Wednesday, 24th January 2018. 2:40:12am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Cindergarden- Underground Light Machine


  Artist: Cindergarden
CD Title: Underground Light Machine
Label: Looking Glass Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 8-29-06

 

 

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There's at least a touch of Skinny Puppy in Jaymie Valentine's past. It comes through in subtle ways on her debut album, in the slow electro beats of "Mask Of Silence" or the simple synthesizer arpeggios of "Stranger." Valentine's Cindergarden project, however, is ultimately less about industrial terror than disquieting dreams; there's a dark surrealism throughout her music that perfectly matches the whimsical but creepy album art. Think Rasputina with keyboards instead of cellos, or perhaps a dreamier, more languid version of the psychotic dolly imagery of Switchblade Symphony and Jack Off Jill. It's all lovely stuff, ranging from synthpop-influenced dance tracks like "Ubiquitous" to softer pieces like "Sad Eye Doll," with tinny electric pianos on "Bad Dreams" and music box chimes on "Wasteland" giving things a particular feeling of nostalgia that evokes Victorian ghost children languishing in dusty attics. "Dirty Ritual" is also a stunning track, with fuzzy vocals contrasted by crisp, lacy harpsichords. Valentine delivers most of her vocals in a sort of breathy whisper that's quite suited to the album's moods, but the rich harmonies of "Dying Kind" show a voice that's arrestingly pretty when she wants it to be. Underground Light Machine is a stunning debut, and presages great things to come. Valentine has already discovered her artistic voice; the only question left is what she will say with it next.

Visit the world of Jaymie Valentine at www.cindergarden.com.


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