also features a second angle (crane camera) for viewing and it is presented in widescreen, 16:9 format.
However, as if that wasn't enough of a treat, the DVD includes a collection of videos which come closer to the pictures in my head with clips for "Euphoria" and "Son of a Preacherman" amongst others. There's also a couple of acoustic performances, a long (if lo-fi) interview and a a photo gallery of over 150 photos.
Nothing could live up to the music they've put out on CD, but this is a brave and worthwhile effort.
The concert is also available as a 16 track CD.
:twisted :twisted :twisted :twisted out of 5
Collide has been a duo act for many years so when word of a live album and dvd were made on their website, I began to wonder how will they reproduce the studio tricks live. My suspicions soon flew out the window when I began watching the main concert footage, which was taken at a April 14th , 2005 show at a LA venue called the El Rey.
The dvd portion of the show is called “Like the Hunted” and for those unable to attend can live the experience. For those that seen the band live, can relive it visually over and over again. The band gets fleshed out to a sextet with Scott Landes and Rogerio Silvio on guitars, Kai Kurosawa on warr guitar / bass and Chaz Pease on drums. I was really amazed to see a warr guitar within a metallic based band but I think it helps give the band a leading edge over most in the genre. Here’s hoping Kai as well as the others will contribute more than just live.
On the DVD, we get treated with a bunch of extra special features. Collide sure spoils their fans! The special features includes studio videos of Euphoria, Son of A Preacher Man and Razor Sharp as well as tour videos of Like You Want To Believe and Wings of Steel. Other features are acoustic versions of Modify and Deep. Showing that kaRIn truly has a angelic beautiful voice outside of the electronic based music. It would be interesting to hear more acoustic pieces, maybe a piano/vocal song here and there in the near future. Another feature is something called “The Modification”, which is an interview with various live, studio and video out-takes.
Like The Hunted proves that Collide is not another studio project, but in fact a full fledged band. This is one of the better made and produced music DVDs that I’ve seen in a long while. It’s definitely one I will be revisiting often!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on February 4th, 2006
The DVD opens with the live recording of their set, and I must say, well done! Professionally shot, well edited, and definitely gives the fans a good idea of what their concert would be like. Collide has an excellent visual performance - from the costuming, to the lighting, to kaRIN's onstage persona, nothing is lacking.
But I think for me the real thrill on this DVD is the music video collection; specifically, the ??Euphoria?? video. Jaw-dropping gorgeous. Literally in my top 5 music video picks of all time. I also enjoyed the "Son of a Preacher Man" video as well. The first viewing was rather shocking, but once I got over the initial ??WTF??? moments, it was thoroughly enjoyable the second round. As far as the "Razor Sharp" videos go...not quite as thrilling. Which is disappointing since "Razor Sharp" is to date my favorite Collide song.
The interview was pretty interesting in regards to substance, though technically could have been better done. I know a lot of bands try to go for that "in the studio" look, but the lack of decent lighting and audio doesn't really make it worth it in the end, especially when it's held in comparison to the higher quality of the rest of the DVD.
Overall on its own, I would have given this DVD 4/5...but it's the live CD that came with it that clinches the deal. I'm usually not totally into the live recording deal, but this is technically one of the best live recording jobs I've heard, and thus a totally interesting spin.
Overall a very complete and comprehensive package for every die-hard Collide fan!
Rating: Excellent (5/5) Review by Valdyr
I’ve been a fan of this quirky LA duo since I heard their latest album ”Some Kind of Strange”. Their style is a collision of trip hop and electro, with a dark edge to it. And there are guitars too! Lately, Karin and Statik have taken to the stage, and performed their material in front of an audience. This concert at El Rey in Los Angeles was filmed, and is now released both as CD and DVD. The set is a mix of songs from their career, beefed up for the stage. They have a full band with them, filling out the sound nicely, and bringing even more weight to the songs. The sound recording is excellent by the way, and the DVD features a lot of extras for you to peruse. There’s an interview with Statik and Karin, a couple of videos, photos and two brilliant acoustic pieces, performed in the studio.
Check this out even if you’re not a fan. You just might like it.-JOHAN CARLSSON
Breathtaking. Both visually and audibly. “Like the Hunted” gives us unfortunate folks who haven’t seen Collide live in concert a chance to be there—practically on stage with the dynamic duo.
Stuffed into this DVD is a slew of special features, videos, and their live performance at the El Rey in Los Angeles on April 14 of 2005. Ethereal vocals by kaRIN combined with the raw energy of Statik translates extremely well to the live stage setting. Not only is the band stunning to watch but so are the visuals with videos for their cover of the Dusty Springfield classic “Son of a Preacher Man” with a manic battle between stuffed pigs, strawberries, cowboys, cheerleaders, and more plus a couple other videos that you unfortunately won’t be seeing on MTV’s main channel. Kevin McVey helps out with the concert footage and a couple of the music videos and shows off his tremendous talent as well. Also included is an interview, photo gallery, and acoustic performances of “Modify” and “Deep”.
This Is Corrosion.com
Collide, the duo of Statik and kaRIN, has been around for over 10 years, releasing many great albums, but have always been just a studio band. Well that has changed; Collide have hit the road and Like the Hunted is their live performance from April, 2005 at the El Rey in Los Angeles.
The DVD has a nice cover, though the content listing on the back is a little hard to read. The inside is very sparse: just the DVD. I would like to have seen liner notes, but after all, this is a DVD and the contents of the DVD more than makes up for anything lacking in packaging.
The menus are visually pleasant and clear and concise; no hunting for menu items. The DVD contains the live concert, plus added bonuses of an in-depth interview, acoustic performances of "Modify" and "Deep", all of their videos to date and a gallery of photographs.
The 60+ minute concert is done very well. Often, music DVDs can be stale and drain the music of its impact. It was refreshing to see the dynamic coverage of the show, with multiple angles and for the most part, no evidence of the video cameraman. The video itself is top-notch; the video is sharp, the colors are vivid, and the audio sounds "live" without being washed out. We get to see all of the band members, although Statik either seems to be camera shy or they just didn't get good shots of him. All of the "hits" of Collide are represented, and the recording has the feel of a live concert, as opposed to being staged for the DVD. The concert also feels intimate, which would be lost had it been in a larger venue. The crowd in responsive, but fairly subdued. The songs themselves have an added dimension from live play, due to the additional four live band members.
Onto the special features: The live photos give a glimpse of the visuals from other live performances and are presented with background music. The studio photos are very well done; exquisite photography. The music videos are also well done and even if you have seen online versions, the DVD versions are so much better. There are also live videos for "Like You Want to Believe" and "Wings of Steel", plus acoustic performance videos for "Modify" and "Deep". The interview, "The Modification", is a candid look into the motives and thoughts of Collide.
" Like the Hunted" is an excellent example of what a music DVD should be. There is plenty of content and it keeps your attention. If you're a Collide fan or you're curious as to what Collide is all about, this is the DVD to buy.-legion
Filming a band’s ninth concert is courageous – but not when you’re in a band called Collide. Supporters of these perfectionists know that the band had been working hard to celebrate their live debut after a decade of existing...
Recorded at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre on April 04, 2005, by director Kevin McVey, the 65 minutes lasting gig on this DVD proves that it was high time for Collide to finally enter a stage.
Wrapped in highly artistic light effects, it’s in the first place vocalist kaRIN who bewitches the audience as if she had been doing millions of shows before. kaRIN’s and Statik’s songs pull the visitors into their world without utilizing clichés. Without a doubt you believe that both live their music, that they don’t write their lyrics with the help of a construction set.
Collide are a work of art, and their excellent live band members give songs like "Falling Up", "Razor Sharp" or "White Rabbit" very characteristic trademarks that the crowd can’t disappear from. In the bonus section, kaRIN once more shows her expressive vocal range by performing acoustic versions of "Deep" and "Modify".
Altogether, the featurettes’ playing time is about 60 minutes, including the tasteful videos for "Euphoria", "Like You Want To Believe", "Razor Sharp", "Son Of A Preacher Man" and "Wings Of Steel", a gallery, backgrounds and a very interesting interview that shows the makers of such serious music as humorous people.
Rating: stylish.Dom, 06 Feb 2006
The Second Level Of Darkness And Below
I'll admit that I was tired. Possibly not in the best condition to be thinking and moreso, not the best condition to be carrying on about watching anything that would require some degree of intellect as most of what I had for the evening had been spent.
When I prepared to stretch out on the couch, it wasn't my massive book of DVDs that I reached for. I had two of them that I hadn't watched yet but I didn't reach for them, nor did I reach for my Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings DVDs.
No, I decided to descend further into the abysmal depths and indulge my sickness by watching Collide "Like The Hunted" because, to me, music is what usually revitalizes me. I was right. Drained, I ceremoniously put the DVD into the player and Live At The El Rey was the first thing that came up in the main menu. I'd just written the review on the CD. Now, I was going to get my wish...I was going to the El Rey to the Collide Concert visually. I would get the pleasure of not just hearing the music but SEEING it performed.
I stretched out on the couch and began to watch. My cats, Tails, Nermal, Snowball and Ares piled themselves on top of me. Normally, they all just fall asleep but when the music started they began looking at the TV. Then, there was the silhouette behind the screen. Unmistakeably kaRIN dancing like something out of a Babylonian seduction. Statik stood awash in blue light that would turn purple and then red. The guitarists were rocking back and forth in anticipation, with guitars ready like soldiers ready to begin firing at multiple targets.
BOOM! The music began...remember what I said about the CD "Live At The El Rey" lacking nothing? Well it was true but this had the added bonus of kaRIN coming out from behind the screen and beginning her part of the performance, dancing like some demonic goddess, using some strange magick to seduce the crowd along with her voice. Only on "Beneath The Skin" and already it was becoming less of a DVD and some sort of dark ritual.
Screens flashed imagery, lights bathed the band members in differing hues of green, blue, purple, red and mixtures of them all and kaRIN kept her dancing and her voice wickedly fun, decadent, and her eyes told a story of insanity. I noticed that my cats had also taken notice.
The performances were only magnified on the DVD. The contrast of the music to kaRIN's voice was creepy and the crowd was loving it.
So was I, for that matter. I'd been revived to face certain sacrifice as now, I could not take my eyes from my screen. The whole of the scene threatened to envelop me and lose me in the insanity. I was more than happy to let it.
The "Live At The El Rey" session is something I could watch over and over again.
It's more than just concert footage...it's an experience.
The Rest Of The Story:
I'd spent hours tooling along the special features. The videos were hypnotic, the songs were abysmally beautiful and the imagery was tormentingly wonderful. The interview and video outtakes do nothing to destroy the illusion that is Collide. That is, if you believe it was all illusion.
Collide has done nothing short of creating a highly underrated media phenomenon with this work. Their attention to detail and hard work both as a studio unit and live act prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you reap what you sow. This band hasn't created itself...it was spawned. There is no illusion to this band...and the source of their material comes from somewhere dark that even angels fear to touch.
There are things on this disc you'll see that you can't undo. You'll never get them out of your head. The imagery is beautiful and haunting and if you even remotely like Collide...this will cement your position as a die-hard fan. Even after I sieze control of my mind again, I'll still remain a fan after seeing this. I'm sure residual trace images will remain and threaten to overtake me.
But hey...what a helluva way to go huh?
Now...Lord Genocyde says, "Forth, my minions to grab your copy now!" -DJ Genocyde (dj.ste.mairet)
The remix is in many ways an alternate universe where songs can take new life—or, in the worst case can be rendered an unintelligible mess (I can think of a few, but in fairness to the artists and remixers won’t mention them here). Sometimes a remix can even become more well-known than the original tune (think Todd Terry’s remix of Everything But the Girl’s hit “Missing”). The duo known as Collide put in their bid for remixed greatness with this double-disc set, Vortex.
