In 1993 Daniel Logemann and Mirco Osterthun began experimenting with instrumental electronic music and over the years they would be influenced by various Electronic and Trance artists to create their own versions of dance-oriented music. About 1999 they would then change their focus, building on their experience so far and move to more song-oriented songs and sign with Art Of Fact
out of Canada to release their debut album Belastendes Material
. More full-length albums and an EP would follow and over more than a decade we have been treated with a great mix of dance-friendly music. They have also played live occasionally including an appearance at WGT in Leipzig and plan on doing more after each release in the future.
Hailing from Germany, in many ways their sound has followed many other European groups, but seem to end up with something in a more unique vein, not quite EBM, Synthpop or Industrial, but neither entirely Trance or Techno. It is along these blurry lines that we find their styles in their four albums. Their latest takes a large cross-section and is a great example of the cross-over that is happening so much in all of these genres lately.
With many fun, dance-oriented tracks, you can be sure to catch something in many dance clubs and radio shows around the world including the Gothic Paradise club mix radio show.
Niemand Weiss was die Zukunft Bringt - Review
If you enjoyed the previous album, then you're going to love this disc.
This creative group picked up right where they left off with their previous album with pounding beats and pulsating synths that are almost entirely club-driven pieces. As with previous works, it's all spread across a number of tracks, fourteen total on this disc for a good hour's worth of music.
Like previous albums, the template remains the same and we're first introduced to the band through an introductory track "Prolog (with Reiner Schoene)" which has an excellent texture that builds and fades right into the pounding piece "Teig Der Vernunft" which features Ana on vocals. This trance-laiden piece is all Massiv in Mensch
through and through, with the staccato synths, layers of heavy electronics all over pounding beats. Stefan Poiss seems to have a solid guest spot with this group as he appears once again on this album with the stellar track "Transformation II". This melodic synth piece features a bit more of a laid back tempo, yet retains that mix of synthpop and trance throughout for another excellent piece and a definite favorite from this album.
There are several favorites on this disc and even a bit more variety compared to some of the past releases. While I could live without "I Love To Hate" and "Mich Besiegst Du Nicht" doesn't really appeal to me on any level, maybe it's the language barrier, however, "Against All Odds" comes out in stark contrast against these previous tracks. With nearly half of the song passing before any vocals, this long introduction drifts along slowly building to a brooding, almost ballad-like piece, except in pure MiM
style with the heavy, solid vocals. Following this, the next few tracks take on that classic trance feeling, not really favorites, but still accessible and fun. "Ob Du Auch Kalt Bleibst" is the next piece that stands out amongst the various trance-laiden tracks with a melodic synthpop sound and guest vocalist. However, the following piece "Lost In The Thought" has quickly become a favorite of mine even with it's faster beat and more trance-like styles. It features male and female duet vocals and various little aural additions such as an oriental interlude and other little details, that even though the lyrics are simple, it's a great dance-friendly, catchy tune.
With that the album wraps up with another hard-hitting trance track "Radical/Relevant" and then the mostly instrumental title track for the finale to the album. So for long-time fans, this is another great addition to any collection and for those not familiar and if you like a bit of trance mixed with the darker, harder-edged synth or electro-pop sounds, then this is a good album to pick up.
Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle - Review
These dark rave artists are back with another album, packed with pounding beats and pulsating synths.
This latest disc features a great selection of dance-friendly, dark techno pieces spanning fourteen tracks.
After a brief title-track introduction we're taken right into the excellent single "Supermassive Gravity". This powerful piece features Stefan Poiss from Mind.in.a.Box
on vocals for a nice twist and favorite piece on this album. With the vocoded vocals and driving music to back it up it makes it a powerful, driving synthpop piece that fans will enjoy. Most of the pieces are driving techno tracks, but there are a surprising number like this piece that are a bit more on the melodic synthpop side. "Alone" comes later on in the album with a sort of bouncy techno feel, but feature more vocals, male and female for a simple melodic piece. "Meer der Tausend Farben" and "As I Wake By Your Side" are both pieces that moves along in this way, a bit more melodic, less techno and more synthpop so a bit more of a favorite here. The music still remains powerful and the beat varies slightly from the solid four-on-the-floor techno beat and synths are a little more dreamy, featuring more of the symphonic or EBM style.
