Author Topic: Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"  (Read 1393 times)

LUSha Offline cn

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Note: this is a direct translation of my review in Chinese on a music/movie community, on the same day when album was released.
Want to share to outside this forum so i post this in off topic.  ;D you can also share your views in this thread


I still remember an early interview from Tilo in which he said he was not good at electronic music, and another thing i remembered was (vaguely) two or three years after that interview, he founded Snakeskin, as a "holiday from Lacrimosa" and to release pure and direct emotions,Snakeskin received both a hell of criticism from the first album "Music for the lost", and a heaven of applaude from "Canta Tronic", and since then this project took a long coffee break, for ten year. In ten years, some believed it was dead, some calls for an awakening...having translated all those interviews and news, i notice in recent years there's gradually signs indicating this project slowly waking up after a long hibernation, shaking off snowflakes from its tail.

After 10 years, well, 10 years ago Lacrimosa visited China for the first time and now they are the most popular alternative band here and a most frequent visitor, no one can ever imagine, what it has to offer. Now after listening to it for a whole day i believe Tilo filled the gap with a huge hammer! an explosive hammer that will shoot fireworks and crackers.
Since i bought it this morning from amazon, i couldn't remember for how many times i have been playing this album, maybe all the time. i would rate this album 6 out of 5 on douban.
This album has peaked an unprecedented height when it comes to experimental music and artistic level. I might even compare it with some Lacrimosa albums and wouldn't rate it a little bit lower, but then consider that, this album comes from the "very same hand" and took 10 years to ripe, it is worthy of all the compliments i can think of and not odd at all.
I've always loved electronic/industrial music, recently on my list includes Gary Numan, B-Movie, Ashbury Heights etc...
I have one or two favourites from Snakeskin in the past.. But this time, Tunes for my Santiméa is different! Composition has matured as if taking a leap directly from Seele in Not sample to Elodia, and it has much more experimental elements and freedom in it. If i would say, Music for the Lost is a personal vent and emotional scream from a wayward young Tilo, and Canta Tronic is a Diva show featuring wonderful voice of Kerstin Doelle, this album Tunes for My Santiméa has reached a level of perfect balance, in this album everyone plays their roles, nobody is stealing the light, nobody is less featured, nobody takes inharmonious approach, they have all come to a point called "this is just so right".
In general composition and melody are much more refined, you would think about Lacrimosa from time to time, but there's less worry less tip toeing around, so an imaginary Tilo, dressed up in classical gothic suits, now rolled up sleeves to his elbows and shouted: "fuck you! i'm just gonna do this don't you dare to be nosy about it!" :)))



Electronic part, vocies, chorus, instrument, every and each aspect has a refined, smart touch

The first song Le Seul Vrai (The only true one?), it starts with a traditional Lacrimosa style,
powerful and deeply touching voice from Opera singer Kerstin Doelle is not to be underestimated.
It reminds me a bit of Cold Song from Klaus Nomi, and according to another chinese fan Gradisca(who is a professional musician :) "this kind of staccato is not that common in opera", anyway it's rather exciting to hear this style and Kerstin's excellent interpretation.
and then it follows by the tangled dance of electronic and opera singing, harmonized music has brought a mysterious even religious touch. I can somehow refer to Helium Vola's classical electronic+classical style, but the samples(which reminds me of sound effect in Mutatio Spiritus), and arrangements, have showed its more Lacrimosa-oriented nature.

Moonlightfire(English verision of Mondfeuer? :), i find rhythmed beginning particularly interesting, also the voice of "Hello Hello" from Tilo, accompanied by some excellently neat, pleasing sound effect left and right, in the end it's actually a trio instead of duo (? not so sure), their voices perfectly merge together you can't tell them apart, clean ending with amplified melody.

Alive is a song full of power, youthfulness and dynamics. it starts with futuristic, almost dreamy, a bit japanese sci-fi electronic atmosphere, and this feeling vanished and grow into the deeply emotional voice from Tilo, turns into a romantic poem almost like "Keine Schatten mehr" but the upbeat, cheerful, and powerful voice from Carina Böhmer is an utter surprise! I took a quick look at her profile, not knowing any of the works she has done, i fall in love very quickly with her voice in augenblick, if i would compare Kerstin Doelle's voice as red wine, Carina then sounds like Sekt, her voice bursts out of endless energy and first of all, that "POP!" when you open cork. crystal clear, a bit sweetness in her voice but not overly-dosed, and along you have power and youthfulness in this drink. I love the ecstasy rotating and spinning of electronic along with Carina's voice, Tilo's roar provides a perfect background.

