CD Review

V/A – “DelectronicT v03”

By Marcus Pan

DelectronicT v03In 2000 I lauded the Detroit Electronica Coalition's D[electronic]T compilation(1) release for it's layout, design, brilliant track choices and fine bands. In 2002 I did much of the same when D[electronic]T 2(2) hit the streets. Now it's 2004, and keeping their two year schedule going, the Detroit Electronica Coalition drop v03 of this now six year series running.

Unfortunately, I can not laud DelectronicT v03 as highly as the first two. I'm not sure if it's because they're getting looser in their track choices, or maybe it seems their liner notes and jacket aren't as well done and complete as before. Or maybe it's just time to quit while you're ahead, to quote an old sage. Either way, let's look closer at DelectronicT V03 and see if we can find some gems hidden in here.

We'll see some familiar faces: Ceoxime, Crash Site 68, Silvercord, 4FR. We'll see some new faces: Doc Raymond, Entluften, Voltage Controlled Ficus. We'll explore remixes and dabble in experimental. We'll trip hop our way through the eighteen tracks on the CD if we can and see what we come out the end...

Contact Information:
Detroit Electronic Coalition

4FR – "Who Will Survive Us?"
Interesting with a funk-driven chord jam to start going into a wall-of-sound style that can get a trite messy. It's not bad, most especially the spoken word parts over the previously mentioned chord jam. Rhythm is simple and neat. Kicks off DelectronicT 3 uneventfully.

Entluften – "Broken Mold"
Here starts the funky-filled trip hop trancey shizzitz. Coalescing synthesizer licks lap at each other in this newcomer's Broken Mold tune. Vocals have a Trent Reznor sound to them. It's good...but it's not something you'll be digging after it's gone. Nice musical qualities though, inside the instrumentation.

Venereal Injection – "S & M"
Of course, it's Detroit, so we need some sex. Fast paced and furious, drum slams are a major part of this song. That doesn't mean it has a good rhythm - it just means there's a lot of it. The drums are actually pretty boring. I'm also not overly impressed with the mixing done here either. Onward...

Doc Raymond – "House of Bang (Planetary Control Edit)
A DJ here, I'm wondering if he has anything to offer since so far I'm only mildly entertained. Blubbery rhythms open House of Bang and high hats and cymbals join the fray, making it seem like this is definitely going to be a drum 'n bass track. Bass slides in smoothly like a John to a well-used hooker. Raymond adds more ticks, tacks and rhythmic pulses as the track moves along with the end result of flattening the first three tracks of the compilation and becoming our first highlight.

Mutual Hate Society – "Blueberry Tart"
Interesting song name...I'm not sure whether to envision a pastry or a teenage hooker in a blue g-string. It's an interesting, off-kilter tune that doesn't ever seem to pick up the speed it needs to become something great.

Voltage Controlled Ficus – "The Drill"
Nothing but buzzing beats and percussive rhythms. VCF will throw in some annoying bee-like synthesizer sounds, but the track does nothing for me. Just a bunch of kids fucking around with a Roland, I'm thinking.

Toybreaker – “Path of Logical"
We seem to be stuck in an experimental sequence as we hit the center of DelectronicT V03. Toybreaker's Path of Logical is nothing but noise. I see no merit in this and it takes too long to go away. Stop it please.

Silvercord – "Take"
Finally we come to a rhythm again. Old school sounding goth rock with sweet melodies overlayed on top. Again I'm not impressed with the production of the track and I'm not overly joyed with the vocals either. Take uses too many flats to come out sounding more crooked than it should. The vocalist doesn't even attempt to stay on the same key as the music.

Ceoxime – "Dirty and Used"
Ceoxime is a staple of the DT collections. Still floaty and key-based, but Dirty and Used is much more clashing than their previous work. Like Silvercord's previous Take song, Dirty and Used sounds crooked and off base. Not their best outing, here.

Humachine – "Twitch"
I've been known to twitch from a good hummer too, but I'm not so sure that's what Humachine meant here. I find myself reminded of Puncture(3), a band I haven't thought about in years. Twitch could possibly be one of the very few standout gems on this compilation, with its muted guitar riffwork and simple but effective synthesizers. This could be due to its simplistic straightforward make-up, or because of my affinity for blowjobs.

Digital Terror Netwerk – "Fix"
Nice fat back drums. We've fully left behind the whole ambient noise (read: non music) portion of the disc by now. The problem with Fix is it doesn't do much, really. Adds in the occasional synth melody, but otherwise just kind of stomps along goose stepping with its sliding bass and unchanging drums.

Apraxia – "Dogma Raga"
Getting suddenly folky with siren like wails and acoustic strums, windy sliding synth bubbles are interspersed throughout. Other than interesting bongo rhythms, Dogma Raga is more annoying than musical. I don't dig the off key ghostly wailing Melody Mendis provides...not even for the short length of time Dogma Raga stands.

Crash Site 68 – "Exostatic (Ceoxime Re:mix)"
High speed trance with barely noticeable vocals about, Exostatic isn't bad at all. While it's nothing wonderfully original, it's worthy of hitting your next rave with, glow sticks and all.

The Morning Star – "Fight the Future"
In Morning Star, Gray plays "mouth." Hah! Funks in right from the start. Closes (almost) the CD nicely, even with it's mono-blared vocal chorus and singing done through what might be a fencer's mask.

Tracks 15-18:
Not really sure what these annoying closing noisy short tracks are supposed to be. I'd say they were a production error if not for the fact that they're listed on the liner notes as done by Verzerren with a web address that points to the D[electronic]T web pages numbering up to...uh oh...four. If four is coming, please be a little more choosy with the tracks!

(1) In Legends #95.
(2) In Legends #119.
(3) Puncture’s Immune was reviewed way back in Legends #87.