In 1989 at a Girls Under Glass show, Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber met and decided to make music together. I'm sure it was a little more complicated and involved a little more than that, but that marked the beginning of what we all know as Project Pitchfork. Over the two decades that followed this group has been able to create and release an extensive discography, has become popular not only in their homeland of Germany, but also all over the world and across a number of genres constantly reaching out to new fans. They not only appeal to the industrial dance crowd, but are also very appealing to the gothic crowd with their dark edged music, vocals and classical music elements. They have released overa dozen full-length albums, a live album, a compilation of early hits and various singles and maxi-EP's over the years.
Project Pitchfork's music has progressed in quality and they are constantly releasing very deep, thought provoking songs. Their styles run the range of hard-driving early industrial with various distortion and driving beats to the most recent albums which tend to be more upbeat and melodic. Throughout all of these years they have never been categorized or classified as a band that mimics others or tries to ride the current trend, but always manages to pull something off that is completely unique and sometimes raises criticism from others caught up in these current trends expecting them to climb aboard. Without a doubt they continue to take an innovative approach with each release.
They are definitely one of the best gothic/industrial groups of the 90's and new millenium and they are still here to stay for a while longer. With their latest album, I think they have more than proven their ability to continue to release excellent music. Be sure to check out tracks from their current releases as well as those from times past.
Black - Review
This group just keeps creating the great music and this latest release shows how they can keep it going and never slow down and never get boring. The diversity on this album is great, but most of all we love it for that classic, hard-hitting electro-industrial style that graces so many tracks on this album. This is the standard release, featuring ten solid pieces that fans new and old will love.
As the album title implies, we get several dark and moody pieces here, not the least of which is the introductory track "Pitch-Black". With the heavy hitting bass and grinding, pulsating synths and beats mixed with the dark, deep vocals creates the tried and true sound we've grown to love over the years. This keeps going strong through "Drums of Death", the chaotic "Enchanted Dots of Light" and the spell-binding piece "Rain". This latter selection is definitely the highlight of the album for me from the first time I heard it, I was hooked. It contains all the best classic elements including the heavy bass and pulsating synths, harkening back to the days of the popular piece "Souls" or similar to other classics like "I Live Your Dream" or "K.N.K.A.". The band has also put out a video to go along with it and it's definitely another masterpiece and great addition to the band's discography and collection.
The serious pieces continue through the rest of the album with "Contract", "Storm Flower" and "Acid Ocean". To break it up earlier in the album "Circus" lends a slightly up-beat and quirky element, definitely mixing things up a bit. And finally to close the album, long-running "Nil" brings out down in tempo and intensity a bit to finalize the album. With all of this diversity mixed with the classic, pounding styles, we have a great, dynamic album. Anyone that enjoys great, heavy-hitting electronic music will love this album, if you're fmailiar with this band's work, you'll love this one.
Dream, Tiresias! - Review
It's been a few years since their Kaskade release, which along with the Trialog trilogy seemed to see the band lose a little of their edge. However, with this new work they've returned to their hard-hitting roots with this powerful album full of political and social issues tackled head on with edgy music and Peter's gruff vocals. This album is presented with ten solid tracks that keep the listener moving through it all.
The album immediately kicks off with "If I Could" with a nice electronic groove, hard-hitting beats and that gruff voice that we've grown to love over the years. Each piece moves and morphs one into the other with a sort of electronic interlude and various samples. It makes it hard for club and radio djs without editing the tracks to cut them off clean, but it's nice for listening to the album in it's entirety. Each track moves well with the previous and next and nearly all are potential club hits. Though, while listening outside the club, the various social and political issues become more apparent and meaningful, allowing the artist to relay their message more clearly through the moving beats and excellent music. Unlike many artists in the harsh industrial genres, this band does it all with taste and style, keeping things upbeat and uplifting and nice for listeners.
Issues aside, this album really rocks in the goth/industrial sense of the word. We go back to the best music from Alpha Omega and Daemonion with this album in style and quality. Everything from the the pulsing electronics on "Nasy Habit" to the dancefloor hit single "Feel!" is full of energy and all the great style that we love from this group. There's a nice variety within this style from these harder-hitting tracks to the more melodic pieces like "The Tide" or "Full of Life" and the final piece "Passion" which has become a solid favorite of mine after listening to the album many times though all are so good, it's hard to pick one or two favorites from all of them. This is definitely another solid album that should stand out as a classic for many years to come.
Kaskade - Review
Following up their 2002 release Inferno, we finally have the next full-length work from this legendary band. Each new album is something to look forward to and to question where this band will go next. They've been all over the place from hard-hitting industrial like "K.N.K.A." to bombastic ballads along the lines of "Souls" and include the somber pieces on the trilogy Trialog, Inferno and View from a Throne.
This album is definitely not your hard-hitting industrial, nor your somber goth or ethereal work. It's a little bit of everything in between and spans into a bit of electronic soundscapes that Peter has always enjoyed and portrayed in areas like the side-project Aurora. The same thought-provoking themes run throughout the album in the form of the lyrics and the unique vocal structures. The music is melodic, yet still contains plenty of the loops that has become such a trademark sound for this band. The vocals follow suit with the music and have a nice flow, creating a homogenous album spanning all fifteen tracks.
"Instead of an angle" is the track that kicks it all off with the steady, yet somewhat subdued rhythm that is overshadowed by the solid sound. This track and style sets the tone for the album, yet there are still many variations, such as "A Dream" with the somewhat extreme shift in style on each chorus, or the upbeat sound of "Dance in the Air" which has become a favorite to listen to.
While this album is not the hard-hitting industrial we may have expected in the past, what is contained here is a sweet collection of great music. Those that enjoy a band being able to change while still remaining true to the overall genre should still be able to truly enjoy this album. Because of past releases and certain expectations it took me a while to get into this album, but that's why sometimes I take longer to review an album than others, I've listened to it probably twenty or thirty times now and it has really grown on me. So I can say give it a chance, and this is an album that you can really enjoy as a true Project Pitchfork work.
Live 2003 DVD Review
With Project Pitchforks extensive discography, this DVD encompasses songs from a long and successful career. Included is a double-disc set, the first disc including a very large set of live-performance videos. I only have the promo version of this DVD with only the first disc, but according to the press-release information, the second disc contains actual music videos. With this information, Ill probably end up going out and buying the entire set as this is one of my favorite bands and would love to see what they have come up with for music videos to some of these tracks. But for the purpose of this review, only the first disc is included.
I think that just with the amount of tracks included on the first DVD is extraordinary. There are 25 tracks just on this one disc alone, spanning several live performances. The sound production is excellent on each of these which really brings out the solid foundation that has made Project Pitchfork such a legendary group over the years. However, as I sat and watched the performances, several times the lips and motions were off compared to the music as they would switch from scene to scene and show to show. So I think the timing and editing could have been improved somewhat.
Hopefully I can revisit this review once I have the second disc and can comment on the actual music videos on the second disc. With just the material from the first DVD I highly recommend this to any fans.