It has become routine for Tino Claus to release a new TC75 album year by year. “Popmusesick” is already his 4th official full-length album, if we count only the official works since 2017 (“Tracks ”, “Tension”, and “Morphed”) which have seen the light of a professional CD release in support by the Russian label Razgrom Music. Before his signing to this Russian label, there have been three earlier, self-released CDR's available which can be still purchased via Tino's Bandcamp website (please check below).
A word of introduction to Tino as he is one half of the renowned German Dark Electro-duo Amnistia and can look back on a long career in the Electro-/Industrial-scene with additionally appearances in projects like MRDTC or lesser recognized with the old-school EBM pendant Neukampf. Also TC75 isn't a newcomer project as Tino started already in 2007 with this solo effort.
Due to the fact that I am not too familiar with his earlier works under the TC75 moniker, it was at first the intention to figure out the differences between Amnistia and TC75. Yes, both projects are without doubt deeply rooted into the European style of EBM / Dark Electro music genre but there are omnipresent differences between them. While Amnistia is pretty much based musically to pick up some Dark Electro traditions of Canadian veterans like Numb, Puppy or the FLA league mixed with straight European EBM elements, TC75 follows demonstrative the path and sound ideas of Belgians old school formula of EBM.
The glorious early years of The Klinik, Vomito Negro, early recordings of Insekt, Suicide Commando or at least the 242 camp – from all of these projects Tino has at least collected some musically ingredients to be discovered on this “Popmusesick” album.And there's especially the work of Dirk Ivens and his famous project Dive worth to mention: several tracks are available on here, which could be directly stolen out of the sound archive of this prominent and exceptional artist (“Desire”, “I Swear To God”, or “Back In The Place”).
The track “What You Don't Know” for instance plays pretty much with multiple percussion elements mixed precisely with icy sequencer lines and seems to be rather infiltrated with that typically Klinik-ally impact. The straighter tunes like “Save Face” for example maybe tend to remind to the Front 242 hall of fame.
However this all is meant and how much stereotyped-thinking I need to throw into this review, it needs to be clearly pointed out, that TC75 isn't at all a copy-cat of Belgian traditionalists. Tino picks up ideas and starts to experiment with these elements to bring out a refined form of straight EBM with “Popmusesick” under up-to-date recording possibilities. And the result is absolutely convincing.
We have here 10 original tracks all based between 2 and 3,5 minutes – not too long at least – plus a special 11th track entitled “Obituary”, which at least clocks up to more than 40 minutes of playing time.“Obituary” is massively different to any of the other tracks. It is a slow stalking collage, a multiple-artist-effort with sinister and dark layers and it is filled with ominous whispered vocal inserts Tino's music friends. The row of the artists involved looks like a list of the who is who in between the scene:
Andrea Morsero (In.Visible)
Martin Sane and Persephoniis Phoenix (Fïx8:Sëd8)
Lauro Guedes Junior (kFactor)
Patrik Lev (Depressive Disorder)
James Mendez (Jihad)
Jens Plesner (No Sleep By The Machine)
Sasha Rempel (thewalkingicon)
Javi Saez (Vein Cramp)
Emese Árvai-Illés (Black Nail Cabaret)
Sinan Jafan Schmoun (Pyrroline)
Jan Dewulf (Mildreda)
Dirk Ivens (Dive)
Did I mention somewhere before that this 40-minutes ”Obituary” is only an edited version to be fitted on this album and to respect the length of a CD release? Well, indeed, the original version of this track stops after at least after more than 75 minutes!!!
“Obituary (Total Annihilation)“ is an exclusive Bandcamp release and can be seperately picked up there,
But asides of this, go ahead and pick up this wonderful, fluffy piece of finest „Popmusesick“.