Thursday, November 8, 2012

Techno Takeover 1: Breath Of Ghosts - Assemblage 23 (repost)

** This is my first review I did over a year ago. I'm quite proud of it because I got the artist to read it :) that's why I want it to be the first post I introduce everyone on Broken Infinite to my Techno Takeover Series, also I have a YouTube channel but it's from my middle school days and I was a weird child.**

“Breath of Ghosts”


Assemblage 23

By Pugsly

Hello all you wonderful people taking the time to read this,
My name is Pugsly (as you can obviously tell since my name is attached to this lovely review) and I have finally decided to join the world of reviewing, sort of... Reviewing in the form of writing since I do not have a working camera or a working (properly) computer to save videos and stuff on so I am limited to writing for the current moment. On a lighter note, I have joined the world of reviewing! I hope to spread my love for random types of music to the world

This review series is for techno and any of it's sub-genres I feel fit into the Techno umbrella. (What you feel is techno- shut up I don't care what it's grouped as I am putting in the techno group!) 

The song I have picked an industrial gem is one of my all time favorites by an amazing man named Tom Shear aka Assemblage 23, he 'started' A23 in 1988 but was previously known as Man on a Stage for most of the 80's. In the beginning of his career he made mostly 'instrumental' tracks. He got into the electronic music industry when he was an opening DJ for Depeche Mode. Assemblage 23 was mainly a hobby at first but in 1998 he'd become so popular he'd attracted the attention of record label. (Gashed record company)
The song Breath of Ghosts is the sixth track from the album Addendum released in 2001. Addendum was mainly a remix album; however Breath of Ghosts is not a remix song. Sadly as much as I love this song with ever fiber of my being, it is not well received amongst the A23 fan base. In fact it has been so overlooked; Tom hasn't done the song in any live shows.

(That's Tom Shear)

So enough back story, here is Assemblage 23 review to the best of my reviewing abilities.
The intro (which could have been long drawn out and obnoxious) only lasts thirty three seconds and is the hook into the song. (But why did you have to comment on it? It’s awesome that’s why!) It’s not just the same thing over and over again it’s quite interesting Click the link and you can hear it's awesomeness. 

Verse one:
“I hear the breath of ghosts
Hiding behind the wind
Like an icy choir exhaling
A promise to rescind”

No I have no clue what the word rescind means... TO GOOGLE I GO!!
According to rescind means “To make void; repeal or annul.
So that lyric makes sense, the ghosts are smart they don't just yell out they're message, they disguise it in the wind, what are they repealing annulling or voiding? I don't know quite yet but it sounds like an icy choir exhales... that sounds bone chillingly creepy... I’d really hate to be this guy right now I might be a huge paranormal fan but if I heard a voice like that I’d be scarred possibly for life.

Oh look! Here comes verse two:
“I hear the breath of ghosts
Escaping from their lungs
Calling for the names of those
That took away their tongues”

Well if that's the message their message they are hiding behind the wind, that's not a very brilliant way to get your voice heard! They want the people who took away their ability to speak and live... but they sound like an icy whisper in the wind... eh I'll leave it alone I love this song too much to nit pick.

And I spot... THE CHORUS!
“A temporary permanence
A fortress of onion skin
With motives so transparent
With no means to an end”

Um “A temporary permanence...” something can't temporarily be permanent. A fortress of onion skin... I think Tom's just seen the ghost along with hearing it. With motives so transparent with no means to an end...
Moving on to the music interlude thing that lasts a few second... and I must add, when the song starts up until the chorus Tom is whispering something and I think it is genius. It adds to the song somehow making it slightly creepy despite it already being (at face value) about the paranormal. The whispering comes back after the chorus, and it stops obviously because it wouldn’t fit with the change in melody. (You'd think a song categorized under techno wouldn't have any depth to it but guess again! There are plenty of electronic songs with messages; you just have to find them)

Music interlude thing over now here's the third verse:
“I feel the breath of ghosts
Like fingers on my skin
Tracing senseless patterns
Revealing nothing in the end”

This poor person, being tormented by ghosts hearing their (assumed) cries of vengeance for the ones who took their lives and he somehow is being used as a medium (probably not voluntarily) and now they're touching him giving him even more chills. 

This next verse doesn't help much either...
“I hear the breath of ghosts
Whisper in my ear
With every drooling syllable
It preys upon my fear.”

I don’t think he is the brave person who would to try to solve any paranormal unsolved mysteries. If he ever heard an EVP saying help me, he's probably run and never look back...

This is where the chorus to break up the story a little and have another awesome music interlude thing again. There's no need to comment on it again so moving on!

Onto verse five:
“I hear the breath of ghosts
Blowing through the trees
Hissing out a warning
Awash with its disease”

… Awash... well before I check the dictionary, it sounds like the ghosts are sending some warning but it might not be a good one … or is it... TO THE DICTIONARY I WAS USING BEFORE!
Awash is an adverb and an adjective, also a nautical term but I doubt that's the actual usage of the word in this sentence. Washed by the sea, no I don't think the warning was washed by the sea if they were just talking about trees... Washing about... Their warning is washing about with disease... It could work... The last adverb definition is “In such a position or way as to be covered with or as if with water.” …no that's not right... here are the adjective definitions “
1. Level with or washed by waves.
2. Overflowing with or as if with water: Some of America's big cities are awash in vacant office space" (Ross K. Baker).
3. Floating on or as if on waves.”
I think I'll go with the second option; the warning is overflowing with disease... Well which ever meaning it is I don't think the ghosts are looking out for Tom's best interest. 

Moving on now...
(Verse six)
“I hear the breath of ghosts
Slowly fade away
With ever decreasing frequency
As colors change to gray”

What colors? When was he seeing colors?! Has the onion skin he was talking about to describe what the ghosts look like now turned to grey? So there are a bunch of gray blobs floating around tormenting him? But on the brighter side the voices have now dropped down to a lower frequency that the audibility is slowly dropping so he can't physically hear it with his own ears... I guess that's good.

And then the final chorus brings us to the end of the song while epic music plays until the end.

I don't see why this song isn't popular even with A23 fans... It’s an amazing ‘club song’ if you will, which seem to dominate radio today (it’s why I’ve stopped listening to it.) Whether or not there's a deeper message than a paranormal experience, I'm not sure yet but to me it's just an amazing song that feeds my love for the paranormal and my guilty pleasure of techno well this isn't a guilty pleasure I enjoy Industrial/Synthpop/Futurepop/Darkwave and songs under that wide umbrella of genre. Industrial is amazing it doesn't go in guilty pleasures.
So this was Techno Takeover... if you like it come back for more if not oh well I don't know what to tell you... 

Oh and I almost forgot, I'm on youtube, one day out of boredom I reversed this song and posted it because I was bored.

(That is my video) 

So a while ago I emailed Tom Shear the link for this review...

In case you can't read it, it says 
"Cool Thanks for sharing, glad I could make you crack a dictionary a couple of times :)"

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