Release DetailsLABEL Cold Meat Industry
RELEASED ON 12/1/2006
posted on 4/2007 By:
Deutsch Nepal's Erotikon, a rather bland effort that falls somewhere between dark ambient and industrial, has been described by Cold Meat Industry as being, “…addictive in every sexual way…” Not quite. Truth is, Erotikon is cold, unfeeling, and robotic; kind of like watching a Whac-a-Mole machine engage in after-hour gang-bangs with the animatronic Pizza Time Players at your local Chuck E. Cheese. Not that I expected an R. Kelly and Dr. Ruth duet over some old Enigma tracks, but CMI and its side labels have released their fair share of intriguing explorations into human sexuality; be it the dark carnality of Beyond Sensory Experience’s Pursuit of Pleasure or the disturbing, abusive assault of Sutcliffe Jügend. Erotikon, however, lacks the detailed and fascinating fuzzy soundscapes of the former and the menacing, boot-to-the-gut power of the latter, opting instead to take the safe (read: boring) road. As a result, the album never truly probes the listener’s preconceived notions of one of humanity’s most basic behaviors. Of course, with clumsy lines like, “You suck my energy/ You suck me dry” leading the way on “Blowjob Parasite,” Erotikon has about as much substance as a Red Shoe Diaries episode and is just as dated.
It’s not just that Deutsch Nepal, on this album at least, sounds rather dull and played out. The big problem is the overall design of the album. To put it simply, the sounds used aren’t evocative or fresh enough to carry these minimalist compositions. While the industrial hum and “tribal” drumming/instrumentation, the foundation for most of these songs, work and give Erotikon a somewhat solid base, the largely uninteresting effects that rise to the surface consistently fail to turn this album into anything more than a passive listening experience; not because they’re necessarily bad, but because they come off as recycled.
Still, some songs almost make it out alive. “Heartbomb” is nearly a success because of its off-kilter, dreamlike atmosphere, even if Lina B Doll’s vocals are lifeless. Same goes for the Nurse With Wound-esque “Menage A Troi...Cent,” which is the lone exception to the rule since the recycling kills the rest of this album. For example, “At the Court of Saba” could be the result of someone accidentally slipping an old Alio Die cut into the mix, “I Jast Fokos An Maisel” is a dumbed down version of Iannis Xenakis’s pioneering electronic work (but with vocals!), and the title track’s repetitive percussion sounds like the Terminator theme beating the snot out of a Mille Plateaux compilation as ambient bleeps and bloops bubble from the fresh wounds. While all these songs have noticeable highpoints, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they’ve been scrapped together from better, older sources. Worse, Doll’s productions reveal that he’s still stuck in the ‘90s. Even the things that are meant to set Deutsch Nepal apart from the pack, the tribal and light folk elements, sound far older than they should.
But, a more modern outlook isn’t the only thing missing as the purported sensuality is nowhere to be found. Erotikon proves to be about as sexy as a documentary on the reproductive cycles of trees narrated by a self-loathing juvenile faux-philosopher. Admittedly, the sexuality, the main theme, is the one aspect of this album that I’m never going to understand (or find) because it’s coming from an entirely different mindset, one where sex is an emotionless and humorless affair. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a blowjob parasite (the phone lines are open though), so it's hard for me to relate. As always, the CMI faithful are encouraged to try this on for size, but everyone else might as well save themselves the trouble and browse for porn next to a running dishwasher to get the same effect.
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