Artistik Soul Productions
Looking inwards, Boston collective go on a mental warp and emerge lucidly unscathed.
Back in 2003, DME’s review of this band’s opening brace of records stated: their “presence may last long” – and it does. “Introspekt” is their most accomplished work to date, and a concept one to boot, so, given its attention to detail, it’s hardly a coincidence that “E” in the ensemble’s name on the cover turns into “W” attached to the album’s title, with “k” adding to its chilly techno whiff. Yet here’s a whiff which rather often goes hand in hand with a riff, even though Berklee alumnus Matthew Cahoon, the ensemble’s mastermind, doesn’t employ any guitar here.
Instead, there are spoken-word interjections and whispers scattered among electronic ebb and flow, where vocals float before solidifying into a dance groove. Such a transition so infectious in “Infusion” and “Vortex” that finds Cat Waltzer’s call taking one “to the darkest side of you mind” without actual gloom in sight and Cahoon’s pleading for the piano-pinned reason of all this. In this context the glitterball refrain of “Mine” points to mind, too, but the drift gets heavier and sharper in “In My Veins” with its crisp drums (its video has been seen in “Marriot/Hilton” hotels across the USA and in the clubs like “Planet Hollywood” and “Hard Rock Cafes,” also reaching over 4 million homes) as well as in the expansive, almost orchestral, if theatrically claustrophobic, rave of “Pulsar.”
On the brighter side of it all, the instrumental undercurrent of “Window” mischievously taps into the “Tabular Bells” scintillating delights, while the voices beckon into the slumber. It’s unfolding in the sleepwalking of the glimmering, ghostly “Echoes” and folds back into a soulful pop drive for “Inside” which again threatens to bring hard rock to the party – only to dissipate in a blissful “Astral Light,” a send-off to an explorative trip into the self. A journey well-worth undertaking.