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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Candle Nine - "The Muse In The Machine"

Artist: Candle Nine
Album: The Muse In The Machine
Year: 2010
Label: Tympanik Audio
Genre: IDM / Ambient / Industrial
Website: www.myspace.com/candlenine

The Muse In The Machine is the debut album from industrial idm producer Candle Nine. It's a blend of all the stuff we like: gridlock, converter, dryft, access to arasaka, etc.

Good stuff:
- amazing atmospheres and beautiful synths. very futuristic and dynamic pads coupled with gorgeous melodies. Lots of piano sounds which stand out from other similar acts.
- great, minimal use of samples. The vocal samples are done especially well, typically quite subtly (less is more), and heavily bolster the cyberpunk atmosphere.
- dynamic songs. the songs are all quite dynamic, with many different elements and phases. For example, Penumbra opens with some abrasive glitchy power noise, but then breaks down into serene gridlock-esque pads with quiet, noisey, beatwork and continues to slowly rise and fall for the duration. Nothing gets stagnant or boring.
- noise! it's hard to find "industrial" idm producers who use noise in their music. Candle Nine does, with mixed results. While the more power noise sections sound a bit out of place, he really nails it when he drops in the noise hits along with the more idm-ish soundscapes, like the second half of Penumbra and Kerrianne's Spine. This sound is massively lacking in the world and I hope to christ he continues this style.

Bad stuff:
- uneven mixing. the drums are louder than everything else and often act as a blockade, obscuring some of the amazing synthwork which should really be a bit more at the forefront. Luckily, there are long passages without rhythmic elements to give you an opportunity to take in the synth work.
- drum patterns. The drum sounds themselves are pretty nice: a mixture of clicky idm sounding hits and old school industrial-ish hits, but the patterns themselves aren't particularly notable; they've got the obligatory glitches, beat repeats, reverse hits and so forth, but it feels a bit forced rather than fluid.

a solid, futuristic sounding debut that will appeal to fans of hymen, tympanik audio, any good idm netlabel, etc. tracks are somewhat marred by uneven production and uninspired drums, but even so, the magnificent synthwork makes this worth checking out. I'm really interested in hearing what he does next.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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