Double Eyelid - Broken Mirror
Toronto based Double Eyelid has been
(self) described about the place as “art damaged goth glam gutter”
music. However for the purpose of this release Broken Mirror I
am going to go with “EBM Goth rock with a bit of artyness thrown
in” assuming you need a genre to help you along. Formed in 2009,
Double Eyelid is the trio of singer Ian Revell with guitarist Karl
Mohr and keyboardist Benjamin Mueller-Heaslip with a drum machine.
Broken Mirror is essentially 11
remixed tracks from the album Seven Years in 2014, but as I
haven’t heard the album I can assure you this works well as a piece
of its own. What drew me to wanting to hear this release was that two
remixes were done by bands (Leaether Strip/Psyche) I have been a fan
of for a very long time and been fortunate to work with myself, so my
interest was piqued and I am happy to say I was not disappointed.
Leaether Strip's remix of 'The Stranger' opens the album and sets the rest of the tracks up
well. The first thing I thought of when I heard the track was the
familiarity of the LS sound and that the vocals of Ian Revell were
not dissimilar to Matt Johnson though somewhat more breathy
and maybe a little more intense and emotional and that impression
happily continues throughout the album.
The Reactive Black remix
of 'Black Box' follows and it has the classic hallmarks of goth
styled love songs with big guitars, clean beats, weird background
pads,chorus vox, steady basslines and that breathy dramatic vocal.
EBM steps back in for the Tyler Milchmann remix of 'Dead Is Better' which was the single and video from the album. Clean crisp and
slightly unnerving in the best of ways.
'Woman Hanged' (nTTx
remix) is a punchy bassline of a track with guitar stabs and almost
industrial sweeps throughout the background with the again whispery
vocals that by now make you, for now, forget the Matt Johnson
similarity and enjoy them for what they are in amongst the music.
Psyche's remix of 'Black Box' follows and takes us through a
cold/darkwave version of the original track. Tinkling piano with
minimal bass and beats. A beautiful version and nothing less than
expected from Psyche.
Dead Red Velvet (also
the guitarists project) gives us an almost ten minute version of 'Diamond Cutter'. I love this track and as such it now sits in my
DJ folder of tracks to play. A wall of sounds and beats that grow and
grow and grow and almost overwhelm you. Just as its about to get too
much noise to discern, it drops out to the effected vocals and rolls
through various bits of the intro sounds and beats. Ten minutes goes
through quickly as there are acid basslines, trance, guitars and
different beats that keep it interesting all the way through. The
stand out track on the release I believe.
The Matt Johnson
comparison really shows through again with the DJ Cruel Britannia
remix of 'She's Falling' and brings us nicely back to a goth
tinged feeling which feels closer to the concept of Double Eyelid
although with more synth-bass and pad involvement. 'Dead Is Better' gets another work over, this time, from Lanada. This version sees
more of a chaotic instrumental attack with drops, rises, female vox
and a more of a clubby track feel to it.
The Klomb remix of 'The
Stranger' is the shortest track on 'Broken Mirror' with lots of
punchy beats, old school acid techno sounds, drops and breaks. 'Cold
is Better' is again a more minimal version of what’s already been
on the release and adds some rollicking guitar and deep heavy
basslines to push the track through nicely.
We finish up with the
sonically disturbing (in a good way) Double Echo remix of Woman
Hanged titled 'Hanged in Dub'. And plenty of that awesome dub
style is in there in the way of echos and reverb in and out of the
track smothering and enlightening the vox. Brilliant.
Broken Mirror as
said before, is 11 tracks running at just under the 65 minute mark
and while there are 6 originals remixed, they are varied and
interesting enough that this release stands well on its own as an
album to listen to. With some remix-only releases, you do get the
feeling you're listening to the same song with a slightly different
*thing* happening in it. Thankfully, with Double Eyelids Broken
Mirror you don’t get that vibe, which in itself isn’t an easy
task to achieve. There are great songs for DJs to use in pretty much
all the EBM/goth/gothrock genres as well as being a great album to
just plug in and play loud.
I suggest you go and do just that!