German duo Totem Obscura unleash a darkly dissonant EP in the form of 'Nachtwache' to chill the already cold autumnal nights. The EP walks a fine line between cold and melodic synth leads and harsh distorted beats. Clean and distorted vocals. Light and dark atmospheres. It is a subtle but very effective formula.
The lead track 'Nachtwache' is characterised by hard distorted beats, a light catchy metallic string melody, and wonderfully deep and hypnotic feminine vocals for a slow, dark, but still danceable cut. The second song 'Wounds Of Silence' varies the formula up a bit. It keeps the distorted beats and simple lead melody, but throws in the distorted vocals and a much thicker sounding backing that, although keeping the dance-friendly pace, is in fact a little more cinematic in its execution.
The Rotten Club mix of 'Hexxe' and the Aengeldust remix of 'Nachtwache' opt to highlight different aspects of the bands sound with 'Hexxe' going for a lighter and more delicate delivery that focusses on a more club orientated approach. While 'Nachtwache' gets a much noisier reworking.
This is a nice EP that shows a lot of scope to the Totem Obscura sound. Yes it is short and sweet, but the message is clear. 'Nachtwache' is a dark and clever EP that is a bit of a dark horse really. It is well written, infectious and generally well-executed. It may not be the first choice for a floor-filler but it has the dark sensuality of acts like Collide, Mona Mur, and Kirlian Camera with a dirty aggrotech underbelly. And it is a combination that works really well.