The Phantom Tollbooth

Artist: Various
Label: Eclectica Music/Flaming Fish Records, 1998
Time: 17 Tracks/73:08 min.

This compilation was a joint effort Eclectica Music of N-Soul and Flaming Fish Records, an effort to support Christian independent electronic artists. The bands represented play mainly a pop, radio friendly form of electronica, with styles ranging from synth-pop, to Euro-dance, to industrial.  A number of the groups were new to me but their tracks fit the album well and are well performed.

The Echoing Green track is only available on this compliation which makes this disk a must for die-hard fans.  It is an interesting track and those familar with Joey Belville's music will recognize his work.  Massivivid had more of an industrial pop feel, a lot lighter and poppier than the indie release they had at Cornerstone.  I've missed Painted Orange so it was great to get something new from them and My Rubicon 7's track will appeal to Echoing Green fans as it has a similar feel.  Wait! There is just too much good stuff here.  Pick it up and find out yourself. Admittedly, there are a few tracks that just don't do much for me but that's to be expected as most complilations are a little uneven. This one's better than most, and there are several groups I'd like to hear more from. Aleixa's track was my favorite but then I do like my music a little on the heavier side.

On the whole, most fans of this style of music will find much to like here. Those new to synth-pop--this is a great introduction and good value for money.

Shari Lloyd (9/20/98)

Track listing:

1.  The Echoing Green - "If I Could..."
2.  Massivivid - "Fleshwood (Aleixa remix)"
3.  Painted Orange - "I Will Look to You"
4.  My Rubicon 7 - "The Sky is Falling"
5.  Pivot Clowj - "Metamorphosis 2"
6.  Virus - "Sun" (from the album _Odd_)
7.  Paradox - "Romantic"
8.  Aleixa - "Purge"
9.  Zeta - "Transcend"
10  Remedy - "Your Will In Our Life"
11. Red Sector One - "Consequences"
12  Tempestuous All - "Burning Bridges"
13. Voxis - "Fear's Song (restrained mix)"
14. Kaboing - "Catch Me"
15. Happy Little Day - "Hard to Believe"
16. Transfiguration - "Hypocrisy"
17. Color Theory - "Just Who I Am"