The Jeopardy Maze


From the dance floor to the killing floor, from haunting gothic dreamscapes to virtual nightmares, The Jeopardy Maze proves that industrial ain’t quite dead yet. Working with Franck Dematteis, the violist from the Paris Opera who collaborated with Attrition on the 1997 album Étude (classical interpretations of Attrition songs), and the gorgeous voice of Julia Waller, Martin Bowes adds his own electronics, samples, and obscure poetic lyrics to craft this fine demonstration of what happens when industrial dance meets classical meets dark ambient.

I never would have dreamed that viola could work with industrial (unless you were smashing it or something), but it does here, and damned well, adding a sometimes ethereal, sometimes demonic quality to the songs. “Dream Time Collector” is a good example, with fractured bits of electronics, distorted female vocals, and viola all pounding past your head at the breakneck speed of dream, like the old Twilight Zone opening images warping by, while Martin darkly intones rhymes that are all the more disturbing because they almost, but don’t quite, make sense.

There’s plenty of danceable material here too, like the beat-heavy “Waste Not, Want…More,” and a strong dash of British humor, as in the “wah” synth version of “God Save the Queen” dedicated to Wendy Carlos (of Switched-on Bach fame) that closes the album.

Projekt/Darkwave, P.O. Box 166155, Chicago, IL 60616

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