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Sunkings - Before We Die


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Sunkings - Before We Die (Chill Tribe Records, 27 March 2009)

 

1 Brotherhood (3:59)

2 Mad Love (5:31)

3 Barleycorn (6:37)

4 Sonic Pigg (4:37)

5 Fallen Angel (4:04)

6 Starbuck Revisited (7:52)

7 Sunrise (5:58)

8 Micromega (Old Nicks Mix) (4:17)

9 Sunrise (Optic Mix) (7:23)

10 Some Fractal Mourning (Gumbo Mix) (4:39)

11 Homunculus (Brain Stem Mix) (5:56)

 

Sunkings make a visit to Chill Tribe Records! After more than a decade they're back with full force. Striking, to say the least, Taz Alexander, the vocalist from our beloved Juno Reactor guides this album from start to finish through groovy, dubby electronica. Even tribal influences, together with her voice, makes for clear resemblances to the before mentioned group of musicians. Just listen to track #2 - "Mad Love"! Through Sunkings, Ben Watkins in Juno Reactor discovered Taz and brought her on board. This album carries that talent with extreme care. One of the reasons for that is the way the music is almost catered to the vocals of Taz, which makes the experience extremely rewarding. I dare say this is an outstanding album. The sheer quality of production and mastering makes for something out of the ordinary. I've recently taken a great interest in Dub music, and that makes it all the more exciting to have that collection diversified with Sunkings new album. Now, there is a more electronic / new wave touch as the tracks progress, and I can only imagine how seeing them live would be a great experience. The electronic parts makes for a really great contrast to the more ambient tracks. This shift between ambient / dub / electronic style caters to many different tastes, but what they have in common is a thoroughly presented theme that rings through the whole playlist. It is very exciting when hearing through an album the first few times, and each time confirming your suspicion that there really is a deeper edge to the tracks you're listening to. British electronica / dub is hard, if not impossible to overdo, as all the big names out there can confirm, and in my book, Sunkings takes a solid spot up there with the rest of them. This loungy, British touch to the tracks presented to us makes for a really good vibe. This is a diverse, extremely well produced album. The tracks are well chosen to bring the experience to different peaks as the hour flies by, and the real feat of ingenuity lies in the way Taz' voice has been sampled both as lead vocal but also as really eerie pads to lay a foundation for much of the theme of the album. There also a great obscure part to the experience that is "Before We Die". The artwork and scribblings inside the digipak makes for an interesting touch. You really get the feeling of receiving a complete story with this album, something every artist tries to accomplish. Fans of Juno Reactor will surely recognize the genius of this, as fans of ambient, electronic and dub. Chill Tribe Records has yet again released a superb piece of music. This is highly recommended.

 

:posford:

 

Get it: http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/ctr/ctr1cd007.html

Samples: http://www.arabesquedistribution.com//inde...0&Itemid=20

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I can't really give a full review here... because I can't stop listening to Taz's amazingly enchanting vocals on tracks 1 and 3 of this album. I am simply knocked off my feet by how gorgeous it is, and how powerful the lyrics are (particularly in the first track). From the times I have actually listened to the album in full, I would give it an overall 8/10, but 10/10 to tracks one and three, they are incredibly powerful, and show hope for a new sub-genre in and of itself... electro-folk :huh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally I HATE massive use of vocals, unless they're VERY well chosen and passed through many FX (which is not the case here...). So whereas I hear people rave about track 1 and 3, personally I find them cheezy as hell and quite frankly annoying. But luckily not ALL tracks have vocals... I had to wait till track 4 to finally come over a track of my liking, although not exceptional. Track 5 brings us back to over-use of vocals so I skip that one as well...

 

The remix of Starbucks is pretty crap as well, granted I never was a big fan of the original either but this one is even worse. The Juno Reactor remix is the best version of this track (but it's not on this album).

 

Then comes Sunrise... aaaah finally a really good track. Ok, there are some vocals in here as well but that oldschool melody is totally worth it IMO. Personally I prefer the Optic mix which has a more danceable feeling to it and has vocals limited to a strict minimum. This is the real gem on this album IMO.

 

Micromega sounds more like a poem read over some beatless pads... not really music IMO. Some Fractal Mourning is next with a more "classic chill out" feeling to it. Nice but it sounds a bit generic to my ears. Then the album closes with Holmunculus which is VERY nice downtempo, my second favorite track on the album.

 

So basically there are only 2 tracks I really like here, 2 good but not great ones and the rest I prefer skipping... not a pretty picture I know. So yeah if you like vocal-drenched ambient by all means buy it, otherwise I'd think twice if I were you... 5/10

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  • 8 months later...

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