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Just because Android Lust is led by a woman - and released on the world-famous Projekt Records - don't fool yourself into thinking you're about to hear an album of floating ethereal music. Android Lust is raw, intense and passionate. Borrowing elements of rock, industrial, gothic and classical, Android Lust presents a blend of electronic music that is dark, icy, and fiercely emotional. Born in Bangladesh, schooled in England and in the United States, Shikhee's background is as varied as the eleven tracks on The Dividing: running the emotional gamut from loss to discovery, from regret to carnivorous loathing.
Included in The Dividing is a special CD-ROM section with photo gallery, lyrics, and a bonus track to boot.
Check out the cool flash page announcement for Android Lust. Read Sam's article on why he signed Android Lust to Projekt. Quick Time Video of "Burn" from Projektfest'02
Shikhee stands out not only for being a one-woman powerhouse (as singer, writer, producer of Android Lust), but also for her keen, uncompromising ear for fresh electronic sound, allying her with talents such as Trent Reznor. - The Sentimentalist
The re-release includes a 6 page lyric book not in the original DVM release.
3 stars... | Android Lust is just one person, Shikhee by name, and in the tradition of such auteurs as Trent Reznor, she may have a guest performer here or there but this is all her vision and band, and she does a great job at it as well. The Reznor connection isn't too far off when it comes to Android Lust's music - Shikhee is clearly a fan of his industrial/goth/metal fusions and experiments and happily applies the same sense of recombination to her own work. Notably, though, unlike all the wannabes that bubbled up after The Downward Spiral hit it big, Shikhee's own combinations of wounded emotion and rampaging anger taps into the same sense of romantic apocalypse instead of just flailing for its own sake. Her sense of sometimes hot and sometimes cold, explicitly female anger and lust calls to mind everyone from Marianne Faithfull to Toni Halliday, while the combination of everything from Middle Eastern melodies to nervous Depeche Mode-styled keyboards demonstrates a similar sense of wide-ranging inspiration. The unsettled rush of "Panic Wrought," the combination of stabbing bass and woozy, bansheelike synth wails on "Stained" and "Another Void" and its mix of chopped up guitar melodies and keening strings over a roiling beat are all stellar examples of how smart and sensitive her skills are. Meanwhile, the stentorian but chilled pace of "Follow," as good a portrait of sheer obsession and entrapment into a relationship as any, in the perceived genre or out of it. When Shikhee hits a full-on dancefloor stride with songs like "The Want" and "Unbeliever," it's as good a sign as any that an electronic body music revival and reinterpretation is back on the cards, as well as being in very good hands. - Ned Raggett
Android Lusts The Dividing is enjoyable right from the get-go. On this succulent little album Android Lust melds together elements of rock, neo-industrial, punk, goth, and classical to create a potent blend of music that is dark and fiercely emotional. Shikhees a musical whiz who possesses the ability to alternate from a velvet whisper to a flesh ripping scream at the drop of a hat. She also has an uncanny ability to bring an emotional component to the mix. This gals a one women powerhouse not only does she sing but she wrote and produced the alum as well. The Dividings tracks conjure up an array of aggressive dark imagery, which swirls around moderately fast paced electronics. There are also plenty of hypnotic melodies, infectious beats, and venomous rhythms to entice you as well. Memories of NINs Pretty Hate Machine days surface in Kingdom of Love. The Wax Trax era is revisited in Panic Wrought. The Want finds Shikhees lovely voice gliding over an array of staccato beats and atmospheric electronics. The Middle Eastern textures of Another Void are just dreamy, and Sex & Mutilation is a lesson in experimental noise. Bravo! -NIN
I remember a long, long time ago, back in 1998, when I acquired the debut CD from Android Lust called Resolution. It was released on the small American record label Tinman Records which worked in cooperation with the German label Out Of Line at the time. Since then, Android Lust released a remix album in 1999, and the first new stuff we got from Android Lust was the single The Want which was released in 2001. At the end of last year, we finally got the new album, The Dividing, after a nearly 4 year break. The Dividing has been released on a new record label called DarkVisionMedia. Android Lust is Shikhee, one of the coolest women in the Industrial/EBM genre. Shikhee sang and composed everything on this album, this time also working with a few guest musicians. The music on The Dividingis extremely varied ?too varied for Android Lust to really be called an Industrial/EBM band any longer. The lyrical content on album is superbly written and ranges from the deeply personal and emotional to making seemingly outright political and social commentaries ?a spectrum just as wide and kaleidoscopic as the music itself. The first track on The Dividing, ?ivision? is a beautiful, slow ballad, that sets the tone of the album with what seems to be influences from both Neofolk and Rock. The sense of atmospheric beauty that Division brings with it is immediately torn apart by the harsh Industrial Rock song ?ingdom Of One? ?anic Wrought?then attempts to restore that beauty with its moody, intricate melody, synthpoppy beat, brilliant lyrics and vocals. The 4th song ?ollow?is another beautiful, slow and intricate song which, while seeming to draw some influences from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, also incorporates acoustic instruments such as flutes. ?he Dividing?then continues with the club hit ?he Want? and goes on to the 6th track, ?tained? which is a slow song with a heavy synthline. The 7th song ?nbeliever?is a masterpiece ?an amazing song that starts off slowly with a heavy beat that gets progressively more and more complex, some impressive synthwork that lays out a melody that just draws the listener in, and lastly but not least, the brilliant lyrics and vocals. The 8th track, ?nother Void?is another beautiful and masterfully composed song which features acoustic guitars, violins and brilliant vocals. ?all To Fragments?expands on the use of acoustic instruments to have a flute make up the basic melody for the entire song, and also features Shikhee's well known whispering vocals that we know from her club hit ?efuse? Track 10 ?ex & Mutilation?is a short song with some noisy rhythms and angry vocals, and comes at you unexpectedly like a sonic explosion that again rips apart the beauty so wonderfully construed by the preceeding tracks. The Dividing ends with track 11, ?urn?which seems heavily neoclassical-influenced with violins, flutes and some impressive vocal work from Shikhee.
