ADN’ Ckrystall & Lives Of Angels :: Double review (Dark Entries)

Dark Entries‘ second home must be Europe. San Francisco, California is where the hearth is, but label boss Josh Cheon has a deep-seated affection for the land across the pond. It is to Britain and France that Dark Entries is once more visiting for two releases from past masters.

ADN’ Ckrystall aka Erick Moncollin is an artist with an unmistakable sound. Dark Entries welcome this eccentric artist with a re-issue of his 1982 Jazz’Mad LP. “Cocaina Vitamina” is a Ckrystall classic. Strung out synthesizer strangeness.“Le Blues De La Fille Aux Jambes De Jeans” throws up memories of Charanjit Singh’s legendary Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat. The track whirls rich analogue sounds together. Cosmic Disco crashes headlong into early experimental electronics. A strange mesmerizing piece of cinematic music. “Pour L’Amour D’Un Cygne / Puckies’ Power” sounds like a Tudor procession to the sounds of a Moog. Floridly musical, grandiose and opium den abstract. You inhale and ingest Ckrystall’s music as much as your hear it. The Frenchman enveloping his listener’s in a thick fog of machine music. “Haschisch T’Es Pas Cap!” is endemic of Moncollin’s warped musical sense. The track is a dreamy piece of psy-wave as it blurs and stimulates the sense; exotic and eerie. “Dragons’ Caravan / Spanik Elektronik” comes from a much more modern location. The space age has arrived with this strange piece of surrealist synth. Shimmering arcs are painted with accordion style chord puffing and panting to a metronomic beat. “Tam Tam Samba” closes and is quite playful and childlike. ADN’Ckrystall never conformed to anything but his own ideas and this synthesizer experiment is testament to a truly unique sound.

Lives Of Angels comes from a different place. The group were active until the late 80s, releasing two albums. It’s their ’83 album, Elevator To Eden, that DE has revived. “Pavilion” opens with an Indie core, one lightly electrified. “Imperial Motors” comes from a similar vein. Guitars and vocals gently work alongside an analogue sideline. Lyrics across the album have a listless quality, “Gold Age” being steeped in emotion cut with strings. Lives Of Angels call to mind a crossover between The Cure and The Smiths, the chords of “Cold Expression” coming directly from a 80s midnight lament. “The Image of Youth” is downbeat piece, heartbroken and forgotten. “Meltdown” closes ‘Elevator to Eden.’ Politicized content never eclipses the sorrow and elegiac sound.

ADN’ Ckrystall and Lives Of Angels are poles apart, one an abstract alien and the other a recognizable post-punk romantic but Dark Entries is a perfect home for both. To remastered classics to one again reinforce the rightful nostalgia for the experimentation and music of the 1980’s.

Both releases are available on Dark Entries.

Jazz’Mad release page | Elevator To Eden release page

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