After pretty much coining the term "ebm" and selling several million albums worldwide, belgian electronic music pioneering producers Daniel Bressanutti & Patrick Codenys, aka Front 242, are back under the moniker Speed Tribe with their first 5.1 surround release and also what seems to be one of the first immersive entertainment products that combine DVD, CD and the internet to ever hit the streets. Speed Tribe, released by US based label/portal Dance.com, breaks new ground in cross-media integration, or convergent entertainment, or multimedia production, if you prefer to use this (too) commonly abused and mistaken mass-terminology. This good looking and stylish DVD/CD set is packaged into a folding digipack DVD case. The theme is, of course, speed, and in particular the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race and its fast cars.
"Fear, what is fear? False expectations appearing real..". Starting with the stereo music of the CD, the first thing any person familiar with F242 would notice, is that it ain't F242's EBM anymore. And if you are afraid you are missing out on Bressanutti/Codenys' new direction, then be, because there is much to talk about but even more to listen to and discover. The two dope producer dudes have evolved along with the rest of the world and, as much as the 242 were absolutely super cool, after the initial surprise/displacement, I was glad to find out they are "different"... You may read "different" as in much more trance, techno, ambient, experimental, minimal and even almost tribal at times... You may read "different" as in not what you would commonly refer to as EBM! The experimental trance aspect is definitely the first thing that hits you... Repetitions, dronings, rumbles covering the full spectrum of frequency, occasional sweeping and swiping through with filtered rezo sounds and other techno-like gems, Speed Tribe is amazing and when you reach track 24 (oops, here's the number again!) you wonder how that happened so fast. The roaring engines of the phat-ass cars in track 23 remind you that if you started with the CD, like I did, there is more to come when you'll pop in the DVD!
Even more exhilarating, the cutting edge music you heard on the CD now is right on the money with the artistical footage directed by Rod Chong and Sharon Matarazzo (Marilyn Manson, JXL). The focus is on a tight synchronisation between audio and visuals that really delivers. Futuristic rave-like graphics and lettering, cinematic but very original style, lots of experimentation with pixelling, simulated 3D effects, slicing, looping and simple but effective and quick camera feed movements and flickering that are made to be in the pocket with the noises, the beats and the sounds in the audio concept. There are two 24 minute edits of the video for you, the first representing the original version while the second being an audio/video remix with different cuts and a more experimental and ambient experience... "There is stillness in the speed, there is silence in the sound": these two sentences describe what the music does when it reaches that climax where, despite full speed, you feel like you are floating in open space, still; and when the hard-hitting techno becomes one with the luscious ambience and the atmospheric soundscapes, when the source textures escape the beats and rapture you in a rumbling and primitive ecstasy on the wings of power and harmony and the anarchist noise bits and engine noises. If you listen to the DVD on a Dolby Digital 5.1 or a DTS 5.1 Surround Sound system it really takes you to whole other level indeed!!! And if you are still hungry for speed, you can use the special access code that comes in the package to enter the member-only area of the Speed Tribe website where you are granted access to another 24 minutes of unreleased music, a third 6-minute audio/video remix, a flash trailer, desktop images and other downloads. The DVD finally also includes interviews which are quite disappointing because they are audio only (while you expect them to be video too, since they are on a DVD ultimately) and because they only include interviews with drivers and not with people involved in this project and Daniel/Patrick in particular. And because the DVD was lacking an interview with them I think I'll get in touch with them right away and try to arrange an interview for Chain D.L.K. immediately.
Check out this release 'cause its really well done and interesting! I strongly recommend it and please note that if you buy from the link above you will get a $5 discount and you'll be able to get it for just $19, which is not too bad for a CD+DVD.
"Fuel your senses [...] when you are at speed there is no fear". Just don't drive after listening to this 'cause you could hurt yourself or someone else! And if you are still wondering whether the couple can still "im rhythmus bleiben": yes they can!