cEvin Key The Ghost of Each Room

At first listen this release by one of industrial music's famous faces might seem a bit hard to swallow. It opens with an onslaught of mostly experimental noise tracks, sans vocals. Although this may apparently be the way of electronica of the future, nothing beats a few catchy loops and shtompy beats if you ask me. But I'm always open to new material, and after listening my way through the CD's entirety I slowly got more and more into it. I mean, after having been in '80s Vancouver synth outfit Images in Vogue, industrial pioneers (from Vancouver also!) Skinny Puppy and several other projects including Tear Garden and Cyberaktif, one might wonder what else this man could possibly have to say! But there's nothing like a good solo album to do exactly what you want to do, and having followed Key's career for quite awhile, one can appreciate the sense of individuality expressed in this solo effort, as it is unlike any of the aforementioned collectives. What sold me on this one was that he called in so many faces from his past to add a spin to the songs. The unmistakable vocals of Edward Ka-Spel (from the Legendary Pink Dots and the Tear Garden) show up on "cccc4" and the (dare I say) slightly funky "15th Shade." We even hear from former Skinny Puppy ringleader Ogre, on the appropriately dismal "Frozen Sky." This is especially a treat, as decided moments of Puppy-ness come glaring through. Key uses a plethora of guest session musicians and a wide array of varied instruments, such as sax, theramin, reaktor and ebow, to add to the sonic complexity of this disc. Well worth the wait since his first solo CD, Music for Cats. (Metropolis)