In closing, it took 4 years for The Dividing to come out, and it was more than worth the wait. Android Lust has quite simply made an incredible album. Not only is the music fantastic - Shikhee is also a truly gifted lyricist, and her lyrics speak from the heart and actually also mean something to me personally. Do yourself a favour and buy this album now. - Brain
Where to start on the CD I have given title as Best CD of 2002? The quick bio for those of you who have been hiding in the dark too long. Android Lust was formed in 1995 in New Jersey. Combining some great talents and ideas they managed to incorporate everything from industrial, classical, contemporary and gothic styles all into this little package. This is their third full length album to date and a follow up to the EP released the previous year at the same time. This just goes to show the amount of work and time spent on perfecting the CD of 2002!
Well for starters it definitely was a late comer but highly anticipated after the EP The Want. This EP brought a renewed excitement for Android Lust after a fairly long hiatus. This was to set the mood for things to come. Android Lust has been one of the bands that, no matter where it's played or when, a majority of the crowd can relate to both the emotion brought forth from the music and the raw power it creates in each of us. This full length album is absolutely the best work Shikhee and crew has done to date. Why do I say this? Asides from having an extremely talented keyboardist (look up I, Parasite aka Christopher Jon), Android Lust manages to continue their personal growth as a band while staying fresh in sound and creativity. This innovativeness adds something that a majority of bands cannot create effectively. The music itself as per usual with AL, incorporates a ton of new instruments, flutes, guitars, bass, and effects you will not have seen anywhere else. The newly created ambience and direction I felt from the CD was of rebirth and hope. Maybe it's the lyrics themselves, maybe it's the emotion Shikhee strikes into you when singing. I've never been able to put my finger on pinpointing things for AL. This I consider a good thing... mostly because it allows me to put the CD on repeat for lengths at a time. On that note AL carries a talented female singer... something both male and female people groan about at length within the scene. Shikhee has worked hard I'm sure to perfect her use of effects/vocoder and good old wind to create different emotions/feelings and flow to the music.
With the exception of the mellow tease starting off The Dividing it jumps right into a very electro vocal orientated piece. The Dividing is balanced out quite well throughout the CD. This makes sure you listen right through to the end. Bar hits on the CD will include "Kingdom of One," "The Want "(which has already shown it's a dance floor hit since the ep release) and "Panic Wrought." Personally I'd like to see my favorite song receive a verywarm welcome from the clubbers. "Unbeliever" I consider the best song on the albumn for a multitude of reasons. To me it carries all that is Android Lust within five and a half minutes. A wave of emotion, well written lyrics and Shikhee's wonderful job on heart stopping vocals. Second place would have to be a tie between "Kingdom of One" and a song from the EP "Stained - Winter"). All in all this is a fresh sound. A band with immense future potential on all works and growth and I wish them the best of luck on their work. I suggest everyone take some time to browse through a wonderfully put together website too. Videos/Discography/Bio/Info and much much more.
This whole CD cranked to max on any stereo should please most listeners. I wish I could say all. I hope everyone considers picking up a copy and giving it a listen. It's not a CD you'll regret buying. - GenocideX
When asked about the name Android Lust, Shikhee replies, "It's meant to show the dichotomy of one's nature. The contradiction that exists in us." As the singer, songwriter, and producer behind Android Lust, Shikhee's vision is what propels the project, and her vision is precise, razor-barbed, and fully capable of eating you alive. Mixing elements of classical music, gothic, industrial, and electronic work, Android Lust is one woman's ferocious howl of anger, pain, regret and loathing.
