Claus Larsen is back, and it’s as if he never left. This EP, a teaser for a forthcoming double-album, is EBM in the Leæther Strip tradition at its finest, with thumping beats, dramatic raspy – but clean – vocals, and lots of samples. The only evidence that this is brand new material and not some collection of undiscovered B-sides is that George W. Bush is sampled in title track “Suicide Bombers,” and the fact that a processed female voice announces that “Leæther Strip is back!” on “The Shame of a Nation.” It’s great stuff, though, with hard-hitting beats, aggressive vocals that are clear enough to sing along to with gusto (“Evacuate or die, motherfucker!” being a particular favorite) and plenty of samples. “Death Is Walking Next To Me” is delicious club candy, while “This Is Where I Want To Be” is a bit slower, with dramatic string pads adding atmosphere to the stomping drum machine. There are also a couple of instrumentals rounding out this seven-track EP. “Til Far” is cinematic, progressive and utterly gorgeous, while “Reborn” is far darker, with lots of layered string arrangements. Too few American EBM fans are fully aware of the influence this project has had – among other things, it’s said that Larsen’s work is what inspired Rudy Ratzinger to start making music as Wumpscut – and hopefully now that Leæther Strip is back on the scene a new audience can discover this truly classic artist.
Visit the Alfa Matrix website at www.alfa-matrix.com for more information on Claus Larsen and Leæther Strip.
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