Santimea is a title song, at beginning it brings almost surreal wonderland feeling, the end turns into strong, powerful high-pitched singing and drumbeats. the listeners would experience a Roller Coaster sensation and cry out with "damn good!" tears!
Kerstin Doelle sentimental singing pulls up a curtain to wonderland, from time to time during the musical there's smart and neat interludes as deco inbetween, approaching about three quarters atmosphere changed, quite suddenly all forces were pulled witg strong, dynamic drums, Kerstin's voice gets sharper,smooth and clean!the most classic part i find was close to end, the drums gets densier, but unexpectedly, Kerstin's repeatition of "Santimea" and carried away way by a part of theme melody, beautifully done!

Violin offers a romantic emotion to the beginning of Go! as the rhythm of electronic music drum keeps on intensify, and combined with Carina's feminine voice, it rises higher and higher. Wwhat i find interesting is this song reminds me somehow of "I lost my star in Krasnodar" a little playful, wayward and free. a young girl's powerful, direct, resolute shout, burning with passion!

Heartbeat was very unexpected. Tilo's singing reminds me of This is the night, again it gives me some kind of Lacrimosa déjà vu, (if i try to translate into German) , powerful beats and Tilo's accusation with anger: "tear down knock if off...you sold your heart you sould your soul heart and mind", and voice soften down with "take my hand, take my heart" and more melodic, loving instrument. And change back again. even though Snakeskin is not based on lyrics, i still love this part with passion!

La vie passée begins with rythemed beats and follows by Kerstin's voice, high, pride, diva-like in a beautiful way, this song is a deconstruction of Baroque, a solemnness in Peter Greenaway's style, a touch of French and exquisite fluidity of Arrangement. Kerstin handles this type of singing totally at ease, and together with diverse changes in electronic part, like served with such a delicacy that has a thousand layers of different ingredients to uncover.

this is btw my illustration inspired by this song.

Keep me alive, was also the song adapted to shoot music video, compared to previous ones this one seems a bit ordinary now and does not excite me that much, it is still a good one with interesting sound experiment, an industrial, heavy viennese waltz, also interesting thing i find out was, this video was produce by crewmemebers of Steven Soderbergh!?

Take me now---now i start to love this song as well, what a surprise! i normally don't like this type of songs. which compared to the first two from Carina's outstanding performance, this one is not a surprise to me anymore, but i still love that sharp offensive rhythm, typical snakeskin composition in this song, together with sweet voice, and changes of sound effect, more than satisfied i would say. But this was my "Kritik auf hohem Niveau"

Recall III
This is a continuation the previous two Snakeskin albums, it talks back to the past and combines all emotions from past together. There are three parts in this song, it starts with very light, subtle chorus and increasing music intro, accompanied by hiss and croak and noise of reptile-like creature. Then the human part starts with a sigh from Tilo, followed by scream, that low voice brings back the very first memory of Snakeskin, primitive fear and anger from Music for the Lost, his voice crawling and quietly rising up its head, and breaks silence with a sudden and dramatic singing: "My head up high no head up high", like an immortal soul soaring up into the sky! And powerful of "i can't see, recall" i LOVE repeatition effect here so much! Then Tilo's voice followed by Kerstin, familiar Canta Tronic was very touching and nostalgic, then at third part a young and sweet voice from Carina invades into conversation and melts my heart! Three singers all together started a theatre-dialogue with their respective, distinctive voices. A true grandeur and breathtaking, finally all resonate with "Recall" , and echos resounding throughout the non-exist Opera house, covered with bits and pieces of flute effect, curtain falls, nice and clean! A perfect show! I applauded in my heart for so many times!

my personal favorite ranking by now:
Santimea
Recall III
Le Seul Vrai
La Vie passe
Alive
Moonlightfire
Heartbeat
Go!
Take me now
Keep me alive

if i have to criticize this album...(well i dont have to  ;)) it leaves only cover design, as i already said before, the yellow tone is too "earthly" and unclean, photography of the model is too centralized but not sharp enough, a bit confusing for my eyes, also this typography is not my cup of tea. The design is not bad at all just does not fit the music here.
Another point, not sure if it's negative, this album is easily associated with Lacrimosa, understandable though because the creator is the same. Meanwhile it is so un-Lacrimosa.

