Dissonance : Ascent

Album: Ascent

Label: https://www.facebook.com/hakatakinternational/

Members: Cat Hall (FOUNDING MEMBER) David Sebrind (FOUNDING MEMBER) Jim Marcus GoFight/DieWarsaw (producer and co-writer of Dissonance EP) Kurt Larson Vocals on Poison Kiss
Mastered: Jim Marcus



I find new music from a lot of sources. Sometimes someone in a band reaches out, or I hear a song on one of the wonderful Radio programs I listen too. What I am trying to say is that sometimes the word of who an artist associates themselves with can be the first thing that draws me to them. This was the case with the talented singer of Dissonance Cat Hall. No one short of Jim Marcus (Go Fight and Die Warzaw) heard something in Cat’s voice that made him want to write music and produce for her. The legend Kurt Larson (Information Society) was such a fan he wanted to sing on one of the tracks of this EP. If that isn’t a ringing enough endorsement to get your attention I don’t know what is. It certainly caused me to sit up and take notice and I am really glad I did. Cat Hall has a unique and haunting voice that shows amazing range of both pitch and style in a way that captivates and comforts at the same time. Marcus is the master of taking heavy dance beats and mainlining them with energy and life to create the perfect dark pop playground for Cat’s words and lyrics to tell her story. Her voice ranges from a sultry, rich jazzy cadence to a piercing powerful beauty of airy delight.

These are dance magic club hits with teeth and lyrics of accusation for relationships and boundaries. I found the lyrics refreshing in that it doesn’t get lost in imagery and pretension. It lends well to the pop sensibility of the music. The transitions are masterfully crafted and they keep the energy flowing through you while Cat builds and bends the melodies from one style to the next. Influences here as you might expect definitely have Information Society, Go Fight, even some 90s Susanne Vega. I think the other thing that left such an impression was that this was dark dance music but with soul. Just enough R & B to the vocal style to have a flavor that made it something new in the genre.

I had some standout tracks I felt really spoke to me:

Poison Kiss – I grew up enthralled with Information Society. This song could easily have been on one of their albums that was never made but should have been. Kurt Larson does what he does and the beats and keys are tightly crafted dark rainbow slime. I love it. Cat blends seamlessly and I think of this track almost like a wonderful bonus to an already strong EP.

Murder of Love – Ok this is the stand out bomb track for me. First off it’s a clever concept with the metaphor of a courtroom trial of charging someone with the crime of murdering your heart. It’s an interesting and relate-able concept with that wonderful “Pray for Mercy” lifted melody line. The beats on this are so tight and the transitions Jim Marcus does are a masterclass in pop sensibility.

Drive – This was Rachel’s favorite track. A strange and sultry trip hop feeling croon. Puts me in a place of driving through a dark and empty city street. The vocals take on a bit of Beth Gibbons (Portishead) and those buzzing and blinking keyboard waves creep over the landscape effortlessly.

Overall this album is a fun and polished offering that highlights Cat’s wonderful vocal range and flirts with a mixture of genres with top tier production and a supporting cast out of my dreams. Definitely something that would send me sprinting to any dance floor in my proximity.

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