XP8 is a promising new EBM act from Rome. Their debut album, remastered for a US release by Imperative Reaction’s Ted Phelps, is an impressive collection of streamlined synthesizers, energetic dance rhythms, and addictive sing-along choruses. Tracks like “Straight Down” and “Forgave” are futuristic and hard, with just enough processing on lead singer Paul Toohill’s voice to give it an edge. An electric guitar line grounds the trance-inspired “She Says,” while “Wet Dream” incorporates a touch of digital delay on the vocals to make the song sound aggressive without sacrificing its clean, sharp arrangements. “Das Licht” bewitches with vocal hooks and a subtle processing effect that makes the drum machine sound somehow organic and swampy, while the more traditional house-flavored beats of “Ephedra” make for an irresistible dance track. The production can be a bit uneven – “Angel and the Beast” in particular is a bit too heavy on the treble end – but all in all Phelps has done an excellent job redoing the sound on this one; the pulsating bass hits deep enough to keep everyone moving on the dance floor, while the energetic synth melodies and sing-along choruses keep things from getting boring. As an added bonus, this American version of the album includes the seductive B-side “Your Heat” and an unbelievably perky Imperative Reaction remix of “Das Licht” in addition to the original thirteen tracks. An excellent debut album, this is a must for the modern electronic crowd.
Visit www.xp8.org for more information.
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