It’s good when a musician is fed up of what he’s listening to and does something about it, so hats off to Mr Simon Fuller a.k.a. Paresis. He describes his project as follows: “Paresis combines ‘industrial’ in the loosest possible sense with EBM, Electro, Metal, Goth and a myriad of other ideas to create songs rather than pure dancefloor music”. Actually that covers it quite nicely. Expect throbbing electro-industrial rhythms and take it from there would be my advice.
What we have here on this digital EP is three core tracks, “Last Shadow”, “Demons We Are” and “At Your Command” followed by six re-mixes. Personally I like dark industrial music, electronic metal, techno, most music of a mechanical inclination and am the owner of every Kraftwerk album, one Front Line Assembly album, a couple of Wumpscut releases and Ephel Duath’s “Pain Remixes the Known”. This is an ideal platform for liking this work. I happily marched into battle with “Last Shadow”. “Beware of the Martians”, I heard in the background. It sounds as if an army is approaching. It’s militaristic but not as harsh or nasty as Wumpscut. The electronic march continues with “Demons We Are”, which could be used as an anthem for the Daleks. Metal solos creep in and I thought I heard a metal extract of “Adagio for Strings” on “At Your Command” but we have no time to stop and reflect. I am reminded of first hearing a heavy electronic Kraftwerk’s relentless “Ruckzuck” on their self-titled album. It’s like exciting and like taking a run but you don’t feel tired. Metal guitars can be heard adding to this industrial assembly line of sounds and sound effects. It beats the “Sounds of Steam”, that’s for sure. If it is a train, it’s a fast and relentless one.
The re-mixes of course add further scope to an already extreme platter. In fact it’s the opportunity for further creativity. Metal continues to hammer on anvil, and Mr Fuller who’s still going hard at with the vocals probably needs a glass of water to clear his synthesised throat. The “Dirty K” remix of “At Your Command” has the overtones of major road repairs being carried out in outer space. Its pumping quality will make sure you don’t have to think, and simultaneously will act as a personal battery charger while taking you outside of yourself. Whether alcohol or other substances or environments enhance the experience still further is for others to say, but it certainly has a hypnotic quality. I especially liked the “Digicore Remix” of the same song, which has the impressive and frightening electro-hardcore mind and sound distortions of “Pain Remixes the Known”. Ironically it’s more of a song than some others. The Goteki” remix which follows has a more spaced out feeling. Its ambiance reminded me of Kraftwerk’s “Computer World”. The mood changes as “Last Shadow” reappears. This time it’s the “Morning Wood remix by Harumi Yasumi” Birds sing, dark violins create an atmosphere of foreboding. It’s sombre and no happy ending can be foreseen. The dancefloor gets a look in with the “Hypo Der” remix of “At Your Command”. There is a tinge of Donna Summer here. Dark forces lurk as usual. The overriding impression for me is of a predominantly mechanical electro-industrial creation.
Every work has a starting point, and in this case it lies in the electro-industrial world. Not everyone will like this, I’m sure, but it’s about freeing yourself up and using your imagination. “Last Shadow” will never break out into resplendent colour or shattering melancholy, and it’s not especially anarchic, but its pumping industrial beats and militaristic forward drive are enhanced by a series of moods and atmospheres which make this imposing work an interesting one.
(7 / 10 Andrew Doherty)