posted: Aug 2, 2006 category: Reviews


An exciting collection of modern electro-noir, full of dark jazzy atmospheres and beats perfect for the electro night life.

After Sister Machine Gun left WaxTrax! Records in 1997, Chris Randall went on to form Positron! Records to be the new outlet for his jazz-inspired pseudo-industrial creations. In the last decade, the label has gone on to sign a number of artists, many of which known for their eclectic genre-bending sounds. Now, Positron! releases this third entry into their compilation series, komposi003, creating a veritable soundtrack for the modern industrial noir community. The music on komposi003 is jazzy and cinematic, throbbing with darkness and energy, and showcasing some of today's top talents with music that belies their more aggressive alter-egos.

Starting things off is the fevered bebop of "Artist With a Thompson," courtesy of Amish Rake Fight. As the project of former Machines of Loving Grace keyboardist Mike Fisher, this track just rocks with a killer bass line, hot-tempered drumbeats, and some searing horns for good measure. Imagine being chased down a neon-lit alleyway by federal agents in trench coats; this track would be the perfect soundtrack. The same could be said for Scanalyzer's "Culture Shock," with its energetic tempo and edgy bass lines, and those jazzy horns offset by a helping of noisy static synths. Chris Randall's solo track is reminiscent of his slower work in Sister Machine Gun, particularly Metropolis-era. With bombastic drumbeats and wailing guitars complemented by some lovely organ solos suitable for a smoke-filled nightclub at 2:00 a.m., the track comes across like a rocking out version of Barry Adamson. Other tracks take a slightly more off-kilter approach, like Milkfish's "Shame" with its chilled-out down-tempo ambience, and Randall's remix of s.sturgis' "euphondisson," which combines subtle glitches and fading pad progressions with an almost Brit-hop cadence. A softly feminine touch is also present in the slinky electroclash of Bounte's "Going Nowhere," and even more so with Atomica's Sarah McLachlan-esque "Airways," truly one of the best tracks on the CD. 16 Volt's Eric Powell also makes an appearance as Graphic, showing yet another side to his musical self with "The Things You Do," a track full of tribal drum loops and flowing vocal choruses reminiscent of his later work in 16 Volt. The CD closes out with Sister Machine Gun's "Sink," which could very well have been a leftover track from their last album, Influence. Driven by a straightforward dance beat, a tense bass loop, and Randall's trademark aggro vocals building up to a powerful climax, "Sink" ends komposi003 on a loud and satisfying note.

With komposi003, coldwave music fans are treated to a wonderful counterpoint to the harsh industrial rock of their heroes. No less forceful, yet far more atmospheric and musically varied, fans of 16 Volt, Machines of Loving Grace, and Sister Machine Gun will certainly find much to behold in these latest outings. This music presents the missing link between the gangster-ridden jazz nightclubs of the '40s and the clubs of today overridden with goth kids and rivetheads looking for something to satiate their aggression and belt out their rage. If you're looking for an exciting time in the post-modern nightlife, komposi003 is the CD for you.

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komposi003 @ shopPOSI

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