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Sudakow, James/Eric Zimmermann: There Is No Sound In Space

For those of you who do not know, James Sudakow is a classically trained violinist relatively new on the music scene and Eric Zimmerman is the guitar player of the band Under-Radio. Their new cd is a collaborative effort that marries a heavy industrial sound with spacey electronica creating a pretty unique musical endeavor. Sudakow provides the violin while Zimmerman lends his hand with guitar, programming, engineering and production. Sudakow has a unique style of playing creating everything from clean melodic filled lines to distorted bursts of rhythmic chaos. He sites Hendrix has an influence and it is not hard to hear why. I never would have thought creating feedback with a violin could sound so nice. Zimmerman also has a major hand here, matching Sudakows' violin work with powerful chords, distortion filled leads and clean picking that adds a nice contrast to the heavier parts. While there are not a lot of instruments played on the album the sound is quite full. These musicians do an admirable job of getting the most out of their respective instruments. In a strange way some of this reminds me of King Crimson, not so much in the sound but in the way they use angular rhythms and chaotic melodies. Another influence is clearly Nine Inch Nails, especially on the more industrial influenced tracks. Some of the programmed drum beats even reminded me of early Dépêche Mode, but again, the actual music does not sound like that band. I am normally not a fan of programmed drums but in this format it actually works fairly well.

While at times you will be barraged with sound, these musicians are also able to add a subtle nuance to some of these songs by creating space between the notes in some of the cleaner sections. As far as individual songs are concerned, it is hard to pick them from an album of this nature as this music needs to be heard beginning to end. I suppose if I had to list a couple of favourites, the clean violin play during "Strange Orange Glow" is very nice and the violin melody in "The Greatest Life I've Ever Known" subtly reminded me of "Within You Without You" by The Beatles. The clean guitar work in combination with distorted chords also works nicely.

For those interested in industrial influenced music infused with a spacey electronic vibe There Is No Sound In Space should fill that void rather nicely. Enjoy…

Track Listing:
1. Hail the Victorious Dead
2. When I am King
3. There is no Sound in Space
4. Stardusted
5. Moment Of Silence
6. Waiting For a Miracle
7. Strange Orange Glow
8. The Greatest Life I've Ever Known

Added: March 31st 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1930
Language: english

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Sudakow, James/Eric Zimmermann: There Is No Sound In Space
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-03-31 07:44:59
My Score:

Intriguing collaboration between electric violinist James Sudakow and guitarist Eric Zimmerman (Under Radio), There Is No Sound In Space is an entirely instrumental work that takes in eight pieces that fuse ambient vibes with industrial overtures and makes for a unique listening experience. It is extremely unlikley that you will have heard the violin utilised in such a way before as Sudakow wields it like Hendrix with his white Strat to create some explosive effects that ranges from subtle melodies to chaotic riffing complete with wild distortion and feedback.

Zimmerman's role should not be underestimated as he not only provides guitar but additionally is responsible for engineering, production and programming. Whilst the programmed drums are used only to complement the lead instruments it would have been interesting to see how a "live" drummer would have fitted in with the duo, something which may become evident should they decide to take There Is No Sound In Space on the road. Highlights include the pulsating electronica of "When I Am King" which is set against a heavy backdrop of industrial rhythms and the altogether more soothing overtones of "Strange Orange Glow" where Sudakow solos wildly to dramatic effect, punctuated by Zimmerman's contemporary riffing.

An eclectic hybrid that works extremely well.

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