REVIEW: Netz - "Werk02"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Werk02Netz have been around since 1992, crafting live performances designed as multimedia events with synchronized slide shows. Having a similar penchant as Kraftwerk, these artists developed a harmonious blend of EBM which converges dry yet detached sound patterns that when combined develops into "electronic power pop." The music isn't typical industrial tones by any stretch either, but seems to be its distant cousin. The deep vocals are delivered with an almost mechanistic style, that when combined with the German or English lyrics, simply translates into something quite futuristic; picking up where Kraftwerk left off.

It is no mystery then that the label, Artoffact, grabbed these artists when they did. This label has had a growing reputation for providing the world with musical art coupled with intensity. Netz clearly fits the bill and should become one of their most prominent selling bands before long if given the appropriate amount of publicity thrust they deserve.

The overall tone with Werk02 combines darkness, futuristic mechanizations, depersonalization and turmoil. Clearly, these tracks are just as comfortable in a film score as they are on the dance floor. Some artists tend to have difficulty translating their musical work into an English interpretation. Those who have witnessed Rammstein's English version of Du Hast could appreciate these sentiments. Netz however glide easily between the two languages without losing a step. In either language, the full range of the emotive dialogue is allowed to shine in their perfunctory delivery. The tracks are delivered as spoken recitations with a few sparsely sung vocals tossed in from time to time in order to shape the songs further. Man and machine have fully acclimated in their world, and this is their testament to it.

Despite the barren landscapes depicted via sound, there still remains a living and breathing entity permeating the vista at diverse points, earmarking the direction along the pathway. Zukunft opens with the aforementioned barren landscape that then simply kicks up the notches with EBM tones underneath very seductive deep vocal German recitation. Refinery segues from the first track with an almost metronomic ticking that evolves into a synthy dance beat. The dialogue is in English with a hint of an accent, giving a somewhat impassioned delivery where hurt becomes indifference. Think Information Society meets Kraftwerk.

Zeitspiegel opens with a female voice over a distant loudspeaker. The beats are more slowed and mood enveloping. The male recitation delivers a sense of the ominously pensive. Bliderwelt combines various German sound samples while the electo beats simply froth underneath. Strains of dark tones are woven through this fabric, coloring this track with broad futuristic strokes. The track picks up the pace further along, simply grabbing the listener into this morose and forlorn world where "visions are not based on facts." Daydreams utilizes up to the minute percolation with an ominous but subdued backdrop. This is a danceable homage to the contaminated thoughts which haunt our waking hours.

Unruhe takes us into a sonic spatial journey, as though coasting on a satellite in space. The flowing through the dark chasm is accompanied with various whispered and spoken segments from each channel. Through it all is the middle rhythm that still makes the track club friendly. Zeit begins with even more electro darkness, the type one would hear in a really good horror film. The electronic blips are not too far behind, but they are brushstroked as emphasis rather than given the whole body of the track. This is a brooding piece that will delight dark music fans everywhere.

Netz have crafted a highly intriguing body of music. It is clearly evident why they envision the need to also provide a visual stimulus when performing live, simply because the music has far more life than the mere auditory response. Netz have taken the barren and cold, dry landscapes of a futuristic realm that is devoid of emotion and delivered this panorama to us within the confines of the sound medium. Most of the tracks featured could clearly be utilized for dance clubs, however they are more than an electro pop dance band.

Contact Information:
E-Mail: info@netz01.de
Web: http://www.netz01.de

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