have been around in one form or another since 1988 and have been going strong since the beginning and their first full-length release World Without End
This hot album contains their hit classic track "Try To Forget" which was the first track I became acquainted with and is still a club classic to this day. From this very first album the talents of the individual members shone bright through a broad range of electro-pop styles from great mid-tempo ballads to up-beat and catchy dance tracks. Over the next few years they were on fire, releasing six albums in four years including their very popular "best of" album Zehn
which includes various remixes and edits of the original tracks.
After 1999's album Void
Markus left the band leaving the duo Steffen Keth and Thomas Adam to carry on. They've managed to keep going and have continued to release a number of albums and singles. Through all of these years they have managed to produce a popular and powerful style of electro-pop music with a number of club tracks and as many awesome emotional ballads and just about anything in between. They've experimented with everything from pure electronics to grinding guitar-laiden pieces, solid pop-oriented tracks to minimalistic experimental pieces. While they most often present their lyrics in english, they still cater to their native german fans with the occasional german vocals.
2006 presented us with Subkutan
which again pushed the envelope and expand on their solid styles. Noob
was release in much of the world in 2008, and in 2009 was released for their North American audience. Not slowing down, they released Popgefahr
in 2010 featuring more of their solid electro-pop styles. For these releases they continue with their European label E-Wave Records
but have shifted their N. American releases to Dancing Ferret Discs
(in 2006) and Metropolis Records
. This band has always been one to watch and while they may have jumped on the electro-pop bandwagon in the latest 80's based on influences like Depeche Mode
, over the years this has become a band for others to pattern their own styles after. Listeners to Gothic Paradise should be well aware of this band with selections from their past and present always available.
Popgefahr - Review
Never slowing down, this band just continues to impress and set the standard higher and higher for all who wish to follow and reach what this band has accomplished over the years.
Not nearly as long as the previous album, we have ten solid tracks all grounded in the electro-pop roots this band has been creating for so many years.
Right from the start of this album, tracks start grabbing my attention with the catchy hooks and lyrics. "mAndroids" kicks it off with sass and style in the heavy electronics for a fun and powerful piece. "Rage" is next on the disc and also the next track that really jumps out as a new classic dance track for this band. Though this band is well-rounded and has some great variety, it's still the catchy dance tracks that I enjoy most from them, and they continue to impress with these two previously mentioned movers as well as later with "Time To Be Alive". This piece and "Rage" made up the subsequent MCD released as the two big hits from this album and with good reason. They're the heaviest, most melodic and dance-friendly selections on the album, building on the band's classic sound. In addition to these "Plastic Heart" is moving and catchy in an upbeat, melodic synthpop fashion.
As previously mentioned, this is a well-rounded band with the variety of electronic music on this and previous albums. They include a few ballad-like pieces that are enjoyable for a different pace from the danceable beats. While they don't usually get to the point of the moody, almost ethereal pieces like the classic Depeche Mode
tracks (ie. "Somebody" or "Waiting for the Night"), tracks like "What's Love All About?" or "Be A Light To Yourself" are uplifting and the mid-tempo beat and somber synths create a nice melancholy atmosphere.
Once the ten tracks are done there's no doubt we have another classic from this band. It's fun to listen to and their style never seems to get old as they create one great release after another, sometimes with heavy electronics, sometimes light, but always interesting in one way or another. All great for the synthpop fans around the world.
NOOB - Review
It's finally time for this new release to hit the N. American audience and it's been worth the wait.
This album really shows some of the great talent that this band has and their continued creativity. It features thirteen original new tracks along with some great remixes for seventeen total great electro-pop tracks.
As the album kicks off, the band introduces us to their sound that's a little more standard mid-tempo rock on "What You Deserve" with a sound comparable to some of the latest Depeche Mode
. This seems to be a little more of the exception as we move on through the album, the dance-friendly kicks mixed with somber electronic ballads across pieces like "Nine Lives" with a sort of electronic groove, or later with "Deep Blue" and even more somber "See What I See" which presents some ambient-style chill-out electronics. All of these slower pieces create a nice variety and mix surprisingly well with the dance-friendly tracks throughout the rest of the album.
