Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Psyche - “Insomnia Theatre” CD

Classic horror electro fix

This is the definitive version of the vastly under-appreciated 1985 debut from Edmonton electro duo Psyche. Fronted by the charismatic vox of Darrin Huss and backed by clear, cinematic synth soundtrack vibes by brother Stephen Huss, Psyche was equally as inspired by Suicide, Soft Cell, Fad Gadget, and John Carpenter’s soundtracks. In short, it’s a horror-shock electro vibe here, perfectly suited to fans of those artists or peers like early Skinny Puppy.

Beginning with the classic "The Brain Collapses", and continuing through greats like "Wink Of An Eye” and the midnight drive-in verses of "Maggots", this album, even after 30 years, brings some magnificent analogue electronic grooves.  "Eating Violins" is an instrumental track showing Stephen Huss's skill crafting film-quality electronica with an ear for both dark ambience and melody. It's a brilliant and memorable cut, for sure. The aggressive “Children Carry Knives” is another highlight, somehow reminding me of the group’s affinity for another Canadian horror great, David Cronenberg. The straightjacketed electro shock of "Wrench", the demo of the pop-leaning "Why Should I?", and the tongue in cheek late night horror of  "Mr Eyeball Ooze" also round out the disc’s lengthy set of memorable and unique electro.

This expanded remastered re-release includes the full original vinyl LP’s 8 cuts, plus 11 other tracks, including plenty of previously unreleased gems unearthed from the band’s vault. In short, it’s a treasure trove of classic electronics from a group that deserves much more notice.

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