Music Reviews



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Artist: Die Krupps (@)
Title: I
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Synthetic Symphony (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****

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For those who have never been granted the pleasure to be introduced to Die Krupps: it was/is a trio from Dusseldorf, Germany, who was amongst the leading representatives of the electro-metal genre, way before somebody else started calling it industrial-metal. What set(s) them apart from more famous bands like Ministry or Nine Inch Nails is that they were really an EBM band at heart but had this enormous guitar riffs to back up their electronic tracks. I used to be a huge Die Krupps fan back in the days and in my opinion they represent one of the historical and pioneering bands of that genre and somehow never enjoyed the level of popularity they deserved. I used to buy all their records and singles, every time they came out. Then they broke up and singer Jurgen Engler formed DKay.com (www.dkay.de) and I kind of lost touch with them for a while. While browsing through the shelves of the Rasputina record store in Berkley, CA, I found this CD and bought it right away. "I" was originally released in 1992. It was called "I" ("one") because it featured a ground-breaking electronic version of Metallica's ballad "One" (later Die Krupps released a "Tribute to Metallica" EP album of all electronic versions of some of Metallica's songs) and also because it was the first in a trilogy that included 1993 "II - The Final Option" and 1996 "III - Odyssey of Mind". This new double CD version of "I" (released August 2008) has the same art work as the old one and brings you a digitally remastered version of the original album (a classic in my collection) also featuring five early demo tracks from back in 1990. An additional CD offers a remixed version of the same album with the addition of three unreleased non-guitar bonus tracks.
Obviously you need to be a real Die Krupps die hard fan to enjoy listening to the same album twice (basically the new mixes are very similar really, which is almost a shame because I would have preferred the "remix" CD to be remixes by other people and not just new mixes of the old - even though they already have a couple of remix albums in their discography) but nevertheless it could be a great introduction to Die Krupps for somebody that's not familiar with them (although I should say that there are a couple of best-of's available for that purpose as well). Well I had to buy it for myself and I am enjoying listening to this stuff again after so many years. I grew up with this record so it's kind of hard for me not to like it, I know/remember every note and guitar chord so I can detect some of the subtle differences in the mixes. For those that were never Krupps fans I would still recommend it, as long as you do yourself the service of also buying one of their more recent albums to get a better idea of what they have been all about throughout their almost 20 year long record-making career.
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Artist: Red Army Faction (Die Baader-Meinhof Gruppe) (@)
Title: Red Army Faction (Die Baader-Meinhof Gruppe)
Format: CD
Label: DBMG/RAF (self-released) (@)
Distributor: DBMG/RAF
Rated: *****
Die Baader-Meinhof Gruppe / Red Army Faction is Joshua David Richardson with a revolving door of collaborators, which include: Scott E. Farmer (Russian Futurists), Sam Devos (For Greater Good), and Edwin Vanvinckenroye (Tribe) amongst others.

According to Richardson, DBMG/RAF is a chance for musicians and multi-media artists to explore the use of violence within their chosen medium for the expressed purpose of destroying the economic, social, and artistic structures imposed on them by Late 20th and 21st Century Capitalism. It is inspired by the actions of West-Germany’s Red Army Faction (also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group), which sought the violent overthrow of West-Germany’s post-war governments from the 1970’s until its official disbandment in 1998.

Politics aside, this is one freshing new release that actually lives up to being true INDUSTRIAL music. It is noisy, chaotic, harsh, violent, full of anguish and torment while still carrying a strong beat. This is the kind of industrial that will immediate clear the dancefloor at your local goff-idustrial club, will sort out the real rivetheads from the poseurs, and have noise music enthusiasts begging for more. There’s a good amount of variety on this CD too- a post-punk "Peter Gunn" inspired rhythm track with whacked out old school analogue electronics, middle-eastern Indian ambience with the sound of war in the background (perfect for planning your next Jihad), Deutsch Nepal and Memorandum inspired beats with radio transmissions in the background, slabs of whale-toned cries from the deep, broken and distorted sonics over a militant backbeat with appropriately painful processed vocals, wacky distorted rhythmic melodies, and much more. It is experimental without being unlistenable. Alienating while still being engaging. Even when Richardson is using those overly-familiar sounds and elements, they never seem dated or clichéd. When it comes to this kind of music, this guy obviously seems to know what he’s doing and doesn’t wear his influences on his sleeve like so many others who’ve attempted it. If I had one thing to nit-pick about, it might be the use of overuse of spoken word samples, which is a pet peeve of mine in any music genre. Purists can argue as to its appropriateness, but I feel that a constant barrage of it is a bit clichéd. Thankfully, Richard tempers it with other interesting elements.

