Lose the costume, guys
A horror-iffic getup is entirely unnecessary when it comes to house/techno artist duo Voodeux. Members James Watts and Tanner Ross dress their animated, elaborate productions in a vast bank of percussion sounds and discordant synth tones, and their debut full-length, The Paranormal, succeeds as a dark dance record as much as it is a bracing subway ride soundtrack. No call for a gimmick here.
Cast aside the fact that The Paranormal cover art could double as one of those zombie video-game packages—Voodeux's sonic alchemy speaks for itself, sometimes in maddening stutters, and other times, such as on "3rd Floor," with shape-shifting melodies and shrill, metallic screeches a la The Knife's Silent Shout. Geographically challenged, Watts and Ross traded compressed files via the Web until each of their icy entries had seen enough echo treatment and disintegrating melodies to last a decade. "Heebie Jeebies" (see how silly this is?) is mesmerizing; it begins, innocently enough, in a minimal corner of pinging 808 beats before eerie atmospherics and a variety of robotic-funk accompaniment rushes to either side of what eventually becomes a hideous, menacing beast, with no extra identification devices needed. [4 out of 5 stars]