CD Review

V/A - "D[electronic]T"

By Marcus Pan

D[electronic]TAs you know by now, I've tout the industrial/electronica scenes in both Germany (as always) and Texas (as of late) these days. However, there's another emerging scene I'm rather happy to speak of. That scene is located in Detroit, land of snow tires and the winter ice on which they ride. Here in stateside Detroit is The Detroit Electronica Coalition - I know very little about this coalition other than the fact that they have some impressive bands around them and have put out a rather good compilation CD that contains some bands that I've never heard of - and am rather sorry I haven't.

This is a rather good CD. The CD is laid out with a computer format - rather than track listings they have drive listings. For example, rather than "Track 1 - Y2K by Glitch" it says "D:\Glitch\Y2K." Being somewhat of a hardcore geek by trade, career and personal choice I rather enjoy this way of listing tracks and setting up the CD. The music is mostly computer driven, keeping with the look of the jacket. I must say that I unfortunately have only a photocopied jacket fold - but still I like the way it looks. It has contact information for all the bands and all the music contained herein is 1998-1999 so there's nothing moldy. Some of the music has a more KMFDM guitar-driven approach giving it an industrial feel. Others have a more Kraftwerk sound with surreal bubbles of sound floating about. There's nothing too different from other tracks - which means whoever picked out the songs to appear here on the D[electronic]T compilation is pretty damn good at it (I will be reviewing another compilation shortly hereafter in which the person who chose the appearances was rather bad at it). So let's drop into this excellent collection of Michigan sound with a vengeance and, as usual, do a track by track discussion.

Contact Information:
E-Mail: dec@cryogen.com
Web: http://www.cryogen.com/dec

Project Y2K by Glitch
Keeping the music to match the format (most of you know how much I like that aspect - the tie-in of the CD itself with the music tracks such as what Noxious Emotion(*) does), the CD opens up with the guitar-riffing Project Y2K. Glitch is a duo made up of Ed Altounian and Jon Ameel. Their contribution is a highlight to this compilation, with KMFDM/Ministry style guitars and metallic-rimmed vocals. The story of the song is the forecasted computer breakdown that is to occur in…hey, just about two months from now.

Contact Information: Glitch
E-Mail: glitch68@aol.com
Web: http://members.aol.com/Glitch68/GHP.html

Rouge River Sunrise by Jason C. Slaughter
Following the heavy Project Y2K track, we now go into a rather comfortable computeresque soundscape by Jason C. Slaughter. Jason's work here has a Kraftwerk feel with very bubbly sounds. The rhythm becomes very complicated later in the mix, showing the versatility that Jason possesses with his electronic equipment. It has a very electro-body feel to it, as Jason believes that "Music is the language of emotion." He goes on to qualify that statement on his Concept page at his website. I urge you to check that out at the very least. Lastly, I must mention that my two year old daughter, Felicia, is absolutely enamored by this track and loves it dearly.

Contact Information: Jason C. Slaughter
Phone: (800) 312-8690
Web: http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~jasoncsl/index.html

Innocence by CEOXiME
A great song to go into following Jason's soundscape style, you can still hear a bit of the Kraftwerk influence permeating Innocence by CEOXiME. Along with many of the tracks here, the STRESS! Factory is the studio in which these rhythmic movements were laid down for our enjoyment. The computer format is still here in full strength - on their website CEOXime is defined as a "computer virus damaging permanent devices and destroying memory. Music destroying all knowledge of time and memory." The musical style isn't destructive sounding - it's more of a low-key groove. Tatiana is the female vocalist, providing an echoing and lovely spin that works very well with the trance/jungle rhythm. Lastly, their website kicks MUCH ass. Definitely check it out for the aesthetic value alone even if the electronica music style doesn't appeal to you.

Contact Information: CEOXiME
E-Mail: headaque@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.cryogen.com/ceoxime

What Are Those by Elemental Groove
We keep on trancing away into What Are Those by Elemental Groove. Einstein and Tek Meister are the creators of this sound. Combining a low-key techno style with simpler rhythm and bass, Elemental Groove create a simple and comfortable sound. They have a unique style - while some of the separate instrumental samples and lines are simple, they are combined in a complicated way. What Are Those has a lot of complication in its total arrangement, but by keeping the individual lines simplistic it doesn't become messy or chaotic and is very controlled. It's rather hard to explain. Listen to it yourself.

Contact Information: Elemental Groove
Web: http://www.elementalgroove.com/

All Victims by AetherGround
We're back to the more industrial sound now with AetherGround's contribution to D[electronic]T. The guitar riffs are here but aren't overly used - mostly found highlighting the chorus and giving it a heavier sound. I have an issue with the some of the vocals - they have this twisted nature to them, run through some level of distortion. It comes out sounding kind of silly.

