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synthetic symphony   2001
  see also
kramm website
danse macabre website

album rating: 2

submitted by anton on 27-Jun-2001

albums like this are the reason I keep listening to electro. I have been recently traumatized after making a heroic effort and wading through a dozen popular ebm/electro albums. all those absurd minds, bosch, culture kultuer, heyaeb, merge, philtron, plastic assault, seabound, etc, etc, have scarred my ears last week and I developed some form of electro-phobia. only repeated injections of latest squarepusher and bunch of funkier idm helped me stay sane. all those bands are a subject of a separate article, but for now let's go back to the subject of this review.

bruno kramm should be a familiar name for anyone that has been listening to dark electro for a while. this charismatic figure is a part of das ich that in turn has been around for quite a while. this is his effort in the field of lighter electro, bordering between darkwave, darker flavor of synth pop, and dark electro. the band consists of bruno and three ladies contributing their talent.

from the very first moments I got instantly attracted to this album. I have always enjoyed symphonic arrangements of das ich, and finally some of them have been presented in "lighter," easier form - simpler, less dramatic (more "poppy" if you will). while any das ich fan would recognize some of the elements here and there - both arrangements and compositional elements (maybe even some of the sounds), they are merely a nice reminder, adding a distinct twist to the music that stands on its own.

"coeur" has a number of very strong danceable hits and a few charming ballads. my favorites are the tracks that combine fast-paced dancy rhythms and some of the syncopated dramatic pieces reminiscent of das ich.

vocals is the one element that sets this disk apart and gets my attention. untreated, clean, beautiful, melodic, soothing, powerful - all those epithets cannot describe its true power. bruno is truly outstanding, at times comparable to veljanov - the best male vocalist in the genre.

what is obvious - that's it's a truly well-composed and executed album, that combines all the parts of a hit record - from catchy programming, danceable, floor-friendly tunes to beautiful vocals, and finally, if you dig deeper, varied programming, vocals styles, melodies.

I can speculate all I want about the true reasons that lead to creating of this album (after all I did notice a few familiar dancy/poppy elements here and there) - be it an attempt to show the darkwave/synthpop world how things should be done, or an attempt to cash in on a popular style - but no matter how guilty I might feel listening to this album, I cannot deny its power. I guess all I can do is say, "if you want to listen to a darkwave/synthpop record - pick this album."

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