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act 156 · s:cage · remote · cd

still here, residual, infant cycle, organisms, continuum, archaic, lifeless, unfold.pt1, dissolution.

rust. it's patina. and decay. surrounding. building. moving beyond. propelling you forward. immersed in it's complexity. overwhelmed by it's truth. and it's beauty, resonating. imagined. or real. in this place. floating. dreaming. sinking. shining within you. like glass. a whisper. a scream. sounds encompassing, then fading away. layers of suggestion, seeping into the mind. peeling it away. leaving it bare. and whole. full of everything, then nothing. a soundtrack. for a dream. or a nightmare. taking you to a place inside. and losing you there. and i am haunted by this. always.
(l. daugherty-seto)

former bass and guitar player for experimental electro-pop project, parade, s.seto first appeared as splintercage in 1996 with his debut cassette 'still movement bliss'. with the disbanding of parade in 2000, he shifted direction, left the guitars behind and emerged into the world of dark electronic music. textured, layered, moody, melodic, this work merges beauty and anger, harshness with light, dreams with nightmares to dive into a world of soundscapes and noise. infused with beats, or stripped down and bare, s:cage creates an atmosphere of electronic sound that draws from a variety of genres. along with a strong visual element, this project has drawn from it's roots in the experimental to offer us a vision.

this first cd release by s:cage can be described as a perfect mixture of well programmed rhythmic textures, majestic icy keyboard lines and soundscapes that are taken right out of factories. the moods of the compositions melt the same way as the musical components do; an equilibrium has been achieved between threatening, sometimes aggressive, and mild, soothing atmospheres. while listening to 'remote' you may realize that the borders between industrial and ambient only exist in a limited imagination.

s:cage discography. 05.2k4:
s:cage. remote. cd. ant-zen act156. 2004
splintercage. stillmovementbliss.ep. k7. plan 11 records. p11-c04. 1996.

s:cage website:


s:cage was eerst splintercage en heeft tot nu toe alleen nog maar een cassette uitgebracht in 1996. bij het beluisteren van remote vraag je je af waarom, want dit is beslist de meest briljante industrial die je de afgelopen jaren hebt gehoord. de negen nummers op deze cd zijn in principe te beschouwen als een soundtrack. en is zwaar aanbevolen bij een film als metropolis van fritz lang. verwacht geen simpel monotoon beukwerk van s:cage of slaapverwekkende langdradige dark ambientstukken. remote staat vol met spannende effecten, mooie sferen en heftige ritmes. door de perfecte timing van toevoeging van nieuwe elementen aan een track hoor je dat over deze muziek echt is nagedacht. misschien duurde het daarom zo lang dat er een nieuwe plaat klaar was? nummers als 'infant cycle' en'archaic' zijn meeslepend en verslavend om naar te luisteren. de combinatie van harde machinale ritmes met angstaanjagende sferen staan sterk in contrast met de rustige passages op de cd, maar geven de muziek juist die dynamiek die de muziek zo interessant maakt. zeldzaam is ook hoe mooi het zware van industrial wordt gecombineerd met de complexiteit van idm. s:cage is niets anders dan het industrial broertje van autechre. (martijn van gessel)

vital weekly
apparently there are a growing number of sound artists that find their way into the border between harsh electronics and gently floating ambient-scapes. especially german label ant-zen recordings seems to sign quite a few great artists working in these areas. gridlock is one of the best examples on how brilliant that certain mixture might sound. with the debut album titled "remote" from s:cage, the seeds for another heavyweight could have been laid. where gridlock mostly works in a sound sphere similar to aphex twin, s:cage on the ambient side more relates to darker ambient scene around steve roach and robert rich, thanks to his majestic soundscapes of soothing atmospheres that slowly builds up and fades out only to give way for the next wave of dark sounds. powerful rhythm textures filled with overdoses of heavy bass-lines have been sent towards territories of deep floating ambient. the atmosphere nicely changes from threatening towards more gentle territories. though not quite reaching the level of gridlock, s:cage definitely works on a very high quality level that could make him end up as one of the important names on the future ambient-industrial scene. (nmp)

