The sixth album from this enigmatic Oklahoma City transplant now based in Tampa (who also dabbles in photography, art, film soundtracks, et. al.) is also the first release for this new underground electronica/dark ambient imprint. Whoever is hiding behind that alias has done a great job of masking his(?) identity ? I searched for over half an hour and can?t find a single mention of his(?) name. Since he(?) is obviously content to let his(?) music do the talking, let?s listen. ?Auf Dem See? is all ?ber-metallic industrial gothic techno a la Lords of Acid and Die Form and fodderstompfs its way across the dancefloor at about 150 bpm?s. TSDF describes the music as heavily influenced by the EBM (Electronic Body Music), ambient darkwave, and Goa Psytrance movements, so all you loonies who trek out to the Burning Man cosmic happening in the Black Rock (Nevada) Desert every year have another album to add to your, um, Desert Island Disk collection. It?s the perfect soundtrack for losing your mind inside psychedelic trance/dance states, and TSDF?s decision to begin working with (five) classically trained vocalists adds an etheral dimension to the vocal tracks that borders on an ecstatically religious experience.
The hi-NRG instrumental tracks will certainly raise blood pressures on dancefloors around the world and the early highlight ?Amongst The Trolls? sounds like Clan of Xymox with a live electrical charge wired through their genitals. Aaminha Kerdelen?s operatic cooing on ?Assiki: Divine Messenger? provides the perfect angelic touch to this sacred techno hymn, with the hyperactive synths bubbling away in the background and the result is not unlike the Gregorian gothic chants of Enigma (cf. ?Sadeness?) and Welfare Heroin (cf. ?Cry Blood). Elsewhere, there?s lots of that loud, incessant brain battering that you hear every week during the boring lab sequences on the ?C.S.I.? US TV franchise.
?Regeneration of the Damned? has a haunting, liturgical aura flowing through the almost-literal sounds of bodies being ?regenerated? from the sticky cosmic goo. Hannah Fury?s delicately whispered vocals bring a gothic Kate Bush aroma to ?Trapeze,? although, sadly, the song ends before it has a chance to develop a personality.
The intriguing idea of presenting a revolving roster of classically-trained female vocalists to deliver your lyrics ultimately falls a bit flat, as most of these (admittedly phenomenal) voices soon become indistinguishable from one another. If you?re trying to provide variety to the vocal interpretations, you need to find a specific characteristic that each voice can deliver and my ear is not trained enough to pick out the idiosyncracies that set these women apart. It, therefore, would have worked just as well if TSDF had used a single voice to astonish us with.
Nevertheless, if grooving to adrenalin-pumping techno with liberal doses of dark, ambient electronics with a celestial choir of angelic voices is your idea of a good time, this is the album for you. The rest may grow weary of the redundant beats and opt for pulling out your old Delerium, Sleep Chamber, Skinny Puppy, or Cabaret Voltaire records instead. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (27 June, 2006)