There’s a little more to Vortex than just remixes, though. kaRIN and Statik treat us to three excellent covers: “Feed Me to the Lions” (originally by Adam and the Ants), “The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum” (by The Fun Boy Three) and a tremendous take on Love and Rockets’ “Haunted When the Minutes Drag”. Also included for posterity’s sake is their own remix of Front Line Assembly’s “Predator” which originally featured on FLA’s Re-wind remix compilation.
Vortex features tracks from their Chasing the Ghost and Some Kind of Strange albums, remixed by a wide array of well-knowns (Charlie Clouser, Mark Walk and Rhys Fulber to name but a few) and newcomers (Oleg Skrynnik, Kevin Kipnis and the list goes on). It is significant to note that the mixes on Vortex never once betray the intent of the original versions: even then there is a considerable stylistic move away from the music of the original (like the , it doesn’t sound mismatched. Personal favorites include the Sensory Gate Aura Mix of “Halo”, the Amish Rake Fight mix of “Slither Thing” and the Astro Sensorium Mix of “Wings of Steel”, though it’s safe to say there’s something for all Collide fans in this set.
With a handful of new recordings and a slew of new mixes, Vortex will more than likely tide over us fans as we wait in anticipation of a new studio recording from the group.-Jack Alberson
Collide's latest venture into gothic darkwave, Vortex, is a two-disk collection of decadent aesthetic brilliance. Vortex has tracks to please every dark-minded eccentric at’s not the most impressive—this album is, which is released through their own label Noiseplus Music. A massive improvement amazingly over the last album, “Some Kind of Strange”, of Collide’s that we covered for you, which I never would have imagined possible. If you’re looking for dark, gothic dreamy atmospheric dance music than this is your cup of tea.-J-Sin
"Vortex" give another dimension to the work of the duet American electro-Gothic Collide. They are indeed a double compilation remixes and recoveries, which gathers services as various as those of Charlie Clouser (N.I.N.), Rhys Fulber, Kevin Kipnis or Mark Walk (henchman of the last Skinny Puppy), to quote only them. The titles are found thus entirely reorganized but, except for rare exceptions (the end of the formed CD2 of "Like You Want to Believe - Bondango's Twisted Acid Mix" / "Crushed - Scored Mix" / "Wings of Steel - Astro Sensorium Mix"), the original style of Collide suffers from it by no means... gains a certain freshness even there (terrible mix of Clouser for "Euphoria").
The titles chosen by kaRIN and Statik are exclusively drawn from their the last two albums, and one does not weary oneself to see how and up to which point each remixor "capte" a title: If "Crushed" - for example, and as well as "Wings of steel", itself treated on several occasions - is remixed not less than five times (!), it always comes out from it something of interesting and original (except the piteous mix of Shane Terpening).
"Vortex" thus never suffers from the linearity or the illegitimacy whose often the discs known as suffer of "remixes". Undoubtedly because here or there, Statik puts at it of its salt grain for the remix, ensuring a certain continuity compared to the original?uvre. Undoubtedly also because Collide offers recoveries new and cooked to the small onions ("Feed me the lions" of Adam & the Ants, "Predator" F.L.A., or "Haunted when the drag" minutes; of And Rockets Coils).
Just like the discs studio of Collide, this "Vortex" collect a certain magic, undoubtedly more important on the CD1 than on its successor. This time, the magic is insufflated by external observers recruited by Collide, for the greatest happiness of the amateurs of this at the same time éthérée and powerful, and single music. Astonishing.-Emmanuel
Collide Vortex [ Noiseplus Music ] Six months after the exit of their last album, Collide offers double CD not containing to us less vingt-six titles. Composed of a handle of news and remixes in gusts, this collection covers the last two albums of the group, "Chasing the Ghost" and "Some Kind of Strange". The good pupils remixeurs have as a name Charlie Clouser, Rhys Fulber or Mark Walk: excuse little. We also find there, with surprise, the reinterpretation by Collide of Predator de Front Line Assembly, already present on the "Re-Wind" of the latter. Rhys Fulber s'est in addition split d'une pretty second reading of Tempted, which could have had its place on the first album éponyme of Entreats One, and there is extremely to bet that Karin will lend its voice to the second album of the Canadian.
The version of Crushed by Dave Simpson is listened as one loses oneself in a table of American Mc Gee's Alice, the head full with the sounds specific to the universe of this a little lugubrious video game. Far from being monotonous as it is often the case with the exercise of the compilation of remixes to all goes, Collide show us a small step of cha-cha (The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum), test themselves with traditional arrangements (Somewhere) and remixer themselves do not forget to in no case, with very the cold Frozen.
The verdict is thus without call: it is remixée which the music of Collide is richest and the most diversified. And if it were necessary to add some, will know that Statik, the one-man band and sculptor of sounds of the duet, took part in the composition of five titles of "The Greater Wrong of the Right", the new album of Skinny Puppy. A true lesson for all those which never succeeded in making an album of remixes also complete. Bertrand Hamonou (Dark Realms Magazine)
Collide for me are the U.S. version of The Curve: exotic, deep, dark, dreamy, gothic and sexy. The band is essentially kaRIN and Statik, who have been creating darkwave music for years now, releasing four albums combining dark gothic smoldering beats and powerful, exotic rhythms with kaRIN's sensual, haunting and peaceful, breathy and dynamic vocals combined with brilliant lyrics. Vortex, their fifth CD, is a double-disc remix album featuring 26 tracks and over 140 minutes of elements of multiple music genres. It is a prelude to their new studio album.
The remixes include tracks taken from their Chasing The Ghost (2000) and Some Kind Of Strange (2002) releases. There’s a little more to Vortex than just remixes, though. KaRIN and Statik present here three excellent remarkable covers: “Feed Me to the Lions” originally by Adam and the Ants, “The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum” by The Fun Boy Three and a tremendous treat with Love and Rockets’ “Haunted When the Minutes Drag.” Also included is their remix of Front Line Assembly’s “Predator” that was originally featured on FLA’s Re-wind remix album. The tracks are remixed by a respectable lineup of well known producers, remixers and DJs like Charlie Clouser (Nine Inch Nails), Mark Walk (Skinny Puppy), Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly/Delerium/Conjure One) and Mike Fisher ( Machines of Loving Grace / Amish Rake Fight) to name but a few, and newcomers Oleg Skrynnik, Kevin Kipnis and others. These remixes often add more of a danceable feel to the songs and so many different influences can be heard throughout Vortex that one never sounds identical to another; from heavy metal crunching guitars to melodic and trancy dance floor grooves to dark electronica to classical instrumentations of strings and piano, you can truly almost hear it all.
You have here all sorts of music producers drawn to the music of Collide, paying tribute and showing respect by contributing their talents, inspirations and passion and adding their own interpretations to Collide songs. So there's much more being put into each piece on the album, than just making a plain remix. A lot of creativity was invested here and this is truly a great listening experience for the heart and the soul.27-May-2004 by jezman
There’s always some risk involved when you release a double album of remixes. It’s inevitable that some of the mixes will disappear in the sheer quantity – 26 tracks in this case! Especially if not all of them are of similar standard. This is true on Collide’s new mix collection, and even though I have listened to it a couple of times now, the songs still all blend together in my head. That said, most mixes are well done, and imprints the mixers' styles on the song. Variation is good, with styles ranging from Charlie Clouser’s dark, trippy and guitar-laden mix of “Euphoria” via the softer and groovy Conjure One mix of “Tempted”, to the Headache's breakbeat version of “Wings of Steel”. All those mentioned are among my favourites, and bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table. Mark Walk's mix is of course incredibly weird, but interesting with its orchestral approach.
Also included is Collide's own mix of Front Line Assembly’s “Predator”, with Karin on vocals instead of Bill Leeb. It’s pulled from FLA’s remix album “Re-wind”, and is still brilliant. Karin and Statik have also taken the opportunity to include a couple of covers, and all three of them are quite impressive, with that unmistakable dark, sensual and edgy feel we have come to expect from the LA duo.
Of course, you’re not meant to listen through this in one go like I did. Pick your favourite version of a track. And “Vortex” gives good value for your hard earned cash.-JOHAN CARLSSON
(roughly translated from Russian, see link
for original text)
The new large-caliber release VORTEX industrial - Gothic group COLLIDE will constrain remixes on songs from two last albums " Chasing the Ghost " and " Some Kind of Strange ", and also covers - versions on songs THE FUNBOY THREE, LOVE AND ROCKETS and ADAM AND THE ANTS. The project has turned out rather scale - kaRIN and Statik it was necessary to make a choice from 130 remixes sent by groups, DJs and people from different parts of the world, including Germany, Ireland, Russia, England. The stylistic spectrum of the remixes submitted on "Vortex", has turned out wide. Here to you and rigid, almost metal guitar versions, and slippery, hot electronics, and elegant dancing a la DELERIUM/CONJURE ONE, and cold, it is total synthetic modern ???????-??????????, both seductive ????-???, and the stylized gothic style … Almost all compositions on "Vortex" are decorated with a seductive, dense, sensual and hypnotic vocal charming kaRIN. Thus, the material of two disks will necessarily find the students and admirers in the most different and unexpected musical communities. And I any more do not speak about fans COLLIDE which number has appreciablly grown for last years. For them the double "Vortex" becomes the most pleasant gift! Remixes for COLLIDE this time were done(made) both known people on a stage, and by new groups and musicians. Thus it is difficult to tell, whose versions are more preferably. All the same for "Vortex" the best mixes were selected only. So, among not beginners it is possible to name such musicians, as Kevin Kipnis (PURR MACHINE), Charly Clouser (???-NINE INCH NAILS), Wade Alin (CHRIST ANALOGUE), Rhys Fulber (CONJURE ONE, FLA, DELERIUM), Mark Walk (producer SKINNY PUPPY, RUBY), Mike Fisher (MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE), Ian Ross (FLESH FIELD). Names of other participants of the project to me about anything do not speak. Charlie Clouser has prepared for the " Emirian mix " on a song "Euphoria" in a typical manner of the American industrial fate, emphasized thus on east motives, in many respects the singing caused by a viscous manner kaRIN. The cover on the song ADAM AND THE ANTS " Feed Me To The Lions " has turned out a such a clockwork and fast track, that is atypical for COLLIDE. Over it (it) is dominated also with guitars. Beautifully, and air sounds multilayered Amish Rake Fight remix " Mike Fisher on " Slither Thing ". Perhaps, the most interesting begins with this track on the first disk "Vortex". The experimental, radical idm and sharp industrial sounds Wade Alin has made the whole two remixes - on songs " Razor Sharp " and "Inside." Remixer Remko van der Spek on the song " Like You Want To Believe " in which dense guitar and feverish drumbeat a la FEAR FACTORY interestingly contrast with melodious singing kaRIN severely, rigidly and dizzily sounds. All specifies that is a potential club hit. But still the big hit can become a cover on song THE FUNBOY THREE " The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum ". I believe, that this playful and ?????????????? ??????? with purring vocals especially is pleasant to a Gothic audience. Certainly, it has not been forgotten and remix already becoming classics on song FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY "Predator" you could hear earlier on Front Line Assembly's 2CD "Re-wind"). By the way, the given remix is especially expensive(dear) kaRIN. Two remixes gravitating to an orchestral format, have been made Dave Simpson and Mark Walk. Here the voice kaRIN is brought to the forefront also she shows to us new sides of the singing talent. Also, I very much liked the monolithic, and ice " Core mix " Nils Schulte on a song " Wings Of Steel ". The German musician has appreciablly cleaned initial arrangement and was focused on rhythmic and melodic aspects of a track. Further, as I have already told above, some remixes on both disks "Vortex" are made in "???????????" a key so you and without my help can imagine as they sound. Better I shall pay your attention on remarkable " Shoe Gazing mix " Kevin Kipnis on the song "Inside". This musician has transformed one of my favourite things COLLIDE into a fragile, gentle track in which echoes of romantic English guitar new wave are audible and are present with warm elements. Finishing the first disk deep and dark with a remix on a composition "Frozen", made Statik. The second disk opens a cover on song LOVE AND ROCKETS " Haunted When The Minutes Drag ", on sounding reminding me of the last albums CURVE. Experienced Rhys Fulber has carefully costed with a song "Tempted" and it is predicted has made of it(her) typical caressing hearing ?????????????? atmospheric track CONJURE ONE. dramatically, sadly and ??????? sounds " Out Of Control mix " Jesse Maddox on a song "Crushed" that it is impossible to tell about inventive and rhythmical " The Sound Of Glass mix " Aaron Mdonald on the song " Wings Of Steel ". Probably, most further have gone Marty Ball and Shane Terprning, made of two songs COLLIDE vigorous and club techno. It was always interesting to me to listen to such remixes on songs of a duet, and I am not disappointed! The good remix was made by Russian Oleg Skrinnik. In his version song" Wings Of Steel " have appeared additional ??????????, ?????????????? and ?????????. To continue further is not present sense. I believe, you have already understood, that with such quantity(amount) of remixes it is possible to sink without ceremony in magic sounds COLLIDE! P.S. Recent advertising support and sales of the 2CD "Vortex" and previous albums by COLLIDE in Europe is carried out with Belgian label Alfa Matrix. Thus, music of Americans for us became even more accessible and is closer. [9 points]-vAlien/DJ Commando LABELLA
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
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
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
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-
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)
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
"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
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
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
"...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...
