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techno music

v/a * 21st Century Drum+Bass (cd 2000 react music limited)

I don’t know if any of you read the review of the Bad Company 2cd of a while back and decided to have a listen in the shop but came to the conclusion that this cd is too expensive for a kind of music that you usually don’t listen/buy? Well, here I have got a descent alternative. “21st Century Drum+Bass” spans 3 cds and will cost you the price of one! That is not even everything, because the d+b is not the usual d+b with vocal(sample)s, too many change of rhythm and melodies that we are not waiting for (I am not at least), but more minimal harsch and rather dark d+b (however dark is of course very relative when you usually listen to dark industrial, etc.). No-nonsense d+b put together for an agreeable price. The best Bad Company tracks can be found here and also one track of the Matrix cd (also reviewed somewhere). This is a minor point about this compilation or actually of any d+b compilation: many songs appear on many other compilations of cds of the bands themselves. Further I find nothing much to complain. Over three hours of nice to brilliant d+b in a style that I like best. Of course not every track is equally brilliant and the minor tracks seem to be concentrated on the third disc. And I think this may be a good introduction for those who are not yet familiar with 21st century techno.

v/a * Y3K – deep progressive breaks (cd 2000 distinct’ive breaks)

Y3K is the 2000 follow up of the Y2K compilation series. The shop where I got this one filed it under “big beat – nu skool breaks” and to me the featured tracks mostly hold the middle between drum & bass and big beats, which are fairly similar in rhythm, but d&b uses a lot of (difficult) beats, while big beats is a bit more minimal and often harder.
The cd opens rather tranquil, but fortunately the tracks become a bit harder as the cd continues. I prefer techno a little rougher… Of course the whole thing is mixed together, which you see most of the times with these kinds of compilations.
Actually this cd is better than the previous ones that I heard in this series and also more interesting than many other d&b compilations, because most of the tracks on Y3K are indeed quite progressive, while many compilation tend so sound alike. Not that this cd is extremely good, because still the music is a bit to tranquil for my taste, but there is an agreeable amount of low frequencies and some healthy experimentalism.

Venetian Snares * Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2cd/cd 2005 planet-mu)

Aaron Funk was in Hungary and you will know. The title means something like ‘It was born under a bad star’. When I heard about this album I downloaded the teasers from the label’s site. 2 Mins of every track was enough for me to write a review, but also to make me decide to get a copy of the album. Venetian Snares is known to most people for his extremely experimental and most of all loud “breakcore”. On the latest album you will get (live) orchestrations with ‘intelligent dance music’ on the background. Strange and nice, but not entirely original. Fuckarma did somthing similar and I also have a Fuckstörung track in this vein. But still, Venetian Snares is a bit harder than the other two and a whole album makes a nice diversity between my usual kinds of music. From orchestral music to fucked-up Aphex Twin techno. Visit the label’s site for a teaser.

Hecate vs Lustmord * Law Of The The Battle Of Conquest (mcd 2002 hymen records)

Don’t confuse the first band with the German folkband Hekate with a “K”. Folkiness has nothing to do with “Law Of…”. This mcd is a mix between harsch dancable industrial and dark industrial soundscapes resulting two tracks of each. All in all not brilliant, but not really bad either.
The cd is something I never saw before. It is a disc with the size of a normal cd, but only 3″s are in silver (making a 3″ cd) and the rest transparrant plastic! Very strange! This mcd also comes on vinyl by the way.

Forthcoming Fire * In Flammen! (cd 2004 vaws) & Siberian Summer (cdr 2005 vaws)

I only knew Forthcoming Fire for being the pre-Von Thronstahl band. I had half a cd on tape, but was way too late to be able to order any of their albums. Years ago I found their albums on a Russian mp3 site, paid, but presumably illegal. FF makes gothic/wave, but as the band continued, but music became better, more technoish and a bit like what Von Thronstahl would sound like. Especially “Watching Rome Burn” (1999) is a magnificent album. Then there were problems with a major deal for Sony who complained about the politics of the band, the fact that they appeared on “Riefenstahl” and similar compilations and the band was dropped, dismantled and Von Thronstahl was formed. Apparently the band couldn’t just leave it like that and released two cds which I have never been able to buy anywhere (probably because of the label). Actually now that I ran into them on a P2P network, I am glad about that! Both the album and the mcd are boring and nothing like the FF of “Watching Rome Burn”. Slightly gothic of sound and in my opinion rather unimaginable. Oh well, at least I heard them now. u

Forthcoming Fire * Watching Rome Burn (cd 1999 vaws)

I don’t know the whole/exact story of the ‘fall’ of Josef Klumb, but let me start with a few quotes from the Von Thronstahl interview in “Letters From The Nuovo Europae”. “I lost a lot. But I never sold my soul to the highpriests of dust. I lost a big deal with SONY MUSIC as a label mate of MICHAEL JACKSON. For some months I was in the great position to overflow all my enemies, in the position of becoming a rock star but they wanted me to say – sorry for knowing Werner Symanek, sorry for working on Riefenstahl and Thorak CDs, and sorry for all the the fascist believing I had, I want to be a good guy like the antifascists ….But I didn’t and that is how I became the fallen angel, thrown out of the rock-n-roll-heaven in which only “good” rock stars can shine.” And regarding the following line: “VON THRONSTAHL is not my way of revenge – it’s more the way of victory.” it seems most logical to conclude that is was Forthcoming Fire that was supposed to be the big band.
“But is Von Thronstahl the continuation of FF?”, you may ask. No, both bands appear on compilations such as “Thorak” and “Riefenstahl”, so these are two musical expressions of Josef K.
Listening to Forthcoming Fire you can hear a few similarities. Tracks like “Signal & Signs” and “Brennende Himmel” sound quite similar to Von Thronstahl at times. Also there is neo-folk on this cd (“Europa Calling” and “Outside Metropolis”), but the largest part of this cd doesn’t have all that much to do with (dark) folk or even industrial music.
FF has a lot of gothic influences, especially in the manner of singing. Also there is a lot of techno in the music. Especially the technoish tracks sound pretty good, but they are often interrupted by the no-very-good gothic parts. Some songs/parts are even simply horrid in my ears. But it is not only the Von Thronstahl like tracks that I do like, also for example “Open Fire!” and “Ernte Den Sturm” sound quite nice. Overall I am not too impressed by FF though.

Empusae * Funestus (cd 2002 divine comedy)

Well, definately a cd that I wouldn’t have bought myself, but I got a copy of it from a friend. A Belgiun technoish industrial act reminding a bit of their country-mates This Morn’ Omnia. Quite nice actually, dancable but still industrial.

Chaos/Order * Order/Chaos (cd 2000 karnak)

No, this is not a compilation cd, but not really a ‘self titled’ cd either. Since the second word is upside down, the title may as well be Chaos/Order, it only depends on how you have the box in your hands.
The distro from which I got this title said that it is: “a mix between industrial, techno and noise”, but this really gives a wrong idea of the cd. It actually is a techno cd, but very strange and indeed with some industrial influences. Mostly -though- it presents a strange mix between several kinds of techno. The music is very chaotic, strange and nothing like I had ever heard before. Not just techno, that’s for sure! And sometimes it is quite irritating, at other times really great and on several occasions, this weird Italian act had some great ideas. I can recommand this disc to anyone who isn’t afraid of some experimental techno.
Karnak seems to be a subdivision of Radio Luxor by the way.