Hologram, the second release for the French band skoyz, sees its release on Cortex Records after their previous label, Black Flames, went down in flames. Skoyz brings us a blend of minimal ebm/idm or dark electro.
"Zoom", the opening track, has good a atmospheric quality. "Cold Colour" continues in the same vein, but turns up the tempo a bit. "Dark Energy" has good sample use in the beginning of the song and nice whispery, distorted vocals.
"Distress" is a nice instrumental piece which has a "lazy day" feel, created by the background synth lines. This is followed by "Distress / Signal", which repeats the entire "Distress" track and adds an additional two plus minutes onto the end. Because one song contains the other, it would have been
nice if there was more distance between the two tracks, to give them breathing room.
"Hologram", the title track, is a nice, even piece - not too lively, not too sleepy sounding; just right. "Distorted Dreams" definitely has a very dreamy quality, but gets "distorted" by the growly vocals, disturbing the peaceful slumber.
The album closes with several remixes by Interlace, Neon Cage Experiment, Daniel Myer, the band themselves, The Crystalline Effect, and Polygon. I found Daniel Myer's "Destroid Makes You Freeze Mix" of "Cold Colour" to probably be the best of these remixes, giving the song an interesting twist. Remixes are nice, but I would have enjoyed more original tracks (there are nine original tracks, though one track is repeated in another).
Overall, Hologram has a subtle ebm quality - not loud and in your face, but not too soft either. The vocals are distorted, but not too much and there is good use of samples, even though many are easily identifiable. I've heard some of these sample used by other bands, but because the samples weren't used ad nauseum, they work. Skoyz shows us that France has ebm music too and easily stands up as a quality band, like their fellow countrymen, Tamtrum.