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.
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
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
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
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
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
kaRIN and Statik have treated us to another highly anticipated installment of their beautiful music. We've loved their unique sound for a long time and we're very excited to have the opportunity to enjoy another quality release from Collide. For those of you who are less familiar with their sound, Collide is the perfect balance of precisely engineered electronic synthpop layered as the foundation for the amazingly sexy vocals provided by kaRIN. Together, they show remarkable range while maintaining a trademark style that stands high above their genre contemporaries. At times, brooding and lingering, then sliding smoothly into energetic danceable club favorites, and always powerful. Chasing the Ghost is a bit more subtle in it's presentation than the previous release Beneath the Skin had been. Each CD will have its fans, as their latest release is not just another knock-off of the first. Instead their sound has been allowed to grow a bit more mature, a bit more somber. There are a lot of tracks that I love on the new release, but I particularly like the timeless retro-future "Razor Sharp." It has a really erotic lonely torch-singer feel to it that gives me chills. Plus, as has become expected with new releases these days, there is a cover. This one features a spooky rendition of Grace Slick's psychedelic classic "White Rabbit" that shouldn't be missed. As an added treat William Faith and Monica Richards, of Faith and the Muse, step in for some additional vocal and guitar work on a few cool tracks. Be certain to stop by the Collide website and say hi, there's a lot of fun goodies to take a peek at over there, like MP3's, videos, photo galleries, even some of Statik's odd animal and insect photos. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Chasing the Ghost while you are there, as this release is sure to fly off the shelves of your local record shops and it would be a shame to lose out on this great album. Chasing the Ghost is also very likely to be a good album to have sex while listening to. I know you all wanted to know that; I just had to share. Forrest Black
Chaotic Critiques March 2002
Much like the Sirens in Homer's The Odyssey, the music of Collide may be characterized as an outward projection that is beautiful and alluring, and an internal matrix which is hazardous and menacing. Rich electronic soundscapes and dark ambient beats create a seductive tapestry of layered sounds that interacts in stunning fashion with kaRIN's distinctive vocals, beguiling whispered harmonies that are too tangible to be spectral, yet too ethereal to be fully material. If the album could be said to have a mere two highpoints - a severe injustice done to the remainder of this rather amazing disc - it would have to be the infectious, spine-chilling third track, "Razor Sharp", with its disarming, swirling vocal melodies and mind-warping soundscape, and a brilliant cover of Jefferson Starship's "White Rabbit", which maintains the psychedelic apprehension of the original while giving it a more modern flair courtesy of the electronic instrumentation. And, like every good cover tune, Collide's take on "White Rabbit" preserves the spirit of the original, and uses that as the all-important scaffolding with which is builds its own unique interpretation. Simply excellent. Tate Bengtson, Editor
CMJ New Music Report Issue: 695
Collide's music is like an H.R. Geiger painting: It's dramatic, messy and dismally monochromatic, but its wicked array of macabre imagery never fails to evoke an immediate emotional reaction. This Los Angeles duo paints a vulgar picture on Chasing The Ghost, its second album of plodding goth-rock and electro-pop lamentations. Lead vocalist kaRIN hisses and coos about "ghosts of time" and being "caught up in icicles." The album's swampy orchestrations -- courtesy of producer Statik -- creep along at a snail's pace for the album's first half (most funeral marches pack more pep than the Portishead-inspired "Razor Sharp"). And kaRIN sounds like she's popping Valium rather than LSD on an unfortunate cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." But the band reaches its stride on "Monochrome" -- Indian melodies and rhythms illuminating the song's tribal energies -- and "Halo," where the pair pulls off the best Curve impersonation this side of Garbage. - M. Tye Comer
The time spent waiting for Collide to release a follow-up to their impressive debut, Beneath The Skin, has proven to be more than worthwhile; Chasing The Ghost not only improves on their elegant gothic stirrings and industrial grind, but further defines it into truly something to behold. From the opening of Transfer, kaRIN's seductively breathy voice is punctuated by crunchy percussion and distorted guitar effects. This dichotomy of angelic beauty and mechanical Hell proves itself Collide’s distinguishing trait, and Chasing The Ghost explores this territory with staggering results. The dark rumbling and slowly churning machine noises of Wings Of Steel are draped with sultry vocals and an incongruous harpsichord against a lazy trip-hop beat, further illustrating the dramatic growth that both kaRIN and Statik have undergone. Statik’s electronic compositions have expanded to include some eastern instrumentation. A sitar drone begins Halo, before being overtaken by a driving electronic score and KaRIN’s slightly processed voice; the sweeping Frozen is detailed by some other stringed instruments and middle-eastern horns, which work perfectly with the isolationistic atmospheres and laid-back percussion. The jarring explosiveness of Dreamsleep is held firmly together by kaRIN's determinedly heaven-sent voice, nicely exploring the classic balance of conflict Collide exemplarise. Chasing The Ghost is in every way strides ahead of Beneath The Skin, with the most notable aspect being Statik’s music. Each track is brilliantly layered in sound detailing, as Razor Sharp indicates so clearly. A jazz piano chimes quietly beneath a chilled beat and hollow percussion, and tiny spectres of ambiance float in and out of the song. Looking back to their electrogoth dance sound, Monochrome is a propulsive and scathing dance floor track, with a hard beat and fast-paced scratchy synthesizers, and a cover of White Rabbit suitably schizophrenic, both elegant and vicious, with a positively lethal rhythm structure. A fury of pure beauty and greasy ugliness, the soft and the harsh, flesh and machine, Chasing The Ghost welds together darkness and light into a seductive and haunting whole; sort of the aural equivalent of a clattering and screeching mechanical angel.--phosphor
It seemed as if everywhere one looked, there was information about a band named Collide slapped onto something. Everything from packages to all sorts of public billboards and phone booths blatantly screamed the name from its perch only to be followed by a number of magazine ads. This made me start to wonder about this group as well as their street team who are getting the word out. Amazingly enough, all the posted stickers are coming from loyal fans. Upon listening to "Chasing The Ghost," it is impossible not to be fully absorbed into their musical world in a large way, and one can fully understand what all the fuss is about in the first place. Collide is a cross between Rhea’s Obsession, Switchblade Symphony, My Scarlet Life and a libidinous dark angel. This particular CD also received additional assistance from Monica Richards and William Faith from Faith and The Muse. There is also a dark remake of the Grace Slick song "White Rabbit" created for the new millennium sound, without detracting from the beauty of the original. The music is a steady amalgamation of trip hop, electronica, goth, ambient and rock, all rolled together in an intriguing hybrid and expertly sequenced for obtaining maximum listener enjoyment and satisfaction. Some vocal high tech tweaking similar to the Cher hit "Believe" is also included on the track "Razor Sharp," which rounds out the sound and is going to cause a number of tongues to wag in musical circles for quite some time. Beyond the fact that the album is well made and purely brilliant, is the fact that it boldly takes dark music to a sensuous level. It is romantically enigmatic and erotic while still giving homage to the surrealistic depth of darkness in all its guises. Basically you can sit back and listen, dance to it or you can have an all night Tantra session with that special someone with this as background music. The eroticism of the music and vocals leaps off the CD in an almost subliminal fashion, drawing you in deeper and further with each passing song. kaRIN's vocals are at times like sex-kitten whispers woven between anticipatory longing and sieved through a futuristic chasm with understated crooning. This reviewer can’t recall a dark music album being this seductive in quite some time. It can safely be said that based on the strength of this CD, I fell in love with this dazzling work and am looking forward to obtaining some of their earlier music as well. Mike Ventarola
Since 1997, many trip-hop and goth-electro fans have waited on pins and needles for the follow-up release of duo Collide. The release of the remix album Distort and, a year previous, 1996's Beneath the Skin and the single Son of a Preacher Man, complete with a surrealistic masterpiece of a video that depicts a gang of cowboys fighting it out with a gang of people dressed in various animal costumes; this has set duo Statik and kaRIN up as greats within the trip-hop electro field of sound fusion. The dawn of the millennium brings us now Chasing the Ghost. The album ends a long wait for Collide fans, and delivers tenfold on the promises that the moody duo has set for themselves with previous releases. Moody, rhythmic and infused with a maturity that shows how the two have grown together on a personal, professional and musical level, Chasing the Ghost is, in short, a fucking masterpiece. Not only can you hear the maturity of their music, you can see it in the release of Chasing the Ghost on their own self-made label, Noiseplus Music. Available at CDBaby, Amazon.com, and direct from Noiseplus of course, this is a must-have for any lover of previous Collide releases. It is a further step in the duo's analogy and no collection of trip-hop or similar music is complete without it. Statik's control of the instrumentals have reached a new high, with more control and less of a noisy stance. The rhythms are smoother, more subtle, even cerebral at times and with the exception of some tracks that push a high-brow drumbeat they have a deeper arrangement. kaRIN continues to laud us with sultriness and erotica, crooning with a combined sound of malice, finesse and lust. "This album was torture to make," says kaRIN about Chasing the Ghost, the perfectionism of the duo manipulating each track to higher levels of form. Some favorites include the slow, moody and sultry Razor Sharp, with vocal effects that give kaRIN a devilish/succubus sound, dragging "s's" and consonant sounds as they chant through the membranes of your soul. Statik's groove is slow, funk-driven and sexy, pulsing bass that are wrapped with melodic, sharp-intoned keyboard licks. Jumping to track 5, here Collide cover Grace Slick with the 1966 White Rabbit. The rhythm is lifted up and injected with more fervor, speeding along with guitar chords that are mechanized yet retain humanism when surrounded by kaRIN's deep vocals. One thing you will notice on Chasing the Ghost is that she seems to supply less of the diva-esque vocal qualities and more a deep-chanting quality, with even soprano notes spoken with assured intonations and less of a belting wail. The latter computer-bass rhythms and guitar-style riffs performed by Statik further on surrounding kaRIN's "ooo yeah" closing vocals are excellently balanced without a highlight, providing a blend of instruments that play along with each other rather than one against another. Also here is Halo, a true trip-hop bass-sliding style. The mixture of bass-level sounds throughout Halo allow kaRIN to shine with her singing, as it allows her to appear just above the bass lines with higher-octave sounds, though you'll find her voice still remains within an alto range for most of the song. Chorus areas are intoned with a keyboard chorale style that, while stepping up to the higher octaves, are low-cut enough to still allow kaRIN's vocals to retain control of the track. Overall, Chasing the Ghost delivers on a promise made about three years ago when the last Collide release hit the streets. Back in June of 2000 Rat B. reviewed the previous works of Collide and closed by saying, "There are plenty of Front 242s, Leaether Strips, and FLAs in the world, but only one Collide." And indeed, kaRIN and Statik remain true to their sole vision - Chasing the Ghost, and Collide in general, is not a band where you can easily pin their influences on the jacket sleeve. Trip-hop, electronica, EBM, euro-industrial (a la Kraftwerk and not Ministry) - it contains facets of all of these, while still being a sound of their own. Marcus Pan
MeanStreet Vol 11.06/December 2000
Collide, a Los Angeles based duo comprised of kaRIN (vocals) and Statik (programming), creates music that marries exquisite vocals with orchestrated layers of sounds. The band’s latest release, Chasing the Ghost, weaves together complex tapestries of rhythm, melody and texture in which kaRIN’s velvety vocals and poetic lyrics add a beautifully human element to Statik’s moody electronic washes and machine generated sounds. “Wings of Steel”, an ethereal erotic piece reflects the bands gothic roots while “Halo’s” infusion of eastern dance imagery and club friendly beats showcases the band’s industrial nature.Not to be overlooked is Collide’s mystical version of Jefferson airplane’s “White Rabbit,” which is utterly delectable. Overall, Chasing the Ghost is a pleasurable feast of rhythms-- offering up a perfect balance between sound and vision. Grade A Nikki Neil:
Music Connection Vol. XXIV, No.23
An L.A. based Duo, Collide create a fetching swirl of industrial-based rock that is very nicely realized on their full-length CD. "Razor Sharp" and "Wings of Steel" are appropriately draped with fantasmagorical lyrics and electronic textures that combine to conjure black and Blue visions of what the band (vocalist kaRIN & Statik) might create in a live, goth-enshrouded setting. Echoes of Souixie & the Banshees envelope the duo's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," turning it into a wicked, wind sheared tour de force.
