Zombie Nation - RGB

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  • On the rare occasions the subject comes up, it's now the default response to sneer at the track that, ultimately, will define Florian Senfter's career. True, in its remixed form "Kernkraft 400" was a pale, annoying shadow of its original self. But, let's not forget that when that eventual global smash first emerged in 1999 on DJ Hell's International Deejay Gigolo, it was one of a clutch of irreverent art school electro tracks that constituted electroclash's core DNA. That movement, for all its faults, helped jolt dance music out of a deep coma. At first contact, the Munich man's sound—abrasive electro bristling with hip-hop energy—is still contagious. But, as with most of those working in juggernaut electro, the album format does Snefter no favours. Split over several EPs these tracks may have hit home, part adrenalin shot, part giddy release. Snefter's execution is superior, his melodic sense sharp (although, there is nothing here with the earworm quality of "Kernkraft 400") and, insomuch as RGB could be said to be varied, he has some good ideas. Particularly when he slows the tempo, interesting things happen. The mangled rock sample that illuminates "Schoove" is smart. There is, in its pitch-bent percussive / tonal gymnastics, a welcome elastic weirdness to "Attic Sundays." "Pony" (which could be a glitchy Kid606 remix of a trademark Zombie salvo) or "Tryout" (Zombie Nation as a post-punk white funk band), illustrate that there is more to Snefter than simply big, booming electro bombs. Ultimately though, such variation is within a narrow range. 15 tracks of this, nearly an hour of being aurally strong-armed in (often) reasonably predictable ways, is too much of a sporadically good thing. DJs of eclectic swagger may pick out "Meathead" (a staccato, nagging gem) or the heavily UK hardcore-indebted "Falling," as secret weapons, to be dropped when you need to confound or revive an ailing dance floor. But how many times will you listen to RGB all the way through? It just doesn't have the breadth or emotional depth to warrant that kind of investment.
  • Tracklist
      01. Momplays 02. Level 03. Sigma 04. Schoove 05. Attic Sundays 06. Maingame 07. Tryouts 08. Blueberries 09. Sweepy 10. Brownsville 11. Pony 12. Suede 13. Meathead 14. Falling