The persona in her songs yearns to be free, yet at the same time finds herself chained in relationships, subjugated to the will of another. "Cover my eyes to better / see as you see / feel what you reveal," she sings in "Follow," and the song reverberates with the agonized state in which she finds herself. "I ask for strength a clear head / Maybe a razor to paint you red," she croons in "The Want," struggling to escape. Electronic melodies bubble and snap around her, candy-coating the message with a vaguely Euro-Pop feel. You ignore the words at your own risk.
"I don't want your explanation / I really couldn't care less / I've got my own reminder / This scar across my breast." It would be too easy to dismiss Android Lust as an avenue for catharsis about failed relationships. Such a dismissal fails to recognize that the sentiment expressed in a song like "Stained" is an emotion which we have all felt at some point. Shikhee pours the black and red of her heart into her music, creating fiercely emotional landscapes which cut right down through your breastbone. The keening of wordless voices in the background of "Stained" is a lamentation for the world as it can never be again. The narrative voice has reached the edge of her sanity and what she knows and sees now is forever colored by pain.
There is the howl of a wounded animal to Shikhee's music in much the same way that agony powered a great deal of Trent Reznor's work on the first Nine Inch Nails record. Like Pretty Hate Machine, The Dividing is generically lumped into the "industrial" camp, but that fails to capture the range of sonic elements which make up the songs. While synthesizers and drums propel the melody in "Unbeliever," Shikhee's voice takes on operative overtones in the climax and there are tiny glitch elements which scurry after her throughout the track.
"But once more I want to try / Try to touch / I want to believe / Believe it's possible," she sings in "Unbeliever," laying bare the dichotomy about which the whole record is arranged. The desire for external stimuli drives us out of our shells, but if we aren't careful to remain strong, we become robots -- slaves to the drive of another. Shikhee's alternating succubus whisper and banshee howl are a reminder to never stop feeling, never settle for anything less than what you truly desire. - Mark Teppo
One of the most unique acts to fall within the umbrella of the innovative Projekt label, Android Lust is sonically a startling departure from anything else in their catalogue. Shikhee, the genius behind The Dividing, is an artist in a similar vein as Trent Reznor although let it be known that Android Lust gets under my skin in a way that nine inch nails never could. Shikhee sounds downright menacing on "Kingdom of One", her painful shriek dangerous to speakers at a high volume (I must imagine). Deep, pulsing electronics and aggressive drums pervade "Unbeliever" setting the stage for Shikhee's tormented muse to run wild. "Panic Wrought" is reminiscent of Skinny Puppy in their Too Dark Park days (I'm thinking of "Nature's Revenge") with considerably more delicate vocal work. A multimedia section includes pictures (both live and posed) and additional goodies. Possibly ushering in a new golden age for Projekt, the powerful statement that is The Dividing will hopefully make this label and Android Lust both household names. One of the best releases of the year. - Jack Alberson
Originally released in 2002, but The Dividing will be released again through Projekt on 29-07-2003. Now released with printed lyrics and a somewhat disappointing Enhanced CD (the photos are nice, but thats all).
The music is however difficult to describe. Shikee is originally from Bangladesh, but followed her education in England and the United States of America. Her music seems to put all these experiences together. Industrial with rock influences that surprises through their strength and power, but at the same time got different relaxing moments. Listen to the difference between openings song Division that sounds quiet and a little dreamy and the intense, heavy Kingdom Of One that combines the guitar sound of Marilyn Manson with the voice of an act like Queen Adreena. Android Lust however knows to bring her pain, frustration and loneliness in her own way. Shikhee enchants you with 45 minutes of whispering, singing and shouting. Musically she balances between the different forms of industrial. Danceable, with light influences of drum n bass during The Want, threatening and calculated during Stained, the flute oriented Fall To Fragments and the neurotic Sex And Mutilation.
Of Shikhee is told that she have the same talent as Trent Reznor (NIN) and this time its true, because Android Lust shows that she isnt a copy of the mentioned band but has the same qualities to create her own music. Rating: 8.5/10 - Beautevil
When I hear Android Lust, the images that trickle through my mind's eye as I attempt to quantify what I'm listening to into something more visual, more tangible, are those from Greek Mythology. In my mind, if the Furies or the Gorgons were given voice to cry out to the gods of Mount Olympus, they would do it with the vocals possessed by Android Lust. If Persephone ever cried out from Tartarus, Demeter would hear the wrathful and emotionally saturated voice of Shikhee, the voice of Android Lust, howling through the very bowls of the earth, shaking the wheat in the fields of men.
