Tuesday, 23rd May 2017. 8:51:32am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Synthpop, New Wave De/Vision- Subkutan


Artist: De/Vision
CD Title: Subkutan
Label: Dancing Ferret Discs
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 8-21-06

 

 

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De/Vision's new CD starts off with "Subtronic," a funky techno song in which lead singer Steffen Keth informs us that "When I'm on the mic/We gonna rock you right." What's weird is that Keth croons it; though the beats are block-rocking enough, the vocal delivery hardly suggests rock 'n' roll attitude. The weird incongruities continue on "The End," which features such misanthropic lyrics as "You make me puke/I can't stand your stupid face" juxtaposed with synthesizers that can only be described as perky. These puzzling paradoxes aside, though, this album is enjoyable from start to finish, taking a modern approach to electronic music similar to that of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails' most recent work. Distorted synthesizers take the place of overdriven guitars, and techno and trance influences add dance floor attitude on tracks like "Obey Your Heart" and "E-Shock." De/Vision's approach to vocal production also owes at least as much to '90s rave culture as '80s synthpop, with lots of chopped up loops and cuts and comparatively little vocoder. For quieter moments, there's also a good selection of ballads, with the ambient pop of "No Tomorrow" and deep, echoing pianos of "My Own Worst Enemy" being particularly memorable. Most unique on this album, though, is the German-language "In Dir," which adds hints of wah-wah pedal and theremin to the mix for a space-age lounge feel. De/Vision have a real talent for catchy hooks and lush arrangements, and they've managed to create an original sound that's inspired by classic synthpop without actually sounding much like it, which makes them a refreshing alternative to the electroclash scene. De/Vision are modern, slick, and hard to resist, so check this album out for a peek into the future of synthpop.

Visit www.devision-music.com for more information.


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