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i:scintilla @ Darkroom

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

i:scintilla @ The Legacy

Terre Haute, Indiana, USA

Terre Haute, Indiana, USA

i:scintilla @ Cowboy Monkey

Champaign, Illinois, USA

Champaign, Illinois, USA

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On "The Approach", this female-fronted quartet invokes Evanescence, Garbage, latter-day Theatre of Tragedy, and even White Zombie (both lyrically and musically) within its whirling electro-industrial mayhem, psychedelic grooves, and tales of personal doom...Singer Brittany Bindrim's commanding and seductive voice gives added weight to these dark songs and the band is at its best when it opts for melody... - Progression Magazine

Midwest based i:scintilla is certainly a fortuitous and captivating discovery. The electronic band from Illinois is a striking four-piece that has produced an impressive independent debut entitled The Approach. Alternating between a crisp in your face feel and softer distant moods, the musical integrity of the album is greatly enhanced by excellent production, particularly for an independent release. The mix is enrichment for deliberate musical fades, intros, and builds created by brisk guitars, programmed drums and effects, and great lyrical melodies.

To set the album in motion a low stir, sounding like a series of distant crashes, is introduced. Soft, smooth tones chime in overtop the rumble and resound like a choir in unison. A piano sequence is added to the blend as well triggering distraction from the distant resonance. As the song moves on, the combination of sounds remain distinct, yet unite as they seem to become one solid entity linearly and physically moving straight toward the listener. Just as fast as the music approaches, however, it retreats again slowly sounding further and further away with less intensity and lower volume. I feel as if I am in a dark cave with dirt floors and walls looking straight ahead into the darkness. I am stiff with confusion and anticipation. I hear sound in the distance, it slowly moves towards me as I stand in shock. Briefly, the entity reaches me and then, to my surprise, passes on further into the darkness of the cave. To put it simply, this piece is full of potential imagery and interpretation which is a great way to approach appeal for the rest of the album.

“Imitation” might very well be the most intriguing track on the album. A great riff consisting of heavy, crunchy guitars saturates the song setting the fast paced tempo and furious mood. Programmed drums provide addicting beats and a great display of programmed effects add an electronic element to the overall song complexity. The methods are effective giving the listener a contemplative earful. Singer Brittany Bindrim is in full force with avid lyrics and vocal patterns. The song has a ranting feel with continuous, unbroken lyrical flow rising in tempo with verse progression. A passionate climax explodes at the chorus reaffirming the theme of the song through great melody. Go play off another cliché call it all your own I’ll hold onto the things that you’ve never known. A temporary interlude shifts the song into a slower tempo and altered mood. The music is distant in the background with the soft, soothing sounds of the synth. The vocals dominate the break with whispers. You won’t find it here. Overall, the song demonstrates the dynamics of the band and the full range of their abilities.

Through driving beats, inventive effects, charismatic vocals, and appreciable guitar work, i:scintilla has creatively shaped an array of musical pieces. With some solely electronic songs, many hasty guitar parts, dark moods, songs with a lighter feel, and active melodies, i:scintilla is on the approach of being a distinguished electronic rock band.

level of consciousness: 8 out of 10… a great approach to electronic rock music!

recommended tracks: The unacknowledged first track, “Imitation,” “Scin,” “Translate, “Havestar,” & “The Bells" - streamofconsciousness.net

Hello, industrial. Meet electro-digital technology. Iscintilla’s The Approach, uniquely infuses intros of supernatural floating electronic sounds with hardcore distortion that puts the listener in a movie scene of an underground room painted with spinning lights and completely removed from any concept of time.

The Approach opens with "Imitation", beginning with an overpowering industrial sound and flips into digital beats with Brittany Bindrim’s voice recorded to make her sound distant. A strange melodic symphony-like exit leads into "Capsella Bursa Pastoris" where Bindrim’s voice amazingly controls the song, keeping it at a softer level. This feel of opposing sounds- Bindrim’s solid yet sweet voice with the distorted guitars, makes for an incredible blend in "Translate".

