Image © Nettwerk Productions 2006
Best Of Delerium (2004)
Semantic Spaces (1994)
(19 January 2006) There aren't a lot of musicians who actually start a trend, but as Delerium, Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb can take credit for the ethereal-girl genre of dream-pop electronica. From early releases like Karma, which included singer Sarah McLachlan, they've specialized in a mixture of lush, almost romantic electronica coupled with female singers that tend toward the ecstatic.
Their latest album, Nuages du Monde (Nettwerk Productions (Canada) 0 67000 30602 6, 2006), is no exception. Fulber and Leeb bring in a host of singers, from the operatic soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian to Punjabi Bollywood singer Kiran Ahluwalia. Also on board are old favorites the Mediæval Bæbes, whose "Blow Northern Wind" is sampled and adapted with new vocals on "Extoller."
Kristy Thrisk, who goes back to the earliest vocal works of Delerium on Semantic Spaces, returns, joined by Kirsty Hawkshaw--a singer who's already been a favorite foil for artists like BT, Orbital, and DJ Tiësto. Along with Jael's "Lost and Found," Hawkshaw's "Fleeting Instant" is among the most accessible singles from the disc.
Like their previous album Chimera, Nuages du Monde ("Clouds of the World") flirts dangerously with formulaic arrangements, but they've pulled back considerably, thickening the beats and trading synth strings for real on many tracks.
The tribal "Sister Sojourn Ghost," the Bæbes' second appearance on the disc, is one of the few tracks that play with the formula, as an uncharacteristically primal chant from the Bæbes treads a dark, percussive groove. A bit more of that would have lifted Nuages du Monde beyond what we've heard from Delerium previously. Regardless the record is extremely listenable and instantly memorable.
The latest album by Delerium is certain to draw significant attention from long term enthusiasts both of their material and the female vocalists individual dedicated followings.
The artists' formula is clearly working and many will respect them for making incremental rather than radical changes.