Kate Wax
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Kate Wax

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Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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From the A-Level title and bellicose cover shot, you may well be expecting 'Reflections Of The Dark Heart' to be a rimy album of murder ballad-esque introspection. It ain't. Fed by tributaries that include Peaches, xlover, Gold Chains and Miss Kitten, Kate Wax is a fluctuating musical-beast; flicking from down-tempo electro torch songs one minute ('Beetles & Spider') to full on silicon-punk the next ('Killing Your Ghost'). Evidently schooled in nonsense dead-pan Euro lyrics, Wax gets away with her Adult. leanings by ensuring the squelching electro acetate used to provide a backdrop to her work is of a sterling standard. With highlights including the pulsing bass and snotty posturing of 'Bodies In Grace', the rubber-ball 808 action of 'Pleasure Zone' and the pink-latex shorts of 'Glimpse', Kate Wax may be the epitome of 2002, but she's better late than never. - http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=18371


Kate Wax's The Dark Heat Collection is a hefty double-disc release that pairs a set of remixes and new edits (The Dark Heat Collection II) with a digital-only release of Wax classics and unreleased gems (The Dark Heat Collection I). The half-European, half-Tibetan electro-pop chanteuse explores multiple styles throughout but unifies them via generally sparse, synth-based arrangements and her crystal-clear vocalizing (“Choose They Croon” instantiates the style in its skeletal combination of whispered vocal, writhing synth figures, and snare thwacks). Much of the material exemplifies a luminous fusion of torch singing, cryptic lyrics, and goth-techno. On songs like “Heroine,” Wax exploits the rhythmic disjunct between a slower, alluring vocal line and an insistent, harder-edged backing in tracks that merge elements of dance music and conventional song structures. Comparisons to Ellen Allien (specifically Thrills ) are as inevitable as they are understandable, given the scarcity of female vocal-based techno songwriting, but Wax's music is slightly less dance-driven than Allien's. Echoes of Zeebee and Goldfrapp also resound (with its bleepy schaffel and seductive goth-queen/dominatrix vocal, “Pleasure Zone” would sound right at home on Supernature) while minimal techno-funk tracks like St. Plomb's swinging “Killing Your Ghost” remix should appeal to M_nus aficionados too (Wax's languorous delivery in “Spoken” also recalls the style of Susanna Karolina Wallumrød).

Though it appears to be pitched as a secondary collection, the all-original The Dark Heat Collection I is as strong as the remix album. In “Angel Blues,” Wax's haunting voice slowly unfurls like a spiral of cigarette smoke while a faster rhythm struggles to break free; eventually the two rhythms coalesce into a funky groove before diverging again at the end. There's a spooky electro-punk shuffle (“Killing Your Ghost”), haunting torch-techno (“Beetles and Spider”), plus a nine-minute club raver (“Scream and Shout”) where Wax shows off a Prince-styled falsetto. As it nears its end (“Spoken,” “The Wild Me”), the album eventually settles into a more minimal and dreamy zone before closing with the serene “Defroster” (“Is it hard to defrost my heart? / Is it hard to warm the cold?”).

The Dark Heat Collection II has its share of great moments too. Roman Flügel layers Wax's languorous drawl atop cold mechano techno in his “Beetles and Spider” overhaul; a nice study in contrast finds Ellen Allien and Apparat stripping much of the vocal away in their almost wholly instrumental version, and recasting it as a sleek and buoyant banger. Equally strong is Dave the Hustler's potently danceable “Cash on Time” remix, a snappy, hand-clapping funk treatment with Wax's upper register vocal a potent hook. In addition, Kalabrese invests “Scream and Shout” with bleepy swing before Wax's beatless outro “Who Can Tell” lull ones off to sleep. Needless to say, Wax's ambitious The Dark Heat Collection makes a strong cumulative impression. - Textura.org


