Music Reviews

SEVERE ILLUSION: Accomplishments of Leopold II

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1947)
May 31 2005
Title: Accomplishments of Leopold II
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
After having heard and enjoyed their previously released stuff I really thought I would know this band and their music very well. Well, I have to revise my judgement on this Swedish duo, because this new full length release surprises me in many ways. First I am wondering how this guys came to the idea to work out a conceptual release with the happenings – better said atrocities - of the Belgium king Leopold II in Africa more than 100 years before. This is thematically far away from all "end time visions" any other current EBM/Electro band would offer. And also musically is this new release of Sweden’s power-hitters No. 1 far away from any trendy SC/HOCICO clone. I get hold of myself often that I think: "Oh-no, this is stupid, it sounds chaotic and/or imperfect – they can not do this and take it seriously." Well, I’ve missed the target again! Where other bands of this genre wouldn’t waste any further second to use some more experimental and disturbing noises, here comes SEVERE ILLUSION to show and teach us how they can. I would describe SEVERE ILLUSION’s music as a mixture between old-school EBM lines with a rich amount of static and unconventional noises mostly arranged in a chaotic style, combined with some extremely rough distorted vocals. This explosive mixture awakes some real Punk-like feelings in me and has more life and identity than any other current release can offer. I have to admit that this new output of this duo needed a lot of time to grow on me. I still had in mind the long and often heard predecessor "Discipline is Reward Enough" which features more the classic EBM patterns which I enjoyed so much. And so this new and MUCH MORE destroying release needed several rotations before I recognized the whole potential this fantastic disc has to offer. Some memories on classic swedish EBM-tracks like "Keine Zukunft" or "Die Jugend" of the veteran POUPPEE FABRIKK they awake with the opening track "Genau wie Ich" where the try to sing in German. My favorites can be found with the track "Beautiful" which follows much the sound of the predecessor and with fast pieces "Stay Away From Us" and "Open Rebellion" which can cause simply some injuries by hitting your head against a wall! Also the almost Powernoise-like effort "Congo by Force" impresses totally where they give the overall distorted track some nice melodic layers.17 destroying tracks full of madness far away from any hypes and a playing time of never boring 75 minutes make this release outstanding. This is once again an extremely good release by the DSBP label and I can only congratulate Tommy T to have this great artist under his wing. Bad luck for the European audience that they still have to wait to get this release official. The German label Celtic Circle Production has the rights to release this masterpiece as a limited double CD with a slight different track list and artwork (done by Anders Karlsson of the legendary Powernoise act THE PAIN MACHINERY by the way...), but it is still delayed. This stuff doesn’t take any prisoners and needs some more rotations to get fully enjoyment. Give it the needed time and you will be richly rewarded.

RE_AGENT: Abscond: The Abandon Remixes

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1944)
May 26 2005
Artist: RE_AGENT (@)
Title: Abscond: The Abandon Remixes
Format: CD
Label: NXA
Rated: *****
The Canadian one man project leaded by Justin Tripp strikes back with a new release filled with 14 revamped and remixed tracks taken from his "Abandon" debut CD. A kind of label name he has also found (see above) but everything from the very first note up to the final production process lays still in the controlling hands of this talented artist. Justin only took some help with the mastering process done this time by the Canadian Powernoise act ISZOLOSCOPE. Thanks to a successful choice of artists which could lay their talented hands to remix the RE_AGENT stuff, this release gets a wide range of different music styles and earns again a double plus good in quality. It starts hard and straight with a danceable Powernoise-like remix by the Metropolis recording artist TERRORFAKT of the track "Weak and Wounded" – a great opener and one of the best remix works I have ever heard from them! The DSBP recording artist TYPE001 makes an excellent appearance here with a melodious remix on "U.W.M.R.F.L." filled with space-like thick synth layers and a deep dark atmospheric touch. Mr. RE_AGENT himself has also laid his hands on two of his tracks. While "Heaven Falling" can be compared not too far to be away from the original, thinks change with the remix on the normally slow piece "Never Satisfied". Adding here a completely new rhythmic structure gives this track a new pounding identity. Another refreshing remix works is done by the Canadian country men of FRACTURED, one of the most recognized Dark Electro acts of the past year. It is a great idea to fill in rhythmic interruptions (!!!) in one of RE_AGENT’s strongest tracks, "Brain Death", a kind of work I have probably never heard before. The remix of the already mentioned ISZOLOSCOPE of the track "Brain Death" takes a splendid bridge between the known Dark Electro sound of RE_AGENT transformed into a rougher noisy sound. This is a magnificent kind of creating a remix, an almost perfect symbiosis of both styles. Also very satisfying is the remix of the instrumental title track "Abandon" done by RAILGUN which surprises with a rich amount on new sounds and harsh noisy undertones.
I have mentioned only the ones which are to my taste the most outstanding remix works here but I can insure you that this whole and over 72 minutes long CD is a big enjoyment to listen to. And although that this CD is a remix based release it gives you a perfect view into sound compositions and musically world of one of the most talented acts out of the over-polluted Dark Electro genre. Make your contact to Justin under and purchase this strong release!

1. Weak and Wounded [remixed by Terrorfakt]
2. Never Satisfied [remixed by Krz0n]
3. UWMRFL [remixed by Type001]
4. Heaven Falling [remixed by Re_agent]
5. Creeping Up On You [remixed by Famine]
6. Brain Death [remixed by Fractured]
7. Abandon [remixed by s:cage]
8. Never Satisfied [remixed by Re_agent]
9. Under Blue [remixed by DYM]
10. Brain Death [remixed by Iszoloscope]
11. Weak and Wounded [remixed by Andraculoid]
12. Heaven Falling [displacer remix v.2]
13. Creeping Up On You [remixed by antechamber]
14. Abandon [remixed by Railgun]