Android Lust saw its inception in 1995 after a series of failed attempts by the "lustful one," Shikhee, to build a career in music while surrounding herself with a group of musicians and attempting to realize her unique and, often times, startling perspective on the world around her and the emotions that spin it on its axis. Sometimes, however, the vision of the individual is far too powerful for others, not as devout in regards to its promise, to grip or hold on to for very long. Shikhee struck out on her own in the lonely life of the soloist and donned the identity of Android Lust.
Shikhee's first, full-length album, Resolution, released in 1998 under the Tinman Records label, is a testament to the musician's ability to take that which she values from the genres of classical, industrial and synth-pop and combine them together beneath vocal styling that is haunting, if not chilling in some respects. Tracks such as "Refuse" and "Suffer The Flesh" made it onto some of the more enlightened dance floors across North America and Europe. While Shikhee did not receive immediate, worldwide recognition for her work, she did turn heads and form a formidable wall of a fan-base around her music. Shikhee took industrial fusion to a new level with Resolution (as well as with her follow-up, remix release, Evolution), proving that there was more to the genre than drum loops and movie samples. Shikhee added a stage presence in her live appearances that is nothing short of impressive to behold. Despite the deception implied by her delicate form and stature, Shikhee moves and sways like a queen wasp while she performs. The overwhelming effect of her movements coupled with vocals that sound as though they are being hissed from between the widening jaws of a Burmese python alongside hypnotic, infectiously venomous beats and rhythms is, quite simply, hellish...and I mean that in the best, possible way.
In short, Android Lust grabbed my attention and has held on to it for about four years now, and that is exactly how long I have been awaiting the return of the wasp queen.
2002 sees the release of Android Lust's second, full-length album: The Dividing. Following up a critically acclaimed EP entitled The Want, Shikhee has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts in the four years that she has remained all but silent to her audience. The sheer sting of her anger is clearer now, brighter now, in its vibrating darkness and depth. The listener can hear and completely comprehend every vowel, every punctuated accusation, which Shikhee spits forth with the voice of an angel. Less emphasis on vo-coding and vocal effects throughout The Dividing allow the listener to better appreciate the true talent possessed by Shikhee as a singer, and her programming and musical orchestrations are all but flawless to the ear. Nothing drowns out anything else where the sounds made by Android Lust are concerned. Each instrumentation and every effect serve a purpose and are interwoven into a seamless web of an end result that I can only describe as "neo-industrial." While Resolution was indeed impressive as freshman release for Android Lust, The Dividing easily surpasses it in regards to every aspect of Shikhee's classically trained musical and vocal ability. As a testament to the legitimacy and ability of Android Lust, The Dividing stands like a monolith, casting a long shadow over releases by acts that would call themselves peers and sets a very high bar within the implied confines of the industrial and electronic genres. If you have not yet had the opportunity to discover Android Lust for yourself, then The Dividing is an exceptional medium with which to familiarize yourself with Shikhee's unique and superior approach to industrial fusion and music in general. - Shannon Hennessy.
Blending styles between Goth, industrial, rock and classical, Android Lust are hard to put into any one genre. Led by Bangladesh born singer, Skikhee, Android Lust have been called neo-industrial with music that is varied and vast. As vocalist, producer and writer, Shikhee has been dubbed a one-women-powerhouse and her voice vacillates from haunting whispers to primal screams. While Android Lust oozes with sexual overtones, Shikhee isn? as overtly crude as Lords of Acid or My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. The Dividing is exceedingly intense with a darkness that could be compared to Trent Reznor? Nine Inch Nails as Shikhee shows her contempt for the government, ex-lovers and everything in between. The sinister sounds which are invented by the synthesizer only add to the bleakness of the record. After six completely synthetic tracks, ?all To Fragments?commences with the sound of a minstrel flute which lingers amongst the bleeps, blurbs and sensual ranting of the highly individual singer. ?ex and Mutilation?has a disturbing and evil tone but allows room for the imagination to run wild. With a classical viola intro, ?urn?shows the versatility of Android Lust without straying from the Gothic drone of the rest of the disc. The sophomore effort from Android Lust is equally impressive as the debut, 1999? Resolution as Shikhee adds an avant-garde coating of organic warmth to Android Lust's trademark palette of chilling electronics. - TONY ENGELHART
Although characterized by many as aggressive, Android Lust is actually in another realm altogether. With throat scarring, soul ripping, primal vocal lunges amid a blend of genre- stripping music, Shikhee has created a passionate and brooding work of intensity. The lyrical components that make up Android Lusts re-release of The Dividing, are swirling masses of indecision and lost faith made the more corrosive by Shikhees anger and her heart-pumping electronic rhythms.
