REVIEW: Massiv In Mensch – “Menschdefekt”

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

MenschdefektMassiv In Mensch have been pumping out the industrial stompy beats for a little while now(1). Their latest, just out of the gate, is Menschdefekt; an industrial-techno hybrid that capitalizes on the best of both worlds. Sounding like someone took Kraftwerk’s best and then jumped in a time machine for a trip to the 21st century, Massiv In Mensch have impressed the hell out of me with their latest release. Coming out of Germany, artists Daniel Logemanh, Mirco Osterthun and Sarah Folkens on the occasional female vox when the folks find it necessary (you’ll hear her first on the third track, Mein Letztes Bonbon, attempting to soothe your mind while the other two blast your senses with rhythms and drum ‘n bass stylings).

This release, like the group’s last Belastendes Matrial(2), comes to us from Canada’s Artoffact Records who are one of the increasingly popular industrial, electronic and synthpop labels on our side of the pond. Some of Massiv In Mensch’s label mates include Netz(3), Psyche(4) and Blank. In this release, MiM infuse their dance floor hyperbole with very robotic content, modern flare and quite a lot of heavy-handed, well crafted and rhythmic percussion.

The CD opens with the German spoken word of Doctor Born. After your talked to for a bit, you're immediately dropped into a funky, drum 'n bass jam that slides in the bass lines like so many robot warriors rolling in on the battlefield of Coruscant. Courtesy of Dark Rave, this will surely have folks doing the Shouty Robot Dance(5) without fear. The strangely named Gothic on XTC, is a tune filled with chord hits and a very catchy melodic movement. This is one of the finest progressive trance tunes I’ve found and refuses to get even remotely bland even after its five and a half minute run through.

For more of Ms. Folkens, tune to the sixth track, Radius 17 M. Sarah's vocals are sweet and contrasted beautifully by the surrounding metallic bass riffs and percussive breakdowns. In the closing track, You’re the Greatest Lover, you’ll note excellent use of sliding melodies as rhythm. Metallic-laced whispery vocals round the song out, slicing in smooth melodic synthwork between laments of lust with do-wop stylings and lyrics of the "sha na na" variety. I've never heard do-wop done so strangely robotic and futuristic.

Menschdefekt is a heavy and much needed addition to any DJs repertoire for techno and industrial club play. MiM’s music will crap all over Chemical Brothers, poop squarely on Fat Boy Slim and otherwise tear up the joint with it’s extremely well crafted electronica. Try it one night and you’ll see I’m not wrong. This CD will go over well in raves, clubs, techno back alleys and, hell, even stompy parties. Updating old dance floor industrial from across the waves, Massiv In Mensch’s Menschdefekt is quite possibly one of the best industrial dance releases of 2003, peeking its metallic and robot-brain controlled body just before the year’s close to battle it’s way with grinding bass and pulsing breakdowns to the top of the dance floor heap.

Buy The Album
Buy "Menschdefekt"

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

(1) We had the pleasure of interviewing Massiv in Mensch back in Legends #118.
(2) Reviewed in Legends #123.
(3) We interviewed Netz, too, in Legends #119.
(4) Yes, we interviewed them too. See issue #116.
(5) Term copyright © 2003 by JHR.

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