Negativepop.com March 2002
Now, when I first heard Hooverphonic’s electronic trip-hop masterpiece A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular I thought that I”d heard the sexiest album of my life. Of course, that title was just begging to be contested, and the new champion is Collide’s Y2K album Chasing the Ghost. This is a sexy, sexy album kids! It’s a triumphant blend of trip-hop, electronica, goth, pop and yes, even world-music elements. Exotic, erotic, and seductive, that’s this album in a nutshell. All of Collide’s songs are produced, mixed and engineered by Statik, while the lovely Karin provides vocals and words. It’s a match made in heaven, to be sure. This album is cohesive and fluid. And I’m gushing now, which is hardly flattering to me, but this album is just so good that I can’t stop talking about it.
All the way through, the rhythms are syncopated and trippy, with undulating waves of sound that seduce the senses. Karin’s vocals are amazing. Sometimes soft and sweet, often whispery, she is a siren to be sure. She can also scream and rant with the best of them. She’s not a bad poet either. From “Wings of Steel”: “Your wings are tired/You can not get there from here/Where you aspire/You can not fly there from here/Chasing the wings of steel/Chasing the ghost of time/Chasing the taste of life/Chasing the ghost of time”. Her imagery is powerful, often dark and lyrical.
Collide’s “thank you”section reads like a who’s-who of the underground music industry. They even garner the help of William Faith and Monica Richards of Faith & The Muse for guitars and vocals on the songs “White Rabbit”, “Dream Sleep”, and “Monochrome”. If the title “White Rabbit” rang a bell in your memory, yes, it’s a cover of the Jefferson Airplane song! Collide does it up sultry and trippier than the original. I like cover songs anyway, but I REALLY like Collide’s covers. By all means, search out their covers of Devo’s “Whip It” (its extremely sexy) and “Son of a Preacher Man” available on their remix album Distort.
I am amazed by their ability to segue from a darker-heavy-beat dance song to a strange wispy vampyre-waltz type tune. My favorite songs include the trip-hop “Razor Sharp”, which goes down so easy, yet, if you listen to the words, isn’t all that pretty of a song. Its all about the isolation, baby. “Ocean” is my other favorite, a rhymthmic tango of a song. “Liquidized emotion/Water takes you in/Deep within the ocean/ I could sleep for days/Hours only minutes/ thoughts of imagery/lure you from your spectrum/solve your misconceptions”. “Ocean” is extremely melodic, sensitive and sensual. Its at once deep and smooth as glass. Other tunes of note (although the whole album comes highly recommended): “Wings of Steel”, “Transfer”, and “Like You Want to Believe” (one of my personal anthems of the summer).
Chasing the Ghost was my second-favorite album of 2001 (nevermind, it was new to ME in 2001). Languid, sensual listening with a darker bent and tremendous production value. Take this to your next rendezvous. Rating: Sensual electronic dark trip-hop dream-pop Stars:(5 stars) Bloodloss girl
Outburn Magazine, Issue 14
Dark Femme Fronted Electro Goth: After 4 years, kaRIN & Statik have finally supplied the waiting and drooling masses with their second full-length of new material. Chasing the Ghost has a bit more of an ethereal feel to it. It's less dense, ghostlier if you will, then their debut Beneath the Skin, but that's not to say it doesn't have the same cool sharpness. Angel voiced kaRIN's whispers, coos, and purrs drift through the ears, down the spine, and shimmer out to the nerve endings prickling the skin as they go, only to rush back in a wave to the brain dispensing their rapture...ahem, where was I? ah yes, kaRIN's vocals hang well supported in the roiling gauzy mist of Statik's programming. "Wings of Steel," "Frozen," and "Halo" stand out just above the other tracks, but really all of the cuts are fantastic. Overall, Chasing the Ghost is a haunting album, meant for a glass of absinthe in a darkened room to be absorbed into the pores. Oh how I wish there were more than just 10 songs. Doc Benway
Rhythm us Network
Gothic diva KaRIN's vocals ring in your head like a dark siren call. Collide will most likely appeal to fans of artists like Curve, Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cranes. They have a dark sensibility which appeals to lovers of Ethereal and Gothic music while Statik's electronic manipulation will draw heavily on the EBM and Electronica crowd. While remaining highly alternative in sound some tracks such as "Razor Sharp" has a more pop sensibility while not losing any of it's subteranean depth, it remains dark and progressive. Collide evidently draw from a wide range of influences from both pop and alternative music styles. Appropriate for a CD whose release is Halloween of 2000, "Wings of Steel" has a bit of what sounds like a Halloween soundtrack in the introduction. "Halo" and "Monochrome" have a bit more of an EBM feel to them. "Ocean" drops back into a more ethereal sound with a bit of internationally flavored percussion. In some ways Collide has more similarities to artists like Attrition than any others but there are so many aspects which are dissimilar between the two bands that comparisons could do neither any justice. Collide somehow manages to juggle a heavy electronic sound with ethereal vocal stylings while blending various forms of alternative music to create a wholely original sound. There's even a very interesting cover of "White Rabbit" featured on the CD which grabs the essence of the original while completely updating it technologically with modern hardness and electronics.
Sideline Music Magazine, #34
Hey kids, tired of the soulless fodder available at your local record store? Well, "in the middle of darkness there is a light", Collide's latest is dripping with hot sweaty soul. Long overdue but well worth the wait, "Chasing the Ghost" slithers in and out of your mental meat dropping unnoticed fertile eggs at each and every turn. This is an ethereal, emotive disc that crosses the cold fire of early Siouxsie with the warm urgency of modern trip hop, yet wholly manages to defy categorization. The lyrics intrigue and kaRIN's vocals are seductive and powerful enough to make the hair on your ass stand up and take notice. Statik, the insane digital wizard behind the music, takes us places we haven't been since those feverish, chemical induced, lucid dreams of yesteryear. Guest musicians abound and provide a subtle added dimension to the recording. Featured are: William Faith and Monica Richards of Faith and the Muse, supplying additional guitar and vocals on several tracks, Kevin Kipnis of Purr Machine, Tim Pierce and Chris Candelaria, all contributing guitar as well. There's even a dose of sitar on "Halo", courtesy of Fritz Heede. My favorite tracks are "Wings of Steel" for it's methodical hypnotic groove, and "Ocean" for its tribal beat and sheer beauty. Both tracks supply the mind with enough added bouyancy to transcend the woes of everyday life. Anyhow, I say put this recording on your list of "must haves". Buy it , jam it in the CD player and experience a synergistic capitulation of your senses. KMR.
kaRIN & Statik return with their own record label, after remaining silent for the past few years. It is deeply introspective album and a slight change of musical direction. Those of you familiar with their previous efforts, Beneath the Skin” and “Distort,” need not fear because Collide is just as layered and well orchestrated--they just pulled back the noise, allowing for more focus on the vocals and lyrics. The only drawback the album may carry is that none of the tracks scream out to be club hits, with a massive sing-a-long chorus, but since when was that a drawback? If you even remotely like bands with female vocals against distorted electronics or intelligently constructed sound-scapes with honest lyrics this album will not disappoint.
Sex. That's what this CD is all about. Put it on before you hop in the hay, or flannel, or whatever it is you use to do the deed in, and you'll see what I mean. Collide have been around for awhile, but I'm a newbie to them really...so I can't really say if this is a departure of sound for them or not. I think it is, if the press-sheet is to be believed. Although the 'sex' part was probably always there, thanks to kaRIN's vocal delivery. She just sounds so...sultry. This time around it seems as though the music caught up. Listening to 'Chasing The Ghost' brings visions of kaRIN encased in a drool-tastic latex/leather ensemble, draped over a piano in a smokey lounge sometime in the 40's. Great atmosphere to this release. Statik is no slouch either, the music on this album is top-notch, covering a lot of ground. Hints of middle-eastern material here and there, subtlety abounds... I have a soft-spot in my heart for Darkwave. It appeals to both my inner Goth and my inner Rivethead. Collide have crafted an exceptional work with 'Chasing The Ghost', further establishing themselves as part of the upper elite in the Darkwave genre. Lookin' for music to drink wine to late at night, but tired of the same old Goth classics? Go out and grab yourself a copy of this release. Bask in it's voluptuous, seductive charms... Anguish never sounded so kinky. Psionic Imperator
As a music-hungry teenager I ordered Collide's debut, Beneath the Skin, on the basis of one review, a good 4 years ago. This review was favorable, but the CD was also considered a disc of hit-and-miss. I couldn't disagree more on the hit-and-miss part once I heard it and felt quite grateful for whichever part of that review had convinced me that this was straight up my alley. To date Beneath the Skin remains one of my all-time favorite albums and although band members kaRIN (vocals & lyrics) and Statik (music) have supplied us with singles, a remix CD (Distort), numerous compilation appearances and several excellent remixes over the past few years, I couldn't wait to finally hear their sophomore effort.
Wrapped in a gorgeous cover courtesy of Digital Apocalypse's Chad Michael Ward, Chasing the Ghost presents itself with nine new songs and one cover version ("White Rabbit"). The first thing that occurred to me was that the often harsh and explosive sound of their debut has partially made way for a more trip-hop feel. The songs are still powerful, but thanks to dense layering it creeps up at you, instead of lashing out full-force. And what definitely hasn't changed is the lush, sensual mood and its paradoxical feeling of a beauty submerging the listener so seductively that it could please, yet just as easily kill. All of this is still the result of kaRIN and Statik's symbiotic chemistry; voices become instruments, sounds emerge like whispers, words fall seamlessly into place and the end-result is once again astonishing.
