R.M. Ramlow’s Lost In Place project is synthpop for the darker set, with just enough hints of EBM and darkwave to keep things from getting too disco. Ramlow is at least nominally a Christian artist, so appropriately enough his songs are full of church bells, starting off with the deep chimes of opening track “Things I See” and then popping up now and again on such tracks as “Raven Angel.” Ramlow also shows a real knack for interesting vocal production; “Failure” starts out fuzzy and distorted, but as the voices clean up they begin to jump from track to track in counterpoint with each other, and on “Kardion” he even manages to invent his own female backup singers by electronically manipulating his own voice. Sandwiched in with all the synthpop gloom and drama, there are also a few surprises. “Serenade” is dark and heavy, with sampled guitars and distorted vocals, but an analog synth line in the vein of early ‘90s arcade shoot-‘em-ups adds a nice light-hearted contrast. “Control (Queen Bill),” however, is the real wild card. Not only does it sound like nothing on the rest of the album, it doesn’t really sound like anything else you’ll have ever heard. It’s like an electro murder ballad with southern rock influences; if Nick Cave and Skinny Puppy got together to record a version of the theme song from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” it might sound something like this. In any case, even the less distinctive moments are well-produced, and this should appeal particularly to fans of other Christian – though not overtly preachy – electronic acts like Dead Artist Syndrome or the excellent but sadly disbanded House of Wires.
For more information, visit www.lost-in-place.com
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