Many of these heavier club tracks have become favorites for me, whether it's the edgier "Obsolete" or the bouncy, light-hearted "Death of Me", the beats are moving and fun. "Life is Suffering" picks up in that upbeat style of 80's synthpop that is really catchy and should be a new classic for the new millenium of electro-pop music. "Flavour of the Week" has also been a favorite with that synthpop sound that is fun to listen to and should be enjoyable on and off the dancefloor.
As the album moves on, it's packed with this great variety of electronic music with the solid vocals for melodic synthpop that fans should enjoy. The album wraps up with four interesting remixes that are quite a different take on these tracks such as is the case with "The Far Side of the Moon (Patenbrigade Wolff Remix)" which brings out an ambient chill-out fill to the track. In similar style is the "Love Will Dance Remix" of "Love Will Find a Way", though I don't necessarily agree with the name of the remix because it takes it down in intensity quite a bit to more of a dreamy piece than a dance track. However, the "Sinner Mix" of "Life Is Suffering" is a solid dance-friendly mix of this track with some heavier EBM-style synths layered on. "Intuition's US Edit" of "Flavour of the Week" probably sticks more with the original style than many of the other remixes, as Intuition
has a very similar synthpop style.
With that, the album is complete and is a great addition to any serious synthpop fan's collection. This is another great work from this legendary group.
Subkutan - Review
I've always looked forward to each album from this band and this one is no exception. It was nice to see that they're remaining active and that overall they're musical styles are remaining strong and that they're able to provide us with something new and unique to listen to.
This album contains thirteen new tracks that once again range through their chosen styles that are mainly electro-pop oriented containing a nice range of tempos and moods.
One thing about this band is that no matter what they release you can easily tell that you're listening to De/Vision
with Steffen's distinct vocals and their overall musical style. The band throws at us one of their most divergent tracks by kicking off the album with "subtronic", a catchy, almost electr-clash piece with a repetative two-line lyric. Fortunately this piece and "E-Shock" are the only real pieces that don't fall inline with what we're used to from this band. This latter track delves into the harder electronics prominent in the EBM scene, but the overall piece is still recognizable as a De/Vision
piece. The break-beats of "The End" just accent the overall harsher experimental imagery in this track and cliche vocals, not what the average fan would rank as a favorite track, but in the end it always comes back as another great piece on this album and shows more of the overall experimental nature of this ablum.
Fans shouldn't let the experimental nature of the few previously mentioned track scare them off from picking this album up, because with a good majority of the tracks we're presented with exactly what would be expected from this band. "Star-crossed Lovers" shows how well this band can take a simple ballad and add an extreme edge to it for another great piece that really takes the listener on a roller-coaster of sound. Once you get to "addict" and "obey your heart", then you know without a doubt that this is the De/Vision
we've grown to love over the past few years with excellent electronic textures pulsating as the back-drop to Steffen's vocals while often slightly processed on this album, they still remain smooth and melodic. After these two catchy tracks we're led to the awesome ballad "no tomorrow" which shows how this band can produce something as sweet and smooth as any Martin Gore
After another moving piece "Still Unknown" which is certain to be another favorite among fans, this band pulls out a special treat for their native german-speaking audience with "In Dir". This piece moves along in steady motion, taking the edge away from the often harsh german language making it sound almost as fluent and romantic as the stereotypical french might sound. The remainder of the album drifts along in much the same style with the occasional experimentation including the spatial ambient nature of "Summer Sun" and finally the upbeat remix of "subtronic" to finalize the album.
There you have it in a few paragraphs. With thirteen tracks and a majority staying right on track with what you would expect from this band and a few diverse ones for more variety, this is something any synth and electro-pop fans can enjoy.
Label: E-Wave / Drakkar