Edge of Dawn's album Enjoy The Fall was certainly one of the most anticipated debuts this year, even if, upon delivery it didn't quite match expectations. Still, its intelligent and tuneful approach to electro/EBM was a natural extension of the admirable work already established by Seabound, a band that shares Edge of Dawn's lyricist and singer Frank Spinath.
On this bumper value, eight track EP, Mario Schumacher and Spinath continue to explore the narrative territory laid out on Enjoy The Fall. (Only seven tracks are listed but there's a hidden dancefloor remix of Black Heart.) Album tracks Black Heart, Descent and The Nightmare I Am all recur here. Yet, the objective is clear, to look at the album versions from new perspectives, resulting in a series of songs with quite different characters. Then there are two new songs. Split Second Schumacher and Spinath visit twice. On Split Second (Undertow) it's the more introverted aspects of the song that are examined in detail. This is one of the most memorable tracks here thanks almost single handedly to a moving, sweeping chorus. Split Second (The Party Girl) digs into the darker aspects of the psyche. The other addition, Kiss or Kill, also goes into the borderline personality disorder storyline of the album, with lyrics and vocal duties shared with Charlene April of Blind Faith and Envy.
The remaining tracks are each explored by different guest artists. It's Melotron/In Strict Confidence's Olaf WollschlAger who opens proceedings with a co-production and remix credit for a stylish, back-to-basics take on Black Heart (Alpha). Label mates Fractured treat Descent to a considered and complex approach that works really well. Former KMFDM frontman En Esch turns in the reflective (Coeur Triste) version of Black Heart. A mix about as far removed from bombastic reputation of KMFDM as you could imagine. Ned Kirby fills the Stromkern remix of The Nightmare I Am with all his characteristic touches, especially the percussion. Borderline Black Heart is a lengthy (more than 42 minutes in all), multifaceted and successful addition to the growing reputation being built by Schumacher and Spinath. 7/10
Rob Dyer (November 2007)
I was really looking forward to hearing this. I loved the teaser The Flight [Lux] EP so much I gave it a DSO Recommended rating. Sadly, though perfectly competent, this doesn't fire me up as I expected it to and consequently is slightly disappointing. But my judgement is clouded so don't let that put you off giving this a whirl as I can still recognise that there are moments of great reward here.
The marketing has made much of the concept behind Enjoy The Fall for, yes, this is a concept album. (Don't panic!) Vocalist and lyricist Frank Spinath used to be a psychiatrist and although he has already drawn on this background when writing and performing the lyrics for his lead project Seabound, here the album is used to progressively tell the tale of a obsessive disorder sufferer; apparently a striking blonde female stalking a former lover (as depicted in the promo videos and album artwork).
Which is all fine and welcome, but it's a touch too forced at times like on opener All Coordinates Are Wrong. This is essentially two minutes of Spinath speaking in clipped, mannered English, describing in psychiatrist jargon the personality disorder suffered by the subject of the album, and it just sounds pretentious. However, as stated, there's good stuff here that deserves attention and praise, and the third song, Damage quickly and convincingly sets out the strengths of Mario Schumacher and Spinath's partnership. Meanwhile, all the album versions of previously released tracks (The Flight, Descent and Elegance) are all quite different from what has already been released and all work really well, forming a rock solid backbone to the rest of the release.
Setting aside those that appeared on the The Flight [Lux] EP (and which remain among the strongest songs here), there's only a couple of tracks, like the mellow Beauty Lies Within that both musically and vocally instantly evokes Conscience-era Beloved, and Isolation which has an air of Cabaret Voltaire about it at times, that resonate with me and represent the album I was expecting. At their very best Edge of Dawn certainly have the potential to become leaders in their field. With a touch more refinement that goal would be well within their grasp. 7/10
Rob Dyer (July 2007)
Edge Of Dawn is the inspired partnership of studio wiz programmer Mario Schumacher and Frank (Seabound) Spinath. What started out as a solo project for Schumacher with a temporary guest vocalist position for Spinath fused into a permanent partnership after Spinath and Schumacher not only got on but realised that there was a distinct meeting of minds that simply had to be explored in more depth. And that's a exciting prospect, for the best creative work always comes naturally, it cannot be forced into being. Admiration goes out to Schumacher (something of a veteran of the dark electronic scene) too for acknowledging that Edge of Dawn would have been a more compelling concept with Spinath on board.
There are three core sound stylings on this nine track sampler EP. The first is found on the blood-tingling Losing Ground which to me is an artful fusion of all I love about electronic music: triggering bass sequencers, dry synthetic drums, bubbling melodies, a catchy chorus and a distinct vocal style. The second is contained in the titular The Flight [Lux]. A darker tone, heavier dance beats, an immediate driving construction but still a stand-out chorus despite the more whispering, shadowy voice. The third main style is exemplified in Descent. A slow ballad where the emphasis is on the alluring vocals with a muted electronics and piano backing. If you are a post-Europa Covenant fan or appreciate the poppier side of Daniel Myer's projects, for example if you love Cleen, then you'll like Edge Of Dawn. I love Cleen and I now like Edge of Dawn too. Big time. For my money Edge Of Dawn do have the edge of Spinath's hitherto main project Seabound, and I look forward with keen interest the first album due later this year. 7/10
Rob Dyer (March 2007)
Early two-track teaser release that seemed to do the trick. Contains the vanilla version of The Flight [Lux] plus a steady remix by the band themselves entitled, imaginatively the Edge Of Dawn Remix!). Strength of the title track aside, given that its only one song in two versions it wasn't going to set the world alight, but a few years down the line when Edge of Dawn have (fingers crossed) released a couple of essential albums, this is likley to become a collector item. Mine is going into storage now. 6/10
Rob Dyer (March 2007)
Official Edge Of Dawn website: http://www.edgeofdawn.de