Bent and Broken
Bent and Broken Once again, COLLIDE manage to create their own audio universe. The ethereal electro-tech duo COLLIDE, led by vocalist kaRIN and electronic guru Statik, are back with a remixed vengeance.
The band’s imminent release, BENT and BROKEN, a double CD of stellar remixes (compiled mainly from songs off their two most recent full-length albums, COUNTING TO ZERO and TWO-HEADED MONSTER) is sure to stimulate the sonic sensibilities of ardent admirers and newcomers alike.
The first CD of the two-disc set (aptly titled, BENT) kicks off with a stunning remix of "Mind Games", the first single off their most recent studio album, COUNTING TO ZERO. Remixed by cEvin Key and Ken Marshall of SKINNY PUPPY, the track is infused with a fresh synth hook that demands attention and immediately answers the question of
why re-mix albums by this band are so unfailingly popular.
The second track, ORGY, is a distinctly original cover of a song which first appeared on Robert Smith’s (THE CURE) side project titled THE GLOVE. It is hypnotic and lays the groundwork for all the tracks that follow.
However, the track that undoubtedly deserves to be singled out for attention is the title track, BENT and BROKEN, a new, previously unreleased track. Collide aficionados will instantly recognize the familiar synth-driven COLLIDE style but also appreciate its fresh, forward-leaning approach, and new listeners will be forever hooked to such a degree that it should come with a warning label.
The remaining tracks continue to paint a sonic landscape so broad and mesmerizing that it’s virtually impossible to overlook any single track. Whether it’s the cover of the classic Queen song, "She Makes Me", or the virtuoso re-working by Tom Gipson of "In The Frequency", this is an album that draws you in, in a way that (if you were to try and account for the two hours or so of missing time) might make you believe you’ve been abducted by aliens… albeit, aliens with an uncanny musical appreciation.
Talk of this first CD cannot pass without at least a brief mention of the incredible remix of "Lucky 13" by electro artist Android Lust. This is the very definition of what a re-mix is supposed to do: retain the melodic recognition of the original track while at the same time elevating it to a new aural plane.
BROKEN, the second CD in the set, is every bit the equal of BENT, if not more so. Each of the additional 11 tracks flows effortlessly into the other, continuing an auditory soundscape that is …well, trance-inducing.
Another undeniable standout is a remix of "In The Frequency" by Chris Vrenna, (TWEAKER, NINE INCH NAILS, MARILYN MANSON). Vrenna brings to this already incredible song a thumping rhythm track that propels the song forward with such momentum that you’re certain it’s going to somehow launch itself into the stratosphere.
BENT and BROKEN is one of those rare albums that offers one great track followed by another, and another, and yet another. Do yourself a favor and listen to this!
Counting to Zero
Based in Los Angeles, where everyone fights tirelessly for even a sliver of limelight, the band Collide has managed to build a very loyal and devoted following. And it seems they’ve done it the old-fashioned way too…by consistently writing and producing great records.
With their latest offering, Counting To Zero, the sonically boundless duo of kaRIN (vocals) and Statik (everything electronic) returns to their well-established form. Having carved out a prominent niche for themselves within the darkwave and electronica genres, this album will once again be independently self-released on the band’s own label Noiseplus Music.
Counting To Zero features eleven new and original tracks that channel the band’s electro, darkwave, trip hop, and synthpop core, with a subtle dose of exoticness. This--their seventh full-length studio release--is a cohesive unit set on digitizing your brain matter into a cybernetic dreamscape of bass, beats, guitars, and synthetic ear candy supplemented by kaRIN’s ethereal female vocals.
From ambient starters like “Bending and Floating” to the fast-paced “Further From Anything”, Collide populates the album with ecstatic wavelengths that continue from start to finish. On “Lucky 13” for example, the track combines minor key violins usually found within movie soundtracks and superimposes them over a dirty synth and guitar riff to produce a song that would fit in perfectly on a modern James Bond film. The breathtaking track “Human” emotionally rips your heart out, while still leaving you wanting more. “Mind Games” captures the core essence of the band. With an absolutely infectious soundscape seamlessly stitched together with a distorted synth riff that is near unforgettable, Statik has managed to create the ultimate bedrock for kaRIN’s evocative vocals. Once again, Collide enlisted Kevin McVey to direct an alluring surrealistic video to accompany the song. All in all, Counting To Zero is a sonic seduction rarely heard, resulting in an album that is nothing but pure listening pleasure.
With an expansive career in music, (which includes their side project called The Secret Meeting with Dean Garcia of Curve), Statik has also contributed to projects by other artists as wide-ranging as Tool, Prince, and Leonard Cohen, to name only a few. Collide’s songs have been remixed by well-known producers Charlie Clouser (NIN, Saw), cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy), and Rhys Fulber, (Frontline Assembly, Delerium).
Collide has been featured internationally in many magazines including: Outburn, Nocturnal, Gothic Beauty, The Mick, Beyond Fantasy, Keyboard, Side Line, Zillo, and Glasswerk, among others. kaRIN has also been making waves in the fashion industry as well, with her Saints & Sinners jewelry and accessory line.
