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Sylvie Marks & Hall 9000




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Sylvie Marks & Hall 9000 CD coverKrazzee is the debut full length by a duo I have admired for quite some time. Unfortunately, like the second Smash TV CD (which I had also looked forward to), Krazzee doesn't have the touch af magic dust I had hoped it would have.

The first Sylvie Marks & Hal 9000 single I heard was Baby, Take Me A Little Bit Higher. It was followed by We Electric, then Bad Woman Meets Zen On The Street. 3 years after that first single we finally hear a full length, and like all artists who became associated with the Electroclash tag, she has expanded her sound into other genres not so closely tied to the sinking 'Clash ship.

Some songs sound like trip-hop, some sound like Acid House, and some like 80's Blue Monday influenced New Wave instrumentals. All have the trademark early 80s Hi-NRG / European disco synth sound. Patrick Cowley (who did music for Sylvester as well as excellent discs under his own name) and Bobby Orlando (who did music for Divine, The Flirts and others, as well running O Records) would be proud to know how far their influence spread.

Juno is an instrumental that sounds like 80's Blue Monday influenced New Wave. In fact, the synth line is very close to Blue Monday.

My favorite song on the disc is Unreachable, which is tame by the past standards of Sylvie Marks & Hal 9000, but is quite fine as a post trip-hop vocal track. The beats are so smooth and the song flows like liquid, with a nice bass line to cradle them in. Speaking of vocals, five of the tracks are instrumental (2,4,6,7,10). I've never been able to find anything that told me what Sylvie Marks plays, but with almost half of the disc sans vocals, I imagine she plays some of the music.

My second favorite tracks are the two Acid House numbers, My Computer Eats an Acid Trip and Wir Sterne. They have the heavy drum beat and the new-effects-around-every-corner sound that drove thousands of clubkids wild all night during the peak of acid house raves.

Die Blume has oriental sounding percussion and a vocal sound halfway between Regina Janssen (of Donna Regina) and Hanayo.

There is only one song from a past single. Baby I'm Electric was on the We Electric 12inch. I like the fact that she didn't fill up the disc with older songs. It shows respect and understanding - most people who are interested in this disc have already bought those singles.

The title song Krazeee is an instrumental that sounds like the 80s band Berlin, who scored a major hit in the US with a song called Sex.

So what do I say in closing? I still like Sylvie Marks & Hal 9000 and will continue to follow their records, buy Krazzee is not a disc I'll come back to again and again.

---Carl, February 22, 2005