Bleeding Together

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Electronica is one of those umbrella terms that covers a lot of ground. The term can be used to describe the most abrasive and forceful of techno, but on the other hand, it could describe something as musical as Dissent's Bleeding Together. Those who think that all electronica is the harsh stuff one typically hears at a rave (which, like free jazz and death metal, has artistic merit but is definitely an acquired taste) should give this CD a close listen. Essentially, Bleeding Together is electronica, but it isn't techno or rave music; in fact, the material (much of it relevant to the downtempo, trip-hop, and acid jazz scenes) tends to be dusky and jazzy. Calling Bleeding Together jazzy isn't saying that it's actually jazz; no one will mistake this CD for a Phil Woods session. However, there are hints of jazz on this 2002 release, and that is true on the vocal offerings (which feature singer Nathalie Sanchez) as well as the instrumental tracks. The tunes on Bleeding Together fall into two main categories: those that feature Sanchez, some of which wouldn't have been out of place on one of Roy Ayers' late-'70s or early-'80s albums, and the instrumentals that don't. The songs that feature Sanchez (which include "Rudy" and "Flying Blind") make vocal personality a priority; the tunes that don't are really about ambience and production (the producer being Dissent founder/leader Gregory Howe). The eerie instrumental "Haunted Head," for example, doesn't have a real song structure -- it doesn't adhere to a standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus format, but rather, is basically a collage of samples, loops, and beats. Bleeding Together is well worth obtaining if you favor electronica that is musical instead of harsh or abrasive.

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