Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Report to the Dance Floor: Dark Model
Here is something very unique and I think will appeal to many of those among us who might normally shun anything that could be given the term dance music and in this case it is at the fringe of the term being more classical than dance at times. It's not until the second song that I would even call this dance.
The song writing chops are finely tuned here as this guy has collaborated and remixed James Brown, Diana Ross, Chic, Simon LeBon, Ron Sexsmith, Serge Gainsbourg, Hotei, Puffy, Digikid84, Yoshihide Otomo, Radiopilot, Dune. What this project is brings back memories of the old Hooked on Classics album that came out in the 70's .The soundtrack vibe is heavy here so it should come as no surprised some of his music was used in the first promo reel for Elysium. There is something inherently epic about this so sci-fi and fantsy flick would benefit from this type of backing.
"Close to Infinty" the classical elements tend to dominate though the songs works dynamically work like the build of a dance tack where you are waiting for the beat to drop. "Broken Arrows" drops down into a piano piece the strings come in with an almost Nightwish sense of drama to them. So fans of orchestral metal will appreciate this album. To be honest any one who just likes music will dig this. If you play epic MMO's then you need this as your soundtrack.
The more electronic elements re-surface on "Onibi". It has a very Matrix type techno throb to it , though the string hits accent the song and aid the sense of movement it carries . Of course songs like this that have a darker element to them are the ones on this album I tend to connect to more. "Hope is Never Gone" does posses this , though its moodier than most of the songs up to this point ,especially when the songs breaks down into the piano section. The song ebbs and flows from more uplifting sections though there is a tension throughout.
The ambiance of "Candle in the Desert " comes across more like an interlude in this otherwise uptempo pounding album. '' Ran" has the blares of harsh sense that seem to be in every trailer for an end of the world type film. The dub step elements lurk on the edges of the other Omen like dramatics of the score. There is more industrial undercoating to " Double Cross" carries a bit of a Liabach feel to it , though with more groove than the more militant and stiff feel industrial carries.It strays from the darker feel as the song progresses into a more dub step tinged espionage sort of thing.
Themes are more of an influence with Dark Model than other composers. Sure there are familiar sounds being integrated to ensure a modern market, despite the heavy use of strings, The Eastern vibe of "Prayer for the New Moon" is very different than the more Hollywood sounds on this album. Fans of Dead Can Dance would dig this as it is very dark but with a lot of ethereal atmosphere.
The album's fastest moment comes in "Moment of Truth" that races against a break beat.This creates a hug dynamic shift when "Judgement Day" follows, as that song is more string driven, almost having a more chamber music cadence.When juxtaposed against the harsher throb of the dub step elements that come in midway, it's a pretty powerful moment. The song builds even further with added layers of strings and piano, before it's allow to collapse into the sob of the piano line.
The dark ballad like pacing of "Abandoned" returns the album to a more brooding pace.While the album is well balanced it is a monumental listen that overloads you if you sit down and just listen to it on headphones as I did. It serves much better as a back ground piece, even though with "Abandoned" there is a more rock like melody to sink into. Until "Oath" the other songs towards the albums final act following "Abandoned" stay in variation on the epic themes of Hollywood. "Oath is much more a straight up dub-step song , which given the nature of the rest of the album is odd, but works . The piano part that surfaces helps tie it back into the more classical build that the song leans into.
If you want to feel like you are in a movie this is the album for you. It's dark enough that the classical edge might appeal to goths and more educated rave kids , digest as you can as it is a lot to swallow , but worth the digestion process.