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Sizzle “LTDA”

The Ceiling (Ca.) website, Winter 2001 :
An interesting and hypnotic mixture of trip-hop, dark noise and melodies, modified bizarre sounds, and danceable beats from the little-known but always interesting French group. Imagine the wayward experimentations of Dome transplanted to the new millennium, and you may get an idea of the directions of this CD.

Metamorphic Journeyman (Bel.) e-mag, June 2002 :
This album is split into two parts (“Le Territoire Des Ames I & II”) comprising five segmented ‘tracks’ on each. However each piece runs into the next, making for a smooth, ever-transforming listening experience. It brings to mind the self-indulgent sprawls of FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON with the tight Dubby in-yer-face-ness of “Evanescence”-period SCORN. There are passages here which bring early NEW ORDER to mind, with simple guitar motifs hung in the air as querying shapes. I feel the album works best when it gets down to warm, dark mood music – certainly the ponderous bass-trawl of the sixth track has a rich depth which sets it ahead of many who have chosen to follow this style – unhurried, yet never too late at introducing new events to the mix; and the gloriously deep, soporific ninth piece, which would might have made an alternative soundtrack to some of the dreamier segues in LYNCH’s “Elephant Man” – particularly while he is still being paraded out at the freak show – a diaphanous dream-haze which seems to stimulate images of musical boxes and calliope, even ‘though they use no such sounds. And lastly the warm blanket of the concluding track which creates a simple spider’s web of guitar while nodding towards the like of late 70’s TANGERINE DREAM.Some parts of this album are self-indulgent ventures into found sounds set over skeletal rhythms – voices both processed and raw, scrapes and others.This is one of those albums which are not so much a collection of songs as a passage through a variety of different soundscapes.

Empty (Fr.) newsletter issue #8, December 2003 :
Quiet & melodic & low end/lofi dub ambient made circa 1999 by a french duo. I only has this record last week and these people live 40 km away from me. And i’ve been in touch with System Corrupt (who live in Australia) for 4 years now. All tracks are mixed into one another and it all sure makes you think of Muslimgauze or Astron or the quietest moments of Techno Animal : you could find worst references. Sad tunes you can whistle, beats you can slowly wave your body to and few vocal samples “comment Ça va ? pas très bien…” : music for grim monday morning breakfasts and it’s raining outside and why should i go to work.

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Sizzle “Natural Elements”

The Ceiling (Ca.) webpromo, Winter 2001 :
The follow-up to LTDA finds Sizzle compacting the experiments into easier bite-sized pieces. Catchy, moody, yet nonetheless very strange, Natural Elements may be the best place to start with this French group.

Metamorphic Journeyman (Bel.) e-mag, June 2002 :
When I first put this CDR on, I almost groaned at the opening piece – a plodding, ponderous piece of music which should have heralded the most dire of post-New Wave Art efforts. Thankfully however, this was merely a ruse to throw the listener off the true scent. For when SIZZLE fade the slowed to drugged dreamstate voice in, with rich warm bass, shimmering metal-coloured sequencer and harmonic layered keyboards, the true journey through this changeable wonderland begins in earnest.After the cumbersome opening, you might wonder if NICK BULLEN had not signed his divorce papers in the blood from that beer glass, this track may indeed have been where post – “Evanescence” SCORN may have been heading – less intense in structure, with a strong Jazzy undercurrent and a hypnotic insistance.From here the journey heads into machine-like Industrial loops which manage to blend the harsh with deep sonics to make this by turns cold & harsh, and seductively passive. There are definite moments where HAMPSON’s MAIN seem to be present in spirit – a sense of imminent change – a potent potential hangs in the air – the possibility of sudden change taking us to new and exciting places.SIZZLE take us on an odyssey of the imagination – unafraid to blend machine-logic with warmth of layered instruments, they come up with a music which transmutes from beligerant intensity to a lulling calm. More often than not this is rather simplistic, reducing the composition to one core sound which is nevertheless complex within itself.

Red Neon website (Be.), February 2004 :
Here is a perfect example of an album unacheived : there are good ideas but there is too much times when you said to yourself, that nothing’s hapening. A new and rerecorded version can be interesting. Sounds and concepts are interesting but i must say i didn’t like it in it’s actual format.

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v/a: “Assortiment de F.H.”

Fear Drop (Fr.) magazine #8, Spring 2001 :
Contrairement à beaucoup de compilation CD-R, celle-ci n’est pas un simple reflet d’une scène locale. Si plusieurs morceaux ont été composés par la “famille” de coeur du label (Le K., Somniak, Scars XS), de nombreux artistes internationaux ont été invités dans cette aventure aux multiples détours électroniques. Des plus lumineuses aux plus sombres, toutes les heures d’un soleil de synthèse ont été représentées. Les amateurs de chaleur s’attarderont d’abord sur les climats tempérés des morceaux des formations précitées (superbe titre dub claquant de Somniak sur le CD 1), pour une exposition maximale avec les oasis chromés de Ras-Al-Ghul. Aux Étages crépusculaires, les alambics de La Kuizine rappelleront les torsions de Myase ; les étincelles fugitives et lumineuses de The Infant Cycle permettront la nyctalopie. Pour des scènes en obscurité totale, on goûtera les plages présentant Delphium (nouvelle version d’un très ancient morceau) et son alter ego erratique Children Of Asmodeus, le morceau le plus abyssal de Mimetic (ici Case), ou encore l’atelier douloureux et mécanisé de Sisygambis. Longue promenade à luminosité variable, cette compilation rétablit l’attention sur les tendances les moins minimales de l’électronique sombre. On se réjouit de retrouver une vue colorée, de parcourir à nouveau le spectre digital déverrouillé.

Metamorphic Journeyman (Bel.) e-mag, June 2002 :
Compilations have the strength of diversity granted to them automatically – rare indeed do you find a collection of artists in one area without at least one or two tracks which make the album worth buying. And it often seems to be the case that artists find their true strength when surrounded on either side of a playlist by their peers. Often, as is the case with this album, the sum total album far outweighs the strength of the individual parts – and strong some of these parts are.I’m going to find it impossible to get through this review without making reference to another project which indeed is a kind of ongoing compilation. Once I decided how close to DIVINATION’s sound this was, I could not resist comparing it to “Akasha”. And hold your breath for this – this album seems to go much much further. Like DIVINATION, this collection spans the diverse tractless space between post-EBM Electronic music and strange, abstract soundscapes.The sparse separation between one ‘vocal’ track and another makes me think a little of THIS MORTAL COIL, where large areas were instrumental, and although the appearance of a human voice was always welcome, you never felt the urge to click through the intervening soundscapes.Certainly it would be nice to analyse this album through some kind of microscope, dissecting each track, squeezing the essential substance from each piece, and if I ever get time I will make it my duty to probe every corner. However, viewing the album as a whole, successful journey is so much more rewarding.Before moving on, as is the ruminant grazing nature of a reviewer, I just have to mention the cover, which obviously took a great deal of effort to create. You delve inside layer after layer to expose the CDs, individually packaged in a small paper sleeve. To Be Continued….