There’s something about Australia that leads to really interesting electronic music. First there was Snog, doing Johnny Cash by way of Front 242, and now there’s Tankt, a duo based in Melbourne that mixes elements of EBM, synthpop and hip-hop. The way this album starts, with the gradually building drums and Depeche-Mode-influenced vocals, you might think it’s just going to be another synthpop record, but by the time the rap-style vocals kick in on “Free Fall” you realize that this is something really different, a conclusion proven by the rapid-fire duet in Italian on “Vedo Rosso.” Though the album presents an extraordinarily diverse group of songs, many of the tracks are continuously mixed, giving the CD the feel of a night out in the clubs – appropriately enough, given the album’s title – rather than a random collection of dance tracks. The two-part epic “Tribe,” for example, evokes the shouts and beats of EBM pioneers like Nitzer Ebb, while “Bush On Fire” incorporates a politically inspired punk refrain with smooth techno production; as a bonus, the lyrics are both incisive and amusing. “Nite Ride” ends things on a more meditative note with its uncharacteristically melodic vocal harmonies layered over thick ambient tones. Tankt’s instrumentals are as interesting as their vocal tracks; “The Storms Of Beslan” starts off subdued and mellow but gradually adds more dissonance and distortion, while “In Apnea” teases by seeming to build into a crescendo but then dropping off into nothingness, with only the sparse blips of an old sonar display to punctuate the silence. If you want something you can dance and sing along to that won’t insult your intelligence, look no further than Tankt. Fans of Stromkern in particular should enjoy this smartly crafted album.
Get more information at www.tankt.com.au
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