Jan 17, 2013

Album Review: Dysphemic and Miss Eliza "Synthetic Symphony"

I'm not too sharp on technology used or vocabulary when it comes to dubstep, and despite taking an undergraduate course in Humanities and Fine Arts, I'm almost as oblivious when it comes to classical music. But I'll do my best to articulate my love for the rising new mashup genre between the two, as I did for the amazing Lindsey Stirling. While Stirling has made herself a decently big name using primarily the miracle that is the internet, here we have the hot young up-and-comers Dysphemic and Miss Eliza from down unda'! Having conquered the club scene in Melbourne, Australia, the duo are returning from/embarking on tours in the US, Canada, Japan, Europe and the UK! To give every country/continent they're touching down in a taste of what's in store, they've offered up a NAME YOUR PRICE 6-track album, Synthetic Symphony.

1) "Hungarian Dance" - A perfect clash of wub and classical. Miss Eliza strings Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5" so perfectly I'd of expected it to be a sampling from a world renowned composer. Truly evident of how much attention Miss Eliza deserves. And the dubstep provided by Dysphemic provides a strong background bass to strengthen Eliza's work, knowing when to give her the time to shine and when to come in and show off his own skill. If I were in the movie industry, or even commercial industry I would have this song playing over a scene with someone young and beautiful driving a sleek and elegant car, emphasizing the class and high society while still keeping it real with the young club-crowd. 5 / 5.

2) "Drum'n'Bach" - In what I can only assume is my first life experience with glitch-hop, Miss Eliza takes a backseat with her rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Chaconne" from Partita for Violin No. 2, leaving Dysphemic to put on an exhibition of what sounds like awesome video game tunes. Somebody bust out a side-scrolling action game along the lines of Mega Man X for the SNES so I can run around blasting suckers with a laser cannon. In the middle of the song the dub gets a little darker and not quite as nostalgic of my early video game years but it doesn't take much away. Unfortunately when the darkness recedes the dubstep returns with the exact same (awesome, but same none the less) tune. I would have liked to see the fast-tempo'd glitch-hop explored more in the second half, but a great song none the less. 4 / 5.

3) "Scripture Slickness" - Miss Eliza is back in full action, busting out "Violin Concerto in E minor Op. 64" by Felix Mendelssohn like a shotgun blast! And Dysphemic brings me back to my childhood with some amazing glitch-hop sampling of what sounds like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy sound effects mixed into his dubstep. This track then introduces the rapping styles of Heinz who has good rhythm but unfortunately gets drowned out through the majority of the song. Given that it's Eliza and Dysphemic's album I can see why they wouldn't want to be the background to someone else's vocals, but why bring on a guest singer at all if they'll be muted? Someone in the production room should have turned his mic up. The song also ends on a strange note, completely dropping Heinz off for some very dark dub, which wasn't bad by any means but felt out of place for this track. 3 / 5.

4) "You Are Your Father's Daughter" - At only a minute and a half in run-time, the real good stuff doesn't kick in until at least half way. Miss Eliza and Maestro Julian Quirit mostly just have a jam session in the form of "Romanian Folk Dances" by Bela Bartok. I liked this track and I really liked the name but felt it didn't resonate for me like it may for some others. Perhaps this was added to the album for the fun of the artists or perhaps it's directed at a crowd with a better classically trained ear, but if I were to download the track it'd be skippable. 2.5 / 5.

5) "Bounce Dat Shieet" - The first minute of this track is a great collaboration between the two artists. Unfortunately when "Caprice No. 24" by Niccolo Paganini goes balls to the wall metal, it all just sounds like a mess with additional dubstep. Thankfully the styles do find their way to gelling again by the three minute mark but the chaos in the middle put a little bit of a damper on this song. 3 / 5.

6) "Melbourne's Burning" - A closing track just as strong as the opener! Eliza's rendition of "Four Seasons (Summer)" by Antonio Vivaldi mashed up with Dysphemic's insidious dubstep feedback made me want to be in the film business again. You can visually see all kinds of violence and mayhem when listening to this song. A city burning to the ground, a tyrant laying waste to the innocent in the streets, it's all there. Someone make an evil montage of someone like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises to this track! Aw heck, I'll do it myself. 5 / 5.

"Hungarian Dance" and "Melbourne's Burning"

Overall Rating:
Averaging up all of the track ratings we come to a score of 3.75 / 5. However, utilizing my big-picture, super secret brownie point reviewer powers that factor in number of tracks, ratio of hits to misses, run-time, and in this case band-popularity and album price, I'm going to boost this score to a very recommended...

4 / 5