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Ego and the Ids: Almost Masons

Ego and the Ids: Another Sad and Bizzare Chapter in Human History

Another Sad and Bizarre Chapter in Human History
Category: Goth / Experimental
Posted: June 13, 2011
Blurb: The thematically connected second album from Ego and the Ids once again reveals a distinctive and haunting approach to music making.

Delonde Bell and Gerald del Campo return to the scene with the wonderfully obscure Another Sad and Bizarre Chapter in Human History. As the elongated and puzzling title alludes, the duo have taken a snapshot from sixth century history and refashioned the tale by setting it to music. Arthurian legend takes center-stage with Ego and the Ids’ latest offering and the musical arrangements on the disc extend from gothic (practically spoken) rock to experimental ambient. A multitude of acoustic and electronic components meld together to create a soundscape that warmly invites you into the band’s latest incarnation of sound. Simply put, Another Sad and Bizarre Chapter in Human History is a creative muddle of melodies that push forward the tale of King Arthur.

The medieval storyline aside, the collection begins with an introduction that engages with an array of synths and atmospheric non-melody. Here, the experimental component is immediately evident, begging a listen as to what might come next. “Do You Dream in Color” switches things up with a straightforward delve into brooding gothic rock. This contrast is as oddly unsettling as it is intriguing. The following two tracks incorporate more of the earlier electronica backbone, instrumentally weaving back and forth with an assortment of guitar-riffed harmonies and battered percussive moments. Returning to the vocally-driven gothic element, “Stumble, Trip & Fall” throws you into a sense of musical confusion. Not that this genre divergence is not welcome, but it just seems slightly offsetting when compared to the elegance of the preceding instrumental pieces. However, the striking and enigmatic electric guitar work on the gothic-laden track is more than enough to grant allowances for the change. “The Death of Arthur” and “Lady of the Lake” reinstates the haunting sounds of the earlier instrumental tracks, delivering a somber pseudo-finish to the album. Lastly, “Picture It” allows Ego and the Ids to take a bow with a sunset of a finale incorporating a slightly more positive gothic tonality.

Though much more connected this time around, Ego and the Ids remain modestly scattered when it comes down to genre connectivity. But who’s to say that this is a bad thing? Another Sad and Bizarre Chapter in Human History is an album that takes you in, holds your interest, and leaves you with a sense of wanting more. The inclusion of the many diverse genres and experimental styles in one eight-song collection is to be admired – especially when the finished product exudes such a great degree of raw creativity.

ReGen Magazine

Almost Masons
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
By: Anna Maria Stjärnell

Ego and the Ids have a sublime name and some spooky and scary songs on this EP. "The Silver Key" starts the proceedings with a synth-based tune that brings forth visions of frightening things. "Ophelia I" is a more placid, but still suspenseful proposition. It sees the group play a slow yet lovely song well.

"White Lilies, White Lies" exposes the lies of the Bush administration to a stately tune. They are good at making things like this, which makes me intrigued by their next project, an album about Arthurian myths. That should be good also.

This is a great EP all on its own terms.

Luna Kafé

Ego and the Ids
Almost Masons
Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2009
By: Stephen Lussier
Contributing Writer

Difficult to classify into any particular genre, Ego and the Ids use their experimental oddities to lure you in with their melodic charm.

Portland band Ego and the Ids manage to build up and break down confining labels with their music all at the same time. The band's music incorporates mysterious synthesized elements, traces of gothic rock, acoustic experimental lulls, and a wide number of additional obscure ingredients; all of which come together in the collection Almost Masons. Ego and the Ids is in actual fact a collection of musicians fronted by ringleaders Delonde Bell and Gerald del Camp, the latter of which is no stranger to the experimental alt. rock music scene. Notable influence can be heard from such bands as Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, or even the Cocteau Twins when listening to the ambient sounds that they are quite proficient at generating. The Almost Masons EP offers a taste of what the project - as opposed to "band" - is currently producing as far as unique, shadowy, melodic music. The six song collection gives us an unadulterated glimpse into the experimentation and examination of sound that this collaboration, now in its early stage, is attempting to fashion as its own distinctive style.

