Twenty-five years of excellent music under the name Collide, and an interesting side project called The Secret Meeting with Dean Garcia of Curve, kaRIN and Statik have always had a completely different, personal vision or idea about what being “goth” with all its nuances really means. Their sonic territory is an electronic dark wave with distinctly industrial implications. But, at the same time, something impalpable unequivocally distinguishes them from any other. “Color of Nothing” is a further evidence of it.
The backbone of this new album has a temperate dark-industrial feel, where the suavity of kaRIN is the gentle counterpoint of the robust implant of synths and drums impeccably performed by Statik. Sharply guitars characterize several episodes. “Wake Up” and “Soul Crush” are heavy, cutting songs, floating into an amniotic liquid of electronics. “Freaks Me Out” and “Fix” levitates into different spectrums, but both can invoke multi-color psychedelic trips. “Will Not Be Destroyed” is touched by some shades of noir while “Blurring the Edges” is romantic-arcane trip-hop. However, each song of this work gets its own place on the palette of imagination until “Pale Blue”, which closes the album with a slightly different mood. Decelerating, it dulls the tones like a cozy refuge. kaRIN’s voice encloses a sonic prism of sensation, between the beauty of a snow-crystal and a mysterious sensuality.
kaRIN and Statik are architects of complex songs, conceived as micro-worlds made of sounds. They write incredibly intelligent, and enjoyable music. Collide offers a very accurate production in all details, including the beautiful lyrics and imagery.
Category: Industrial / Goth / Rock
Album: Color of Nothing
Blurb: After six long years, kaRIN and Statik return with some of the richest and most rocking songs they have yet produced, making for an excellent entry in the Collide discography.
It has been quite some time since the duo of Statik and KaRIN has graced our ears, but with this latest studio album, Collide makes strides to not only acquiesce to the demands of the loyal fan base, but to also throw in a few sonic surprises as well. Always striding the fine lines between melodic gothic atmospheres and abrasive industrial textures, driven by kaRIN’s alluring vocals and a hard rock sensibility, Color of Nothing proves to be well worth the wait of six years since Collide’s last full-length release.
A bouncy electro sequence and a light drumbeat enters, the animalistic buzzing of a heavily distorted guitar enters with a simple but effective lead, and as kaRIN’s sultry and almost anxious vocals come into the mix, “Wake Up” begins the listener through this album’s journey. Immediately, the song sets the stage for Color of Nothing, the caustic riffs gyrating with an almost classic rock & roll swagger that, though not rare in Collide’s music, hasn’t been quite so pronounced. For instance, “Will Not Be Destroyed” begins with an overdriven synth pulse, the downbeats striking like slaps to the face, and as kaRIN sings with the rhythmic soul of an R&B singer, everything begins to magnify into an almost psychedelic chorus of shimmering leads and clamorous riffs. And then there are songs like “Side to Side” and “Only Human” with their shuffle rhythms and gritty synth lines that evoke the sleazy ambience of a late night club, the guitars adding an abrasive strutting vibe that is simply delicious. Similarly, the percolating synth sequences and guttural rhythms of “Soul Crush,” the virulent bass synth and shotgun force riffs of “Say What You Mean,” and the crystalline layers of harshly resonant percussion and slivering synths, bass, and cool piano on “Pale Blue” all showcase Statik’s ever intricate blend of complex programming with organic instrumentation. On the other hand, “Intruder” and “Fix” are classic Collide as they move with darkly sensual grooves that are at once bluesy, ambient, and mystical, while “Freaks Me Out” is almost funky, the strangely repeated and somewhat offbeat reversed guitar phrase adding an appropriately disconcerting atmosphere to the song.
Collide has never been a band to rest on its laurels or allow itself to become complacent; Statik and kaRIN always seem to be striving for excellence, usually with varying degrees of success. With Color of Nothing, the band has achieved a bold new standard of darkly melodic songwriting coupled with a truly industrialized rock aesthetic that we’ve rarely heard since the advent of ‘90s coldwave. This is not just another album in Collide’s discography, drawing on the sounds we’ve heard before from Chasing the Ghost or Some Kind of Strange, nor is it an outright reinvention of the band’s sound; more of a revitalization with even richer songwriting and production. The band has crafted a sound that is identifiably its own, but with this album, all of those elements are strengthened and amplified to such a degree that it may stand as some of the best music Collide has yet offered.
I was rather astounded to realisz just how long Collide have been part of the scene this year. Now an active group for around two decades, they’ve avoided trends as such as simply continued with their own style to great effect, as this new album proves. Their best album in some years, this keeps the quasi-ethereal/industrial/darkwave sound that they perfected long-since, but here it seems to have rather more bite than it has of late. With dense instrumentation, great songs and a heavier take on their sound that sees guitars used as texture as much as the synths to add the extra heft, this is a fascinating album well worth luxuriating in, and those two decades into their career, Collide remain an endlessly enjoyable band.
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. - Brian Lumauig
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.