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April 17, 2012

Skyla Vertex – “Urwerk”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Somnia” * “Strom und Drang” * “Befreiungsschlag” * “Sinnkrieg” * “Face It” * “Urwek (Funke)” * “Urwerk (Feuer)” * “Urwerk (Asche)” * “Deconstructors” * “Schall und Rauch” * “City Demon” * “The Buying Dead” * “ZeitgEist” * “Schall und Rauch (Kriegsmonster Remix by Peter Spilles)” * “Strom und Drang (Orange Sector Version)” * “Befreiungsschlag (Nachtmahr Remix)

Band bio: Skyla Vertex is the brainchild of Greg, who may be best known for his involvements with scene legends Modulate and Reaper, and Alex, a lyricist, singer and illustrator from a rock background. Their self-proclaimed task is to combine an intellectual claim with hard electronic dance music – to assimilate the dancefloors of the world. “Urwerk” may be their first album, but they are sought-after remixers who already worked with Santa Hates You, Reaper, Orange Sector, Shiv-r, and Diorama.

What is Skyla Vertex? Even though it was a rather random creation, the name mirrors the message they wanted to deliver: “Skyla” can be found in the Swedish language and can be translated as “to hide” or “to bury”; The word “Vertex” is Latin and is used to describe a turning point in geometric terminology, it can also be translated as “mesh” or “nodal point”. Thus, Skyla Vertex takes its creative power from all the unknown corners of mind, unusual perspectives and the last shelter of soul: insanity. (source: band Facebook page)

Skyla Vertex – “Urwerk”: Viva Music Album Review:

Skyla Vertex’s album “Urwerk” is released this month; on Infacted Recordings in Europe on Apr-20, and on Metropolis Records on Apr-24. They describe their own music as “harsh beats meet deep lyrics” and they are not going amiss one bit; their music is well fashioned and inspiring, and their lyrics are fundamental in their choice of words, cadence, and general imagery.

Their lengthy album is tell-tale of a world in which protagonists are at odds with their choices, and wish a return to the groundwork, or foundation of whatever holds their act together. Let’s take “Somnia” for instance: it’s a great soundstorm, but beneath the riot there are emotional tinges floating freely in the thick air of conflicted sleep. “Strom und Drang” (also available as “Strom und Drang (Orange Sector Version)”) is a calmer, yet more introspective piece, with diligently crafted ecstatic inserts with a very heightened electronic sense. “Befreiungsschlag” (also available as: “Befreiungsschlag (Nachtmahr Remix)”) is just as the title says, liberating, and with a good interplay between spontaneity and calculated movement; it is a dance friendly track with assumed, relentless effervescence. “Sinnkrieg” causes the war of senses that is at stake in the band’s manifesto and with a defiant tone, it escalates and creates an overall enthusiasm via its intricate harmonies. After a momentous “Face It”, it’s time for the trilogy of “Urwerk” to sweep you off your feet: “Funke” – “Feuer” – “Asche” (in English: “Spark” – “Fire” – “Ashes”) is a creationist story, with a very resistant genetics and with substantial musical elegance and persusasiveness. “Deconstructors” and “Schall und Rauch” (also available as: “Schall und Rauch (Kriegsmonster Remix by Peter Spilles)”) are two great additions to the album,  and definitely pieces that we bookmark for further listening – they could easily serve as a Skyla Vertex 101 for friends who have not yet discovered their universe. A lighthearted, yet sufficiently zesty “City Demon”, a Viva Music favorite, is next, and after it, “The Buying Dead” and “ZeitgEist” are up to the challenge of closing the album before the remix section kicks in. “The Buying Dead” is sappy and confident, while “ZeitgEist”, drawing on the same source that never seems to dry up, is more of an attention-getter, but no less filled with incredibly sound philosophy and pleasure in making music.

Urwerk” is a very interesting debut album, and though it may take more than one listen to get it into your system, it’s a heartthrob and definitely a great business card for a band we are looking forward to listening to in the future. Enjoy!

