REVIEW: Dearmax - "Tag Und Nacht"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Tag Und NachtRemember not long ago (well, actually it could be a while ago I don't remember) when I mentioned that sometimes there are those that can just sit down and write good music? Right off the bat, no preparation necessary, bare minimum in the way of production and remastering? Dearmax is an example of such a group.

Markus Hulstrunk and Markus Kerkewitz, both of whom were nicknamed "Max" by their friends and peers, have teamed up in the midst of Germany to create the Dearmax project. Their debut release, Tag Und Nacht, is an example of well done, minimal and mellow Euro-industrial (read: not guitar industrial, the original sound of the genre - think Kraftwerk). Groovy, synthetically produced and low key, Tag Und Nacht is a fine example of how accessible and comfortable sounding industrial music can be.

Founded in late '90 with the credo "easy electronic beats," to the duo Markuses, minimalism is key. All seven tracks provided here on their debut EP are highlights in how superb the fusion of minimalism and electronic synths can be. Just because you can add more and more shite to your recording because you're using electronic equipment is not an excuse to fart out complication in the extreme. The individual jobs of the duo are Hulstrunk on music and Kerkewitz on voice - simple and straightforward even before they turned on the electronics.

MaxJust barely hitting 23 and a half minutes, Tag Und Nacht contains, as already stated, seven tracks. Opening with the nominal track Tag Und Nacht, the minimal complication of the arrangement allows the duo to not only create interesting yet simple rhythms, but even allow their fans to hear them because it's not surrounded by track upon track of rhetoric. Sung in German, Tag Und Nacht is an almost depressing song with low key vocals and key taps that fade in and out throughout the complication - it's best feature.

Speeding up just a bit, Pictures is precisely three minutes of bass laden pulsations. Kerkewitz's voice here is almost whining in its clarity without moving into an annoying area - it plays against the bass programming to provide an angsty feel while remaining mellow due to its uniquely simple makeup. Highlight of the EP is the following track - Time to Remember. Opening with a piano solo, Hulstrunk shows clearly that minimalism in no way hampers his capabilities as a musician. During the initial chorus of Time to Remember you'll hear the only point in Dearmax's repertoire where things get a bit more complicated.

MaxI'll leave the last four tracks to your imagination. In short, Dearmax create a mellow, laid-back electronic groove. All of these selections were recorded in a single session each - without sounding like it was slapped together. Seven days to write and record their first EP means that Dearmax could be churning out their 50th album by this time next year. Each of the tracks that appear on Tag Und Nacht will bring you back to the old starting days of Euro-industrial - the purists are gonna love this.

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