Archive for industrial

Combichrist / Making Monsters

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2200000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Making Monsters

Combichrist was formed in 2003 by Norwegian Andy LaPlegua (founder of the band Icon of Coil) as an aggrotech project.

In 2003 Combichrist released the LP The Joy of Gunz. On Halloween 2003 the limited edition EP Kiss The Blade was released, and sold out in weeks.

In 2004, The second EP, Sex, Drogen Und Industrial, spent 7 weeks at number one in the DAC charts. The same time Sex, Drogen Und Industrial was released, a limited edition white-vinyl 12″ for Blut Royale was produced, and sold out quickly. 2005 saw the release of Everybody Hates You and it was at this time that the band began labeling their music as “Techno Body Music” or TBM. The band released a song called “This is TBM” on the Out-of-Line compilation Techno Body Music volume 1. The release of Get Your Body Beat in 2006 turned out to be a commercial breakout for the band. In 2007 What the Fuck Is Wrong with You People? was released, becoming a best seller for both Metropolis and Out of Line records. Combichrist released Today We Are All Demons on Jan 20, 2009. They have a new percussionist, Trevor Friedrich, formerly of Eighteen Visions and Imperative Reaction, for the tour who was temporarily replaced by Mark Jackson of VNV Nation for part of the 2009 European tour. The band had been selected to support Industrial Metal band Rammstein for their 2009 European tour and continued to support them during the 2010 part of the tour.

Combichrist’s song “Shut Up and Bleed” featuring W.A.S.T.E was featured in the horror movie The Collector.

The new album, Making Monsters, has had full tracks available for streaming on the website, each track being rolled out for a new one. Combichrist will be undertaking a tour in support of the new album in late 2010, with Aesthetic Perfection and iVardensphere as the support bands.

The Analysis:

 Declamation—-This minute and a half intro track only allows you a brief glimpse of the electronic power and mayhem that is a Combichrist release….and sets you up for…

Follow The Trail Of Blood—-Featuring the vocalist of Bleeding Through, the introduction music to this song is fantastic. This is the kind of music that Trent Reznor used to make..full of emotion and anger…vigor and energy, hate and disgust. The track is rather sedate until the full vocal enters…giving you a huge cross EBM and Metal. This is not a favorite, but it does prove that this appeals to just about everyone.

Never Surrender—-This is freakin fantastic…from the first notes of this song! The bass is so heavy that it moves your inside even if you are wearing headphones. The programming is magnificent…the vocal enters and you are in a world full of intense and dark lyrics that seem to be written for you. This is a nice mixture of pure dance beats and an aggressive delivery that leaves you shell-shocked. This is Assemblage 23 X’s 4!!!

Throat Full Of Glass—-Entering my headphones with this huge aggro-beat, the manipulations and machine generated noise really challenges your ears. The vocal is introduced and the result is magnificent…with a slight more aggressive sound than Tom Shear, it is obvious why these two bands have a kinship. This is the kind of music that I easily lose myself in and become addicted to in a heartbeat. this is fantastic…the chorus is so damn catchy…I wonder why this band is not much larger than it is!!! Fantastic!

Fuckmachine—-Beginning rather quiet and building slowly, it is only a matter of seconds before this song literally takes over your headphones and transports you into a dark club full of pulsing beats. The energy is remarkable…you can’t sit still as you listen…when the manipulated vocal enters the sound scape, you are enveloped in a post-modern NIN sound that is a nice mix of Trent and KMFDM. This is freakin’ incredible!

Forgotten—-The beginning atmosphere is nice, but you are just left waiting..a bit too long…for the muscular beats that you know are going to lead the song right into the center of your cerebellum. The scape that the band produces are mind numbing…this is huge machine-made music that leaves you gasping for breath. I love this band!!!

Just Like Me—-Beginning with a perverted version of Jesus Loves Me, it is only seconds before the huge electronic sounds blow out your eardrums. The vocal is straight up and delivered without manipulation…allowing you to realize that the lyrics are accessible to anyone person that might choose to listen to this. This is remarkably aggressive, but so damn honest that you can’t ignore the sentiment.

Slave To The Machine—-This is pure 90’s era NIN revisted….the beats are huge and aggressive…the lyrics are full of feelings of alienation and the inability to relate to other human beings. Combine this all together in a blender and you have the continuation of a genre that many people consider to be dead. Make no bones about it…EBM is alive and well and it lives in Norway??? Indeed.

Through The Eyes Of Pain—-The intro to this surprises me…from the title I expected this to be much more aggressive from the onset. When the vocal emerges, you have a composition that is so dark..you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is incredibly brilliant…full of words, thoughts and delivery that seems to be written for me at this moment in my life. this is intense, personal and put on full display for everyone to enjoy…remarkable!

Monster:Murder:Kill—-Wow…this is freakin magnificent!!! Beginning with some old school manipulated lyrics that remind you of the 80’s, the beats that hit you are intense as fuck. the melody that runs through the underbelly of this song is magnificent…the machine made vocals are like classic sounds from old 80’s old school rap…this is a journey through a life time of musical references. I love this….without a doubt, my favorite track from this release…this has something for everyone!!!