Skyla Vertex – on Infacted Records | on Facebook | Discography on Discogs

January 30, 2012

Lights of Euphoria “Subjection”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Subjection (Violent Mix)” * “In Love with the Night (Album Mix)” * “Monument of Destruction” * “You Better Run (featuring Johan Van Roy of Suicide Commando)” * “One Nation (Club Mix)” * “Give Me You” * “Subjection (Leaether Strip 2011 version)” * “Deal in Sex (Protection Mix)” * “Subjection (Euphoria Mix)” * “Liquid Lust (Part I)” * “You Better Run (Painbastard Mix)” * “Face of a God” * “Fading Moments (Feindflug Karaoke Mischung)” * “Fly to Target (Dioxyde Remix)” * “Sleepwalk (The Awakening)

About the project:

After the release of “Subjection” (featuring Claus Larsen) on the famous Zoth Ommog compilation “Body Rapture”, Lights of Euphoria started to become a “real band” after the release of the first album “Brainstorm” (Zoth Ommog, followed by “Beyond Subconsciousness“, “Fahrenheit“, “Voices” and the single “Fortuneteller“) when Jimmy Machon and Torben Schmidt teamed up “by accident” to produce some further music and touring all around the globe. While Lights of Euphoria in the beginning was more a sort of a project and “one hit wonder”, working with various guest vocalists such as Ronan Harris (VNV Nation), Stephan Groth (Apoptygma Berzerk), Vasi Vallis (Frozen Plasma/Reaper) Johan van Roy (Suicide Commando), Kay Haertle (Supreme Court) and various other good friends, mastermind Torben Schmidt decided to bring it down to a more band orientated way of working. (source: band site)

About the compilation:

The ultimate retrospective of this German/Danish electro/EBM project! Part 26 (!) of the Infacted Recordings classics series! 15 massive songs of the former Zoth Ommog artist Lights of Euphoria! Besides all dark clubhits the CD also features a new remix of “Subjection” by no one else then Claus Larsen of Leaether Strip fame! None of the hits are missing e.g. “Subjection”, “You Better Run” (feat. Johan van Roy, “One Nation”, “Deal in Sex” or even “Sleepwalk”! 15 cult classics on one CD for a smooth E.P. price! Be fast again limited to 1000 copies worldwide! (source: label site)

Lights of Euphoria – “Subjection”: Viva Music Album Review:

The new classical collection from Infacted Recordings brings to the focus the destiny of a group that initially was meant to be a one-time deal, but is now well into its twenties. Released this Jan-13, the compilation “Subjection” takes its title from the first track that made the group famous – the collaboration between Torben Schmidt and Claus Larsen, and chronicles the group’s evolution in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and also tells the story of the friendship between Torben Schmidt and Jimmy Machon, formerly of Godheads, and Lights of Euphoria’s vocalist. Next to an incredible array of tracks, in their majority wonderful collaborations – names such as Suicide Commando, Leaether Strip, Painbastard, Feindflug add extra flavor to the compilation – there is also a new rendition of “Subjection”, with a new feel: “Subjection (Leaether Strip 2011 Version)” really shows how classically limitless the track has become in its 20-year old history  of dark vibes and excellent EBM. Let’s not forget that these collaborations are great occasions for musicians to bridge the distance between their status as artists and listeners of good music. Needless to say, Lights of Euphoria themselves remixed music for artists such as Melotron, Front 242, or Front Line Assembly.

Major landmarks from the group’s history and discography are well represented within the compilation: “Violent World” (1993, “Subjection”, “Deal in Sex”), “Brainstorm” (1995, “Give Me You”, “Face of a God”), “Voices” (1998, “In Love with the Night”, “Monument of Destruction”) “Krieg gegen die Maschinen” (2003, “Fly to Target”), “Gegen Den Strom” (2004, “Liquid Lust (Part I)”, “One Nation”), “Fading Moments” (2004, “Fading Moments”, “You Better Run”), “Sleepwalk” (2005, “Sleepwalk”).

Not on this compilation, but not less grand, is the track below. “True Life (VNV Nation Remix)”, enjoy!

Lights of EuphoriaOfficial Website | on Facebook | Discography on Discogs

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