Genre/Influences: Electro-pop, dark-electro, EBM, gothic, industrial.
Background/Info: Alfa Matrix clearly has something with Depeche Mode while the electro-pop masters remain an endless source of inspiration for other artists. You don’t only have the numerous Depeche Mode clones, but all these bands covering songs from Depeche Mode as well. Even Johnny Cash has made a cover! The Belgian label has released its third tribute to the ‘Kings’ of synth-pop music featuring 32 songs.
Content: Depeche Mode is a band we all know, but cover versions from their most famous hits is always tricky business. This tribute only features Alfa Matrix bands, which have seriously revisited the original versions to create a very personal edit. The compilation sounds pretty ‘pop’-like, but mixed with elements of EBM, dark-electronics, gothic and industrial music.
Metroland is the only band which has covered two songs while Ad:Key next to their cover also made one together with Die Robo Sapiens.
+ + + : The diversity of influences is captivating. I enjoyed the transformation of Star Industry and Lovelorn Dolls into gothic music, the industrial bombast from Alien Vampires and Neikka RPM, the Kraftwerk-ian approach of Metroland, the EBM boost of Kant Kino and Ad:Key, the dark and tormented versions by Acylum and Circuito Cerrado and the sensual style of Regenerator. Among the singers I especially like the voice of Noemi (Helalyn Flowers) singing on “Dream On”. Some of the biggest and most famous hits from Depeche Mode have been revisited.
– – – : Covering such a legendary formation and some of the most famous hits (“World In My Eyes”, “A Question Of Time”, “Little 15”, “Photographic”, “Black Celebration”, “Enjoy The Silence”, “Walking In My Shoes”, “Master And Servant”, “Shake The Disease”, “Personal Jesus”…) remains a pretty risky business and probably a blasphemy for some fans of the band.
Conclusion: This kind of tribute is an original way to re-discover Depeche Mode in a totally different style and approach, but also to discover the Alfa Matrix bands in a different format.
Best bands: Alien Vampires, Acylum, H.O.W., Regenerator, Neikka RPM, Metroland.