Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Artist: Dark Star (@)
Title: Travelogue 2
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Wow, lots of things to say about this... I popped it in before even reading the info sheet and I immediately thought (I swear!) that these guys (or at least their vocalist) sound like the Legendary Pink Dots, but then of course I have learned that they sound like them 'cause the singer IS LPD's singer Edward Ka-Spel. In fact this is a collaboration project by Ka-Spel and Wolfgang Reffert (german musician and tour manager for Skinny Puppy and the Swiss trio Young Gods among others), who has been behind the Dark Star moniker for a decade or so. As a matter of fact this very record is a reworked re-issue of "Travelogue", originally recorded in the early nineties with the LPD, Italy's band Technogod and Gotz Adler (who also is on this re-edition). While omitting the last two songs of the original version, four new tracks have been added instead. The material is slow electronic wave music with a claustrophobic experimental vein and slow drum patterns. You can definitely still hear the echo of the eighties but also the ninetees are there. Songs like "Come To" (with the voice of Yorgos DK) might even sound a bit like Depoche Mode, but the rest of the album is less ebm/pop than that. There are more Joy Division/LPD-style beats with drum machines and industrial sounds and electronic synth-pads with a hard attack used to scan the beat and give it a musical entity (somehow Kirlian Camera style). When Ka-Spel sings it's obviously very hard to stop thinking about LPD... String pads and other layered sounds are used a lot too and even a distorted bass "Frantic Upstream" find place. Some lush distorted dark wave guitars are to be found too. There are also experimental pieces like "Solaris I" (which is one of the newer songs; '94-'97) with various sounds such as people playing pool in a bar, squeeking doors and pulsing electronic sounds. Electronic suites with more upbeat rhythmical structures and synthetic patterns ("Belvedere", also one of the four new ones). Of course all pieces feature special collaborations among which Volkmar Miedtke, Wolfgang Bear and the bass player from the german ironic-fun-punk outfit Die Artze (the doctors).
The front cover is by French illustrator Moebius (from the cult comic book "The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius").

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