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MUSCLE & HATE REVIEWS >>>


A Tribute To Nitzer Ebb - CD 2005

Virus Magazine
Smother.net

DJ Copper Top

REVIEWS


Virus Magazine
From the eighties to the nineties, the duo of Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris dominated the militant and minimalist approach to electronic music. With an obvious wink to electronic luminaries DAF, their compositions were pounding, and McCarthy practically personified a megaphone. While I expected Komor and XP8's lead vocalist Paul Toohill to augment these pieces with their own fluid, trance-and-dance sound, they instead approach their covers with utter reverence to the originals.

Toohill summons up a terse side to himself that's left unheard in XP8. The electronics are polished and updated, yet Komor's artistic palette tastefully includes Ebb's signature analogue-like punch and heart-attack heavy rhythms.

As to be expected, Muscle And Hate offer up a heavy round of Ebb's classics, with a few remixes in tow. All the covers are cut straight from the heart of McCarthy and Harris' back catalog, entirely ignoring their softer, more rock-oriented nineties material.

The highlight on this tribute has to be the raucous stomp of "Control I'm Here". It throbs with Ebb's sledgehammer bass drum amplified, further enhanced by a driven hi-hat, crumpled and glitched sound artifacts, and synthetic belt squeals. The elastic synth lead chatter, the pacing, as well as the half-growled, half-shouted slink of Toohill's voice remain quite reverent to the original. There's a also a pleasing heavy trance mix by Komor's side-project Moonitor, which fills its charge with electric adrenaline and whines of squealing guitar-like surges.

"Murderous" also shines musically as the original's underlying current blends well with Komor's electro clubfloor sensibilities. This cover focuses on Ebb's muffled thumping beat and zigzagging fuzzy arpeggios, while broadening the spectrum of its hypnotic stomp to include militant cymbals and snares.

The ever-fierce "Violent Playground" is the proof that Toohill has the ability to emulate McCarthy's snarl and bark, while Komor accents the piece with throwing brassy streamers of sound and dropping snares to clamorous rattle about its rhythm tracks.

And, of course, one has to expect to find that there's an electro-fied version of Nitzer Ebb's megalithic hit, "Join In the Chant" on this disc as well.

Surprisingly rendered by Komor (who is best known for his work in Icon Of Coil) and the members of XP8, this tribute to Nitzer Ebb sounds very little like their own projects.

While this collection of musicians function normally as key sprockets within the futurepop genre, here they effectively invoke the feeling of Ebb. Not only am I sure that the musicians had fun creating this homage, but it is sure to put a smile on electro-industrial fans who have fond memories of these vintage club hits.

Vlad McNeally @ Virus Magazine

Smother.net
A massive collaboration between Sebastian R. Komor (Icon of Coil, Monofader, Moonitor) and XP8 featuring Paul Toohill on vocals, "A Tribute to Nitzer Ebb" is the perfect complement that any band could give one of industrial/electro’s best outfits. Nitzer Ebb over the years have influenced hundreds of bands and musicians with their brooding and groove-laden electro-industrial sound. Muscle and Hate are just as compelling as they undertake a mission to bring a darker side to Nitzer Ebb’s club-friendly numbers. Morphing electro into industrial and back again, Muscle and Hate turn in one of the year’s best electronic albums.

J-Sin @ Smother.net

DJ Copper Top

A Tribute to Nitzer Ebb - God I HATE tribute albums, but damn if XP8 and Sebastian R. Komor (Icon of Coils better half to me) pull it off.. sure these are all Nitzer Ebb tracks but the flavor is updated, and varying elements used, a must for any Nitzer Ebb fan, or for that matter, Icon of Coil/XP8 fan too.

Review by DJ Coppertop

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