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C-Tec, live in NYC . click and go, baby: CD o' tha month: The Glory of Destruction; Crash A/D, Thermal System; Course of Empire, Telepathic Last Words;Decoded Feedback, Technophoby; TriAna, Musica Electronica; Front Line Assembly, FLAvour of the Weak; Dark Illumination, Realize the Error; Ikon, A Moment in Time; Gooding, Factory Blue

Crash A/D, Thermal System

OK, I take every bad thing I ever said about old-school euro-style elektro back, because Crash A/D prove it can still be done and it can still sound fresh and original. The bass is so heavy I reset my equalizer (my beanies were getting their little plastic pellets shaken up). The melodies are stunning, hauntingly beautiful wisps that float among the relentless beats. I liked A Frictionless Surface and Deprogram. Crash A/D sort of remind me of a more human Kraftwerk, or sometimes even Ultravox (like anyone remembers them!)
snail:Escalation Records, 179 Willet Av, South River, NY 08882 or

Course of Empire, Telepathic Last Words

It's been a long time since the last COE disk, so some of you may have forgotten about the other act that was on the late Zoo label. Luckily for everyone, all their legal label troubles have been resolved and we get to finally hear some extremely melodic, catchy, rhythmic seductive pop. The songs are all definitely craw-stickers. The very perceptive well-written lyrics touch upon the cynical detachment of the sleeping tv masses, paranoia, disenchantment with the empirical and falling under the enchanting spell of the mystical. Ultimately, Telepathic Last words is a positive record: as Vaughn Stevens sings in New Maps I'm awake now (are they reading Leary and Robert Anton Wilson?). You will be seeing them on mtv. But, a caveat, COE is not really electronic or industrial, so don't be fooled by Jon Fryer's production (his credits include other TVT acts NIN and Gravity Kills). Still and all, magnificent, gorgeous progressive pop.
TVT Records

Decoded Feedback, Technophoby

Dark elektro not unlike Funker Vogt. Too cold to be moody, too slow to dance to...maybe it's just too damn intellectual fer lil ol' me. And I swear, just one more song with a sample of a woman allegedly enjoying sex and I'll do something rash. I mean, how original. That's like if I went to click+drag dressed as Morticia and was surprised to see everyone else there dressed like me. Here's the ultimate dis: this is exactly the type of music my ex would listen to before he completely flipped out and started listening to darkwave. I enjoyed precisely one song , Deep Emotion, but I think I was just in a charitable mood. metropolis, PO Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105

TriAna, Musica Electronica

More melodic soundscapes from the prolific Daniel Triana. Don't be afraid of TriAna! He's got a real knack for making complex musical structures simple enough for the rest of us to understand. Musica Electronica is a very enjoyable trip through some lushly layered enchanting electronic music. Oh, and rhythms! Like you wouldn't believe. You know, for all the electronic pyrotechnics, Musica Electronica has a surprisingly human feel to it.
snail:TriLab productions, PO Box 612, Elizabeth, NJ 07201;;

The Glory of Destruction

I don't think I'm really go out on a limb here by saying that, even though it's only February, this is going to be one of my favorite releases in 1998. The folks I already know (SMP, Noxious Emotion, Bis Ende), all clock in with the killer tunes you'd expect of these acts, and then there's there veritable shiteload of really top-notch electronic music by people I don't even know who they are, which is so cool, I can't even tell you. This will be the best $12 you spend. Kicks off with a track from Alkaline (aka Steve Watkins of Scar Tissue), and damn if it doesn't keep kickin' it. PX5??? Who tha hell are they? They're brilliant! Undercut (Transistormix, Demo V.1) is this soo so groovy techno-trance piece. Very simple, yet it says so much, like volumes. SMP's Wet Wire nudged me gently into reminding me how much I like these guys: a very vital, exciting electronic act with a bit of hip-hop tip. The Noxious Emotion song is a remix of Boundary from their latest release, Count Zero. Bis Ende with Miasma of Funk's The Law of Averages is so catchy, so funky, it had me dancing on the 125th street platform waiting for the A Train. Another simple song, a riff, a beat, a good sample. All I need. By the way, this is Dave Riley's project (the bassist from Big Black), and I hope we hear more from him.sexwithsarah offer a remix of spread from their debut album, which I'm definitely going to check out. It's very sexy and grand with extremely sinister undertones. And then there's my favorite, Rosary Wall's Jesus Loves the Children, a hardcore heavy gorilla beat of a song with great samples, appropriate vocals and that ridiculous chorus! It makes me all crazee and fidgety in my seat!Bis Ende (Christian Madrigal of Chokebore, Christian Death, Shadow Project, etc) offers up a moody guitar instrumental, Apel Sinner. Aggrochik remixes }Hexdump{'s United States of Aggression; all I can say is that too much Ben and Jerry's has made for one mean industrial act. Finally, there's Tyrophex 14, a Jonathan Sharp product, big and beaty and harsh as all get out, and Fiercen's noisy Life Cycle.

