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Babylone Chaos – Les Machines Ecarlates

Babylone Chaos - Les Machines Ecarlates

CD, OPN, 2008

The title of this album appears to translate to “The Scarlet Machines”, with the liner notes painting a portrait of a body at war with itself, becoming something else, something more (or less) than what was originally. “If you want to be human, start to be a machine, if you want to be a human, start to be an animal…”
Pure noise fans may not like the more mainstream feel of Babylone Chaos, but it should find a strong fan base amongst those who appreciate later industrial and rhythmic noise. Deceptively light at first, but soon verging on the hypnotic, this CD ends up being surprisingly satisfying. True, the tracks can seem a little similar at times, but in the end this only appears to add to the whole experience as it echoes the machinations of the very machines our protagonist struggles against.
Opener “Dissect Me” is instantly engaging, atmospheric but measured, a slow introduction before the churning beats of “Scared Data” drag the listener ever inwards. The initial wistful shudder of standout track “Blood On Thorns” slowly submerges in the chatter of machine chaos before transforming into something distinctly “Haunted House” circa 1970s gore-fest. Certainly there is more than meets the eye (or ear) here at first listen – something lurks behind this screen, and it wants in. From there on it’s a spiralling ride into self-conflict as the static jitter of “Cursed Vision” runs into cold alienation in “Death Crusade”, uncoiling a cold thread of fear into the waking nightmare of “Silent Pain”, before the measured, almost tribal beats of “L’Auxiliaire Des Menteurs” permeate another wash of static as the ever present machines churn on in the background, drawing the listener still deeper even as they assimilate the subject. Waves of panic echo breathing in “Paranoiac Morons”, or a heartbeat. “Deambulation” starts in isolation, but slowly builds back to struggle. Finally, “Under Control” gives no easy answers, and you’re left wondering who in fact has control: man, animal, or machine, and for how long.
That the tracks work together is obvious, but that they work alone is surprising. While there is nothing very new here, the quality of “Les Machines Ecarlates” is unquestionable, and distinguishes it from the usual industrial fare.


— Catherine C.

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