Switching between the hymnal quality of Division to the jack-hammered and industrialized Kingdom of One almost without missing a note, Android Lust begins the journey, not as a quest for hope but rather a fervor to reveal a state beyond despair, a plane where acceptance of cruelty and hate is the landscape of humanity. One listen to the Lycia influenced Follow with its growling declarations and the loss of self-respect reveals the intentions of Android Lust, which is to poetically explain the insensitivity of existence. Power this by a gothic flavoured delivery and you have a well- produced recording that is genuine in its arrangement. The ironic sense of confusion that emanates from the despondency that is the DNA of this album is found in the scattering of the lyrics in the insert; youll find them disordered and in various places.
Musically, Android Lust explores styles using touches of classical, gothic, and rock, wrapping them in a heavy industrial sound and injecting them with the nightmares of imperfection, underscored by the rhythms of monstrous machines. Another Void uses a manic keyboard pound and a saddened violin to bring its point of deception and submissive realities to the surface while another later track, Fall to Fragments also uses its classical leanings while incorporating a vocal hint of insanity and an almost subliminal steady beat of drums.
The reality of it is that Android Lust is Shikhee's voice. It's where she chooses to reveal her truth. Fans of hard edged industrial will like this even though it adds a touch, at times, that speaks softly of resolute pain and anquish. But at other times she works up the muster to create sparks from her vocal cords like trains with brakes applied, screeching forward to certain endings. This set comes in a tri-fold digipak with an insert of lyrics. It also is enhanced with a bonus song, "Burnt". "Burnt" is classically rooted with piano and melancholy; a mournful, yet satisfying piece that steps away from the album slightly. There are photos, lyrics, and weblink included.
Android Lust is the stuff of harshness; frozen, bitter, and convincingly disillusioned. Projekt has expanded its wings to draw in yet another facet to its already notable roster of philosophical meanderings that pore over life's inadequacies. Projekt scores yet again. - Matt Rowe
EMOTIONAL INDUSTRIAL: Four years after her debut release, Resolution, Shikhee, the composer, musician, and vocal visionary force of Android Lust, presents The Dividing, an 11 track adventure in sound and atmospheres. There are many aspects of Android Lust that have to be mentioned, but most notable are the vocal abilities Shikhee delivers. Ranging from sweet harmonious whispers to distorted slithering sneers. each note passing across her lips sounds impassioned and resolute. The Dividing also offers an industrial based sound rich in synthetics and comes across as compositionally and prolifically atmospheric. Sifting amongst this post-industrial soundscape is the inclusion of organic sounds and instruments, allowing for a more human and personal connection to the electronic manipulations and darkened circuitry. Tracks such as "Kingdom of One". "The Want", and "Follow" offer the traditional industrial sound with a Shikhee slant, while "Fall to Fragments", "Burn" and "Another Void" feature the classical arrangements of flute, cello, and violin. There is even a devilishly sadomasochistic noise piece that serves as a dagger through the center of the aforementioned organically inspired works. There are even dashes of gothic and EBM strewn strategically within. Unconventional and adventurous, The Dividing is a rewarding breath of fresh air in a world of copycat industrial cast-offs and deserves high accolades for its mixture of vocal treatments, well crafted electro organic atmospheres, and also just for being a woman going it alone in a typically male dominated musical world. - Joseph Graham
Android Lust et en profite pour reediter le deuxime album de la charmante Shikhee, The Dividing, sorti l'an passe. Un digipack au packaging particulirement soigne, sur lequel figure une piste CD-rom joliment presentee contenant les paroles, quelques photos et un morceau supplementaire, une splendide "ballade", pour accompagner un album qui merite toute notre attention. De l'electro au feminin, sensuelle, soignee, tendue et sombre, bien plus mature et personnelle que ce qu'elle avait realise jusque-l. Christophe Labussiere
The label Projekt has just set in license Android Lust and takes advantage of it to republish the second album of the charming Shikhee, The Dividing, released last year. A digipack in a particularly elegant packaging, on which appears a CD-ROM track beautifully presented containing the lyrics, some photos and a supplementary piece, a magnificent "ballad", to accompany an album which holds all our attention. Electro in feminine, sensual, careful, polished, tense and dark, more mature and personal than what she had realized up to there. - Christophe Labussire
