Regular Price: $16.98
Online Sale Price! $5.00
Across the Divide: Live in Holland
High Blue Star
debut (With Laurie Reade of Black Tape For A Blue Girl)
All mine enemys whispers ~ SALE $5
Black tape for a blue girl
10 Neurotics ~ SALE $5
Heretic Angels: Live in the USA ~ SALE $7.98
“Melding operatic soprano voice with apocalyptic whispering against synthesized orchestrations, the band appears to be charting new musical territory. Attrition is so far beyond the curve that it might be years before the mainstream catches up." - Offbeat magazine writes about ATTRITION at the Convergence festival, New Orleans.
Sultry rhythms, driving electronics, operatic female vocals and grave male vocals combine in the intense dance macabre that is an Attrition live show. Kill The Buddha! captures the band on their 25th Anniversary tour, performing songs split equally between their most recent studio release, Dante's Kitchen, and hits that span Attrition's solid career. Main man, songwriter, electronic player and vocalist Martin Bowes is joined by American vocalist Laurie Reade, complemented by keyboard/synth players including Ned Kirby of Stromkern.
Recorded on Attrition’s extensive anniversary tour of Europe, America and Mexico over 2006 – 2007. Compiled and mastered by Martin from direct-to-stereo recordings from the mixing board, Kill The Buddha! is a live momento as well as a documentation of a brilliant electronic band in their prime.
"The distinct scent of incense floated across the room from the burning embers on the tips of the sticks in between Martin Bowes' fingers. The operatic female vocalist's melody combined with electronic dance beats created an otherworldly feel. Attrition gave a powerful, serious, and harmonious performance coupled with strong, rhythmic beats; an undoubtedly distinctive sound..." - Regen magazine writes about ATTRITION at the Black Sun festival, USA. 2008.
“Moments of euphoria like this are as rare as they come.” - DSO magazine writes about ATTRITION at the Underworld. London. 2007.
Last year I introduced some of you open-minded souls out there to the work of amazing electronic group Attrition – the twisted creation of UK artist Martin Bowes – whose acclaimed album All Mine Enemys Whispers was one of the most chilling and immersive sonic experiments of that or any year. Now it’s time for an entirely new experience, as Attrition has released their new 25th Anniversary live CD – which represents the band’s impressive history and hints at new, even more sinister directions in the years to come.
Recorded during the band’s 2006-2007 “Tearing Arms From Deities” world tour – which included stops throughout Europe and North America – the nine performances captured on Kill the Buddha! feature a few of the band’s earlier works (as a sort of precursor to the Gothic/Darkwave movement, before anyone knew what to call it), but is built primarily of cuts from their more recent release Dante's Kitchen. The tracks were all culled directly from each show's live sound mix, recorded on mini-disk and remastered by Bowes himself. The result is a completely new spin on the band's immersive sonic landscapes, with an injection of immediate energy and spontaneity, fury and beauty, that feels almost monolithic in scope while managing to steer clear of the self-indulgent tendencies than can dog so many bands of the Gothic variety.
For this tour, Bowes shares onstage vocal duties with operatic American singer Laurie Reade, and turns over most of the offbeat electronic instrumentation (his own forte in the studio) to several other keyboardists, including frequent Attrition collaborator Ned Kirby (of the band Stromkern). The result is a layered, haunting, hypnotic collection of genre-defying soundscapes that alternately seduce and frighten.
“Favourite Things” sets the mood with creeping, crawling electronic drones accompanying a spoken tally of the contents on a mad scientist's workbench (“Sulfuric Acid... Sodium Cyanide... rubber gloves... a gurney... restraint gear...”) and gives way to the throbbing analog beat that begins “The Head of Gabriel,” the first in a cluster of Dante's Kitchen tracks and a solid example of the band's latter-day output. Bowes' guttural whisper holds down the low frequencies while Reade's angelic intonations soar, loop and reverberate across the sound field, while the entire mix is punctuated by knob-twiddling synth effects and sprinklings of samples. It's followed by the title track from the same album, a more drum 'n' bass infused version of a similar formula. “Dreamcatcher” adds to the sultry danger with its lurching, Middle Eastern electro-bass rhythm and a cool repetitive spoken line from Bowes.
Next up are two songs from 1997's Etude: “A'dam & Eva” is filled with dark carnival atmosphere, thanks to its waltz-time organ accompaniment to Reade's lyrical material – this time Bowes switches to the background to provide eerie demonic accents. “I Am Eternity” is essentially a shoegazing trip-hop number – albeit with more evil intensity than, say, Portishead – and features a seriously catchy keyboard arpeggio line. Then it's ahead to Dante again with “Two Gods,” propelled mainly by Bowes' dark murmurings and a groaning bass line, surrounded by a swarm of electronic insect buzzing.
“The Mercy Machine” (from The Hidden Agenda) is a more hard-driving and dance-friendly piece, with deep, bouncy bass, more pronounced percussion and a dreamy, melancholy vocal quality that demonstrates just how much influence Bowes has lent to the whole Darkwave thing. “The Long Hall” is another up-tempo piece with a jungle-esque rhythm loop, which builds momentum to a point, plateaus in trance mode for a while, then kicks in more frenetic beats to an orgasmic, breathless climax.