"Transfer" sounds the closest to something off of Beneath the Skin, with uplifting guitars and lovely vocals, while "Wings of Steel" turns towards the trip-hop feel that dominates most of this disc. Statik creates a wonderfully eerie soundscape on this track and its ethnic feel is present on several other songs as well, a very welcome addition to the scope of Collide's sound. The lyrics are poetic and extremely well-placed, with kaRIN's whispers sounding as creepy as they are beautiful during strategic breakdowns. One of the album's best songs, in my opinion. The percussion and loungy feel of "Razor Sharp" are also very trip-hop, but during the chorus the song gains a lot more substance and transforms into genuine Collide material. While I'm not too fond of the "Cher" vocoder effect, the song is still very good. The same effect, however, is applied much better in the mesmerizing "Frozen" and its use in "Halo" deserves mentioning as well. It's unfortunate that it has become so over-used, because Collide show that when utilized sparsely it can be very effective. (Or use it like Yendri in their lovely "Inside the Machine", where the human nature of the vocals has almost entirely been discarded.) Faith and the Muse play a significant guest role on this CD, with William Faith's guitar work gracing the delicious mayhem of "Dreamsleep", as well as Collide's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". Grace Slick's psychedelic 60's anthem finds itself revamped with style and this cover shows that a gap of over 30 years of music history can definitely be bridged. Monica Richards shares vocals with kaRIN on the high-speed chaos of "Monochrome", my second favorite track on this disc. "Ocean" sounds like the ultimate cyber-age lovesong, with a charming chorus and more of kaRIN's alluring vocals, which always tend to drift on through your mind long after the CD has ended. The CD comes to a subtle end with "Like you Want to Believe", which makes me want to believe that the next album will follow sooner than this one did. ;)
The production of this CD is simply amazing and as with their debut there are new sounds and whispers to be discovered each time the disc is being played. There will only be one Beneath the Skin, but Collide can only be applauded for avoiding the "debut part 2" syndrome and continuing to push their sonic explorations. Chasing the Ghost is a perfect package of poetic lyrics, enchanting vocals and unique compositions with a refreshing mind of their own. There's no stopping it now, the band that was once the best-kept secret of the goth/industrial genre and its many sub-genres is convincingly working on making sure that mentioning the name Collide will never be met with question marks again. ~reviewed by Wolf
AIDING & ABETTING
Remixes and a host of covers. Collide is one of those bands that tries very hard, either succeeding spectacularly or failing in the worst possible way. The remixes here aren't uniformly as adventurous or ambitious as the band itself, but many do well. I challenge you to recognize Son of a PreacherMan (coming soon to one of the stranger tributes I've encountered, remakes of songs from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack). Whip It is much easier to identify, and many of you probably heard it on the Newer Wave compilation. The cover of Obsession (Siouxsie, not Animotion) lies somewhere in-between. Compelling listening, if nothing else. Hit-and-miss, as all remix projects are, but with enough nuggets to satisfy fans. Look for a new album next year. That's when Collide really has to come through.
ALTERNATIVE PRESS #115
Though it pales in comparison to a stiff Kamikaze, the music of Collide, mixed and shaken, is intoxicating. This gothic-industrial duo can do no wrong. Whether they're discharging spooky lullabies, napalm cyber-metal orerotic technotica, Collide are holding a high place among the industrial elite. This disc of dubwise remixes gives little to expectation. What lurks behind each measure? Sheets of divine female crooning? Jerking guitarriffs? Mesmerizing dance hooks? Ghostly keyboard chimes? How about all four? The industrial community could use more remixes like those on Distort. Heads up to fans of melodic goth stalwarts Switchblade Symphony and anyone desiring inventive, top-shelf cyber-club music. Damn. 5 out of 5 rating. - Aaron Johnston
CMJ Issue 549
Goth/darkwave outfit Collide has just released Distort, a 14-track disc featuring remixes, cover songs, and one new track. Darker and more sinister before, standouts include the band's covers of Whip It, Son of a Preacher Man and Siouxsie & the Banshees' Obsession.
CULTURE SHOCK #5
We've never gotten a chance to cover this band before, and I'm stumped as to why. Statik, the man behind Collide's machines is a veritable alchemist of electronic sound, conjuring unknown breeds of structured chaos for the next millennium, and kaRIN's sultry ethereal voice is the most unexpectedly perfect fabrication taming Statik's creations. Distort is not the new Collide album. Instead, it's the monolithic remix album we've been hearing about for months. 14 tracks in all, 10 of them are remixes by other artists, as well as Statik himself. A few of the choices of remixers come as no surprise, like Alien Faktor and SMP, or even Waiting for God and Idiot Stare. The end products of these are really not all that surprising, with the exception of Alien Faktor's Abstract Dub Fuck Mix of Violet's Dance. This is really the most innovative work Tom Muschitz has ever done. The best mixes are provided by Das Ich, whose darkwave style mix is of course breathtaking, THC's deranged goa techno mix is simply brilliant, and Crocodile Shop's eclectic electro techno mix is par for their course. The three cover songs are all as excellent as Collide's own material. The one new track, Fear No Evil, shows the duo keeping up their high standards, and gives us a taste of what's in store for the new album. Distort is further evidence that Collide is on the cutting edge of modern electronica. With just one full-length release, they've garnished legions of fans, and gained the utmost respect of their peers. Bravo! (6 out of 6 rating)
A very long full length album by another band coming from the realm of female vocals with electronica music. It is the aggro-ethereal coalition better known as Collide, who previously released a CD and a CDS on Re-Constriction and on the German label Offbeat. Statik, the musical mind of the couple is quite well-known due to his work as a musician, audio-for-video expert, remixer, sound designer or producer with Tool, Prince, Diatribe, Love & Rockets, Michael Jackson, Christ Analogue, Marvin Gaye, Trevor Horn, B-52's, Machines of Loving Grace, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leonard Cohen and Waiting For God. On the other hand the girl, kaRIN, provides all the songs with first-rate ethereal throatwork creating dainty and delicate voicescape atmospheres as well as melodic more easy to listen to lines. But let's come to Distort. Distort is a collection of ten remixes, three cover songs, and a new track; respectively elaborated bykey members of Idiot Stare, Spirits In Sin, Das Ich, Crocodile Shop, T.H.C., SMP and Statik himself; and (covers) coming from the original repertoire of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Devo. As you will discover, Distort is a peculiar piece of work. It is something very interesting and particular due to the unusual yet winning matching of hard dance, techno, ebm, noiztronics and electronica with such a beautiful female voice refusing every sort of radical treatments (intend this as no distortion etc) and laying over all the songs a dense and truly heavenly soft veil of tuneful taste.
Although not as good as Collide's work in and of itself, this collection of remixes (and cover songs) will satisfy your urge to hear more Collide until the next release. The amazing combination of kaRIN's vocal work with Statik's storming synth has been groundbreaking in this genre. Remixes by Alien Faktor, Waiting For God, Crocodile Shop, Regenerator, Idiot Stare, SMP, Das Ich, Spirits in Sin, and Statik himself, take Collide songs andwarp and distort until they are almost new songs. Covers of Devo's Whip It and Siouxsie's Obsession will bring a smile to your lips and lump in your throat. Wow, these guys are just amazing. If our feature on Collide in issue 3 did not entice you to rush out and buy their first album, Beneath The Skin, perhaps giving this a 4.5 out of 5 will. - KC
THE INDUSTRIAL BIBLE
The semi gothic, semi electronic band known as Collide has made quite a name for themselves over the past two years. With music akin to modern electro and vocals likening to wispy goth, Collide have managed to merge together two separate musical entities. Distort is a 14 track CD featuring numerous remixes from their debut, as well as a pair of cover tunes (Whip It and Son of a Preacher Man), and one new track, Obsession. I was glad to see that this US release only borrowed one track from Collide's Euro MCD, Skin. That particular mix for Beneath the Skin, reworked by Das Ich, was one of the highlights on the Euro release and still retains its integrity and dark atmosphere. Other remixers on Distort include Spirits of Sin with their Egypt Mix of Falling Up, Alien Faktor with his Abstract Dub Fuck mixof Violet's Dance, Waiting For God and their Full Moon Version of Falling Up, Crocodile Shop with their Pitched Version of Black, and SMP's rhythm heavy, percussion strong mix of Strange. The oddest of these mixes comesfrom Tom Muschitz (a.k.a. Alien Faktor.) He takes Violet's Dance and really turns it around, utilizing only small vocals snippets, a throbbing rhythm line, and deep bass sounds. It's unfortunate that this is also the shortest mix, clocking it ant just under the 2 minute mark. Regenerator rework the same track, adding a certain airy feeling to kaRIN's vocals and dividing the piece into two separate atmospheres. During the chorus, this piece has a full electro feel, but during the refrains it loses the electronic elements and sounds like unadulterated goth. This CD should hold fans over until some new material surfaces, which hopefully won't be for too long.
Now this disk I fell in love with immediately. It has everything I like in goth-industrial music: hard, aggressive rhythms with beautiful female vocals. kaRIN's vocals have a sinister beauty I liken to Toni Halliday of Curve on some songs and a lot like Siouxsie on many others. Shit, they even cover Siouxsie's Obsession. They also do a killer cover of Devo's Whip It. There are a number of remixes on here. Some, such as the Waiting For Godremix of Falling Up work very well giving a very nice heavy industrial treatment. Overall, an excellent disk. Highly recommended. - David G. Barnett
INK 19 ON-LINE
I am a sucker for the female voice. There has always been something invigorating and seductive about the juxtaposition of femininity and harshness. Distort is a collection of remixes and covers for those awaiting Collide's follow-up coming out next year. Statik, who is credited with the music aspect of Collide, has worked with many of my favorite musicians, spanning from Tool and Machines of Loving Grace to Love and Rockets and Leonard Cohen. But within the confines of Collide, the music is original and seductive. Distort offers a look from the remixer's mind into the eye of talent. Every track offers liquid pleasures from the organic styled synths to the intriguing sexual voice. - Drew West
Collide is the best of two worlds: dancefloor prowess coupled with lyrical grace. Distort, their remix CD, is a way-station between Collide's excellent debut Beneath The Skin and its anticipated follow-up. Collide, in releasing their music to a half dozen remixers, have opened their own Pandora's box and let the mutations fall where they may. Luckily, the end result, while wild and varied, was consistently excellent. For example, gabber-geek George Sarah of T.H.C. weaves vocalist kaRIN's throatwork on Pandora's Box over slipbeats, while Idiot Stare's Chad Bishop blisters feet with his homicidally danceable reworking of Violet's Dance. In all, a great collection of remixes for a great band. - Sharon Maher
This CD is basically a remix CD containing a few tracks which were released on compilations and tributes exclusively. A perfect blend of haunting vocals and heavy darkfloor. Definitely one to get. The remixes do not take away from the originals which often is the case for Remixed CDs. An exceptional CD from an exceptional band. - St. Dave
"Dreamcore" duo Collide returns with Distort, the remix version of its highly acclaimed debut, Beneath The Skin. I'm not a huge fan of remixes, but some of the efforts here are worthwhile. Regenerator, Das Ich, and Waiting For God are among the contributors. Four bonus cuts - covers of Whip It, Son of a Preacher Man, and Siouxsie's Obsession, plus the original Fear No Evil - give fans a reason to nab this disc. - Bryan Reesman
MUSICIAN PHOTO JOURNAL Vol.2 Issue 1
This is the first taste of Collide I've had, and let me tell you, I was impressed. The combination of Statik's techno like beats, and kaRIN's beautiful "throat work" turned me on. This is the first dance, ambient, electronica with vocalizations that I've thoroughly enjoyed. Distort starts out with a dancish Pandora's Box and goes on to faster beats in covers of Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man and Devo's Whip It. In my opinion, they are far better renditions than the originals! Their cover of Siouxsie's Obsession is haunting and orgasmic. I'm looking forward to hearing this virtually unheard of band. Thank you Re-Constriction for bringing us to the next level.
