Necrotek - Blacklight Magick
Electro-Industrial The first couple of times I listened through Necrotek's 'Blacklight Magick', I found myself thinking it reminded me of old Thrill Kill Kult or Electric Hellfire Club, with occasional glimpses of Sleep Chamber. The horror movie and drug-related film samples, vocal presentation, overall feel of the music, along with the psychedelic blacklight poster stylings of the album cover, really gave me a mental image of the occult related industrial music from the late 80's and early 90's. I was surprised when I checked Necrotek's website to verify that I got all my info about the band right, and on the site, this album is described as "an homage to the psychedelic electro-industrial sound of the 80s and 90s." Nectrotek just nailed it on this release, and I love it.

The album opens with "Blacklight Magick I (Intro)" a dark synth piece with a long film sample about the practice of magic, that really sets the mood for what's to come on the rest of the album. "Cemetery Sound" brings a medium-tempo dark groove with interesting stereo effects for headphone listeners and more film samples. Like the releases Necrotek pays homage to here, this is a really film sample-heavy album, and it works well. The vocal style throughout the album what I'd expect, too. Distorted, half-spoken, but still comprehensible, and a perfect fit for what's going on musically.

"Satanas Ex Machina" is one of my favorite tracks on the album. I absolutely love the rhythm and layers of synths going on here, along with the trippy distorted mechanical voice that fits the track's title aptly. It doesn't really go anywhere in terms of building up past the opening few seconds, but the instrumentation is really unique and it's got a great groove. The album's title track, "Blacklight Magick", is another really well done one, with a good mix of samples and original lyrics. Man, this whole album is really reminding me of old school stuff where the samples substituted for lyrical content. "Descent" continues the dark, broody goodness and includes more samples related to rituals, evil, and magick. The next track, "Haunted", bumps things up to a more dance-friendly 120 bpm. This is probably my least favorite track on the album; it's more generic than everything I'd heard up to this point, and the lyrics about lost love are a little cliche.

This brings me to one of the few shortcomings on the album; the lyrics, while personal, sometimes rely too much on common cliches, like cracks in mirrors and so on. Everything else about the album does such a great job of capturing the feel of the 80's and 90's dark industrial without simply rehashing it, that it's a bit disappointing to have some of the lyrics fall short on this account. Still, this a pretty minor issue for me.

The album makes a big shift in feel with "Terror Trip", a live track from 2001. It's an interesting choice for a studio album. Including samples from PSA's about the use of LSD, and the website says it's an an improvised track. I believe it; it has a very experimental feel to it, and this is where Necrotek reminds me a bit of Sleep Chamber, with a focus on more dark ritual sounds. The sound quality is really good for a live track, too. Live tracks on an otherwise studio album are kind of a gamble, but I like this one. It's not one you'll dance to, but it's a very dark, trippy sort of track that translates well to a recording. Similarly, "Blood Through the Ceiling", which includes more horror show samples, is another experimental track; it's dark and atmospheric and definitely evocative of a horror film.

Then we move into remixes - we get 3 remixes of "Satanas Ex Machina". The Machinamentum remix has some wobble in it (wub wub!), and moves along at a slow 70 bpm. The Timetrick Belgium Beat remix bumps this thing up into a dancing tempo, and gives it a really good stomping beat. The Peoples Republic of Europe remix gives a rhythmic noise feel to the track, and all three of these remixes are very good in different ways.

As for the "Blacklight Magick" remixes, the Portion Control remix V.2 is another really strong remix; there are some great beats and production on this one. I can see this one being a dancefloor favorite. Revolution State's Medical Magick mix slows it back down a bit, but I'm not a huge fan of the mixing on this one. That droning synth sits too high in the mix for my taste. A track called "Shadow Phase" gets a pretty interesting, minimal remix by Terminal State.

And if that weren't enough, "None More Black" gets two remixes. The first is by Kontrolled Demolition. It's a pretty straightfoward harsh EBM/rhythmic noise track. Good on the dancefloor, perhaps a little too harsh for some people, but I like it. The second remix is by Timetrick and features Catherine NitroJane Robertson on vocals. It's a very different approach to the track, and it's actually very good. It's minimal, but has a great groove to it, and her voice work is solid. She reminded me a bit of Anna Wildsmith from Sow here.