http://www.forumdes100.com/F100_alumni-05-06-07.pdf - L'Hebdo Switzerland


http://www.wayofwomen.it/wow/detail.aspx?id=68 - Wayofwomen


http://www.viceland.com/int/v11n3/htdocs/no_more.php - Vice magazine


http://www.de-bug.de/reviews/25578.html - De-bug.de


Discography

Releases:
Black Sheep EP (12", EP) Viking Music 2004
Pleasure Zone EP (12", EP) Mental Groove Records 2005
Reflections Of The Dark Heat (CD, Album) Mental Groove Records 2005
Beetles & Spider (10") Output 2006
Catch The Buzz (12") Mental Groove Records 2006
Remixed (12") Mental Groove Records 2007
The Dark Heat Collection I (File, MP3, Album) Mental Groove Records 2007
The Dark Heat Collection II (CD, Album) Mental Groove Records 2007
The Dark Heat Collection III (File) Mental Groove Records 2008
Appears On:
Hosomaki: Mix 2 (12") Miss Diy (DJ Assault R... Fondation CMA, Mental Groove Records 2003
Hosomaki: Mix 2 (CD) Miss Diy (DJ Assault R... Mental Groove Records, Fondation CMA 2003
Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever (2xLP) Romantique, Let Your M... Emperor Norton 2004
Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever (CD) Romantique, Let Your M... Emperor Norton 2004
Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever (2xLP, Album) Romantique, Let Your M... Emperor Norton 2004
Miss DIY: Remixes (12") Viking Music 2004
Rocket Ride (12") Let Your Mind Be Your Bed Emperor Norton 2004
10 Days Off - The Soundtrack #7 / 05 Days Off - The Soundtrack #4 (2xCD, Comp) Killing Your Ghost Play Out! 2006
2006 (CD) Cash On Time Mental Groove Records 2006
At The Controls (2xCD, Mixed, Comp) Angel Blues Resist Music 2006
At The Controls (2xCD, Mixed, Comp) Angel Blues System Recordings 2006
Fabric 29 (CD, Comp, Mixed) Beetles And Spiders (R... Fabric (London) 2006
Rumpelzirkus (CD, Album) Not The Same Shoes Muve Recordings 2007
Rumpelzirkus Part 1 (12") Not The Same Shoes Stattmusik 2007
Rumpelzirkus Part 1 (12", Promo) Not The Same Shoes Stattmusik 2007
Tracks Appear On:
Hosomaki: Mix 2 (CD) Angel Blues Mental Groove Records, Fondation CMA 2003
Various Lunatics EP (12") So Sexy 7b Records 2004
10 Days Off - The Soundtrack #7 / 05 Days Off - The Soundtrack #4 (2xCD, Comp) Killing Your Ghost Play Out! 2006
At The Controls (2xCD, Mixed, Comp) Angel Blues Resist Music 2006
At The Controls (3xLP) Angel Blues Resist Music 2006
At The Controls (2xCD, Promo) Angel Blues Resist Music 2006
At The Controls (2xCD, Mixed, Comp) Angel Blues System Recordings 2006
Fabric 29 (CD, Promo) Beetles And Spiders (R... Fabric (London) 2006
Fabric 29 (CD, Comp, Mixed) Beetles And Spiders (R... Fabric (London) 2006
Mix This (CD) Beetles And Spider KSR 2006
Notgoinganywhere Mixtape Volume 6 (CD) Scream And Shout (Kala... Corso Fleuri Editions 2006
This Is Radio Soulwax (CD) Killing Your Ghost Mixmag 2006
Tiny Sticks Versus Mental Groove (12") Killing Your Ghost / S... Tiny Sticks Records, Mental Groove Records 2006
BEAT No. 38 (CD) Beetles & Spider (Roma... BEATmagazine 2007
Groove CD #105/N°14 (CD, Comp, Car) Cash On Time (Dave The... Groove 2007
I Hate Music (2xCD, Promo) Beetles & Spider Output 2007
I Hate Music - A Compilation Of Output Recordings 1996-2006 (2xCD + DVD-V) Beetles & Spider Output 2007
Trax Sampler 104 (CD, Smplr, Car) Cash On Time (Dave The... Trax Sampler 2007

Photos

Bio

We could have lost this half-European, half-Tibetan 26 year old artist to an award-winning career in graphic design. Kate Wax dumped the pixel massive to channel her creativity through music, having found the right machines much like one finds the right person to share life with.
There is no shadow producer/boyfriend lending a hand to her music except on occasion, and that helping hand is bound to get slapped a few times : Kate Wax is in control. A much-impressed Felix da Housecat won't tell you otherwise. Remember "Let Your Mind Be Your Bed" and "Romantique" ? You probably do.
DJ Assault the Detroit ghetto-tech icon has been the first to dare a remix.
The music of Kate Wax will be filed under electro-pop, because it's electronic and retains the versechorus-verse format. But it's a highly personal hybrid, the result of do-it-yourself digital tinkering with influences ranging from early new-wave legends to 21stcentury neopop divas - she's got what it takes to become one herself.
Her first self-written and produced album on Mental Groove Records, "On The Dark Heat" features a rich blend of styles: up and downtempo minimal techno, electro-punk grime, ambient-industrial blues and more, all driven by her unique, warm and seductive vocal delivery. From old-school rapping to whispered lament, Kate Wax reveals a wide spectrum of emotions.
Thirteen club jams and headphone listening tunes, switching from Bauhaus to Blondie, from Cabaret Voltaire to Cologne techno and so on, often within the same track. Popping bass, reduced lo-fi 'bricolage' and breaks everywhere, Kate Wax builds her own universe with the mind of a techie and the grace of an Eurasian princess.
Morphing into the sexy vamp, the unruly teenager, the melancholic girl-next-door, the club freak and a whole cast of characters you wish were your friends, her lyrics touch upon the subject of women in electronic music in a charismatic and self-affirming way. Goodbye plastic puppets, hello Kate Wax.
Alone on stage in Germany, Spain, the UK, Japan... in Lebanon and Siberia even, she does much more than stand her ground looking fine. Kate Wax plays a mean live set with true stage presence and a strong connection to her audience that will only grow over time.