DIVERJE
Click here for an interview with Tommy T. of Diverje  

Album: "Amphibian"
Label: DSBP (2003)
Style: Electro-industrial
Songs: 28

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

Tommy T. and company return with a double dose of Diverje music for your listening pleasure. This is a two CD set that offers the Amphibian album on disc 1 and the Amphibian remix album on disc 2.

The album is titled Amphibian, there are pictures of frogs all over the packaging and there's even samples of frogs all troughout the CD. Sound odd? It's not. The frog and swamp type sounds give the album a unique atmosphere.

The music offered on the Amphibian album (disc 1) is heavy and aggressive electro-industrial with malfunctioning haywire electronic programming, slamming beats, noise, samples, dark melodies and extremely distorted vocals.

Each song manages to sound different, but all fit together with a similar style. They each do a great job of blending different elements within them for variety. There's a lot happening in the music, and it all requires repeated listens to take it all in.

This isn't typical sounding electro-industrial music that you've heard countless of times already. There's a somewhat original edge to it that makes it stand out of the crowd. It might not grab you at first due to its slightly different approach, but after a few spins you will want to hear it more and more.

All of the songs here are good, but a few stand out more than others. I especially like "Amphibian", "Red-Eyed", "Stronger", "Siliconed" "You Suck" and "Re-Animate".

As much as I like disc 1, I like disc 2 even more. Disc 2 is the Amphibian remix album and offers more of an EBM kick to everything that ups the energy level and gives the songs club appeal.

The remixes are done by The Mercy Cage, E.S.R., Aghast View, Bio-Mechanical Degeneration, Auspex, Data Raper, Fr/Action, Tecnoman S.F., Babel-17, System Syn and Croc Shop. Each and every remix here is great, and really give a new twist to the songs.

Unfortunately, some of my favorite songs such as "Stronger", "Siliconed, "You Suck" and "Re-Animate" don't have remixes. Actually, only seven songs from disc 1 are remixed, with several versions of each making for a total of fourteen tracks on disc 2.

The bottom line is that you're given a lot of music with this Amphibian two CD set. You're given two CDs for the price of one. You can't beat that.

On a final note, the only thing I would like to see different in future Diverje music is less distorted vocals. Tommy T. has a good deep powerful voice that doesn't need to rely so heavily on effects. I actually feel his emotions more when his singing is clear since it sounds more raw and real.

 

Album: "On Skin"
Label: DSBP (2000)
Style: Electro-industrial / EBM
Songs: 16

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

Diverje is the electro-industrial/EBM project of DSBP label owner Tommy T. Rapisardi. And this On Skin recording is a solid release. The instant you hear the first song "Regret" you get a good idea of what this entire album has to offer. The music is a combination of electro-industrial, EBM, experimental and noise. Frantic and manic electro sounds go haywire along with hard crunchy beats over dark melodies. The songs play at a mid-temp to fast pace keeping everything interesting and never boring. But the varied layering and experimental noise elements prevent this music from really working in clubs.

One slight complaint I have with this overall recording are the vocals. The main problem with them is that theyíre overly processed with an unappealing distortion sound. And while I like distorted vocals, the distortion effects used here sound a little too muddy and muffled. You can somewhat hear Tommyís natural voice behind the effects, and it sounds fairly good. I canít help but think that some of these songs would have been a lot better without any effects used on the vocals.

Whatís most appealing about this CD is the music. Most of the songs offered here feature some great variety and ideas in them. Each track manages to sound somewhat different from the one before it. Some songs are heavy and aggressive, while others are a little lighter and laid back. Everything is creative and interesting. The one instrumental "Cover Up (Vocal Strip Extendo)" is especially enjoyable with all that happens in it.

On top of offering eleven new songs, thereís also five remixes of songs from previous Diverje albums. Unfortunately, I only really like the ones provided by Converter and Ionic Vision. The ones by Cydonia, Pain Station and Thine Eyes donít interest me all that much and sort of drag down the last part of the CD.

As with most CDs, some songs stand out more than others. My favorites here include: "Regret", "On Skin", "Stimulate", "In My Shell", "Cover Up (Vocal Strip Extendo)", "Disconnect (Converter Remix)" and "Scream For Me (Ionic Mayhem At Maximum)". Itís actually the more melodic and structured songs here such as "On Skin" and "In My Cell" that appeal to me the most. Tommy shows exceptional song writing and music development on these two tracks. A lot of the other tracks are a little more experimental and noisy for my tastes. While I do like them, I just personally prefer slightly more structure to the songs that I listen to.

The bottom line is that this is a good effort by Tommy, but in the end it seems a little too ambitious. Basically, it seems like heís trying to do too much here. Some tracks are electro-industrial, some EBM, some experimental noise and some remixes. While everything is fairly consistent in its sound, I just see more potential in some of the tracks than others. I think that Tommy should maybe make Diverje a more focused project that sticks to similar music throughout. I would personally like to see him embrace the sound of "On Skin" and "In My Cell" more in the future for this project. And maybe create a different project for more of the experimental noise music.