LABEL: COP International
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Soman mastermind Kolja Trelle's motto is "Industrial for Clubs," and that's exactly what this CD delivers. Collecting a handful of new tracks with nearly a dozen remixes by his fellow power noise artists, this is nonstop DJ candy from start to finish, with no ballads, ambient tracks or contemplative soundscapes in sight. Three original tracks start things off, with a brief dark ambient introduction on "Absolution" quickly building into a minimalist power noise thump laced with subtle techno synths and samples from the science fiction film "Solaris." The aptly titled "Noise Anthem" is even more raw, a relentless four-on-the-floor beat built around a looped recital of the phrase "Power, energy, destruction, overdrive." A less distorted but similarly danceable rhythm augmented by subtle blips and an electro breakdown calls to mind industrial/techno crossover artist Adam X on "Hear the Noise," and then it's time for the remixes. Most of the contributing artists come from a similar musical background as Trelle himself, so there aren't really any surprises, but given that this is unapologetically aimed at moving dance floors rather than breaking boundaries, that's not such a bad thing. Noisuf-X's remix of "Divine" is nicely funky, with a big in-your-face synth line. SAM's remix of "Innocence V.2" is deep, dark and tense, with sampled movie violence and a clean but aggressive sound that recalls Terrorfakt. Xotox's mix of "Tears" is one of the CD's noisiest cuts, all sharp edges and ragged scrapes over a deliberately flattened beat, while Modulate's mix of "Divine" is surprisingly thoughtful in its pacing, though still hard and heavy in its rhythms. While the more melodic EBM group XP8 might be expected to deliver something more accessible, their own mix of "Divine" is no less aggressive; though the synthesizers are moderately thicker and harmonic, the track is still undoubtedly power noise at its heart, having undergone only minor surface transformations. The only real shocker is Trelle's own "2008 Mix" of "Skin," with its crooning female vocals delivered over a gritty, bass-heavy rhythm. Finishing things up is the original mix of "Divine," the track which appears most on this collection, and in its purest form it's a solid power noise track, thoroughly dark and thoroughly minimal, laced with pitch-shifted creaks and scrapes that elongate and then disintegrate. Thoughtfully crafted and singular in its aims, this is a solid introduction to an artist who is only growing in popularity, and it does exactly what it sets out to do. If "Industrial for Clubs" is what you need, look no further.
Check out www.soman.de for more information.
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