Exposé Online banner

Deathwatch Beetle Repairman — Hollow Fishes
(Premier Art Records DBM777-001, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-11-01

Hollow Fishes Cover artDebut albums from obtuse solo acts can be difficult to ascertain on the surface. The first few listens of this disc from the Toronto based artist sound very much like an alternative to some of the more ominous darkwave acts which are sprouting up across the world. Mr. Repairman is in actuality Mathew Riley, who has many inspirations including such modern heroes as Trent Reznor (NIN), Peter Murphy, or even Jim Morrison (The Doors). The best atmospheres are created on pieces which emphasize grandiose synths using an almost Ultravox type approach as on "Season of the Dead." The real odd tone, which I've come to appreciate, is that this project also reminds me of elements of the late Kevin Gilbert's work Thud but with a more electronic shift. Acoustic pieces such as "Violet and Green" use varying instrumentation such as mandolin and acoustic guitar as well as Arabic motifs or even sitar (as on "Kings of the Rooks"). The artist is also the graphics designer and layout specialist for his own disc too. The cover inlay depicts an angel statuary with strange blotches and serene facial expression: creepy! From the opening strains of "Dream of the Hollow Fishes" to the music box intro to "The Carny of Mr. Dark," a new musical identity appears to have been realized. This album should find’s it way into the hungry hands of darkwave and Goth fans looking for that strange but accessible artist to champion.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Deathwatch Beetle Repairman

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

IQ - Ever – After two almost-completely duff studio albums and a long hiatus, it's good to see that the leading purveyors of the neo-Genesis sound are again living up to their good reputation. What does that...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues