Elenor Rayner
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Elenor Rayner

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Artist: Sobriquet
CD: July
Reviewed by: Mike Ventarola

Sobriquet is Elenor Rayner, a talented young lady who has been involved with musical projects such as Snog, Soulscraper as well as her own solo releases for a number of years.

“July,” is Sobriquet’s first full-length solo release, due out early March 2003. The music helps bring electronic music full circle as it is redefined from a feminine perspective. Sobriquet is one of the few women in the electronic music industry carving a niche that has been held by men for quite some time. Having women making dance music is certainly not new, but women who are able to create alternative electro-industrial music certainly is. Rayner’s delivery on the tracks veers between sweet to angst driven, taking genres to new heights by mixing them up and shoving them in our face, while captivating the listener at every turn. The closest comparison is that of a cross between Lita Ford, Madonna, Courtney Love and Debbie Harry, who in a similar vein were able to deliver angst with apathy and passion with anxiety.

“XLS” is an electronic dance track with religious undertones to compete with the likes of E Nomine. Rayner’s conveyance of this heavy-duty, club friendly track should find a large and varied audience. The vocals are winsome and harmonious while the recitation of the Ten Commandments layered underneath permeates with the same type of intensity as Madonna’s bad girl persona.

“Sarah” confronts the reality that someone we know and trust has taken a turn down the wrong road. We ride the emotional roller coaster, not knowing if we should give up on this person or not, because even if we did, we could never get rid of them for one reason or another. The delivery has much more angst, belying the anger and frustration of having to endure what is akin to emotional blackmail.

“In The Beginning” pumps out the industrial edginess, boldly giving a voice to a world living on the brink of uncertainty and annihilation. The acrimonious vocal line punches its message home about how even our greatest hero’s fall to pieces and that even love dies a merciless death.

“July” is the title track from the CD and veers into a more darkwave/ethereal/ electronic hybrid. Here is introspection coupled with helplessness after the soul has burned out, replacing a hollow shell.

“Eve” casts an homage to the Biblical referenced first female. However, with feministic poignancy, Sobriquet reinterprets the story delineating how woman’s sacrifice of her own wants and needs lead to ignorance, which is really the first original sin.

“Some Elation” is a quirky drum & bass electronic hybrid that works marvelously on the headset. Every bleep, tweak and synthesized voice was crafted with a harmonious fluidity to make it infectious enough that you do not mind that there hasn’t been one human voice in the mix.

“Skyline” further expands on the electro drum & bass from the preceding track, but takes it to a futuristic chasm. Imagine drum & bass interpreted for the year 2033 and you might have some idea of what was done here. There is clearly a nod to all the past genres that were club essentials, yet they were tweaked, reorganized and made modern enough to become an infectious track that will become a club hit before long.

“The Prophecy” gives us a snapshot of one who lives in their own world of pretense, needing nothing and no one. Their objective is finding victims, for which many will fall prey. Sobriquet gives voice to the relational apathetic experience when a one-sided love affair with the self-indulgent has ended. Her vocals reach into her rock roots while the music takes a touch of electro-industrial rock fusion.

“One Life” started out with an up to the minute industrial EBM hybrid that somehow seemed to then travel along the rock road. Just when you are about to get comfortable with pegging a genre, Sobriquet pulls another stanza out of the back pocket to go even deeper and edgier. The song is about introspection and change, and this is carefully constructed via sound to expand on the intent of the lyrical emotion.

“Ego” combines militaristic industrial sounds that are crafted from blue grass and sung with a Lita Ford angry sentiment. Here, the track plays on the lyrics in a double entendre because it can clearly be a relational as well as political diatribe against the egotistical fools who try to enter into a senseless battle where no one wins.

“Inbetween Lies” brings back memories of early Deborah Harry from Blondie. Here the song is constructed with similar punk roots and angst with the smooth carefree crooning that made Blondie such an underground phenomenon.

“Dreams Burn Down” brings unrequited love into the essence of life in the big city. In major cities all across the world, it is quite possible to live next door to the one you really want to get to know, only to have self-doubt immobilize us into inactivity. The sound is a cross - Mike Ventarola


Discography

ALBUMS:
"Glass" by THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT
- double album released on Black Flames Records
www.blackflames.prv.pl
"July" by SOBRIQUET
- released through Ground Under Productions
www.gup.net.au
EP's:
"Version 1.1"
- released through Creative Vibes
www.cvibes.com
"People Don't Go Out To Clubs To Get Laid"
- independent release
www.sobriquet.org
TRACKS ON COMPILATIONS:
VenusaXX
Beatscootin'
Every Picture Tells A Story Vol. III
Cognition III
3RRR Used and Recorded By
Girlzone II
Melbourne Techno Floor
Refashioned

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Bio

"...is it possible to fall in love with a voice?"

In Australia she has an extremely loyal following for her albums and
her live shows.

Her main project is called SOBRIQUET. The level of intensity and
emotion in her songs is at a level rarely attained by electronic
artists. Every note comes straight from the heart. Her inner-most
emotions are bared for all the world to see.
Music is the most emotionally powerful of all the arts, and this is
powerful music.

The closest I can get to a description of the music is mix up the
intensity of Nine Inch Nails and Sinead O'Connor with the energy of
Bloc Party and The Faint.

Sobriquet has produced two EPs and one full length album. The first,
"people don't go out to clubs to get laid" was an independent release
which gained airplay on national radio and television and was "up and
coming artist of the month" in Rolling Stone Magazine.

The second EP was released on dance label Creative Vibes and the
opening track gained high rotation on Triple J, the national youth
radio station.

The debut album "July" was released internationally through Ground
Under Productions and Elenor was asked to contribute tracks to various
compilations such as VenusaXX on the German label Triton and
collaborated on a track "never come down" with Pound System which was
an underground hit in the UK.

On stage, Elenor is joined by a guitarist and keyboardist.

Elenor has also produced music for television programs and ads.

She has toured extensively and played everywhere from the Irving
Berlin Hall in New York to the top of Mount Hotaka at a dance festival
in Japan.

She also collaborates with producer Peter Crane under the name THE
CRYSTALLINE EFFECT and the two have just released a double album on
Polish label Black Flames.
The reviews have been amazing and a stack of European artists have
been inspired by the music to remix tracks, including Ivory Frequency
and Implant.

The Crystalline Effect have got the support slot for VNV Nation when
they tour in September.

There is no-one quite like Elenor....
Listen to the latest as-yet unreleased tracks "pristine lives" and "u
don't let anyone understand u" and let the music speak for itself.