Reviews: electro

(ebm / dark electro / minimal electro / elektroclash / synthpop)

STandART – Corrosion

The band STandART started in 2002; so far they’ve released 4 singles on their own including the maxi-single “Corrosion”. They gave several concerts a.o with Camouflage during their “Relocated Tour” and with the Swedish trio LOWE.

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ADN’Chrystall – Arabesketch

ADN’Chrystall is an obscure French minimal act from the 1980’s. Of course something by this artist had to be released on Kernkrach. The song ‘Arabesketch’ on the A-side is an Arabic inspired minimal wave piece. On the B-side is ‘So Zeu Twist’, a playful and funny song. Kernkrach picked out two very nice tracks by this artist for its release.

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Plexiglas – S/T

What do you get when you put together one of the Kernkrach label people and the Greece minimal group Human Puppets? Plexiglas! This project produces very authenthic sounding contemporary minimal elektro.

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Jetlag – 9:15 to nowhere

Jetlag is a project by members of Psyche, Rational Youth (and now Datafreq) and James White. Together they produce a sort of futurepop songs.

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Bastards of Love – Summer Destination EP

Bastards of Love on cd… that is a strange thing to witness. The raw lo-fi sound of his music is perfect to be pressed on vinyl in small editions. But, his hectic elektro anthems are better produced this time, so it seems to fit the new format.

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Rasputeen – Gegen die Wand

Rasputeen was called Rasputin before. As Rasputin, this band mixed Neue Deutsche Welle sounds with minimal elektro and old school industrial elements. Now, as Rasputeen the sound is more clearly defined as minimal elektro. On the one hand this second album is less diverse in sounds as before. On the other hand it is a strong album, which will appeal easier to more people, as the songs are easier to consume and the sound is better to define.

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Sleep Museum – Street

Bloodlust! is an US based industrial label. Sleep Museum is possibly an unusual artist for the label but this 7” is more then interesting nonetheless. The sound and style is in the tradition of early Death In June and minimal projects as Echo West and November Növelet.
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Dr. C. Stein – Echo Trip

Even though the name Dr. C. Stein might not ring a bell for everyone, this musician was part of the legendary Dutch 80’s minimal electronics outfits Ende Shneafliet and Doxa Sinistra. As a solo musician he was somewhat less experimental but not less interesting.

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Ich Bin – Obéis!

Ich Bin was an electronic body music / electro project from Corsica during the 1990’s. They released their music on tape and later on cd-r through the PNEU label. Now their first tape is re-issued on vinyl for them first time.

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Sleep Museum – Dream Of Waking

Sleep Museum from Brooklyn, New York, is getting more and more exposure lately. Dreams Of Waking is his debut album. With his side project After The Snow the musician was also present on Electronic Renaissance from Enfant Terrible. More of his work is planned to be released both under the Sleep Museum as the After The Snow aliases.

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Noblesse Oblige – Privilege Entails Responsibility

I am not a fan of electroclash but Noblesse Oblige delivers a fine album with music, which could be called post-electroclash or electrotrash if you like.
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Anti Trust – Die Welt is so schön, viel schöner als der Mond

Anti Trust is a project that has been around for a long time. Musically Anti Trust’s sound is somewhere in between minimal elektro and NDW. This new work is characterized by a much cleaner sound and thick beats.
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V/A – Electronic Renaissance

The fourth release of Enfant Terrible is a compilation LP called “Electronic Renaissance”. The nicely designed booklet presents the record as an art exhibition, where you can discover 12 contemporary artists from various countries in the ‘Salon des indépendants’. All music on the LP is influenced by 80’s new wave, but should not be regarded as mere analogue retro sounds. The introductory text proclaims that all artists involved are ‘very much in the now’.

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Red Emprez – Clubgirls & Poofs

Red Emprez is a duo formed in 2004 so they’re not quite new kids on the electro block; on the contrary, so far they’ve managed to enchant the audience in Poland quite successfully. If I was to describe the band and their so-far artistic output in one sentence it would be “it’s where the 80s and the electro music meet in the atmosphere of tolerance and understanding”.

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MonsterGod – Newborn Monster

The duo MonsterGod is a newbie on the music market though the musicians themselves have their Freshman Friday far behind them. Both artists – Smola and Schnitter – performed in other Polish projects in the past – the former in The Egoist, the latter in TRH – so their experience is definitely of use in the present-day career.

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El Aviador Dro – Eléctrico!

No less than 18 tracks of the Spanish cult band were gathered for this low-budget compilation for the American market. “¡Eléctrico!” contains songs created by El Aviador Dro in the last 25 years, with their typical mixture of synthpop, minimal electro and new wave, combined with Spanish lyrics. ‘La Chica De Plexiglas’ has been omitted, but other classics like ‘Nuclear si’ and ‘Selector de frequencias’ are present. As a special gift there are also two live tracks and an exclusive piece, ‘Cromados’.

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Dystronic – Rude Tunes

The third 12” by Dystronic on the Kommando 6 label is a continuation of his typical style and sound. Rude Tunes features four tracks of raw punk influenced and elektro related music.

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Various Artists – Dark Shots: 5th anniversary of Kommando 6

To celebrate the five year existence of the German Kommando 6 label specialized in dark elektro music, Simulacron magazine / network released this DVD. The disc features ten video clips made by / with / for Kommando 6 artists. Both new and already released tracks are visualized. Next to the video clips there are two live shots (one of RA-X and one of XNDL) and two historical promo clips for the label.

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Im Namen Des Volkes – Weisses Rauschen

Im Namen Des Volkes is the legendary early NDW / minimal electronics project by Matthias Schuster. He released one 7”, with three tracks on it, in 1979. Four more tracks from that same period were recently discovered. These tracks are featured on this limited 7” (only 300 copies were made).

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Inure – Subversive

Inure has a new member. Next to Adam Moore and Robert Vogel, Sam P. of Imperative Reaction fame joined the act. This is their second cd, their first as a trio. What does this do to their music? Well, it is somewhat straighter in the face now; don’t know if that is the influence of Sam though. Might just as well be the production of Ted Phelps (also of Imperative Reaction), who without any doubt worked together with Adam Moore, who has had formal training in audio production.

Then back to the music. Old school American EBM, brougth into the next millenium. It has a new sound to it, also a sound that defines Inure and no other projects. Extensive vocoder-use, less delay then many others have. Danceable for most of the album, but it also has its tracks that just creep under your skin, create a coldness from inside.

Both kind of tracks are done exceptionally well, making this a disc that is worth picking up for any Skinny Puppy or Numb fan, but also for others who like the old EBM sound. But be warned, just when you think you’ve heard it all, they take you by surprise. Last track on this disc is a cover track. A track you wouldn’t easily think of for an EBM-band to cover, it’s Alice In Chains’ “Would?”. They have taken out the guitar and replaced it by quite minimal electro, sticked to the vocal lines. Is it worth it? Well it is certainly not bad, but when I would be forced to choose between this version and the original, I would pick the original.