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Otherness

...I really loved this disc...I am a fan of ambient music and hearing the Twins in that sort of environment really brought a smile to my face.. (: ..all four tracks are done wonderfully...it makes me want to buy a Seefeel album... (: ..I found it amazing that a song like "Feet Like Fins" (which I previously didn't like) was turned into such an awesome sounding track...my favorite on there has to be "Cherry-Coloured Funk"...Elizabeth's voice is as beautiful on that track as any other one..if not more..I'd love to hear "Calfskin Smack" redone in that manner...but I know that that will never happen.. ): ..I much prefer this EP over the "Twinlights" one...although "Rilkean Heart" is great, that EP lacked enough to make me "love" it...but anyways, "Otherness" and "Twinlights" are a gift from the Twins...and I am grateful.. (:
written by Bryan McNeely (deepsympathy@yahoo.com ) on March 07, 1999

it is weird: i played it to my cocteau twins friends and they asked if there was sarah mc lachlan playing the first song...i love sarah, but i hate when somebody confuses liz fraser's unique voice with somebody else's...
written by aikea (aikea@hotmail.com ) on January 24, 1999

I think this EP was the reason Massive Attack chose to bring along Liz for their latest album Mezzanine. Some of these tracks could actually have featered on that album. While Massive combine Hip-Hop with Dub, this is Dub with beats. And i must say that with Liz on the team, Mezzanine became a big success. They couldn’t have done it better without her. On the other hand, i hope this doesn’t make CT more famous. I kind of like their low-profile existence.
written by kev (y'all know it... ) on October 22, 1998

What a weird surprise! I ignored this one when it first surfaced in the stores, thinking: "some over-priced compilation for the Asian market".. Time would pass until I actually understood that the songs were all remakes - too late to buy it where I first saw it (sold out), but I found a second hand copy, which gracefully was bought at a reduced price. My initial reaction was slightly negative, as if I couldn't get past the experimental stage, but I sure did, and can for the moment not let it be. It shoots off supremely with Feet Like Fins, the most successful attempt at redefining the CT concept, creeping under as well as hovering above you, leaving you vibrating in the middle. To say whether this or the closing Cherry-Coloured Funk is my favourite seems impossible. The latter is so endearing, and the closest to what we all know as Cocteau Twins. It's just - up there.. The only one not cracking the experimental cocoon is Seekers Who Are Lovers, but bad? No.
written by mizan (rotarot@yahoo.com ) on August 31, 1998

Otherness...what great name for this ambient experiment. The cover smacks of Gary Numan's "Dance"...not that that matters! I think the Coc's should have given these tunes different names (excepting "Cherry-Coloured Funk") simply because they sound nothing like the originals and bullshit ensues. There is a vague resemblance, but if you assume that they are remixes you're really missing the boat! The addition of Mark Clifford pushed the sound out farther than ever before, and this is simply watered-down Coc's for socializing and sex (in that order). The reinterpreted "Funk" is simply beautiful, and I love those gasps of vocal air. Listen, and you'll know what I'm talking about.
written by Doug on April 20, 1998

(In my review, I meant to refer back to "Watchlar", NOT "Misake The Mizan"! Oops...)
written by warren j. g. mianecke (wmianecke@mag.rochester.edu ) on April 20, 1998

What a refreshing experiment! I purchased this with some hesitation, after the terrible press it was given. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. THESE SONGS DO NOT SUFFER IN THIS FORMAT! I'm reminded in parts of HEAD OF HEELS, because of the hypnotic, whirling, clanking rhythms and beats. My favorite- "Violane". Harkens back to "Misake The Mizan". Cool and mysterious. It's nice to hear the Twins try different styles with this and TWINLIGHTS. Here's some ambient music with substance and dark touches. Very nice indeed...
written by warren j. g. mianecke (wmianecke@mag.rochester.edu ) on April 14, 1998

I'm sorry! Don't hit me or hate me or send me flame mail, but I have to say it. This ep makes me think of Blade Runner. Yes, I know, that's a tacky, cheesy thing to say. But It just evokes images that take me back to everything I loved about that movie when I first saw it. It's like wandering the streets of Tokyo in a drunken stupor w/ grand, operatic visions in the midst (Seekers who are Lovers, Violaine). Never mind that none of the songs have much to do with their original counterparts (in fact, I think that's the refreshing part - it's not just a rehash, it it's own thing). It takes you into a kind of dark, virtual cyberworld where all dreams are possible. At the time I was wont to declare "the Cocteau Twins have gone industrial!" I'm glad for the experimental foray. More glad that it was just a foray.
written by Dreadnaut (dtmarlow@hiwaay.net ) on April 11, 1998

It has been since what? 1996 that this single came our way. It was the first to come along in a long time... AND STILL...in March 1998, this is still one of the most amazing single i have EVER heard. I remember the accesible press going crazy on this one. Iremember fans arguing, sometimes bitterly about the sound, the vocals, the trend of music in general. Cocteau Twins put out Otherness with the knowledge knowing it was a great single and they picked the perfect fan to reconstruct and remake the, I play music as a pro dj in san francisco and i play the Violaine remix at to hundreds and hundreds of pleasantly suprised new lsiteners every week. Cherry Couloured Funk goes over almost any song you could want to spruce up while mixing. Seriously... tired of playing that damn 136 beat per minute disco/techno classic over and over to the disco crazy fans that gotta have their disco beat? = Mix "othernesses" Cherry Couloured Funk on top of it and watch the dance floor take on an entirely new realm. I fucking love this single. And hey, you can still see it everywhere in big chain stores like Tower and Virgin, but grab someones credit card and buy it directly from the Twins.
written by ROBEENA DIET BISCUIT (robbied@pacbell.net ) on March 10, 1998

