SINE - Mantis 2
Rona Rougeheart is a gem in the dark electronic scene to say the very least. Under Sine she has released countless hits and sweet succulents that need to be heard by anyone into underground club music or cyberpunk and science fiction inspired music. Both “INSOMNIÆ” and “Injected” solidified her prowess in the scene which was only made clearer with the compilation / re-introduction album “Desire, Denial and Paramania”. Continuing on her success Sine has been releasing installments in a planned “Mantis” trilogy, the first of which released in May of 2022. While I regret missing out on that one, I’m amending that transgression by discussing the sequel “Mantis 2”. This five-track EP is short and sweet, yet altogether juicy and well produced. Dominating all aural senses for the nineteen-or-so minutes that it lasts, “Mantis 2” is a testament to Sine as an audiovisual artist.
The first song on the EP ‘Virtual Realitease’ first appeared on SINE’s “Desire, Denial and Paramania’. A bit of a look at the future going forward teasing what was to come next. In that review, I stated that ‘Virutal Realitease’ “contains rumbling and deep synths and plucks from what sounds like a xylophone. The vocals, stretched out and digitally touched with backing vocals, takes me into a sci-fi world filled with flying aircraft and gritty, dangerous streets. It’s atmospheric and filled with digital soul; I adore it”. All those words are still true these many months (almost a year later).
Up next comes ‘Jetset’. Crunchy guitars give the song a gritty edge while SINE’s moxy echoes right into her vocals as she mixes singing and somewhat spoken word lyricism. A dive into filth, but a journey that I’d take again any day of the week. Electro meets ambiance and worldbuilding in ‘Je Suis’. Like the soundtrack to a neo-tech-noir thriller, or just moody background music for a chill and dark bar, ‘Je Suis’ heightens my senses through its smokey soundscape. Bright synthpop influences make their place known on ‘Sex-Eye-Make Up’ as SINE almost adopts a new persona, matching the upbeat tone with melancholic vocals. The final song on the album has a dreary title, and with a dreary title comes dreary music. ‘Soundtrack of a Wasted Recovery’ features distorted vocals, equally depressing piano and violin, and the slightest, almost minimal electro beat. It’s not a happy song, nor is it a happy ending, but it works all its elements to deliver a sound worthy of the title.
While I’ve yet to check out the first EP properly (as in sit down and analyze rather than a preliminary glance), “Mantis 2” shows that SINE is still a proper leader in the dark electronic underground. Fascinating beats, constantly warping sounds, and ever fluent depictions of science fiction lore find “Mantis 2” in high regard. Eight out of ten.Sep 08 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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