Nature of Wires - Cyber Rendezvous
Nature of Wires is a long dormant EBM/Futurepop project that has its roots in eighties and early nineties. However, after life got in the way and the same set was played live for six months, lead singer Gary Watts stepped away from making music for a while...And for a while, I mean nearly twenty years. However, after a turnover in life which helped him regain balance, he came back to the studio with lyricist and vocalist CountessM. The new wave singer who mainly deals in collaborations lent her voice to the entirety of an entire album's worth of songs which would eventually come to be called Cyber Rendezvous.
Though the album prides itself on Futurepop/EBM, the tone is often extremely dark and not-so-bright as most other albums in the genre tend to show themselves off. While I did find that bit odd I also found it refreshing and addicting. You might actually think you're about to get into either a seriously heavy industrial/aggrotech in the opening moments of the first song ''Til Tomorrow' as slamming percussion and cinematic sounds are played out, but that all changed once the minute mark hits. CountessM's voice comes in, the groove is broken, and the electronics start to obtain a more dance friendly theme.
A lot of the songs have the same flow; they all have a very unique Nature of Wires stamp on them. The beats are tough, rigid, and emotional yet comforting and hallowed. I found the backing synths in 'Don't Let The Vultures In' and 'While You're Here' giving me goosebumps and the layered beats of 'Reaction' to be otherworldly.
The title track has very well placed, angry samples with a more EBM than futurepop beat. I'm not talking your strict minimal EBM flow, but the beat is more restricted this time and not as free as others. This is not bad; it just reflects the attitude of the song and it does it well. 'Dance With Your Own Skeletons' has the same kind of vibe, just not as pissed.
'We Kill All' brings in some lo-fi electronic loops alongside the emotional and riveting synths. The first song to truly call back to the eighties in all forms would be 'Perfect Menagerie'; I don't know whether it's the synths or just the overall aura of the song, but it was pretty damned good. 'Beguiled of Fertility' is the end song on the album which mixes ambiance, church like chanting, and a slow rolling beat altogether. It was odd, and creepy, but I loved it; I could see it being used in a horror film.
Now, for the whole review I've been talking about how great the music on the album was and I'll stick to that. Watts is a god damned genius and I want to hear more of what he can do. However, I do have a few problems with CountessM as the lead vocalist on the whole album and that's where it's held back.
CountessM was absolutely brilliant on the final two tracks on the album. Her more spoken word than sung vocal styling excelled the final track to another degree of creepy, and on 'Perfect Menagerie' she was able to feel the flow and glow of the song and arrange her singing accordingly. However, the problem lies on the other tracks.
As I said, CountessM is pretty good when it comes to spoken word music with a slight melody to it. I think it would sound good given the right music, but with Nature of Wires' heavy beats, hard percussion, and otherwise thrilling and energetic music, there needs to be a vocalist who can match that intensity. CountessM sounds like she's singing for a much more laid back band; Nature of Wires need a singer who can really get going with the rhythm and hype up the energy even more, not put it back down. I felt as if the album was crossing between easy listening and dance music, and I never knew if I should get up and dance or sit down and relax.
Both of these musicians are good in their own right, however I do not believe it was wise to have them collaborate for an entire album's worth of material. The mixing is good enough however that I can shrug off CountessM's singing for the most part and enjoy the rhythms from Nature of Wires. Come the final two tracks once more, however, I will enthusiastically listen to both of the sounds from these two musicians. Especially 'Beguiled of Fertility'. As that's my personal favorite on the whole album.
Complaints aside and the fact that I was still able to make it through the album and love a couple of songs warrant a 7 out of 10. Go see what you think.
Jul 20 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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