“Crash…starts out almost sounding like a Sega videogame, and then morphs into a completely rocking tune, with funky electronic riffs in the background pushing the tune to the end.”
MEPHISTO ODYSSEY/Deep Red Connection
Mephisto Odyssey (the name is taken from Faust’s devilish character Mephistopheles) is a talented San Francisco band, with the potential to be kings of the underground raver family.
Deep Red Connection is Mephisto Odyssey’s first major-label release (second, if you count the Lift EP, a compilation of earlier mix projects). The group has actually been together since 1993, with one other release on City of Angels Records.
Deep Red Connection is a larger scope of sound than the underground cuts the band is known for, already spinning on the turntables of rave and club DJ’s worldwide.
The CD starts out with a trip-hop and contemporary sounding techno track, then goes on to a complete song with vocals and a chorus. The tracks alternate between techno instrumentals and vocal numbers. There’s a real mix-tape feel to this album. For the vocal songs, Mephisto invited an impressive cast of friends to step up to the mic and add voice to the band’s signature sound. The highpoints of the album are definitely the songs with the guest singers:
“I’m The Man” features Hanibal Now, who raps over a dancin’ acid-industrial track with creepy sounding lift-offs.
The sweet lullaby “I Breathe You” is very Bjork-ish sounding. Another Icelander, Angelcat, provides the vocals, and you can definitely hear the steady Icelandic influence.
“Jump” sounds like a kicking Jamaican track on speed. It features Jamalski, and his fast blurred lyrics make you want to get up and start break dancing.
The song “Crash” features Wayne Static of the band Static X, and to my surprise, he has a good singing voice. His voice moves low and sexy, with some of the scratchy screaming voice in places, which would be expected from Wayne. The song starts out almost sounding like a Sega videogame, and then morphs into a completely rocking tune, with funky electronic riffs in the background pushing the tune to the end.
“Wish” features Paula Frazer, is a beautiful voice-harmonized hymn. Its cellos and Rhodes piano accentuate the sad tone and the somber lyrics.
All five of these great vocal songs are also featured on a Mephisto Odyssey sampler CD Listen. Experience. Connect.
The rest of the album is your typical house, drum ‘n’ bass music with dreamy down-tempo rhythms. The music keeps your interest the entire time, but some of the techno songs sort of drag (“Sexy Dancer” and “Red Drums”). However, remember, you’re supposed to be dancing to this CD at a party or club somewhere. It’s a great CD if you like techno, but if you’re not crazy about raver music but like ear candy, pick up the five song sampler CD with the featured guest singers.