Mar 2020 12

Album CoverDogtablet
Album: Feathers & Skin
Category: Industrial / Electronic
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2019-12-09


 

For their third album under the Dogtablet moniker, the duo of Martin King and Roberto Soave have pulled all the stops to create an immersive audio world unto itself. With elements as seemingly disparate as industrial, rock, jazz, trance, and several points in between, Feathers & Skin is a decidedly varied presentation of the pair’s abilities, drawing heavily on their rhythmic predilections – King once having been the drummer for Test Dept., and Soave the bassist for the Associates – and a contingent of guest vocalists; among them is Jared Louche appearing on half of the album’s tracks. The merger is especially poignant on tracks like “Things Said & Done (Snake Is a Liar),” on which Louche’s harmonized vocals strike that perfectly sardonic catchiness with the chorus of “Don’t listen to him ‘cuz Snake Is a Liar / he’s coming here to set your house on fire,” all the while the clashes of synth and reverberant effects set to thunderous drums and lightly tribal percussion create a tumultuous, almost stormy effect. The same can be said for the opening “Shadowlands,” on which a bluesy guitar solo enters to complement Louche’s gradually rising vocal intensity atop somber pianos and staccato bass lines, and “Skin Job” with its electro-funky vibe and swells of distorted and percolating synths providing a nice backdrop for Louche’s slithery rock & roll vocal stylings – it’s sure to remind many of H3llb3nt or a version of Chemlab devoid of guitars. But it’s not all the Jared Louche show, for Dogtablet also employs the soulful voice of Jennie Bellestar on “Deletion Complete,” which has an almost mid-to-late ‘90s flair about it, while Sapphira Vee’s voice on “Collapsing Lives” is both seductive and sedate to suit the song’s pensive mood… and therein lies some of the album’s weaknesses, for this track, along with other shorter numbers like “Showtime,” “Crash Through Bone,” and “Safe House” ultimately create intriguing motifs that fail to reach a satisfying conclusion; they start strong, with the latter two tracks bearing some jazzy elements and offbeat vocal harmonies that can’t help but remind this writer of Antônio Carlos Jobim without the Latin flavor. Alas, even these songs end up sounding less like fully realized tracks and more like vignettes better suited to a soundtrack, and while this is part of Dogtablet’s modus operandi, it does result in Feathers & Skin having a somewhat disruptive flow from beginning to end. Perhaps the tracks featuring Jared Louche should have been relegated to a separate release of its own? Given that he is such a forceful presence on a recording, his not appearing on six of the album’s 12 tracks makes for a conspicuously jarring listening experience… but then again, that is supposed to be part of the appeal of industrial music. Isn’t it?
 
Track list:

  1. Shadowlands (feat. Jared Louche)
  2. Showtime
  3. Tail Lights Fading (feat. Jared Louche)
  4. Deletion Complete (feat. Jennie Bellestar)
  5. Things Said & Done (Snake Is a Liar) (feat. Jared Louche)
  6. Crash Through Bone
  7. Hazmat (feat. Jared Louche)
  8. Skin Job (feat. Jared Louche)
  9. Collapsing Lives (feat. Sapphira Vee)
  10. Safe House
  11. Vital Signs
  12. Black Dog (Inside the Hound) (feat. Jared Louche)

 
Dogtablet
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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