Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Street of Alice - VELVET EDEN


Out of the  lightless whispers of the distant past, the story of Velvet Eden’s “Street of Alice” lives on. While released in May 10, 2000,  13 years ago, the magic created within the album is still very much alive. From the mesmerizing dark EDM beats and Dada's enchanting vocals, this album reminds me why I consider Velvet Eden to be one of my favorite Japanese Darkwave bands.

The album begins with its album-titled track, "Street of Alice" as its haunting beats slowly take over. The beginning feels as if you are being pulled into a trance by some unknown force. When the beats begin to intensify at 00:18, this feeling grows stronger as the gloom settles little by little before Dada's vocals make a powerful entrance at 00:48. This song sets the atmosphere for the remainder of the album as it fuses heavy EDM beats with gothic rock.

This dark atmosphere amplifies as the album progresses especially in the next piece, "Sad Mask." Conveying images of a masquerade full of tragic souls and mystery, "Sad Mask" possesses an enchanting and alluring energy that you can find yourself lost in. It feels like there is magic in every rhythm of this piece, not just in Dada's vocals. The magnetic rhythms in this song mold almost perfectly together that at times I cannot distinguish them from the actual instruments. That is what makes this song possess an unearthly feel to it.

Continuing the flow of mystical waves, Street of Alice's journey continues with "Girl Friend". Although possessing similar ghostly feel as the previous two tracks, "Girl Friend" fuses Dada's vocals with the beats and instruments beautifully as one. In other words, this track has a mesmerizing flow to it that separates it from "Street of Alice" and "Sad Mask."

Moving away from the mystical vibes of "Girl Friend", "Hamono no Koi" is riddled with  electronica waves and deep basslines. One of the most interesting aspects to this song is that it sounds as if Dada is singing from a distance; like his voice is echoing slightly from afar. This effect occurs throughout the entire piece. One of my favorite parts in this track is the deep basslines because of how it stands out in the midst of all the computerized sounds. It's captivating; like the heart of the story.

Velvet Eden's story continues on in "Doomed Love" with their most electronically infused song on this album. In "Doomed Love," the piece uses a warped electronic effect in the vocals by making it sound like he is singing through a water tunnel. This effect creates a unique atmosphere as it highlights more of the electronic aspects of this song. The only times in which this effect is not used are during the choruses, however even during the chorus it still sounds like Dada is singing through from afar. The beats used in this piece are almost hypnotizing and possesses a somewhat metaphysical tone.

Like a siren leading you into a whirlwind of destruction, "Cold Sleep" takes you away into their world. It is hard to describe this song without experiencing for yourselves. With each beat perfectly molded together along with the magic of Dada's vocals, this track is masterfully composed to the last note.

Moving away from the deathlike aura that surrounds "Cold Sleep", the next track "Maze" lures you in with a more light-hearted energy. With light techno sounds and heavy drum strokes riddled throughout, "Maze" lifts your spirits in the midst of the chaos. It creates the perfect balance between black and white with its use of electronic waves and fast beats. It adds a beautiful dynamic to the album.

The journey comes to a close with "La Fin." Right from the start, this electronic infused song is the perfect way to end this enchanting album. One of my favorite parts of this piece is the keyboard solo from 02:30-03:03 as it shapes and adds to the beautiful flow of intensity.

As the last piece fades away, it is hard to describe the beauty of the lightlessness that Velvet Eden created. As a whole, this album is magical and it never gets old.  If you haven't listened to it before, I highly recommend it.



Learn More about Velvet Eden~ Official Youtube Channel | Dada's Official Twitter

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This review of Velvet Eden's Street of Alice was written by Rita Nokkaew (Ayva Trance)

Edited by Alicia Thomas

Follow me on twitter at @AyvaTrance




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