Monday, July 03, 2006

The Machine in the Garden June 30th at Elysium

Machine in the Garden delivered a strong stage show at Elysium on June 30th as well. Bookended by slighty more humorous acts (The Brogdingnagian Bards and Voltaire), married couple Sumer Bowman and Roger Frace' showcased the darker, more expected side of goth. Stylishly clad in gorgeous taylored suits of black with red accents, they were the epitome of dark elegance. And yet, this performance wasn't reticent. Instead the two delivered a energy packed performance that had the crowd engaged.

Musically they were elegant as well. Roger Frace's sound programming is intelligent, full of interesting complex beats and haunting harmonies. On top of that add Summer Bowman's rich and obviously trained alto timbre and you've got something truly beautiful. They classify themselves as gothic darkwave which is accurate. At moments the sound is also industrial and at others, ethereal. I can best descibe their style as a mix between Delerium and Faith and the Muse.

My only criticism is that Frace's talents were not highlighted enough throughout the set. This is most likely not the intent, but often it seemed like Bowman, the vocalist, took center stage as Frace supported her. That is to say, they didn't come across as a duo like the Bards did in the prior set. Although Bowman's vocal talent is excellent and it is obvious through Roger's compositions that he sees his wife as his muse (Machine in the Garden initially started out as just Roger), it would have been interesting to hear some more instrumental pieces in the set or perhaps to have songs with Summer's vox as merely an instrument and instead of using it as a vehicle to deliver lyrics. I'd also love to hear a full-on live set (if possible) in the future with all the instruments represented and live drums. As a duo, they're fine on stage, but with an entire group of musicians it could truly be an overwhelmingly spectacular event.

Listen to:
"Inside World" (clip)
"Spider's Bride" (clip)
"Winter Fell" (link courtesy of Stinson Studios)

The Machine in the Garden's Official Website
Official Myspace

(All photos above by Cindy Chang)

machine in the garden
(photo by Travis Fricke)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listening to "Winter Fell" (the other clips don't seem to be loading for me).

Yep, it's pretty damn gothic. What exactly is "darkwave" by the way?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THe music sorta existed around the time newwave came about (but darker) so that's how the term got coined. Bauhaus, Cocteu Twins, Joy DIvision...I think they'd be classified as darkwave.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006  

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