Negative Gemini: Richmond Tape Club Volume One
Richmond Tape Club

Negative Gemini is the nom de plume of one Lindsey Elise French, whose Richmond Tape Club Volume One is presumably the first in a projected series of releases by other club members (volume two, by Slow Days in the Vampire World, the ambient-dub project of husband-and-wife John and Tara Morand, is also available). If so, it's a promising beginning that sees the Richmond, US-based electronic musician using her computer, synths (analog and digital), and loop pedal to spin four dark exercises in gothic steampunk.

Using her moniker as the title for the twenty-minute EP's opening track lends it the character of a manifesto of sorts, and in that regard “Negative Gemini” makes a strong impression. Heavy on multi-layered synths, ethereal vocals, and skeletal beats, French's dark dreampop proves to be a potent concoction sure to appeal to fans of artists such as Grouper and Laurel Halo. Even woozier is the second song, “Eulogy,” which plays like some hallucinatory chant welling up from the unconscious. Side B's good, too, with “Slit Show” sounding like some carnivalesque rework of “Crimson and Clover” and “Ghost World” pumping like some diseased funk-techno jam while French wails “All I ever wanted to was to feel again” with as much passion as she can muster. It's hard to decide whether Negative Gemini 's sound is more heavenly or nightmarish, but it's powerful no matter the conclusion drawn.

July 2013