Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Die Warzau - "Vinyl88" CD
Who would've thought that the finest electronic-rock (aka 'industrial') album in recent years would come from an almost-forgotten duo of producers/artists who've only released 2 albums in 14 years?
Chicago's Die Warzau, consisting of programmer Van Christie and vocalist Jim Marcus here unleash a torrent of classic heavy funk-laced electro-stompers with finesse and a keen socio-political conscience.
'Vinyl88' is a kind of 'best of' set, but these mostly-90's-era dancefloor greats are remixed and remade, and wow, do they smoke! Beginning with the previously download-only 'Insect', which has some of the most stunning production I've heard on a track of this nature in many a year (this one is great to work out/test speakers with), Christie and Marcus prove they have the songwriting chops as well as production skills to spare (a necessity in this genre) . I can't forget to mention that 'Insect', while being ultra-aggressive and bruisingly heavy from start to finish, has a killer melody underlying it all - a superb and effective combination.
The moldy oldie 'Land Of The Free', which was written in the late 80's, is here transformed into a thunderous and fearsome dance beast, while an obscure KMFDM remix of 'All Good Girls' (surely the band's melodic tour-de-force) is welcome, and certainly a must-hear. New track 'Glare' is a pop-oriented piece with accents of trip-hop and old jazz (check the wild and scratchy vinyl brass solo in the middle). The groovy remake of 'Funkopolis' forces you to shake that booty, and 'Kleen', another new track, is one of the smartest and catchiest slices of electronic pop you're likely to hear anytime soon. 'Smackdown' (reprised from an old vinyl-only 12") includes vocals by the always classy and stylish Scot Chris Connelly (of Revolting Cocks and solo fame). And speaking of guest vocals, how about George Clinton himself on the album's closer, 'Hitler's Brain'? Die Warzau 2008, where have you been? A mammoth, massive, and unmistakeable success. (Rosehip/Pulseblack Records)
Die Warzau website