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Reincarnate - CD 2001
Legends Magazine
Dark Realms Magazine
Hard Wired - European Magazine
MK Ultra
OUTBURN
RE/Volt & Grinding into Emptiness
The Madison Isthmus
Maximum Ink
Gothic Beauty Magazine
Electroage Webzine
Morbid Outlook
Alternative Zine
Synthpop.ru (in Russian)
Gothling.com
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self-titled debut - CD 1997
Interface Magazine
Buzzmonger Magazine
BabySue
Keyboard Magazine
CKMS Radio
CAKE Collection


 

REVIEWS

Legends Magazine
"Since the 1997 debut release of the self-titled album , fans of Dissonance have been waiting for the follow-up. Finally late in 2001, nearly a half decade later, electro-dance guru Kristy Venrick at Nilaihah Records saw fit to pick up and release an album from the Cat Hall and David Sebrind duo. Reincarnate is a much stronger sound for the laid back band of old, and with mastering by Oneroid Psychosis' Lars Hansen the production is high end as well. After getting the debut album, I also received a demo of a side project by Cat called Sinistar. I loved it - I reviewed it and the review never went to print for a bunch of different reasons. But Sinistar was heavy and tearing where Dissonance was light and groovy. I was dying to see a full length by Sinistar, but it never happened. However now my wish has been satisfied in Reincarnate. Their previous work was softer and while Reincarnate has the moodiness and darkness that first had, it's much more razor sharp. Heavier and more biting in both sound and lyrics. Where Collide melds, Dissonance now scrapes. Where Glis floats, Dissonance suddenly tramples. It's an amazing release and there isn't a bad song here. I'm writing this review myself because I'm not letting this copy of Reincarnate get out of my hands. But if you long for the lighter, older-skool Dissonance tune in first to track 4, Tightrope. Here Cat and David create a lighter song that harkens back to their older work on their debut album, but touch it up with heavier rhythms and a very pronounced bass line that bubbles heavily through you. Fearless gets a little funky with an awesome bass that bounces about. Cat shows us what she can do with her wonderful voice given the chance with strong, soprano vocals during chorus bars. Also on Reincarnate is a remake of the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby. I actually think this version is better than the original. I won't ruin the surprise with a deep description. Anxiety is pure bliss for any floor stomper. Amazing hooks, catchy riffs and tearing vocals. And check out Sinking for more examples of what kind of interesting work David can do with bass and rhythm. A master sound programmer if ever there was. Closing Reincarnate is Lars' remix of Desperate. This remix version pulls out all the rhythms and bass and creates a windy version of the song. I prefer the former, but that's not to say that Lars' version is in any way bad. Desperate just sounds more appropriate with the heavier sounds. What we have here is an older, wiser, more cynical and heavier Dissonance. Reincarnate is a perfect name for this long-awaited release. In closing, Reincarnate is yet another winner on the Nilaihah catalogue that includes such bands as The Azoic, Oneroid Psychosis, and Fiction 8. A perfect ending to the label's 2001 releases, assuming that the unsleeping Kristy Venrick isn't busy finishing up yet another amazing piece of work. " --Marcus Pan, Legends Magazine - Issue #117

Dark Realms Magazine
'Reincarnate' marks the second release from the duo of composer/musician David Sebrind and songstress Cat Hall. The rich production quality of the multi-layered tracks form a plush, synthetic bed for Cat's purring vocals. Electronic dance tracks such as "Anxiety" and "Drained" are energetic and fast-paced, while "Tightrope" has a slower, steamier allure. "Fearless" pulses with an infectious, hip groove. A techno remake of "Eleanor Rigby" comes across like a sultry, gothic dance track. With 'Reincarnate', Dissonance further establishes themselves as one of the freshest acts in the darkwave pop scene. --Richard Pickman, Dark Realms Magazine - Issue #5

