released July 13, 1997
Album Produced and Mastered by Martin Bowes
at The Cage Studios, Coventry, England. 1997.
A collection of ATTRITION songs reworked for classical instrumentation in collaboration with Franck Dematteis of the Paris Opera. Originally released on Projekt records in 1997. This is the Two Gods label remastered reissue.
Regen magazine. 2008
Attrition reinterprets selections from their past for strings and voice, creating a haunting collection of avant-garde classical power.
Even since the beginning, Attrition has maintained a flair for combining dark electronic textures with classical arrangements, creating a unique style of darkwave that has been often imitated over the years.
The 1997 release, Etude , now reissued and remastered by founder Martin Bowes on his Two Gods label, is the perfect demonstration of their classical mindset.
In collaboration with Franck Dematteis, Attrition revisits a variety of their past work and rearranges them for orchestral instrumentation, albeit with a minimalist approach driven primarily by solo violins and violas. Dematteis infuses his strings with a haunting quality that truly augments the dark flavors as if to create soundtracks for a gothic stage play, reminiscent of Danny Elfman's scores for Tim Burton's films. This is particularly so on the resonant plucks and scraping harmonic solos of "Feel the Backlash" and with a backing of harpsichord arpeggios on "A Girl Called Harmony (Estranged)" coupled with longtime collaborator Julia Waller's operatic intonations.
As is usually the case with Attrition, Bowes takes the backseat and plays the role of producer or even a conductor of sorts, allowing Waller and Dematteis to revel in their talents and bring the music to life.
"Which Hand?" swoops in and soars with rapid fire violin solos and a droning organ to provide only the slightest bit of footing on solid ground - one can detect a sense of where Emilie Autumn may have received some of her inspiration with this track.
Of course, the actual lyrics are sparse with Waller's voice acting mainly as another instrument, singing those floating and fluttering melodies. While she does occasionally go out of tune, it lends a dissonant yet harmonic quality that hardly detracts from the music, in fact enhancing it. We even get a helping of thrumming snare drums on "Fate is Smiling," adding to the already tense rising chord progression, as if to signify the approach of some unknown peril.
Fans of Attrition or even those with an ear for avant-garde classical music should find much enjoyment in these interpretations of some of their best known works; while lighter on the instrumentation, they are certainly not lacking in depth and power.