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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Attrition- The Jeopardy Maze


ARTIST: Attrition

ALBUM: The Jeopardy Maze

LABEL: Two Gods Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 3-18-09

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Originally released in the late '90s, this album lacks the obvious drama of Attrition's more overtly classical-infused albums, but it's still one of the highlights of the project's career, thanks to electronic arrangements and production that display a masterful level of subtlety. It's not that the more familiar elements of strings and operatic vocals aren't present, and indeed "A Virtual Reprise" is a straightforward viola instrumental, but largely the classical elements are tightly interwoven with the electronic elements rather than sitting on top of them. "I Am a Thief" uses bits of creaking viola as a rhythmic element alongside bits of whirring machinery and tensely pulsing electronics, and "The Thin Veil" extends Julia Waller's operatic wails into a darkly ethereal layer amidst downtempo drum patterns and tinkling synth sequences. This album also incorporates more of band founder Martin Bowes' more experimental and ambient interests, and perhaps its most clever, if understated, offering is "A Few of My Favorite Things," a quietly brooding number laced with occasional moans, piano flourishes, and a woman's voice reciting a list of caustic chemicals and hospital supplies. Lest fans of more club-oriented material feel left out, "Waste Not, Want More" pulses rather than stomps but it still eminently suited to the dance floor, and "Dream Time Collector" comes the closest to what most people think of as Attrition's signature sound, Waller's voice fluttering, minor-key electronic tones beeping, and Bowes himself grumbling beneath it all. Another masterpiece, all things considered, and a worthy addition to any darkwave fan's collection; thanks to this reissue on Bowes' own Two Gods Records, there's no excuse not to pick up a copy for yourself. .

For more information on the work of Martin Bowes, visit www.attrition.co.uk.


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