This is not your ordinary record label. COP Int'l has taken a very different perspective than most other record labels in the music industry. Although, it seems that more labels like these are catching the vision of what it takes to get the "Underground music" in the public eye and ear.
Started back in 1991 with a dream to bring the new Gothic/Industrial acts the exposure needed to reach more people, they have come a long way. Based in Germany and Oakland, CA USA, the label and the artists are able to reach a large audience on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. While COP is a large group of artists and other people who help try and spread around the good music. These people behind the label are the kind of people with the vision it takes to take the independant scene to new heights. Through a lot of dedication and hardwork we are now able to hear groups like Deathline International, Soil and Eclipse, Chiasm, Carphax Files, Phantom Vision and Zentriert Ins Antlitz among others, all over the world on radio shows, in clubs and on the internet.
With several compilations and many bands, COP Int'l is really doing something and has come a long way from the humble beginnings in 1991. While most of the information on this web site is due to my own research, your source for the best information on this label and the artists is by going to the official home page by clicking the banner below or at the top of the page.
I would like to commend those involved with COP International and wish this label all the success that it deserves!
Infact Your Mind - Review
This CD is a compilation put together by the Infacted Recordings label in collaboration with COP International for release in the USA to help give exposure to this label's excellent roster of bands. We're presented with fourteen tracks as a cross-section of the artists available and it's packed with heavy, club-friendly dance tracks which is what you'll be able to find on most releases from this label.
Most readers should be familiar with many of these bands such as Heimataerde, Soman, Frozen Plasma, XP8, Reaper and a few others since most have had their albums reviewed here and played on the Gothic Paradise Club Mix radio show. As with any compilations there are tracks that stand out as favorites based on your preferred genre style and the talents that are present on the disc. For me the most notable pieces are those that are somewhat on the melodic, heavy synthpop side with touches of industrial beats and slight distortion. The others that delve into the driving trance and power noise are still great pieces, but not my personal favorites. Most of these however, are well-produced and should please fans of these genres.
Heimataerde is one of these bands that I've grown to really enjoy over the years with each of their releases with their style that mixes harsh industrial with medieval musical styles. The track "Unter der Unden (club mix)" that they provide on this disc is excellent with some added female vocals on top of the already really cool mix of medieval industrial they have going on. I also knew I could count on whatever Frozen Plasma has to offer, and the "Warmongers (dj edit)" piece is an excellent addition to this disc with the heavy beats and layered synths mixed with the melodic vocals. Conetik follows close behind with their excellent, melodic synth piece "Cold Eyes (Frozen Plasma Remix)". This is definitely a favorite from this disc and I look forward to picking up any albums they may have now or in the future. Another band taht I wasn't familiar with before appears in the form of Ladln and the piece "Absolutions (mercyful remix by Angels and Agony". This is another powerful dance-friendly melodic synth piece that fans of the harder hitting synth and EBM music can really enjoy. And wrapping up this group of excellent artists is Obscenity Trial with another piece along the same genre styles as the others previously mentioned.
The final few artists leave something to be desired as we drift through more experimental frontiers, though the music in general still remains in the EBM, synth and trance genres while some include bits of experimental noise and electronics. Nymph and Reaper become the climax for these tracks and wrap up the album with the harsher noise styles that people should be familiar with and provide a nice ending for the album after the short interlude of less-than-average pieces. With that said, we wrap up the album and this review and once again leave it up to the listener to go out, give the artists and try and support them by picking up the actual releases as they are available.
When Angels Die - Review
It is extremely hard to know even how to approach this album because of the somewhat personal nature and circumstances this was released under. As a tribute and benefit compilation, it's not exactly what I expected, but I think it's a great idea and hopefully enough money can be raised to help not only cover the cost for the angel gravestone (the dying wish of Steffi, the main goal of this compilation) but also to raise awareness of breast cancer. Read more about this compilation here: www.whenangelsdie.org.
