Oct 2012 16

Modulate - RobotsModulate
Category: Electro / Trance / EBM
Album: Robots
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: It’s a pure, triply distilled electro assault courtesy of a band that boldly challenges and reinterprets its own musical aesthetic.


Modulate’s first release, Detonation offered a strong compilation of brutal tracks that effortlessly and without much resistance exposed the usual, harsh EBM routine to hypnotic trance qualities. As if this injection of new DNA wasn’t enough, the project of Manchester based DJ Geoff Lee, takes a turn to some uncharted territories with Robots. Although this EP is doomed to instigate and polarize, there is little doubt that Modulate’s new, highly danceable sound is by no means robotic; the music is crafted with care and this pounding, dynamic album stands as a solid proof of the band’s dance floor domination.

From the very first moments of opening “Robots,” the listener is fully submerged in Modulate’s vision of their own evolution. The track immediately captivates you with its relentless, dynamic rhythm and as the layers of sound are added and the song opens up and embraces the vocoded, mechanical vocal, the tempo continues to successfully channel your attention towards the faultless pace and structure. A heavy, stomping beat is replaced by energetic effects, not uncommon in the work of other British electronic artists like The Prodigy or Overseer. The move from dense, noisy arrangements towards this new transparent, crisp, and youthful stylization will be problematic for some of the EBM enthusiasts, but it is difficult to imagine anyone not being sucked into this enjoyable offering regardless of its atmosphere. “Boombox” follows a similar order and exposes its hook early and then escalates it, leaving little breathing room. The addition of clearer, less digitized vocal work highlights the absolutely masterful chorus making “Boombox” an example of a faultless composition that absorbs every bit of the listener’s stamina and translates it into unadulterated enjoyment. The following “Dirty Fckn Disco” is perhaps the weakest link on Robots – repetitive and monotonous it isn’t as interesting and immediately captivating as other tracks. A looped into infinity beat and a single one liner that stands for the song’s entire lyrical aspect grow tiresome quickly and sadly do not represent the same endless replayability as the rest of the EP. Uninfluenced by this brief stumble, “Nightmare” has every element necessary to launch a spontaneous rave and a sample deployed halfway through the track is integrated brilliantly and strangely haunting. With its highs and lows, “Nightmare” is a classic example of trance music done right and returns Robots to its genre bending occupation. “Machines” closes the list of brand new material from Modulate and once again, the mood changes slightly as the composition departs from sizzling rhythms and introduces a more balanced, IDM inspired approach. Among the remixes is a new version of “Hard and Dirty” from Modulate’s previous album and four reiterations of the titular “Robots.” The former reintroduces the heavier EBM vibe that was largely absent all the way up to this point, but like the new tracks, is a rather raving, expertly paced affair. All versions of “Robots” are competent and, to an extent, thoughtful interpretations, but none of them best the original, even though Aesthetic Perfection’s effort, with Graves’ growling vocal and his recognizable staple sound, comes close.

Like Uberbyte’s Five Year Plan, this newest release form Modulate unflinchingly crosses the Rubicon into the realm of pure, undiluted electro indulgence. While some hardened EBM fans might feel at best perplexed, at worst offended by this sudden shift, the truth remains that Lee is brilliant at driving your dance muscles to the state of exhaustion, paralysis, and beyond. Robots is a sneak peak of a musical crossover that might shake the foundations of club oriented industrial and whether you’ll get onboard or not, the gauntlet has been thrown and Modulate effectively delivered one of the year’s most invigorating albums.
Track list:

  1. Robots (Radio Edit)
  2. Boombox
  3. Dirty Fckn Disco (Modulate vs. Shaun-F)
  4. Nightmare (Instrumental Club Mix)
  5. Machines
  6. Hard and Dirty (A.D.A.M. Lab4 Remix)
  7. Robots (Straftanz Remix)
  8. Robots (Soman Remix)
  9. Robots (Aesthetic Perfection Remix)
  10. Robots (Chipset Remix)

Modulate Website http://www.modulateonline.com
Modulate MySpace http://www.myspace.com/modulate
Modulate Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Modulate
Modulate ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/modulate
Modulate SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/modulate
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Infacted Recordings Website http://www.infacted-recordings.de
Infacted Recordings Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Infacted-Recordings/124099254321690
Infacted Recordings Twitter http://twitter.com/infacted
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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