VARIOUS ARTISTS
MOONLIGHT.CORPORATION V1.0 (Sector 19)
~reviewed by Mick Mercer

Me, I like people. The vast proliferation of electronic music these days no more appeals to me than when the first early experimental artists began offering wholly indecipherable cassettes during the early 80ís. Itís usually an interesting idea at best, and not a mistake you care to repeat. Push experimental towards electro and thereís a dividing line between it and dance, except studio boffins just donít know how to make it fluid. To them a beat is the same as a rhythm, which gives them a clomping feel and no sensuality. Give an electronic edge to Industrial and if anything it dilutes the power, making it seem a curious mixture. True exponents of electronic music are few and far between, because without actual vocals, youíre pushing out something more akin to an intellectual exercise rather than music which people find exciting. Without vocals someone needs to be akin to a genius to create something distinctively different.

So I didnít expect much of this compilation, and didnít get it, despite a variety of styles being included. S.M.P. were okay - think an electro Killing Joke, Aiboforcen is a techno-lite Kraftwerk approach, and by the time I became reacquainted with a frantic System 81 I felt my skull had been lifted and my brain was an all-you-can-eat feast for ravenous rats. Chaos Engine make a mighty impact by having good vocals, which is refreshment par excellence in this stark, twinkling landscape.

Too much struck me as worthy but dull, or just plain baffling. Silencer sound like the grating annoyance of a neighbour doing DIY with drills, Tin.Rp are just churning out a pattern which isnít really music, and Arkham Asylum are like a fruitier Nitzer Ebb with crappy vocals. Mouth Of Indifference at least try and do something, as though robots had an interest in jazz.

Ugliest award goes to the sluggish Six Past Seven, Mnemonic are just dance without any fun element, Mojoid are drab, Progeria secretly act as a conduit for painkiller sales, Mindflux Funeral yelp madly, squaring up to a fight, Autocad are up and optimistic but essentially just a bippety-boppety instrumental, and I keep thinking oh well, at least this isnít a dire noisefest, only for the prettier version to be equally pointless.

The main band is clearly Jailbird, who open and close the album, and they make an instant impact. If Abba were cavemen, they would be like this: delightfully smooth, but fiendishly hairy and abrupt, itís Industrial given a music-box spin, but then they close limply and thereís no disguising theyíre a wimpy band who have deliberately heavied their sound up, rather being burly bastards embracing melodic ideas.

So what does this tell you? Nothing that you donít already know. Electronic music is a mush and a mess, but if you want to find new names and would instantly recognise what for you represents fertile fields of the imagination then a compilation like this can be the answer. That said, I pity you.

JAILBIRD Delirium Tremens
S.M.P. Militia Love
PROGENIA Dagon
AIBOFORCEN Twilight World
SIX PAST SEVEN Name Of God
MOUTH OF INDIFFERENCE Tense And Taut
CHAOS ENGINE Jesus Christ V2.0
SYSTEM 81 Mysterious
ARKHAM ASYLUM Crucifixion
MNEMONIC Human Fragments
TIN.RP Animal Farm
MIND FLUX FUNERAL Soul And Substance
ST JOHNíS EVE She Said
MONOID Kein Traum
AUTOCAD Dock To Dock 2001
SILENCER Fullbandwidth
JALBIRD Last Pray

www.sector19.com

08/24/03