Press Release and Review for Nocturnal Emissions by Alien Sex Fiend
THE SPACE RACE IS ON, THE DESTINATION: YOUR MIND!
Surprise is Alien Sex Fiend's hallmark, and the re-issued album "Nocturnal Emissions" is no exception. Far and away their most futuristic effort, yet quintessentially fiendish, "Nocturnal Emissions" flows and feints with a seamless sense of cool. It's a curvaceous cybernetic jamboree, opening with 1996's groundbreaking single "Evolution", a dancefloor juggernaut full of otherworldly blips, bleeps and bastard beats and clearly the obvious precursor to this album's delightful mastery of techno/ambient sorcery.
The robotic urgency of "Evolution" and "Tarot" interweaves with more elegant catracts like "Warp Out", where a clockwork Tangerine Dreamer roams the curious sonic corridors of a decaying cityscape. Since chanteuse Shirley Manson had named the "Stupid Girl" single B-side "Alien Sex Fiend", the Fiends thrust tongues firmly in cheeks, volleying back with the panting, pneumatic "Garbage". Grinding, slo-mo cryonic combustion fuels "On A Mission", as Augustan Pavlovian dub fragments weave to the icy surface only to submit to Nik Fiend's commanding growl, while a sardonically symphonic intro to "Soaking Wet, Mate" winds up pumping through the song's entire unearthly bloodstream. By closing concoction "Sticky" it's clear that the space race is on, the destination: your mind!
"Nocturnal Emissions" will take you on a journey farther out that any previous trek in the band's fabled, frenetic career. Primed by Nik Fiend's phantasmagoric vocals, Mrs Fiend's highly original use of trippy, industrial drum machines and inscrutable electronic gear have become a trademark - often imitated, never duplicated. The birth of Alien Sex Fiend's own 13th Moon Records has unshackled them from any artificial boundaries and has enabled the gruesome twosome to more efficiently pursue their surreal and humorously deviant vision with total and complete independence. Nik and Mrs Fiend remain a nefarious nucleus, able to attract the finest in contributing satellites for their ravishing reverberations. Cool collaborators include Drum Club / Girl Eats Boy's Lol Hammond, Pump Panel's Dan Zamani and Pod's Mat Rowlands.
As always, "Nocturnal Emissions" is only the latest launch pad for this band's ongoing exploration of the new sonic terrain. Evolve or die is the mantra of choice, and Alien Sex Fiend show no signs of extinction.
NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS (SPECIAL EDITION) CD - REVIEW
Mr. & Mrs. Fiend sure know how to evolve. First listen to this go 'round of Nocturnal Emissions admittedly made me wonder why they bothered with a pared down version of their sound. Production is nice, artwork is good, and there are the bonus tracks which is a quick mix or two of "Evolution "(the "Hup 2-3-4" mix, the "Back From The Dread Pt 1" mix" are new additions from the various 12" single releases here), but really what were they on about? Still, this being Alien Sex Fiend, I let it play over about a hundred times and realized just what growing up gracefully is all about.
ASF have moved swiftly through their own incarnations, adapting as they see fit to the ever fickle world of the alternative. Nocturnal Emissions is no exception. Though they still have the most loyal of followings from the Goth/Industrial world, and by their own choice have picked up stragglers out of the Trance/Dance scene, they remain able to throw off the shackling binds of either/or and retain their own pace, their own place as it were and do pretty much as they see fit. Nik Fiend has definitely put his penchant for fleshy weird vocals to a depreciated minimum of late and takes even perhaps a calm backseat to getting the bizarre across in the beat.
With this in mind, alongside rhythmanical Electro synthetics, Nocturnal Emissions turns out to be a dance record that could easily cross genre pollinate with whatever club scene it might happen to get accidentally (or better, intentionally) stuck in the middle of. Here and again, such as on "Room 101" and "Soaking Wet, Mate" there are nice psycho space breaks, as in the space you get stuck in when you take hallucinogenic remedies. "Big Blue Moon" calmly highlights some of the old Fiend depravity which is a personal favourite of mine.
Still and all though, this is a dance record from the old pros who know the beat more than most. Who better really? The Fiends will never be accused of being slaves to the trendlines, but rather it would be a good approximation to realize that they are adaptable without compromise.
Lilly Novak- www.freq.org.uk
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