9 of 10 | With her new album, Shikhee defies all boundaries of industrial music clich?s. By far her most intimate and open work to date, The Dividing presents a blend of industrial, goth, classical, or yet avant-garde rock. It holds a blend of dark and icy tracks with tortured emotional vocals. The album reveals such a sonic wealth and mood diversity that it brings you from euphoria to deep depression in no time. For the first time as well, Android Lust is using some real instruments including flute, viola, and a little bit of acoustic guitar, that adds a more organic dimension to her dense and intricate electronic arrangements. Shikhee's female vocals are also much more present on this release and reveal a hypnotizing wide vocal range that left me breathless...From the over distorted screamed laments that take you at the throat and tease with chaos ("Sex and Mutilation" or the great "Kingdom of One"), to the smothered spoken words ("Another Void", "Fall to Fragments") that give you the chill, through the nearly unprocessed clean moving chants ("Burn"). I really love when the voice goes through various filters and effects throughout the same song jumping from a sung chorus to angrier verses. "Follow" is a real pearl in that genre next to the pervious single title track "The Want"! "the dividing" is that kind of album that one might define as timeless, and that is bound to become a classic for sure! Android Lust is unique and shines through the sensual and sensitive person of Shikhee who has nothing to envy of Trent Reznor, the artist she might be the closest to, if any comparison would really be requested. Painfully beautiful? beautifully painful... - Seba Dolimont
The electronic underground was privy to a new phenomenon that began in the autumn of 1995. This was the point where history was made as Android Lust embarked on a musical path that heretofore was simply crowded exclusively with male artists. Shikhee, a.k.a. Android Lust, has a background ranging from classical to contemporary music. Her attempts with several traditional bands proved less than satisfying, causing her to take a major musical rethink and become a solo artist. After her successful and well received releases, Android Lust takes us even further into the world of mechanized and organic style music. The Dividing, which was two and a half years in the making, takes on post modern industrial music and weaves a scalpel's precision of elements ranging from punk, pop and rock, forging yet again new territory with what could best be described as neo-industrial. The songs tackle emotional elements such as loss, discovery, regret and carnivorous loathing. This DarkVisionMedia release also boasts a special CD-ROM packed with photo's, lyrics and a bonus track.
The Dividing also features guest musicians such as Lew Del Gatto (Saturday Night Live Band) on Flute, Christopher Jon ( I, Parasite) on live drum performances, Scott Slapin (the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra) on viola, as well as touches of Shikhee's acoustic guitar mixed within the palette. "Division" opens with a funereal style organ as Shikhee drones and self harmonizes, crafting an interchange between man and machine. The organs manage to coalesce and dance with a touch of Celtic flavor, demonstrating from the outset that there is a decided organic yet electronic interplay going on. "Kingdom Of One" slams in with the trademark noise electronics while the keyboard percussion rushes us into a maelstrom of fuel injected beats. Shikhee's vocals take on an urgency and overwrought intonation whose drive hasn't been heard since the early punk rock days. "Panic Wrought" adds layers of electronic gloom that bubble and coalesce, making it rather dark with a "goth" feel but not necessarily "goth." The percussive beats elevate the track to club floor status while Shikhee infuses an almost desperate and lost soul delivery of the lyrics. "Follow" sends out electronic laser beams on a seek and search mission. The track is mid tempo and adds so many interwoven elements that accompany her sotto voce delivery expertly.
"The Want" has been featured on her site on Mp3, but quite frankly, if one has only heard this track via a regular modem, you are missing a lot. The electronic percussive elements are intact, as is Shikhee's desolate and subconscious delivery. However, the high and low ends from the fully mastered song simply bounce from the cavernous spaces, daring the listener to take a voyeuristic look into her world. "The Stained" tackles dark electronics with atmospherics that are haunting and quite delicious. This is one mid-tempo sexy groove, that it would be unthinkable for any DJ NOT to feature it at some point in the night. We are also treated to an almost pop crossover vocal intonation, demonstrating the strong range that Shikhee possesses. "Unbeliever" once again percolates underneath as sound and spatial atmosphere lead us into a dark electronic world. The vocals undertake a melancholic and pensive feeling, painting a hybrid backdrop between outward calmness coupled with internalized angst and uncertainty, earmarking this track for the club set. "Another Void" flourishes with touches of classical elements, as though strained through a space-time continuum. Percussive and marching drum effects pick up the pace while other electronic elements bounce off of each other and the vocals. "Fall To Fragments" opens with a beautiful flute rendition which segues to Shikhee's sensuous vocals that are then cut up in razor blade fashion. Throughout the hypnotic percussive beat, the flute remains the counter point and base line where everything else is wrapped around it. "Sex and Mutilation" veers into the familiar Android Lust territory of icy electronics. Imagine Die Form thrust 35 years into the future to get an idea of just how calculated this track was constructed. "Burn" begins with a classical moroseness that reminds one of a gloomy and rainy day. The soulful element and lamentation is given an Elizabethan twist where Shikhee can be envisioned at a spinet, pining away for lost opportunities in life.
