Bert Rinderle | L.A., CA United States | 07/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Germany's magnificent Project Pitchfork strikes again with their dark and unique style of electronic music with Kaskade, their first release since 2002's Nun Trilogy (composed of the album Inferno and its two companion EPs) and it's arguably their finest album to date. As a hybrid of the densely gorgeous, post-industrial constructs of IO and Lam-bras and the melody-focused subtlety of Daimonion and Inferno, Kaskade is a fantastic example of the now recalling the past.
PP has always existed somewhere between the rhythmic, dancefloor assault of Front 242 and the ethereal gothic-ness of Siouxsie and Bauhaus, and although their sound has evolved over time, it has always combined these elements into music that wakes the body and the mind. Kaskade is certainly harsher than recent Pitchfork, but it retains the introspection that has been a trademark since the band's debut.
Case in point is the glorious second track, "The Future Is Now", which combines vicious programming and percussion with Peter Spilles' unmistakable vocal delivery to produce a beast of a song that hits you between the eyes whether you're on the dancefloor or at home wearing headphones. Behind the driving rhythm and controlled electronic energy, when Spilles chants "There is no future/the future is now" one feels compelled not only to move, but to act, finding meaning in the moment, even if it's only through expression. A Project Pitchfork album usually focuses on the whole rather than individual songs, but "The Future Is Now" is perhaps Kaskade's best example of the new meeting the old.
The rest of the album is no less spectacular. "Your Tempting Fantasy" starts innocently enough, with a nice breezy synth, but quickly adds a wicked beat as Spilles growls "Do you know love/Was the meaning, destination/And the reason for an end." The song describes a person tormented by his lack of love, and is destroyed by his own hate. "Beautiful-Logic-Strings" opens with a haunted house-style organ but quickly builds into an anthem that would have nestled perfectly in the middle of IO's tracklist without missing a beat. "Schall und Rauch" is a driving German-language anthem whose energy would make Funker Vogt green with envy. The opener, "Instead of an Angle", is thankfully free from the overwrought, lengthy opening that so often plague electro albums; rather, the song's backbone sequences start right away - an immediate indication that Kaskade is more about the music and less about technical exhibition. Nevertheless, the production, song-writing, and technology present here are first-rate, but Project Pitchfork makes sure it doesn't seem overwhelming. Even with the retrospective sound, Kaskade contains more live drums, guitars, and piano than ever before, but it's so well-implemented that it sounds natural in the midst of the electronic storm, giving the music an organic feel often lacking from the genre.
Lyrically, PP has always searched for truth and awareness, since the early environmental- and animal rights-crusading days of "K.N.K.A" and "Alpha Omega," but their message never sounds stale. Project Pitchfork seems to challenge the theory that only beauty can be found in art, and attempt to communicate meaning in their work without sounding self-righteous. During the "softer" phase of Daimonion and Inferno, the search for truth turned inward to the workings of the mind and soul, and the songs of Kaskade continue in this direction. The messages are unrelentingly positive, even when critiquing society, and the music is given an added effect as a result.
Some fans might not embrace PP's return to their heavier post-industrial roots - there aren't any ambient-ish efforts like "Eon" and "(Mehr Als) Der Absprung" here - but on the other hand, those who enjoy PP's intense side (a la "Timekiller" and "Entity") will feel like the band has returned home. Project Pitchfork leaves no doubt that they are still capable of crafting personal, dark electronic music that defies categorization and uplifts while being introspective - all this while being killer to dance to. Kaskade never gives in to mindless repeating sequences, nor to light floaty textures, but takes both and welds them together to create a work of beautiful, profound, stained-glass intensity. Well-deserving of your attention! "
Fantastic Story Telling, Same Sound
iJosh | Coralville, IA USA | 07/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Project Pitchfork continues their legacy as great storytellers. The songs on Kaskade tell tales with familiar themes of love and loneliness, and the toil of the daily grind. Kaskade is filled with multiple layers of the usual aggressive guitars and percussion, and melodic electronics transitioning through genres without notice. The nearly spiritual lyrics are made very palatable delivered by the intricate music.
The first single `The Future Is Now' and `The Present' stand out as obvious dance floor favorites but there is hardly a track on the album that wouldn't get someone moving. Tracks like `Chains' and the opener `Instead of an Angle' feel like perfect tracks to get you through your commute, however you travel. Some of the tracks have a very Rock & Roll feel, `Echoes' follows that formula best.
For those of you familiar with Project Pitchfork the music alone doesn't offer a whole lot more to the listener than the previous two albums. What this album does do a good job of is taking the usual cold sounding electronics and making them a very emotional and organic part the music. Kaskade as an album fits right along with Diamonion and Inferno being a very cerebral ride, as if you were hearing the soundtrack to a life that may or may not be your own. The stories told, and the complex music, make this album worth the listen, especially if you can join Project Pitchfork on the journey."
A great follow-up to Inferno
EerieVonEvil | The Rabbit Hole | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of Metropolis Records' bands are pretty lame but I always though Project Pitchfork were awesome. Their synth lines are always fresh and the beats always good. I will say that Peter Spilles lyrics are pretty cryptic but overall it seems that there is a positive vibe going on in their songs. Kaskade follows-up the wonderful Inferno album. Clocking in at 66 minutes, this album is very diverse. It's nothing new as far as style goes but these new songs are worth repeated listenings for sure. Live in concert they have a guitarist and a real drummer. You can hear the guitar on a few tracks if you listen closely, it blends in and is not always heard. The same goes with the drums. The beats on Kaskade are mostly electronic, but some songs have real drums which adds to an organic vibe that this album carries. If you liked Eon:Eon, Inferno, Daimonion, or even Chakra:Red then I suggest you get this. It is catchy, melodic, and definitley hard-hitting at times. Totally worth it. Better than VNV Nation's new album...now lets see if it can top the new Covenant album coming in the fall. Buy this if you like great music."
Rendaw | USA | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Project Pitchfork on the radio a couple years ago. After hearing and liking a bunch of their songs, I purchased Daimonion. I listened to that CD a lot and still do. Many of the songs grew on me, much more than I would have expected. When I heard of the new Project Pitchfork CD, I eagerly anticipated it and when it came out, bought it. I love this CD. The songs are diverse, strong, and well written. The lyrics are creative and thoughtful. The sounds are numerous and well textured. I can only hope for more of the same in the future if it continues to be this good."