The Gothic Collection
‘Goth’ was too impractical to ever become a way of life. And its sound has been consistently shaped and changed by new technology. Yet, for twenty-five years Goth music has had its share of hardcore advocates and practitioners who’ve recorded some of the most challenging, dramatic music of the current era. This 22-track collection gives an excellent overview of what the genre has accomplished. Absolute essentials – Joy Division, the Cure, Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy — begin things, laying out the schematic: slow, pulsing, robotic rhythms, deep, churning basslines, distorted and exaggerated guitars and keyboards, and finally a singer either completely consumed with emotion or thoroughly detached echo-ing from the bottom of an existential well of misery. Over time, the definition is expanded to include avant-garde, industrial treasures such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten and the next generation of practitioners, Ministry and Skinny Puppy. Goth is more a vague sensibility — and a maverick fashion style of boots, leather, fishnets, hairspray, heavy make-up and all the black you can handle — than a stylistic straitjacket. Which, in the end, enables it to thrive and remain artistically vibrant while other genres burn out with repetitive monotony.