Delta Amoeba ep was an attempt to camouflage Skorpio’s post-industrial noise structures as ‘pop’ music, although the kind of pop on the verge of collapse. Appropriately (or not) described as sick-hop and doom dub, Delta Amoeba caused quite a bit of confusion among fans and press alike.
HAM 016 MCD
CD-ep, edition of 500 copies.
“Three track single released through Some Place Else based in Finland. From the press release and the start of Delta Amoeba itself it is clear that Niko has an interesting sense of humour – one which is as quirky as the music he makes. The press release describes a deliberate construction of style, a mish-mash of genres stuck together with duct tape. But why would he do that – experimentation with pop music and probably because it amuses him to do so.
The track ‘Delta Amoeba’ starts with a sequence where Skorpio takes a city hostage threatening to destroy it if his demands aren’t met. A dialogue which is very cartoon or slap stick, and the introduction to a sassy bass line. Dum, dud-dum, with back of the throat whispered voices tell us all about a girl called Delta Amoeba (“what kinda daddy would’ve named her girl Amoeba?”). Through the molasses of bass we have other elements emerging from the depths and diving back beneath the surface – at times percussive, crackly glitchy and continuing the voices.
The second track is ‘Pain Inducers’, starting with a bass whirring and voices from backwards tape motions. The bass rumbles, punctuated by an off-center guitar sample. There is a droning and a rise in pitch, straight to as high as you can take and beyond. From there the torn out guitar sample is glued into a rhythm pattern with a regular layer of beats. Evening out towards 3 minutes with a layering of vocals vibrating in a self-clash of distortion. Melody walks through, does a quick double take and then keeps on going. Voices are increasingly affected, as is everything else to be honest. Niko suggests he is offering pop music, and in some ways this is a straight ahead rock track. But watch for the nudge and the wink that reveals his deception.
Final track on this disc is ‘Lambs Lie Down’, starting with a bass hummed and a slow voice perhaps in Finnish. An organ melody drones in grand motion, with dull thudding beats offering significance. With this is an electronic grind and rattle that fits that totally. A deep voice comes into the mix accompanied by a slow regular beat. But then the voices of a couple of women talk over him. The initial melody carries the track through transformation – forming something of Gregorian moment, shifting into the light voices of a choir. With this there is a light sound vibrating into melody. First part and second layer over each other enhancing the level of layering and sound that we are hearing. The last minute or so dying out in a bass drone and a light electric signal over which the first voice repeats her message.
Delta Amoeba is a curious release and one which extends beyond the bounds of this disc with additional mixes available on the website. For me Pain Inducers and Lambs Lie Down are more interesting but I’m not sure if that’s just cause it takes me a track to adjust to Niko’s style. Definitely a curious and bemusing man.”
“From the warped, mushy confines of Niko Skorpio’s (A/H, head of Some Place Else) soft gray matter comes this surprising, hallucinatory, ‘sick-hop’ excursion. Opening with the title track, muddy beats and drowsy vocals are dragged through the nauseating terrain, stumbling amidst the regurgitated noise, the definition of ‘sick-hop’ indeed.
‘Pain Inducers’ slashes with corrosive guitars before stumbling forth like some lurching elephant, sluggishly trampled beats and gurgling, broken glass vocals crushed under machinery hacked noise and the residue of too many drugs the morning after. Like waking from a dream into a life that seems more surreal than the dream itself.
The surreal nature of Delta Amoeba continues with the final track, ‘Lambs Lie Down’, as a jumble of disjointed, almost musical elements (the occasional keyboard lines are at once pretty and almost spiritual) spar with stuttering beats and twisted vocal samples (they slither from every conceivable direction).
Pop music for the disorientated masses. Niko never ceases to amaze, no matter what means of musical presentation he chooses to utilize. Outrageous!”
“It is difficult to form an opinion with as few as three tracks. But, three tracks are enough, when they are three good ones : nothing is left to chance with such a short space of time even with such an unrepresentative sample. It is hard to differentiate between what is sampled and what has “really” been made by instruments. N. Skorpio has an undeniable talent for the use and manipulation of the sampler. The cd starts with a brief presentation of the applicant after Tex Avery fashion ( the man does not lack humour). The rest of the track, with its jazzy rhythmics and trained voice, conjures up images of a Foetus on sedatives. The second track, based on distorted guitar samples, is, without doubt, the one that bears the most resemblance to a classic cross-over until a monsterous voice intervenes (filtered through a strange grinder) as does a shower of interference and electronic feedback. To conclude Lambs Lie Down doles out a combination of classic organs, strange atmospheres, telephone conversations, six chord samples and a voice in a loop, drowned out by metallic percussion.”
“A review I was reading described this as “sick-hop” and that tag seems to fit. This is not trip-hop or pop music… but it is a relative. Delta Amoeba has the sonic experimentation and aesthetic of an underground noise album but somehow channels recent “electronica” without compromise. Imagine if trip-hop star Tricky gave up the reefer, moved to Finland, and got depressed and lost his mind… and you’ll be on the right path.”
(Black Box Radio)