Aug 2017 04

Distorted Retrospect - Fragment 1Distorted Retrospect
Category: Electro / EBM / Goth
Album: Fragment 1
Blurb: Languishing in the squalor of goth club and electro/EBM convention, this first outing from Washington, DC’s Distorted Retrospect struggles to establish an identity of its own, marred by subpar vocals.


Having spent three years as a live member of Velvet Acid Christ, Washington, DC’s Christof/Krztov founded Distorted Retrospect as an outlet for his own songwriting excursions, with Fragment 1 being his aptly titled first release under the moniker. Listening to the three original songs on the EP, it’s clear that Krztov took a great deal of inspiration from his working alongside a seasoned veteran, crafting a series of songs that stick to the knitting of electro/EBM quite well… but this proves also to be a major detriment as Distorted Retrospect struggles to establish an identity of its own. “Afterlife” enters confidently with stabs of overdriven synths and skittering bass sequences anchored by a solid and powerful dance beat, the wisps of cool pads entering as an ambient complement to the resonant vocals. A shrill and simple synth line mirrors the voice in the chorus, but it steadily begins to grate on the listener with its insistent lack of variation, eventually serving only to emphasize the weakness of the vocal performance. Indeed, throughout the EP, Krztov’s voice is drenched in effects that do little to hide his shortcomings as a singer; this is especially so in “Future,” what would otherwise be serviceable though generic futurepop filler for one’s DJ set, and while “Intermittent” begins with a rather nice buildup of rapid synth arpeggios and squelching effects, the beats and the vocals enter and the song rapidly deteriorates into mediocrity, unaided by what seems to be a deliberately off-key chiming tone that wears out its welcome almost immediately. Fragment 1 concludes with an ill-advised cover of The Cure’s “A Forest”… ill-advised simply for this writer’s opinion that the world has more than enough covers of this particular song, but if further criticism must be handed, it would once again be due of Krztov’s limited vocal capacity coupled with a production style that while not completely devoid of potential is lacking in finesse. As well, it’s such a straightforward cover that does nothing interesting with the source material that it’s clearly little more than padding for the EP’s runtime. All in all, Fragment 1 serves its function as a first outing from a new act, with a production quality that is just a step above being a demo… but if Distorted Retrospect is to continue, this writer would recommend that a more accomplished vocalist be brought onboard to enable Krztov to focus his attentions on improving his songwriting craft and find a producer that can give him the added sheen to get out of the goth club squalor. Otherwise, anticipation for any Fragments beyond this will be next to nil.
Track list:

  1. Afterlife
  2. Future
  3. Intermittent
  4. A Forest

Distorted Retrospect
Facebook, Bandcamp
Krztov Records
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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