Amber Asylum includes: Kris Force (vocals, violin).
Additional personnel includes: Steve Von Till.
Personnel: Kris Force (violin, percussion); Jackie Perez Gratz (cello); Michael Shrieve (accordion); Timothy North (sampler).
Audio Mixer: Kris Force.
Recording information: Aurora House; Room 13.
Photographers: Dianne Jones; Kris Force.
Kris Force is the alluring siren of Amber Asylum. She seduces the listener into a dark but inviting world, drawing from wells of ambient, goth, and classical music. Force's music is ambient in that it is an ethereal, floating world of patiently phrased lines backed by a comfortable wall of electronic drone. Amber Asylum waxes gothic in that they can introduce a Bauhaus-like meeting of plodding bassline and ultra-distorted guitar into this delicate mix ("Devotion") and other times summon angels of the night with hymns that are downbeat, medieval, and haunting. The classical reference is made valid by Kris' own violin (often effected) work and her mezzo-soprano songs. Acoustic bass and cello are also featured prominently on this recording. Often, as in "Luxuria," they provide the sonorous melody. Also employed in this rich recording are E-bow, organ, synth, accordion sounds, and more. As the arrangements often reach back into a deeply historical well of sounds from chamber works to ancient chants, so the content reflected in the title Songs of Sex & Death pulls from an even more ancient source. Herein are melodiously if eerily sung reflective and personal approaches to the most fleeting and sought human experiences of live and love. ~ Tom Schulte