Review Summary: An eclectic composition of electro industrial that should not go unnoticed by any fan of industrial or electronic music
Blue Stahli (real name Bret Autrey) is one of those individualists who tries to push the boundaries of industrial and electronic music, or at the very least mix a load of different genres and sounds into one melting pot of industrial music. Under the wing of Celldweller's Klayton, Autrey has been working on his newest project (or alter ego, take it how you will) Blue Stahli since 2007, Antisleep Vol. 01
being the first testament of the man’s superb mixing and producing skills as well as creativity and imagination. Just take "Disco Punks On Jolt" for example – who on earth, besides Autrey of course, would think of mixing country-like guitars with dancy beats and glitchy effects?
Antisleep Vol. 01
is musically a very varied album. The one thing present throughout the album is industrial undertone, but besides that, every track here has something new and different to offer. Some songs, like "Leadfoot Getaway" and "OVERklock", are industrial rockers while others, like "Doublequick" and "The Ultimate", are almost straight-up poppy electro. And then there are the oddballs, like the already mentioned "Disco Punks On Jolt", which sounds like a bunch of gay cowboys conducting an electro-revolution in their local pub for the shock of the country band currently performing, or "High Heeled Low Life" which has sort of a cheesy, late '80s disco feel to it while also containing Autrey's trademark poppy industrial undertone. And then there are also songs that are near impossible to qualify, such as the closer track, "The Perfect Heist", which has a squeaky clean piano mixed alongside rumbling, yet friendly sounding, bass lines and mid-protruding soft beats. Most of those hard-to-qualify songs will end up under the tag "experimental industrial" This state of being an extremely mixed bag, while being fun as hell to listen to and never losing its appeal, is also a reason why this Blue Stahli project has been somewhat criticised.
From alternative reviews I read for this album, I gathered that other critics tend to think Antisleep Vol. 01
is too eclectic and sounds a bit disjointed while also lacking a definite theme. Well, they are right about the theme part, which this album undoubtedly does lack, but as for consistency– if you’re looking for consistency in sound on an album, then yes, this may sound disjointed, but regarding flow, this album runs oh so smoothly from start to finish. Looking through my eyes, the eclectic nature of Antisleep Vol. 01
only gives to the album. Also, this is quite clearly an album meant for having fun; an album you would usually use as background music, or go crazy over when played live. Antisleep Vol. 01
isn't the kind of album one should look for substance from and this mainly goes for the whole genre (not that this could be categorized in any other way, than experimental-poppy-electro-industrial-meets-alt-rock) .
Although a bit messy and even overly glossy at times, Blue Stahli's debut album does exactly what it needs to – it provides good, fun, no-bounds industrial music, and in the club, this record will most definitely get the crowd moving. Here’s to hoping Blue Stahli’s 2010 follow-up will live up to Antisleep Vol. 01.