Ghost and The Hate Cage reviews by Dead Earnest

Dead Earnest’s Choice Selection – Industrial/EBM

IDIOT STARE: Ghost CD£12.99
If the Torn Skin CD I reviewed around the same time is as cracking an example of industrial EBM as you’ll find, then it’s just their luck that………….this one’s even better. A set of fourteen songs on which the achievment of getting beats, layers, power, dynamics, leads, melodies, sequencers, vocals, song-writing and arranging, producing and playing to be THIS hot is nothing other than jaw-dropping. Song after song explodes into life but here the electronics and electronic rhythmic components are more prevalent, with drums and bass also of an electronically derived nature, as the vocals are uniformly upfront but with just the right air of menace and distance. The production throughout as song after crunching song erupts and shatters, the heady combinations of beats and rhythms, synths and sequencers, bass and samples all evoking feelings of pure adrenaline-rush heaven. In fact, at no time do you feel like you’re listening to fourteen versions of the same song – oh, didn’t I tell you – this is a remix album. Forget the detail, listen to the result – as awesome an example of head-bending EBM as they come and if this doesn’t make you feel like you’ve just gone ten rounds with Lennox Lewis, nothing will. Awesome.

IDIOT STARE:The Hate Cage CD£12.99
IMMENSE – this is classic electro-industrial metal at its rampaging best with huge rhythms, tons of synths, aggressive vocals that fit perfectly, excellent use of samples, searing guitar riffs, and one immense sound that kills at small distances. But the best part about this is that there are 17 tracks with hook lines that stay with you and it’s one of those brilliant albums that you just play and play and play, doing the air guitar bit, flailing around the room like a dervish on heat. If only the guys who used Underworld’ s ‘Born Slippy’ in the ‘Trainspotting’ film had heard this first, they’d have realised that this wipes the floor with the supposed titanium strength track many regarded it as. From start to finish the production, playing, arrangements and compositions are varied, addictive and more than the likes of Ministry and their ilk have delivered. Ten out of ten and no mistake.

Courtesy Dead Earnest

Ghost review by Stillborn Zine

Nati nel ’95 e successivamente fusisi agli Insight 23, gli Idiot Stare sono una band che propone un interessante industrial metal molto ballabile e aggressivo..
“Ghost” è un maxi-singolo ove oltre alla versione originale di “Ghost”, vi sono 12 remix, “World Destruction” (del ’99) come bonus track e il video della versione originale di “Ghost” (tra l’altro interpretato dalla bella e denudata Donna Ricci presente in copertina e nel booklet)..

Che dire di questo singolo? innanzitutto molto bella la versione originale degli Idiot Stare, sicuramente molto accattivante e ballabile.. hit che si presta alla grande per essere remixata.. e che dire dei remix? davvero ottimi e molto vari, nonostante sia ripetuto per 12 volte lo stesso brano, i vari remix si fanno quasi tutti valere.. tra suggestioni electro-metal e richiami EBM, i vari remix ripropongono in modo personale e accattivante questo “Ghost”.. mi viene da citare quello di SMP, prophei o di Jugend Staat, o quella di A Different Kind of Cop.. insomma dei bei remix e un singolo davvero accattivante.. se poi mettiamo che per concludere gli Idiot Stare posiziona una “World Destruction” veramente distruttiva.. bhè.. come singolo niente male, aspettiamo l’album magari prodotto da qualche importante label!


Courtesy Stillborn Zine

Ghost review by Gothic Review

Having never heard of Idiot Stare (or STG for that matter) I was really curious to see and hear what this band is all about. This single is the BEST remix single that I’ve received this year. While none of the remixes surpass the original version that Idiot Stare did, there are some rather more dance friendly examples.

Christ Analogue’s offering is harsher and more akin to Wumpscut then the rest of the tracks. The Inertia version was also a nice stompy excuse to get upon the dance floor. Rewire being on here is kinda cheesy (cause the people in Rewire also happen to be in Idiot Stare as I read on their website).

Idiot Stares’ cover of World Destruction is as pertinent (for the US government) as it was back in the eighties. I can’t think of a better Johnny Rotten song to cover in this time of governmental crisis. The video (on the disc) in Macro vision has great surround sound capabilities and is moody as all get out.