Spooky. Weird. Extremely Cool!! Thanks to the band for creating such great songs, and allowing/encouraging experimentation.
written by Ross Ohmen (ross.ohmen@lmco.com ) on February 18, 1998

Three of my top 5 records of the 90s are Heven or Las Vegas, Four Calendar Cafe and Milk and Kisses. Although the music of CT is nowhere near to being commercialized for mass appeal I do think the CT music of the 90s has a bit more pop sensibility than that of the 80s works. The 90s works certainly contain a bit more consistancy within the songs and are a little more "happier" at best. One of these three are always in my cd changer and I usually go to sleep to one of them at the end of a day. Great music to have slow, romantic sex to as well! Anybody else agree?
written by Brian (bboley@insight.com ) on January 31, 1998

Call me crazy, but I think "Otherness" is one of the very best of of the Twins, if not THE best. Seekers who are lovers is the most chillingly romatic tune! dave
written by david wellbaum (wellbaum@pilot.msu.edu ) on January 25, 1998

This was somewhat of a disappointment. Violaine is an excellent reworking, but the looped stuff can get a bit long in the tooth real quickly. Was hoping for something along the lines of Watchlar, but you have to admire them for progressing their sound.
written by Ernie (ealopez@csupomona.edu ) on November 27, 1997

Spooky !. Especially with the lights off. It's off the wall but I love it.....
written by Leo ( ) on November 01, 1997

When I first heard Cherry Coloured Funk on this EP, I got VERY exited. I was in a store in NYC and had them play it for me. After about 4 minutes, I realized it wasn't going any further than the hook, "still being....from behind..." All the cuts on this one are great for mixing in and out with something else but don't make easy listening on their own. In any case, it's still a must for fans.
written by Scott (
Goldenvein@aol.com ) on September 29, 1997

Great stuff. Even in the hands of a third party, there's still plenty of Cocteaus ambience in abundance. If you like Mark Clifford's remix work here, then I strongly suggest you hunt down his work with Seefeel (particularly 'Succour' and 'Ch-Vox'), as well as his solo album 'Clean Pit & Lid', released under the name Disjecta.
written by Mark Stevens (mark@sonance.demon.co.uk ) on September 20, 1997

mark clifford is brilliant. enough said.
written by daniel walker (jbates@snip.net ) on August 23, 1997

BOINK!...DA-DOOBY...SHA-DOOBY...DA-DOOBY-DOO DE-SHA-DOOBY...DA-DOOBY...DA-DOOBY-DOO... DE-SHA DOOBY...DA-DOOBY...DA-DOOBY-DOO... LA-DA-DEAH... DA-DEAH!... LA-DA DEAH... DA-DEAH... Need I say more? OK! DOO DOODLE DE OOO, SOME SEEK!
written by SCOTTY B.H.P. (bghvn@hotmail.com ) on June 21, 1997

This is a brilliant E.P. "Ambient" versions of four brilliant songs, EF's vocals metaphorically bashing your teeth in like a son of a bitch... this is a long departure from anything the cocteau twins have ever made. . . and it is wonderful. anyone out there who was mad that this came out and was all up in arms about the fact that it wasn't "the cocteau twins sound", i think a backhand slap is in order. The cocteau twins have put out the best music i or you will ever hear, and i don't care if they put out a hardcore rap album with johnny marr doing beatbox solos and freestyle raps.... they have reached the point of no return as being the greatest band to ever exist, and will be hailed as so no matter what they put out from here on out. If you want to complain, go buy a rolling stones, pink floyd, or smashing pumpkins record.... THEN you would be justified in bashing. But if you think the cocteau twins owe us to keep within the boundaries we are used to, i regrettably quote rob halford in saying "you got another thing coming."
written by rick greenley (rgreenl@pop3.utoledo.edu ) on December 29, 1996

In this day and age of commeercial exploitation,the remix is an often used tool to drdge a little bit more cash from music listeners. In return for our money we get someones casio presets mixed with the vocal line. In other words: SHIT. But with Otherness it's a different story. Mark Clifford has taken four Cocteau songs and done what is rarely seen. A set of coherent overhauls. We still have Liz's vocals, but instead of riding the guitar,drums and bass,she rises phoenix like from a bed of ambience. Now this was not an expected CT e.p ,Rolling waves of bass, flowing Ambience and sharp yet erratic percussion(yes that's a wee bit oxymoronic). Personally,the mix of Cherry Colored Funk is my fave, the crystal clear,almost choral like chords and the mesmerizing vocal loops have made it a mainstay in any set that I spin. Now,I know it's not a "normal" CT e.p but whatever. Robin,Liz and Simon deserve much respect for doing something different. A damn fine e.p.....even if it did stir the masses up a little.
written by DJ Cath Onion on December 20, 1996

What a surprise it was hearing otherness for the first time. While I was expecting the usual CT sound this CD caught me off guard and made me appreciate and respect the Twins at a time when I was actually becoming jaded by their signature sounds and started feeling that perhaps they'd simply run their course. The ambient touch was excellent and the fact that they inocorporated it in thier 96 tour proved to me that even after 15 years they are still growing musically and have many years yet ahead of them.
written by richard von zimmer (alien@erols.com ) on September 29, 1996

As an experiment, 'Otherness' is a marvellous diversion. The way it takes the most delicate of pinches from its founding songs(as all the tracks exists in other forms) works wonderfully, and though its not something for the 'typical' fan, as an ambient piece it is unparalleled.
written by Tracy A Forbes (tracyf@melbourne.net ) on September 27, 1996