One-man music machine Daniel Myer continues apace to release material under various guises. Few projects have had as many name changes as Cleen/Clean/Cleaner/Clear Vision. Yet, undiminished by threats of legal action from evil American corporate types, Myer's vision for this project manages to remain focused.
With the German at the helm, you learn to expect the unexpected. Undoubtedly, the unexpected highlight of Deception is the opener American Dreaming. Featuring lyrics by Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry (and with not-insubstantial amounts of rich DCD guitar samples woven in to original effect) and a character full vocal performance by Stefan Netschio, this is a terrific, leftfield, start. The remainder never manages to surprise or reward in quite the same way, the overtly electronic/EBM-ish tracks being the least creative, but still, Deception is another worthy entry into the ever increasing Myer canon. 7/10
Rob Dyer (September 2004)
This is the second main release from haujobb side-project Cleen, and it is a vast improvement over their initial maxi cleened visions. This shows a much more confident approach and is more coherent than the earlier EP. Ignoring the cheesy opening lyrics "We hide under the balcony... like bats", the second track freak is one of the best. It has a strong chorus and some terrifically moody and soulful sounds - fans of haujobb won't be disappointed. did you forget appeared on cleened visions and was one of its stronger components. The remix version here (special '99 blackfloor edit) is a great dance floor filler and a welcome reprise. A contender for top track is a remarkable live version of the instrumental separate. The almost dripping water, bell-like sounds that begin the piece are joined by slow string synth backing and bouncy bass lines and percussion. It all builds into a cracker of a track that seems to have come straight off the mixing desk judging by the production quality.
Daniel Myer provides the vocals and, as ever, he knows his limits but there's a noticeable effort to go beyond the simple 'speaking' he is best known for. Subtle effects and mixing maximise his abilities and the results perfectly compliment the tunes, occasionally adding something extra as well. stronger is perhaps the most 'industrial' of the twelve offerings, with its distorted vocals (sung in German) carried along by deceptively simple keyboard arrangements and bassline. Stabbing keyboards not a million miles from chart dance creep into nightflight - another basically instrumental track where a (heavily treated) minimalist voice is used as an additional effect. A more conventional song structure is applied to can't see, although the laid-back, atmospherics that thread throughout this track and the rest of the album set cleen apart from their mainstream counterparts.
Things here seem more effortless than on cleened visions, there's certainly no attempt to burst into the charts and the compositions are all the better for it. this autumn is very 'first album' Forma Tadre and the final cut, restore, successfully returns to dance beats and rhythms - but with that higher-level intelligence, often subversive flair that Daniel Myer always manages to bring to his work. More than just 'a side-project' cleen is a worthy enterprise in its own right and therefore this CD comes recommended. 8/10