Music Reviews

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Septic VIII
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Welcome back at the front-line, Stefan, and fire free for the new and 8th edition of Dependent’s legendary "Septic"-compilation series. Germany’s label giant Dependent is back for good after they’ve decided two years ago to stop all business activities due to the ongoing stagnation of sales and illegal file piracy. But it is still a dangerous situation – the awful situation of illegal file-sharing is still imminent and a promising tool against this hasn’t been invented so far, and to run a label in professional structures requires fully attention and a lot of right decisions regarding the label roster. On the other side – and I say this out of deepest conviction – it does so good to have back a rivaling pendant to the too-big-too-arrogant operating Out Of Line giant. Coming to this release, the name "Septic" and to participate with a track still has still a lot of meaning for an Electro/Industrial project. And so Stefan could easily collect again some cool and promising newcomer acts to offer them a free slot to publish their talent to a widely interested audience. Some veteran and well-sounding global players of course needed to be added too, as they get the possibility to promote upcoming stuff. The winner is for the most part the listener, who receives always a wide ranging diversity between the styles. As for a point of criticism, "Septic VIII" acts a bit too obviously as a pure label collection, more than half of the participants have been collaborated in some or another way with Dependent before. Although MySpace and consorts offer for the most part uninspired mediocrity - the point which Stefan often picks up and argues - there’s out there quality music, you only have to search for it a bit better. And the listener even nowadays doesn’t understand the drama of label politics, so the pleasant return of Dependent would have been also a chance to bury some old hatchets.
Now turning the attention to the music, the good things are starting with Sweden’s legitimate answer on SKINNY PUPPY, the duo of NECRO FACILITY, which offers an energetic new track. "Do You Feel The Same" draws a fine balance between aggression and melodic calmness with typical Ogre-like vocals, some guitar riffs and tasteful Dark-Electro synth arrangements. INFORMATIK’s "Temporary", in this case remixed by THE SYTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION, is one of the winners of their self-arranged remix contest following their last studio album "Beyond". This cool interpretation gets not only rewarded with a free slot on here, it will be too available on INFORMATIK’s new album "Arena". Back for good also for South-Africa’s ACRETONGUE with a musically demanding Dark-Electro tune – just try to sing along to that tricky rhythm programming! No surprise, but still a breathtaking quality – as usual – from MESH ("Who Says" sounds rather edgy like their earlier recordings... ), EDGE OF DAWN and BIOMEKKANIK (solo project of Sweden’s Christer Hermodsson, who been part of S.P.O.C.K and producer of among others AND ONE or CAT RAPES DOG), as they all can be thrown into the lesser dark, but modern and refreshing sounding Futurepop-genre. Denmark’s ARZT + PFUSCH and their Lo-Fi - Electro/Industrial-sound is something, I’ve missed through the years – unfortunately they seem to have no interest to reach again their best days with notorious hits like "Boneloc" or "Skumfuck" – their new one "Constipated Disembowelment" is a quite uninspired tedious piece of Dark Electro music, which does nothing else but boring. And how can Stefan explain us the sense to prostitute himself and to offer free slots for those toxic brownfields like AERODRONE (a demo version??? I as a listener of this self-entitled highly anticipated compilation would feel of being fooled - yes, it’s the new project of Gary Zon/DISMANTLED) and VELVET ACID CHRIST (a whiny Goth-like acoustic tune with "real" vocals? Can that be called "back to the very early roots", Bryan?). But luckily this compilation turns back on track by offering convincing appearances of GHOST & WRITER (an interesting new collaborative effort by J.-M. Lederman/The WEATHERMEN and Frank M. Spinath/SEABOUND, EDGE OF DAWN), ENCEPHALON (yes, they’ve also been known guests on an earlier issue of "Septic"), and Germany’s personified Dark Electro god FIX8:SED8. Also not to be missed is a musically trip to the pure Coldwave-related genre with appearances of KMFDM vs. SKOLD and WE GOT THIS FAR.
"Septic VIII" is another tireless appetizer, which works well to introduce talented newcomer acts asides already discovered and renowned global players. What’s good on this has been said – what’s bad and doesn’t satisfy has been mentioned too. As much as I enjoy the wide-ranging diversity of the presented styles and the big effort Stefan has once again invested to collect this compilation, I personally miss a bit of his often proved pioneering sense. By collecting this album to celebrate the return of Dependent, he has missed a really big chance to break with some inner boundaries and to search for valuable contacts – collaboration and the exchange of ideas of how to promote this still sort of niche-music can safe the medium CD with better sales for a longer time. Some labels out of IDM/Electronica-scene seemingly have recognized this already. Therefore "Septic VIII" entertains in a similar kind as all other parts out of this compilation series too. But it looks a bit, that nothing has changed too much...

1. Necro Facility - Do you feel the same
2. Informatik - Temporary (Synthetic Dream Foundation Mix)
3. Acretongue - Dragonfly (nymph)
4. Mesh - Who Says? (Rough Mix)
5. Apparat - Arcadia (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix Edit)
6. Edge Of Dawn - Stage Fright
7. Biomekkanik - Pitch Black Ocean
8. Arzt+Pfusch - Constipated Disembowelment
9. acid.milch&honig - Was ich seh
10. Non Plus Ultra - Free Falling
11. Aerodrone - Ready To Love (Demo Version)
12. Velvet Acid Christ - Black Rainbow
13. Ghost & Writer - Nightshift
14. Encephalon - Scar On Scar
15. KMFDM vs. Skold - Bloodsport
16. FÏX8:SËD8 - Dormicum
17. We Got This Far - Sedona



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