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Sin.Sin - Fairytronics

Sin.Sin - CD Review




CD Info
Alpha Matrix
6 tracks
English lyrics

If you are a fan of Belgium’s Lovelorn Dolls, a band I’ve covered a couple of times here on Sonic Cathedral, you might be interested in this side project of the Dolls’ lead singer, Kristell Lowagie. Lots of bands I follow in the female fronted realm of harder music have side projects where they create opportunities for themselves to explore different sounds, moods, and subject matter. Lovelorn Dolls is an edgy and dark project exploring the bleaker aspects of human nature with a haunting and even angry flavour. It’s electro Gothic rock in sound, but with Sin.Sin Kristell mellows out her feelings and her sound, and the result is a gentler electro-pop product with less edge but the same soul.

Fairytronics is an EP recently released consisting of three original songs by Kristell, with a further remixing of two to of the songs to make up a six-track CD. Sometimes I find it difficult to review something that is so short and has repetitive content like remixes; there is inherently less to say about such a release than a full-length, that’s for sure. But I liked this EP a lot, which is why I decided to run with a review.

The first track is called “These Pretty Things,” and the album has one remix of it in addition to the original. With heavy bass-y undertones and a light synth melody, this song, with it’s club music feel and some distortion on its lower end, is a bouncy tune with tons of atmosphere that even got me feeling like I wanted to fling myself around my tiny apartment a bit. Kristell sings its choruses and recites the verses in a harsh whisper, adding to it’s mood. Lyrically, as with Lovelorn Dolls’ material, the song has an edge, describing the little, subtle things that happen when two people are attracted to each other. And it’s not all fun; some of it is awkward and “weird.” This little indication of something not being all it’s cracked up to be is what I meant when I said this album has a similar soul to the Lovelorn Dolls’ material.

The remix of “These Pretty Things”, called the “Restriction 9” remix, is an even more electronic version of the tune, with higher synths and less bottom end, and a few sound effects to boot. It’s pretty good, but I did like the first version better.

Secondly, we have “Moving Sands.” This is a bit slower in tempo, and the vocal line provides most of the melodic elements in it, except in the chorus. The lines “I’m in a zone of moving sands/I’m falling and falling all over again/Nothing makes sense, is important tonight” is kind of the gist of the verses, but the chorus reveals a bit of a darker aspect, as she reveals “The only one that’s standing in disguise/The only one so scared by the bright side/The only one so completely mad inside.” With this madness, this brought to mind for me an Alice in Wonderland-ish something or other happening, as in another chorus the singer describes a distorted version of herself shrinking and growing, being confused, and limbs that are out of proportion...like she’s imbibed an hallucinogenic substance. It’s a cool song.

“Moving Sands” has two remixes, the “Radiograph Remix” and the “Naiya Cominos piano edit”. The former is a bit more up-tempo, and the latter is a piano version. This version is very well done, and I liked it a lot. I like a simple piano accompaniment, otherwise unembellished, combined with just a vocal track, which in this case has a bit of an echoey effect which gave it an ethereal quality. It’s slow and has the feel of a ballad, and it’s probably my favourite track on the EP.

The third song is the “Cosmic Battlefield Mix” of “Lost in Lies.” It’s another dance-y kind of tune suitable for a club, though it’s not super energetic when it comes to tempo. This is probably the most forgettable song on the EP for me; it just didn’t stick with me the way the other two songs did.

What I liked about this release overall was that it showed a mellow side of the writer and composer, and the more subtle messaging of the lyrics. Kristell as a vocalist sounds great, as usual; I have always enjoyed her voice. I also liked that it was quite distinct in sound and content from Lovelorn Dolls’ stuff and I didn’t feel like I was listening to that band at all - something I always fear when a particular member of a band goes and does a side project. Some artists only know how to do one thing really well, but I don’t think that is the case here. This EP shows the versatility of Kristell, and I liked that about it a lot, too.

I encourage fans of the Lovelorn Dolls and of Kristell, and of electro-pop in general, to check out Fairytronics; I think you will find it to be a great addition to Kristell’s body of work. And, according to Facebook, a full-length is possible, so I am looking forward to that.