The Approach was compiled in such a remarkable way that the album seems to be one very long song, with calm breaks leading into powerful segments. The most amazing example of this is with "The Intruder, Part IV", gliding into the last track, "The Bells" which fluctuates between pauses of quietness that explode into a simple but catchy beat. With lyrics spilling with awareness of the unknown, and self-worth and strength, Iscintilla masters emotion through sounds not even imaginable. Quite an impressive start being their first album. - Innocent Words Magazine

Even though I:Scintilla have just arrived on the scene, they're already making their mark with their intoxicating blend of industrial beats and atmospheric creations.

Intricate layers of guitars and synths surround Brittany Bindrim's aggressive vocals. I:Scintilla is already captivating audiences with their live show, which is an excellent extension of their album. The Approach is a whirlwind of songs that range from harder rock tracks to trance-like epics. Combined with intense lyrics, I:Scintilla has done an extremely impressive job in pulling us into their world.

The Approach is definitely a fast-paced treat for spacey industrial rockers everywhere. Standout tracks include "Scin", "Havestar", and "Imitation." To see what I:Scintilla are all about, and to hear song samples, visit www.iscintilla.com - collectedsounds.com

Though the term may be worn out, and fans will debate "What's REALLY industrial, what's synthpop, what's coldwave, etc" until your ears bleed, the term industrial-rock is still in use for a reason, sometimes it fits. i:scintilla is one of those times, with a sound reminiscent of the Kidneythieves, or a heavier Garbage, they aptly straddle that line between being unapproachable to people not into industrial and simply being a rock act with synthesizers.

i:scintilla's debut, The Approach, begins with an atmospheric, lulling instrumental that slowly draws you into an album delicately balanced between aggression and emotion. The album's ten tracks cover the gap from the ambient instrumental of the untitled intro track and The Intruder, Part IV to the crunch of solid industrial-rock pieces of Scin and Havestar.

Imitation immediately demands attention with its heavy guitar and synth crunch beginning before dropping into a fast-rhythmic verse and later dropping back to a slow, reflective mood before stepping the pacing up again for the end. With Translate i:scintilla inject more variety into the album with a slower moving, melancholy track, where the guitars take more of a backseat musically emphasizing the vocals highlighting the mellow tone of the track.

The only falter within the album concerns the vocals; and even writing that is deceiving. Vocalist Brittany Bindrim appears to be overstepping her abilities at times; where the vocals want to soar, sometimes they just stretch. On the whole the vocals are very attuned to the sound of the music as a whole, there seems to be moments when a different between what is trying to be achieved, as setup by the rest of the song, and what is actually done. Hardly a crippling issue as this is a debut release and, as put by herself in a recent interview, this is her first band.

For a debut release i:scintilla have made a more than adequate effort, The Approach is a highly impressive debut, put together very professionally in terms of music and production. The disc will give the nay-sayers who proclaim industrial dead something new to chew on and it welcomes even the more casual listener. - openingbands.com

I try to look past that it's a female singer, and try to give it a fair chance. I have to, right? Ok. That's cool. Wait, this isn't Gravity Kills with a new lead singer? Ok. That's cool too. Calm down, I'm not hating on Gravity Kills, I did like them a great deal… However, I:Scintilla's new release The Approach did first remind me of the late 1990's early 2000's predecessors of what I like to call "whine rock." Not too shabby of a start though, the first track "Intro" is a good lead in to their hard hitting grinding "Imitation," (although, an imitation of someone else's group altogether…. OK, I'll stop… Promise.)

Although some of the tracks are very well put together, I can only stand so much of the lyrics. The music is very driven, and needs to stand out more, I should say. Brittany Bindrim's vocals are very strong and should have some focus, but on most of these tracks, it IS the focus. It almost completely covers up the efforts of her supporting band mates.

