Music Reviews

Artist: XP8 (@)
Title: Adrenochrome
Format: CD
Label: 2393 Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
It has been nearly 8 years when I lastly had this Italian project on my table for a review, which doesn't mean that I hadn't the chance in between. Somehow I never had the drive in me to give them some more spins. I also laughed a while with their introducing sentence of their current info-sheet: 'What Benny Benassi and The Bloody Beetrots are for pink-shirt-wearing mainstream girls, XP8 is for the alternative electro scene: and Italy's most successful export in that field, these days.' And while I lost them a while out of sight, they now come up with this new, crowd-funding supported album. There has been several, most unlucky episodes happened in their now 12-years-long band history, especially when it comes to sign with labels. Black Flames of Poland went bankrupt, Infacted Recordings seemed not to much interested in them after two album, and their last episode under Death Watch Asia, which has brought us their 10-years anniversary release 'X: A Decade Of Decadence', was quite too short for a more optimistic resume. What they always had and on what they still can count is a loyal fan-base. 'Adrenochrome' as being a crowd-funding project has become reality in a record-suspiciously time frame (18 hours after initiation). This album represents a concept and tells us track-by-track a still futuristic story of two individuals being placed in London based on a Cyberpunk story-book written by Marco Visconti in the late 90ies, but nowadays revised. The tracks on 'Adrenochrome' are named after the chapters in this book and give the listener some insight into the story-board. Musically Marco Visconti and his partner Marko Resurreccion are sort of a fresh breath to all musty one-dimensional EBM-structures of the old-school formula: Mostly providing very straight produced and dancefloor-oriented tracks with higher bpm-rates, this talented Italian duo integrates Trance, Techno, or Hardfloor styles in their music. Their tracks are definitely able to drive sweat out of the pores of their audience - it's mostly an action-driven form of EBM/Electronica with a fair vocal performance. Since they've seen and experienced a lot of positive as well as negative things this scene has to offer, they are matured enough with their programming skills not to let this new album come out as a pure, blatant stomp-fest. I actually find myself being entertained by their chosen sounds and I am able to consume their tracks without kicking against the loudspeakers. 'Awakenings', 'Night Run' and the very catchy, Futurepop-inspired 'Inside Their Heads' are impressive produced dancefloor-tunes and can be counted to the favorites on here. As for a musically contrast, the angst-driven, dark and raw sounding synth-pads with the sinister drum pattern-programming of a track like 'Going Underground' impresses totally. Finally I too ask myself, why they aren't a bit more successful to become global scene-players, because musically, as well as sound-wisely here's nothing to complain. And even if I still enjoyed them too with their first singer Paul Toohill, I see no longer a reason to slap this dead-beaten horse over and over again, because Marco Visconti's vocals are fair enough produced to support the XP8 sound-outfit properly. Sure, their vision of EBM doesn't fit with the deeds of veteran projects and they rather represent an attractive form of post-modern arrangements and style-diversity. But what they do, they do crafty and decent.

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