KMFDM - IN DUB (2020)


KMFDM is doing it yet again, but this is a serious departure from their usual formula. Instead of the looping guitar riffs and ultra heavy 4/4 beats, this, as the name implies, is a dub album! It's also not a dub album in the sense that they just slapped some reverb and echo on some remixes, no, this has a soundsystem/dub-plate produced vibe to it [very much like Killing Joke's In Dub album]. These are KMFDM classics redone/remixed as industrial-tinged dub, and this is a very welcome change of pace. There is a lot of division in the KMFDM fanbase between "classic KMFDM" and "nu-KMFDM", and I don't doubt there will be some fans who are unhappy with the change in direction [or simply that we don't still live in the 90's and that En and Gunter have long since moved on] but for the rest of us, there is something here for everyone. The song selection ranges from ANGST to the most recent, PARADISE, albeit with more emphasis on post-Y2K material.

The album begins with the classic staple LIGHT. Instead of the familiar guitar riff, we are treated to a downtempo bassline, stacatto ska-synths, and a bombastic horn section, while retaining the same song structure otherwise. Superhero Dub gives us more of the thumping bass but with more guitar intact, albeit mixed lower in the mix and working more as a texture than a driving force of the song. The dub versions of Up Uranus and Bumaye get my attention more than the originals did [BLITZ never really held my attention, and there were specific songs from Tohuvabohu that I tended to skip to]. Another classic from the past, A Drug Against War, really stands out. It's somehow both laid-back and agressive at the same time. This might just be my favourite track off this album. As the song seems to reach it's conclusion, we are treated to an extended section featuring the guitar riff from the original. I like how they make us wait for it... aural edging at it's finest! KMF DUB is maybe the most agressive track, being a remix of the industrial hip-hop track from Paradise. I always wish for more industrial hip-hop, but now I think I want more industrial hip-hop dub to be a thing! The album continues with "nu-KMFDM" tracks, I suppose as Kap't K knows people miss the old band, but wants us to stop living in the past. Even if you are someone who is a hardcore "classic" fan, you really should give this one a listen. It's probably the best album they've done in a long time.

Rein - REINCARNATED (2020)


Sweden's Joanna Reinikainen, after 4 years of releasing EP's and singles, and honing her sound an image, has released Reincarnated, her first full-length album. It's been awe-inspiring seeing the evolution, from electro-punk anger on her early EP's and her collaboration with The Operating Tracks, to a polished sound and brand that I imagine will be filling dancfloors along with EBM classic acts such as Nitzer Ebb [once this pandemic ends...]. Reincarnated sounds like an EBM classic from 1989 while also sounding like the future of this genre in 2020. Of all the new-old-school acts that have emerged in the last several years, Rein stands out as someone who is really putting in the work to create something that is more than a hobby played out on a laptop.

The single Bodyhammer is a thumper that demands stomping on the dancefloor. This is a track that screams "EBM is *not* dead!". The following track, Dystopia, is a much slower track in comparison, and gives the feeling of walking through a cyberpunk dystopian neon-drenched fog, feeling the weight of fear for what's happening around you. Limitless has funky stacatto synths that make you move your body while listening.

I expect this album, and especially the single Bodyhammer, will find it's way into the ranks of floorkiller staples like Join In The Chant, Metalhammer, Don't Crash, and Assimilate.