CD, Black Lodge Records, 2009
Active since, at least, 1999 and hailing from Denmark, Transistor6 is the result of the joint efforts of Claus Collstrup and Kira Li, who respectively share the musical composition and lyrical plus vocal parts. “Virgin Venom”, the debut full-length release on Black Lodge Records, followed a demo in 2007 and a couple of compilation appearances.
For a debut release, “Virgin Venom” isn’t bad at all, with quite good production (handled by Dr. A-Funz of Danish industrial duo Artz+Pfusch) and aesthetically rather acceptable as well, and may well feel somewhat comfortably familiar on first listen to many people. Succintly, “Virgin Venom” builds on a legacy of late ’90s trance competently adding techno-industrial elements with a definite pop sensibility and incorporating something of a darker edge. Perhaps unexpectedly, there’s also something of an epic feeling permeating the whole album which lends it an additional sense of coherence and helps the overall flow. Something else that comes to mind listening to “Virgin Venom” is that some tracks would be more than at home as soundtracks for a computer game with a futuristic epic flavour, quite possibly of the RPG variety.
From the opening of “Girl Hunter” to the closing of “Get My”, “Virgin Venom” is a pleasant ride, cyclically oscillating between slower ballads and somewhat more intense pieces, which lends itself quite well to the function of easy-listening background work music (as long as concentration isn’t a prerequisite). It is interesting to note that, in spite of the incorporation of musical influences (or perhaps because of it), there are no obvious dancefloor-oriented tracks – in fact the more fast-paced and rhythmically-intense compositions lend themselves to something of an absent-minded foot-tapping or head-swaying.
After a relatively fast-paced first half, “Virgin Venom” becomes more brooding with “From Beyond” and even is competently taken into tribal-influenced ground with “Spirit of Cthulhu” (which, despite the obvious title may well be one of the highlights of the album). The only song in the album (in the strict sense of the term), “Get My” a definite oddball and, particularly as a closing piece, feels out of place in the ensemble of “Virgin Venom”.
Well-produced and not particularly demanding, “Virgin Venom” has all that it needs to have broad appeal to a relatively wide audience of casual listeners. Ironically, these are precisely the kind of people who will not easily come across the work of Transistor6. A shame, really.
— Miguel de Sousa