I have never really understood the greatness of this band, but I know that a lot of people like them. Their recent award for "Best newcomer" at SAMA is proof of that. My colleague Kalle Malmstedt also seem to fancy them, and in his review of the debut album "Symbol of Submission" he even goes as far as comparing it to "Tactical Neural Implant" and "Tyranny for You" by Front Line Assembly and Front 242 respectively. To my ears, Run Level Zero's monotone EBM and growling vocals showed little finesse, and it has been done countless times before.
This EP consists of remixes of tracks from that album, as well as some new compositions.
To start off with the remixes, I really must say that Pouppée Fabrikk now stands out as one of the most unimaginative bands out there. I can almost see them sitting in their studio, discussing their job at hand.
- OK, let's load up our usual drum sounds. Insert the disc labelled "PF drums 1A"!
- Yes, that'll be cool! And why don't we use the same bass as always as well?
- Wow, my idea too!
Needless to say, I do not like their remix of "Feedback Birds" that much.
Dupont is a band I thought were Pouppée Fabrikk in disguise, at least judging by their live performance in Stockholm some time ago. At least they have the decency to use a couple of modern sounds in their remix of "Black Limbs", even though the result is nothing special.
Psyche's remix of "Shadows Merging" is better, but this might also be because the source material is one of Run Level Zero's better tracks. In all honesty it is a quite conservative mix, retaining the defining bass line, and mostly brightening up the soundscape with some crispier beats, and some more strings.
I have never heard of C.A.P, but if this is not really the guys in Pouppée Fabrikk, someone needs to get an identity. Their remix is one of the best however, getting a considerable groove going. Still the same sounds though. Sanctum is the only remixer that manages to generate some atmosphere with their version of "Fever Shriek". Minimalistic and emotional, and with beautiful strings for a change. Maybe the problem lies in that the remixers themselves are doing music in the same vein as Run Level Zero. This might not be good for the variation.
Most of the other mixes follow the old pattern of adding powerful distorted drums and beefing up the ever present bass lines.
The first new track, "For Real" builds on the established sound, with dark distorted vocals and repetitive riffs. The other one, "Storm", is actually reminiscent of The Klinik. Here we can see a calmer RLZ, with bursts of guitar here and there. This number breaks the mould nicely. Let us hope that Hans Åkerman and Fredrik Solenberg further tries to vary their sound on the follow-up.
These remixes will probably be played a lot on dance floors, and they will probably work much much better there than in my stereo. Maybe I sound like a jaded music journalist, but I understand that these tracks should be played loud, or not at all. Therefore I give it a five.