Collide’s atmospheric soundscapes have been featured on the uber-popular True Blood (HBO), Vampire Diaries (CW), Fringe (Fox), and NCIS (CBS), as well as being featured prominently in feature films such as Resident Evil (Sony), and The Covenant (Sony).
With Counting To Zero, Collide hopes to prove that after over a decade of fighting the good fight, they are truly a force to be reckoned with!
These Eyes Before
Classic yet Modern...
If you’re already familiar with Collide, you surely know that the duo’s brave, forward-looking electronic sound is deeply grounded in a fusion of diverse influences (hence the band’s chosen name). Over the years, singer kaRIN and producer Statik have proven themselves to be gifted interpreters as well as courageous innovators – consider their brooding take on the Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, a highlight of 2000’s landmark Chasing The Ghost, or their expansive take on Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man”, from the remix set Distort, and the beloved anthem “The Lunatics are Taking Over the Asylum”, from their Vortex album. But nothing in the group’s history will sufficiently prepare you for These Eyes Before: a set of ten mainstream classics, each one completely reimagined by the imaginative pair.
We don’t want to ruin all of Collide’s surprises, since part of the joy of listening to These Eyes Before is encountering familiar material with utterly refreshing arrangements. And you will be familiar with the playlist – any real music fan will be able to sing along to the tunes kaRIN and Statik have selected. Also, we don’t want to single out any highlights, because a project like this one is nothing but highlights. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t crow about the group’s flexibility, and their unerring ability to make songs of all kinds seem utterly consistent with the sound they’ve been developing for the past fifteen years. In their hands, “Space Oddity” becomes a gorgeous, jazzy, ethereal techno-rock stroll, and David Essex’s swaggering “Rock On” turns into a deliciously distorted slice of trip-hop. The darkwave enterprise – and, to be sure, experimental music in general – is inconceivable without Pink Floyd, and Collide pays the progenitors back with a pair of remarkable readings of world-famous cuts. Elsewhere, Statik and kaRIN also demonstrate a taste for a different kind of experimentalist: Lindsey Buckingham, whose exuberant “Tusk” is converted into a dramatic, fuzzed-out sonic excursion. (And Fleetwood Mac obsessors note: they haven’t forgotten to include the marching band!)
Long-time followers of the Collide story will find that These Eyes Before preserves everything they’ve always loved about the duo’s approach. kaRIN remains a sophistcated and emotionally forthright singer; her interpretations open up new dimensions of meaning in songs you’ll swear you already understood exhaustively. Statik’s soundscapes are as lush and hypnotic as ever – his synthesizer sounds and enveloping, his drum programming is adventurous, and the guitar work is alternately seductive and saw-toothed. Collide has already taken its place as one of the worlds foremost and best-loved electro-alternative bands, and introduced the delights of darkwave to countless listeners; These Eyes Before further demonstrates that there’s no limitation on the expressiveness of their sound, or the size of their ambition.
Two Headed Monster
Collide return once again...luring you into their deep dark smoky den. As usual, you are never quite sure what to expect from Collide, but you can be sure it will be good. Recognized as giants in the darkwave/industrial genre, the fiercely independent Collide continue on their own path to make music on their own terms. Two Headed Monster hits with a slam. The alchemical blend that they concoct feels dark and surreal, sensual and twisted...a pure delight for the senses. Your body and soul suspended, you are absorbed into their world. It's not a bad place to be, in fact, you may want to exist there forever.
The release of Two Headed Monster is their fourth full-length release, the culmination of three years of activity, during which time kaRIN and Statik took time out to collaborate with Dean Garcia of Curve. Under the name The Secret Meeting, they released a full-length album called Ultrashiver which was an intoxicating ride that took on a life of its own and met with overwhelming critical success.
With the release of Two Headed Monster, the pair once again have managed to forge their own path. There's plenty of evidence here that the years of collaboration and exploration have altered Collide and thrown open their sound as they continue to evolve. As you'll hear, Two Headed Monster is anything but insular. Danny Carey of Tool makes a return engagement adding his thunderous drums to four tracks and Dean Garcia from Curve also lends his bass to one of the songs. Elsewhere, the members of the Collide live band (Rogerio Silva, Kai Kurosawa, Scott Landes, and Chaz Pease) contribute distorted six-string, bass guitar, and more drums.
"Two Headed Monster deals with the duality and balance of life from an alien point of view. Sometimes I feel like an alien from another planet" says kaRIN. “Although every emotion comes from inside of me, I often feel like I look at life from the outside. I never have followed the path that most people take, doing what they think they are supposed to be doing. Sometimes that alienates me quite a bit, but mostly I am comfortable with it”. Statik insists “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”.
