Another EBM act from the Czech Republic, Mastermind is a solo project from one of the members of Depressive Disorder. Like most of the Monopol Records bands, Mastermind distinguishes itself with top-notch, classic electro in the old-school formula, with funky breakbeats, ominous synthesizers, and partially distorted vocals. “The End of the Day” and “A Dust Bin” stand out as classic club tracks, and “Alone” is a bit more melodic but still minimal and beat-focused, like early Front 242. “Phobia” is also worth mentioning; it’s as dark and funky as the rest, but the keyboard arrangements are more progressive, almost reminiscent of Project Pitchfork. It’s the surprising mellow moments, however, that really set Mastermind apart from the rest. “Falling Into Darkness” is gorgeous and melancholy, and “Pain” floats along lightly instead of stomping on your backbone; it’s almost more of a synthpop song than an industrial track. “No Place” is fascinating, as well. It’s another moment of quiet sorrow, though the string pads are upbeat enough, and the vocals are left unprocessed and off-key, though so delightfully enthusiastic that they evoke grins instead of winces. Though Mastermind is a tad more uneven than Depressive Disorder’s latest release, this album is charming from start to finish, and all the more enjoyable for its diversity.
Visit http://www.mastermind.cz/ for more information on this project.
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