They—-Beginning with that rhythmic machine generated sound that this band makes so wonderfully well, the vocal is delivered pure and unadulterated and allows you to fall into the dark emotion with little problem. The voice is a nice solid delivery of Manson meets Reznor and is intermixed with some nice vocoded sounds as well. The bass always comes back to smack you in the face though and the synth beats are pure Assemblage 23…this is the future of EBM…listen, enjoy…listen,digest…listen,fall in love!!!

Reclamation—-It is with huge disappointment that I come to the end of this release…this has been a pure enjoyable romp through some sounds that I had given up on. this band makes music that is personal and seems tailor-made to my personal tastes…I have developed a real kinship for the output. This last song leaves a wonderful taste in my mouth and makes me so hungry for more…this is a classic rendition of so many of those EBM songs that live forever…this reminds me of NIN/Prick in only the best of ways. This is huge…full of abrasive sounds yet lyrics that are incredibly personal and revealing. What a great journey this has been!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

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Prick/Prick

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Prick

Kevin Michael McMahon (born September 21, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a musician, singer, and songwriter for the long-standing bands Lucky Pierre and Prick.

McMahon began recording with his pop group Lucky Pierre in 1974, releasing a number of vinyl singles though 1981. Lucky Pierre initially consisted of: John Guciardo- Lead Guitar, Brian Dempsey- Drums, Dennis DeVito- Bass and McMahon on Guitar & Lead Vocals. In 1976, Tom Lash joined the band on bass guitar, and DeVito moved to guitar. Tom Miller played keyboards at this time. In 1977, Dempsey left the band and was replaced by drummer Gary Shay, and then drummer Dave Zima. After many live shows, both Tom Miller and John Gusciardo left Cleveland for California and DeVito switched to lead guitar. Many showcase concerts, radio broadcasts, and a few 45RPM singles followed. Lucky Pierre continued as a four-piece outfit, sometimes augmented by horns and vocalists to perform the array of song styles McMahon was developing. McMahon then went on hiatus until 1988, when Lucky Pierre recorded the Communiqué EP with Guciardo, Lash, Zima, and friend Trent Reznor making guest appearances. The 1988 line-up of Lucky Pierre included Trent Reznor (then of the Exotic Birds, later of Nine Inch Nails), and was managed by Exotic Birds/NIN manager John Malm, Jr.. Lucky Pierre disbanded again after the recording of Communiqué, but McMahon remained in contact with Reznor and Malm.

During the early 1990s, McMahon began his second musical project, the industrial rock band Prick. Prick was eventually signed to Reznor and Malm’s Nothing Records label. The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 1995, with Reznor producing four of the album’s ten tracks. Prick’s lead single, “Animal,” received high rotation on MuchMusic and MTV, and Prick opened the US leg of Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie‘s Outside tour. Nothing’s parent label, Interscope Records, dropped Prick before McMahon could record a follow-up. [1]

In the wake of this setback, McMahon went on another years-long hiatus from music. Prick reemerged in 2002 with The Wreckard, independently released by McMahon over the Internet, and featuring many songs once slated for the second, canceled Nothing Records album. Two years later, McMahon released Lucky Pierre’s first full album, ThinKing, again selling the album independently online.

In October 2008, McMahon re-emerged with the hard-rock track “Runaway Brain,” this time under the moniker ( sic ). The song was available from the fansite http://www.luckyprick.net/ for a limited time, with a note in the MP3’s metadata noting, “prick or treat – derailing things to come from luckypierremusic – THIS NOVEMBER (or …it all depends on the speed of green)”.

In an interview released in March 2009 on the fansite http://www.luckyprick.net/ , McMahon talked about possible future releases, and also announced that http://www.luckypierremusic.com/ will be online again, with merchandising an re-releases of The Wreckard and ThinKing (in new packagings) for sale, and maybe re-mastered tracks of Lucky Pierre.

On June 21, 2009, luckypierremusic.com went live, offering digital downloads, new and vintage shirts and hats, and new CDs. As alluded to previously, The Wreckard and ThinKing are being reissued, and the Fear of Blue and (sic) album and EP are also being released. All of the music can be obtained through a six-CD package which features a Prick Live CD only available as part of the package.

Communique’—-This comes out of the quiet at you like a swarm of bees and settles on you like Murray Head singing from Chess. The music becomes even more aggressive, while the vocal retains a quaint style of theatrics that is incredible. There are lots of electronic manipulations, but in the end, you know that you have enjoyed one of the most underappreciated tracks of the last decade and a half. The sexual overtones are everywhere….awesome!!!

River Head—-Beginning right off with the quaint lightly accented vocal, the song is heavily manipulated vocally except for the magnificent chorus that allows you to hear how wonderful Kevin’s vocals really are. This is yet another sexually charged song that has some really interesting and layered instrumental excursions. There are so many blips and beats in the background you think there must be a thousand robots running around the studio. This is freakin’ magnificent.

