A “glis”, in the animal world, is an apparently edible dormouse. Well, that's where I stopped reading on, because I didn't wanna know any more that thàt! So I went on to search, and found out there's a Los Angeles/ Copenhaven based Ambience/ Experimental “Fucked -up” Pop act by the name of Gliss (twó times “s”), and a one-man project named Glis Glis, playing Shoegazer-like music.
However, the Glis we have to talk about is the Seattle based Electronic/ Industrial band founded by one Shaun Frandsen, whom acts as primary producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. The band goin' through several line-up changes over the years, Glis' debut album Extract was released in 2001, and followed up by March 2003's Balance (which was also distributed in the Benelux through Alfa Matrix). That same year (September 19, to be exact) saw the release of remixes album Equilibrium. More than a year later, on Nov. 22, 2004, new material came with the EP Disappear, followed in May 2005 by the full-length Nemesis. Notable vocal guest on that album, for two songs, was Front 242's Jean-Luc De Meyer. Then, a long period of silence...
In that period, Frandsen was confronted with some of the lesser things in life, like the deaths of friends and relatives, but also by some of the nicer things. After a long time, he eventually started recording music again, but he found his personal tastes had changed over time. In a nostalgic mood he started listening again to the old Post-Punk records of his youth and, reliving the experience, started reflecting on this, and drawing energy from it when he went into the studio again. The end result, is Phoenix!
Now, I've always liked the info provided by Alfa Matrix for being both well-written and to-the-point, so I'll just copy part of that here : “...This album begins rough, dark and chaotic, sometimes sad. The music style changes from track to track, but somehow manages to stay focused. It dwells in the dark, then finds peace, and comes back again with a new outlook from where it began. On Phoenix, Glis took a bit of Bowie and Eno (“Keep The Memory”, “Coldheart Tempo”), and a classic-era 4AD sound to create the ambiance and grabbed some inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, Underworld (“Insomniac”, “Dead Set 7am”) and Joy Division for the body of the music. It's when female vocalist Lauren Krothe is introduced on the album that ushers in the transition from darkness to light, lo-fi Darkwave with an ethereal hint to Cocteau Twins (“take It This Far”, or the beautiful “Blue Sky Night”). Then come the anthemic and hooky “Crush” and the instant hit “Stars In The Sea”, which both end the journey on a hopeful positive outlook and loop with the opening and closing groovey track “Apocalypse Parties” that will remind you of the early Wax Trax Electro/ Industrial sound with a touch of melodic modernity.”
Pooh...quite a mouthful, isn't it? But well put nevertheless! Some notes! I noticed that 3 tracks on this album (namely the above mentioned “Insomniac”, “Dead Set 7am”, and “Crush”) also appeared on the May 2008 released album A Shot And A Baseline, a “remix” album (released through Alfa Matrix) of Glis tracks, done by Krischan Wesenberg of Rotersand. About the changing musical styles...there's indeed moments where the mood is guitar-oriented Industrial (with of course Electronic foundations and embellishments), and other songs where the mood is primarily Electronic. During the song “Seconds” the ghost of The Cure comes passing by in the bass lines. “Stars In The Sea” is another song on which Lauren displays her beautiful feminine vocals. The two other songs she's featured on, are separated by the album's sole instrumental “Watch Over You”. Final note: whatever the “style” of the song, there's always something for the more experienced and open-minded music lover to enjoy, details to uncover from the underneath currents!
30-second samples of all of the (regular) album's songs can be found at the album's page on the label's website: log onto (www.) alfa-matrix.com, scroll down the page until you find the album cover on the right hand of the page, click and enter album's page, scroll down to track-list: the titles in blue have links to a player! As per usual, the limited edition of the album comes with a bonus CD, in this case including 8 instrumentals, of which you can hear 30-second samples at the album's page at Amazon.com.