REVIEW: Netz – “Misgiving Transmitter – Werk03”

By DJ Mortimer Steel

Chain Border

Werk03Coming to us from Canadian label ArtOfFact, Netz presents Misgiving Transmitter. The third part in the Netz Werk(1) trilogy. Misgiving Transmitter is a new evolution in the Netz sound: bleepy technoid beats are met with a true electro sequencing and modernist poetics. Fans of the stranger side of life will be at home here. Netz's true experimentation is in full bloom! A conglomeration of electronic influences ranging from noize textures to some Kraftwerk influenced experimental electronic music as well as industrial and darkwave overtones washed in drum ‘n bass, techstep and IDM qualities.

The introduction to the world of Netz had this writer somewhat confused as the untitled opener to this CD was straight up noize material. I was certain the disc would be a journey into uncharted electronic sound manipulations when in fact that was far from what I listened to. A total of 21 tracks easily mistaken for 19 tracks as a lot of the fills between tracks are short noize mixed with spoken word that to me hurts the overall sound found on Misgiving Transmitter, but leaves me also to wonder what subliminal intent can be found behind the reasoning for including such material that is far from the main content of the disc.

Control comes in as track 2, drastically changing the uneasy surroundings you just got prepared for to completely throw you off to the dance beats and arpeggiated rhythms. A big change from the opening introduction elements of futurepop mixed with vocoded vocals, eurodance textures and at times hip hop drums hits. The meshing of styles creates a great vibe and certainly shows Netz quite capable of well orchestrated dance music construction. Lightfighter comes after a brief blast of noize and can be described as another genre bender. Elements of Industrial mixed with IDM and drum ‘n bass. Song composition reminds me of some early Pigface material. This track leads one to believe that a mix of different genres make a great listen in the hands of the right people.

Erlkonig slows it down a bit and creeps in with some ambience that changes tempo and veers from ambient to darkwave with additions of world music ethnicity. I rather find this track a disappointment after the tracks that preceded this one. Nothing special here. By this point in the disc I do start to get irritated. In between each track is a few seconds of noize and spoken word which really kills the vibe you just got going and really takes points away. I know the band is going for a unique and different style here. If there is a hidden meaning behind it all I am certainly clueless and am left wondering why.

Schnee comes in after another noise byte which is more like a vinyl record with a big ass scratch in the middle of a track you're grooving on. Schnee is a great track and maintains a downtempo vibe mixed with drum ‘n bass structures. A dimly lit room and some sticky greenbud would work well with this one. Sweet and mellow a beautiful track indeed. Collectio comes next and is composed more on the experimental side. Old school drum machine textures, bass drops and vocal processing as if done by Satan himself. At least what he may sound like in a B-movie. Reminiscent of a band whose name escapes me, but I find this track isn't worth the headache of trying to figure it out.

Hate follows suit and also follows another annoying byte. Now don't get me wrong: I like avante garde material, but am wondering why the quality of material is diminishing the deeper I get into this disc. A mass of material that to me doesn't make for an eclectic mix, but more of a misguided loopfest. Unshuld mysteriously creeps in with an old school industrial style and gives one a recollection of Laibach B-sides or many of the German fetish industrial material of the early 90's. Finally a track to bring the mix back to a tolerable vibe. I like this track a lot and could even find myself spinning this one on one of my guest DJ appearances.

Stellungskrieg takes a delightful front and center mixing manic beats with heavy industrial bass hits. Veering from beat heavy powernoize to off the chain drum ‘n bass textures. Another solid track. Keeping the main vibe in check.

T.O.T. chimes in at track 17 and opens with a nice retro wave flavor. The use of old school tones and synth leads very reminiscent of days gone by. Blutraush crashes through the front door at 2am with beat blasts from hell. Distorted drum beats that maintain a desirable flow. Very much in the euro industrial vein of things. From manic to melodic at the blink of an eye. Very cool indeed.

Although the CD has some issues with the use of material in as far as killing a specific vibe which can indeed be found if one takes the more desirable material and pops it onto another disc, it does manage to contain a little something for everyone with eclectic tastes. An interesting mix of musical styles.

There is a general sense of experimentation here and with all the eclectic hybrids of modern electronic music, you get the good the bad and the ugly and this CD has all three. Many of the title tracks can be seen as influential to the next wave of electronic advancement that approaches in the next decade. The combination of styles shows how bands are changing with the times and also how some may still be finding a sound the masses can relate to. If you enjoy material that's not for everyone then this ones for you.

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Buy "Misgiving Transmitter - Werk03"

Contact Information:
Post: ArtOfFact Records, 1057 Steeles Ave. W., P.O. Box 81630, Toronto, Ontario, M2R 3X1, Canada
Phone: (416) 663-9655
E-Mail: artoffact@artoffact.com
Web: www.artoffact.com

(1) Werk01 was reviewed in Legends #118 and Werk02 was reviewed in Legends #122.

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