Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Front 242: Pulse

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Artist: Front 242
Title: Pulse
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Ok, I realize how psyched up the scene is about this CD coming out, since it is the first F242 in over a decade (not counting "ReBoot" the live CD). But also realize some changes within the group, which may leave some of the hardcore fans who thought ReBoot" was just a phase a little disappointed. Gone are the hard rhythms of "Tyranny For You" and the industrial danciness of earlier work, replaced now with a much more technofied edge, loaded to the brims with MIDI in and erratic patterns. This CD is very... ... ... ... .unique... ... .unpredictable... .and is up to the hype that this is a CD that will keep others in the electronic scene scrambling to keep up. You have to remember most of this band’s peers are bands they inspired thoroughly, so not too many people can give F242 a run for their money outside of Frontline Assembly. Gone also are the most of the vocals of earlier work, this time relying much more on just base structure than anthem tracks. Also it seems as if half the CD is one track with some sharp turns and some time shifts, to the point where you wonder how track 1, "SEQ666" suddenly became track 5 "Beyond The Scale Of Comprehension". After that comes, ummmmmmmmmm "Song", where Jean Luc DeMeyer’s vocals pop in, and the olden industrial rhythms (yeah!!!!! Rivet stomp time!) in the chorus. Good old school F242 shining through! Then comes the slow track, "One", with it’s plecking drum line and subtle backdrop of multiple soundlayers, all over Jean Luc DeMeyer’s softened vocals, ala C-Tec’s "Darker". Still seems like he has that same emotional juice left from that project, which I’m anxious to see if it’s in Gaiden and MorF. "Matrix" pops into the foray with it’s laid back grooves, and simplistic analog synth lines all layered over top of vocals and subdued, dubbed layers of sound. I absolutely love the faded drum line on this one, it kind of reminds me of a tap dance rhythm!And just when you think you got the last track on here, and the hardened 242 fans start to sob... ... ... .. welcome to hidden track heaven!!!! It’s simply hidden track after hidden track of whole complete, thought out songs, practically enough for most labels to shove onto a second CD and charge more. All in all, over 20 tracks, and too many strong ones to name here in detail since I’ve blabbed enough... ... .. So, all in all, if you’re looking for rivet stomping gold like the old days, may wanna stick to your older stuff and C-Tec. But, all generic bands that have been passing themselves off as EBM, be prepared to be like sickle before the grain! This CD is an odd combo of that and thick-ended techno, with a hint here and there of industrial, but overall done with a severe addiction factor and a danceable factor that may just leave many newer so called EBM bands (and Future Pop bands that pass themselves off as such) either tossing out their instruments in surrender or starting to upgrade their synth and programming skills. The masters are back and the sound is like a million mile totem pole looking down on all others in electronic with a loud fuck you’! Rating: 10. Very highly recommended.