I think die-hard fans of this band can appreciate these previously mentioned pieces for their melodic attributes. But it just wouldn't be Massiv In Mensch
without the heavy-hitting techno, dark rave tracks that really pack a punch. These come in quickly with "Never Trust the Outline", at around 160 bpm and driving hard, this is a piece that really moves. "Pink Dream" and "Ikonoklast!" pick up and move right along as well as the aptly named "Powerful". There's a bit more of a vocal structure on each of these pieces, even if they're more spoken than sung and I think makes this album a bit more robust and powerful than many of the previous works.
As with previous works, we're featured with a few fun pieces that don't really fall into the hard-hitting techno, dark rave or the melodic synthpop. Sometimes they're in between, sometimes they do things like the remix of Helium Vola's
"Selig" like they did before. On this album we get a special treat with a remix of Lycia's
dreamy guitar piece "Pygmalian" "reloaded" with a moving electronic take, still featuring the soaring guitars. This is definitely a treat for fans and readers here as Lycia
has long had a solid presence on the Gothic Paradise radio waves. This mixes well with the dark rave music on this album as they continue to cross electronic genre boundaries, keeping it fresh, but always powerful.
Clubber Lang - Review
This is the fourth full-length album from these dark techno artists.
They continue to pour on the hard-hitting beats and driving synths for their signature sound on this disc. The album features a total of 15 pounding techno anthems that manage to cross genre lines enough to be on the playlists of many different DJ styles. Of course the overall techno feel remains the solid background, so those that enjoy the harder-edged techno synthpop will be those that enjoy this disc the most.
As is normal they present their own short anthemic motto in their introductory track "In Mensch", which promptly gives way to something I've heard quite a bit in the techno world lately, and that's a cover of a popular 80's track put to the techno / trance stylings.  This one appears in the form of the cover of U2
's "Sunday Bloody Sunday". It's a good cover and I find it enjoyable while it has the techno stylings, it's not completely destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up, but maintains enough of the original integrity to really be a good track. The band also "reloads" the excellent Helium Vola
track "Selig". This is a piece that I've always felt would make a good club track, but the beats on the original just aren't very heavy and so it's a rare audience that can enjoy it on the club floor, but this remix does exactly what's needed. It does have that heavy techno and trance feel, so it's not entirely for what the original audience might have been, but a new club-oriented audience can definitely enjoy this piece.
As is typical for this band they not only use their sparse deep male vocals throughout various tracks "chanting" out slogans or a short lyric here and there, but they also feature the smooth female vocals of Anna-Maria Straatmann. Pieces like "Menschdefekt" take on a new mood once these vocals are added, or the bouncy piece "Around My Heart" where she does more than just a few lines, but becomes the fronting vocalist. These pieces mixed with the angelic vocals on "Selig" make the album that much more cohesive and enjoyable.
Of course there are also the typical trance pieces, pouring on the speed and "swooshing" techno synths such as on the single "Klang Der Unsterblichkeit" or "Endless". These pieces coupled with the smoother sounding and more accessible typical synthpop tracks "Green" and "Around My Heart" increase the diversity on the album and make it more enjoyable to a broader audience on and off the dance floor.
Once again, this is Massiv In Mensch
doing what they do well, expanding their limits and remaining true to their sound and fans. If you're already familiar with this group, then you'll know exactly what to expect and won't be disappointed.
Menschdefekt - Review
While I enjoy the occasional Techno or Trance band once in a while, I've never really been a big fan. My interests have always been with the darker Gothic and Industrial-oriented groups and all the various subgenres over the years. However, being a huge fan of Synthpop over the years, many of these bands have been crossing genre lines between Techno, Trance, EBM, Industrial and Synthpop.
This album is one of these that is more on the Trance and Techno side, but remains very interesting for one of my tastes.
The flow and overall feeling on this album is very fast-paced and machine-like in many aspects, not just the beat, but also in the vocals and various instruments. I think the diversity is one of the major points that I enjoy on this album and I think there are highlights from each of the two main styles, the instrumental fast-paced techno/trance style, versus the slower, more synthpop and vocal-oriented songs.
