Babyflesh – New Wave Of Cynicism

up_060605_babyfleshBabyflesh takes a fairly basic approach to their craft. Lay down a rhythmic machine or militant drum loop and let it ride. There really isn’t a lot of development or layering to these tracks. It is all about that percussive cycle. There are reserved elements of staticy distortions, feedback or minimal electronics that accompany the foundations, but it is always the repeating loop that stays at the focal point. “Suicide Song” adds a drawn out shouted moan to the mix, and that helps to divert your attention and is an effective approach for the accompanying music. But when the track is 6 and a half minutes long with the same plodding beat and very few other elements save for those vocals and some ambient feedback it begins to sound like a lock groove after awhile. “Overdose Of Hate” follows the same path adding a higher frequency loop to compliment the grinding low end one that drives the piece. “Here Comes The Pain” is nearly 8 minutes long and again finds its base on a cycling machination. It’s pushed a bit farther back this time and some samples, and a cavernous sort of atmosphere cover it like a fine dust. This to me is far more effective, even though the components are virtually the same as the previous tracks. It builds more mood, because it’s mixed in a way that the loop can be focused on or become almost a subconscious underbelly to the dreary tone, but again, for 8 minutes it would be nice to have some more depth. The next one, “You Or Me” sees the return of vocals and sampling to the mix, reverb soaked and delivered in a clear shouted voice. At the six and a half minute mark the primary loop drops away, and what is left is a metallic ambience with a slight melodic edge to that the piece out. I enjoyed that. “Mantra For The Nihilist” has a particularly downtrodden feel to it that I liked, the vocals are a monotone spoken style and the scraping loop and bottom end pulse fit it well, it’s also the shortest track here at not quite 4 and a half minutes, aside from the intro. The nine minute “Sleeping With Knives” ends the disc as a subtle ambient bit of drone. I can’t help but think as I listen to this that these loops are all just a few seconds in length, the heart of each piece, wrung out for all their worth, and then some, for the next six or so minutes. It feels lazy to me. That is not to say that these tracks are without atmosphere, and I understand that repetition can be valuable in creating a mood. At maybe four minutes they would be more involving tracks, but everything gets drawn out and with no new elements being introduced to capture you it becomes tedious. I like the lo–fi grimy tone of the sounds used on “New Wave of Cynicism.” It’s a mood that I have always been fond of when done right, thus I think the project has potential to be something quite cool. However, there needs to either be more going on, more evolution or the tracks need to be shorter to keep the listener engaged. This isn’t a bad release, but the ways it could have been better become clear as it goes on. – Scott

~ by scottsplatter on January 4, 2009.

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