Contact Information: AetherGround
E-Mail: Schauberger@Earthlink.net
Web: http://www.tripphornsolution.com/synpage.htm

Flying Triangles by 4FR
Groove laden and trancey, Flying Triangles is contributed by 4FR. Consisting of rhythmic pulses, computery blips and bleepings and an occasional female soothingly repeating "Flying triangles," this track does tend to get a little monotonous - but not by much. The rhythm is effected, if only slightly, and changed as the track moves on. There is a hint of static/white noise just beneath the track that gives it a data-stream kind of feel. They also have a CD coming out in October '99.

Contact Information: 4FR
E-Mail: cgirard@tln.lib.mi.us
Web: http://www.zun.com/4FR.html

You Are Hear by esion
Another highlight of D[electronic]T is this contribution by esion. Esion have a more pop style with undercover metallic synth work. The vocals are well done. You Are Hear reminds me of work by Men Without Hats or Flock Of Seagulls - but with a more droning, bassy sound to it. Very well done. They have a CD out by the name of en route and this is a band I'm going to be looking into further.

Contact Information: esion
Post: esion, P.O. Box 1258, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106-1258
Phone: (734) 480-7880
E-Mail: esion@hotmail.com
Web: http://members.tripod.com/esion/

India's Fruit
This is unusual. The eighth track of this compilation, India's Fruit, is attributed to absolutely nobody. I don't know either. The track itself is a very droning sound with a lot of bright strumming - sounds like a sitar. The name of the song is very explanatory of the style of it as well. I don't know what else to say as there's no artist I can talk about. Strange that nobody claims its creation.

Bouncing Baby Clones by Chiasm
Kicking in with super-strong drum beats and occasional bursts of white noise, Bouncing Baby Clones is from another musical creation done "from an experimental viewpoint." The drum beats are consistent and constant throughout the track. The vocals are quite distorted with a metallic growl. The combination of heavy beats, droning bass and metallic vocals make this a rather harsh track. This is the work of one Emileigh Rohn. While it's far from being a highlight of D[electronic]T, it isn't a bad creation.

Contact Information: Chiasm
Post: Chiasm, P.O. Box 4040, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106
E-Mail: mousie808@go.com
Web: http://listen.to/chiasm

Beyond This Today by Ickytrip
Ok, so here is the one single band that I've previously heard of. Ickytrip has become somewhat known. Beyond This Today is a soundtrack-like creation of trance-inducing ambience fitted with bright synth progressions and a rhythm that while simple remains interesting. There is a sliding bass (synth?) track just underneath that gives it a breath of moodiness and feeling of decay.

Contact Information: Ickytrip
E-Mail: ickytrip@CarpeMortem.com

Trade by Hypodermic
Jonathan Vincent Yowell and friends Lori Gidley & Brian Smith form the musical vampire faction known as Hypodermic. They expect to have an EP out late this year (1999) and have provided the eleventh track on the D[electronic]T compilation. Trade is a heavy metallic techno track with vocals that are more human than vox. This is a rather straightforward synth-core song - and a rather good one.

Contact Information: Hypodermic
E-Mail: HYPOD@aol.com
Web: http://www.thepurplegang.com/

Glyph by Crash Site 68
Ed Altounian from the more industrial sounding project, Glitch (see review of Project Y2K by them above), seems to be the one with the more ambient slant and this is obvious in his side project Crash Site 68. This side project was created to incorporate "all the ideas that didn't work with the heavier music." CS68's contribution, Glyph, is a comfortable place where you can relax and just float away for a bit.

Contact Information: Crash Site 68
Web: http://members.aol.com/GlITCHuser/cs68.html

You Can't Stop the Future by Man x the Motor
Bradford Allen, who records under the name Man x the Motor, provides the dancing groove track of You Can't Stop the Future. The vocals Bradford uses are followed by soft melody that underlines his straight sounding voice. The chorus is repeated too many times I think giving the song a more monotonous feeling and it is also slowed down here so that he near-chants the name of the track. The slow down also adds to the redundancy. Other than this the track is a good ambient-techno piece.

Contact Information: Man x the Motor
E-Mail: Brad@manxthemotor.com
Web: http://www.manxthemotor.com/

Musik Elektronik by SpaceScape
A good description of the track that finishes off the CD can be found both in the band's name and in the song's name as well. SpaceScape have a type of techno sound you'd expect to find on a Beyond The Mind's Eye tape. That is, its kind of ambient, but doesn't loose the moving beat and rhythm like some of the floaty tracks do. The synth chords complement the current soundings, which include some female vocals, male whisperings and other white-noise-like clips.

Contact Information: SpaceScape
E-Mail: spacescape@electronikpalette.com
Web: http://www.electronikpalette.com/spacescape/