Ginger Leigh - "From Artesia With Love"
(Red River Productions, CDR)
From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)
Ginger Leigh fuses blistering industrial electronics with eastern atmospheres to produce an unusual, yet compelling mixture of sounds. The style changes with nearly every song according to which of the two elements dominates. The electronics also range from soft to mostly extreme and caustic.
"Taxicab Ride Through the City" is a mesmerizing track that starts the album off with tablas and a hypnotic keyboard sequence. This main rhythm is interspersed with dramatic and synthetic Indian film score synths, cobra-charming flutes, and industrial bass punches. The song reminds me of an industrial version of some of the eastern escapades on Gong's "Shapeshifter" release.
"From Artesia With Love" is more of a background track that uses repetitive drums and sitar strumming along with mournful violins with an eastern voice. "Passing Trains" is pure dance electronic pulsing accented with samples of screeching factory steel inspired by the landscape of the aforementioned city of Artesia. The shift in styles is rather drastic despite the hints of industrial elements that we heard in the earlier tracks. "Saffron" is another drastic jump back into a soft, relaxing experience of shimmering sitar drones and soft, gliding synths. These jumps are obviously intentional, perhaps as a commentary on the multicultural population amid industrial settings that Artesia (and Los Angeles) signify.
The remaining tracks are mostly industrial electronic with touches of eastern music. Some of the tracks here would have an almost universal appeal while others would be too harsh for most listeners. I enjoyed almost every track, but I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone who has a problem with extreme electronic or industrial music. The music is very engaging, but not very consistent as far as flow or style. As I said, though, I don't think it was intended to be. I was a bit disappointed in the production. The melodies are slightly muffled while the bass is sometimes overwhelming. Considering the style and philosophy behind the music, that too may have been intentional. I enjoyed the CD quite a bit, so if you find the concept interesting, I'd encourage you to try it out.
For more information you can visit the Ginger Leigh web site at: http://www.gingerleigh.com/.
Contact via snail mail c/o Ginger Leigh; PO Box 683; Artesia, CA 90702-0683.
Reviewed by Anish Bhatia