Though Traci Lords is undoubtedly an accomplished star in the very intimate circle of the most acute film enthusiasts, her album 1000 Fires remains to this day an inescapable techno classic that made her one of the Los Angeles rave scene pioneers.
With its nervous production, devastating rhythms, strange ambiance and a sensual voice, 1000 Fires offers a collection of high-speed catchy tunes and mid-tempo hypnotic ballads. Far from being a typical actors' pet project, the album benefits from the production of Juno Reactor, Ben Watkins from KLF, Mike Edwards from Jesus Jones and Babble from the Thompson Twins. Contrary to the productions of the genre, the lyrics are surprisingly personal and reveal the bruises of a youth lost in a dull world.
The album opens on "Control", a wild and unstoppable hymn that made the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. The somber and lightly gothic "Fallen Angels" mixes introspective lyrics with a sure melancholy whereas the menacing "Good-n-Evil" would make Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails jealous. The haunting "Fly" is carried by a captivating chorus while "Distant Land" has a very Orbital-esque feel. "Outlaw Lover" then arrives to recharge batteries with an impeccable House tempo. The charmer "I Want You" sounds like a sensual version of One Dove. After the Depeche Mode-like accents of "Say Something" comes "Father's Field", a difficult, unhealthy and very personal piece on incest, and often the root of girls sinking into decay. "Okey Dokey" concludes everything on a fun House note.
Unjustly ignored, 1000 Fires is a small spark that should prove a delight to every electronic music lover.