As you begin to listen to this album, you are first taken through a spoken word piece "Doktor Born" which then gives way to the anthem for this album and for this group in general, "Dark Rave". I think the name of this song pretty much sums it up, it's hard-driving techno, with a slightly darker edge, with deep, machine-like vocals once in a while belting out the words "Dark Rave". Hold onto your seat when you get to "Vokuhilla" as, this 160+ bpm carries you away. "Kopfschuss" moves along these same lines with an extremely fast beat and breaking down for Sarah Folkens to sing out a few siren-like melodies. A favorite of mine is "A Gothic On XTC", slowly building through morphing sounds to a catchy techno track that I surprisingly enjoy quite a bit.
On the other side of the sprectrum, Sarah adds her vocal talents to a few tracks that are my favorites on this album. These include "Le-Rav" which is the most Synthpop-oriented track on the album, which I relate most closely with. The hard-hitting beat and techno elements are definitely there, but the vocals and other elements add nice variety to it all. "Radium 17 M" is another that moves along this style of smooth vocals laced with dancey rhythms and music.
The entire album shifts in and out of these two styles, but overall the techno influence remains the strongest. I personally have a hard time sitting down and listening to the album in it's entirety, but picking and choosing songs here and there can be very fun.
Feb, 2004 - Interview
After the release of Menschdefekt
and with the kind collaboration of Art Of Fact
and Massiv In Mensch
I put together a short interview to get some more behind-the-scenes information on this album and the history of this band. What follows are the results of this short interview:
I have to admit that like many in the United States I am fairly new to the MiM style and music. Menschdefekt is your latest album and a great work combining EBM and Trance styles. What groups have influenced you in the past and what influences you now?
Well in the past there were bands like Empirion, Some More Crime, Cubanate, Tommi Stumpff which have influenced us. Now we are more influenced by Dance or Techno Artists like Utah Saints, Der Verfall, Derb, Scooter. Sure we want to combine these two different strings!
Many of your songs are trance-like, fast-paced instrumentals, while others include various lyrics. When you're writing a song, how do you decide which ones will have lyrics and vocals and which won't?
Well first of all each track is an instrumental when we have finished and then we hear the track with the eyes of a "third person" and then we decide if the track would be better if we have vocalls or only a sample or only one word!
With the German electronic scene being so strong, do you feel like you have been keeping up with what is popular there? What about in the rest of the world with your new-found presence and releases in the United States?
Well the German scene is totally oversaturated and sure regarding both styles (electro and the techno/dance scene). So it`s difficult to be succesful here.
And furthemore we`ve got an outstanding position because we are not 100% electro/ebm/industrial and not 100% techno/trance. But it`s not our thing to make something which is only succesful but we don`t like the stuff we produce. So we alway have to fight for more acceptance. I think the North American market is much better than the German and the people are more open minded than here!
With your new album Menschdefekt there is a track titled "Dark Rave", would you say this song is the exact style you would like to portray for MiM? In other words, all of your songs have various styles and elements, but overall with this title, is this like your "anthem" or "theme song"?
Yes sure you can describe our style very good with the term "Dark Rave" - and so it was clear for us to realize a track called "Dark Rave" in which we bring our style 100% to the point. It`s really our new anthem, a mixture between dark and techno. But not a "dark" like gothic or wave bands use it, we always use the term "dark" for our cynical sense of humour
This is your fourth album, right? Could you give us a short history about the formation of MiM?
Well you can better say it`s our third Album. We released the "Belastendes Material" (Wire Productions and Artoffact Records), "Die Rein" and the "Menschdefekt" (all Artoffact). And after the "Die Rein" we had the 5-Track-EP "Uturn - an Exploration in Trance" together with "Negative Format". "Belastendes Material" was our debut in 2000 but Mirco and me, we worked since 1993 with various styles of electronic music. But all in all it was our experimental period. From 1999 we were more song-orientated, I wrote the lyrics and we worked with vocalists like Sarah Folkens. With "Die Rein" we realized a 90% instrumental Album and that was our hommage to our musical roots and the periods between 1993-1998 when we were influenced by many techno artists. Now with "Menschdefekt" I think we`ve got a really good mixture of all styles!
What then can we expect in the future?
Sure always new facets but all in all a continuation of our techno/trance and electro mixture.
We will work on new stuff in a few months but now we have to realize some gigs and live shows here in Germany. It`s really necessary to come back to stage and to present our stuff. The last gig was in 2001. You can have the first impression at the 9th of April in Aachen/Nightlife (Germany). I`ve got a DJ Gig and sure I will play lot of MiM stuff.
Label: Art Of Fact