Tough—-Electronically aggressive, the backdrop of actual guitars needed moved more to the front of the mix, but beside that I have little complaint…Kevin sings in an almost unmanipulated vocal which is really nice…he comes across sounding incredibly like Marilyn Manson….sweet!!! The music remains manic in the backdrop…this really opens up at about the two-minute mark and the result is incredible….just as quickly all the lush sounds disappear and you are left again with the manic electronics…this is almost orgasmic!!!

Other People—-Is there such a thing as electronic Blues? If so, the onset of this song is a great Industrialized blues song. The vocal is mostly a talk through until the chorus when Kevin tends to holler. I like this…there are some nice hi-points in the song. When he insists that he needs to get to know you first….you are like …ok…one of those!!! This is nice…not a favorite but pretty damn intense.

No Fair Fights—-For me, this is the high point of the release. This is a gut-wrenching, angry, gentle, confused, sorrowful, maniacal track. To try to describe it is almost impossible…the track has a theatrical element to it…an emotional level that digs deep into my heart…an anger that I feel at least twice a day. And a remarkable sense of joy at realizing the fragility of ourselves….I could NEVER ask for more.

Animal—-With nice subtle electronic noises in the backdrop, the gentle guitar gives way to a gentle vocal. the lyrical content is full of sexual innuendos and the music provides that nice sensual build up as the song leads you on the journey to release. The entire song is an orgasm trip and it works so well you will relive it time and time again. This is tremendous!!

I Got It Bad—-The music comes out at you from the silence like a German police car…the vocal is gentle and the guitar enters and takes a nice line. The drums…real or manufactured are really powerful. the vocal goes back and forth from natural to manipulation. the chorus has this irresistable melody that sticks in your head for HOURS after you hear this. This is just really great stuff…why this band, or man, was not huge is beyond me..I think he did not want to be!!!

I Apologize—-Full of self-deprecating lyrics, the surprisingly jangly guitar is a nice surprise. Of course, Trent gets his hand in the mix and adds some noise to a song that could have been rather nice just as it was. The lyrics are so revealing and introspective. This is really great!!! At times, this becomes an almost white noise affair…one extreme to the other…remarkable.

Crack—-Underneath all of the noise and effects, there runs a melodic instrumental line that makes this song almost addictive…this is great rock….fantastic noise and even better music. Kevin delivers this layered, introspective, baring music and lyric that makes you feel guilty for eavesdropping…until you find out he is talking about YOU!!!

Makebelieve—-Beginning rather avant-garde, the vocal enters sounding like the last song in a musical…..the sound enters a plush sound and the lyrics are even more present…making you listen for every word. There seems to be a gentle flute floating around in the mix and Kevin sings of the things that we only think about when we are by ourselves. There are intermittent noises throughout the song, but the main constant is that piano chord…more masterful than Numan’s Down In The Park. This is incredible…latered, emotional and intense in every note. Truly a masterful track to reach for time and time again. This is a tale of life coming apart!

*****+ out of 5  [!!!!!+]

KMFDM/Krieg

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 150000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Krieg

KMFDM is an industrial metal band led by founding member Sascha Konietzko, who started the group as a performance art project. There have been a number of line-up changes over the years, including a temporary disbandment from 1999–2002, with Konietzko being the only constant.

Since their founding in 1984, they have released sixteen studio albums. They had sold approximately 2 million records in the United States alone as of September 2003,[1] with multiple albums selling more than 100,000 copies and a number of singles becoming club hits.

They have been mentioned in connection with two separate school shooting controversies, but have repeatedly distanced themselves from any incitements to violence.

Krieg is an industrial rock album by KMFDM containing remixes of songs from their 2009 album Blitz. It was released January 5, 2010, on KMFDM Records. [Wikipedia]

Bait & Switch [All 4 One Mix]—-Make no mistakes….if you are expecting something different from these remixes by KMFDM, you will be disappointed. This is consistent Industrial German Rock that is built for the darker dancefloors and is the reason we buy these remix CD’s the band consistently release. This is fantastic….up and comers Combichrist take the best elements of this song and smacks you over and over the head with them…thhis is damn near ecstatic!!!

Strut [Disco Balls Mix]—-Blending perfectly from the previous song, this does have a nice Disco Beat that still manages to keep, in the backdrop, the more aggressive tones of the song. This is remarkable and it is hard to imagine from this track that the band can be as heavy-handed and aggressive as they can be. This is nice, but settles to comfortably in the dance floor element to be relevant. Give me that heavier and darker tone please.

Potz Blitz [Harmonic Tremors Mix]—-From the onset, you at once notice that the song has a darker tone and more machine generated noise than anything thus far on the release…it is done with flair and mastery. The vocal is so distorted…the deep synth bass is so aggressive and the tone of the song so menacing it makes you yearn for the leather back rooms of Germany. This is the KMFDM we all know and love…welcome guys!!!