From track one this album will hook you and will not relinquish you until you have surrendered to it. The first sounds of kaRIN's siren voice will trigger a Pavlovian response of salivating and attacking anyone who mighttry and remove this disc from your stereo. Keyboard guru Statik takes on remixing five of the tracks without disappointment while other hands in the remix include Alien Factor, Das Ich, T.H.C., SMP, Regenerator, Waiting For God, and Alien Factor. Crocodile Shop's Mick Hale provides one of the best tracks with his mix of Black. Distort is an album that you will simply love forever thanks to kaRIN's inescapable vocals ranging from cooing whispers to smoky ethereal cries and just down right great music. The album provides diversity with the ambience of songs like Falling Up, Strange, and Deep and the beating thrust of Son of A Preacher Man, Whip It, Black and others, all a listener's tastes are provided for and blended unbelievably well. This isn't simply a remix album, and thank god for that. We are not offered four or five remixes of three tracks here. There are two versions Pandora's Box, Falling Up, and Violet's Dance but whoever put together the final order of this album was smart enough not to put them back to back. They were put far enough apart that while you'll realize you've heard it before you won't be thinking "Not this song again." Distort is offered as an appetizer to tide us over for Collide's album due out next year some time and if this is a snack I can't wait for the main course. - Doc Benway
SONIC BOOM and VOLTAGE #5
Distort is the penultimate Collide remix album designed to satiate the media clamor for a new Collide release just a little longer. Unlike most remix albums which tend to concentrate on only the popular tracks from an album, Distort has more than a single remix of two tracks. This means that tracks like Black and Strange, which received little attention on the original release Beneath the Skin, get a chance to shine here. Of courseall of the various Collide compilation appearances and cover songs make their appearance as well including the Devo's Whip It, Siouxsie's Obsession, and from the Cyberpunk Fiction soundtrack Son of a Preacher Man. As luck would have it, the album is rounded out with a brand new track Fear No Evil which serves as an excellent indication of where Collide is heading in the future. Distort is certainly one of the best remix albums released in recent memory for not only the depth and extreme diversity of the remixes but for the track selection as well, making this record a definite must have.
STORMING THE BASE
Much anticipation was built up for this, and I think I was actually wanting just a Beneath The Skin remixCD - i.e.. Buy Skin, you dolt. The build up of Pandora's Box, remixed by Statik, is pretty amazing, with more and more things being pulled out of the box and added onto the song. The Spirits In Sin remix of Falling Up is one of my favorites, making it more sultry and surging. It's very minimal, but the open space leaves more room to hear kaRIN's voice. And never will that be a bad thing. And, stepping into the Beneath The Skin remix by Das Ich, we're treated to bass guitar. Gee, thanks! But when I heard the light saber-type sound, all was safe in Collideland. It's still the song. Crocodile Shop's remix of Black, I like, but I didn't find that it worked all that well with the vocals... but I liked the techno and electronics used throughout it. Deep, remixed by Regenerator, soothes me. Very slow and mild, it retains all the sound of the vocals and doesn't detract one bit from the sound. Very simply: Pretty.
While Collide was waiting for their second album - as is often the case - they offer us a remix album in sinusoidal curve. The remixers are Idiot Stare, Das Ich, Alien Faktor, Waiting For God, Crocodile Shop... and Statik,of course. In the end, it's ten remixes, three covers and one previously unreleased track. Really good, professional work. 4 out of 5 rating. - DD
These two electro bands (Collide and Waiting For God) feature female vocals and are the best that Re-Constriction have to offer among their other "industrial rock" bands. Collide have released a 14-track compilation ofremixes, cover songs and one new track (for those anxiously awaiting new material to follow Beneath The Skin and Distort). Covers include Siouxsie and the Banshees' Obsession, Devo's Whip It and their interpretation of Sonof a Preacher Man for a Pulp Fiction tribute. Exceptional remixes to note are Regenerator's remix of the already intense Deep and Idiot Stare's mixof Violet's Dance, which makes a great club track. It's wonderful to hear women kicking butt in the industrial world.- Jill Grant
This disc is absolutely amazing. Remixes from more names than I care to list breathe new life into several tracks from the group's debut album; also on Distort are three (remixed) covers and a new song. I am disappointed that there aren't more dancefloor-oriented remixes; I'd also have liked to see Violet's Dance (Abstract Head Crash mix) and Beneath the Skin (Constrictor mix). Nonetheless, Distort is wonderful and highly recommended to those who don't think "pretty industrial" is an oxymoron. Even better, it is very inexpensive, especially if ordered direct from Re-Constriction, so you've no excuse for not getting a copy. - Brian Parker
AIDING & ABETTING #109 Vol.V, #19
A real departure from the usual cybercore propagated by Re-Constriction. The man who calls himself Statik has imbibed heavily upon European techno and spewed a sheen of minimalist dance music (approaching trance at times) behind the ethereal vocals of Miss kaRIN. Songs like the title track really show off Statik's talent for crafting a massively attractive sound. The music and vocals build slowly around a pulsating beat, culminating with an orgy of sonic delights. Ooof. - J.W.
ALTERNATIVE PRESS #99
Collide's Beneath The Skin is very atypical for the Re-Constriction label, breaking away from its traditional industrio-guitar sound. Vocalist kaRIN sounds like Siouxsie crossed with Elizabeth Fraser, which works exceptionally well with Statik's sonic assemblages. Falling Up weaves kaRIN's threads through a quilt of distant voices, submerged electric guitar chords, Laibachian ghosts and a Banshee beat. - Michael Mahan
APOCALYPSE Issue 1, Vol.1
Not the harsh industrial we've come to expect from Re-Constriction but beautiful female vocals from kaRIN, lush, melodic industrial programming from Statik. Many gothic tones to this release, but still industrial, with the exceptional gothic song Pandora's Box - envision black clad goths swaying through the mist in a graveyard lit by the light of the moon. Remixes by Christ Analogue and cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy/Download. - Jim Smith
Black Monday Vol. 1.4
From the first time I heard Collide's Violet's Dance on a Re-Constriction compilation, I knew I wanted to get the album. Beneath the Skin fulfills all the promises that Violet's Dance made. Beautiful and catch melodies are tinged everywhere with noise, and the sample manipulation is extremely nimble. The songs are electronically based, and when guitar and bass appear, they never overpower the synths. I love the idea behind Collide, a clash of the sweet and enchanting with the harsh world of noise. There's a lot that can be done with those contrasts, and I'm not sure they use noise to it's fullest potential. However, you have to be impressed by the creative use of noise in a traditional song structure. And, of course, kaRIN's vocals are stunning, a perfect counterpoint to the harsh elements in the music. Another good thing about Beneath The Skin is that it has a variety of tempos an moods. From the hectic swirl of Violet's Dance to the gentle, lullaby-like Strange, the music flows on like a stream of varying depths. There is an undercurrent that links all the songs together, but at the same time each evokes very different impressions. The title track, Beneath the Skin, is breath-taking, and cEvin Key's remix is pretty interesting. Christ Analogue's Wade Alin did a really great jobv of remixing Deep, bringing out a totally different side of the song. - Jennifer Barnes
BLACK MOON #7
Great CD! This one is way up on my list with a very dark gothic feel. The lyrics are fantastic. kaRIN's voice is not only beautiful, but it is probably the most seductive I've heard. The title cut Beneath The Skin, along with Black, Violet's Dance and Dreams & Illusions are not to be missed. Check this one out!!!!
CARBON 14 #9
Collide consists of two seemingly disparate parts in the form of kaRIN, whose meltingly powerful voice and abstract lyrics/poetry would seem (at first glance) to have nothing to do with the well articulated clangor of Statik's thundering harmonies. But as the whole may be greater than the parts, so is their fusion a unique sonic tapestry of surprising strength. kaRIN's voice is like the false sensation of warmth immediately after a very deep cut and it projects over the top of some of the most original samples and multi-channel complexity I've heard in a while. I think the closest comparison is to imagine what would happen if you combined both Danielle Dax and Frontline Assembly. The first track, Violet's Dance, although relatively short, has an excellent driving drum beat which doesn't leave you any illusions about how well this alloy works (Beneath the Skin, with its additional remix later by cEvin Key is another fine example). The real ear candy is contained in Have Faith and Pandora's Box, which, although more restrained, have multiple overlays that make you stretch to try to catch all of the sounds you're hearing at the same time. - Jeff Young
Carpe Noctem Vol 3 Issue 2
The talented duo of kaRIN and Statik breathes a fresh and refreshing life into the somewhat stifled and often times cliched realm that is industrial based music. What makes the difference is the supple voice of kaRIN (imagine Siouxsie crossed with Suzanne Perry of Love Spirals Downward), and the modifications of sound Statik makes to take full advantage of her gorgeous voice. Their overall sound is at once aggressive, yet accessible. The subtleties of the aural curtain thrown up by Statik is truly something not to be missed. The opening track, Violets Dance, literally screams for dance club rotation. This is the disc that ethereal music enthusiasts can add to their collections as a change of pace. Collide has delivered quiet an auspicious debut here, and I for one, can't wait to hear what the future holds for them. - Peter Kurtin
It has taken awhile for this album to grow on me, but I've come to realize that this band and its release are both aptly named. The sound is an aural "collision" between the musical collage created by Statik and the dramatic vocals of kaRIN. Collide aims to ooze itself "beneath the skin" of the listener and, for the most part, it accomplishes that goal. The opening track, Violet's Dance, is a breathtaking flurry of synthesized beats and rhythms that sets the pace for much of the album. Falling Up, where kaRIN's Siouxsie-esque vocals provide the perfect lead-in to frantic, glorious cacophony of mingled choruses and power chords, has the potential to become a goth dance club hit. During the disc's midsection, the music is toned down and kaRIN seems content to sit back and serenade us for a while. This mood change is a letdown after the intensity of the opening tracks, but Collide brings it up again with Pandora's Box, a dark, moody piece which demonstrates the perfection with which both members' talents can merge. Statik, who is solely responsible for the instrumental side of Collide, demonstrates a versatility that is sadly lacking in today's typical goth/industrial genre. He's not a slave to his keyboard, and he's also not afraid to use guitars! As an added treat, Beneath The Skin closes with remixes by Christ Analogue and musical deity cEvin Key. Several listens to Beneath The Skin confirm that Collide creates the greatest impact when it indulges its tendency to be larger than life. - Stephanie Quinlan
CITY REVOLT Vol.4, #8
Collide is a group who seems intent on short-circuiting the differences between the creepy crawler goth network and the hardfloor of industrial dance oblivion. Their debut work, Beneath The Skin, is hastily pressing the mold for what our beloved club anthem tracks should sound like by the year 2000. Fans of Battery and Switchblade Symphony should come together on this one. - Aaron Johnston
CMJ Issue 479
Collide is a band for that select group of people who are young enough to be titillated by the new wave of electronic sequencing, but old enough to remember the eerie ambiance of Siouxsie & The Banshees in their prime (or those who are in the dark wave genre in general). Walking a fine line between industrial mayhem and gothic brooding, the L.A. duo's debut release, Beneath The Skin, sounds like the recording of an angel shackled in hell. It's black, twisted, and evil, but also hauntingly beautiful. Statik is the synth-head, producing everything from somber, atmospheric tracks (Pandora's Box) to hard-edged cyber-disco (Violet's Dance) with just a smidgen of heavy guitar groove. kaRIN is the siren; her rich vocals (a la Sioux, Fraser, Bush... you get the idea) decorates the dismal symphonies with just a splash of obscure but poetic sweetness and light. The above tracks, plus Falling Up, Strange and Dreams And Illusions, are perfect for those moments when sorrow seems to pour down like rain. And if their normal offerings just aren't quite macabre enough for you, check out the Christ Analogue remix of Deep or Beneath The Skin (Subconscious Remix) courtesy of Skinny Puppy's cEvin Key. The sun may never shine on you again. - M. Tye Comer
On their debut record, the duo of programmer Statik and vocalist kaRIN wield their sonic wizardry like audio alchemists, swirling fire (harsh electronic dance beats and samples) and air (lilting ethereal vocals) in a musically-wicked potion. Fans of artists as diverse as Sarah McLachlan or Elizabeth Frazier to followers of European digi-dance industrialists will revel in Collide's rhythmic and elemental ambiance. (4 out of 5 rating) - Rik Millhouse