Having heard the entire back catalog of Android Lust, clearly this is without question the best work Shikhee has created to date. The songs take on more than just an electronic element, as she has interjected many comprehensive atmospheres, elements and intonations. Most of the songs are destined to be club hits, but there are also tracks meant for moments of introspection as well. Unlike many of the male counterparts in the electronic realm, Shikhee doesn't need to compress her vocals down to some white noise element simply because she CAN sing. Being female also allows her the extra liberty of taking emotional feeling beyond just the parameter of rage to bring to the table something that most male fronted acts cannot or will not do. That, coupled with her uncanny ability to hear music in everyday sounds and take on the task to recreate it into a viable musical medium demonstrates the precision and astuteness she brings to her craft. It is precisely her ability to bring an emotional component to the neo-industrial movement that will once again make her work a benchmark for others to emulate in the future. Android Lust is anything but dull and one never knows what else Shikhee will pull from the stratosphere to taunt, tease and bedazzle us with. Do seek out this recording as it conveys sound and music unlike anything on the market at the present time. Rest assured, there will be many imitators though few will be able to connect with the organic and electronic elements the way Android Lust has.
In an effort to emphasize the label's increasing musical diversity, Projekt announced a few months back that the label's "stunning new signing" was Android Lust, and first up, is a re-release of the album, The Dividing, which was originally released in October of last year. Over the past few years, the label's founder Sam Rosenthal has subtly broadened the range of artists that appear on his predominantly Ethereal based record label. Inking decidedly more Goth rock outfits like Audra and indie/shoegaze acts like Lowsunday and Mira made a great deal of sense at the time but admittedly, Android Lust caused a few folks to raise their eyebrows. It is one thing to try and show that there is more to Projekt than swirly romanticism and heavenly voices, but Android Lust is an electronic act renowned for uncompromising rawness and feisty feminist aggression. How would such a band fit alongside Black Tape For A Blue Girl or Lycia?
If there is one thing that Projekt has always managed to do, and I think even the most ardent critics of the label or modern Goth music in general would admit, Sam always provided quality releases that he, as a music fan more so than a businessman, stood behind 100%. The label has always maintained integrity and even if a few releases were regarded as misses by some fans or critics, there were always twice as many fans in support of those artists as those that were disenchanted with them. So the point of this long-winded rant is there was obviously something unique about Android Lust that tickled Sam's ear and earned the band placement on one of the most prestigious labels in dark underground music. "This is something I've wanted on Projekt for many years: a female artist." Sam confessed in a recent Projekt newsletter. "Not a band fronted by a woman, but a band that -- from the first conceptualization to the last touches on the album cover design -- is completely the creation of one woman. In this regard, Android Lust has a similarity with my music. Except for a gender switch, Android Lust is like black tape for a blue girl: it's one person's vision in every sense."
Android Lust standout among not only the rest of the Projekt roster, but the band differs from most current electronic and Industrial dance bands active in the scene today. The most obvious difference is of course, Shikhee herself. While there are many female vocalists out there, most conform to conventional traits of femininity and place a heavy emphasis on angelic vocals that hope to convey a sense of beauty or tranquility. While many of the cuts on this latest release prove that Shikhee can sing with a subdued and graceful alto, most of the time she delivers a venomous agitated scream that is wrenched straight from her churning stomach. She has more in league with riot grrls and femme fatales like Lydia Lunch, Jarboe, Diamanda Galas, and Kim Gordon than with wispy overrated sirens. Which is quite refreshing. I can't seem to get enough of irate female musicians. They put me in my place and remind me how disgraceful it is to be male and how powerless I truly am. It's wonderfully subversive.
At any rate, from a musical perspective, there truly aren't that many unique qualities about Android Lust. There is nothing groundbreaking in the arrangements of the songs and there aren't really that many melodic hooks. But that isn't necessarily a drawback . I for one am far beyond worn out on smooth predictable electronic music and ready made 120 BPM dance floor hits, and I hope by now, many of our readers are too! Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response this album received when I hosted a release party for it at Ceremony last month, folks are going to stomp around the dance floor like mad to most of the tracks on this album. The brand of electronic music provided by Android Lust recalls the earlier and more rhythmically jagged days of Industrial dance music. Atmosphere and emotion are the primary ingredients here, and rightfully so. There is more Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, and early NIN influences present than sugar-coated bounce. Which I appreciate and enjoyed immeasurably. The drums have punch, the synths have a stark retro feel to them, and then, of course there are the vocals.
