:CD Review: Electronic Substance Abuse â€“ Themes of Carnal Empowerment Part 1: Lust
Electronic Substance Abuse â€“ Themes of Carnal Empowerment Part 1: Lust
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Label: Tympanik Audio
Review by: Neska Lapicki
Electronic Substance Abuse (ESA)Â returns in 2012 with Themes of Carnal Empowerment. Slated to be released in two parts, March 13 brought us Part 1: Lust and it is aptly named because this album makes me seriously happy in my pants. The brainchild of Jamie Blacker, ESA is known for playing fast and loose with genre, and this release is no exception! Wildly varied, deeply layered, and expertly mastered by Yann Faussurier (Iszoloscope/iVardensphere), Lust offers something for all manner of electronic music junkies while delivering a completely addictive listening experience.
â€œRed Passage Overtureâ€ builds slowly from a quiet raspy line of dialogue, booming percussion, and scratchy distortion. About a minute in, a darkly sexy insectile moan drops in, laying the foundation for when the rhythm starts really rolling. â€œRed Passage Overtureâ€ gradually builds in tempo and depth to the point where I was chair dancing hard enough to repeatedly jostle the poor guy trying to sleep next to me on the plane. â€œWith This Cold Kiss I Will Woundâ€ launches right out of the gate with an infectious rhythm and booming bass that ramps up and explodes with frenetic speedy beats and satisfyingly glitchy vocals interspersed with echoing operatic wails. This track builds and builds until you think your head might actually explode then drops right into â€œThe Plot Sickensâ€: a meaty and organic-feeling rhythmic wonder world of funky distorted bass, complex layered percussion, and trance-inducing vocal elements.
â€œCarved Scars of Carnalityâ€ gives the illusion of backing off for a few seconds with it’s clockwork-sounding intro, then introduces an element that made me think of what a digital didgeridoo would sound like before launching into a big loud sexy groove-driven assault on all senses. This song kinda touched me inappropriately, I may need an adult. â€œBlack Tripâ€ is just a full-on mind-fuck. An up-tempo driving beast of frenetic crazy beats and drool-inducing modular bass wubbiness with spoken female vocals that will stab you in the eye with one of your own ribs. The layers of beats, bass, and rhythm reach an absolute fever pitch before literally dumping you into an unspeakably creepy music box riff that instantly called to mind â€œthis is the end of side one, please turn the record over NOW.â€
â€œWretchâ€ gives you literally one second to catch your breath for the beatings begin anew. Bass-heavy, scratchy, and metallic up-tempo hotness peppered with hauntingly far-away noisy vocal elements. To quote Heathers, â€œFuck me gently with a chainsawâ€. â€œThemes of Carnal Empowermenâ€t serves up a mellow yet almost unbearably sexy groove as a backdrop to brutally percussive vocals. â€œFuck this heartâ€. â€œThe Relevant Fleshâ€ begins seamlessly with an echoing boom, then lithely dances from one layer to the next constantly building energy and flipping the bird at any notion of following the rules. While this one has more vocal structure than any so far on the album, the constantly shifting and merging layers of amazing sound will disavow you of any notion that the challenge has ended.
â€œBlissâ€ delivers another all-out assault on the senses with blistering beats, a driving bass groove, and layer after layer of distorted scratchy sexiness. The lyrics (included in the digipack!) will smack you in the face and inspire you to reconsider some of those â€œhard limitsâ€ you’ve been carrying around while the brutal slowdown of the outro makes you drool on yourself just a bit. â€œThis Is Not Loveâ€ is deeply atmospheric and echoey, while completely avoiding being a downer. It is a gorgeous and lush blend of haunting synth riffs, complex rhythms, and chanted lyrics that once again remind the listener that there are no rules here. â€œLoss (Prurient Symphony)â€ is the last track, and I have to be honest it almost feels like a spoiler describing the track to you. I want you to experience the mind-altering shock that was my first listen, but at the same time it is just too good to not go on and on about. Beginning with an utterly heart-wrenching spoken female vocal that reaches into the darkest part of you just to rub your guts on your own face, it is followed by the sound of a cell door slamming shut before washing you with an epic wall of noise that made me actually gasp for breath and cry out a bit. But, clocking it at more than 11 minutes (yes it goes to eleven!) don’t think that is where the story ends! â€œLossâ€ shifts and slithers and wraps its tendrils around you through ever-shifting soundscapes of contrast and magic.
Themes of Carnal Empowerment Part 1: Lust left me sweaty, breathless, and hungry for more. I am absolutely humming with anticipation to see what Part 2 will bring, and (as though it were possible) even MORE excited to witness the shenanigans that will be the live show as ESA joins iVardensphere, W.A.S.T.E., AD*VER*SARY, and END: THE DJ for the END OF DAYS Summer 2012 North American tour. If you know what’s good for you, you will get this album NOW.
- Red Passage Overture
- With This Cold Kiss I Will Wound
- The Plot Sickens
- Carved Scars Of Carnality
- Black Trip
- Themes Of Carnal Empowerment
- The Relevant Flesh
- This Is Not Love
- Loss (Prurient Symphony)
Download Themes of Carnal Empowerment, Pt. 1: Lust from Amazon MP3