Azrael Racek

Courtesy Gothic Review

Ghost review by Chain DLK

After the infamous Sony Pictures and MTV conglomerates picked two tracks by Valencia, California based Idiot Stare for the 7th episode of the animated Spiderman series, the band has decided to embark on a remixing journey for one of the two selected songs, the title track “Ghost”; so, besides the original, you get interpretations by Chist Analogue, prophei, Penal Colony, Doll Factory, SMP, Compufonic, Jugend Staat, Inertia, A Different Kind of Cop, REwire, Acidfanatic and Universal Magnetic. What I like about this remix project is that, besides the recurring chorus here and there, the versions are really quite different between each other, which means the involved artists have done a good job at personalizing them and making them unique. The overall result is a pretty aggressive, industrial-metal oriented album that sadly sometimes sounds awfully similar to NIN but mostly introduces us to good electro-industrial music with guitars and angry singing parts. Well produced and solid. Really quite enjoyable! The CD also includes a bonus track (“World Destruction”), as well as a Quicktime video and a 5.1 mix of the title-track.
Review by: Marc “the MEMORY Man” Urselli-Schärer

Courtesy Chain DLK

Ghost review by Black Sheep Zine

Reviewed by Matt Ossen

IDIOT STARE have been no strangers to the Industrial underground. Since 1995 they have been on numerous compilations and soundtracks, and they have self-released a few EPs and a couple of full-lengths on their own BODYBAG PRODUCTIONS as well.

One great thing about this “GHOST” REMIXES is that I was able to listen to all 13 mixes in one sitting. That should give you a pretty good idea of how diverse the remixes as well as the remixers are! Another great aspect of this single is that it is introducing us to a lot of great Industrial newcomers. There is serious talent spread all over this remix album. If are afraid that new Industrial talent is hopeless, then this remix-album will set you straight.

“GHOST” REMIXES also includes the video for “Ghost” and a bonus cover-track of TIME ZONE’s “World Destruction”, which both make great additions to an excellent remix album.

‘Original’ mix by IDIOT STARE

A very nice catchy chorus and a great Industrial/EBM song in general. “Ghost” combines live instruments with great synths and programming remarkably. Not to mention, Very good vocals and lyrics.

‘Butterfuck’ remix by CHRIST ANALOGUE

Nice vocoder effects added and extra melody sequences. Vocals are dry yet mixed perfectly.

‘Dark Star’ remix by PROPHEI

Sinister ambience that morphs into an excellent industrial dance track. Great synthetic rhythms.

‘Unidentidrome’ remix by PENAL COLONY

I knew this one was to knock me dead the second I heard it. Starts off very trippy and crescendoes into a fabulous massacre of breakbeats, distorted guitar melodies, and twisted synthetic soundscapes.

‘Hex’ remix DOLL FACTORY

Half-tempo live drum sounds drive the beat with some nice added melodies. Although all of the mixes are pretty distinctive, this one could be most different due to the half-tempo.

‘Busted’ remix by SMP

Well, I knew this one was going to kick my ass too! And of course it has the classic harsh sound that SMP is famous for. Really in your face with the addition of some beep-like Industrial sounds over a distorted yet subtle dance beat.

‘Hippie Homo Artist Zombie’ remix by COMPUFONIC

The original guitar mixes are much more present in this remix, and the beat is pretty straight forward. However, this mix has a good unique style to it.

‘Borstal Muted’ remix by JUGEND STAAT

The tempo is shifted slightly faster in this mix. It gets really psychotic in the middle with the most killer distorted synth lick I have ever heard. Very pleasing to the Industrial ear!

‘Harsh’ remix by INERTIA

A great stripped-down EBM version! The vocals are given really good intention in this mix.

‘Epiphany’ remix by A DIFFERENT KIND OF COP

A DIFFERENT OF COP delivers a different kind of remix. I am pretty sure that there are additional whispered vocal tracks laid down here, and there are definitely extra guitar parts thrown in as well. A nice simple breakbeat guides this ‘emotional’ mix extremely well.

remix by REWIRE

Another mix with some live drum sounds driving the beat. A lot of great distorted guitars woking together rhythmically also.

