CD Review

Neurepublik - "Promo 2000"

By Marcus Pan

Promo 2000Jeff Crowell is the creator of Neurepublik. Another band trying to break out of the site, he has been making electronic music since 1987 - over a decade. Jeff's experience shows in the musical arrangement he shows. The right breakdowns, the right sounds and melodies, the right vocal style chosen for each of the nine tracks he burned onto his Promo 2000 promotional release to zinesters like me.

Promo 2000 is a collection of music from Crowell's for-sale releases, Ein War Einmal… and Electro Chakra Therapy, the latter of which as yet unreleased. I assume that it will be an MP3.Com DAM CD, like its EP predecessor. I do hope he includes his Bela Lugosi's Dead cover on Electro Chakra Therapy.

Jeff's style is usually soothing and slow - a combination of bright melodies and heavier bass rhythms. His musical arrangement skills are apparent in tracks like I Believe in Nothing, pitting slow and smooth bass lines together with bright piano melodies. Originally from his CD Ein War Einmal…, I Believe in Nothing is a highlight to this collection. Also here, and not appearing on any of his for-sale releases as far as I can tell, is a wonderful electronic remake of Bauhaus' Bela Lugosi's Dead. It opens with electronic drums and also an excellent synthetic rendition of the guitar slides that Murphy and the gang used in the original. Regardless that this remake is purely electronic, Bela Lugosi's Dead is excellently done and completely true to the original. The end of the soothing beat-laden introduction is quick and sudden, and you find yourself surrounded by keyboards, rhythms and low-tone bass that would move any dancefloor. Vocals here are whispered and capture the vampiric nature of the song wonderfully. Very well done!

I'm only going to highlight one more song of this collection - track 4, Happy…. This is another tune where Jeff's arrangement is clearly very skilled. Wind-washed vocals, a soothing bass line and even drum track with bright keyboard melodies that float in after vocal stanzas. Samples are placed very well and Cleese fans will love the sampling from "Monty Python's Quest For the Holy Grail." The song is introspective and searching - lamenting the lack of happiness that many of us feel in life. The smooth and rhythmic movements of the arrangements are contradictory to the subject matter, creating a stunning effect to the layout of the song. It would also go quite well on a slower moving, near-trance dancefloor. Definitely a favorite track I've come across in the past few months. The CD closes with remixed versions of the two opening tracks, Way Out and The Real Me.

Neurepublik - one of my highlight finds in the big promotion packs I get from Nocturnal Movements and also highlighted on the station of Mike V, another Legends staff reviewer, "Hidden Sanctuary." The music is smooth and bass heavy, rife with danceable rhythms and soothing bright keyboards. Musical arrangement is excellent - not succumbing to the "more is better" nor falling into the "less is more" traps. DJ's - spin a few of these morose and rhythmic tunes over your next dance floor gig and see what happens.

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