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Beta: Reflections in Darkness

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Artist: Beta (@)
Title: Reflections in Darkness
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions
Distributor: Metropolis (USA); e-noxe, Alive (Europe)
Rated: *****
This is Beta's debut, or so says BLC's rap sheet on this one-man Industrial crime wave. The website, however, of Ian J. Velasquez--Beta himself--shows a prior, out-of print release, Without/Within (and contains .mp3s of several of its tracks). But back to the task at hand. We are dealing with driving, relentless electro rhythm, laced throughout with hallucinated speech samples and nightmare-induced auditory imagery mixed in at just the right liminal level. None of the original-mix tracks on Reflections in Darkness is under five and a half minutes (save for opening track "Absolution," basically a song-length intro to the record itself); my current favorites are "Possessed," the de facto aggressive centerpiece, and the slower, slinkier "Escape." Four of the other tracks appear again in the back of the CD as guest remixes by different collaborators (Skoyze, Agonoize, Implant and Schattenschlag), but on first blush they don't seem to contribute as much to the overall Beta lustre, and therefore serve to max out the disc capacity. And therefore perfect for your next unbroken spell of doing whatever or driving wherever on your favorite type of rocket fuel, so get ready to settle in for the long haul. Speaking of which, although the label is based in Little Rock, Ark., a clue or two in the liner notes point to the Los Angeles area as Beta's likely habitat, so for God's sake don't piss him off in traffic. Cool body-part photo pastiche artwork, too, courtesy of a design entity named DeadDreamer.


BETA: Reflections in Darkness

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Artist: BETA (@)
Title: Reflections in Darkness
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
BETA is a one-man project hailing from Anaheim, CA, consisting of Ian Velasquez and he presents us here his first official CD out on BLC Productions. We have here an album full of hard and almost danceable Dark Techno/Electro music but surprisingly without any vocals. I personally expected that this would be the biggest flaw at all, to release a 78:00 min long intrumental album, but my judgement was wrong. Really true, this is Dark Electro full of refreshing ideas, innovative programming and a huge amount of uncountable noises, effects and samples. This is somewhat innovative and I haven't heard this before for a long time. If I should give you a hint how it sounds, I would take DISMANTLED combined with later NOISE UNIT for a comparison. Outstanding tracks can be rich found here, "Heretic", "Vengeance" or "Splintered" will give you enough food to set fire on the dancefloors, while tracks like "Absolution", "Fait Accompli" and "Escape" are slower and designed for your mind. Adding to this ten original tracks four remix works by well known bands like SCHATTENSCHLAG, AGONOIZE, IMPLANT and SKOYZ. Another outstanding point is the excellent graphically manipulation done by no one else than Wilhelm Steiner, the Deaddreamer (www.deadreamer.com). This is a marvelous release which should be purchased immediately.



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