Hard Wired Magazine
Genre:synthpop/electro
Rating:3.5/4
review by Carl Jenkinson
This superb second album from the American duo of Cat Hall & David Sebrind, known collectively as Dissonance offers a mix of synthpop, electro & dance that benefits from a distinctive turn of phrase (musically speaking) throughout.Whatever the duo turn their hand to the result is indelibly stamped with a flair for carefully rendered atmosphere & melody, even the dancey commercial "Fearless" avoiding any characterless 'four-on the-floor' ideas by means of an assured delivery that touches the mind as well as the body. The razor-sharp basslines (which even the Signal 12 mix of "Control" has the good sense to accentuate!) adds a sting to the tail of these essentially pop tracks although an emotive & thoughtful approach means the results rise above any commercial mediocrity. Cat's vocals shine most obviously from the superb synthpop of "Desperate", the slightly harder edged "Drained" & the atmospheric electronica of "Control" & this potent combination of atmosphere & rhythm is one the band resort to throughout. The dramatic & action-packed "Sinking" offers further proof of the wisdom in this approach, as does the attention-grabbing opener "Anxiety" which sounds as if Marc Almond dropped in to do the vocals. Less successful is the cover of "Eleanor Rigby", one of those tracks that is pretty much impossible to cover satisfactorily. It's a challenge that very few bands (if any) could ever hope to master so the fact that the version included here doesn't quite come up to scratch is no disgrace.

The opening & closing sections of the instrumental "Passing" brings the band's ambient leanings to the fore as the track expertly builds in intensity into a hard-hitting (but too damned short!) mid-section which sounds more like a European EBM act. That this is the only likeness to any band or style I can think of is testament to the distinctive sound that Dissonance offer.

MK Ultra Magazine
Cat Hall has one hell of a sexy voice. Meow! If anything catches you about this disc it's the vocals. Hall's devilishly seductive voice reverberates delicately through the spinning webs of keyboards and synthesizers created by David Sebrind, the man behind the deep musical soundscapes. He weaves his magic throughout twelve tracks, filling in all the holes, never leaving any songs with that "empty" feeling -like the music just fell down a hole. Sebrind even puts together a nice instrumental, track 10, "Passing," that starts with a 1-2 synth drone that sounds like it should have been included on the Tron soundtrack. (hey, that movie had cool tunes!) Your finger will never itch for the "next track" button on your CD player with this one Relax and let yourself drown into the noise. -Moe Wyoming, MK Ultra Magazine

OUTBURN
Electro Goth Rock: With their latest release, entitled Reincarnate, the Texas based duo showcases a highly infectious concoction of aggressive electronics and danceable rhythms anchored by the powerful femme fatale vocals of Cat Hall. The album's opener, "Anxiety" sets the pace for the rest of Reincarnate as Cat's biting vocals instantly grab the listener while David Sebrind's crisp programming almost drags them through a dizzying, yet satisfying sonic journey filled with feelings of paranoia and urgency. On "Drained," Cat's layered vocals briefly reveal her own conflicting worlds as the effortlessly transitions from a detached tone to a slightly more emotionally charged expression, though seemingly holding back just enough to keep the listener wanting more. Elsewhere on Reincarnate , the team of Hall and Sebrind reveal a more seductive side, as can be heard on the haunting beauty of "Tightrope" or the chilling, beat driven piece, "Sinking." Also included on Reincarnate are remixes by the brothers Leif and Lars Hansen. "Control (remixed by Signal 12/Leif Hansen)" takes the original and shines it into an accessible midtempo EBM track, while Lars' Oneiroid Psychosis remix of "Desperate" strips the song of its rhythm and replaces it with cold, atmospheric electronic walls of sound. Overall, Dissonance creates a very enticing blend of emotion driven electronic music that is dark, introspective and angry, all at once. With Reincarnate, the duo of Cat Hall and David Sebrind successfully create a powerful blend of darkwave, electro, and rock elements tied together by human emotion. - Brian Lumauig OUTBURN Magazine

