Saturday, 21st October 2017. 9:59:26am ET
Reviews CD Reviews (EBM, Electro, Electronica) Phenotract- Within a Second


Artist: Phenotract
CD Title: Within a Second
Label: Tinman Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 8/19/04

 

Neither EBM nor house music are known for being particularly intellectual. Both genres are there for stomping in the clubs – in combat boots or parachute pants, respectively – nothing more, nothing less. With his debut release as Phenotract, though, Eric Shans manages to interlace both genres on an album that is at once danceable and cerebral. Bound together by themes of ice, snow, and altitude, it cuts through you like a chill wind from the north, with rhythms and synth sweeps geared as much towards cool introspection as the physicality of the dance floor. Tracks like “Lunartrip” and “Skydomes” anchor ethereal electronics with relentless techno rhythms, while angrier, more industrial-oriented songs like “Distant Voices” and “Red Glow” shimmer bitterly. Shans’s voice works best when he leaves the vocal processing out – his natural voice is thin but effective, yearning on “Twilight Haze” and conjuring up images of snow-covered wastelands in the gorgeously hypnotic “Drifts.” When he sings through a vocoder on “Waves,” though, it just sounds tinny and outdated, like roller-rink disco from the ‘80s. Aside from that, Shans has put out a wonderful disc, straddling the line between aggression and contemplation and with a style that’s already recognizable on his first release.

For more on Eric Shans and his various projects, check out www.phenotract.com

 

 

 


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