Snuttock is a duo comprising Christopher Lee, founding member of the long-deceased Progressive Metal act Thought Industry, who relocated, toured and got busy lots with several other projects in the last decade, gained experience in the company of Skinny Puppy, and Bryan Lee.
"Endless Rituals" came out in 2013 and was actually a mix of those genres, but this double CD in a DVD case we're reviewing is a patchwork of remixes of those songs from different artists in the EBM area (Leæther Strip, Marsheaux, Psy'Aviah, Amarta Project, [:SITD:], The Rorschach Garden, StatiK SeKt, Retrogramme, The Metroland Protocol, Sebastian Komor, Red This Ever, TweakerRay, Just One Fix, L'Avenir Moonlight, Diskodiktator and Deutsche Bank Machine) and contains only very few Rock elements, just like the original 2013 material.
The lyrics deal with stress of social conventions and obligations, a drunk attention junkie, a manipulative partner, a ghost's feelings, the demise of our dear, an unstable romantic relationship, isolation and incapacity of relations with people in the flesh because of tech devices' addiction and numbing, and finally learning good and bad things.
After a radio intro, the first CD begins with "Advice", a Synthpop grumble with male and female vocals, while the following "We Learn" joins the rhythmic glacial martiality with the charming refrain that made the fortune of many Skynny Puppy's songs. Just a real hypnotic marvel!
Gifted with deep dancefloor bass beats and magnetic vocals, "Spitting into the Wind" is one of the highlights of this lengthy album.
After an intermezzo, "Ghost" arrives in airy solidity in order to lead us to another dimension, helped by mellifluous female vocals in the background and dreamy arrangements; later a group of female vocals dissimilar to the previous ones tremble playing the lead.
A further radiophonic interlude prepares us for "People Too", a song containing sturdy bass beats and robot vocals catch the attention. Excellent synth adaptations first and piano lines later appear to be the icy on the cake.
"Single Cell Antennae" is robotic Darkwave embellished by wonderful arrangements and sounds; weird and a tad horrorific.
Another interlude and then room is made for "Nameless", where modern synths and thumping fast beats remind 80's Synthpop and mainstream Dance music. Unfortunately this is not one of my favourites, since it doesn't sound as well-built and conceived as the others.
"Attention", here credited as "Attention Deficit" takes the listener back towards sinister Electro structures, to which are added effected spoken words, singing on computerized sounds and sampled guitars.
The last radio-styled insert comperes a different version of "Single Cell Antennae", in which a riot of effects on the layer of keyboards is what you have to expect on first listen. It is decidedly the most elaborate, yet not stilted, composition of the first CD and it never ceases to surprise thanks to the endless variations, admixtures and rhythm changes.
After five minutes' silence is a hidden track made by almost Gregorian chants with a strong echo.
The second CD contains 15 tracks and kicks off after the usual radio introduction with a second, more danceable version of "We Learn", until it's time for the pounding "Crawl", a dancefloor song containing vaguely menacious vocals.
Also "Advice" is now in a fashion more suitable for dance and includes additional female vocals duetting with the male ones, afterwards Claus Larsen from Danish legendary project Leæther Strip announces his powerful and slightly morbid version of "Attention"; pure Electro-Industrial whipping rules the pace! Close to Kraftwerk and other combos from the 80s, and therefore so meaningful and involving, it is one of the songs I like to play loudest and is accompanied by an official video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zix8lU-EJZI).
Nth interlude of the host and here comes the third version of "Single Cell Antennae", worth alone the buying of the CDs due to the stunning sounds and multifold arrangements, all perfectly
chosen and fit for the impression meant to create, by giving life to imaginary soundscapes matched with robotic vocals.
I didn't expect it, but here is an extremely gloomy version of "People Too", reminding certain atmospheres of Royksopp; right off is another surprise: a Rock version of "Spitting into the Wind", featuring guitars and almost human drums, but also ethereal and electronic arrangements meant to deck and complete the recipe. This one is paired by a video, too:
After an intermezzo similar to a broadcast test the music starts again with the sharp beating sustaining this version of "Crawl", repetitive and lysergic, almost totally instrumental. There are additional hammering pulses interspersed with simple and obsessive vocals.
Between cosmic echoes and a robotized voice, which will be effected differently later, the new version of "Attention" gets underway surrounded by lively fat synths and an array of male and female vocals till a base gets playing bringing to the memory canons of the 90s.
The last intermezzo preludes a new composition, "Plastic Girls" connecting itself without circumlocutions to the most remarkable Dark-Electro.
If you're a veteran Rocker with an open mind like me you might assimilate, understand and in the end enjoy the vast majority of these tracks and all of the ornaments, sounds and patterns chosen here; if you're a lover of Dark-Electro-Wave your search is over: make the playing of this monumental double album happen in your CD player.
All of the remixes enjoy a professional production but if
you have a subwoofer like me you are going to enjoy it far more, guaranteed!