Grand((Ø))Signal – Aktivation (CD Album – Unknown Pleasures Records)
Genre/Influences: EBM, minimal-body-music, electroclash, new-beat.
Background/Info: One year after their debut album “Aktivation” the Belgian duo consisting of Jacky Meurisse (SA42) and Tcheleskov Ivanovitch (Grandchaos) are back on track. They signed to the French label Unknown Pleasures Records, which is an appropriated choice to release their ‘vintage’-inspired electronic music.
Content: I already fully enjoyed the debut-work of this duo and “Aktivation” only confirms the strong potential of their vintage EBM influences mixed with a few other styles. Jacky Meurisse has been part of the legendary new-beat movement and that’s an aspect that you’ll immediately notice. The minimal EBM sound rules and has been once again accomplished by a great songwriting.
The minimal aspect of the production comes also back in the vocals production. Jacky Meurisse focused on a few and rudimentary lyrics. It all sounds simple and yet very efficient. It sometimes creates an effect of a sampling.
The album features 9 songs plus 1 remix.
+ + + : Grand((Ø))Signal stands for an experienced duo, which knows this magic sound formula to create alluring electronics. This work sounds like an ode to vintage electronics mixing different influences with each other while remaining pure underground-like. But the album also is a quite efficient production revealing several outstanding songs and potential hits. From the technoid and somewhat electroclash-sounding title-song to other new-beat inspired cuts to dark minimal EBM, this opus is a non-stop source of dance and entertainment.
– – – : You can always find minus points and I can imagine some people will dislike the new-beat input while others would have liked to get it more EBM-driven. In the end this album clearly isn’t the most typical release in its genre.
Conclusion: Grand((Ø))Signal seems to be a real band now and that’s great news as there’s a real chemistry operating between Jacky Meurisse and Tcheleskov Ivanovitch.
Best songs: “You Can Dream”, “Aktivation”, “Strange Star”, “Faster/Harder”.
Label: www.unknown–pleasures–records.com / www.facebook.com/Unknown–Pleasures–Records-566180440115465
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.