Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
Neil Thompson | Birkenhead, Wirral United Kingdom | 08/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thaemlitz is a difficult man to pin down... I believe he feels his music to be socially / politically aware and yet he has chosen perhaps the least accessible musical form with which to vent his frustrations... I'm not complaining, however!I first became aware of Thaemlitz's work on "Soil" and I was amazed by the unique audio qualities of his music. The traditional instruments of ambient music (ie: lofty synth pads and phat analogue basses) have been replaced by harsh, "digital" sounds that fluctuate in volume and intensity yet overall form a soothing blanket of sound that envelops the whole album... and on "Couture..." we get more of the same.There are still some great titles; "Residual Expectation", "Facilitator" and "Fragmentation / Standardization" (although none as descriptive as "Fat Chair" from the "tranquilizer" album), but I feel to try and describe his work track by track somehow misses the point. I'm not going to listen to this album for the shear listening experience, I want the album as a whole to wash over me and immerse me in a sea of sound; this it does beautifully.There are passages that grate and sooth in alternate sections ("Residual Expectation") and more accesible ambience ("Trans Am"), then the political hardstuff ("Facilitator"). I feel overall that this is a less accessible album than "Soil" and "Tranquilizer" but not as downright difficult as "Means To An End" or "Institutional Collaborative". Somehow I doubt that Thaemlitz cares; this is not the sort of album written to get rich on; this is music as art; sometimes difficult, occassionally challenging, but always worthwhile.Fans of Tetsu Inoue may find much to enjoy here and for any fan of ambient music who wishes to broaden their horizons..."
Ambient with an agenda
Matthew D. Mercer | Chicago, IL United States | 08/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Terre Thaemlitz is perhaps known more for his politics than his music. Hopefully he will be remembered for the latter, as the musical content of his releases consistently manages to outgrow the agenda of their liner notes. "Couture Cosmetique" is no exception to this, with its lengthy polemic regarding sexual identity. Here the music carries this loaded argument a bit more obviously, and the politics aren't so completely dissolved in the sound, but this actually works to reinforce both Thaemlitz's sociopolitical voice as well as his message as a composer. Thaemlitz even carefully recognizes his precarious position as a communicator in the liner: "I find that my actions must satiate simultaneous, and often oppositional, desires for catharsis and an engagement of my audience." Don't worry, this release is plenty engaging on multiple levels. Those familiar with Thaemlitz's work will not be surprised by this one, but those who are newcomers are likely to be either fascinated or turned off by the heavy politics behind the music; those turned off are most likely the same listeners that Thaemlitz is targeting."