Published on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 14:06
Album title: The Border Crossing
Release date: 15 May 2015
Label: Surgical Knife Records (self-released)
1. The Speed Of Dark
2. Dangerous Games
3. Rapture (They Won't Care)
4. Suzanne And The Sea Of Souls
5. Evil Machine
7. Hunting 2015
8. After The Rain
9. Mil Pedazos
Valencia based duet Pronoise is not a newcomer on the dark music scene, but many years have passed since we last heard of them (and at this point I shamefully admit, that up until their very last release – the one I will be dissecting in my further writing – I did not know about their musical endeavours), a few words won't do any harm. The duet was formed back in 1996 by Nacho Artax and Javi Andreu, two long-time friends, who decided to pour their passion for music into creativity and so a year later their debut, Low Light Vision, was released. In 2000 its successor, La Fiesta Trieste, saw the light of a day and since then a long hiatus followed, up until 2013, when they decided to re-release their debut. This year, Pronoise managed to pull off a crowdfunding campaign and so a brand new musical creation, under the title The Border Crossing, was released. And the name says it all, practically, because the musical style on this 9-track album crosses so many borders.
With one half of the duet being more inclined to dark rock and post-punk music, and the other feeling more at home in the field of dark electronics, you can only imagine these two worlds symbiotically intertwine throughout the entire record. With dark electronic beats carrying the essential groove, this album serves the listener with so many stylistical collisions, intertwining elements which go all the way from post-punk, goth rock, dark rock through darkwave and also EBM and industrial music, while carrying emotional and sometimes even very aerial charge. The opening "The Speed Of Dark" is an eerie and intro and nicely opens up the door into a realm of obscure, but danceable tunes. Pounding basslines and somehow distant vocal work alongside electronic sampling create an enchanting and overwhelming melody, which will engulf you from head to toe. Choosing this song as an intro really was a good idea, because once you have a taste of its shivering energy and fluid dynamics, you'll just simply want and have to explore more. The following "Dangerous Games" is probably the most representative track of what this duet really is about, because it has Pronoise written all over it. A 7 minute lasting song incorporates each and every of the aforementioned styles, with a very vintage-sounding vibe and also a pinch of cinematic, even horror-esque ambient wrapping it up. On the other hand, songs such as "Evil Machine" and "Hunting 2015" (this song was originally released on their debut) serve to another purpose and move away from the 80s, retro sound, as they both deliver a strong industrial, futuristic, almost a bit science-fictionish groove. And yes, Pronoise can go deeper as well, which results in a darkwavish and wonderfully hypnotizing little masterpiece, "After The Rain", a song with a dense, melancholic atmosphere and mesmerizing sensations, which became my favourite tune on The Border Crossing in an instant. Its ambient somehow drew a fluid motion of grey shadows in my mind and as it speaks of love, despair and deception, I believe that is exactly what I should experience listening to it.
What on the outside - for a listener - may sound so simplistic is actually a conglomerate of not only the clashing ideas of two talented musicians with a clear vision of they want, but also hard work. The incorporation of so many different elements, coming together from so many different genres, is an ungrateful task and things could go wrong so easily here. But Artax and Andreu have mastered it and if you will take a spin on their two previous releases, you will instantly notice so. The arrangements on The Border Crossing are so peculiar; all various fragments fall together like a pieces of a puzzle and the close attention to details is what wraps up this release into an album they can be nothing less than incredibly proud of. The vocal work, mainly done by Artax, is a nice cherry on the top of it, as his singing accompanies the atmosphere of each and every track and only deepens the abysmal emotions of it. So yes, all in all; Pronoise have proven they are a well-oiled machine, with many ideas, which are to be formed in musical art. I believe any enthusiast of dark music, who likes electronic rhythms being a bit more on the post-punky and gothic side; will find enjoyment in this release. Whether you see yourself dancing in a club to the beats, which are sending strange and vibrant impulses through your nerves or sitting in a dark room, sipping a glass of wine and asking yourself a thousand questions, The Border Crossing will fit in your picture.
Review written by: Ines