Artist: Various artists compilation
CD Title: Electro/R/Evolution Volume 1
Label: Static Sky Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
An excellent new compilation from Static Sky Records, this 16-song disc features some of the best in American dark electronic music. Stromkern start things off with a heavier, less bouncy remix of their latest single "Stand Up," while System Syn side project Fake get aggressive and political with "I Voted and It Didn't Count," which is harder, catchier, and just more fun to sing along to than anything System Syn's ever put out. Doomsday Virus's "Catastrophic Error," Preemptive Strike 0.1's "Lethal Defense Systems" and the evil yet upbeat terror EBM of Infinity Machine's "Our Hatred" are classic dance club selections with just a hint of a modern edge, while Reaper's "Angst" (remixed by Soman) and Caustic's "Drag Show Gone Wrong" are hard-hitting instrumentals that mix EBM with enough techno rhythm and distortion to give Combichrist fans a run for their money. Stochastic Theory's "In Time" is mellow and melancholy synthpop, while Brainclaw's "Fallen (Terminal Velocity Remix)" adds a touch of evil with bombastic synthesized choir effects. Though most of this album is devoted to EBM and synthpop, there are a few surprises, like Penal Colony's hardcore industrial punk anthem "Anomalous" and the acquired taste of cyberpunk rap group SMP's "Beta Male," but the most out-of-place entry is the overwrought gothic rock of "Song 13" by the Flying Buttresses, which is marred by off-key female vocals and amateurish production values. Much better is the "Full Moon Mix" of Ikon's "Psyhic Vampire," which integrates a driving electronic beat with the Australian band's Mission-inspired guitar work. Overall, this is an excellent compilation, and well-worth picking up for industrial and synthpop fans alike, and features far more pleasant surprises than unpleasant ones.
Visit www.staticskyrecords.net for more information on this compilation.