RE/Volt and Grinding into Emptiness
Dissonance are an American duo of Cat Hall (vocals & lyrics) & David Sebrind (programming).Their music sits well within modern electro realms with razor sharp basslines atop a varied range of powerful rhythms.They never go for the simple `thud thud` backing but instead employ a greater range of tempi & patterns which benefit the album as a whole,particularly with the fragmented backing of tracks such as "Sinking" & the less explosive "Second".This gives the duo a greater range of styles to exploit which is another bonus for them & the listener. Songs like "Anxiety" with it`s very Marc Almond influenced vocals (which don`t sound like a female although no male vocals are credited) & the powerful & upfront "Desperate" both work well as dancefloor killers as does the clubby "Fearless" which also packs a strong emotional punch "Drained" proves that the duo are not afraid to look outside traditional electro realms with many contemporary electronica influences whilst still retaining that all important power while the booming beats of "Second" will shake the foundations! The shuffling rhythms employed on "Tightrope" provide the backbone to a slightly moody piece with slight goth/ethereal overtones,especially with the layered chorus vocals. That`s not to say that they`re not also adept with the more ethereal side of electronic music as "Passing" proves with it`s ambient/cosmic opening gradually gaining in intensity & power until it makes the grade as a powerful & storming electro workout.Sadly this is over all too soon & while the opening theme is returned to there are darker elements at work here,to set a feeling of unease.This ethereal feel is taken to it`s logical conclusion with the Oneiroid Psychosis remix of "Desperate" which bears only a superficial resemblance to the original with it`s massed strings,serene ambient chords setting the scene for Hall's vocals to soar atop the lush but brooding synthetic backing Signal 12 provide the other remix & their version of "Control" cleans up the original,slightly gothy version with a clean cut electro workout,slightly stripped down but still as catchy as hell with the bassline cutting like a knife! Mention must also be made of the version of "Eleanor Rigby" which fits in well with the rest of the album but,to be honest,is hard to take seriously.With the original hovering forever in the background this comes across as a little sterile & lacking the mournful mood of the original Dissonance have come up with a real winner here with 10 original tracks making for one of the most progressive & innovative electro albums of modern times. To find out more go to www.nilaihah.com reviewed by Carl Jenkinson - 5/9/02

The Madison Isthmus
Reincarnateís sinewy electronics slither, seduce, jab and morph ó a cross between the eccentricity of Downward Spiral-era Nine Inch Nails and the druggy techno-pop of, say, Depeche Mode. Those comparisons cease once Cat Hallís deep, dark-chocolate voice pierces the mix. Shadowy yet confident, she administers in classic goth-rock style, flowing like the long black skirt of some dance-club femme fatale. As much as Hall ó who recently relocated to the Madison area from the bandís home base of Texas ó defines the bandís sound and image, I have to admit that my favorite track here is programmer/synthesist David Sebrindís "Passing," a sci-fi-leaning instrumental with a nice hint of í80s Euro-pop in the rhythm track. -- Al Ritchie, The Madison Isthmus

Maximum Ink
Pop-industrial synthesis is blended with deep, rich female vocals on this disc. Sounding like a mating of The Eurythmics and Nine Inch Nails, Dissonance is able to communicate very human emotions through the inherent coldness of electronica something that many techno bands seem unable or unwilling to do. Despite a large sound, the group has only two members with Cat Hall on vocals and David Sebrind handling the synthesis, programming and sequencing. This is a very dark album, but it retains a pop edge simply through the catchy melodies found throughout the tracks. While songs like "Fearless" and "Drained" have a decidedly danceable groove to them, others like "Tightrope" and "Second" are more subdued rhythmically. The most interesting song on the CD is the eerie, metallic version of The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby." Anyone can do a cover, but making it your own takes talent, and there's plenty of ability in this band. --Jeff Muendel Maximum Ink's website