s:cage was named splintercage before and has only released a cassette before in 1996. when listening to remote you may ask yourself why, because this is one of the better industrial albums you might have heard the past few years. the nine tracks on this disc are very much like a soundtrack. and, are especially recommended to listen to while viewing a movie as metropolis. expect no monotonous rhythmic industrial or tedious dark ambient pieces. remote is filled with nice effects, beautiful atmospheres and harsh rhythms. due to a perfect timing and addition of new elements at the right moment you hear that there is really been thought about this music. maybe that is the reason why a new release took so long? tracks like 'infant cycle' and 'archaic' are addictive to listen to. the combination of heavy machine like rhythms with scary sounds are in stark contrast with the quiet moments on this album, but give the music just the right dynamic that makes it so interesting. seldom i have heard how loud industrial is combined in such a beautiful way with the complexity of idm. s:cage can without a doubt be called the industrial equivalent of autechre. (mvg)

a review in russian language by valentin laboda:

another slice of clever, icey electronica from the ant-zen crew; this time from s.seto, formally of electro poppers parade. remote is an engaging release which offers more life and soul than the usual laptronica act. aphex sounding (but not as twitchy) rhythms punch through and carry each track along, combining purposeful arctic keyboards and melancholy sequences. it is a blueprint that works very well, and whilst there are few standout tracks, as a whole the album creates wonderful atmospheres as a soundtrack to modern life. indeed, the cacophony of modern machines coupled with a calm serenity is quite uplifting. it has been done before of course, notably by azure skies on the same label, but it's perhaps realised better by s:cage. the album's highlight is undoubtedly the 14 minute epic, organisms, which builds a good head of steam as the strings soar and lift the listener. unfortunately, the album does flag a little in the middle before coming back with unfold, where the melanchoy return with driving bass sequences. a wonderful slice of ambient industrial (or is it industrial ambient?), maintaining the high standards of a record label well worth checking out. with alittle more quality control, this could have been a classic.
ibridi paesaggi sonori dall'ant-zen con s:cage, intessendo incalzanti ritmi di matrice industrial e trame ambient, modulando le suggestioni, fra accelerazioni ed atmosfere fluttuanti, incisioni spesso caratterizzate da uno scorrere narrativo che risuona nomade, brillando per adattamento ai tempi e destrezza. assemblaggi contemporanei oramai consueti per la label tedesca, che in questo caso assumono una grazia compositiva d'ampio respiro, in equilibrio fra asprezze e melodie, universi organici e sintetici. loop e note persistenti, un pulsare inquieto, complesse evoluzioni percussive e toni quasi epici iterando accordi e toni venati da battiti oscuri. nove le tracce, poco pi¯ di sessanta minuti d'elettronica sperimentale sotto il segno esperto delle 'formichine' zen. (aurelio cianciotta)

cold room
s:cage fait partie des groupes méconnus du label ant-zen et qui gagneraient pourtant à squatter vos platines. passant d'ondes ambiantes à des rythmiques déstructurées, "remote" est un album abouti dont les variations, les poses et les explosions se relayent pour ne faire qu'un. "remote" emporte l'auditeur dans une sphère vibrante et obscure o¯ résonance et amplitude reflètent un chaos ma”trisé sur ses parois lisses. métalliques et brillantes, les structures envahissent l'espace, l'enveloppent et le tourmentent, au détour de passages atmosphériques et cinématographiques (excellent "organisms"). encha”nement expert avec "continuum" un must qui passera en boucle pour s˛r, étayant nappes savoureuses, samples amers et percussions efficaces. entre indus et electronica, angoisses et ambiances sourdes, ce disque est une réussite totale !

this album contains nine songs with icy cold soundscapes that take you through a lost landscape. a landscape that is dominated by factory's and is filled with industrial sounds. it creates sad and desolate feelings, but it is also an inspiration for great music. the idea that you are over viewing all this as a distant spectator on a hill makes it brilliant. this feeling is created through well-performed music with well thought of samples and breaks. 'remote' is a musical trip through darkness that you can compare with a nice work of art. listen to songs like 'organisms', a song that keeps you focussed for almost fifteen minutes, or the heavier 'continuum' and you realize that s:cage released a debut that is definitely worth buying. (beautevil)

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