ARTIST: Agitprop 666
A one-man project out of Los Angeles, Agitprop 666 makes ugly, noisy EBM from the old school, all messily dissected samples, reverb-drenched breakbeats, and thickly rumbling bass synths. Thematically, this album runs the gamut from the political commentary of title track "Mind Control" to the morbidly grotesque, as on the deliberately provocative "Cannibal Corpse," which features prison interviews with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. "The Final Solution," which deals with Nazi death camps, manages to combine both interests. Most of Agitprop 666's thematic content comes from samples, which seem to come mainly from documentaries, news broadcasts, and other propaganda, making for a nice change from the usual easily-recognized movie snippets. Apart from the samples, a number of tracks are instrumental; the rest may as well be, considering that the vocals are so drenched in various distortion effects that they sound less like lyrics than texture. Ranging from guttural gurgles to porcine squeals, this deliberately incomprehensible approach to vocals works particularly well on opening track "Mystery Babylon." Between samples dealing with supposed Satanic ritual murders, it's easy to imagine the moistly rumbling vocals as demons emerging from the pit of hell to offer their own commentary on the issue. Also noteworthy is an unlikely cover of Bauhaus classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead." While the original took a rather industrialized approach with its extended percussive guitar experimentation, Agitprop 666's cover retools the song nearly beyond recognition. With the vocals buried under swampy industrial beats and distorted guitar careening in all direction, that leaves only the clash of cymbals panning across channels to recall the original paean to an aging horror film legend. This is rough stuff by today's standards, with neither the melodic hooks of pop-infused EBM nor the distorted but simplistic beats of power noise, but fans of more avant-garde fare like early Skinny Puppy (especially the B-sides) will really be able to appreciate this confrontational debut.
Visit Agitprop 666's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/agitprop666 for song samples and other information.
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