Review Summary: A great collaboration between darkwave band, Collide, and electronica/shoegaze artist Dean Garcia of Curve.
seemed to virtually disappear from the music world I was bummed. They were one of the better darkwave/industrial bands I had heard, and their vocalist, Karin, had a unique and cool voice. So you could imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this band which is a collaboration between the members of Collide and Dean Garcia of Electronica/Shoegaze band Curve
. It seems safe to assume that a majority of people have no idea who these bands are, so with that in mind, I am going to move forward with the review as if this were a totally new band without any past to reference.
The Secret Meeting plays an interesting blend of darkwave and electronica, with an emphasis on Karin’s lush and delicate vocals. The music is often slow and mellow with darkwave-inspired synths contrasted with slow, groovy beats, occasional guitar sounds (they lack the form to truly be called riffs), and ambient noises. Karin’s breathy, almost erotic, vocals are often layered with indistinct chanting and reverberating vocal harmonies which gives a lot of the songs an ethereal, almost dark, new age quality. It’s not a sound that has never been done before, but the band pulls it off better then most.
Almost every song embodies the above characteristics, but standout tracks would include “Am I Here” with its trip-hop beat, dark vibe, subdued, distorted guitar sounds, and Karin’s vocals which are truly alive with subtle sensuality. Another song worth noting is “Beautiful Noise Machine” which takes its guitar influence directly from bands such as Slowdive
, with its use of a full, lush, melodic sound that is dripping in echo and fuzzy effects and is played over a chill groove, soft electronics and has one of the more memorable choruses as well.
While up until this point I have had nothing but good things to say about this band and album, there are a few things that some may see as a problem. The main issue that some may encounter is that due to the mellow nature of the songs that emphasize atmosphere over catchiness, by the end of the album you may not be able to think of any one track that you actually were able to retain in your mind. With repeated listens that problem slowly dissipates, but the listener must be willing to give the album the multiple listens and attention it requires first.
Overall, as the rating suggests, I am very happy with this album as it has everything I liked about Collide, wrapped in the more delicate sounds of trip-hop and shoegaze. The sensuous vocals of Karin have never sounded better, and the increased focus she receives in the form of multiple layers and experimental chants sets this to a new standard for her. Musically, the lush new age feel of the electronics, mixed with Slowdive-inspired guitar sounds, contrasted with the gloomier sounds associated with darkwave is near perfect, and we can only hope that this wasn’t just a one-album side project.