On her latest full-length album, Android Lust's Shikhee delivers what is both her most coherent and her most experimental work to date. While opening track "Lover Thine" seems to open things in a spectacularly noisy fashion, replete with smashing drumbeats and crunchy glitches, the album soon takes a turn in a drastically different direction with the intimate vocals and pulsing electronics of "Hole Solution." "Dragonfly," released late last year as a single, is similarly melodic, with multiple layers of vocal harmony, and "Wicked Days" is utterly exquisite, with tense atmospheres layered with singing, choral chants, and some of Shikhee's most outstanding production work. By the second half of the album, things begin edging unmistakably towards the avant-garde. "Thomael," for example, plays cut-up answering machine messages against wailing guitars and distorted rhythmic noise, while "Linguae" juxtaposes string-laced industrial beats against snippets of speech processed beyond all recognition. Showing a mastery of pacing, Shikhee brings back more conventional musical elements just when they seem in danger of being completely overwhelmed by chaos, ending things with the ominous keyboards and soft vocals of "Unrecognize." Though this latest effort sees Shikhee at her most adventurous, there's also plenty of material that should please fans of her earlier material, particularly the raw aggression of "The Body" and the raspy whispers of "Fell The Empty Mask," both of which seem particularly suited to Android Lust's intense live performances. With this album, even greater in scope than 2003's The Dividing, Shikhee continues to prove herself one of the most original artists working in the industrial and electronic scene today.
Take flight at www.androidlust.com.
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