Reviews of Haujobb, Mind.in.a.Box, Twilight Transmissions and more!
The 2003 release ofVertical Theory never got quite the attention it deserved, but maybe with some killer remixes from musicians like Glis, Seabound and Asche, Haujobb will be hitting the CD decks the way they did in the early 90s. With two original tracks and 11 remixes, Haujobb’s explosive journey brings back sounds from earlier albums that trigger the nostalgia button, inspiring repeat listens of older Haujobb material. The Haujobb “Renegades of Noize (Remix)” is dreamy and drops in distorted vocals and blippy beeps, creating a soundtrack-type pace for the album. The catchy “Perpetual Motion” is a new one for savoring. Haujobb remixes of “Metric” and “Platform” mix in IDM textures and samples. If you heard this album without reading the notes, you would instantly recognize This Morn Omina’s contribution (as “verses Haujobb”) on “We are the Renegades of Noize,” and Glis tones down the vocals and transforms “Slide” into the next dance floor filler. Obviously, the Asche and Iszoloscope remixes kick ass. The synth-heavy Backlash remix of “S.Adow” has been my most played track on this disc and will continue to be if I keep it in my car any longer. For the people who “still haven‘t picked up Polarity or Vertical Theory yet,” this is your nudge. Haujobb still rocks. Just ask the kids who have been raving about their performance at the Treffen festival.
I say this blindly, but I’m certain Mind.in.a.box should be getting more recognition. And maybe across the Atlantic, they are. Only a year ago, Mind.in.a.box stirred that breathe of fresh air that so many people needed into the EBM music mix with his first masterpiece, Lost Alone. Dreamweb is an ideal follow-up to the debut album with perfectly composed music, personal lyrics and untreated vocals that blur the lines between synth-pop, industrial and EBM. Dreamweb introduces guitars in a non-offensive way while switching into a synthy anthem with precision, particularly on “Machine Run.” Rich textures are fashioned on “Loyalty” where emotional lyrics make a moody addictive track for a heartbroken individual. Twelve tracks don’t seem like enough from this video-game composer who challenges people to more or less think outside the box. Only a handful of musicians have moved me the way Mind.in.a.box has.
Yell it Out!
It’s always a treasure to find EBM that stands out among the clutter of acts who try to sound like Assemblage 23, Frontline Assembly or anyone else who has earned a good name for themselves. Supreme Court, who has been around since 1996, but is only now showing the goods with “Yell it Out!” The time gap can be blamed on DavaNtage’s Kay Hartel for releasing incredible music under the other Moniker. After the memorable floor-stomping release from DavaNtage, Unholy, you don’t want to miss a release from this guy. It starts with “Yell,” a short blippy intro to get the dance floor warmed up, then scurries into 11 pounding industrial songs complete with growling vocals reminiscent of BiGod 20. The strings on “Corroded Brain” will hook you to the next rhythm on “Satisfy My Needs.” Throbbing percussion make my favorites, “A.L.S. – S.L.A” and “Terror Chant,” featuring Felix from Feindflug. The last track is called, “…It Out,” a very “this is the last song” kind of sound without vocals. As catchy as Supreme Court may be, I’m still holding tight for the new DavaNtage that was due out more than five months ago.
With Frontline Assembly releasing their “final” album in the last year, it didn’t take long for Bill Leeb to have the need to create something new and ultimately revive a side project. Voyeur is No. 6 in the Noise Unit discography that spans across 16 years, with the last album, Drill, coming out eight years ago. The obvious Bill Leeb atmospheric buildups, mesmerizing synths and whispered vocals are present and sound all-to familiar, as it has become difficult to distinguish between his side projects like Delirium, Synesthesia, Equinox or Pro-Tech. “Surveillance” is an instant favorite, with its signature atmospheric buildup and flavorful percussion. Another is “Paranoid,” with chill beats and a synth line that could be a remix of Boards of Canada’s “Roygbiv.” “Liberation” transitions into an FLA, Millenium-style, Bill Leeb rap—surprising and unfitting, but not bad. Twelve minutes of “Monolith” is the ultimate example of the buildup when, about nine minutes into it, loads of hard, pounding drum n’ bass does a number on the ear drums. Voyeur is melodic and moody and a nice surprise from the man who will never stop making exceptional music.