Even the stuff I'm not into, the more 0ld-sk00l electro, Depeche Mode-y stuff, is still very very good. Like Osofaux's Lead Me Not has me singing along like no Hate Dept song never did. A New January's Sweet Enough To Steal is very big, very sweet with a stunning guitar riff. geffnecht's The Soft Machine is a soaring ethereal nightscape, and The Dawn's The Navigator is such that you could play it for your darkwave and new age friends alike! Stop subjecting everyone to your devil music, you heathen! We're nice music people! Lawd, I remember well when I first got into industrial, my mom saying to me one morning at the breakfast table, What happened? You used to listen to nice music! meaning like, I guess, Led Zeppelin.

So, a big hats off to Veronica Kirchoff who put it all together and pushed it out: this is brilliant, girl.
snail: PO Box 2154, Seattle, WA, 98101-2154; w3: email:

Front Line Assembly, Flavour of the Weak;

I know enuff of you out there are saying, "Oh, a new FLA, how sucky!" and I know a lot of you didn't like the single Colombian Necktie, bottom line is, I don't care, I can't be swayed by popular opinion, I think this is one of FLA's best yet. It's different to be sure, not as EBM as the last few releases, more than flirts with techno and big beats, some of the songs downright suck, but, you know, they went out on a limb, and more often than not the songs are killer kick-ass electro. I love the hard fat beats of Corruption (and 8 minutes is not nearly long enuff, baby), Sado-masochist is sick and funky. Evil Playground is close enough to the old sound to keep a few of you happy. Comatose? If you care to know, I hate it! But one totally sucky song among some shiningly brilliant songs and I don't really notice. Hard fast rools, kiddies, get used to it.
metropolis, PO Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105

Dark Illumination, Realize the Error;

German EBM-sters Dark Illumination are keeping that mid-period (like, 1996) Haujobb sound going. You know, I hear a disc like this and I wish I had some other reviewers writing for this site, because I really can't do this band justice. It's very orchestral, intelligent industrial dance music.
metropolis, PO Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105

Ikon, A Moment in Time;

Ikon will never open for Sisters of Mercy, I can guarantee that. I'm also not ashamed to say that I, an admitted and practically card-carrying cyber-weenie (that card is a schwa credit card, by the way), adore Ikon. To be honest, I always had a huge soft spot for Joy Division, and Ikon is not dissimilar (especially vocally, it's kind of eerie). They also remind me alot of the seventeen seconds era of the Cure. But it's all very very pretty, you get that feeling of being filled up with these lovely melodies while Michael Carrodus moans his way through his pain. Exquisite.
metropolis, PO Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105

Gooding, Factory Blue;

You know, sometimes you get something in the mail, you look at it and you know exactly what it's gonna sound like. And the sometimes you get Gooding. This is very much what the music in a David Lynch film should sound like: haunting, eerie, emotional, affecting. Genre? Well, I guess it's electronic ambient, but there are a lot of traditional instruments also, like piano and guitar (don't get scared, kids). Much too disturbing and compelling to use as background music. Oh, and no actual vocals--samples stand in for lyrics, and it's done really well. You get a disk like Factory Blue and you get nudged into realizing that there are still geniuses among us.
email:; Sixth Sense, 346 Michigan, Lawrence, KS 66044

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