Based on the content of this disc, it's apparent that Steffi was an ebm, industrial and noise music fan, otherwise I would have expected something a little more reverent as a tribute album and titled When Angels Die. However, with that in mind, the music on this disc is a real treat for die-hard fans of these genres. When I first put it on and heard Soil and Eclipse with their beautiful piece "She Flies With Angels" which starts off slow and builds up to something of a dance-friendly trance piece, I figured this was what the album would be full of. But when Suicide Commando and Nurzery [Rhymes] takes over, you realize that this isn't the case. Though these first few tracks do carry forward the theme of angels and the slight melancholy mood throughout the tracks even through the harshness. [:SITD:] continues on with their excellent track "Ascension" which also fits nicely into this compilation.
As the CD moves on, the mood gets darker and the music harsher as we are greeted with The Retrosic, E-Craft, Dive, XOTOX, Terrorfact and many others along the same lines. Each sporting a harsh, driving industrial beat and layers of synths and electronics, some in the EBM dance-friendly genres while others delve into the heavy, distorted power noise and industrial music. As we get through all of the harsh, driving music we are left with the dark ambient textures of PAL to wrap up the album with "Requiem for an Angel". This dark, moody piece seems to be the perfect finale for this album and fans should really enjoy it.
While I would have expected something a little less evasive, as a fan of these genres of music I can understand how DJ Sascha would know Steffi the best and understand what she would have liked and enjoyed. So with that said, I can only lend by best-wishes to all involved and hope that others enjoy this disc at least as much as I have.
Dark Awakening Vol. 5 - Review
This is the fifth in this long series of double-disc compilations and with each release we're presented with something interesting, well compiled and a great cross-section of the club-friendly goth and electro-industrial genres. This series is compiled by long-time DJ Dirk Neveling out of Germany where he test drives most of these tracks and based on response chooses some new classics for each of these compilations. Each new release provides an excellent pool of music to dip into and sample some of the best that the scene has to offer with the latest releases from many different labels around the world. It's broken down into two discs, Disc one focusing on the the electro-industrial scene and the second disc providing a nice sampling of some of the latest great gothic tracks.
Electro CD (Disc 1)
On the electro CD we're presented with sixteen powerful tracks ranging from the harder-edged electro-pop to the harsh EBM, noise and industrial selections so that there is really something here for all fans of these related genres. Immediately Necro Facility grabbed my attention with their dark, heavy sound that really sounds a lot like The Fair Sex in the days and style of "Drop of Blood" with heavy beats, deep vocals and some real depth in the music and vocal compositions. Another really stellar piece that stands out among the others is Decence with their piece "The Clockwork". This piece is a powerful, driving electro-pop track with deep vocals with some catchy hooks and a melodic take. Following right on the heels of that track is another great selection from Destroid with their piece "Judgement Throne". This mixes very well because of the similar styles in both music and vocals with some heavy and powerful synths and moving dance-friendly beats.
Other bands that listeners of Gothic Paradise radio will definitely recognize include The Invincible Spirit, Headscan and Spetsnaz. This latter group continues to impress me with their "true" EBM sound right along the styles of the legendary Nitzer Ebb and so they're a great addition to this compilation. The remaining bands are all to be complimented with few exceptions that I think most listeners can live with as I have.
Gothic CD (Disc 2)
Each Dark Awakening release presents us with a pretty even release of good music in both target genres. Sometimes I like the Electro CD and sometimes the Gothic CD, in this case, while I really enjoy select tracks from the electro CD, I have to lean towards favoring the gothic disc on this release. Immediately tracks stand out that lean heavily on the dark and moody sounds that were set by bands like The Sisters of Mercy and later by Rosetta Stone and classic Nosferatu. Perfectly within this realm fits Dr. Arthur Krause with "Rare Flowers" which has quickly become a favorite despite it's simplicity, it's also really catchy. Sticking close to this style is Morthem Vlade Art with "Spirits" and God's Army with "The Ninth Gate", and each of these have quickly become favorites.
Shifting style slightly and still remaining favorites are Voices of Masada, Ikon, Soulscape and it was a real treat to see the excellent UK horror punk group Zombina and the Skeletones appear. Long-time goth fans that were around and into the scene in the 90's will be happy to see the appearance of Two Witches and Ex-Voto. In short, the old and new bands come together really well and show how great the goth music scene really is even though we're not sitting at the peak of the goth scene of the 90's. Besides Zombina we also have some other punk-related bands making an appearance and doing a good job at it with The Prids and Skeletal Family. Each of these inclusions also show how well a broad range of sub-genres also blend together.
