Mar 2016 07

Klangstabil - One Step Back, Two Steps ForwardKlangstabil
Category: Industrial / Synthpop / Experimental
Album: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: An exhaustive (and exhausting) retrospective of Klangstabil’s first 20 years.


The German duo of Maurizio Blanco and Boris May gave birth to Klangstabil in 1994 after the two learned of their shared vision of music. Blending a mixture of industrial, synthpop, and experimentation into their own moniker of “Klangpop,” Klangstabil weaves an interesting tapestry of sound, but unfortunately, as this collection of material through the ages shows, that work is not always smooth and marked with inconsistency.

From the opening tracks, one definitely gets a distinct Einstürzende Neubauten feel from the work with its focus on noise, experimentation, and emotion. Tracks like the Daruma version of “Goomy Day” show Klangstabil at some of the act’s mellow, moody best, but tracks like “Kill All Lifeforms” quickly undo any goodwill as the jarringly coarse sound mix may convey the tracks’ desired urgency, but is more likely to leave the listener annoyed than intrigued. Playing with audio levels is a bit of a running theme throughout the album and while it might work on occasion, due to the compilation format, it more often just feels like poor production than a stylistic choice, which taints some otherwise acceptable work. Unfortunately, the technique is used so often that by the time we get to songs like “Shadowboy – The Awakening,” the track virtually loses all punch. It starts off clean and mellow, and as it slowly builds, it becomes more and more distorted, but at this point, the effort to build intensity with this effect just feels lazy.

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward is the sort of album that might be a nice addendum to a collection built by a fan of the act, but for those new to the act, this is far from the best entry point. There is definitely some excellent work showcased in this extensive collection, but the rough, speaker rending mix found on a lot of the tracks makes the album almost unlistenable at times and very trying of one’s patience. The goal of showing Klangstabil’s evolution throughout the years is definitely achieved, but the goal of getting listeners interested in Klangstabil’s other offerings likely was not.
Track list:

  1. Mein Name Ist
  2. Gloomy Day (Daruma Version)
  3. Kill All Lifeforms
  4. Kantorka
  5. Push Yourself
  6. Wir Sind Ganz Zusammen (Live)
  7. Math & Emotion – The Square Root of Two
  8. Gilb
  9. Cinecittà (Pre-Version)
  10. Il Bacio Della Realizzazione
  11. Nameless
  12. Vertraut (Original)
  13. Wir Telefonieren
  14. Shadowboy – The Awakening
  15. Böhmatron
  16. Verführung (Listen Loud Mix)
  17. You May Start
  18. Lauf, Lauf!
  19. Pay with Friendship (Disco Remix by Sonic Area)
  20. Pronto Luigi
  21. Kill All Lifeforms (Ra-X Remix)
  22. Leg Move Thunder
  23. Firefly Me
  24. Vertraut (Renegade of Noise Remix by Daniel Myer)
  25. Beziehungsohr (Subheim Remix)
  26. Der Menschenhasser
  27. Elektroschock Warteraum
  28. Away
  29. Math & Emotion – The Square Root of Three
  30. Regelkreisauslöser

Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Storming the Base CD
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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