Archive for Collide

Is Kickstarter the saviour of the music business?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by softsynth

Musical artists have been increasingly struggling in recent years, trying to monetize a business model that no longer works as it once did. No one buys music anymore, or at least when they do it’s not using the model most record companies still prioritize. There are exceptions of course, people are still lining up to buy the new Taylor Swift album or their seemingly tenth copy of Adele’s album (88 weeks and counting on the Billboard 200) or even Tony Bennett’s new Duets album, but those artists that have and maintain mainstream chart success are also increasingly those artists that can appeal cross-generationally. It’s become a niche market leaving the bulk of the music business struggling to survive, relying almost entirely on touring as an income generator.

The electronic genre has been hit particularly hard. There are few superstar electronic bands who can sell enough records to make a real run an ongoing viability. For every Depeche Mode, or Goldfrapp, or more recently, Ellie Goulding, we have scores of other artists who are trying to scrape together a model that allows them to continue to produce their music.

Enter the post-Kickstarter world. Continue reading

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Review: Collide – Counting to Zero

Posted in Review with tags on October 23, 2011 by softsynth

Few bands in the world make music that could be described as “beautiful” as Collide. Sweeping synths, gorgeous vocals, the word “big” keeps rising up. There is beauty and grace in almost every utterance from this band. And now, after a bit of a misfire covers album the duo are back with a terrific return to form. Eleven languid, sexy, sometimes sad, always beguiling songs from Statik and kaRIN that represent some of their strongest work to date. Continue reading

Electronic cover versions

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by softsynth

While listening to the new Collide album (which we were pretty hard on in our review, it still stands but some of these tracks have held up better than we would have thought…) Softsynth was struck by the number of songs that seemed like odd matches with a predominantly electronic band (John Lennon?) Got us to thinking about some of the great cover versions given new life by electronic bands over the years (and some of the noble failures. And some of the just plain shitty treatments).

Some of the early great electronic recordings were cover versions, none more notable than Daniel Miller’s 1979/80 Silicon Teens project which was mostly synthpop covers of classic rock songs from the 50s and early 60s.

It didn’t always work (like the too-twee-by-half “Judy in Disguise”) but sometimes, like the fantastic version of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” it made for really refreshing takes on the classics.

Bands like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Human League diddled about with covers (Velvet Underground’s “Waiting for the Man”, the “Nightclubbing/Rock n Roll” amalgam, respectively) in the early days of their careers and the likes of Depeche Mode messed about with classics like “The Price of Love” before becoming full-fledged recording artists.

Perhaps the most successful well-known electronic cover was Soft Cell’s monster 1981 hit single, their version of the Northern Soul classic “Tainted Love” (which for decades had the distinction of being the song to log the most weeks on billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart). Continue reading

Review: Collide – These Eyes Before

Posted in Review with tags , on December 13, 2009 by softsynth

Softsynth is a big fan of Collide, particularly singer KaRIN, also enjoying spin-off with Curve’s Dean Garcia, The Secret Meeting. The difficulty can be in the band’s inconsistent output. Their last album, last year’s Two Headed Monster was fantastic, playing on all the bands strengths, KaRIN’s soaring, powerful voice, crunching guitars, lush synth washes – it worked beautifully.

This year they bring us a collection of sometimes-eccentric covers ranging from Depeche Mode, to Pink Floyd, to Radiohead, to Fleetwood Mack, to David Bowie. Does it work? Not consistently enough. Much of it feels so random. Their version of “Nights in White Satin” or “Rock On” are offputtingly strange and jarring. “I Feel You” and the Beatles’ “Come Together” just feel ordinary bringing nothing new to the originals. The whole thing feels self-indulgent and thrown together and considering how good this band can be it’s all just weird. Continue reading

NCIS – world’s dullest show = world’s coolest soundtrack?

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by softsynth

I confess I have never watched NCIS. I have glanced at it and it hold zero appeal for me. Total middle of the road CBS procedural. And yet their just-announced soundtrack sounds nothing short of awesome. Seems there is a very hot “goth chick” named Abby (Pauley Perrette) who works as some kind of lab monkey and we are often witness to her listening to her music on the show (I am taking all this from things I have heard about the show so I could be wildly wrong). And what awesome music it is. As a result this soundtrack is the first major airing for a number of my favorite artists and in some other cases, the widest release many have received in a very long time. The soundtrack features tracks by SKOLD vs. KMFDM (and a fabulous track it is), Solamingus, Android Lust, Collide (featuring the best track from their great new album, Two Headed Monster), Ministry, and best of all a brand new track from Nitzer Ebb, “Promises” (to tide us over until their first album since 1995’s Big Hit. Pauley Perrette herself contributes a wonderful song as well. There’s a lot of disposable crap on their as well but this collection may force me to make my first official connection to the show. 

It’s available February 10th.