Bait & Switch [Sacred Cow Mix]—-The interesting thing about remix releases are how other people interpret the song of another. This remix of the first song featured is a prime example of the wonderment. This is faster, harder and more aggressive than you could imagine…although the song keeps the catchy and contagious female vocal, the backdrop is dark and menacing…coming off like a Nightwish song…seriously…this is fantastic. I love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Never Say Never [Naughty Habit Mix]—-Creeping from the synth laden intro, the song has a nice element of the original, but comes across as rather sedate at the onset. the guitars ramp up by the third bar, but the song never really goes anywhere for me. The sound of the recording is so deep and underproduced that it sounds almost like a bootleg recording. This falls flat for me, but the simple chorus takes you back to the glory days when KMFDM and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult ruled the Industrial dance floor.

People Of The Lie [Requiem Mix]—-This is odd from the onset, the piano based mix is a surprise..allowing a KMFDM song to take on a slight edge of beauty…what is that all about? The end result is something nice to listen to on occasion, but this is almost a letdown when you are in the mood for the hard, driving industrial pounding that this band can give you….next….

Bitches [Pop Will Eat This Mix]—-This remix begins with lots of promise….the build up is masterful and you feel the blood begin to boil as the bass hits and the synth lines enters at a 1000 beats per minute. This is fun…the intro becomes the song and lasts a bit too long….dying from over exposure. The vocal is heavily distorted, removed and sparse…noe the less this is great between song banter that will keep people on the floor while digging through your crates.

Never Say Never [Confessional Mix]—-This is a bit better than the previous effort of this remix…the dance beats are huge while still retaining some of the industrial flair that the band has become known for….this still plays like an old school MLWTKK but none the less, this is lots of fun and definite must for the party atmosphere.

People Of The Lie [Crooked Illusion Mix]—-This plays much different from what I expected…the beats are almost a downbeat version of the original and Sascha is all but missing from this release…this is all female vocal and falls flat for me…where is the aggression and the sharp beats that leave you stunned?

Davai [Cyrillic Mix]—-Now…..this is what I have been pining for…the beats are much sharper..the vocal a nice blend of Distorted German and the huge swirl of German Industrial takes over you headphones…the guitars in the backdrop give just the needed sound of aggression…this is almost heaven for me.

Never Say Never [Candy Apple Mix]—-Another remix of this song is really not necessary…..the fun thing is that for me is that this is the most pleasant and wonderful crossover of pop music that has ever been recorded. This is really remarkable, sounding like a classic 80’s song that you have never heard before…Christ…this is genius!!!!

Davai [Bloody Fog Mix]—-Remixed by Assemblage 23, this takes on a much harder edge than I expected. The synth manipulations are wonderful, but the trademark 23 sounds permeate the song as well. This is more aggressive than you would expect, but Tom has his hands all over the sound and you recognize this if you are even a little familiar with Assemblage 23. This is remarkable…I’m thinking these guys should have fun and work more together!!!!

**** out of 5

Filter/The Very Best Things [1995-2008]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 150000003UTC 12 by marky7235

The Very Best Things is a greatest hits compilation from American Industrial Rock Band Filter. Released in March 2009, this release contains songs from the bands 4 studio releases as well as 4 songs from soundtracks.

Hey Man Nice Shot [from Short Bus]—-This, the very first single from the band was much more aggressive and in your face then the later material. There remains an element of black humor and an overwhelming powerhouse chorus. The song revolves around the Pennsylvania official who shot himself in the head at a public news conference. The music is aggressive and driving, the vocal sometimes manipulated to the best of degrees. A classic song that is still very listenable today.

Welcome To The Fold [from Title Of Record]—-From the bands second, and my personal favorite release, the song is probably the most aggressive and straight on metal of the entire release. The guitars create a nice wall of noise while Patrick delivers a clear machine free vocal that is rough and industrial edged until the chorus brings in the most damn pleasant clean voice you have ever heard. This is a nice mix and was the beginning of a new sound for the band as they attempted a crossover to mainstream rock. This is still fantastic!!!

Jurristol [from The Crow: City Of Angels]—-This is decidedly dark and full of heavy bass guitars, spastic drums and an increasing machine hum in the backdrop that deters you from the lackluster performance. The chorus is Alice In Chains inspired, but for me the track is flat and lifeless.

[Can’t You] Trip Like I Do w/The Crystal Method [from Spawn: The Album]—-This soundtrack was full of the most unlikely duo’s and this turned out to be the sleeper hit of the entire thing. This combines a rough noisy electronic backdrop with a vocal that is both aggressive and trippy. This is remarkable…when the chorus really hits and you here the full power of the voice you will fall in love. This is great!!!

Take A Picture [from Title Of Record]—-Perhaps the highpoint of the band’s recording career thus far, I even have hard-core dance remixes of this track. This was a sales and chart peak for the band and you listen in awe. The song is literally amazing and has held its age so well, you feel like you heard it for the first time last week. You might even listen to it twice!!!! With a nice acoustic intro that really just becomes electric acoustic, the voice is so clear and pained that you melt…wonderful!!!