There you have it! Once again we have another great compilation from this DJ and a great way for people to become acquainted with some great new groups. Listeners of Gothic Paradise radio shows will no doubt recognize many of these bands and should be excited to hear more. This is a very highly recommended compilation, so be sure to pick it up.
Electro CD Tracklist:
- Pressure Control - Biogod
- Twin Machine - Freeze
- Necro Facility - Ifrit
- Virtual Embrace - F* You
- Violent Entity - Cold as Ice
- Decence - The Clockwork
- Destroid - Judgement Throne
- The Invincible Spirit - Deeper
- Virtual Space Industrial - Traitor
- Fractured - Everytime
- Headscan - Dead Silver Sky
- Spetsnaz - Silence Implies Consent
- Xotox - Roboterkrieg (Remix by [:SITD:])
- Dive - Deadman
- FabrikC - Der Zweite Tod
- Adrenochrome - Kansas City (extended)
Gothic CD Tracklist:
- Fields of the Nephilim - Xiberia
- The Prids - The Problem
- Dr. Arhtur Krause - Rare Flowers
- Voices of Masada - Flight
- Morthem Vlade Art - Spirits
- Cream VIII - Burn Witch Burn
- Pink Turns Blue - Underground
- Gods Army - The Ninth Gate
- Zombina & The Skeletones - The New Orleans Incident
- Ikon - Time Against Time
- Skeletal Family - Lies
- Two Witches - We All Fall Down
- Altered States - Letting Go
- Devilish Presley - She's Not America
- Ex-Voto - I Cry
- Soulscape - Under The Sun
- The Tors of Dartmoor - Welcome to the House
Bodybeats - Review
Introducing a new compilation coming to us from this dynamic label. Like one of the other compilations this label releases, this one is based on a club night and the music that is played or performed there. As the title would imply, this is based on the harder-edged EBM style that we grew to love from the 80's and the likes of Nitzer Ebb and Front 242. Bodybeats is a club in Berlin where much of the music on this compilation is played and many of the artists have performed live at one time or another.
The selection of artists on this comp is fairly impressive and most are well-known within the EBM / Industrial scene. I have listed the tracklisting below, so you can have a look and see how many you can pick out. Immediately I recognized Aslan Faction, Plastic Noise Experience, Grendel and Megadump just from their other recent releases. The good news is that these bands are currently releasing new material, some of which is exclusive to this compilation. Much of it reflects perfectly back on that solid 80's EBM sound and is a lot of fun. Other tracks unfortunately grate on the nerves slightly and don't lend much to the comp with a cookie-cutter sound that becomes tiresome.
I was immediately impressed with the first few tracks with Rector Scanner kicking it off with pounding beats and raw electronics. Spetsnaz reminds me a lot of Nitzer Ebb and the track included here would fit well on one of their albums. The bands that I quickly recognized all bring something interesting to the comp mixing it up a bit, cutting out of the mold slightly, yet sticking to their own recognizable styles. With these exceptions, as the album moves on, it tends to grow a little bit stale with track after track of the same style and same mold. As the album winds down, Mezire stands out with more of dark ambient or power noise without any crashing beats.
Overall, this is another good compilation. It's worth picking up if you're a die-hard fan.
- Rector Scanner "Your Body" [feat. Ivo] *
- Spetsnaz "On the Edge"[ BodyBeats version] *
- T.A.N.K. "Freakshow"
- Proceed "Diktatur"
- Aslan Faction "Ounce of Flesh" *
- Plastic Noise Experience "Gold" [live @ Bodybeats] *
- Megadump "Suffering" [ re-edit ] *
- Ionic Vision "Synthetic Sex" [leatherette rmx] *
- Tyske Ludder "Sojus" *
- Mindware "I dominate you" (xm-edit)*
- KIFOTH "Proper Behaviour [version v.1] *
- Grendel "Fatal Flaws" [Ah Cama-Sotz Remix] *
- Kiew "Graograman" [F/A/V Remix] *
- Mezire "Rage"
* - unreleased track