All in all, this is one of my favorite new albums of 2012. Necrotek show they have the versatility and talent to evoke the sound of some of my favorite old industrial acts, while bringing a unique, fresh approach to that tribute. Very well done; turn on and tune in!
4
Brutal Resonance

Necrotek - Blacklight Magick

The first couple of times I listened through Necrotek's 'Blacklight Magick', I found myself thinking it reminded me of old Thrill Kill Kult or Electric Hellfire Club, with occasional glimpses of Sleep Chamber. The horror movie and drug-related film samples, vocal presentation, overall feel of the music, along with the psychedelic blacklight poster stylings of the album cover, really gave me a mental image of the occult related industrial music from the late 80's and early 90's. I was surprised when I checked Necrotek's website to verify that I got all my info about the band right, and on the site, this album is described as "an homage to the psychedelic electro-industrial sound of the 80s and 90s." Nectrotek just nailed it on this release, and I love it.

The album opens with "Blacklight Magick I (Intro)" a dark synth piece with a long film sample about the practice of magic, that really sets the mood for what's to come on the rest of the album. "Cemetery Sound" brings a medium-tempo dark groove with interesting stereo effects for headphone listeners and more film samples. Like the releases Necrotek pays homage to here, this is a really film sample-heavy album, and it works well. The vocal style throughout the album what I'd expect, too. Distorted, half-spoken, but still comprehensible, and a perfect fit for what's going on musically.

"Satanas Ex Machina" is one of my favorite tracks on the album. I absolutely love the rhythm and layers of synths going on here, along with the trippy distorted mechanical voice that fits the track's title aptly. It doesn't really go anywhere in terms of building up past the opening few seconds, but the instrumentation is really unique and it's got a great groove. The album's title track, "Blacklight Magick", is another really well done one, with a good mix of samples and original lyrics. Man, this whole album is really reminding me of old school stuff where the samples substituted for lyrical content. "Descent" continues the dark, broody goodness and includes more samples related to rituals, evil, and magick. The next track, "Haunted", bumps things up to a more dance-friendly 120 bpm. This is probably my least favorite track on the album; it's more generic than everything I'd heard up to this point, and the lyrics about lost love are a little cliche.

This brings me to one of the few shortcomings on the album; the lyrics, while personal, sometimes rely too much on common cliches, like cracks in mirrors and so on. Everything else about the album does such a great job of capturing the feel of the 80's and 90's dark industrial without simply rehashing it, that it's a bit disappointing to have some of the lyrics fall short on this account. Still, this a pretty minor issue for me.

The album makes a big shift in feel with "Terror Trip", a live track from 2001. It's an interesting choice for a studio album. Including samples from PSA's about the use of LSD, and the website says it's an an improvised track. I believe it; it has a very experimental feel to it, and this is where Necrotek reminds me a bit of Sleep Chamber, with a focus on more dark ritual sounds. The sound quality is really good for a live track, too. Live tracks on an otherwise studio album are kind of a gamble, but I like this one. It's not one you'll dance to, but it's a very dark, trippy sort of track that translates well to a recording. Similarly, "Blood Through the Ceiling", which includes more horror show samples, is another experimental track; it's dark and atmospheric and definitely evocative of a horror film.

Then we move into remixes - we get 3 remixes of "Satanas Ex Machina". The Machinamentum remix has some wobble in it (wub wub!), and moves along at a slow 70 bpm. The Timetrick Belgium Beat remix bumps this thing up into a dancing tempo, and gives it a really good stomping beat. The Peoples Republic of Europe remix gives a rhythmic noise feel to the track, and all three of these remixes are very good in different ways.

As for the "Blacklight Magick" remixes, the Portion Control remix V.2 is another really strong remix; there are some great beats and production on this one. I can see this one being a dancefloor favorite. Revolution State's Medical Magick mix slows it back down a bit, but I'm not a huge fan of the mixing on this one. That droning synth sits too high in the mix for my taste. A track called "Shadow Phase" gets a pretty interesting, minimal remix by Terminal State.

And if that weren't enough, "None More Black" gets two remixes. The first is by Kontrolled Demolition. It's a pretty straightfoward harsh EBM/rhythmic noise track. Good on the dancefloor, perhaps a little too harsh for some people, but I like it. The second remix is by Timetrick and features Catherine NitroJane Robertson on vocals. It's a very different approach to the track, and it's actually very good. It's minimal, but has a great groove to it, and her voice work is solid. She reminded me a bit of Anna Wildsmith from Sow here.

All in all, this is one of my favorite new albums of 2012. Necrotek show they have the versatility and talent to evoke the sound of some of my favorite old industrial acts, while bringing a unique, fresh approach to that tribute. Very well done; turn on and tune in!
May 10 2012

Karl Middlebrooks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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