Soldiers Of Misfortune [from Anthems For The Damned]—-Even more mainstream than the previous track, this is a mundane and seemingly uninspired track that is trying to fit in the Modern Rock world. The aggression and passion seems misplaced and the song sounds like a throwaway U2 track.

Where Do We Go From Here [from The Amalgamet]—-Wonderfully sliding between the beginnings of the band and the development of the band, this is a wonderfully acoustic style recording that comes alive at the chorus with aggression and a tortured vocal. This is fantastic….Patrick cannot only holler, he can blend and deliver a melody with the best of them.

Dose [from Short Bus]—-Returning to the first release and putting this right smack dab in the middle of everything was brilliant…this is great placement. The voice is manipulated and tortured, the guitars are walls of gentle feedback that wakes you from the dull sound of the mundane day. This is fantastic!!!

I’m Not The Only One [from Title Of Record]—-still one of my favorite releases of the latter 90’s, this record is one I return to again and again when I need a little rougher introspection. This vocal begins in a wonderful melodic form that also allows a gentle manipulated hum and soft high hats from the drums. Gradually the song comes from the edges, but still remains distant and intense in the feel of the music. This is wonderful….when the song really comes alive at the 3 minute mark, the drums and guitars become more prominent until they finally become the stars of the show…..the song ends in a wonderful noisy way that still maintains the melody you had at the very onset!

Skinny [from Title Of Record]—-More of the previous song, the main difference is the gentleness and beauty of the voice. The song shows promise as more and more sounds are introduced…the chorus is a nice dark aggression. The song content is intense and inspiring!!!! This is remarkable….a fantastic metamorphosis.

One [from X-Files: Fight For The Future]—-A fantastic rendition of the Three Dog Night classic, the song is even more moody than the original. The backdrop is dark and layered with electronic sounds and a constant kick drum. the vocals are literally overlayed and play really well. The chorus comes alive in a sound that is so reminiscent of the Filter of old…the aggression and putrid emotion that emerges in incredible!!! Awesome.

The Best Things [from Title Of Record]—-My favorite track from this CD, the sound is more Electronic and aggressive. The voice seems to be wearing a slight manipulation, making it seem a little cloudy. The pace of the song is fantastic and the chorus is a huge self-deprecating ode that makes you sit back and say….oh!  Fantastic!

The Only Way [Is The Right Way] [from The Amalgamet]—-With an almost jangly guitar sound and a vocal that seems pitched to high, this is not a favorite. The wonderfully constructed chorus saves the song from my own personal oblivion. Nice at points, but a little too far from the originality of the band for me…..sorry.

Thanks Bro [from Songs In The Key Of X: The Television Series Soundtrack]—-Ugh!!!

*** 1/2 out of 5

Gary Numan/Scarred [Live Brixton Academy 2000]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 250000002UTC 12 by marky7235

Scarred is a live album by English Musician Gary Numan. Released in January 2003, this release is a historical recording of Numan’s October 2000 show, which was a warm up for the Electronic God’s Pure tour. This is an enhanced recording with videos on the disc as well as a nine panel fold out sleeve from the date. This also feature liner notes from fan and follower Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory. I was fortunate enough to see this tour at a very small club in Pontiac. Mich. It was none the less, life changing…as an encore Numan magically sang my favorite composition in his entire catalog…‘Remind Me To Smile’….and I clearly almost lost my mind….Bliss!!!!

Disc One:

Intro—-The anticipation of the crowd is incredibly high and you can feel the energy throughout the noisy Industrial into…..the beginning keyboard synths are slow to appear but the sound builds and builds for almost 4 minutes before….

Pure—-Numan makes his presence on the stage the entire feel of the recording is deeper and more majestic. The synth lines are high and expertly delivered live. The voice finally greets us and you know that Gary is ready for you. The ebb and flows of the song are even stronger live…Gary is a GOD!!!! When Numan reminds you that “Bitch. this is what you are”….you pause at the intensity and then slam on!!!!

Me! I Disconnect From You—-Gliding so majestically from era to era without a beat, Numan updates his older material to a strange Industrial level that he probably was looking for all along. Technology has made the dreams of this man come true…as we await in 2010…his new release….I marvel. Numan takes a familiar song and makes it so much more aggressive and pertinent. Great!!!

The Angel Wars—-Filled with blissful dark and heavy synths, the song really opens up with the bass intro and becomes more and more aggressive as the song continues. This is the new Numan….Industrial God!!! The voice has never sounded better or more tortured..the mood never more somber or hopeless…the edge of anger is blissful. This man is remarkable.

My Jesus—-Numan exposes Jesus in the most bitter and brutal way ever done!!! The God complex that Gary has in incredibly thick and deep..it prevades most every song he has written for the last 15 years or so. The animalistic vigor of the song shows how deep the disdain runs….this is remarkable. The way the band manages to transport from CD to the stage is something Numan struggled with at the beginning of his career. He now has the technology to go ballistic…and he does. When Numan screams…..”I’m praying for my soul….” you believe it.

