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Freudstein CDFreudstein
Mass Market Misery (Wasp Factory)

 

 

 

 

Maverick electronicists Freudstein are back, with an album of impressive variety and scope. Quite what the industrio-techno heads and dancefloor bangers will make of it is another thing, mind, for there's much here that doesn't come close to the slammin' club beats which have driven Freudstein's previous work. This is cinematic, cerebral avant-electro, polished to an electric blue sheen, shot through with abrasive guitar, stacked on rhythmic scaffolding, and interrupted with strange interludes of spoken word narrative which hint at a story unfolding, a tale being told.

All of which might ring alarm bells - don't tell me Freudstein have gone and made a concept album? Well, it looks like it, folks, although the concept is a little obscure to me thus far. But there's certainly a story stretching itself out here, amid the effects and the atmospheres and the songs. Reference points? Sometimes, on the poppier numbers, when the vocals come in, untreated by effects, Freudsten sound like an introspective Human League. There's even a potential floorfiller in 'Robots Part 2: Murder Spate', possibly the closest thing here to the kind of forceful dance number Freudstein are known for. There's also a kind of Extreme Noise Terror go techno moment, in the shape of 'Wings Of Death', which features a big guitar riff and one of those devil-in-my-underpants heavy metal vocals that goes 'Huuurrghh!'. Freudstein go (a bit) metal - who'd have predicted that?

Influences and tangents a-go-go, this is intriguing album, even if I suspect the ideas behind the music only really coalesce in the minds of Freudstein themselves. But one thing is for sure - Freudstein have made exactly the album they wanted to make, unrestricted by any notions of appealing to a genre, or a niche audience. That in itself is worth a cheer.

 

Essential links:

Freudstein: Website | Myspace

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