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Cenotype - Origins Unfold [return to reviews]
Label: Origins Productions
Review by Christopher Roddy
 

One of the more intriguing acts to establish itself within the Industrial/Powernoise realm is Lenny Bogatch's Cenotype. Arising from the depths of the Jersey City/NYC underground the highly conceptualized arrangements and alternating stomp to ambiance ratio has won over a growing number of fans tired of mindless pounding and seeking something with a little more depth. In 2007 Hive Records released the debut album, Origins, which was an interesting mix of layered rhythms and waves of distortion which occasionally lapsed into forays of droning ambient soundscapes. A concept album without an obvious, defining narrative, Origins was a pretty impressive effort that provided the sort of impressionable introduction any other artist would envy.

The material from the debut album certainly lends itself to a variety of interpretations, rhythmically, conceptually and emotionally. Bogatch was compelled to put together a CD that wasn't so much a straight "remix" album as a re-imagining of the source music. He invited a number of admired friends, some well known and others not so much, to contribute to this project and Origins Unfold was born. An independent release put forth by his own Origins Productions imprint this little wonder of an album with the impressively lengthy running time comes in a hand-assembled chipboard CD case that is individually numbered, limited to a pressing of 250 copies. That makes it a rather coveted selection which will disappear quickly so you may want to secure a copy with haste. The CD itself is solid black and the package comes with a 3" CDR featuring an extended remix by Navicon Torture Technologies.

It can be difficult to compare/contrast originals with their reinterpretations as the differences are often vast but I can at least cite a couple noteworthy examples. The original version of "She's Dead...Requiem" was one of the few tracks on the debut that seemed like it translated fairly well to a club setting with its steady, throbbing beat. There were moments though when it seems to be coming apart at its seams before resolving back into a more traditional cadence. It is the sort of track that practically begs for a proper remix. Tony Young, aka Autoclav1.1, was more than happy to oblige with a rough, grinding burn that is matched by a transcendent synth atmosphere. While it's not what you might have expected it's certainly driving and memorable.

"Save Me" was the first proper beat-oriented track of Origins and featured a scissoring rhythm intro that evolves into bubbling distortion and foreboding ambiance. Never one to take the easy route, Iszoloscope does a mash up of this track and the final piece on Origins, "Unearthed." The former is more go-for-the-throat while the latter relies on a more hypnotic pulse. "Unearth Me (Save Me vs Unearthed Mash Up by Iszoloscope)" is dominated by that droning pulse in the beginning and serves as a sort of grounding for the endeavor while harsh, if minimal, variations are explored. For his part Clive Reinhold accentuates the more ringing aspects of the rhythm inherent in "Save Me" while Last Days of Sex focus more on the choppy distortion. Jamie Blacker of ESA, however, builds a cosmic, spiritual temple that could be considered pure tribal bliss were it not for the obviously corrosive digital sheen.

"Think It And It Will Be vs. Pieces vs. Skip Trace (Correlated and Abused by Synnack)" is probably the most ambitious project as it takes the mid tempo opener of Origins and combines it with one of the more upbeat numbers as well as the most memorable ambient track to create a machine-like, nightmarish amalgamation which serves as the sonic equivalent to your most distorted and disturbing dream experiences.

What's most interesting about Origins Unfold is how it seems less like your standard remix offering and more like an exercise in mutual respect between an artist who is a fan of many of his contemporaries and the like-minded admiration of those hand chosen to handle the music from this unique and singular musician giving voice to his deepest emotions in a divergent digital context. While the work of Bogatch seems slightly disjointed with its forays into Ambient and Powernoise respectively the way in which the styles coalesce (and will, most likely, further merge in the near future) proves one of the more interesting synergies within contemporary Industrial and this is the sort of collection where a little help from your friends goes a long way in pleading your case to the masses. You should actively be seeking a copy of this limited release with a high degree of expediency as it's the sort of collection that's going to be talked about and disseminated for some time to come.

 
Tracklist
1. Skip Trace (Remixed By Prometheus Burning)
2. Think And It Will Be vs. Pieces vs. Skip Trace (Correlated And Abused By Synnack)
3. Unearthed (Remix By Tonikom)
4. The Mind Wanders (To The Point Of New Return By Booty Jazzhands)
5. She's Dead...Requiem (Remixed By Autoclav1.1)
6. Pieces (Remix By ATEK)
7. Save Me (Remixed By Clive Reinhold)
8. The Mind Wanders (Torches From A Distance Remix By The Panic Lift)
9. Unearthed (Remixed By Silent_Command)
10. Save Me (Destroy Your Savers Remix By Last Days Of Sex)
11. Skip Trace (Remix By 100Blumen)
12. Pieces (Shrapnel Mix By Caustic)
13. Save Me (There Will No Saving Remix By ESA)
14. Unearthed (Remix By C/A/T)
15. Unearth Me (Save Me vs. Unearthed Mash-up By Iszoloscope)


Bonus 3" disc

Stagger (Skip Trace Remix By NTT)