N3voa - Wasted Memories
When the music started playing for a minute or so, I got the feeling that this was going to be a solid release. By time I was through the first six tracks my expectations were blown out the door. Out of 12 tracks, 6 are the original versions and 6 are remixed by mostly big names in the electro scene like Assemblage 23, Decoded Feedback and Leæther Strip. Clause Larson is also involved as a producer along with Jarkko Tuohimaa of Neuroactive giving the entire release a crisp and professional approach to musical manipulation and creation.
N3voa is Diego Bittencourt. He currently resides just outside of New York City with roots reaching into Brazil and a drumming background in the death metal scene. Now armed with synths, Diego unleashes his Wasted Memories CD.
The first track 'Wasted Memories' hammers a mid-paced electro smasher that sets the expectations for what is to follow. Influences range from early to later Leæther Strip in both the music and vocals. The composition in itself offers a minimal approach with adequate tempo changes and vocal variations. A nice blend of complexity and aggression gives this track high marks as a tone setter! 'The Beauty Of Darkness' in title alone sounds cold and evil. With some interesting samples inserted into the song, the crawling pace and whispered vocals release the listener in a soothing and cathartic trance. The four minutes seem to vanish leaving us with a thirst for more. 'The Beauty Of Darkness' sounds like a lost Decoded Feedback track circa 1998-2000. More on Decoded Feedback's collaboration later. More killer synth work is established on 'Evil Rises'. Diego's fiery and malevolent vocal spiked with the susurration of a tormented soul, makes this another memorable track to be absorbed by. As the album continues 'Death' sets in with a sinking chill that was first revealed in 'The Beauty Of Darkness'. The vocals really stand out. If you replaced the synths with heavy electric guitars, Diego's shadowy voice would easily work in the death metal realm that once nurtured his development in his younger days. 'From Time To Time' has a melodic yet distant and soft vibe pulsing throughout the song. 'Anguish' rounds out the original versions with melodic dive into the dark worlds N3voa exists in through music and thought. The vocals are not whispered or shadowy like most on the album. The feel of the song borders somewhere from where we have been to place just south of synthpop.
There are six remixes added to the disc.The Leæther Strip version of 'Wasted Dreams' kicks off the remixes with more boisterous version. The remix is well fed with more sound and less reliance on the minimal foundations as stated in the original version. Although Decoded Feedback did a remix for 'Evil Rises' the album version sounds more like Decoded Feedback than their remix. Both versions offer very dark and tantalizing corridors to get lost in. Music producer John Mirland from Denmark gets his turn to reinvent a N3voa track. Mirland tears off the darkness in 'Death' and replaces it with his spacey tripped out version. Parts of the remix could be used in a spa while getting a deep tissue massage. Assemblage 23/ Tom Shear is a well-received artist in the scene. Over the last 20 + years, Assemblage 23 became known for well crafted anthemic electro beats and deep personal inspired lyrics. Assemblage 23 takes 'From Time To Time' for a ride into the open and vast sonic streams and pathways of limitless possibilities making this my personal favorite remix on 'Wasted Memories'. John Mirland and Claus Larsen join forces on a synthpop project called Am Tierpark. Both have their individual contributions to 'Wasted Memories' and now collaborate with Am Tierpark and take their skills to 'Anguish'. Am Tierpark's reworking is a little slower and more airy than its album brother. Vaylon is an established synthpop band based out of Denmark and Sweden that started out in the early 90's and continues today with albums, singles and a remix for N3voa's 'Anguish'. Keeping with the synthpop theme, Vaylon turns up the tempo for the most dance floor friendly track on the album.
Lyrically, Wasted Memories themes are as dark in thought as they are in the music. The CD comes with a lyric sheet for the listener to interpret the message. Rather than guess, I suggest you buy the CD to check it out for yourself. The website also has some lyrics from N3voa's previous works.
Wasted Memories is a solid display of Diego Bittencourt's talents. He is a skilled musician who circles himself with big names in the music scene which can only enhance his current skill set. No track really stands out, perhaps because all the tracks are well done. Going forward, I am hoping Diego forges a more signature sound. He certainly has the ability to raise the bar and I expect he will do so. N3voa has a new release coming out in September that will feature remixes from Patrick Codneys of Front 242, Mind In A Box, Neuroactive, Aesthetische, Haujobb, Amorphous, Signal Operator and of course Leæther Strip, Decoded Feedback and Assemblage 23. Diego has a lot in store for all the fans.Jul 26 2016
Part time reviewer since 2012 with over 140 contributions with reviews, interviews and news articles.
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