Plastiq Musiq is a label recently started by Ronnie Martin (Joy Electric), an attempt to bring more electronic music into the Christian market. Ronnie Martin, as you may well know, is the purveyor of fine electronic music as Joy Electric.
One of the first releases on Plastiq Musiq is the debut from Mothership, the latest project of Randy Rose (of Mad at the World and Rose fame). I had once read this album billed as dark trip-hop à la Tricky. Tricky, it ain’t. No stretch of the imagination would ever confuse this as a Tricky album. And it’s not even trip-hop.
No, this is just a darker, edgier version of Joy Electric, mixed with a little Black Celebration-era Depeche Mode. Rose even tries to sing like Martin, and actually pulls it off pretty well. There is an eerier, more experimental bent to Mothership, with the War of the Worlds samples and theremin-induced atmospheres. At times, it sounds like some sort of dance remix of music you’d hear in a ‘50s “B” movie.
Rose is definitely trying for some edgy, dark sound with this record, but never really reaches it. Maybe it’s his vocals, which just don’t have the weight or urgency required. Maybe it’s the lyrics, which really reminded me of some of Depeche Mode’s heavier and deeper ponderings. It’s not an entirely bad recording. Sometimes, those haunted house sounds and dark synth-work do sound cool, but this isn’t exactly something I’ll be reaching for with any great consistency.