Muscle And Hate is a special collaborative project featuring the vocal talents of Italian EBM band XP8 and programmer Sebastian Komor (of Icon Of Coil, Monofader and Moonitor) and paying tribute to seminal industrial dance act Nitzer Ebb. The six cover songs presented here do a good job honoring the originals while adding a more modern sensibility. In addition to the beat-focused minimalism of tracks like "Control I'm Here" and "Fun To Be Had," Komor adds analog acid lines and streamlined production values, and XP8's Paul Toohill's vocals, though not as raw-throated as Douglas McCarthy's, are very much in keeping with Nitzer Ebb's trademark style of shouts and reverb, toning down only slightly on the classic "Murderous" and adding a hint of playful sarcasm to "Violent Playground." The more modern electronic sensibilities of "Let Your Body Learn" are catchy and upbeat enough to appeal even to modern synthpop fans without alienating the old school contingent, while a brilliant, techno-inspired rendition of dance floor favorite "Join In The Chant" is slick and speedy enough for industrial club and rave alike. In addition to six cover songs, this CD also features several remixes, including Komor's Moonitor remix of "Control I'm Here" and XP8's high-BPM interpretation of "Let Your Body Learn." For old-school techno fans, DJ Lee's mix of "Join In The Chant" brings a touch of acid to the foreground, and DJ Delobbo's mix of "Fun To Be Had" is a minimal stomp for lovers of house music. Old school industrial purists are notoriously hard to please, but this special tribute should go a long way in highlighting the newest EBM generation's respect for their forefathers.
Visit the "violent playground" at nilaihah.com/muscle_and_hate.htm to "join in the chant" and download song samples. There's also "fun to be had" at the project's MySpace profile at www.myspace.com/muscleandhate.
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