Entries in music review (7)

Thursday
Oct312002

Gothic Vixen reviews The Electric Haze and Deprogramming!

GothicVixen - October 2002

THE ELECTRIC HAZE

Boys and girls, run to the dollar store and get yourself some glowsticks, out of Oregon comes what might be some of the darkest techno to grace your local dance club. Dead Poets Society presents us with a mighty fine mix of percussion and keyboard sounds in thier release titled The Electric Haze. Fans of The Dust Brothers will be pleased with this darker twist on modern electronic music. (And why wasn’t any of this on the Fight Club sountrack I wonder?) Theres definately some trance, some dance, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on, but its a good thing, indeed. While the ideas behind the music are not totally original, the way it’s presented is a bit left of tradional techno.

Precusionist Wa’s sounds are not as driving as most music of this genre, making it a good disc to just listen to if your not in the mood to dance, however Raven Nightshado’s keys make nicely flowing rhythms that are easily danceable.

With a bare minimum of vocals, and all of them being samples, the songs can be about whatever they inspire in the listener. Notable tracks include “I Dream of Japan”, which could easily be mistaken for traditional Japanese music, and reminded me of the cherry blossoms and the bum on the benches outside museums in Tokyo. While “Damn Fine Coffee” has some of the best precussion on the disc and might just give you the feeling of being wired.

Overall this would be a good disc to make a present for your favorite DJ or to play at your own parties. Just dont take to many hallucinogens before you try these sounds out, or you might just see the electric haze in a wholly disturbing way.

-Donna Janney

DEPROGRAMMING

Dead Poets Society may ring a bell to most people as a group of kids going though adolescence and secret poetry readings from the movie of the same name with Robin Williams. Or at least that was what I first thought of when I saw the bands name on the CD titled Deprogramming. Deprogramming is the second CD that we havve seen this band come out with. The songs on this album are high-energy instrumental pieces that I could see in a variety of settings such as coffee houses and nightclubs. There is something to be said for such flexible albums.

I was perplexed by exactly how one would dance to this sort of music without popping a few pills first. Dead Poets Society has a pulsing beat that drives you into a trance like dance state with tracks like “Synners” and “Strung Out”. I would recommend this album as great ambient music for any shop or music collection.

-Christine Landrie

Friday
Apr262002

Gods of Music reviews "Synners"

Gods of Music

Dead Poets Society

“Synners” from the album DEPROGRAMMING

by Clint Gaige

This is a haunting song. William Gibson would be proud, this song would fit nicely in any of this tech-novels. I can easily imagine this song fitting into the background of his work, maybe a favorite of a Neuromancer. You can’t pigeon hole this song and declare it a genre, it just isn’t that simple.

The song opens with a haunting vocal that immediately pulled me in. Then the music starts demanding my continued attention, or shall I say, “change for the machine.” The music flows and creates a world in which anything is possible, a world where what you see is just an illusion.

This cut is an outstanding piece of creating. I can’t imagine anything removed from the whole, I can’t imagine moving anything. Even the faults I could hear felt “in place.”

This is a strong song, I am curious to see whether the album is as strong as the single. This is an album I am going to try to get my hands on soon. It’s an aural journey right into the worlds of William Gibson (Neuromancer), William Burroughs (Nova Express), Pat Cadigan (Synners), and Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?).

I have to recommend this on pure aesthetic!


Charisma:
9.50
Technical Skill:
9.00
Structure:
9.00
Interest:
9.50
Lyrics:
10.00
Performance:
9.00
Arrangement:
9.00
Recording Quality:
9.00
Long Term Appeal:
9.50
OVERALL:
9.20
Tuesday
Apr022002

Gothic Beauty reviews The Electric Haze

Gothic Beauty, Issue #5 - April 2002

Dead Poets Society
The Electric Haze
4 1/2 of 5 stars


by Poseidon

Of all the musical genres I know, the one I find the truly hardest to explain is “electronic”. Here we have one great big huge field of musical beauty (and terror) where anything that has even the slightest hint of using a keyboard other than a Bosendorfer piano is instantly reduced to “anybody can do it.” Sure. Right. Whatever.

These people have never heard Dead Poets Society. Neither had I until about an hour ago. Read on. The biography from this band was very “factual”. The Electric Haze is their debut album. Wa is the programmer, percussionist, songwriter, and “driving force behind the music”. Gibson also works the boards, providing more of the ethereal facets behind the music.” Raven Nightshado performs keyboards, vocals, and the more “melancholic” facets behind the music. Etc. etc.etc. Very factual.
What the biography does not explain, in my humble opinion, is how three simple “people” created such an amazing album!

