Monday, 21st August 2017. 1:58:03pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews (EBM, Electro, Electronica) Beta- Reflections in Darkness


Artist: Beta
CD Title: Reflections in Darkness
Label: BLC Productions
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 9/26/04

 

As cinematic as Skinny Puppy at their best, southern California artist Beta’s strength is in creating richly detailed soundscapes. Now signed to BLC Productions, Beta’s latest release takes a step in a harder direction, with the layers of synths and samples backed up by harsh, driving beats. The crushing dance rhythms of “Possessed” and deconstructed drum ‘n’ bass textures of “Unspeakable” are brutal enough to please even the most jaded power noise fanatics, while the acid loops and horror film samples on “Nightstalkers” and “Darkness” evoke enough traditional elements to keep old-school EBM fans happy. “Vengeance” is nicely minimal, gradually adding melodic elements, but the best stuff here takes the opposite approach. “Heretic” is full of orchestral majesty and distant singing, for example, and “Fait Accompli,” a collaboration with Brutal Bastion, layers distorted Mediterranean chants and thick analog burbling. “Escape” also stands out, alternating between melancholic ambient passages, hard electro, and piercing shrieks. This album is entirely instrumental, with no lyrics to distract from the ominous moods it creates, and even the more tongue-in-cheek movie samples are obscure enough to keep things intriguing. As an added bonus, this album also features several remixes; Implant offers a surprisingly perky techno mix of “Vengeance,” while Agonoize provides a Wumpscut-inspired version of “Darkness,” complete with cut up voices and electronic harpsichords. This is all classic stuff, never clamoring for attention from the futurepop kids on the one end or the noise fanatics on the other, and electro fans should appreciate the amount of craftsmanship that went into creating it. Check out Beta at www.betamusic.net

 

 

 


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