With this album, the emphasis here remains on the intricate juxtaposition of kaRIN's emotional lyricism and ethereal, otherworldly vocals, and Statik’s chilling, hypnotic, and powerful soundscapes. Success has blunted neither their anguish nor their discontent – few writers can make disillusionment sound as convincing (or as sultry) as kaRIN does on “Tongue Tied & Twisted”. Tracks like the bracing “Chaotic” and “Spaces In Between” crackle with dark energy. “Silently Creeping” and “Two Headed Monster” are both cautious but unmistakable come-ons. “A Little Too Much” and “Head Spin” are near-psychedelic slices of industrial pop that are radio-friendly, approachable, and addictively catchy. There’s a playful undercurrent to these tracks that becomes increasingly apparent on repeat listenings. The gorgeous and sharply-written “Pure Bliss” features crunchy guitars, gritty electronic loops, and thundering drums and is an aching track destined to be remembered. At the end of the album, the dreamy, fuzzed-out “Utopia” wrenches your heart and leaves you wanting more. What it all promises, Collide once again deliver with Two Headed Monster.
Like the Hunted
Their music is made at the point where cool precision, passion and mechanical frenzy intersect. They synthesize elements of gothic, industrial, edgy electronica, darkwave, ethereal pop, modern rock, and trip-hop into a style that is uniquely theirs, soothing yet powerful, smooth yet dangerous. They are Collide: a Los Angeles duo with a knack for intriguing arrangements and compelling performances. Principals Statik and kaRIN, have over their decade together written some of the catchiest songs that will ever haunt you to distraction.
Since forming Collide in 1995, the group has released five albums of top-drawer electronica, experimental compositions, and some astonishing reworkings of pop and rock standards. Their last album – the generous Vortex – was a double-CD consisting of new material, updated versions of old favorites, and a full disc set of remixes done by some of the hottest producers in techno and alternative rock. The duo’s labors have won them a stable of admirers, and have led to collaborations with members of Tool, Nine Inch Nails, and Skinny Puppy. They’ve done it by constantly kicking at the boundaries of the form- their name refers to the ceaseless collision of apparent influences on their music.
Although Collide has won thousands of appreciators, and established a reputation for recording excellence, they’d never performed their music in concert until 2004. Like many electronic acts, Collide was a studio entity. They’d used their machinery, their voices, and their mixing board to generate a sound that’s best described as extra-personal: suggestive not of a band playing in the back of a room, but of a dream playing in the back of your head. Transposing an experience this hallucinatory to the stage felt daunting to Statik and kaRIN. Could a group so dependent on electronics for their ferocity – even one this accomplished – manage to replicate the passion, the menace, and the magic of their music live?
The DVD you’re now holding is proof that they can. Like The Hunted, released on the groups’ own Noiseplus Music imprint, is documentation of the concert tour that brought Collide’s dreams alive. Expanded to a six-piece, the live iteration of the electronica powerhouse brings new dimensions to familiar songs. Guitarists Scott Landes and Rogerio Silva weave alternately processed and raw riffs around Kai Kurosawa’s percussive bass and Chaz Pease’s thunderous drumming. Statik stands omnipresent behind his electronics, as the virtual sound controller. The band looks and sounds terrific: the five instrumentalists attack their instruments with authority, and kaRIN leads the band with sultry charisma. They’re drilled, empathetic, responsive to the audience and to each other, and tough to tear your eyes away from. It’s hard to believe that the version of Collide captured on Like The Hunted had only played eight shows before the one shown here.
Shot by veteran video director Kevin McVey, the concert footage in Like The Hunted is accompanied by full, rich digitally recorded sound. The band contributes supercharged, vibrant, edgy versions of songs heretofore known only in their studio-manicured versions: “Euphoria”, “Somewhere”, and “White Rabbit”, the wild (but appropriate) cover, first heard on Chasing The Ghost. Gorgeous and ethereal moments on some of the more crystalline Collide ballads take on a particular resonance because of the concert setting: Los Angeles’s breathtaking landmark El Rey theatre. kaRIN’s voice curls up to the rafters like smoke, and streams out effortlessly over the crowd like laser light.
There’s more to Like The Hunted than concert footage. Collide has always been an extremely adventurous video act – and they’ve included their trippy clips on this DVD. All of them are exciting and intriguing, but the mind-blowing “Son Of A Preacher Man” clip is a must-see. As Statik and kaRIN retrofit the Dusty Springfield classic by throwing a twisted wrench into it, McVey trains his camera upon a lawn battle between some sinister strawberries beating up cowboys, cheerleaders, stuffed pigs and plenty of other madness(!). "Euphoria" also directed by McVey, creates an alternate reality, which is contrasted by a stark white spinning stage, fire, rain, and spacemen. Also included is a video by newcomer Gabriel McIntyre, with his contemporary take on "Razor Sharp” where snap shots and video glow and come to life pulsating with sleek precision.
The photo scrapbook captures both the live visuals as well as a collection of studio photos. Two acoustic performances of well-known Collide tracks reveal the sturdy construction that underpins even their most elaborate electronic songs. Finally, Like The Hunted contains a lengthy explanatory interview entitled “The Modification” with the bandmembers that begins like a documentary, but ultimately gives insight and reveals the tight dynamic between the principals kaRIN and Statik.