Apr 2012 24

Celldweller - The Complete Cellout Vol. 01Celldweller
Category: Industrial / Electro
Album: The Complete Cellout Vol. 01
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: A powerful set of remixes and interpretations that presents only the merest excellent fraction of this powerful act’s creative energy.


 

Never content to stick to a single style, Klayton has been pushing the envelope of production with his Celldweller moniker since the beginning of the last decade. Incorporating elements of drum & bass, trance, and varying other forms of electronic music with a healthy dose of alt. rock attitude, Celldweller is a prime example of how modern technology utilized in music can still be forward thinking and adventurous in the hands of a creative mind. Hitting the road in 2011 with his musical cohort Blue Stahli, Celldweller presented a unique concert experience combining the intensity of a live rock show with the danceable abandon of a DJ set full of remixes and alternate version of the band’s best known songs, all set to frenetic video accompaniment and exhibiting a uniformly futuristic vision. With The Complete Cellout Vol. 01, listeners can now hear these versions in the comfort of their headphones and revel in the genre-defying exploration that is Celldweller.

With dubstep steadily rising to become the prevalent trend in electronic music in the mainstream and the underground alike, it is perhaps no surprise that Klayton has dug his hands into the style with his usual full throttle approach. Of course, given his incorporation of drum & bass over the years, which shares many elements with dubstep, one could say that it’s been part of the Celldweller aesthetic all along. From the get go with the 2012 mix of “Goodbye,” the listener is assaulted with a blistering array of glitchy vocals and guitars offset by stuttering synth leads and wobbly bass lines so intricately programmed that one easily becomes lost in the maelstrom. Other tracks follow suit, such as the Bare remix of “Louder than Words,” whose vicious assaults of synthesized extremity threaten to destroy the eardrums lest one decrease the volume a tad… but why would you want to? Similarly, the originally aggressive “I Can’t Wait” is transformed in Josh Money’s version into some industrialized dubstep that actually makes for one of the more melodic remixes thanks to some nicely arranged leads and arpeggios.

But before you fall for the joke and start to think that The Complete Cellout is just Klayton admittedly selling out to the electronic flavor of the week, there is plenty of stylistic variety at play on the album. Blue Stahli’s remix of “Birthright,” previously available on the Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head collection, is a brief but powerful display of glitch-laden madness that leads remarkably well into the dance floor fury that is “The Best It’s Gonna Get vs. Tainted,” a clever and energetic mashing of two very different songs from the Wish Upon a Blackstar chapters. The Drivepilot mix of “Eon” marches its way through the speakers before descending into an ambient and melodic bedrock and back again, making for a boot-stomping bit of industrial to shake things up. As well, Blue Stahli’s mix of “Shapeshifter” gets the blood flowing and the fists pumping with its gritty hip-hop/electro attacks, while Toksin’s Anhedonia mix of “So Long Sentiment” brings the collection to a frantic close with some atmospheric drum & bass.

While some may have found the Celldweller live show in its current incarnation analogous to a karaoke performance over a spastic DJ set, many welcomed and enjoyed the approach as a creative vision of what a live concert experience can be in the digital age. The interpretations presented on The Complete Cellout Vol. 01 offer merely a fraction of Celldweller’s power as a musical and artistic force, but they do present a substantive sampling of the level of diversity and excellence of production and performance Klayton infuses into his work. This writer recalls a friend’s statement upon seeing a Celldweller performance, “I’ve never seen an act so ready to be bigger than they are!” Listening to this album, one does get the sense that Celldweller has the chops to exceed even the best that the big names have up their sleeves. As fans await the completion of the Wish Upon a Blackstar release, The Complete Cellout Vol. 01 is a dynamic alternative to sate their appetites.
 