But then again, like I said, I liked the band whom they resemble, and these guys (and gal) deserve big recognition for their work. They really pull off a good strong sense of style and keep up the pace through out the entire CD. Their last track "The Bells," is a true taste of their whole styling all in one song…I should hope to see more of this in any of their upcoming releases; more music, more melody, and not so much focus on just one band mate!

Over all a good piece to listen too, but all silver needs some polish from time to time! - hybridmagazine.com

I guess it was only a matter of time before an industrio-goth band realized there was a buck to be made by imitating Evanescence. Brittany Bindrim fills the Amy Ray role in I:Scintilla, a band that's actually much closer in feel to Gravity Kills and Stabbing Westward. Funny thing is, they're not half bad, either, though they have a ways to go before they'll be free of the "sounds like" clichés.

They've got the hard edge down, and they layer the throbbing basslines and ragged guitars over suitably schizophrenic synth percussion (hi, KMFDM), and their songs are all quite listenable and inoffensive, but they never break through to any new musical ground. Bindrim is a capable vocalist who actually sounds nothing like Ms. Ray, though she sometimes sounds like she's straining to make a point rather than allowing herself to sing naturally. The overproduced vocals and backing don't help. I listened to The Approach in my car and enjoyed it; I listened to it on my computer speakers and found it wanting. Clearly, I:Scintilla are at their best when they have room to breathe -- which means they may find their footing a bit more stable when they begin to emerge from the shadows of their influences. - splendidezine.com

On the evening of July 29, Champaign-Urbana will receive a trace, a spark, or a minute particle of something. Actually, we’ll get to hear the scintilla itself – or the i:scintilla, that is. Even though you may have heard i:scintilla’s dark, electrifying vibes at a handful of its live shows in the past several months, on July 29, the band plans to release its first album, The Approach.

Bassist Chad Mines says that the music on the album sounds nearly identical to how the band sounds live. Because i:scintilla works heavily with programmed drums, synths, and other digital effects, the band can play very accurate replications of their songs in varied environments.

"Live, we’re louder," Mines says. "The songs don’t change much because when we play, we’re locked into the tempo."

Considering the creation process which the band undertook in The Approach during the past 16 months, coupled with the ambient, electro sound they pursue, you can appreciate all the work they put into achieving their tight sound. Unlike many bands who practice first and only later record the sound, i:scintilla does it all at once.

"Originally, we’d just record it and write it at the same time," says Jim Cookas (guitar/synths.) "We’ll maybe write the basses for the song – the groundwork – and then go back and add."

The songs also grew into existence in this format because the band members joined at different stages, vocalist Brittany Bindrim completing the group last September. So Mins, Cookas, and Jason Allen (guitars/synths) wrote almost all the music before Bindrim added the vocals.

"I enjoyed the different approach," she says. "You just have to figure out the right placement and the right melodies….This is my first band," she adds, "because I never had the courage to follow through with it. It’s something I knew I had to do."

Listening to her forceful, impassioned voice and examining the flawless way she weaves the lyrics into the music, however, you’d guess that i:scintilla has been perfecting its style for years.

"The lyrics are rooted in personal experience," Bindrim explains. "It’s what’s going on inside my head – it just starts as an idea. Also, I really enjoy listening to Tori Amos’ lyrics, and also Nine Inch Nails, Collide, Stone Temple Pilots, and Skinny Puppy."

These electro-rock influences run throughout the band’s sound overall, as well.

"By myself, I like dark ambient stuff," says Allen. "Like Delirium, and then things with synths and drum loops. We’re probably guitar-driven too much to be industrial, though."

"It’s ambience, and then we’re gonna punch you in the face," Mines explains.

But there’s a method to the madness, as well. Initially, the band saw The Approach going in the direction of a concept album, but it ended up a little more loosely structured.

"It’s an album that tells the story of self-destruction," says Cookas. "The last song is when you’ve destroyed yourself completely."

