Reviews & Features on Para-Abnormal by Alien Sex Fiend
13th MOON RECORDS 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1996-2006)
REVIEWS OF PARA-ABNORMAL BY ALIEN SEX FIEND
Alien Sex Fiend are one of those few bands that have over the past quarter of a decade constantly slogged away with release after release and yet still remain a truly a cult act. Originally cited as a goth band when goth was much more exciting and abstract in its first incarnation during the early 80’s, ASF’s music has always sat quite uncomfortably with this tag. Ok they do flirt with the goth/punk image yet their ground-breaking dark electronic music has always been much forward thinking and innovative to be goth in the modern sense of the genre and the constant underlying humour and tongue in cheekness that the band radiates pushes them far beyond the restricting confines of what goth is all about. From experimental electro throbbing with fractured beats and washes of electronica driven ambience Alien Sex Friend’s music here is like the bastard child of Aphex Twins ‘Come to Daddy’ with its ferocious beats, and the camp gothic pomposities of the 1970 cult movie ‘Carry on Screaming’ with a sound that would be snugly at home in the darker recesses Ant-Zen label or perhaps even Warp. This fusion of darkness and techno beats is explored to its full extent on ‘Para-Abnormal’ which collects together 10 tracks covering 70 minutes of ASF’s work since the inception of their own 13th Moon records label some ten years ago. Pulling together unreleased, remixed and live tracks ‘Para-Abnormal’ captures the Fiends at their very best and show-cases how diverse and entertaining their music can be. Whilst still having one boney finger in the gothic aesthetic that the Fiends have become infamous for, their music here is of high enough calibre to hopefully entice and introduce a new legion of fans who have previously been put off before by their gothic leanings as this is as good as any other beat driven electronica around but of course with added darkness (well what more would you expect). With an appeal that will stretch to both new and old listeners alike ‘Para-Abnormal’ is a wonderfully (un) illuminating glimpse into the weird and wonderful place that Fiends alone inhabit in the world of dark electronic music. Excellent stuff indeed!!
Alien Sex Fiend were always a strange beast. A lo-fi Electro-Goth Punk band fronted by a demented Alice Cooper obsessive with a scatological sense of humour, they were a bit of a pie (probably a poo pie) in the face to the Goths' sucky-cheeked solemnity, but still they lapped it up. Odd, yet strangely exhilarating, and quite unforgettable as a live experience, though to be experienced properly a Sex Fiend gig would by necessity mean chunks of the memory were missing, or at least very blurry. Then came a career in writing music for video games, back when nobody was taking video game music at all seriously as an art form. Nik Fiend, for all his shambolic glue'n'acid persona, is a remarkable canny operator, it would seem.
Para-Abnormal is a collection of remixes and live versions, dealing with the later stuff- there's a stonking reworking of "Tarot" here (the "Full Tilt no. 5 mix"), which hits pretty much exactly the point at which the Goth club meets the bangin' Techno party, without sounding like someone's just nailed a new drumbeat to it and called it a remix. In short, it sounds exactly like waking up at about 5 am at a warehouse party that has got progressively more demented since you unwisely did that extra line of ketamine and passed out in the corner. "Evolution" is another track which benefits from the remix treatment, though here ("Back From the Dread pt 2") it serves mainly to point out a previously unnoticed (by me, anyway) parallel between ASF and Psychic TV in their Hyperdelic phase. It's another broken-glass-and-empty-cans-littered-dancefloor filler.
Strangely, while Para-Abnormal is a world away from the Addams Family/Cramps-with-beeping ASF of the popular imagination, it's actually not hard to see where the two connect. In fact, it may even serve to draw people who would otherwise not have been interested into the fascinatingly idiosyncratic world of Nik and the Mrs. Okay, so some of it's a bit Eat Static ("Information Overload", for example), but surely that's not a bad thing? And the Fiend vocal machine is in full effect, too, the snotty Punk singalong diatribes every bit as infectious as ever. It's actually very hard to hear Nik singing without picturing that crazed white face bobbing around on that, well, just fucked, really, body. It's a salutary reminder of what a fantastic music machine ASF are, rather than the novelty Goth act they're often dismissed as.
Interestingly, nobody has succeeded in sounding anything like Sex Fiend, as far as I know. Not even a little bit. And while these mixes bring their sound a little closer to stuff you could imagine other people doing, at the same time, for the most part, it kicks 'em up the arse and straight into space.
Deuteronemu 90210's is Full Of Maggots
MAGAZINES FEATURING ALIEN SEX FIEND & THE PARA-ABNORMAL CD
|France's Elegy magazine - the October/November issue includes an Alien Sex Fiend interview, 4 page full colour feature, review of Para-Abnormal, plus free 15 track covermount CD with Alien Sex Fiend's "Tarot (Full Tilt #5 Mix) taken from the Para-Abnormal CD. Covermount CD also includes tracks from Depeche Mode & Death In June.||Germany's Synthetics magazine - the October/November issue includes an Alien Sex Fiend feature covering the band's history up to & including the release of the Para-Abnormal 10 year anniversary sampler CD.||France's D-Side magazine - the November/December issue includes an Alien Sex Fiend interview, 4 page full colour feature, review of Para-Abnormal, plus free 16 track covermount CD with Alien Sex Fiend's "Garbage (Live) taken from the Para-Abnormal CD. Covermount CD also includes tracks from Electric Six & Lycosia.|
If you can read Polish, then this will be of interest
to you. This is a recent Alien Sex Fiend interview in Pop Up Magazine,
here are the links to it & to the review of Para-Abnormal CD.
|POP UP MAGAZINE #16|
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