Track list:

  1. The Complete Cellout
  2. Goodbye (Klayton’s 2012 Mix)
  3. Eon (Drivepilot Remix)
  4. Own Little World (Klayton’s We Will Never Die Mix)
  5. Louder than Words (Bare Remix)
  6. Frozen (Celldweller vs. Blue Stahli)
  7. I Can’t Wait (Josh Money Remix)
  8. Birthright (Birthwrong Remix by Blue Stahli)
  9. The Best It’s Gonna Get vs. Tainted
  10. Shapeshifter feat. Stayles of Beyond (Blue Stahli Remix)
  11. The Best It’s Gonna Get (J. Scott G. & Joman Remix)
  12. So Long Sentiment (Toksin’s Anhedonia Mix)

 
Celldweller Website http://www.celldweller.com
Celldweller MySpace http://www.myspace.com/celldweller
Celldweller Facebook http://www.facebook.com/celldweller
Celldweller Twitter http://www.twitter.com/celldweller
Celldweller ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/celldweller
FiXT Music Website http://www.fixtonline.com
FiXT Music MySpace http://www.myspace.com/fixt
FiXT Music Facebook http://www.facebook.com/fixtmusic
FiXT Store Website http://www.fixtstore.com
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
CDBaby
 
2012-01-10
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

6 Comments

  1. Daniel says:

    Sorry, I just couldn’t get into it. To me, it DOES come off like Klayton’s chasing the musical fad of the moment (full disclosure: dubstep annoys the hell out of me, and sounds like over-produced clutter with a drumbeat). Also, these are yet more versions of the same songs he’s been selling for ten years now. I hate to sound harsh (and Klayton’ll label me a “hater” just for saying so anyway), but Celldweller has produced 100 remixes for every one song, including a new version of “Goodbye” every couple of years since the 90s.

    • Ilker Yücel says:

      Fair enough, Daniel. I appreciate the comment very much and I thank you for your candor. It’s intelligent comments like this that make for good discussion. =)
      I do agree that it’s somewhat daunting that Klayton does produce and release hundreds of remixes for the same songs, but in all fairness, that’s what will happen when he opens it up for every other artist to do so. Yes, it would be nice to actually hear more “new” material and not simply reversions and reinterpretations of the same songs he’s had out for a decade+.
      However, I grant him all the credit in the world from an artistic and business standpoint. Few (if any) artists would just open their music up for everyone to remix and sample and do what they want with it before Klayton, and so while it is jarring to have disc after disc of remixes upon remixes, it is a nice chance to actually hear what other artists are capable of and check out new talent. As well, looking at the live show, you have to admit that he found a good model to make money when doing so is ever more difficult, and to actually put that money to good use with the production of the music and live show… it’s pretty impressive.
      All of that said, your points are valid and even I would prefer to finally hear some “new” material that isn’t just more of the same songs. It will be nice to hear Wish Upon a Blackstar in its entirety, and it’d be nice to think that the next batch of new material won’t take another decade of rehashing the back catalog. But again, even as he does it, there’s at least a rhyme and reason to it. Even if Klayton and his fans would call you a hater, I wouldn’t… you’re just someone who likes new music (even if you hate dubstep, which is a whole other issue entirely… ;) hehe).
      Anyway, long-winded comments aside, thank you again, Daniel. =)
      Cheers!

    • Zak Vaudo says:

      I always thought that made Celldweller interesting, never being content with just one rendition of a song, letting it evolve and change over time.
      Also: a few wobbles doesn’t automatically entail dubstep. Bass warps and DnB have been around for ages.

  2. Really nice review, Klayton is representing sounds that will be standard in future. He has been inspiration form in music since I can remember. I would really like to see your review of final chapter after release.

  3. Carl says:

    Sorry, I’d have to agree with this review by a random person online about Celldweller, and I quote “His self titled reminds me of the 90′s boy bands, with some Nickelback and Three Days Grace thrown in. I like a few tracks, but as a whole it always reminds me of boy bands.” this review in the form of a comment found here http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news.php?newsid=20168 is absolutely spot on

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