Thursday, 23rd November 2017. 12:32:58am ET
Reviews CD Reviews (EBM, Electro, Electronica) Leaether Strip- Retention No.2


ARTIST: Leaether Strip

ALBUM: Retention No. 2

LABEL: Alfa Matrix

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 7-28-09

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The second in a series of deluxe reissues from Leaether Strip, this double-CD boxed set features a remastered version of the 1990 album Science for the Satanic Citizen. After nearly 20 years, it's an album that's beginning to show its age, but it retains its power. "Antius," for example, is primitive but effective; with its stripped down rhythms and vocals that seem forced into some semblance of a melody, it's a shot right to the gut, and there's a reason it's still considered a club classic. Even after being remastered by Claus Larsen, Leaether Strip's founder and sole member, there's plenty about this release that sounds dated, most notably in samples that are simply triggered rapid-fire rather than being fed through the digital manipulation that has become de rigueur these days, but at the very least they provide a sense of nostalgia. With the past decade or so giving the EBM scene a surfeit of George W. Bush clips, to hear his father's 1988 inaugural address sampled on "Torment Me" feels almost refreshing. What really gives this album its impact, though, is considering it from a historical perspective; the Hellraiser samples on "Satanic Citizen" may feel like old hat these days, but Larsen was one of the first to use them. Depending on how you feel about EBM, you may want to praise him or castigate him for setting a trend that still shows no sign of slowing, but there's no denying his influence. This album is a major branch of the dark electronic scene's evolutionary tree, with brooding cuts like "Cast-Away" and "Mohawk" providing the inspiration for acts like :Wumpscut: on the one hand and more aggressive dance floor killers like "Black Gold" and "Nosecandy" eventually giving rise to the terror EBM of Suicide Commando on the other. While the deluxe packaging and a bonus CD of rewritten, re-recorded album tracks makes this a must-have for hardcore Leaether Strip fans, the historical significance of this album makes it a perfect starting point for anyone interested in the roots of modern EBM.

For the latest news from the Claus Larsen camp, visit the Leaether Strip MySpace page at www.myspace.com/leaetherstrip.


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