CD Review

PTI – “Blackout”

By Marcus Pan

BlackoutHeavy stomp trance signifies this blend from Chicago's PTI. Consisting of Phil Fox and Eric Dusik, the duo have released their second album and first full length, Blackout, on reknowned WTII Records. Previously, SOS spawned club hits Icons and Alysium, and they've bettered their production values for another round of attitude-laced industrial mayhem.

Reminding me of SMP(1), and not only because of the three-letter acronym as moniker. However PTI don't utilize guitars as Sounds of Mass Production do. But their rhythms, style and vocal effects are similar in style. Strong and powerful from beginning to end with some flotation devices thrown in to save you from drowning in a deluge of heavy handed percussion, the strength comes from fine electronic programming and heavy-handed, stompworthy percussion.

Confessions precursors the first single of Blackout, Condemnation, as the duo open their second release with one of their strongest new tracks. Easily one of the top synth-industrial singles of 2004, Condemnation will turn any floor into a madhouse of energy. Gone Silicon tones it down just a tad with its trance-like quatrains and smooth synthesizers. The rhythm and bass are still there pumping, but are regulated to a supporting role rather than a leading one.

Ivory Tower eases in with a good, classic EBM/synth-pop groove. The lyrics and vocals are very fast and interesting, recited in an almost over-the-top speedy style. The following Identify, meanwhile, takes a more Front 242/SMP style with its swiftly moving bass licks and brushed-percussion layers. Lyrics consist of digital manipulation and control.

One of the highlights of Blackout is Databass. Combining elements of high energy progressive trance with old skool industrial electronics and adding lyrical content that easily trounces most standard fare EBM artitsts, Databass can easily be a highlight single for any club DJ. Taking the "adding chlorine to the gene pool" credo to a new level, Databass concerns itself with wide-spread destruction of mankind as the world's only salvation – "It's about time to clear the database."

PTI has a great release here, and WTII has a good outfit if they manage to keep them on their roster. With some of the recent bands WTII has picked up (see some recent reviews), they've placed themselves as possible rivals (or friends) to such outfits as ADSR or Nilaihah. Where PTI go from here is anyone's guess, but they can easily apply their talents and know-how as shown on Blackout towards a multitide of genres; trance, EBM, synthpop, industrial, electro and more.

(1) Interviewed in Legends #104..
Contact Information:
WTII Records, LLC
Post: PO Box 13495, Chicago, IL, 60613, USA
Phone: (773) 755-2415

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