Escaping Light - CD 2005
Grave Concerns E-zine
Demo - CD 2005
It’s no longer 1986, or 1996, and it takes more than a skilled
programmer and an appealing singer to make an electro band that
really stands out. Invisible Ballet owes as much to recent
synthpop, such as VNV Nation, as to 80’s new wave, such as Berlin,
Human League, but they do us a favor with really good songwriting
that improves upon that of their precursors. Lin Chen’s lyrics are
good, expressing inner strength, frankness, awareness and irony in
time with taut synth-streams, catchy choruses and trippy loops. And
rather than jumping to canned beats for fourteen tracks the pulses
flow and change, keeping mind and body in motion. Nothing here is
terribly groundbreaking, but it is mindful, energizing, and even a
Review by Carolee for
Although this isn’t the type of music I usually listen to (I tend to like my electro
a bit more in-your-face), I’ve come to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the slinky,
seductive sound of Invisible Ballet’s album, "Escaping Light".
It has a sound quality that is reminiscent of Delirium’s more mainstream-accessible
songs, yet there is something about "Escaping Light" that seems more ‘from-the-heart’.
The vocals by Lin Chen are silky smooth and very sensual. The music itself is very
club oriented, with a sound that mixes synth-pop, techno, a bit of break beat, and
little dabs of several other sub-categories of electro (I hate trying to label stuff).
There are some excellent songs on here to chill out to, and others that make you
want to get up and move your feet.
Personally, this album will probably become my ‘driving while on a date’ CD,
because it just lends itself well to that situation (at least it does for me).
Personally, I feel that "66 Degrees North" and "Everything I Am" are stand-out
tunes, but the entire CD is breathtakingly wonderful.
I’ll call it right now; if this album manages to get some mainstream air play,
you’ll be hearing Invisible Ballet everywhere.
Jeremy - Virus Magazine
This is Lektro Hybrid, a functional beat. The recherche 'device' here is Lin
Chen. Her voice works wonders in a recording studio setting, enough to open
up any jaded heart, unless one is tone deaf, or beyond redemption. I, for one,
was moved to teary eyes when I heard the most emotional "Repeat Defeat." It
is my favorite song on this album, of course, and what a modern love-song
should be, but unfortunately nowadays, tons of so-called romantic WHATEVER
on the airwaves only touch the superficial side of the complexities of
"conditional" love. If you are an intense lover, you should quickly relate
to this piece, especially if you have "been around the block." So, this
song is worth the price of the album alone.
Nevertheless, this CD should make every klubber happy and aerobicized. Tracks,
such as "Escaping Light" and "I Am Right," will make a believer out of you,
for that matter, even if the background music is nothing new. But, "Hypocrite"
is bound for the Klassic status; even the Post EBM klubs will spin this one
without losing their "koolness" credibility, unless the DJs are jealous as
hell. Have you noticed that many klubs play the lamest tracks, lately, as if
they found those records (CDs) in a "bargain basement" bin???
"Autumn & Earth" is fun to listen to. The musical accompaniment reminds me of
ULTRAVOX's "Reap The Wild Wind" morphed with the beat of NEW ORDER's
"Confusion," but with a female vocalist, a la Debbie Harry and/or Martha
Davis -- fine, at least on the other songs.
Ms. Chen is at her vocal best in "Artifact," but the damn snare drum is
irritatingly loud for the mood. Speaking of annoying, "You Are My Megaphone"
is another one, as if fresh off a Steinberg computer program. Computer music
is fantastic, but sounding too digital is a no-no, I'm sure you know. Thank you.
Overall, her singing technique was not dramatically stretched. And the
music is stratigically positioned for this century, but did not break new
grounds, whatsoever. Their next album might set things straight. At any
rate, count me in as Ms. Chen's numero uno fan. She is definitely a BIG
TALENT, beyond anyone's scrutiny. Too bad though that no picture was
included in the album. I mean: are they not a (synthetic) Pop group??? Their
website is useless, and the Nilaihah page is puny. Are they being cagey?
By the look of the CD cover, the answer is "maybe."
DJ Vex - Chain DLK
I was turned on to Invisible Ballet by a recent newsletter from Halou and after
listening to several clips from "Escaping Light" on the bands' web site, I went
ahead and bought the disc. It was well worth it. Without regard to whether or not
the vocals are an uncredited Rebecca Coseboom or Lin Chen really sounds just like
her, the vocals are as beautiful as anything from Halou's Wiser or We Only Love You.
The music, however, tends to be a little more tempo and beat oriented. In fact, I
find myself thinking of Cause and Effect's "Trip" as I listen to a number of these
Anyway, support good music and talented independent artists and buy this disc. You
won't regret it. I'll see you in line for their next concert!
