Music News

Project 12:01

Spinning Pharaoh is apt to give most people a severe sense of dislocation. This particular Project doesn't seem like something found in Denver, Colorado, during the century most of us presently occupy. Instead, it sounds as if it sprang from an international dance capital in the 1980s, when electronic gadgetry was being embraced by a new generation of musical melodramatists.

Camp holds little allure for partners Melissa London and Noel Johannes. Instead of making sport of their influences, they channel them. London's voice is altered by a vocal synthesizer in "Are There Angels?" -- the tune recalls a certain Ms. Ciccone from yesterday and today -- while "Shut the Door" is like a trip to Berlin hosted by a couple with a Terri Nunn habit.

Those who look back in anger at such material will likely be repelled by Project 12:01, whereas anyone receptive to the era is apt to approve of the disc's first-rate production and arrangements, not to mention London's airy singing and Johannes's seriousness of purpose. Better yet, folks representing both these extremes are apt to appreciate "This Heaven," an ethereal mood piece that transcends temporal dimensions. Forward into the past!

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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