Films—-One of my very favorite tracks from early on in the Numan catalogue, this live version is beefier and more aggressive, yet comfortably familiar. The downshift sound of the music is magically displayed in this live setting and numan uses his higher register to create a landscape that is haunting and almost beautiful. This is magical.

Magic—-Even deeper than previous tracks, this tracks swell with atmosphere and a dark haze that makes me smile almost from the onset. The synths and guitars enter the picture and it is quasi-Industrial heave. Numan sings in a slight tender voice…bringing to the forefront his humanity and emotion. The jest of the song is magically transported to the stage…Gary has never sounded better!

Rip—-When I first heard the studio version of this song, I knew that the Numan of old was a changed man…..this is as aggressive as Trent and as manipulated as Nitzer Ebb. A brilliant mis of disdain, anger and a general pissed off attitude……Numan again displays that upper register that sounds so well…and he is doing it in a grand fashion. This is classic…aggressive….driven and very, very real!!!

Cars—-Having heard this song at least a million times, this live rendition is re-energized and fresh with a new even colder feel. Numan seems so vocally distant and removed, the song takes on a complete and new sound. This is an extraordinary working of a really played out song. Fantastic!!!

Metal—-Again, Numan takes a very dated song and gives it a feeling of being brand new. The synth effects and tape loops are incredible…the atmosphere almost magic. The easy-going synth line is beefed up and heavier…with a very deep sound. This is wonderful…the crowd reaction is fantastic and even more pronounced than on Cars. This is nice…I just love it when Numan breaks out that higher tone of his voice….I’m literally in heaven.

Little Invitro—-Incredibly heavy and dark, this song always touches a place in my heart. Written about the loss of his child via a miscarriage, Numan relives this pain everytime he sings this song and it is as intense each time I have heard this. This drops you in a dark emotional hole, but have no fear…Gary will rescue you and bring you back out again. Tremendous.

Down In The Park—-Sticking to most of the original synth orchestration of the song as it was intended, Numan delivers this ancient track like it was the first time he had ever preformed it. The sound is fresh and a bit more aggressive, but it is true to the original and the result is nothing less than superb.

Disc Two:

This Wreckage—-Going all the way back to the Telekon release from 1982, Numan manages to once again inject a new energy to a song that any true fan has heard countless times. The synth line is beefier and more laden with a deep bass sound, although Numan sounds 25 when he sings the song. This is remarkable and a testament to the timeless quality of many of his compositions.

Dead Heaven—-From the Exile release, this particular CD gave official notice of the new direction of Numan…heavier and even darker than Sacrifice, this release included much more Industrial leanings. Numan delivers all of that and more on this live version….as he opens his vocal. it is more of an English tinged rap than singing, but the chorus shows that wonderful and classic sound of his voice. This is so layered you wonder how many recorded tracks must be playing along with the live loops. Magnificent…a piece of art.

I Can’t Breathe—-If you think the recorded version of this Pure track is intense, you must experience it live. Of course. the song begins in a quiet fashion….that is remarkable in itself…the mood shifts on this track is incredible. The deep bass synth along with the natural drum track builds up the song….Numan delivers a whispered vocal ala the original on this version, but it sounds even more maniacal and haunted than before. When the song really lets loose, this is a barrage of every Industrial sound you have heard. As Numan screams about not being able to breathe, you find yourself short of breath  and you live the fear with him. This is wonderfully delivered and preformed…the band is awesome!!!

Are ‘friends’ Electric?—-The song that started my personal love affair with Numan, this live rendition is met by a crowd reaction beyond description. This live version sticks close to the original although the more aggressive keyboards and guitars are present. Numan sounds, again, like this is the first time he has ever preformed this song and it comes off in a fantastic way. Numan, in that upper register, is one of the best British singers anywhere. The emotion in the voice makes the lyric believable…this is intense!!!

A Prayer For The Unborn—-Winding up for the punch in a slow mechanical way, this track really comes to life during the chorus. The beginning vocal is tender and the lyric introspective and touching. The music is short and jerky with a nice low hum that promises for the things to come. The  chorus is a huge grand affair that reeks of a coldness and machine generated emotion. This is remarkably cold and sterile, yet leaves me feeling intense and emotional.

Listen To My Voice—-Another selection from the Pure CD, this is neither hear nor there. This has never been a favorite track of mine, but the cold and distant delivery fulfills my prescription for Numan. This is nice…the instrumentation is heavy and layred…..the vocal as you would expect…perfect!

Replicas—-Digging way back in the crate of his career, Numan pulls out this reworked classic and surprises even me. This is remarkably dark while still maintaining all of the integrity of the original. this is awe inspiring…Numan sings in that register that makes me feel cold and emotionally frozen…job well done. The synths are brilliant…the Industrial edge is magnificent. This is just classic!

Observer—-Again, going back in time, Numan digs out a classic from his funkier era and infuses it with new life and breath. This is nice, but not a favorite of mine…this era kind of missed with me. I have to admit the funky bass line is infectious…this is ok.