The genuine passion and feverish intensity that animates nearly every vocal performance on this album makes up for any lack of musical originality. Though the disc opens with a relatively atmospheric and Darkwave instrumental, things really begin to heat up and forge from a misleading sense of safety into delightfully unpleasant territory. You can tell from the first time Shikhee opens her poison filled mouth on "Kingdom Of Oneî" that she means business. And it isn't pretty. Shikhee is entirely aware that she is off pitch, out of key, out of breath, and for the most part, not even singing. But somehow, this works. Vocal purists may scoff, but there is enough out there that follows the same formulas. There is something dangerous and deliciously decadent about the vocals on this disc and this track in particular. "Kingdom Of One" is perhaps the most unrelenting track on the disc, and I can imagine it was placed so early on for a reason.
Granted, an entire album of vocals like this probably wouldn't work, and would alienate more listeners than broaden their minds. With "Panic Wrought,: we find Shikhee's rage to be toned down, but unquestionably still damaged and fueled by discontent. Like some of my favourite Doom metal bands, Android Lust makes misery and suffering infinitely alluring. The painful rasps and whirling gloom of "Follow" trudges even further into Darkwave territory. A cathartic exercise for both performer and listener, however derivative of other previous musical outfits, the purity is unmistakable.
All in all, to some, Android Lust may seem to be an acquired taste at first. But this album has sinister incubatory powers and it will grow on you. Once you are used to Shikhee's unorthodox vocal styles, it's all smooth sailing from there. In all actuality, her rasps and freak-outs are very well timed, adding climactic moments to the fluid, sprawling backdrops. So don't expect her adrenaline to be pumped to 11 on every track. Shikhee's singing will more than likely appeal to fans of Tapping The Vein, Collide, and Battery. But personally, I find Shikhee to be possessed of not only a more colourful punk rock attitude than most female singers in the scene, but she also projects a greater confidence in herself as a performer.
There is diversity in the album, and there is a wide-spectrum of emotional conflict explored, from the gritty explosiveness of "Sex & Mutilation" to the lite trance techno beats of "Unbeliever." The final track "Burn" is a dreary neo-classical piece that centers on brooding viola and twinkling harpsichords, and if there were any doubts regarding Shikhee's ability as a vocalist, this track will lay them to rest. What she ultimately proves is that she is capable of accessibility, but prefers to pursue her own creative instincts, which is quite admirable.
The Dividing is a dynamic, enthralling release, and I am thankful to have had the pleasure to hear it since I missed it the first time around and I am more than curious about Android Lust's back catalogue. Hopefully, via the exposure offered by Projekt, Android Lust will reach folks like myself who had wrongfully dismissed Shikhee's works as just another run of the mill electro project. Definitely recommended. -Matthew Heilman
Its not your usual doom-and-gloom, eyeliner-caked Projekt Records release its something a little bit harder, a little faster and a whole lot angrier. Shikhee, brainchild behind the controls of Android Lust, is revving her gears up a notch in The Dividing, an album that proves chicks can keep up with the big boys of the darkwave/neo-industrial movement. Shes been hailed as the female equivalent to Trent Reznor, although any industrial aficionado will tell you she sounds something more akin to his illegitimate granddaughter. Fresh, hip and full of that familiar gothic angst, Android Lust would be better labeled as the Reznor of her generation of electronic-driven rock. The Dividing has all the elements of the darkwave soundscape haunting synths, staccato-metallic percussion, droning guitar loops and venomous vocals that sound swirled out of puffy bloodstained lips. Songs like "Follow" might send a shiver down your spine as Shikhees wraithlike hymns paint the inside of your ears in a desperate shade of corpse-gray. On the track "Sex And Mutilation," the little sprite sounds as if shes about to slit her wrists in a bathtub surrounded by pictures of a decimated ex-lover.
Definitely a keeper at least in your CD player, that is. Josh Bashara
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.This newest release from Android Lust is a collection of lust-worthy tracks indeed, all written by the inimitable Shikhee. From a velvet-rich whisper to a flesh-ripping scream, each track is alive with a full range of emotion and meaning. "Division" opens the disc with a liturgical sounding organ which works to soothe you before the impending burn. Throughout, angst-ridden, carnal cries mesh with intricate programming as well as the occasional viola and flute, all adding to a masterwork of method, madness, and enigmatic sound. Shikhee stands out not only for being a one-woman powerhouse (as singer, writer, producer of Android Lust), but also for her keen, uncompromising ear for fresh electronic sound, allying her with talents such as Trent Reznor. Just listen to The Dividing and you'll become pleasantly whipped. Highly recommended. - Celine
Shikhee drapes her angst in velvet. She and the genres she draws from do a kind of tango of desire and venom. At times she sounds like Tori Amos at her most feral; at others like Alanis Morrisette feasting on anger. But mostly Shikhee sounds uniquely abandoned.