Ataraxia - _Paris Spleen_
(Cold Meat Industry, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Imagine a circus in mainland Europe at the turn of the century, the sort with attractions that would fascinate Diane Arbus (the focus of the movie "Fur") -- not the manufactured weirdness of the Jim Rose circus. Combine this with the risqué cabaret of Moulin Rouge as viewed through the greenish hallucinogenic haze of absinthe. Filter in a fair amount of decadence and some literary pretensions (courtesy of Baudelaire's "Le Spleen de Paris", from which much of the lyrics are taken) and the reader should have a fair idea of what to expect.

Ably assisted by the drama company CircuZ Kump, this has resulted in a highly variable and unpredictable release which, like a circus, juxtaposes a variety of disparate elements under a common, unifying umbrella. For example, one song is reminiscent of folkish jesters Sopor Aeternus, while another features a passage that is essentially a very disturbing take on ska. (Perhaps the surprising aspect is not the emergence of such sounds, but that they actually work and don't detract from the cohesiveness of the album.)

Recommended for those willing to take a trip down the (debauched) left hand path.


(article published 16/3/2007)

10/1/1998 P Schwarz 6 Ataraxia - Historiae
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