I will compare Tilo Wolff to artists like Gary Numan and David Lynch, because just like the latter two, true artist will live and create to the day till the end, never give up, never shrink back just because people tell them so, this never-ending exploration spirit and and trying to reach and cut the edge and make most out of ones potentials, is true spirit of art.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 14:40:21 by LUSha »
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scath Offline mx

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 20:05:01 »
sup!
I said on fb that I would listen to the album on Friday but I couldn't, so I was listening to it while reading your review. I just finished the album for the first time, so can't give a good and objective opinion, but I felt the need to reply here (not to mention I havent been here in a whiiiile). In general I agree with you, specially on Alive and Go!. Those are really good songs and the contrast between the voices and the music is awesome. I haven't heard any Carina Böhmer's work, but now I feel curious - she has an amazing voice. Take me now is simple and sounds indeed like the other Snakeskin albums. Böhmer's voice is a good addition, not only in this song but in the whole album. As a complete piece, I believe Tunes for my Santiméa is really different, like an evolving and I liked it.
Good review. I shared it on fb some hours ago.
Greetings!
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LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 22:08:40 »
Hi scath! good to read your comments from here as well!  I checked Carina Böhmer's works, only found a few wedding singing, not that many portfolios....
so her excellent performance in this album really surprised me...about how much potential she has. The waiting is worth it  ;D the combination of melody and voice is so perfectly dosed, i couldn't add anything further on that!  ;D ;D
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scath Offline mx

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 22:19:33 »
Indeed! And I loved how her voice sounded in Recall III (I'm gonna try and listen to her work later). Hers, Tilo's and Doelle's are so different. I must say I listened the album on Youtube, but now I want to buy it so I can listen to it freely - I went for some food like two hours ago and had to ask if they sold iTunes cards, but they don't so I'll wait a little more.
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Liv Offline mx

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 12:13:13 »
It is true that one can´t help thinking about Lacrimosa while listening to this album. I´m very much surprised by the fact that I´m not the only one who thought specifically about "Keine Schatten mehr" and "This is the night" during "Alive" and "Heartbeat"  ::)

I must quote your phrase "I applauded in my heart for so many times!" to describe how I feel about it.  :) :) :) I´m in love with this album! <3

And I guess we agree in one more thing: The world NEEDS a SNAKESKIN concert!
We're so full of knowledge yet so empty of understanding

Asphodel Offline ru

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 18:04:45 »
I'm very impressed by the album as well! But I need some time to write a full-sized review like Lü Sha did... Maybe on weekend, and so far I'm listening to the album on and on...

LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 12:08:40 »
Indeed! And I loved how her voice sounded in Recall III (I'm gonna try and listen to her work later). Hers, Tilo's and Doelle's are so different. I must say I listened the album on Youtube, but now I want to buy it so I can listen to it freely - I went for some food like two hours ago and had to ask if they sold iTunes cards, but they don't so I'll wait a little more.

I love how different they are, the variety in Tilo's voice, mature and opera voice from Kerstin, pop and powerful voice from Carina, together they are such surprising combination, different and harmonious  :D yeeeah good luck with finding it!  i only bought MP3 and still tempted to buy a CD
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LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 12:10:04 »
It is true that one can´t help thinking about Lacrimosa while listening to this album. I´m very much surprised by the fact that I´m not the only one who thought specifically about "Keine Schatten mehr" and "This is the night" during "Alive" and "Heartbeat"  ::)

I must quote your phrase "I applauded in my heart for so many times!" to describe how I feel about it.  :) :) :) I´m in love with this album! <3

And I guess we agree in one more thing: The world NEEDS a SNAKESKIN concert!

super to know you also feel the same! I also thought i would be only one who thinks so  ;D yes like i wrote on FB...we NEED A SNAKESKIN CONCERT!
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LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 12:10:52 »
I'm very impressed by the album as well! But I need some time to write a full-sized review like Lü Sha did... Maybe on weekend, and so far I'm listening to the album on and on...

super!  looking forward to your review Julia!  ;D me too now still playing it non-stop...
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scath Offline mx

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 19:53:07 »
I love how different they are, the variety in Tilo's voice, mature and opera voice from Kerstin, pop and powerful voice from Carina, together they are such surprising combination, different and harmonious  :D yeeeah good luck with finding it!  i only bought MP3 and still tempted to buy a CD