Define the music? That’s easy. Unfortunately they don’t have a genre for “brilliant, unique, that’s some damn fine coffee.” You can dance, sleep, dream, regret, drive, f***, sit around, or do anything to this music (with the exception of headbanging, unless you’re just plain weird).

Electronic, perhaps, but with the creativity of The Orb and Dead Can Dance intermixed with it. This album is a beautiful, gentle ride through the kindest parts of chaos. A silent world called delirium. You never know where the music may take you next. From a smooth, rhythmic ride in “The Portal”, or visiting the places where no one is innocent in “Damn Fine Coffee”. I found this album dizzying, elating, chaotic, and hypnotic. Some of the BEST “electronic” music I’ve heard in a long time. These three musicians are planning a tour in support of this new album. I would urge you to check them out.

Thursday
Feb072002

Feature in Cascade Weekly

Cascade Weekly - February 7th, 2002

Featured Artist of the Gorge by Mike Cortner

For about two years, electronics based trio, Dead Poets Society, has been performing their style of electro-goth music in the Gorge and around the Northwest, and have built up a dedicated following. All residents of The Dalles, members Wa, Tim Gibson, and Raven Nightshado are musically working towards promoting the gaining of knowledge as a worthwhile pastime and to change the face of electronic music through their live performances and studio recordings.

Their debut album, The Electric Haze, is described as having created an emotional experience through the use of instrumental textures and moods. With the release of their second album, DEPROGRAMMING, the dead poets re-explore some of the avenues already trad upon in the virtual city of the electric haze, while also providing some new experiences as well.

With influences randing from hard dance to goth, Dead Poets Society’s music presents a unique mix of moods and rhythms ranging from tribal to a darker, at times almost “pink floydish”, tonal groove. As well as performing their own original arrangements at live shows, they also knock out some cool versions of popular new-wave covers such as Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”, and Gary Numan’s “Cars”.

As primary programmer, percussionist, and songwriter for the group, Wa is a driving force behind the music. Playing percussion since age 9 and highly influenced by jazz, Wa performed in the University of Oregon Marching band and in The Dalles Theatre Company. In 1992, he was selected to the Columbia River Gorge McDonald’s All Star Jazz Group, performing clinics at selected venues as a way for students to gain exposure to jazz.

Guitarist and bassist for the band, Tim Gibson has played for years and has been involved in many musical projects including work with The Dalles Theatre Company as both performer and make-up artist. His theatrical credits include productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Stop The World I Want To Get Off. Tim also plays piano, sax, trumpet, trombone, and is involved in keyboards and programming.

Raven is keyboardist, vocalist and lyricist for the band and is involved in programming as well. Also an artist, she works with Wa in the creation of the bands album and poster art. Self taught in music and art, she recalls always having drawn and as a kid being particularly fond of doing collage. She now enjoys drawing on the computer through various art programs that are available. As for Raven’s artistic inspiration, “I’m all about books.” she says. “Everything that I read comes out in my music and my art.”

Currently the band is promoting their new album with live shows in addition to getting radio support over the internet and airplay through programs like Area 54 and on KMCQ 104.5 FM. They recently played the Portside Pub in The Dalles, but plan on performing more all-ages shows.

In the band’s pursuit to promote knowledge through music, WA notes that they are trying to open up opportunities for other all-ages groups, and for people to see art. “I don’t think of us as a bar band- that we’re selling alcohol. We’re actually artists selling different visions of life, and if we can rock your butt off at the same time, well that’s great!!”

Wednesday
Jan302002

The Dalles Chronicle reviews Deprogramming

The Dalles Chronicle

“Dead Poets Society’s newest shows growth” by Rodger Nichols

Dead Poet Society’s second CD shows a band expanding their art, with the assurance that comes from popular acceptance of their first release, “The Electric Haze”.

One fan said of the first album, “I love to listen to it when I’m training. The music is slow and builds up a harmony between the body and the soul. I think we can all use some more of that…”

With DEPROGRAMMING, the band has done just that, and added excellent vocals to their electronic/goth mix.

This is sophisticated, post-modern music that samples from a rich menu of influences. There are subtle themes from the Middle East, the samisen music of Japan, European techno-pop, hints of echoing Enya choruses, and orchestral instrumentation. In addition, the group has sampled sound effects from sirens and squealing tires to jet engines warming up.

The brooding, ominous cello sounds at the beginning of “Strung Out” are perfectly suited to the opening credits of a sophisticated horror film, while the pounding drums that open “Massacre” are simply superb.

Repeated listenings reward the listener, revealing intriguing juxtapositions, complex layers and deft subtleties.

With DEPROGRAMMING, Dead Poets Society have moved into another level of expertise. We hope that future efforts will include more experimentation with vocals, given the intriguing lyrics presented here.