This popular German dark-electro band was formed in 1989 by Clause Kruse and Stephan Kalwa. They soon launched into the electro scene with such albums as Transmission, Visage De Plastique and others in the early 90's. These early albums defined the PNE sound and set the stage for their future. The mid-nineties saw them go quiet for a while as they worked through various obstacles. There were a few more N. American releases on the Van Richter label as anthologies spanning earlier releases giving this audience a taste of their music. Their last release as a duo was also just released under this label as Noised again including remastered tracks from their Rauschen album plus six extra unreleased tracks.
This ended one chapter in the history of this project and a new one is begun. 2004 saw the reformation of the band into a solo project by Clause Kruse as Stephan moves on to pursue other interests. The 2004 release Maschinenmusik sees the style move on in a similar but slightly changed fashion much more like the electronic machineries of And One and not quite as harsh or industrial in nature. He continues to create music and is working on the final touches for the 2006 release Dead Or Alive.
Anyone who has ever been a fan of electro-industrial or dark-electro music will no doubt have heard something from this band. Hailing from Germany, they are much more well known and popular there then in other areas, but no doubt still known in one way or another. Their minimalistic style is much like electro-clash, but was heavily used before it became the new cliche in the alternative pop scene. The industrial edge mixed with minimalistic style is something else that makes the musical style so unique compared to so many other EBM and industrial bands. Fans can hear selections on the Gothic Paradise club radio show, so check it out.
Noised - Review
Having somewhat enjoyed the latest release of PNE as a solo work of Clause Kruse, this was a nice treat getting a new taste of some of the earlier recordings as a duo since this album was not widely heard by their N. American audience. The album contains a collection of their last work as a duo, including the reworked and remastered Rauschen as well as six new tracks. A total of eighteen selections on this disc is something impressive and shows the incredible talent and unique sound from this group that has become such a staple in the dark-electro scene.
That old-school, minimal analog electronics sound dominates this album with the pulsating synths and additional simplistic loops. "City of Lies" kicks off the album and has quickly become a favorite of mine with it's club-friendly beat and deep, old-school industrial vocals. At first listen, the next track that stands out as a club favorite is the hard-edged piece "D-Ranged", again leaning more toward that harsh industrial sound, while still sporting many of the simple electronics and the pounding beats driving the track along.
I have to admit that it has taken quite a few listens for this album to grow on me. After eighteen tracks the originality of the musical style wears off and the underlying talent and creativity takes over the "novelty" of it all. Since this band hasn't been very well-known to their N. American audience, much of what they present will be new and fun for most listeners. The slight industrial leanings, even on the fun electronic pieces like "Parallels" without the harsh industrial edge, but those same deep vocals and those analog loops, bleeps and related features are sure to please fans of all styles of electronic music. The inclusion of a number of instrumental pieces also provide another facet to this group to provide a little more variety for the average fan.
The extra previously unreleased tracks on this album blend well with the others keeping the beat moving and the synths pulsing. The loops remain creative bridging the gap between selections such as the fun instrumental piece "Propagated Beat" and the over-the-top cover of "Hellraiser". The beat goes on through the entire album finally wrapping up in a reserved minimalistic fashion with "Moving Hands" building up to a climactic finale with excellent pounding industrial beats leaving nothing to question where these artists wish their music to be remembered and enjoyed.
- Van Richter Records
- Metropolis Records
- Alfa Matrix