ARTIST: PURPLE FOG SIDE
TITLE: “Could It Ever Be Expressed?”
CATALOGUE#: SPR 049
FORMAT: CD, jewel case
RELEASE DATE: 09.2007
OFFICIAL SITE: http://purplefog.darkside.ru
02. War In My Head
03. Tear. Drop. Fall
05. Chinese Theater
06. Could It Ever Be Expressed?
07. The Bowl
08. The Place
10. Ruin Dancers
11. No Water
14. Gone (Hard2Know/Cyclotimia remix)
15. Tear. Drop. Fall (Haloed Ghost remix)
Shadowplay presents a brand new album of Russian darkwave/synth-goth scene veterans - Purple Fog Side. It will be out after seven years of silence since the last album, at the same day. Balancing on the edge of sometimes violent and straight-out cyber-aesthetics and melancholic melodism creates unique, almost full picture of moods of today's man. Besides dark and gloomy tones, this work can be marked for absence of suicidal tendencies and moods. Here great dancefloor bombs seamlessly co-exist with mellow ballads for evening loneliness. Apart the album tracks this release contains explosive mix by Hard2Know (from industrial band Cyclotimia) and aggressive TBM mix of Russian synth-darkwave project Haloed Ghost.
The score doesn't matter... Every new day there is the same scheme: a new level, new people, new monsters and new nightmares. Is it possible to find a place where this scheme stops working? Are real feelings just bonuses in this game?
Every day you cut your heart and drop pieces of it into reality hoping... You walk along the noisy streets but hear silence... Why does it happen? Why am I here? Why not there? Could it ever be expressed? Sure. You'll win in this computer game.
‘Intro’ sets the tone for this Russian Electro/Goth/Industrial hybrid, because there’s a pulse, there’s vocal nuances and an artistic ambience to the whole thing without it being atonal washes or faddish noir fun. ‘War In My Head’ rattles along with a grizzled lyrical tone, like early Depeche Mode emerging from a storm drain, resolutely poppy but cutely dishevelled. ‘Tear.Drop.Fall’ is a compelling dance sexpot basted in anguish.
‘Gone’ is disappointingly bland, especially considering the sour lyrics, but the pretty, bubbling ‘Could It Ever Be Expressed?’ carries you along in a sporty fashion, lithe and linear albeit still lightweight. ‘United’ is twitchier and darker, skittery and portly, with ‘Chinese Theatre’ more dramatic, decorated by little synths splashes, surges and ridged rhythm nodules, the female vocals swooping, the mood obliquely strange. ‘The Bowl’ is gooey with haughty crooning and switching the tectonic plates from succulent swirls to stark confrontation heightens the mood although it’s actually too busy for me to pay much heed to the vocals. ‘The Place’ again has a stronger impact when female vocals kick in, the rigid sounds stodgy with anger, and ‘Ruin Dancers’ finds the male vocals suddenly sleeker and more interesting for their gracious touches, as the song takes emotive wing and flies off, glazed and bemused over a cool landscape, so we’re moving into richer territory.
‘No Water’ is a twinkly streamlined doof tangle, enjoyably ticklish, and the seductively moody ‘Absent’ with conspiratorial breathy vocals and a very furtive rhythm pulls you in deeper, only for ‘Outro’ with somewhat chaotic beats to slide off out of view with a vocal wash and ambient contusions. There’s remixes of ‘Gone’ and ‘Tear.Drop.Fall’ and we’re done, and once again the Russian variant strikes me as more unusual in its range than most European hybrids. (Pop back later you’ll find me reviewing CDs from Magikbrite and the Six Dead Bulgarians vs Moon Far Away, recommended for the intrepid explorer.)
It is the breadth of this record which works for me, because the immediate impression isn’t overwhelming, but repeated plays tease out becoming details.
"Roon", Area 51 Records 1998
"Neototemism", JT Records 2000
"Krasota. Zdorovje. Schastje" MP3-album, JT Records 2006 (2002)
"Could It Ever Be Expressed?", Shadowplay Records 2007
Stillife "Memories" track "The Wait (PFS Mix)", Irond 2005
Iva "Dreams" track: "Angel (PFS Mix)", Misteriya Zvuka 2005
V/A "Project Pitchfork - Russian Existence" track:"Carrion", Project Pitchfork/Qcode 2005
V/A "Colours of Black: Russian dark scene Compilation vol.2" track: "War In My Head", Shadowplay Records 2006