Thankfully, though, you can still listen to it again and again.

Pretty soon, i:scintilla will be looking forward to playing more live shows and making itself known. Mins says he appreciates their supportive neighbors and the friendly music community in CU, although i:scintilla also wants to play more shows out of town, too. Towards the end of the summer, they’re also planning on making a backing video with random video footage to accompany the music on stage. Then in early 2005, they’re thinking about a remix EP with some other stuff that they’ve done, with acoustic and unreleased material.

So all in all, the ride is just beginning, and it looks like a mixture of blood-rushing rhythms and mesmerizing synths ahead. If you can’t wait until July 29, go to their Web site, iscintilla.com, to listen to their songs (including (but not limited to) "Capsella Bursa Pastoris") and find out more about the band itself. - Innocent Words Magazine

Word-of-the-day: "scintilla." Do you know what it means? How about what it implies for a certain Illinois based band? i:scintilla, artist of the month for October 2004, leaves an impression that cannot be left unnoticed. The band is striking to me in some unexplainable way that is familiar, yet something I haven't experienced in awhile. So, I sought to find out from vocalist Brittany Bindrim and guitar/everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Jim Cookas how the The Approach might be playing with my subconscious.

Rachel: Tell us about the band. What are your backgrounds?

Jim: Everything began as a solo project in late 2002. I wrote and recorded many songs (only “Imitation” and “Fidelidad” made the cut for The Approach). I quickly learned two things: a) I could not be the lead singer of any band and 2) I needed more ears to aid in the writing and recording. Chad (bass) and Jason (guitar) soon joined on and helped to write and record more songs. We always wanted a female vocalist to complete the sound and we were fortunate enough to cross paths with Brittany in late 2003. She not only added a great voice to the music, but also phenomenal words.

Rachel: Brittany, have you run into any situations, positive or negative, involving your position as a female front at this point?

Brittany: I’ve had mostly positive experiences as a female front-woman thus far. Though, as a woman I find that one must get over the fact that sometimes people focus on appearance rather than musical involvement. However, that certainly does not only apply to females. It applies to all regardless of sex in some form.

Jim: Brittany’s talent has opened many doors for i:scintilla.

Rachel: I:scintilla is an interesting name. I had to look it up but I found “scintilla” to mean “a minute amount, an iota or a trace” and “a spark, a flash.” What does the name mean to the band and why did you choose it?

Jim: Bands like to say their names have deep meanings, but ours has shallow roots. I used to be subscribed to a word-of-the-day email list and one day scintilla arrived in my inbox. It connected with me, for some reason, and I checked to see if scintilla.com was available. It wasn’t, so I improvised.

Rachel: “Imitation” is a great song musically and lyrically, definitely my favorite track on the album. The song seems to perhaps pinpoint a certain person or entity through the use of the word “you.” Is there someone or something specific you had in mind when writing the lyrics to the song?

Brittany: The song is essentially about conformity and a loss of identity within our culture. When I was writing “Imitation,” I was writing about those who are blind to this idea yet completely embody it. I did have a few people in mind that I know personally when I was writing it, but it does not pertain to a specific person.

Rachel: What technology do you use in your musical programming? Do you have any special techniques you can or would like to share?

Jim: The Approach was completely recorded, mixed, and mastered in my home studio. We are a 21st Century Digital Band and used programs like Pro Tools, Reason, and ACID to produce our album.

Rachel: What is the song “Capsella Bursa Pastoris” about?

Jim: The title comes from a project I worked on at my day job. I had to read The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants and I stumbled across the captivating Latin nomenclature for a shepherd’s purse (a beautiful flowering plant classified as a weed).

Brittany: It is about how time can have ultimate control and outcome in a relationship. It also explores the notion that we must be aware that nothing is everlasting and you must recognize the importance and value of something when it’s with you.

Rachel: What brand of soap do you use?

Brittany: Bath and body works sweet pea.