With the recent breakup of Siouxsie & The Banshees, fans of chugging alterna-goth with chirpy female vox will surely rejoice in the release of Collide's debut. Comprised of the LA-based duo of Statik on sonic assembly and kaRIN on vox, they've got a similar sound as the "Spellbound" Siouxsie with a bit of the industrial-funk ala Thrill Kill Kult thrown in there for good measure and interesting backings! My hunch is if they did an alterna-house mix of the track Black, they'd really 'break' big. !!!!+ - Mick Hale
HUH Issue #26
With airy, female vocals, electric sound effects, and pulsating keyboard beats, this male/female duo creates music that would be perfect for a cyberpunk movie. Black would work well during the opening title sequence, the occasional flashes of static guitar could be for those shots of the bad guy crossing the dance floor in slow-motion, while the mellow Deep would fit the obligatory love scene. But despite the edgy electronics, it's a mostly mellow affair, though the rhythms are quick and sharp, making Skin a lot more appropriate for those dance club scenes than the bedroom ones. - Paul Semel
Discs like this make listening to all the doo-doo worth it. A
collaboration of styles of two distinct personalities, Collide brings together the programming and mixing talents of Statik (an electronic music veteran, he released Machines back in '88) and kaRIN, a chanteuse with an atmospheric, beautiful voice. The interesting detail is that the music is so diverse; although it's all presented in the MIDI context, the tracks vary from typical cybertronic mixes to more ambient, soaring tunes to cuts that are almost commercially viable. In the meantime, they're all endowed with a sense of passion, extreme emotion, and an almost sensuous texture, thanks to miss kaRIN. And by the way, this girl is one bad-ass chick (I made sure to check for her photo in the CD sleeve). The whole kaRIN listening experience reminds me of the girl from Curve, whatever her name is. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the disc as a whole, since it probably didn't leave my CD player for days. Especially mesmerizing, however, were Pandora's Box and Deep, as well as Collide's ode to ebony, Black. The vocal treatment is exquisite, and the programming, to my ear, flawless. Statik, by the way, produced this disc, and I hope some of those big-time guys notice this man's mixing talent. Another note: cEvin Key (Download, Skinny Puppy) supplies some of his own studio tricks on his remix of Beneath The Skin. Seems that some of the big boys have already noticed! - Nick Korostyshevsky
The industrial/synthcore gambit has become increasingly trick these days when one considers the large number of harsh, driving electro releases hitting the store as of late. And many of the bands are homogeneous, reveling in the same elements. I swear that every other industrial band has hired the son of Froggy from the "Little Rascals" to do their vocals and exclusively studied the lyrical prose (or lack thereof) of bad '80's death metal groups. On top of that, does it not seem any people play their instruments anymore? Sampling has become too easy. Well, Collide-vocalist/lyricist kaRIN and "sonic matrix assembly" man Statik-are among the new breed of industrial (and industrial-type) bands who want to subvert these weary principles. Unlike your typical synthcore band, this duo have a strong ear for melody, dynamics and sonority, resulting in a multi-faceted release which can appeal to goth, industrial and hard rock fans equally. In fact, their appeal could extend to a wider mainstream audience, because the music in listener-friendly while still maintaining artistic integrity. Beneath the Skin begins with a quiet atmospheric passage before diving headlong into the catchy dance rhythms of Violet's Dance, amalgamating element of electro, techno, and ethereal goth. Strange rocks out with metallic guitars, energetic programming, and kaRIN's melodic, multi-tracked vocals which glide smoothly over the song's hard edges. This song exemplifies the band's approach and lives up to their moniker: utilizing contrasting elements which ultimately complement one another when joined. Then indulge in the moody, Middle Eastern-tinged Pandora's Box or the dreamier Have Faith, the latter certainly going more into the pop realm but showcasing kaRIN's strong use of vocal harmonies. And to appeal to the hardcore rivetheads out there, heavier mixes are other notable elements to Skin: the lyrics don't always rhyme (hey, fancy that), the important use of dynamics and the variety of textures Statik provides via his electronics adding another level to the sonic architecture. his use of sampling and programming keeps this from being a standardized recording as the electronics breath with the music rather than constrict it. And the guitars (provided by guest artists) are quite diverse, veering from the sharp-edged electric slide to rhythmically driving acoustic to hard rocking electric. - Bryan Reesman
Consisting of a serene siren and a master machine manipulator, the LA-based cyberduo is easily the most exciting act on this label simply because they don't sound like they belong on Re-Constriction. Their apt slant on gothic-industrial would feel more at home on Projekt. Falling Up is a hard electrometallic engine that guns it halfway through, cranking up the lofty operatic samples. 95&7 is spacey, oscillating ambiance that could easily have a place on a more ambitious Manifold compilation, while Deep resembles a cyber The Moon Seven Times! How's that for diversity? With a radio-friendly single in Deep, Collide may just have something here. - Chris Ayers
Collide are made up of kaRIN on vocals and poetry alongside Statik (who's worked with Prince!) on noise and sonic matrix assembly. Beneath The Skin echoes out tribal industro with glacial harmonies and works deliciously. Think Curve, Siouxsie and Dead Can Dance for pointers.
A nice blend of solid electronics-driven industrial dance music and female vocals that clearly originate from the 4AD school of thought. The end result is a melding of things industrial with things ethereal, with more emphasis on the industrial side of things. The mix works amazingly well, and the album is a good listen through and through. Also of note is the cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy, Download) remix of Beneath the Skin. Fans of Battery and Allison With One should take note. - Eric Sanders
Interface Version 3.2
This male/female duo is the epitome of diametric balance, and while the name Collide evokes images of car crashes and other disasters, rest assured that the music of Collide does no such thing. The soundscapes Statik has created are everything electro-dance-industrial should be: complex, progressive, and compelling without being overwhelming. kaRIN's vocals ring out like angelic bells, and are often treated as another instrument in Statik's arsenal, effected and sampled, adding yet another facet to the polished, perfected gem that is Collide. - Veronica Kirchoff
Finding the right combination of electric and human music is a difficult thing. Either the voice is dominant, and the rest of the music sounds like an elaborate beatbox, or the music dominates and makes the voice sound insignificant and out of place. Luckily, there are a few bands out there who know what they're doing, and Collide is one of them. A duo from LA, Collide creates a sound that is at once mysterious and obvious. With kaRIN's voice sailing and soaring above us, we feel the rocky earth in Statik's cyber-industrial sonic foundations. Imagine Cocteau Twins remixed by Frontline Assembly. Or a blooming flower laid on broken glass. - A.D.
NEURO STYLE (import publication)
Oh yes, gimme more of that, don't stop...
aaahhhhh, take me. Harder, harder. And now slowly, yes, slowly - oohh - I'm cumming! Well, are you getting hot already? Then wait until you've heard Beneath the Skin, because this is pure sex. Leading the way to orgasm. Yes, hee hee. I want you. I want your body, your soul, your sex. I want to greedily drink your breath, I want to tremble in your arms, read in your eyes... Collide! Seldom do you hear something as erotic and sexy. Of course this description is a tightrope walk, because everybody experiences the act in his own way. What this one likes, that one dislikes. Take this warning: Collide have very little to do with snuggling and the likes, this is the real thing (whatever that is meant to be). The rhythm is driving in the purest sense of the word; the vocals sometimes sound like a horny breath down your neck. Goose bumps on the way to your crotch. No, I didn't do any field tests on this, my experience with Collide is based purely in theory. Perhaps it doesn't even work, but who wants to know? You? Then buy this CD and allow yourself to be seduced by the colorful electronic mixture of hands that long for you and horny ways to pass the time. Oh, and all those who now believe that this review is a bit one-sided should know the following: Seduction doesn't begin in bed.
NEW INDUSTRIAL SOUNDS Issue 4
Intimacy and beauty make their music prime. It's somewhat of a flashback to a select few of the 80's female fronted (synth) bands as well as Siouxsie & The Banshees and Dead Can Dance, with extensive imagination and dark tastes. kaRIN remains eloquent from resembling a pretty banshee to a choral singer. She entices you to follow her through enlightening and mysterious tales. Statik stages the mechanical music with a versatile perspective-he's certain harshness and lushness can exist together. He chooses the sounds well-acoustic instruments, cloudy synths, tambourines, full to empty percussion, and static. There are multiple layers of sound happening, one of which is textural guitar lightly complementing the sequencing and kaRIN. Violet's Dance is one hell of a way to open up the debut CD; an incredibly melodic and demanding synth pulse driven partially by hollow-stone percussion quickly flows with the ease of kaRIN's resonance. - Chris Jagasits
Collide's debut full-length release is a multi-textured, unexpectedly noisy goth/industrial blend that's really tasty. Yes, the trademark gentle-to-soaring, ethereal female vocals (a la Siouxsie and the Banshees and Switchblade Symphony) are here, courtesy of vocalist/lyricist kaRIN. But what sets Collide apart from the goth pack is the delightfully noisy sample, synth, and beat collage work of Statik, the other half of the duo. Highlights on this disc include the title track, a solid dance number with enough dissonant synthesizer squeals to fill the open spaces in the vocals. Deep is the obvious radio cut' good melody, strong hooks and just the right amount of exotic edginess to make it special. And Collide saves the best for last: At the end of the disc, as if to permanently cement the group's industrial credential, we get two excellent, dance floor-ready remixes of the albums' strongest songs, Deep (done by Christ Analogue) and Beneath the Skin, mixed by cEvin Key, late of Skinny Puppy. The latter track will blow you away. Much of the song's original instrumentation is peeled off, and a totally sick, minimalist synth drum line propels kaRIN's singing into a foreign world: goth house!! Collide will not only take you somewhere truly new, but also will offer a diagnostic tool for your health: If that last cut doesn't get you dancing, you'll know you're already dead. - Frank Smith
OFF THE RECORD
Dreamy poetic lyrics, distorted, swirling melodies, and angelic female vocals coat this poignant debut with a layering of intense gothic aestheticism over cyber-electronic dance harmonies. From the mesmerizing Pandora's Box to the spiritual 95&7 to the dance classic Violet's Dance, Collide creates a collision of several musical genres sure to make everyone take notice. cEvin Key and Christ Analogue provide remixes of Beneath The Skin and Deep respectively, adding another coating to this divisional congruence. Multilayered music with a dose of imagination places Collide on the forefront of future musical styles. From gothic to industrial, Collide has woven these styles together naturally into a mingling arrangement of tunes sure to reach the darkest depths of your soul. - Xina
Collide strikes a wonderful balance between hard-edged electronics, haunting melodies, thick, complex percussion, industrial/noise elements and a few moments of well-distorted and abstract guitar work on Beneath The Skin. This, coupled with female vocals that soar from beautifully angelic to hauntingly dark results in a very strong, elaborate album that is suited to both club and home listening. This CD also has two remixes: one by Christ Analogue that is sure to please any industrial/alternative club-goer, and one by cEvin Key that shows off his trademark mastery of electronics. - DJ Leslie
PERMISSION Issue 8
The only reason I put this CD in was because I wanted to hear a new voice. And was I surprised! Re-Constriction has taken the industrial music scene by the hair and dragged it forward by signing Collide, a duo that demonstrates how a female-led industrial band can be powerful and innovative. Collide mixes passionate, poetic lyrics with a hard industrial edge. kaRIN's voice is amazingly strong and emotionally charged. Mixed with the power of the music behind, engineered by Statik, this CD is definitely worth taking to the top of your list. Adding remixes to the album are cEvin Key and Wade Alin (of Christ Analogue). This album is not only beautiful, but extremely strong. All 12 tracks are multidimensional; Statik brings us everything from up-tempo, fast dance to slower, more ethereal pieces. Together with kaRIN's sensuous, almost angelic voice, this album is a must-have for all who appreciate great music. It made my cats dance, and they never do that. - Melissa
Phosphor (a Holland-based publication)
Re-Constriction, one of the most interesting labels in the world, has signed another innovative electronic formation with textural guitar complementing the sound. Collide mixes kaRIN's amazingly strong angelic vocals with Statik's musical talent and technical skills. The wonderful balance between hard-edged electronics, haunting melodies and passionate poetic lyrics is stunning. kaRIN is a passionate mullet-dimensional artist whose creative endeavors include poetry, painting, design, vocals, and dance. She brings in the Siouxsie & the Banshees, Sleeping Dogs Wake, 4AD side of the band. Statik takes care of Collide's sonic landscapes. Several artists appear such as cEvin Key (Download, Skinny Puppy) and Wade Alin (Christ Analogue).