The initial introduction of bass and underlying synthesizer of "The Silver Key" opens up a world of soothing and enticing wave-like sound, which continues to build upon itself with layers of bittersweet complexity. "Out of Time" maintains this flow of temperance and simplicity, combining beautifully arranged synthesized and acoustic melodies. At times on the disc, there exist crescendos of music that begin quite basically but manage to upsurge with an assemblage of instruments that heighten the emotion within each song. There are moments as tense and exciting as high stakes poker, other moments relaxing and refreshing as a dip in a pool. There are contrasting dynamics throughout the album that will keep listeners enthralled. Their music is original and thought-provoking. By the time the satirical sampling of former President Bush's State of the Union speech comes into play on "March of the Woodland Fairies," the music begins to downplay into an orchestral, somber flow. For the remainder of the EP, the same general atmosphere maintains itself with an in-and-out stream of instrumental placidity that would seem more fit finishing a much larger full-length album. There is a distinct mysticism fraught with inspiration brought forth through these songs, but in such a small dose that it can't help but feel as though the music is still being explored - not finalized.

Almost Masons accomplishes what it had most likely set out to do: allow the music to develop. It also gives us as listeners a hint of not only what Ego and the Ids have to offer, but also what they are capable of delivering once a more complete collection is ready for the masses.

ReGen Magazine

Ego and the Ids
Almost Masons
Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boasting a sonic pallet of influences as diverse as the alchemical process the band defines as their own, Ego and the Ids count among their musical sires such alt-rock legends as Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Concrete Blonde, Leonard Cohen, Human Drama, The Misfits, Sisters of Mercy, NIN, The Cult, Joy Division, The Cure, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, and U2. According to project mastermind Gerald del Campo - a veteran of popular Portland alt-rockers Trick Sensei - Ego and the Ids' music is further "inspired by metaphysics, religion, the occult and the mystical chase of our idealized selves."

Named after jargon popularized by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the band describes their driving philosophy: "I think my musical aspirations have a lot to do with my feelings about being more than human. Oftentimes when someone does something terrible, we blow it off to human nature - as if there is nothing that could be done about it and that we simply need to accept it. And yet we fail to recognize that same human nature when humans create beauty for its own sake, or involve themselves in great acts of compassion at a heavy personal cost. Everyone notices when one does something wrong, but no one seems to notice when one does something right. I want to remind people of the things that are right within us. Music is a tool that can be used to speak to our fans' inner selves."

The group defines their sound as "melodic, orchestral and experimental." del Campo shares the band's broader creative ambitions in "using music to evoke mental images of life, death and everything in between, always taking the time to show the grandeur of the human experience. This project wasn't created to make money, but as an exercise in creation for its own sake. We would like to get our music into as many hands as possible - for free. If the feedback we receive from our efforts are positive, there will, of course, be more." As Ego and the Ids gets underway recording their debut LP, you can find Ids founder Gerald del Campo playing with Trick Sensei, who recently released Sessions: Notes from a free Cascadia in 2007. Trick Sensei are currently writing for their sophomore LP.

- JSRevolution

Ego and The Ids - Experimental Symphonic coolness

Portland based project Ego and The Ids are rather hard to describe, but rather cool. They make melodic, symphonic neo-classical type stuff, but with a kind of post-rock aesthetic. Their style varies song to song, though dark melodies and a somewhat slow tempo are constants throughout. It’s kind of like of what would happen if some of the more folk Projekt  bands like Unto Ashes lost their pretentiousness and veered into more experimental territory, adding occasional synths and samples and whatnot.

It’s all rather pleasant stuff, for sure. I recommend you check them out.
Drowning in Odium

Ego and the Ids: Another Sad and Bizzare Chapter in Human History

Almost Masons

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