Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Artist: Onenine (@)
Title: 3 3 3
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
No need to assume an unsolved boring math riddle behind band name and album title during our pandemic days, because behind the moniker Onenine hides with Axel Kleintjes one of the most enigmatic personalities of the German Electro-/EBM scene in the mid-90s. Axel has made himself a good name as being one of the former members of Cyber Axis, Mindware and moreover Page 12, one of the best recognized institutions of the long out of business Celtic Circle Productions label.

Also with his latter established project Cycloon he could gain recognition as there has been a life and ongoing music career after the demise of CCP. He could sign with both, Page 12 and Cycloon, to the Dark Dimensions label group (Scanner) and especially with Cycloon and the decision to have every thinkable step in the production process under his very own responsibilty, has brought him success in a wider-than-EBM-field-related audience, as Cycloon offered various styles from Electronica, EBM up to Rhythmic Noise.

After some further intermezzos signed on labels like Error315 Records and Sequenced Sonic Interferences and releases with both projects Cycloon and Mindware, it has become silent around Axel after 2005. This belongs only to the fact that he hasn't brought out music professionally, but finally he hasn't stopped at all. Onenine therefore is a new project and has already released a first album entitled "Hirato" in spring of the last year.

"Things aren‘t different. Things are things". What sounds like a simple relativization of the things arounds Axel's new playground is at least a statement taken out of "Neuromancer" (also known as "Sprawl Series") of the awarded novel-writer William Ford Gibson - but has it any deeper meaning? It surely leaves out space for self-interpretation because information of Axel's new project and his motivation can be hardly discovered. Same counts surely for the cover artwork of both albums, "Hirato" and this new one "3 3 3". With detailed and highly augmented photos of insect bodies Axel surely impresses optically - but I highly doubt that he has become an entomologist during the last years.
So it finally counts only the music and it should be clear that with respect to his long-year lasting career you'll get a full professional designed release and even the audio material doesn't leave out expectations. Mastered by Krischan Wesenberg (Rotersand) Axel continues to walk generally on a comparable path which he has left with Cycloon 15 years before. The point on his music is that he is capable to produce Electronica music which can be seldom thrown into that one expected genre drawer. Diversity in his sound expression has been already a valid part with Cycloon during his Scanner- / Dark Dimensions era and with "3 3 3" this doesn't change.

After the introducing quite spacey sounding "In Circles" the second track "Wrong" pushes instantly the bpm to a breath-taking high level. To add a cover version of The Normal's classic hit "Warm Leatherette" is surely a clever idea for an Electronica-producing artist and only God knows how many cover versions of this track are actually existing - but this one by Onenine is to me the best I have heard in years. "Warm Leatherette" is also the only track which features real vocals although I guess no one can even imagine to leave them out (Guest vocals provided by Oliver Spring of tEaR!doWn / ex-Sleepwalk).
The EBM purists will be surely satisfied and entertained with the following tune "Jupiter" thanks to its bullying bass line sequences. Also "Down" should be able to bring the audience into movement.

If you're pedantic enough to watch out for the one and only loser trach then be assured you won't find it on here. Nevertheless there is a constant point of criticism: it needs at least 2 -3 additional tracks with a capable vocalist, if we point out the cover version of "Warm Leatherette". It is not to complain with instrumental music generally but the only listenable messages featured on this album can be discovered with a few vocal samples somewhere thrown into the tracks.

Here is a lot of potential in every of the 10 featured tracks musically, but this all wents down too easily under radar of a wider audience because of the lack of vocals. Surely a point to think on, even more if we look back on the Cycloon past, when Axel could already successfully cooperate with guest singers (i. e. Ned Kirby, Don Wege)e. Also not to be forgotten - this is the project of Axel Kleintjes, front man and vocalists of Page 12 - why not giving the golden "Decline" or "No Bitter Truth" days a fair form of reanimation?


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