Recording Magazine (March 2002) Review

 

Joyless

Equipment: Mac 7200/120, Mackie 1604, Sony TCD-D8 DAT, DigiTech GSP2101 guitar effects, Rolad JV-1010, Kurzweil K2500, Korg MS2000, CSM1-G, DMV-310, MIDI/Audio software.

Music: "Disquiet Peace" is an atmospheric, almost disturbing female recital (mildly rhythmical, not quite qualifying for a rap) over a synth-dominated background, with a dance flavor and an extend instrumental middle section. Cindy Tong wrote and played all the tracks, and recorded and mixed herself.

Recording: The atmospherics of well-chosen synth tones and layers are successfully executed. Elements that are supposed to sound pretty do so, and the disturbing elements are decidedly not pretty. And all elements are well distinct and living in their own spaces. Speaking of which, the project is extremely spatial, with depth and (when heard over headphones) sound just about wrapping itself around the listener's head.

What we don't understand is why we don't understand the lyrics. There's obviously an ominous message in there, but the voice is treated and mixed in such a way as to hide most words, not in volume but in clarity. It made us look for a lyric sheet, and there was none, so we're left with a mystery. Was that the author's intent?

Suggestion: If (and we don't know if you do) you want the listener to share your thoughts, convey them with intelligibility.

Summary: An example of one-woman creativity that begs the question, "Should music communicate?"

Contact: Cindy Tong
aiff@rocketmail.com, available on
www.mp3.com/aiff

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