This release has an awful lot going for it and has so much variety that it has a very high replayability factor, something that I haven’t heard in a good number of harsh music projects that I’ve reviewed positively. It is also not a constant torrent of torturous sounds; there are quite a few quieter moody moments. Nothing is overly-long or intolerable. If this was released on CMI, it might be the album of the year in Europe. Red Army Faction is like having the best moments of bands like Mental Destruction, In Slaughter Natives, Esplendor Geometric and Brighter Death Now rolled into one steaming package.


Perhaps it’s due to the duality of the name Die Baader-Meinhof Gruppe / Red Army Faction and its association that makes this music project totally oblique in a Google search. If you want this music, you REALLY have to know where to look. You can find it on iTunes (Die Baader-Meinhof) or CD Baby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/baadermeinhof) but I’d recommend just going directly to the website since there videos, more info and purchase options there. Definitely recommended!
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Artist: Intercity3
Title: Love The Way You Are
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Urbcom (@)
Rated: *****
This is the first official release of this London-based collective, which can look back on a promising compilation appearance with their track "Windows" on the 2-years-old Urbcom double-CD release "Recreation V. 2". "Windows" brought in unexpected success, so the call for new stuff was loud enough to release now this 7-track EP, again via Urbcom. Responsible for the machinery and controls is D. Escott, better known with his very own AWAX project, which too is related with Urbcom. For INTERCITY3 different vocalists got hired, like the both females Catasha Kin, a London-based singer, promoter and DJ, as well as the Brighton-based Liz Andrews (SWARF) and the Danish PROJECT-BLUE-musician Martin Holt. So from the vocal part, there’s quite diversity, but also musically INTERCITY3 can’t be thrown into only one cupboard. The music takes elements out of up-to-date sounding Synth-/Futurepop themes, inserts also Trance and House elements, but also harder EBM evoking an enjoyable Industrial ambience got included. A quite interesting sound outfit, since no track comes out in an expected kind. Best moments are offered with the nearly Indie-/Alternative-sounding track "Freaks", featuring an energetic D. Escott in front of the micro, but also both last track "Catch Me" and the nearly 7 minutes clocking "Supersonic Dreams", which offer impressive Electronica arrangements. Completely well done, entertaining and recommendable, I hope for a full-length album of this project.

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Artist: The Peoples Republic Of Europe
Title: Singularity
Format: CD
Label: Vendetta Music (@)
Distributor: KGD Media
Rated: *****
The Denver-based label Vendetta-Music becomes more and more the first-class address when it comes to sign or to license some Europe-based Hard-Tech/rhythmically Powernoise act, also the Dutch TPROE aren’t an exception. Following musically a relatively comparable coarse like their label-mates and countrymen of MONO-ANIME, also TPROE offer a brutal sound outfit taking its influence out of up-to-date sound TBM, Electro/Industrial and pure Noise. Dozens of voice samples are in use to strengthen some of their messages and I feel at least and in parts more conform with this one compared to MONO-ANIME. Take some already discovered acts of the ProNoize-roster like S.A.M. or FABRIK C and you’ll get an idea, how TPROE sound. As for highlights, well, there can be chosen almost all, if you look for some wild dancefloor action, but the sentimental piece "Bitter Seventeen" dedicated to a died young teenager makes a complete and ominous sounding difference to all other tracks. It has also to be said, that this one beats brutal and unstoppable – but it doesn’t include anything new or refreshing. There are out there several other acts offering more ideas and TPROE are acting rather like the daily but still beloved burger for a dinner. Not bad at all, but it needs more to get recognized out of a mass of this swamped genre.
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Artist: Funker Vogt
Title: White Trash – K17 Live Excerpt
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: RepoRecords / SPV (@)
Rated: *****
A teaser for FUNKER VOGT’s demanding plans for 2009, which will see the release of a double-CD and double DVD entitled "Warzone K17". The title track "White Trash" is a new compositions, which has been presented for the first time live to the audience at the Berlin-based club "K17". Since the recording quality of this live gig happened back in April 2008 was that brilliant, the band has decided to work out all efforts of producing a double-CD and double-DVD. "White Trash" is a relatively easy-minded FUNKER VOGT-track featuring all their good ingredients like a catchy refrain, hymn-like synth melodies, rough EBM-bass-lines and a danceable beat. The live "feeling" provided through the yelling and applauding audience is still included here, although the recording has been polished in the studio. As additional goody, this Downloadable-only item offers two additional tracks, which are 2008-versions of both classic tracks "Thanks For Nothing" and "Black Hole", both originally released on the 1996-Zoth Ommog-debut album "Thanks For Nothing". Maybe new studio versions of this classic are sought-after from the fans, but... it needs to be said, that I still enjoy more the rougher sounding originals. The complete album "Thanks For Nothing" is the classic release, a nearly monument importantly connected with the history of Zoth Ommog. The try to refresh or to better a monument is nearly impossible. Let’s look forward to the coming new releases offering the live-power this act has to offer.

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