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posted: Sep 12, 2005 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

...A bleak despair bleeds through Alin's retrospective re-creation of his time in New York City, and Lauren Cheatham adds such a weary worldliness to his lyrics that to listen to Metropolitan is to hear how a city can break your heart over and over again. But Alin's efforts through Atomica aren't to break things, but to move through and rectify the destruction of the past. He wants to gather all the pieces and fit them together once again. "You can't say I've never tried to love you / You can't say I've never tried to die for you," Cheatham sings in "Salt," and her voice, tarnished by the persistent weight of the city, remains pure at its core. The music of Metropolitan is suffused with the melancholy that so pervades trip-hop but Alin and company never succumb to the entropic end inherent in its decay.

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posted: Aug 23, 2005 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

Downtempo vibes and beats are twisted with incredible female vocals for the next branch off of Portishead. Wade Alin is the main songwriter and programmer and he enlisted Lauren Cheatham to provide the backdrop of gorgeous vocals that help recall the aforementioned Portishead, as well as Lamb and Bjork. Trip-hop blended this well with electronica, downtempo, and orchestral rock isn't often properly ordained. But Metropolitan is a new ministry at which to worship stunning and powerful music delivered with a subtleness that betrays its true gifted clout.

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posted: Jul 1, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze

Scott Sturgis probably gained the most recognition from his Converter and Pain Station projects -- both of which would be classified in different industrial subgenres. Converter was the rhythmic noise powerhouse, while Pain Station appealed to fans of more traditional EBM. Other side projects, like Notime or d.b.s., showed a more laid-back ambient side of Mr. Sturgis. All of the elements of these previous projects have been melted down in to one new form, released simply as s.sturgis. Don't pick up this disc with any preconceptions, any expectations that this is the next big thing in rhythmic noise. s.sturgis leaves behind the aggression and over-distortion for a more groove oriented, almost tribal feel. These six tracks were created as a (possibly one-off) chance to open for a local band. This unique performance featured both abstract visuals and the resulting audio recorded live that night. Any of these tracks could be thrown at a dancefloor for a tempo change, for a chance to watch some bump-and-grind action, but that wasn't the original intent. The downtempo, sometimes IDM-feeling tracks are more suited for a chill-out lounge, or a relaxing night of... well, anything relaxing, including visits to the magic pipe. This release showcases the breadth of Mr. Sturgis' talent and should find its way in to every electronic music fan's collection.

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posted: May 4, 2005 category: Reviews

Europa:

This is the 4th album of the Chicago-based Micronaut. Their work is an eclectic piece of electronics, which really covers different styles. The production of this album is really outstanding and that's definitely an element you'll easily perceive. Starting in a rather ambient way with remarkable cuts like "For once always" and "Mister Tronic," they than experience with some vague dub influences leaded by bombastic rhythms on "Normalized" to mix dark ambient moods with scratches on the more experimental sounding "Invention 1/Microprocessor" to the enigmatic "Darkness." There's some contradiction in style running through this last piece for the mix of deep electronic bass sounds and the use of a cello, but the alchemy of this band makes everything possible! The 2nd part of the album becomes really interesting for exploring more danceable fields. They now come pretty close to the style of Chemical Brothers without delivering a copy of this great band. There's a terrific mix between dance vibes and psychedelic influences reinforced by guitar riffs. We here get some amazing pieces like "Perdition" and the "DJ Blitz 4/4 remix" of the same song, but also "Failsafe," "Calculate" and "Institutional." By the exception of a few vocals, the entire album remains instrumental, but never stops to fascinate the open-minded listener I am!

