June 18, 2024

Assemblage 23 – Failure / 20th Anniversary Edition (Album – Accession Records)

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Genre/Influences: Future-Pop, Electro-Pop.

Format: Digital, 2CD.

Background/Info: Twenty years ago Assemblage 23 released the successful opus “Failure”. Today this legendary album by Tom Shear got a new mix and mastering plus an extra disc featuring remixes.

Content: “Failure” has to be considered as an album that was originally released in the early years of Future-Pop. I know Tom Shear doesn’t care that much attention about the label of his music, but he was often linked with VNV Nation, Neuroticfish and co. With some recoil this album was a hard-banging Pop format, a kind of evil Electro-Pop sound infused with Industrial components, but still melodic and ultra danceable.

The second disc features exactly the same tracklist, but all of the tracks have been remixed in chronological order by DTSR, Interface, Antiscion, Mari Kattman, Rotersand, Clan Of Xymox, The Gentry, Suicide Commando, Patrick Codenys and Assemblage 23.

+ + + : “Failure” remains a ‘great’ piece of music. The original magic of songs like “Naked”, “House On Fire”, “Disappoint”, “Divide” and “Awake” hasn’t really changed. It’s even a wonder to see how songs of twenty years old still have this effect. It simply reveals the talent and genius of Tom Shear who’s not only a great musician, but also an artist who is writing intelligent and touching lyrics. I think a band like Assemblage 23 brought us a different kind of Electro-Pop, miles away from the established standards and Depeche Mode-clones. “Failure” can be easily seen as a true reference in this genre.

Among the remixes there’re not only great names, but also a very diversified number of artists. It’s also cool to see Tom’s wife (cf. Mari Kattman) remixing one of the songs. My personal favorite is the most unknown project from the list; UK project Antiscion boosting “House On Fire”. Tom Shear did also a great job remixing “King Of Insects”, which sounds definitely better than the original version.

– – – : I’m not sure this remixed and remastered edition will have a similar effect and impact than 20 years ago, but it’s a homage to a great artist and an essential work in his career.

Conclusion: “Failure” has been brought back to life and it still sounds up to date!

Best songs: “House On Fire”, “Naked”, “Disappoint”, “Awake” + “House On Fire – Antiscion Remix”, “King Of Insects – Assemblage 23 Remix”.

Rate: 8½.

Artist: www.assemblage23.com / www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100044546464584

Label: www.accession-records.de / www.facebook.com/accessionrecords

author avatar
Inferno Sound Diaries
I have been working for over 30 years with Side-line as the main reviewer. My taste is eclectic, uncoventional and I prefer to look for the pearls, even if the bands are completely unknown, thus staying loyal to the Side-Line philosophy of nurturing new talents.

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