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Richard Pinhas & John Livengood — Cyborg Sally
(Tangram 82015, 1994, CD)

by Dan Casey, Published 1995-07-01

Cyborg Sally Cover artIt's been quite a while since Pinhas has offered up some new material. This time around he has teamed up with John Livengood who injects some complementary synths/guitars/programming for this varied tour through ambient soundscapes as well as pseudo-industrial grooves. The opener "Intro: Hyperion" is a dull, droning ambient piece comprised of two alternating chords which foreshadows what is to come (or rather, not to come) in the longer tribute to ex-Heldon alum Gilles Deleuze entitled "Beyond Hyperion." Apart from the mildly interesting electronic effects used to flesh the tone poem out, these portions of the album are far too shallow to sustain much interest beyond the first listen. More interesting are the driving title track (with its predictable cyborg vocoder and digital bells) and "Rock Machine: Red Ripe Anarchy," which showcase the famous mind-searing Pinhas guitar tones, but consistently fall short of anything he did with Heldon because here the programmed percussion is cold, mechanical, and virtually nothing more than a simple dance track. Although much of Cyborg Sally has potential, or more accurately, vision, it is the sub-par delivery which disappoints — particularly those fans who know and love prior Pinhas/Heldon efforts. The chemistry with Livengood just doesn't feel right, as evidenced by the strangely out-of-place cheesy digital synth patches layered with Pinhas' guitars. Furthermore, each track seems to go on endlessly, and thus so does the album when taken as a whole. Quite a buzz was generated by this release, and while hopes were high, it's hard to feel more than let down by Cyborg Sally.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Pinhas

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