For a fun closer, “November 18, 2006” is taken from a live tribute to Martin, with Reade crooning a very sultry “Happy Birthday,” but the whole event is turned slightly creepy by a deep synth drone in the background. Think of it as a sexy alien party for the damned... and now that I think of it, that's a perfect description of the Attrition experience.
Though not for all tastes, Attrition has managed to secure a solid niche audience for a quarter-century, all the while resisting categorization despite recognizable elements of early industrial, dark ambient and trance. Come to think of it, Martin Bowes has probably influenced most, if not all, of those genres himself. There's a damn good reason why this group is still around, and this CD is a cool way to find out.
An eerie introduction to this Live set from Attrition leads into... well despair! Not the kind where you want to throw the CD at the nearest moving object, but a dark journey of musical harrow. This is a largely electronic set supported by nonsensical voice sound bites and an almost gospel female entity in Laurie Reade. And while her voice carries and holds beautifully – a lot of the time you can’t help but think that she is merely yawning poetically.
To be fair she does put her singing talents to all sorts of uses. Gothic Muse, ethereal fairy, Operatic Diva... They all seem to come meshed together with Martin Bowes own inflections. The disc is a fairly sombre affair, with each track taken from assorted live venues around the globe. If anything with the list of dates they have played, it seems a shame that the songs present are so few. This is even more the case as this is especially for the 25th year anniversary. You’d think they would have gone for double disc set. That aside… 25 years does speak volumes of an act that creates a performance (or performances) that comes so beautifully atmospheric.
It is still dark and beautiful mood music for the darkly synthesized inclined. - Steven Hurst
Recorded between 2006 and 2007, "Kill the Buddha!" marks the twenty fifth anniversary of one of Projekt's leading names and an almost must have in every home of a clubbing Goth in these two and a half decades. With this live album, recorded in various shows around the USA, Europe and Mexico, Attrition make themselves as actual as ever, as Martin Bowes' haunting voice dominates with its blunt chill. Whispering, chanting and singing with dark beats and the enchanting operatic voice of Laurie Reade.
A live album has to hold an extra value over a studio recorded album, and not just offer a live alternative to the songs that can be found on earlier albums. In attrition's case, the live performance offers a darker approach to the music, as I see it. It's the lack of perfect conditions that are usually found in a studio recording that makes the two voices, the ominous whisperer and the angelic siren stand out so boldly even when standing on the earthly ground of the stage they are performing on. "Two Gods" is a fine example, and far from the only one, for the great work between the two voices. Generally speaking, "Kill the Buddha!" offers many rhythmic beats that on one hand signal everyone to jump around, and on the other hand, grasping them by the heart and freezing them in their place. The blood chilling shouts from "The mercy machine", that desperate plea for help, must be a very effective and piercing when heard on a live performance and "The mercy machine" is placing itself as one of the highlights of this show.
A different twist from the dark rhythms that attrition is bombarding its audience with, "A'dam & Eva" is a high temp, Cabaret performance that gains more power on stage, bringing to mind the original Cabaret plays, of course, who were performed at times with no means to have any recording of such decadent act. The artificial musical sounds that attrition plays in this song make it even more distant, with a Blade runner taste to it, rather than a Marlene Dietrich's. "I am eternity" is a stirring and very powerful display of Reade's abilities, making her even more fascinating when standing in front of a crowd.
Writing (and reading!) a review about a live performance of a very well known artist is a tricky thing. Either you like Attrition, and so you will give this album a listen anyway, or you know you don't like them, and so will not give it a try , or you happen not to know them at all, in which case the question that should be asked is whether this live performance is a good start to get to know this veteran band or not. In any case, "Kill the Buddha!" is a powerful live performance and a good effort by attrition, and this fact will stay firm and cold like the rhythmic beats of Martin Bowes, against the above question – Where are YOU standing in relation to Attrition?
Hace muchos años, cuando el grupo musical Attrition era un completo desconocido para una gran parte del público español (incluso desde la revista Atis&Nyd llegué a aconsejar años después su imprescindible audición a los lectores, pese a que este grupo ya llevaban tiempo publicando álbumes de incomparable calidad musical), sus discos iban acumulándose en mi colección discográfica para ser disfrutados y cuidados con mucho mimo. El tiempo ha pasado pero, para este grupo musical, los años no parecen pasar en cuanto a la calidad de sus trabajos se refiere. Recientemente, gracias a la cortesía personal de Sam Rosenthal, en Lux Atenea Webzine recibí el que es, a día de hoy, el último disco de Attrition publicado: “Kill the Buddha!”. Con este álbum en directo, Atrittion deja testimonio del 25 aniversario celebrado en el año 2006 con una selección de sus mejores canciones ofrecidas en su tour por los EE.UU, Europa y México durante los años 2006 y 2007. Con la vanguardia electrónica siempre presente en sus composiciones, Attrition nos demuestra su maestría a la hora de moverse con comodidad por diferentes estilos musicales sin perder en ningún momento su esencia como grupo. Una autenticidad musical de cara a su público que siempre será valorado en toda su excelencia.
Con la intro de “Invitation...” y “Favourite things”, iniciamos el viaje por la mejor música electrónica ofrecida en directo por este grupo. Las atmósferas futuristas de “The head of Gabriel” empiezan a sumergirnos en el interior de un mundo que no se encuentra tan lejano de nuestro presente en el tiempo. Con la impresionante voz de Laurie Reade como telón de fondo, la sedosa electrónica de Attrition se irá apoderando poco a poco de nuestros sentidos en un ritual marcado por el magnetismo sonoro. Un contraste entre la aterciopelada voz de Laurie y la grave seriedad vocal de Martin Bowes lleno de genialidad, que tendrá su armoniosa continuidad en la canción “Dante´s kitchen”, una visión mucho más multicultural de la raíz de la electrónica de vanguardia. “Dreamcatcher” se presentará mucho más oscuro y expansivo en una atmósfera ensoñadora e hipnótica, hasta que los himnos sacros de “A´dam & Eva” nos lleven por una senda sagrada magistralmente mezclada con la esencia musical del cabaret.
Lo divino seguirá presente en la canción “I am eternity”, con la sugerente voz de Laurie Reade dominándolo todo y con la majestuosidad supraterrenal de una sacerdotisa cantando desde el punto más elevado de su altar. Una impresionante interpretación en directo que les inflamará el alma. Apunten esta versión en directo de “I am eternity” en su lista personal de canciones únicas e imprescindibles. En este camino de trasfondo sagrado, la canción “Two gods” engalanará la magia del directo hasta que “The mercy machine”, me lleve de nuevo a revivir momentos de mi pasado tan irrepetibles como insuperables, escuchando con intensidad esta versión en directo. La mística de “ The long hall” se envolverá de vanguardistas secuencias y bases electrónicas en una canción orientada a la espiritual visión de nuestra existencia. Con la canciòn “November 18th 2006”, se pondrá el punto y final a este mágico álbum con un cumpleaños feliz dedicado a Martin Bowes, e interpretado con el encanto, la belleza y la sensualidad que sólo Laurie Reade puede ofrecer con su voz.
“Kill the Buddha!”, un imprescindible álbum en el que podrán apreciar la contundente música en directo ofrecida por un grupo musical situado a la vanguardia de la música electrónica desde el año 1980. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!!
Since Kill the Buddha! is a live album commemorating Attrition’s 25th anniversary tour, I feel the need to state my bias upfront: I don’t generally like live albums. At best, they manage to capture exactly what makes a band’s live show unique (think Rasputina’s A Radical Recital) or at least pack-in enough non-album tracks to make it worthwhile to diehard fans (as is the case with The Dresden Dolls‘ A is For Accident); unfortunately, most concert records fall far short of both ideals, and offer only muddy, energy-deficient performances that lack the immediacy of having been there in person.
And yet, I have to admit that Kill the Buddha! is an excellent example of what the enigmatic Attrition live experience is like. I’ve seen Attrition twice (in two different countries, no less) and this album gives a fine indication of what you'd expect out of an Attrition gig: cold electronics, throaty male whispers, and soaring soprano vocals. As a bonus, the recording is crystal clear; if not for the occasional applause of the appreciative crowd, this could pass for a recording conjured-up in the studio. Also, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t note that the version of “I Am Eternity” featured on this album is absolutely brilliant. Light a fistful of incense and it’s just like being there…
Attrition has long been a fixture on the Rock circuit but from different angles and forbidden borders. With a history that forms from their beginnings in 1980, when such music began to find audiences they would have been hard-pressed to find in the ‘70s, to their present moments, where new music by the band is as potent and effective as their earlier catalogues.
In 2005 and 2006, this legendary band embarked on an ambitious tour that embraced not only the band’s native UK but also countries like Mexico and the US. Billed as the 25th Anniversary Tour, this collection of performance songs are taken from shows in the US (AZ, FL, ID, KS, NC, and even the hinterlands of IA), and Europe (Antwerp, Belgium; Erlangen, Germany).
Kill the Buddha!: The 25th Anniversary Tour contain songs from their vast catalogue, performed in a continuous vein of music that makes the songs sound like a new offering. Five of the tracks are found on their Dante’s Kitchen (2004) album, with the rest an historical pathway through Attrition’s music garden. Bowes and company do not just rehash the old songs, they reinvent them by infusing them with a familiar but strong dose of energy. If you’re familiar with Attrition, you will thrill with this Projekt release.
Attrition is opera, Attrition is experimentation of the highest order, Attrition is in a world all of their own, orbiting some strange star with an atmosphere of fear to breathe. This Live album is more than a Live album, it is the capture of a rift in a theoretical multiverse, proof that such frightening places exist. Attrition is extraordinary music for connoisseurs of challenge and this Live album reaffirms Attrition’s musical prowess.
Kill the Buddha! is essential to your Attrition library. Rating: 4 out of 5