All I can say the Album is excellent!!! There are no filler tracks here. This
album is for those massive sythnpop/80's fans. There is some killer dance tunes
on this beauty of an album. One of the big highlights on the album for me is
the fact that the beautiful and talent Rebecca Coseboom of "Halou" sings all of
the tracks. For whatever reason she is given no credit, unless she has an alias
of Lin Chen. I was under the impression that Lin Chen was from Bloodwire. There
is not one bad track on the album. One of the standout tracks for me, is Autumn
Earth. This is a kick-butt dance track. Check out this album and other Halou
releases, you won't be disappointed
Amazon.com users - Amazon.com
Electro-pop that gives you clues about what happened to all those
New Wave records from the ‘80’s. "Escaping Light" starts off slowly building
into a crescendo of blips and bleeps with trip-hop downtempo beats on "You
Are My Megaphone". But then the club floor ignites with the beat-heavy EBM
flavor of the title track and things really take off from there. The
melodies are rich and conducive to sing-a-longs; their vocalist has a
beautiful voice that is ethereal and reminds me of some of the other female
vocalists that Delerium has employed on their stellar superstar hits in the
past. All of this wrapped in a New Order outer shell that will give a grin
to any post-modern neo-Reaganite trapped listening to other bands
bastardizing New Wave.
J-Sin - Smother.net
Grave Concerns E-zine
Invisible Ballet is the synthpop side project of Ryan and Rebecca Cosebloom,
better known as ethereal trip-hop duo Halou. The two have already
established themselves with several albums, so the lackluster moments here
can be a little surprising. Rebecca's vocals on title track "Escaping
Light," for example, sound somewhat flat, as does "Everything I Am." She
sounds like she's going for that New Wave apathy effect, but her voice is
too pretty to pull it off completely so she ends up just sounding bored and
uninvolved. "Autumn Earth" has the opposite problem; it's too bouncy and
upbeat, which is fine for the dance floor but doesn't bear up under quieter
conditions. Much better are this album's softer moments, like "When We Were
Young," which conjures up a wonderfully bittersweet sense of nostalgia, and
"Repeat Defeat," a ballad that highlights Ryan's beautifully understated
arrangements. The best tracks, though, are "Trees For Israel" and "Evening
Loop," both of which set off Rebecca's soprano perfectly with dark, crunchy
trip-hop beats. In other words, this Halou side project's best songs are
those that could've been on a Halou album in the first place. The upbeat
dance numbers are fun and all, and the Coseblooms' enthusiasm for the genre
is contagious, but their real talent seems to lie in crafting intriguingly
dark trip-hop torch songs rather than bouncy retro club hits.
Gothgirl - Smother.net
Until this popped through my door I was totally unaware that this
American duo even existed so this debut came as a nice surprise & a
worthwhile discovery. Lin Chen & Lee Ryan (for it is they) have been
working together for only a year & a half but the 14 tracks here
lack nothing in polish or compositional skills while featuring a
good mixture of easy going synthpop & danceable future pop not
dissimilar to Swarf, The Echoing Green, Blind Faith And Envy &
Butterfly Messiah. The electronica that pops up throughout is a hit
& miss affair, with the rather offbeat "Trees For Israel" not quite
working for me, the closing "Evening Loop" is a better bet due to
its mix of atmospheric synths, imaginative rhythmic backing & Chen's
almost seductive vocals. The likeably 80s-influenced "Moth" suffers
through a doubtless well meant but ultimately distracting rhythmic
effect & although it's to the duo's credit that they're prepared to
take a few chances & add something unexpected to their otherwise
accessible music I'm hopeful they'll achieve a better balance of the
melodic & the offbeat on future releases.
But if that's one area where they haven't quite got it right yet
this is more than compensated for by their many strengths, not least
the rich, full sound that graces tracks such as the laidback "When
We Were Young" & the almost melancholic "Repeat Defeat" as well as
"Artifact", where the smooth synths are mixed with a slightly harder
rhythmic edge. This combination soon proves to be another arrow in
the band's bow, as does the infectiously danceable mood that graces
the title track, where some scorching lead lines prove the icing on
the cake as well as "68 Degrees North" which should appeal to fans
of Apoptygma circa Harmonizer & the trancey "I Am Right".
"Autumn & Earth" proves to be another winner with a dynamic,
infectious mood that any synthpopper should go for.
back to Invisible Ballet - Escaping Light
This demo release from Invisible Ballet, featuring 5 songs from their upcoming album,
showcases the band's sound, which could be likened to a more upbeat and danceable
Somegirl. Invisible Ballet is made up of members Lin Chen and Lee Ryan. This demo
combines tracks from the free downloadable EP at the band's website with two other
tracks that are intended for the album.
I made the comparison to Somegirl earlier, and I want to specify that I'm thinking
of the newer material by that band here. This is upbeat, female vox-lead, synthpop
music that seems destined for club play. At least "Escaping Light" and "Hypocrite"
seem well-suited for that setting, though "Hypocrite" might need some slight
tweaking for maximum dancefloor effect. Both "Megaphone" and "Artifact" are
excellent, very impressive slow/mid-tempo tracks. Musically, "Repeat Defeat" is
perfect. I love the melody, but the lyrics just don't seem as sharp and catchy as
they could be. Maybe a little bit of a rewrite on the lyrics with a little more
emphasis on making the verses drag a little less.
Other than that one nitpick, this is a very impressive demo. Invisible Ballet has
a lot of great music to offer already, and there's no reason to think that the
rest of the album won't deliver on that promise. Very much worth your time and
Jason Baker - Synthpop.net