‘Boot My System’ remix by ACIDFANATIC

This mix has a great panning synthetic drum beat that works so well with the added sound effects. There are also a couple of added melodies that work great with the existing distorted melodies.

‘Identity Crisis’ remix by UNIVERSAL MAGNETIC

The last mix of “Ghost” is the probably the most club-friendly mix. Nonetheless, it is a great Industrial/EBM remix!

Courtesy Black Sheep Zine

Ghost review by Sub Level 203

by Laura B.
Idiot Stare, established in 1994, has seen a growing popularity over the years. Sony Pictures and MTV have used the music of Idiot Stare in “Spiderman: The Animated Series”. The track “Ghost”, which was used in episode seven, is presented here as a single that includes 12 other remixes with the oddball “World Destruction” and two video tracks for “Ghost”.

The video tracks are identical, but offer a Quicktime version that is of standard quality, where the WMV offers Surround Sound. Featuring a low-rate hotel room and the nude Donna Ricci as a junkie begging the question “Who am I?” With her roaming the room in smeared makeup, the video cuts between her glassy eyed glaze and the band playing for an infrared lense.

“Ghost (Original)” is by far the best of all versions on the single, featuring a desirable balance between industrial rock and danceable electronic. The song has a march-like quality and carries forward with a nice momentum while the lyrics are so infectious the song becomes unforgettable.

Christ Analog offers “Ghost (Bufferfuck)”, where the guitars are stripped away. Vocals are left pretty much intact, but portions of the chorus are presented with heavy synthetic effects. As the track moves toward its end, it gains a decent energy, but I feel it doesn’t have the same power of the Original.

Many of those that follow seem to keep along the same lines, varying the electronics to some degree or another while altering vocals or stripping them down to a bare minimum. Ranging from trance tracks to noisy industrial, the single tries to present a bit of something to appeal to a variety of club-goers and DJs.

While some of these might be fun for a DJ to tinker with, I find the one that really stands out as the best of the remixes to be “REwire”. The guitars are deepened, carrying an ominous presence. The electronics come across more seriously as well, giving the song a much darker feel overall. By others stripping away elements such as lyrics, guitar or electronics, I feel the piece loses its intended effect and infectious quality.

Time Zone’s “World Destruction” was a collaboration between John Lyndon (better known as Johnny Rotten) and Afrika Bambaataa released in 1984. The original presented lyrics that are still fitting nearly 20 years later, one of the hokiest synth lines ever and an air of fun about it. Idiot Stare takes this track and moves it into raw, more aggressive territory. While certain aspects, like pacing, remain, there is a seriousness about this piece absent from Time Zone’s version. I’m preferential to the original, but the suitability of the track to events happening today make it a good track to cover.

I’d definitely be interested in hearing more from these guys in the future. “Ghost” is an energetic track with an eerie pop quality because it’s so memorable. The disc attempts to provide a series of mixes that will appeal to a variety of audiences. Overall, people should be pretty pleased, especially those who are fans of high energy, dancefloor friendly tracks with steadfast guitar.

Courtesy Sub Level 203

Ghost review by Legends Magazine

By Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Thirteen…count ’em, thirteen…variations of the same song Plus a bonus track which is actually an update of a previously recorded song. The arrogance…the pretentiousness…the masturbatory self-effrontery…the potential to be utterly obnoxious… Okay, the Shamen proved something this glorifying could actually work ages ago with En-Tact, but really, thirteen variations of the same song?

Don’t let the band name fool you, though. Idiot Stare have been around for awhile in one inception or another since the late eighties and if they’re gonna invite twelve DJ’s to their industrial dance classroom for a little mixing examination, it’s their prerogative. In the end the tabulations of the self-released Ghost passes with flying colors. Perhaps one of the best mix albums ever attempted, Ghost is an unpredictable journey of reinterpretation that could teach high-profile mix masters like Linkin Park, Fatboy Slim or DJ Quik a thing or two about cold cutting. With chilly though oddly titillating cover photography, the rave-industrial mixes of Ghost feel likewise frigid, but invigorating at the same time with its relentless fuckfest pacing. Perhaps one could subtitle Ghost as Fourteen Tracks to Keep Your Rhythm By.