Dance—-Remarkably quiet and delivered with an almost musical silence, Numan has never sounded more emotional and real. This will make you stop and wonder what love is all about…this is real emotion magically put into words. I love this track!!! Remarkable.

Tracks—-Sensing the end is near, the crowd erupts in cheers and handclaps that are remarkable. The brits are the true fans of this man and it shows as he performs in his own comfort zone. This is beefed up and heavier with a remarkable bright synth line though. I love this….very nice ending to a truly incredible performance.

****1/2 out of 5

A Flock Of Seagulls/Greatest Hits Remixed

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 240000002UTC 12 by marky7235

Greatest Hits Remixed is a remix compilation release by Cleopatra Records. As they have done with many bands popular during the New Wave era of the 80’s, Cleopatra executives handed over songs to many of the labels premier acts for remixing and this is the final result.

I Ran [So Far Away] Die Krupps Remix]—-Keeping all the basic elements of a song in place has been a strongpoint of this label when presenting remixes. Many of the familiar sounds of this 80’s classic jumps out at you, but the knobs are twisted in the process. Sometimes the song travels at hyper speed…at other times it becomes an annoying tick. It remains difficult to improve on the original, although Mike Score sounds remarkably fresh.

Space Age Love Song [KMFDM Remix]—-The super Industrial giants give this track an appropriate workout. As one would expect!!! Bass driven and even more Electronic than the original…imagine that…the song has a very long manipulated introduction. As the true melody of the song emerges it is mired in a barbed wire mute that takes away a great deal of life. The vocal is manipulated and pushed to the back, but the Germans march on to triumphantly pull you over to the side of the Beat…which is GRAND!!!! This is really great…a nice alternative.

The More You Live, The More You Love [Mission UK Mix]—-Being familiar with the Mission UK, you would expect this track to take on a much darker tone…you will not be disappointed. The levels of sound are deep, while the upfront vocal is full of reverb and manipulated emotion. A tad to fast for my taste, the song is literally better than the original…the sound is much heavier and the tempo is much more garage dance based. This is nice!!!

Telecommunication [JLab Remix]—-Originally, one of the most basic and Punk sounding songs the band ever recorded. I have clear memories of seeing the band live outside at Blossom Music Center in Cleveland. When this song was played the entire lawn was a mass of pogo’ing….I wondered what a plane might see and think if they flew above at that moment…a world gone crazy!!!! This ‘reworking’ looses none of the energy and only inspires a more aggressive response…the bass drives the track, yet the basic elements of the song are never abandoned. The vocal is muted and full of echoes, but this only adds to the hyper musical delivery of the track. Outstanding!

Wishing [If I Had A Photograph Of You] [Intra-Venus Remix]—-One of my favorite songs from this band, this remix looses none of the texture and layers that comprised the original version. Predictably, the pace of the song is faster and more involved, but the swirling synths that made this song so important to mid 80’s architecture remain intact. This is nice…noisier but still as pleasing.

Messages [Interface Remix]—-This is a spastic disjointed delivery that is neither pleasant or accessible….what is the purpose. The track loses all the elements of the vocal, which was quite haunting at times…only the original synth line remains….this is not reworking..this is destruction!

The Traveller [Julian Beeston Remix]—-Again, this track is put through the washing machine and b=never dried properly…the attractive ghostly haunt of the vocal is lost in a bevy of heavy manipulated Industrial beats that drown and obliterate the true meaning of the song. Score manages to come across as a cheap John Lydon impersonator that is neither attractive or appealing.

Burning Up [Pigface Remix]—-Taken from the seldom heard, excellent 1995 release Light At The End Of The World, this release was the last breath of life for the band and it resulted in a masterful record that only true fans managed to investigate. My chief complaint is the gross manipulation of a masterful vocal…the beat of the song steals the sedate mastery of the synth gods…this is a disappointment to me…the original of this track is so much better…but what would you expect from a Pigface remix…pure adultery…and they deliver their end of the package wonderfully.

Wishing [If I Had A Photograph Of You] [LCD Remix]—-To me, this is freakin’ BRILLIANT!!!! The downshift of the synth, the added vocal and the gentle manipulation add layers and layers to an already thick song. Kudos for this remix…I will take this over the orif=ginal…it has an element of fun and hyperactivity while still clinging desperately to the original. This is WONDERFUL!!!!

Nightmares [Interfaith Psi-Fix Remix]—-Again, this is an adulterated version of the original that takes fro it the meaning, the basis and the magical eerie vision of the original. this is a too hyped garage beat techno fest that does not congeal with the vision of the original track…a huge disappointment. Ruination!!!

Rainfall [Spahn Ranch Remix]—-Also taken from the 1995 release of the groups last effort, this mix surprisingly surprises me. the original elements are so in place that the melancholy brought by inhuman synths come alive in my soul. The song is built on warm lyrics…the music is a cold and distant dichotomy that plays magically well with my soul. This is a wonderful re-interpretation…THE BEST RELEASE ON THIS COMPILATION……MAGICA!!!!!