Gothic Beauty Magazine
"'Reincarnate is Dissonance's latest release. Cat Hall (vocals) and David Sebrind (programming) make up this electro group hailing from Texas. I've been a Dissonance fan for about 2 years now, so this release was highly anticipated for me. Strong tracks include "Tightrope", "Anxiety", their remake of "Eleanor Rigby", with :Desperate" as one of their stand-out tracks. This song ("Desperate") has been produced and mixed very well. Electronically speakin,g, it's the best song on the album. The more I listen to "Reincarnate", the more I like it. " --Constantine, Gothic Beauty Magazine - Issue #4

Electro-Age
The name Dissonance is somewhat of a misnomer, as this duo are not particularly dissonant in their music. Rather, the music on Reincarnate is melodic, club-friendly electro with female vocals singing with a balance of harmony and musical aggression. Deceptive name aside, Cat Hall and David Sebrind make music in the vein of Battery and label-mates The Azoic, though unfortunately come across as derivative versions of these bands rather than adding anything. Not that Reincarnate is bad, but itís not something that hasnít been heard done before, and better. That said, there is some merit in the album. Hall is a good vocalist with a deeper register and a sometimes gritty edge, Sebrindís music is well-programmed, and they work very well together. Anxiety and Desperate are solid club tracks, full of pop-like hooks and melodies, and the disco-beat of Fearless is very catchy indeed. Some distortion edges around the pulse of Drained which makes for a nice texturing with thr breakbeat styled percussion, but the basic electro-pop synth glaze that touches every track is detracting Passing is a track that works; some tribal percussion, a bit of digitalised noise and dark atmospherics fronted with Hallís voice all comes together. Over all though, Reincarnate is not terribly spectacular. Two remixes from Lars and Leif Hansen seem a pale attempt to make it seem as though there is more here than there really is. Also, too many gaps in the music are lightly filled by generic syth effects and slick production, giving an ultimately empty impression, and lyrically there is much to be desired, something that covering Lennon and McCartneyís Eleanor Rigby makes painfully obvious. The result is a tepid album that sounds all right, but isnít overly engaging.
Dissonance is: Cat Hall and David Sebrind
Electro-Age's website

Morbid Outlook
Dissonance - Reincarnate
Track Listing: Anxiety, Eleanor Rigby, Desperate, Tightrope, Fearless, Sinking, Control, Drained, Second, Passing, Control remix by Signal 12/ Leif Hansen, Desperate remix by Oneiroid Psychosis/ Lars Hansen.
Hot off the presses from Nilaihah Records is Dissonance - 12 tracks of dark electro beats for those days when you want something with a little more bounce to it. The cover version of the Beatles classic Eleanor Rigby is simply astounding and begs for a few lengthier remixes. Other delicacies are remixes by Signal 12/ Leif Hansen and Oneiroid Psychosis/ Lars Hansen. Check out samples at their mp3 page. -- Mike Ventarola Morbid Outlook's website

Alternative Zine
Dissonance - Reincarnate
A combination of two tones or more that creates a strident sound or a dark-electro-pop duo that creates a very exiting pleasant sound. Dissonance second album under Lars Hansen (Oneiroid Psychosis) production reminds a bit of Garbage last two albums.

“Reincarnate” hits off with two songs that any of them can make Dissonance career: “Anxiety” with rhythmic guitar riff played on wicked synthesizer (a trick they use very successfully all along the album), Madness style melody and an excellent C -part. Song number two is an electro cover for the Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”. Doing a Beatles cover usually considered to be quite a dangerous act but dissonance pulls it off with a new psyched out version, Cat Hall sings so low that there’s a good chance she sings by the original scale.

There are also several songs that are in dark-80s style like the gentle “Fearless”. And for an encore there are two additional remixes: A remix by Leif Hansen (Signal 12) for “Control” combining Darbuka samples. The other one is a simple remix by Lars Hansen for “Desperate” with a repetitive chord riff over which there’s the vocal line and some effects. David Sebrind is an excellent programmer and composer and Cat Hall has Shirley Manson’s looks and style with a bit of Marilyn.