Rather than needlessly breaking down every single mix on the disc, it is best to acknowledge all of them as a collective whole while noting a few breakout tracks. For instance, the Prophei Dark Star Mix is tailor-made to the original song, pretty awesome as a club contender by itself, but with Prophei’s touch its sense of rave exudes deeper. Doll Factory’s Hex Remix is slow, sleek, sensual and strangely majestic. SMP’s Busted Remix blitzes with a hard-nosed industrial grind, while the subsequent Hippie Home Artist Zombie Mix by Compufonic is like a metallic cockthrust. Jugend Staat’s Borstal Muted Mix is hyperactive with its speedy drum and bass. Inertia’s Harsh Mix could also be called The Front 242 Mix, while the Rewire mix could be construed as The Gravity Kills Mix. By the time one has sifted through the thirteen versions, the mantra “what am I, what am I…” will assuredly haunt one’s sleep.

Rounding out the disc is a reworking of Idiot Stare’s World Destruction, a pounding cyberpunk jam in the spirit of the Revolting Cocks that kicks serious ass even with a vocal track that may ring to older ears as comparable to LaTour.

What could have been a serious joke turns out to be a tour-de-force of kinetic splicing, sampling, retooling and reactivating from one basic element: a head-bobbing rave rouser that obviously has more than meets the ear in its virgin inception. In a scene where remix tribute is highly en vogue, Ghost sets a bit of a precedent that will undoubtedly inspire imitators.

Courtesy Legends Magazine

Ghost review by From Dust Magazine

By e.David

Ghost is a new extended remix single, containing diverse remixes of the title track from 11 artists, a Quicktime video for it, and a bonus track (“World Destruction 2003 Version”).

Musically it is basically guitar-driven industrial in the vein of Christ Analogue or Sister Machine Gun. Though not typically a style I’m into, Ghost is a pretty catchy track (though 13 versions can be tough to sit through in one sitting). The remixes lean more toward the electronic side and some have a more noisy element…

Courtesy From Dust Magazine

Ghost review by Sick Among the Pure

By:Brad Hirn

Goth supermodel Donna Ricci posed for the album cover and liner notes of Idiot Stare’s self-indulgent Ghost remix single CD (thirteen interpretations of Idiot Stare’s “Ghost” plus an updated version of Time Zone’s “World Destruction” and the new music video for “Ghost”).  Please excuse my ingrained skepticism of Rock bands featuring a nude woman throughout their album booklet.  Is this sincerity or shock value?

Idiot Stare’s “Ghost” is a decent enough Industrial Rock song; ominous keyboards open the track accompanied by heavy distorted guitar and a bobbing percussion beat.  The chorus vocal melody is surprisingly catchy, and the repetitive “What am I?” is at least a unifying thematic lyric, if a predictable one.  But is this song worthy of its own remix CD?

If I were not impressed by the collective effort of such artists as Penal Colony, SMP, Doll Factory, Inertia, and Christ Analogue, and if Idiot Stare had not self-released the CD, I would be very skeptical of Idiot Stare’s intentions.  But I do believe that a song can become a communal beacon for widespread interpretation, and given the variety of genres represented on Ghost (prophei’s “Dark Star” remix emphasizes electronic arrangements while SMP’s “Busted” restores some Industrial flavor), I commend Idiot Stare and their community of Industrial Rock and Dance artists.

DOWNLOAD THESE: Doll Factory’s “Hex,” Universal Magnetic’s “Identity Crisis”

Courtesy Sick Among the Pure

Ghost review by Music Extreme

Opening with electronic sounds and almost dancing beats this bands surprises with their sort of depressive electro music. This guys are really original because they have some accessible melodies and sounds and at the same time they use a lot of industrial sounds that give an oppressive feeling to their music. And this feeling, combined with some deppressive melodies are the essence of this amazing band. The good thing here is that the music is extremely memorable because of the vocals and some melodies that are carefully developed through all thios album. But the main thing here is the experimentation with electronics done with a certain dark feeling that is all over the compositions. THis guys are really original and surprise on each yune with new melodies and elements. A really original release.