V/A – Vier Factor #1

A cd combining four singles from four different bands, with four tracks each. It’s a release by the American Dancing Ferret label, which specializes in clubfriendly music ranging from synthpop to gothic rock to darkwave. The cd is a good way to promote these bands, though I’m not sure if many people will like all four acts.

The Cruxshadows have become quite popular, and ‘Return’ has certainly hit potential as usual. A catchy melody, accessible beats which make you stamp your feet, smooth melodic vocals and a few surprising elements like violin sounds in the refrain. Good synthetic popmusic. No less than three versions are present here. The mix by Neuroticfish takes some time to built up, before breaking loose with a very danceable beat and almost trance sound. The previously unreleased ‘Dream yourself awake’ is a slower piece, with even some cheerful trumpets. Not too interesting though.

Next is, to my surprise, the Dutch act The Dreamside. In the past I quite liked their ethereal darkwave. Later their music became increasing rock elements. ‘Somewhere before’ starts with a tranquil guitar and the nice voice of Kemi Vita. later things get more bombastic, with filmic choir sounds and more dramatic singing. Certainly a good and moving song, with ethereal and classical elements. The next song ‘Spin moon magic’ starts with classical synth sounds, but it does not take long before heavy guitars enter. The vocals remind more of a rockband here. Not really my taste. Perhaps it can appeal to the growing legion of Within Temptation fans and other goth metal acts. Of both tracks also remixes are present. Fellow dutchmen Angels & Agony manage to turn ‘Somewhere before’ into a stompin’ futurepop hit. I like the remix of Spin Moon Magig more than the orginal, the guitars have been replaced by electronica.

Third act present is Paralysed Age, a name I only vaguely knew. ‘Berenice’ is a rather straightforward rock track, with some postpunk influences. ‘Raindance’ is slower and more mysterious, with a Cure-like guitar sound and some atmospheric sounds. Decent, nothing spectacular. Futher there is a catchy synthpop mix by Iris of ‘Berenice’. Bittersweet is apparantly the sequel to Berenice. The female vocals are a nice asset, but the heavy guitars/synths in the refrain are very bombastic.

Final Dancing Ferret act on this compilation is ThouShaltNot. ‘Cardinal Directions’ is one of the best tracks of their album “The white beyond”. Accessible synthetic popmusic with good melodies & vocals and a variety of sounds. More sensitive is ‘100 generations’, in a not too fast remix by Hungry Lucy, reminding me of Alphaville. The unreleased ‘The final Year’ contains some modern breakbeats, which contrast with the melodic vocals. As the song evolves more elements and styles are added in this eclectic song. The cd is finished with a Stromkern remix of ‘Cardinal Directions’, which I find a little less appealing than the original.

artist: V/A
label: Dancing Ferret Discs
details: 16 tracks [DFD20923]