Jim: I won’t disclose my brand of choice, but I will say that my sensitive skin does not allow me to lather up while bathing. I must constantly rinse.

Rachel: You have said, not in these exact words, that you have taken industrial music of the past and made it your own, something to that extent. How so? Who has been inspiring to you?

Jim: All four of us love the fathers of industrial music like Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, etc. They definitely have an influence on the music we create, but we also have an affinity for other dark music like The Cure, A Perfect Circle, and Type O Negative. Jason, a very primary songwriter, brings his ambient influences like Delirium to the table as well. We try to mix everything into a cohesive bundle.

Rachel: What is the music scene like in Illinois? Where have you played? Do you have any upcoming shows? I’m in Cedar Rapids, IA right now, about 4 hours from Chicago so maybe I can catch you soon.

Jim: The music scene in Champaign-Urbana is strong. There are many great venues and there is a cool show to attend almost every night. We have toured to around the Midwest and have met many exceptional people and bands. We hope to expand our audience in the coming months.

Rachel: Complete this sentence. The boy…

Brittany: The boy’s fiery disposition and rigidity brought him to the curb, and he left this world in a taxi full of ignorance and cigarette smoke.

Rachel: What does "shootarooney" mean?

Brittany: Ah I’ve heard this used in different contexts before, but I don’t really know exactly what it means. One meaning has something to do
with bustin’ caps, and another is with shooting up drugs or something, I think. It also sounds like it would be the name of some really
cheesy old-fashioned western cartoon or puppet show, something like that.

Jim: I think it has something to do with assassinating a 60 Minutes commentator.

Rachel: How and when are you most creative?

Brittany: For me creativity is fluid. It is something otherworldly and it travels in wavelengths. Sometimes a thing from my environment sparks a surge of inspiration and I create from there, other times it’s purely sporadic and ethereal. I guess the best time for me is when I am alone and
don’t have very many negative things going on in my life. Though pain can inspire some of the best works, it has for me.

Jim: Creativity, for me, usually comes at the worst moments. Many times I will be very inspired and I don’t have access to express (or remember ) my idea. When recording The Approach, everything was pure. We didn’t have to try and create many of the ideas on the album, they just appeared. That’s what I love about music.

For more information on i:scintilla:
http://www.iscintilla.com - streamofconsciousness.net


The Approach (2004)
Havestar (2006)


Feeling a bit camera shy


scin-til-la, noun, latin

1. a minute amount; an iota or trace.
2. a spark; a flash.

for some, the spark of illinois-based I:SCINTILLA is from experiencing their live performance and feeling the energy of the quartet firing on all cylinders. for others, it is from hearing vocalist brittany bindrim's words soar over the dark industrial soundscapes of their full-length debut release, THE APPROACH. regardless, the spark always grows into an explosion of intricately programmed electro-beats and synthesizers colored by distorted guitars and topped with intense female vocals.

the group, which formed in 2003, is spearheaded by brittany bindrim (vocals/words). providing the sonic canvas for her voice are newly added bethany whisenhunt (bass) and co-founders chad mines (guitar) and jim cookas (guitar/synthesizer/programming). I:SCINTILLA's two-female/two-male attack provides an interesting and agreeable vibe not often found in industrial-rock music.

THE APPROACH, distributed by industrial label positron! records, was released in july, 2004. the debut album features ten songs that flow from one to the next, but the music seamlessly jumps genres. hard-hitting industrial treats like 'havestar' and 'scin' give way to the thoughtful electro-pop of 'capsella bursa pastoris' and all is wrapped up during the schizophrenic climax of 'the bells'.

addicted to a relentless schedule of performing and recording, I:SCINTILLA has made a significant impact on the electronic music scene in a relatively small amount of time. they have shared the stage with such artists as die warzau, the birthday massacre, celldweller, and cruciform injection. with a fierce dedication to their art, along with a sonically and visually intense live show, this band will continue to spark new fans for years to come.