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Manu Le Malin * Fighting Spirit (2cd 2002 bloc)

Yes it has been a while since I reviewed a tekno cd. I’m afraid that this will be a slow-growing section… I love the music, but it is not the kind that I play very often. Besides, too much tekno is shitty.
So what about this French act? I didn’t know them, but I saw them in a local recordstore. They are compared with DJ Producer (who contributes on one track), which was promising enough to listen to this double cd. The first cd is very technoïsh. Straightforward beats, here and there some ‘cuts-n-clicks’ and around the end some slightly harder material. On to cd two then. This is a total gabber-cd, but with a bit of a twist. Not 100% regular beats, but much more than Hellfish & Producer for example. Not extraordinary extreme though, but also this cd gets harder as it continues. A few very nice tracks, but to buy a 2cd for four tracks? The search continues…

Maxim * Hell’s Kitchen (cd 2000 xl-recordings)

Maxim is best known for being one of the two “MCs” of (the) Prodigy. As Prodigy developped more into a band and the music was no longer solely created by Liam Howlett, Maxim could also contribute to the music of Prodigy. Seemingly he likes creating music enough to record a full-length solo album.
Fortunately and maybe naturally “Maxim” doesn’t sound much like Prodigy. Once in a while you can hear some similarities, but this is mostly because the voice sounds familiar.
Anyway, after an intro and an alright techno track with Maxim’s vocals, it is time for the ‘hit’ that Maxim recorded with Skin of Skunk Anansie, a fairly slow and tranquil song with guitars and Skin’s (destorted) vocals. Overall I think it is fair to say that this cd has a more hiphop, pop, rock approach than Prodigy, but which you can sometimes hear there as well, for example in tracks like “Diesel Power” or “Fuel My Fire” (both from “Music For…”), but here a lot less energetic and with a more hiphop and pop orientation with a lot of raps, (female) vocals and guitars.
I don’t particularly like this cd. Sometimes it sounds quite alright, but in most cases the tracks are too tranquil for my liking and I it is often too poppy.

N-Vitral * Smocgh (12″ 2003 third movement)

I got this completely black 12″ that is released without cover or anything for my birthday. There is not more information on it than the text “T3rdM-00046” scratched on the extension groove (?). Third Movement is a Dutch techno label that releases serious industrial techno and that is exactly what N-Vitral makes. This is a Dutch artist used to make music on the early “gabber”-compilations “Thunderdome” but now makes more “intelligent dance music”. “Smocgh” sometimes reminds of industrialists such as Ah Cama Sotz, but at other times the sound is much like Hellfish (DJ Producer also has a cd on Third Movement). I suppose you will get the idea: heavy, but danceble industrial techno; and interesting too. This makes me wonder what more is released on progressive techno labels. And more, would fairly similar music be made in two different scenes without these two knowing this from eachother? <8/11/04><4>

The DJ Producer * Doomsday Mechaniks (cd 2004 the third movement)

I have two cds of Hellfish and Producer and one cd of Hellfish alone. None of Producer alone though, so I was delighted when I found out that I could just walk into a local recordstore and listen to one of them. “Doomsday Mechaniks” opens extremely loud, like the louder parts of the Hellfish/Producer cds so to say. At times Producer is so extreme that I get a grin on my face. It is a bit like listening to extremely brutal metal that is so aggressive that it becomes funny again. After a few tracks there is also room for less heavy tracks and some experimental things that bring back memories to the cooperation with Hellfish. Towards the end the beats-per-minute become more regular and faster again. Overall there is much more straightforward tekno on this cd than on any of the Hellfish/Producer cds which makes this the perfect addition to my tekno disco. A few points of comment are that the samples are sometimes a bit too obvious. I am not a walking techno catalogue by far, but I recognise samples from Moving Shadow releases (old drum ‘n’ bass / rave). Further there is one Dead Can Dance sample that I am not happy with. For the rest: great!

v/a * Audio Output 3 (cd 2004 the third movement)

I know this Dutch label from a 12″ that I got for my birthday (see N-Vitral review). N-Vitral makes industrial techno and the label appeared to be a post-gabber thing. I also noticed that The DJ Producer has a cd out on this label and when I walked to our local Midtown Recordstore (a chain of recordstore from one of the most famous gabbers of the past) I noticed that The Third Movement not only has vinyl, but also some cds and even two compilations. Last week I wanted to have a listen to one of these compilations. Audio Output 2 contains fairly heavy techno, but is sometimes a bit too much in the gabber-direction, with its “rave” sound. When I was looking if the shop also had the The DJ Producer cd, I noticed that Audio Output 3 just came in. So, here I have a cd with Peaky Pounder, Armageddon Project, N-Vitral, Promo, Micron, D-Passion, Moleculez, Xaphan and Daisy. Also for me not the most common names. If I remember correctly, the other compilations also had Venetian Square and Producer on. Anyway, Audio Output 3 is less ‘gabberish’. It is not all extremely loud techno, there is room for more ‘tranquil stuff’ (relatively speaking of course) and especially more experimental. Some tracks are very heavy and there sure are some marvelous tracks to be heard. All in all this makes this cd a very nice compilation for those of you who are also looking for the better “tekno”.

Loftgroover presents Speedcore (2cd 1998 harmless records)

“Speecore” is here presented as ‘post-gabber’. Loftgroover is a UK dj that mixed two cds together with what he calls “industrial techno and thrash dance”. However there are a few gabber-parodies on this cd, most of it is definately a continuation of what in the Netherlands used to be (or is) gabber. It is harder, more violent, less danceble, more experimental and less joyous in sound. Some tracks even sound agressive. Not everything I hear is very good, but overall this is a pretty extreme techno cd. Around the end of the second disc Loftgroover mixes three nice jokes in his Speedcore cd: Dismember, Morbid Angel and Brutal Thruth! Kind of makes me think about this lousy Earache cd “Extreme metal meets extreme techno” or something. BUT, a pretty funny ‘compilation’ to find out what happened after gabber and particularly abroad.

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.