I Ran [So Far Away] [L. Remix]—-This is pure and unadulterated obliteration of a masterful synth driven song that looses every element of its intefrity….This is terrible…..UGH!!!!

Space Age Love Song [Astralasia Remix]—-This beefed up and dance floor ready version of this song does not disappoint…the only fallible measure is the remarkable loss of the distinctive elements of the c=song that made it a classic. This is disturbing because experimentation removing the key elements creates a new song not a remix…we require familiarity and a comfortable sense of sound…this has none of the above.

** out of 5

Assemblage 23/Contempt [Bonus Tracks]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 250000001UTC 12 by marky7235

Contempt is the début release from mastermind/musician Tom Shear. Released in 1998 on Canadian Label Gashed Records, it is clear from the very first listen that Shear has done his homework and knew from the onset the sound he wanted. Original from the onset, Shear has only added fine tuning to his sound in the later years…the talent was already there. Will be seeing him for the very first time in May…..already I am excited.

Anthem—-The keyboard swells on the song are heavy and dark…..once the synth emerges, you know immediately that distinctive sound. This is remarkable because it remains true today. On this début, Shear sounds a lot like Gahan at times…that being an inspiration of his. It is always better when he stretches his vocal. This is pretty damn great for a start though.

Surface—-With superb synths that at the onset might be even more advanced than Depeche Mode ever got, Shear shows his talent. There is a distinct knack for creating ‘pleasant’ Industrial synths that are acceptable and don’t beat your brains out. the vocal on this track is manipulated until the chorus…which is a huge emotional affair. God…this is really great.

Coward—-Darker and more sinister at the onset, the song is an Electronic fest of beats and blips. The soundbites are magnificent and take me back to the good ole’ 90’s when such things were abundant. The vocal is so manipulated ist is unrecognizable. The sound is more like KMFDM than anything. The synths continue and the song never really goes anywhere for me…this is different, but I don’t hate it. Shear does allow a real vocal eventually, but is little and too late.

Bi-Polar—-Much more pleasant and accessible from the onset, the synths in this song move faster than my fingers can on this keyboard. The vocal enters and it is the most pleasant and honest you could ever hope for. The emotion is not only in the lyrics, but also in the tone. This guy has a lot of feelings and they have seemed to grow deeper and deeper as the years have progressed. This is fantastic!!

Pages—-With a deeper intro sound, the synths enter the scene and add that certain distinct sound. Unfortunate for us all, the vocal is again a heavily manipulated affair that fortunately Tom gave up by the second release. This is noisier and sounds more German than Western US. Not a high point to me…tolerable only for the clean vocal of the chorus which raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

Purgatory—-This is freakin’ brilliant. The title of the song would never lead you down the path that the music does. This is light and airy…..almost estactic in the wonderful tone of the instrumentation. this is remarkable. the vocal is that nice upper register…the music travels at about 120 BPMS and the tone is great…I could never ask for more.

Sun—-Full of the quintessential sounds of the late 90’s Electronic scene, what sets the track apart is the lyrical intensity. This is not happy or lite music…instead something that requires you to stop and think about the feelings that you are having. This is the type of music that I needed when I was a kid…damn it…….

Skyquake—-Again, the intro of the song is a slow building electro blip that almost makes you salivate. You keep waiting and waiting and you are only thus far rewarded by a muttering vocal full of disdain and hurt. The swirls continue and the songs become more muscular as it develops…single sentences make you think about everything under the sun and you fall into the groove of the rather noisy song. The vocal is distorted but maintains that Shear tone that makes you comfortable. This is magnificent.

Never Forgive—-Beginning somber, but coming alive by the second bar with nice synth lines, the song furthers opens up and becomes an almost techno style Industrial masterpiece. The electronic whips that run through the song are like the old disco days and the voice enters…manipulated but still discernible, the lyrical content is consistent Shear. Shear is the electronic Morrissey of our time…he seems rarely happy. This is fantastic. I love this man!!!!

7  Days—-Very odd—-from the onset. At times this reminds me of the band that the Cure wanted to be…at other times it is like a retarded Combichrist. This is all very confusing to me and has never settled very well with me each time I hear it. Not a favorite.

Bonus Tracks:

Coward [Melting Mix]—-Although musically, this remix is much more downbeat and ambient, there is little change in the vocal played. I  do not like all of this manipulated vocal…Shear has to emotive of a voice than to hide behind machines. The music is nice though….a slow groove that rises above the noise and distortion. Awesome!!!

Skyquake [Voice Of God Mix]—-WOW…..JEEZ…..INCREDIBLE……DELICIOUS……UNATTAINABLE……MAGNIFICENT…….FANTASTIC…….!

The Drowning Season [DS02K Mix]—-Full of remarkable dance beats, the song continues on as an instrumental for the entirety…..the grooves become tired after a time, but all in all it only shows that Shear can convey emotion with or without lyrics. Nice.

**** out of 5