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Death Notice

Thousand puts descriptive labels on its releases to prepare you for what's within. 'File under electronic' is the tag attached to most of its collection. This CD is rather different, bearing the rather sombre moniker 'Funeral Music'. Despite this rather foreboding aura, the opening piece is actually rather jolly: a high-spirited organ tune with the odd hints of a drum pattern creeping in later on. The rest of the disc is full of contrasts and veers between completely unlistenable, savage, rasping screeches bashing your ears, to the sublime. Sometimes this all happens in one piece; track 03 mutates in seconds from a thoughtful and rather tranquil experience into 30 seconds of NON-like horror dirge. Other pieces echoes Jarre-esque chords, musical boxes and 'beat'. In fact, track 14's bizarre rhythmic devices almost threaten to turn into a beat-fest; it just about makes it for a couple of minutes, becoming one of the more directly engaging tracks, before digressing into electronic burbling once again.

As you may have guessed, this is not a pop album. It does follow the Thousand idea of hybrid, although this is the first to attempt to combine gothic overture with classical composition, experimental warblings and church-like symphonics. It ends up sounding like a kind of attempt at a pseudo-gothic film score rather than funeral music. Either way it's very hard work, although quite elegant at times.

Craig Grannell (February, 2000)

Cover artwork