Monday, 22nd January 2018. 7:20:45am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Projekt Presents: A Dark Cabaret


Artist: Various artists compilation
CD Title: Projekt Presents: A Dark Cabaret
Label: Projekt
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 3/12/06

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This compilation begins – as it should – with the Dresden Dolls. This duo may not have invented the idea of cabaret punk, but they’ve done more than anyone to bring it into the public eye, touring with such established acts as Nine Inch Nails. “Coin-Operated Boy” is a surprisingly light-hearted piece, more pop than punk, but no less charming for that. Jill Tracy’s “Evil Night Together” is equally charming, a torch song full of over-the-top ghoulish humor that has Tracy coming across like a smokier female version of Voltaire. Revue Noir is the new project from Nicki Jaine and Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Sam Rosenthal, and “Sometimes Sunshine” is an affected but effective blend of deep, jazzy vocals and appealingly jarring arrangements of piano, organ and violin. Jaine also shows up with “Pretty Faces,” a gloomy ballad with understated plucked guitar, while Black Tape For A Blue Girl offer a new mix of “Knock Three Times” that brings the song’s cabaret feel to the forefront by stripping it down to guitar, percussion and piano. Katzenjammer Kabarett’s “Gemini Girly Song” and Audra’s “Cabaret Fortune Teller” bring a hint of death rock flavor with wailing guitars and a fuzzed-out bass line, respectively, while The Brides’ “Audience To The End” is uncharacteristically soft, with keyboardist Julia Ghoulia taking over the vocal duties to sing over reverb-drenched piano keys. Pretty Balanced’s “Simon’s Sleeping” is wispy and ethereal, but carries an edge that works its way out of the tinny pianos into a nervous crescendo. Then there’s “Flowers,” one of the last songs recorded by Christian Death and Shadow Project singer Rozz Williams before his death, and one of the most stunningly pretty things he’s ever done. With its simple, heartfelt singing style – none of the dramatic lisping shrieks that characterize his earlier punk material – and unadorned organ and pianos, it’s doubly heartbreaking to know that he’s not around to record stuff like this. ThouShaltNot finish things off with a piano ballad that seems a bit insubstantial compared to the rest of the album, but closes things off nicely without being too taxing. Time will tell if the new enthusiasm for cabaret lasts, but either way Projekt has given us a near-definitive overview of the current scene. This is solid evidence that the gothic scene has a lot more to offer than third-rate Sisters of Mercy clones, so check it out if you’re ready for something different.

Visit www.projekt.com for more information on this compilation.


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