..

SUPREME BEINGS OF LEISURE:  STRANGELOVE ADDICTION

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Supreme Beings of Leisure
Directors:  Andres Moreta, Matt Amato
Audio:  PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
Video:  Standard 1.33:1
Studio:  Palm Pictures
Features:  Electronic Press Kit
Length:  Approximately 19 Minutes
Release Date:  October 31, 2000

Film ***

I donít know that Iím a good judge of music videos, but in the case of Strangelove Addiction, I did enjoy the music quite a bit, and as far as Iím concerned, thatís still a bandís most important point.

This music video single, which runs about 19 minutes total but is accordingly priced at about $7.98, is another terrific example of the improvement of DVDís audio capabilities over even standard compact discs.  One can only wonder what DVD audio music is going to sound like!  And though I was unfamiliar with this artist at first, the disc offered just the right material to correct that:  three songs and a press kit with information and interviews.

My best description of the Supreme Beings of Leisure sound is that it reminded me of Garbage, but with more soul.  The group, like Garbage, consists of three male musicians and sound technicians and a female vocalist and lyricist.  The music is a strong, well balanced mix of industrial and techno with good dance beats and a healthy dose of old school soul groove.  The resulting sound is lively and dynamic, with good energy, and smoothed out by Geri Sorianoís vocals.  The band members all come from different ethnic backgrounds, too, and thatís also a trait reflected in the music.  Donít be surprised if you hear a little sprinkling of spice from Middle Eastern or Indian music along with the heavy modernism and sultry soul.

Itís a coat of many colors the Supreme Beings wear well.  The disc contains two music videos, one for ďStrangelove AddictionĒ and one for ďYouíre Always the SunĒ, from their self-titled debut CD, plus a bonus audio-only track of "Naughty Boy" from the Japanese import version of the CD, available domestically for the first time as part of this disc.  As I said, Iím not much into judging music videos, but the songs were all terrific, and I can truthfully say Iíve already added this CD to my must-buy list.

Video ***1/2

No complaints hereÖthe music videos are all presented in full frame format, but boast excellent coloring, sharp, detailed images and a nice mix of live action with both traditional and rotoscope forms of animation.  Given the running time, compression artifacts certainly arenít a factor.

Audio ****

Itís all about the music, right?  The first time through, I didnít realize my player had defaulted to the stereo track, because the stereo signal had been duplicated in both my front and back left/right speakers.  The sound was lively, potent, and full, with excellent bottom end and the crystal clarity that youíd expect from digital music.  However, my second time around, I switched to the 5.1 mixÖWOW!  The dynamic range opened up even more, the subwoofer delivered a low bass kick that I could feel in my floor and couch, and the mix actually opened up the instrumentation with discreet rear stage usage.  Absolutely impressive.

Features **

I donít know if the electronic press kit is meant to be considered a feature, but Iíll call it that for the sake of this review.  It contains pictures, bios, and a seven minute interview segment, mostly with Ms. Soriano describing the history and evolution of the bandís eclectic sound, and the fact that they took their name from a nature special on lions were the documentarian referred to the beasts as the supreme beings of leisure.

Summary:

Whether or not the concept of an inexpensive DVD video single will catch on remains to be seen, but I can say this much:  itís an excellent way to promote a band.  Strangelove Addiction made me want to buy the CD, and Iím guessing thatís the response the group would have most hoped for.

NOTE:  Since writing this review, the good folks at Palm sent me a copy of the band's CD, and it was just as good a listen as I thought it would be!  Be sure to check out the band's website at www.sbleisure.com to hear some sound clips and get more information.