Gothic music of any sort isn't usually associated with Re-Constriction Records, but I think Chase mad a good decision to sign this duo. Musically, Collide are very electronically-based, covering everything from dancey upbeat numbers (Violet's Dance) to more ethereal, emotional pieces (Pandora's Box) Some guitar does make its way into the music, with heavy distortion (Falling Up) and acoustically as well (Deep). The latter track really shows Collide's gothic side off well, with kaRIN's delicate voice woven deeply into the dreamy rock fabric. Lots of potential here for fans outside of the usual Re-Con die-hards...Beneath The Skin is a pretty strong debut: good songs, lots of variety, great packaging, and remixes by cEvin Key and Christ Analogue. Chalk up yet another band on the fringe of gothic that successfully embraces the good elements of the genre while avoiding the cheesy ones. - Daniel Hinds
SERVO Issue 3
I was lucky enough to hear the preceding demo for this album and Statik, the former employee of the now pretty much defunct Great Purple One, has been developing well... the new tracks glow and the old tracks have been given a new layer of development. There are layers of sound and rhythms, kaRIN uses her voice beautifully not only to sing her poetry, but as another instrument as well. Beneath The Skin and Pandora's Box are beautiful examples of this. It could be called gothic, but it's not all brooding and dark, it's got that basis, but there is something that just shines. - Jen Muecke
Slavery Issue 1
Beware... this CD is incredibly infectious. Just one listen an you'll be caught, as kaRIN's passionate and seductive vocals dig their nails into your soul and drag you through to her realm. The electronic wizard, Statik, completes the Los Angeles duo, and together they are known as Collide. His pulsating sweep of aggressive digital massage combine with his partner's sensual voice, and result in a complex, melodic, and wonderful sound. One of my favorite tracks is the more fast-paced Falling Up, which features a truly apocalyptic finale of sheer electronic chaos and manipulated opera chanting. The mood quickly switches as acoustic guitars wind into the next track, Deep, a more traditional folk-like goth song with beautiful poetic lyrics. Over the course of the album, the styles continue to alternate and flow into each other in an orgasmic collision of sound. I really adore this CD, upon each and every listen my mind peels away new layers and discovers more and more wondrous sounds. From the packaging to the music, everything is perfect. You quite simply must buy this... infection is inevitable.
STAINED PAGES Issue 3
Being a male musician/female vocalist duo with an electronic basis, it's hard to avoid comparisons to acts with similar qualities, but those comparisons don't go far, because Collide explore realms that those other bands don't touch on. The music is written and performed by a longtime studio wizard named Statik who has worked with acts as disparate as Tool, Prince, Marvin Gaye and Leonard Cohen, although none of these connections could really be considered an influence on the dense electronic stew that he has concocted. Over the top of Statik's creations float the sugar-sweet vocals of kaRIN, which creates a stunning contrast of abrasion versus beauty. Add to this the bonus remixes by Christ Analogue and cEvin Key (intended as tasters for an upcoming full-length disc of Collide remixes), along with the beautiful cover by Susan Jennings (the woman responsible for the covers of many Projekt releases), and the end result is a truly exceptional effort. - Greg Clow
THE ALBUM NETWORK issue 897
Sounds like: A mesmerizing collage of electronics, guitars, noise, technology and man, covering a vast sonic landscape. Collide are at points ambient, at others techno, at still others industrial, all united by kaRIN's celestial vocals. At times Collide are reminiscent of the Wax Trax! stuff of the late 80s, at others they call to mind the ambient electronics of today, but it's all cool. Recommended Songs: Violet's Dance, Deep, Beneath The Skin, Falling Up and Strange. - Gerald Shaia
The Ninth Wave #7
The genres of Industrial dance (mostly masculine) and ethereal (mostly feminine) rarely converge, but when heavenly voices meet electronic manipulation, the results can be inspiring. This California duo creates a fusion of goth and industrial, always avoiding the clichŽs others get mired in. Various moods are explored here, some upbeat, others melancholy. But the high quality production and obvious talents of both kaRIN (vox) and Statik ( music) make this disc a cut above its contemporaries, with traces of both Siouxsie and Chris & Cosey. The chaos of Falling Up blends into the swirling, acoustic sounds of Deep, later adding crunch in Strange. Two remixes included -- one by Christ Analogue's Wade Alin, and another by the always appreciated cEvin kEY.
The Stony Brook Statesman Vox. XI. #27
Beneath the Skin whirls forth ten tracks plus two remixes (courtesy of cEvin Key and Christ Analogue). Statik along with kaRIN have created one of the most varying electronic albums in an age where everybody wants to be KMFDM. While Statik handles the machinery, kaRIN scribes the words and produces some of the most thought provoking lyrics at a time where everybody yells, "throw your hands in the air!" Thank God for kaRIN! This album is capable of reaching out to virtually anybody. Industrial freaks will instantly approve just because cEvin Key remixes the title track. Even your mom will find something she likes on here! Collide superbly touches upon each style coming off as a heavyweight in whatever genre, but, in reality, just flirting with it. kaRIN, like Ms Root (Switchblade Symphony) conveys a level of emotion that is absent in almost all music today. Normally, anything I write about I can understand if people don't like it, but usually it's just that they don't even give it a chance. As a result, I usually put little red flag warnings of elements that might turn it for you I normally do that here, but I honestly can't put anything bad down about this release! If you don't believe me, fine, just continue to listen to what the radio feeds you. In the meantime, you are strongly urged to contact Re-Constriction. - Marc Weisbaum
The Valley Scene
Collide is the L.A.-based duo of Statik and kaRIN. Beneath the Skin is their debut release. It is a multi-dimensional configuration of electronic ensembles and vocal dynamics. Statik is the music master while kaRIN intones poetry that transforms into a chorus of resonating vocals. The music is heavily layered in swirls of kaleidoscopic dance pules that throb in unison with kaRIN's illumination of verse. Beneath the Skin is a recollection of one of those hot summer, rainbow-dripping sunsets from a hilltop in the middle of nowhere. Its carefree spirit blows the rust from worrisome secular chains and carries your soul away into a positive bliss. Reality becomes a simple existence of now. There are instances where kaRIN's vocal conjures reflections of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Other moments bring to surface a Cocteau Twins motif. However, neither of these parallels is too deeply embedded to overpower Collide's unique identity. Statik's ability to execute such intensely layered cybertracks is evidence of Collide's crossover potential. kaRIN's verbal illustrations increase the possibilities for a wide array of listeners. Collide goes beyond the surface of an electro manipulation of gothic by combining the personalities of two genres. This is the result, an unformulated hue, Beneath The Skin. - Tish
TRASHCAN BANGIN' CULTURE #4
What an amazing CD! When I first put this on I was left speechless. Collide's debut Beneath The Skin will set the trend in the dark, almost goth industrial scene. Soon you will see little goth/industrial girls with Collide stickers on their lunch boxes. And let's not forget the two incredible remixes on here. Wade Alin from Christ Analogue remixed Deep and cEvin Key remixed their already smokin' song Beneath The Skin. Songs like Dreams and Illusions and Pandora's Box send chills down my back when I hear them. All in all, I suggest you buy this album right now before you're left in the dust without experiencing the beauty that is Collide. - King James
kaRIN is the ethereal Kate Bushy chanteuse, constituting exactly one-half of goth-industrial duo Collide. She trills and whispers over sheets of beautifully orchestrated noise and static. kaRIN embodies the contextually disparate element of harmonic beauty, the contrast of which I'm sure is intended and incidentally very effective. Statik provides the layers of supersaturated instrumentation and interference that comprise his custom cacophony. DJ and Diva. Artist and Inspiration. The integration and ultimate union of Statik and kaRIN is almost redundantly documented in their choice of the project's name. This technique is exploited successfully by Statik (credited in the liner notes with "noise and sonic-matrix assembly," in contrast to kaRIN's "voice and poetry ") in relation to his calculated juxtaposition of kaRIN's saccharine soprano against his industrial noise. - Wendy Lemmon
Like the band name intent, this LA-based duo creates a very successful collision of musical styles. Ranging from up-tempo cyber-dance tracks to slow atmospheric pieces, musicians Statik and kaRIN merge industry and passion within swirling layers of sound, emotion, and poetry. So you've never heard of Statik? It's probably because he's been working with diametrically-opposed sounding artists such as Tool, Prince, Love & Rockets, Marvin Gaye, Trevor Horn, Leonard Cohen, and Machines of Loving Grace. From this diversity and artistic integrity comes Statik's ability to refine his wide musical talent and technical skills while walking the line between abrasion and beauty. - David Jackson
UNDER THE FLAG #8
Rare. Beneath The Skin sounds like an incredible rarity we have to protect and cherish. Maybe it is due to the poetical magic of kaRIN's presence of singer and lyricist, or maybe it is due to Statik's music which is real metal-industrial surfing on clouds of amazing effects and draped in a kind of gothic atmosphere. Drawing a striking parallel between Beneath The Skin and Sleeping Dogs Wake's Threnody album is inevitable as it is flattering. Collide gives an alternative to hard metal and inhuman ideas. One more step toward more organic music. This is the album you can't miss...it's too rare. - DD
UNDER THE VOLCANO #32
This is one of the best and most unique records this label has put out. The songs are danceable but ambiently layered electronic pieces (reference points might be a noisier In The Nursery or Will) led by a female vocalist named kaRIN that reminds me of Cranes' Allison Shaw, one of my favorite songstresses. I smell strong crossover potential from this LA duo. Included are remixes by Puppy's cEvin Key and Christ Analogue's Wade Alin. Collide is hard to describe because I've never really heard anything like it, but it's rich, deep, and haunting. - Rich