Kaa Antilope - "Rise Up Helicopter, Like A Bird" (3:59)
Clan Of Xymox - "A Day" (6:40)
Ministry - "Same Old Madness" (5:10)
Fad Gadget - "Back To Nature" (5:51)
Review: With the renewed attention surrounding industrial and EBM in the last few years (and its influence on techno, again), it's important that someone with credentials gives the new generation a decent history lesson. Fitting that Berghain resident and MDR boss Marcel Dettmann curates a compilation of classics from the sound's heyday: here's someone who actually lived through it. As part of Amsterdam imprint Dekmantel's Selectors Series, these gems from yesteryear should certainly set the record straight and provide solid reference points for new school retroverts. Highlights (and there's many) include: Belgian EBM legends Front 242 with "Don't Crash", Philadelphia industrial underdogs Executive Slacks' "So Mote It Be" and the mandatory Cabs track comes in the form of "Low Cool" (the Marcel Dettmann Edit, no less). It wouldn't be a proper industrial comp without a bit of Wax Trax! would it? Label staples Ministry appear with their 1982 song "Same Old Madness", a period in the band's history that some consider their finest.
Review: Cache-Cache head honchos Andy Votel and Doug Shipton compile, in their words: unreleased, unknown and unwanted reluctant punk and snide synth pop. Well then: '70s porn funk merges with Latin exotica on Philippe Brejean's "Hilling Car" while Melbourne cosmic travellers Cybotron (yes you heard right, Juan Atkins this 'aint!) traverse the asteroid belt on "Sweet 16/9th Floor". There's more rare gems worth checking. Try Plastiktanz, who released their one and only 12" in 1981 and the curious minimal synth jam "Mir Geht Es Danke Gut" is taken from this. Don Gere, he of Werewolves On Wheels OST (another re-issue on Finders Keepers) goes all guns blazing on the psych rock of "There's A Star In You" while Bernard Szajner aka Zed, (recently rediscovered on Agoria's InFine imprint also) gives us the epic cosmic synth journey of "The Premen" too. There's a lot to get through here and it's all rather curious we must say. Highly recommended.
Review: Initially a duo responsible for a sole 7" release on Blind Prophet, Void Vision re-emerges here as the sole project of Shari Vari on this sublime 12" for the excellent Mannequin Records. The three track Sour precedes a debut Void Vision LP for the Berlin-based operation which is apparently due later this year and we cannot wait based on the sounds explored here. Lead track "Sour" is a ripe and muscular Italo track which is profoundly danceable and wholly erotic, whilst the accompanying remix from Bordello A Parigi pair Vanzetti & Sacco does a splendid job in magnifying more dancier elements of Void Vision's production. The full throttle instrumental thrust of closing track "20/20" will please fans of Void Vision's earlier work though we are more focused on what she's going to do next!
Review: Coldwave excursionist Shari Vari aka Void Vision finally comes through with her highly awaited Sub Rosa LP on the gorgeously on-point Mannequin imprint. The taster EP "Sour" out earlier this year was a taster of what's to come from Vari in terms of diversity and quality. Sub Rosa contains a little of everything when it comes to the electronic dance edge, where "Everythin Is Fine", for example, takes a techno beat and slaps down some vocals all over its makeup, while "Hidden Hand" is a true Drexciyan electro number. Then there's more abstract moments such as "Slow Down", "Vulgar Displays" with its rolling stabs of percussion and "Queen Of Hearts" with that humungous swell of low-end and quirky, heady melodies. Yum.
Review: Belgium's Twilight Ritual formed the essence of the coldwave movement throughout the '80s: a shadowy duo riding below the mainstream and making cutting-edge proto-techno that would, unknowingly to the band, sound still as fresh as ever thirty years later. Originally out on Micrart, Geert Coppens and Peter Bonne's debut album was only released on cassette and CDR back in 1982 but thankfully Onder Stroom drop the first ever vinyl version, including a beautiful insert. Ranging from wonky synth-pop to pseudo-industrial sounds, The Ritual is an album which truly represents the era that it was made in, a time when genres were being mixed and stripped on a constant basis and where making futuristic machine sounds was the most important objective on the agenda for many bands. If you're into slow-burning drum machine jams and fuzzy synths then this is your winning ticket. Gorgeous reissue.