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Banister – Rotor EP

Banister - Rotor EP

CD-R EP, self-released, 2006

Banister’s “Rotor” EP is a tentative fusion of musical events. The first track, “Rotor,” is a gorgeous, driving presentation of bassline synthesizing that makes one’s very blood reverberate. It’s clean, simple and very addictive indeed, with no fuss, frills or unnecessary detailing in its straightforward arrangement. Unfortunately, this sets a high standard for the remainder of the EP that it does its best to maintain, but ultimately fails to do so.
“The day the world turned black” lives up to its gothic opera labeling and delivers antisocial melodrama in the shape of quite interestingly filtered vocals – sounding like some bastard crossbreed of flangers, phasers and light granulisers. This experimental approach to vocal treatment is a nice touch (in fact, it’s rather unique and could, in the right circumstances, be really appealing), but does not quite suit the accompanying instrumentation, which calls for staccato barks of distorted grief to emphasise the rhythmic nature of the music, rather than the overlaid and awkward melodic lamentation we are treated to. Alternatively, additional pad or lead synths could be used to reinforce the melody, resulting in a more unified synthpop approach instead of the disparate feeling it currently has.
“Cyber therapy” continues in this lyrical vein (with less of the texture and more of the actual voice), but “Vapor” and “In my mind” return to the far more successful instrumental recipe the title track introduced – the former with more success than the latter.
Altogether, not a bad little EBM record – some brilliant dance floor potential, in particular – but still a little uncoordinated and in need of further studio polishing.


— David vander Merwe

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