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Amateur God: Near Life Experience

Amateur is the proper term here; Near Life Experience is essentially a collection of loose instrumentals, half of which feature unremarkable vocals by the god himself, Blaz Erzetic. Erzetic composes and performs on digital synthesizers, and guest vocalist Junko Ikehata appears on one track. The compositions are simple, often to the point of being monotonous, and don't necessarily follow a verse-chorus scheme while being neither abstract nor cacophonic. Near Life Experience sounds like the musical daydream of a high school student who's gone terribly goth. Pieces like "Monument," "Pocket Brain," "Fear Me," "X-Whiles," etc., suggest that this album was recorded in a painfully short amount of time. Furthermore, much of the Experience is akin to a young person gleefully sketching ideas onto a sequencer and adding random bits during playback. The piano motif of "Apple Tree" is sloppily executed, and the heavily-effected spoken-word vocals which are intended to scarify do exactly the opposite. The lyrics are the musings of a mind trying out various sizes of depressed tube socks—a sample: My neighbor hung himself/On the apple tree in blossom/Spring was always his favorite season.

To be "Even More Human" is conveyed by a gracious 4/4 drum machine beat and notes played on various synth presets. Had Mark Shreeve—the British synthesist who dealt the world of electronic music a pair of aces with his landmark synthrock albums, Legion and Crash Head—been a lobotomite, he may have produced the likes of this. The swishy Korg strings of "Waiting To Go Inside Something" sound for all of forty-four seconds before the track counter begins for "Hunter," the cut which features Ikehata's [Japanese] vocal—this doesn't last long before more sonic molasses creeps forth. "It Was Always Dark Here" sounds like a thematic outtake from the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise—and lo! More lyrics of the heartfelt kind: It was always dark here/So dark I could hardly see/Blind fate, product of naivety. Processed vox, naturally, to achieve that distinctly faux-evil tone.

Should Mr. Erzetic seek to continue issuing pressed CDs (because this album could've been released as a CDR and much money would've been saved), he needs, not necessarily in this order: a lyricist; a vocalist; a drummer; a producer; better synths (or some effects boxes); additional musicians; a professional recording studio with professional recording technology; and honing those rusty chops a bit wouldn't hurt, either. Aside from all this, certain pet projects are best kept inside the bedroom or living room.

Added: July 13th 2003
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: Wampus Multimedia
Hits: 3025
Language: english

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