Although “Reincarnate” is more than a bit alternative mainstream it is that same thing that make it stand out in a time when every Electro album sounds the same or drifts into Club-Trance. -- Tal Galfsky Alternative Zine's website

Gothling.com
Dissonance - Reincarnate Hard and dark with raw female vocals, with hard-rockin' cover of "Eleanor Rigby" included. Lots of electronic atmosphere. Nice release from Nilaihah Records, my favorite little independent label, produce by the Oneiroid Pscychosis boys. --bloodlossgirl, gothling.com _____________________________________________________________________________

self-titled debut

Interface Magazine
"There has been a recent surge of high-octane female fronted (and backed) electronic bands of late. While this is refreshing and long overdue, most of these bands have failed to really impress me. Not that they are worse off than their male counterparts, which they're not, it's just that few have stood out as top-notch in my eyes. Among those that have are Sunshine Blind, Collide and now Dissonance. This female fronted electronic band's debut was produced by ex-Insoc/Think Tank Paul Robb and released on his Hakatak International Label. The duo from Texas show strong Pop sensibilities, without ever losing their "indie edge". For those of you just striking out into the underground electronic rock music scene, imagine a mix of the Eurythmics on steroids, Garbage's nineties rock sound (minus the guitar) and the beat heavy funky side of Information Society." --Andy Waggoner, Interface Magazine - Issue #10

Buzzmonger Magazine
"Dense electronica that is altogether dark, danceable, loud, listenable and probably more intelligent than the audience it's geared towards. Word has it that the live show is a fairly thunderous experience. Flawless execution and reproduction of studio work, a pulsating light show and the crowning jewel herself; the chanteuse Cat Hall. Cat glides in and out of the swirling vortices of fog and light; an imposing figure radiating neon, energy and beauty singing siren songs to rapt audiences. Awesome and underrated." --Buzzmonger Magazine

BabySue
"Techno dance music that reminds me of Republica as well as Annie Lenox. Dissonance is the duo of Cat Hall and David Sebrind. This Texas duo writes some excellent tunes, and the instrumentation is way above average for dance music. These folks must be doing something right, because this music makes me want to dance. Bright, upbeat, catchy, and energized." --Don W. Seven, Babysue Review - Issue #24, April, 1997
http://www.babysue.com

Keyboard Magazine
"Eurythmics go synthcore. The instrumental tracks grind pretty hard, but in place of the snarled / spoken male vocal that you'd expect in this genre, you get an impassioned female singer. Cat Hall's vocals are very processed, but not so much that it obscures her nuances. A fair quotient of spiffy electronic effects, too -- burbling fills, high sweeps, distorted loops. It would be sexist to assume that they were all contributed by David Sebrind, the other half of the duo. He doesn't sing, so it's a good bet he's responsible for at least some of the racket." --Jim Aikin, Keyboard Magazine - July, 1997
CKMS Radio
"I did have some of these songs in other forms already, but these versions are really good. The newer version of 'Desolation', which was the first Dissonance song I ever heard, off of the Cat Scan 1.0 compilation from Control-Alt-Delete, is SO good.. the synths are powered up and the beat much more powerful. I rather liked the more vibrato sound to her voice in the original, but it's still equally as strong and expressive. I really like the melancholic tone to Cat's voice.. an emotion that's not expressed with many other voices, and the music gives a great energy to the songs. Excellent, all around. Hard enough for the dancefloor, and soft enough for lighter listening." --CKMS-FM 100.3 and 95.5 on Cable, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
http://watserv1.uwaterloo.ca/~ckmsinfo

CAKE Collection
"The moment I popped this tape into my stereo, I was immediately transported to First Ave.'s Danceteria. The multi-layering of guitars and synthesized sound creates a pulsing, yet melodic wall-o-sound that could very well compel one to shake one's groove thing. Lead vocalist Cat Hall's voice is laid down like a half-n-half saturated swatch of velvet across a sizzling circuit board. No boundaries broken, no senses offended- just a glossy symbiosis of electronics and humanity. If you're into this genre, get your paws on this tape and...Dance! Dammit! Dance!" --Michael Lessing, CAKE Collection - Issue #39, Falling, 1995

 


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