The noisier end of the Industrial scene seems to have taken two different routes of late. Either to head further and further into the avant-garde, or to head straight back to the dancefloor in an avalanche of beats and samples to give those who like their industrial rather heavier than EBM something to dance to. The most successful proponent of the latter recently has, of course, been Combichrist, and with good reason – they have beats, samples, hooks and most of all are fun – making you want to get wasted and dance your fucking head off.
Dystopia [11 track DJ promo]
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And thus it is no surprise, perhaps, to see various acts sticking their toes in the water along similar lines. Modulate is one of those acts (the work of Wendyhouse/Mutate DJ Echo), but don’t write it off just yet as a mere copyist. There are all kinds of influences here, but the main focus is the dancefloor.
Let’s start with the obvious. Lead track from the 11-track sampler is track three, Skullfuck (download it from here), which in two short months has already been slaying dancefloors across the country. No surprise, really – yet another track to use a sample from Full Metal Jacket, it is does exactly what it says on the tin, and does it in some style.
This is hardly the only choice for the dancefloor, as there are no less than nine of eleven tracks that would be more than comfortable there. Opener Eurasia has a sweeping, atmospheric feel to it as the beats take hold, Revolution is a little more spiky with it’s sampled call-to-arms and pounding, rumbling beat, and will do nicely as a follow-up to Skullfuck if dancefloors ever get bored of it…
Perhaps the most derivative track here is Das Bunker, which although again catchy, has a nagging feel of familiarity to it. Far better follows with air-raid sirens heralding the entrance of Fiendflug-esque V4 Werk, and the metronomic stomp of Asylum. Faktory is another corker, with a synth line so melodic you could whistle it. See You In Hell brings a rather different beat to the ‘floor, and sounds noticeably lighter, and then Firecracker sets off alarms in your skull, with an incessant synth attack from all sides. Things get really interesting at the end, with firstly Biomorph then Machina heading into the realms of clanking, searing noise, providing a classy turn of variety, and just going to prove this is no one-trick pony.
All told, this is an astounding album. There are all kinds of ideas bursting to get out throughout, and this is only the start. It may not go down too well with noise purists, who might sneer and want things to be a little more subtle, but frankly – fuck ’em. This kind of thing is doing very well nicely with the people that matter – the punters, just check what people are dancing to at the moment – so why not give them what they want when it is this good?