I bought it through iTunes and so far I can't stop. Just for you guys to know, I showed the album to some friends and one of them said "Heartbeat" reminded him to some medieval times. What do you think about this? At first I was like " ??? really?", but after listening to it again, I think it's an interesting word for that song.


super to know you also feel the same! I also thought i would be only one who thinks so  ;D yes like i wrote on FB...we NEED A SNAKESKIN CONCERT!
Ooooh, this. I agree with you, guys. We need it! -I'm not asking too much, maybe four, five songs, a lil' more, in a Lacrimosa concert, between songs, at the end, idk. But we need it.
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Fannie Offline mx

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2016, 15:28:28 »
Hi everybody!!  :)
First of all, Lü Sha, thank you for sharing your impressions about the album, I can agree with you in mostly everything  ;D I listened to the album the day of release but couldn't find time to share my impressions until now   :P
Well I have to say that I like this album a lot! I feel every song has its own and unique sound, music and combinations of voices are also wonderful! I also liked to hear Tilo's voice "clearer" than in the past albums.
Also I can agree with Lü Sha about the cover design  ::) (now that I'm studying Graphic design those details she mentions are more noticeable to me)
In general, it's a great album, I love it!! And I'm happy for the return of Snakeskin  :D I send my congratulations to Tilo, Kerstin and Carina, they are a great team!

Only one more thing...
The world NEEDS a SNAKESKIN concert!
yes like i wrote on FB...we NEED A SNAKESKIN CONCERT!

I second this motion  ;)

Arkana Offline ru

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2016, 23:28:48 »
Hi everyone! Thank you LUSha for the topic!
I'm still listening to the album on and on since the release day. My Googleplay music says that I've listened to it about 70 times!  ;D And it's only via online  ;D And I just can't stop this!
Is it enough for expressing my impressions? ;D
To be honest, I was so excited about the album, and it totally surprised me in all good sense. A bit hard to write such big review like LUSha did, but I hope I'll be able to catch my mind and write some words about every songs. For now I'm completely impressed...

And yes, same here!  ;)
we NEED A SNAKESKIN CONCERT!
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Asphodel Offline ru

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2016, 19:07:55 »
super!  looking forward to your review Julia!  ;D me too now still playing it non-stop...
I didn't forget, I'll do it  ;)  I didn't specify which weekend though  :P ;D (feel like someone who one said about something summer)

Soon I'll listen to the real CD and think about how to write it...

LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2016, 22:25:41 »
Hi sorry a bit late as im busy recently! but have been listening to ss till ...all those weeks xDDD

I bought it through iTunes and so far I can't stop. Just for you guys to know, I showed the album to some friends and one of them said "Heartbeat" reminded him to some medieval times. What do you think about this? At first I was like " ??? really?", but after listening to it again, I think it's an interesting word for that song.

Ooooh, this. I agree with you, guys. We need it! -I'm not asking too much, maybe four, five songs, a lil' more, in a Lacrimosa concert, between songs, at the end, idk. But we need it.

scath, that's also a very good idea, adding some songs to Lacrimosa concert to start with, only problem is perhaps hard to get all singers together, maybe a short
dj show to start before concert, is also not bad idea. :DDD
as for Heartbeat, after i listened to it carefully again i agree on the melody part, it sounds indeed like electronic interpretation of flute and lute, typically used in that music, also the harmonic, relatively smooth melody...your friends got good ears
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LUSha Offline cn

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Antw:Masterpiece forged in a decade - Review of "Tunes for my Santiméa"
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2016, 22:26:40 »
Hi everybody!!  :)
First of all, Lü Sha, thank you for sharing your impressions about the album, I can agree with you in mostly everything  ;D I listened to the album the day of release but couldn't find time to share my impressions until now   :P
Well I have to say that I like this album a lot! I feel every song has its own and unique sound, music and combinations of voices are also wonderful! I also liked to hear Tilo's voice "clearer" than in the past albums.
Also I can agree with Lü Sha about the cover design  ::) (now that I'm studying Graphic design those details she mentions are more noticeable to me)
In general, it's a great album, I love it!! And I'm happy for the return of Snakeskin  :D I send my congratulations to Tilo, Kerstin and Carina, they are a great team!

Only one more thing...
I second this motion  ;)

Oh Fannie you also start Graphic design study? congrats!  ;) and have lots of fun(and pain)  ;D
Kunst und Lust folgen aus demselben Trieb ->Meine Lust