Vasi Vallis is clearly a talented guy. He proved this with his work in the now-defunct NamNamBulu and with Frozen Plasma, his collaborative synthpop project with Diorama's Felix Marc. One wonders, then, why the latest EP from his harder-edged solo project is so lackluster. Title track "The Devil Is Female" is decent if not amazing, with clean but heavy beats and robotic vocals giving things a slick, modern EBM feel. "X-Junkie," on the other hand, is awful, little more than a rip-off of Combichrist's "This S*it Will Fcuk You Up," complete with digitized female vocals reciting sexually explicit rhymes (this time around, some of the profanities are bleeped out, presumably for comedic value). When Combichrist's track came out in 2004, a large part of its success was due to its novelty; using the exact same formula three years later is hardly a novel approach. Six accompanying remixes are different, but not different enough; only Shnarph!'s mix comes close, by slowing things down and burying the vocals in thick electronic textures, but hearing six alternate versions of a song that was uninspired to begin with is nothing short of exhausting. Filling things out are a couple of slightly more interesting offerings; "0190" sets a recorded phone-sex call to pulsing EBM beats and crunchy loops of synthesized guitar, while "She Is a Devil and a Whore" and a live recording of "Execution of Your Mind" (originally appearing on the first full-length Reaper album) both feature aggressive beats and distorted vocals. They're also the only songs here that show any real energy or vitality. While it's conceivable that a DJ might want to pick this up for some of the remixes, it's tough to picture anyone listening to this EP from start to finish; a couple of halfway decent tracks and a live cut aren't nearly enough to redeem this CD from the interminable parade of alternate "X-Junkie" remixes.
Visit www.reaper-music.de for more information about this project.
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