Genre/Influences: EBM, new-beat, electroclash, techno-body.
Background/Info: Jacky Meurisse is one of Belgium’s EBM pioneers and an artist who has been praised for his involvement in the new-beat period (think of Pleasure Game, Amnesia). He’ll always be linked to Signal Aout 42, but he’s also involved in ‘newer’ projects like Grand O Signal and last year he took me by surprise releasing the impressive solo-album… “Crystal”. “Crystal Blackout” clearly appears to be a re-release on i-Traxx Recordings.
Content: This opus remains an impressive piece of music on which Meurisse mixes all the influences he has been dealing with over the years. You take the best of EBM and some icy new-beat tunes plus a big kick and put it all together in a solid sound shaker. The result is alluring electro-body-clash and new-beat like production.
It sounds vintage-like and the fusion of all elements is absolutely working. Jacky Meurisse didn’t add a lot of vocals on top of the compositions, but just a few and somewhat fragmented words.
+ + + : “Crystal Blackout” sounds a bit like a challenge, but Jacky Meurisse perfectly knows the way to get people on the dancefloor. Minimal-EBM and new-beat are closer than what you might imagine. The great and dry-like bass lines remain one of the best links between both styles, and also the global vintage electronic sounds. The album only features 8 songs, but there’s not one single cut to throw away. This work is a complete success and the ultimate dance piece for underground parties.
– – – : “Crystal Blackout” brings nothing new if you already discovered the album originally released on New Fabrikk while I can imagine that some EBM die-hard freaks will be disappointed with some new-beat influences.
Conclusion: “Crystal Blackout” sounds like a sonic exorcism where Jacky Meurisse brought all of his old sonic demons together. It’s a dangerous album that will instantly contaminate you.
Best songs: “Crystal”, “No Pity For The Killers”, “Groovy Style”, “Diskoteka”, “Never Say No No More”.