Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: ROCKS – Milestones Reloaded
Blurb: Celebrating the band’s past while forging ahead on the band’s path of conceptual continuity, this collection of new remixes and remasters of old favorites yields quite a few pleasant surprises for those devoted to the Ultra-Heavy Beat!
Now on the verge of entering its 33rd year of existence, the musical and artistic collective known as KMFDM embarks on a new chapter; after spending nearly a decade-and-a-half with Metropolis Records, the Ultra-Heavy Beat has now signed with earMusic, with ROCKS – Milestones Reloaded being the first product of this new association. In a scene inundated with remix albums, and with KMFDM not being without its own share of such releases, ROCKS offers to audiences a personal retrospective of KMFDM’s more recent history, selected by Sascha Konietzko and Lucia Cifarelli. At first glance, this collection of never-before-heard remixes alongside some newer favorites may seem less-than-essential even for hardcore fans, but not unlike the remastered back catalog on Metropolis, ROCKS offers up some pleasant surprises that simply must be heard.
Of course, the real star of this particular show would have to be the new remixes, with Käpt’n K himself offering up some unique takes on songs like the darkly danceable “Professional Killer,” the thunderous and thrashing “WWIII,” and the classically satirical and celebratory self-abasing “Sucks.” On the latter two tracks, “WWIII” and the appropriately retitled “(Still) Sucks,” Konietzko infuses slow dub grooves filled with synths both shrill and fluid, mangling the guitars to make for fresh versions of the two tracks that recall the band’s past without sacrificing modernity. Drummer Andy Selway takes his own stab at “Light,” making for a powerfully rhythmic and percussively dynamic version that along with some new vocals creates a nice bridge between the old and the new; sure, Konietzko’s replacement of En Esch’s original German and Lucia taking the female vocal hooks may upset purists, but longtime fans should appreciate the band’s efforts to breathe new life into the classic. Similarly, while not technically a remix, the version of “A Drug Against War” presented on ROCKS showcases an updated recording that stays true to the original while also capturing the current lineup’s raw energy in live performances of the song… and boy, does Julian Hodgson rock that guitar solo! Having opened for KMFDM on three consecutive tours and having a remix appear on the Salvation EP, CHANT’s Bradley Bills brings his percussive chops to “Son of a Gun,” going for a minimal amount of sonic clutter that does well to emphasize the song’s speed and danceable rhythms, while Victor Love’s rendition of “KRANK” is quite playful in its focus on the pulsating, quite bouncy electronics and beats. Marco Trentacoste closes out the album with his remixes of “Amnesia” and “A Drug Against War,” both of which are notable for their deconstructionist approach that calls attention to the songs’ subtler qualities. As for the non-remixes, some might find them to be redundant or unnecessary, except that a close inspection will reveal some intricate tweaking in the mixes, with “KUNST,” “Free Your Hate,” “Tohuvabohu,” and “Animal Out” sounding clearer and heavier than ever.
Special editions of ROCKS come with the We Are KMFDM DVD supplement, featuring Punch Drunk Films’ 30th Anniversary concert video and documentary; while these are also available separately, one can certainly appreciate the convenience and value of having these two celebrations of KMFDM’s long and storied history in one single package. As is usually the case among KMFDM’s audience, there will doubtlessly be naysayers who will view ROCKS as a cash grab and thus another excuse to denigrate the band for continuing past what they feel to be its prime. To them, the devoted will raise a giant middle finger and continue to appreciate KMFDM’s efforts to continually reinvent and refine itself, staying true to the original vision of its creator – Sascha Konietzko – while infusing new sounds and ideas to create a sound that is identifiably and inimitably KMFDM. It is for them, the fans, that ROCKS – Milestones Reloaded exists to forge ahead on the band’s path of conceptual continuity… onward to 2017!
Website, Webstore, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
Amazon CD/DVD (Special Edition)
KMFDM Webstore CD (Standard Edition)
KMFDM Webstore CD/DVD (Special Edition)
KMFDM Webstore Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)