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posted: May 1, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze:

Electronic soundscape paintings that H.R. Geiger's "Alien" probably dances to at the Acid Blood Club. Well done, hypnotic, and very, very dark. I am listening to it now and finding it difficult to write, since the sounds occupy the imagination to such a degree. The one thing I find annoying, though, is that the tracks sometimes do not conclude, they just stop dead in their tracks. The effect is like falling off something very high without knowing where you'll land. Hmmmmmmmmmmm... maybe that isn't annoying after all. The final track, "Euphondisson," breaks from the hard-edged tonality of the previous pieces and leads the listener instead through blissful emotional panoramas. Okay, I am repeating this track for the third time right now and it just gets better. This sort of sensitive beauty where it is unexpected is stunning.

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posted: Mar 8, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze:

Known for his noise assaults as Converter, Scott Sturgis has opted for something a little different with in a haze. Composed as an aural experiment, the six tracks of his first record released under his own name were performed live back in 2004 at a club in Seattle, WA, where Sturgis put aside the flesh-rending power electronics and rhythmic noise of Converter for something a bit more laid-back. Clearly intended to be heard as a singular experience, in a haze flows from ambient psychedelia to tribal rhythms to industrial-inflected downtempo beats to aural soundtracks for lost motion pictures.

It was a short performance that night -- just over thirty minutes -- but by preserving it on CD, Sturgis has made it easy to enjoy his experimental work over and over again. in a haze shows off his softer side, and there is nothing like multi-dimensionality to make an artist more interesting. I hope he found this experiment successful and does more of them in the future.

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posted: Mar 5, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze:

For the most profane among you, s.sturgis is nobody else but Scott Sturgis, the guy behind Converter who has released already some records for the Ant-Zen and the Cop Int. stables. After eight years and more than ten releases with Converter, Pain Station and Notime, Sturgis decided to experiment with something different under his real name. in a haze is a collection of six instrumental electronic songs featuring influences from abstract ambient, dense downbeat music, to tribal and ritual rhythms with a slight touch of psychedelic industrial spirit for a more bombastic approach. This is intelligent music with multiple layers where the listeners are a little bit lost which forces them to avoid a state of lethargy to try to understand what's happening around them. This impression is reinforced by the fact that all the tracks are perfectly selected to follow the previous without any seconds of breathing space.

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posted: Mar 3, 2005 category: Reviews

Europa:

...Europa is awash with a plethora of styles, an amalgamation of sound that builds from drum and bass, classical overture, moody electronica, dark ambience, and funky organic melodies into, well, a construct that has all sorts of echoes to the past while clearly all a-glitter with futurism...

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posted: Feb 20, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze:

You've probably heard Scott Sturgis' work with Ant-Zen Records favorites Converter so you should be accustomed to his eccentric side. But nothing will fully prepare you for the journey you're about to embark on with his Positron Records latest under his own name. Heck, you might have heard some remixes he's done for the likes of Haujobb, Suicide Commando, and his collaborations with Asche and Morgenstern. But still this is light years ahead of all that with its atmospheric bubble that encases you from head to toe bursting your musical hymen with essential experimental IDM bliss. Everything's twisted into downtempo beats with psychedelic soundscapes swirling about in the higher echelons all linked together with pseudo German industrial precision. Amazing.

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posted: Feb 20, 2005 category: Reviews

in a haze:

For those not "in the know," Scott Sturgis is the mind behind Pain Station and Converter, as well as other projects, such as this one.

This is a CD of a live performance recorded early last year. It speaks more so to the electronic side of Mr. Sturgis' work, forgoing the experimental side of Converter in favor of a more loopy electronic soundscape of glitchy noise, drums, and droning squeals of sound, providing an excellent internal soundtrack. It is not a catchy or fun listen, by any means, but rather interesting and complex way in which Mr. Sturgis goes about his creations leave you interested in the proceedings without it blurring into a monotonous haze. Over the six tracks, you are led quickly through a world of ever-changing, engrossing material. This is suitable background music that tantalizes the mind instead of just providing noise to fill the empty space...Scott Sturgis seems to set the bar in most areas he places his creative foot into. With the ingenuity of this project as well as the one-upping of powernoise by Converter, you are left to wonder what will spring next from his mind.

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in a haze @ shopPOSI

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