ARTIST: Parade Ground
Contemporaries of Front 242, Belgian duo Parade Ground's career has been markedly less prolific, releasing a handful of 12-inches filled out by numerous compilation and guest appearances. Coming almost two decades after their first full-length album, Rosary captures the spirit of early EBM and combines it with the more experimental textures of groups like SPK and Test Department. Although such tracks as "Windfall" and "Fight Time" employ classic EBM beats, the club rhythms are more often than not obscured by thick layers of distortion, industrial motor sounds, and muffling studio effects. Each "album" track is also separated by snippets of noise (much in the manner of the "Suture" tracks from Chemlab's first album, the noise segments are entitled "Rosary I-XV"), which range from looped clanks to distorted samples of classical music, adding to the album's avant-garde feel. Processed symphonic elements occasionally emerge to contrast with the more mechanical sounds, as on the funeral march of "Stutter" and the old-fashioned strings intro and outro on "Three Faint Fires." Produced by long-time friend and collaborator Patrick Codenys of Front 242, this album is intriguing in that it seems to actively resist club play while still employing many of the basic formulas of dance music. It's an interesting experiment, a sort of anti-dance album that still manages to be EBM in that it's still electronic, after all, and its marching rhythms and blasts of buzzing distortion are intense enough to evoke physical sensations. While it's probably too subtle and cerebral to be the next big dance hit, true EBM enthusiasts ought to enjoy Parade Ground's subversive take on the genre, and diehard Front 242 fans will be intrigued to hear something completely different from the pair who composed the vocals on the legendary Up Evil album.
Visit www.parade-ground.net for more information.
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