Vandalaze – So Real (STX001)

Vandalaze - So Real

Nothing says I love the late eighties/early nineties quite like squiggly asymmetric assortments of lines against a lavender background. I’m reminded of a pair of zubaz I used to own… I rocked those way past their expiration date.

Artist: Vandalaze
Title: So Real
Label: Slimetrax
Cat#: STX001
Keywords: EBM, Techno, Industrial, Synthpop
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

If you haven’t yet figured out what to do with your life, there’s always… this compact disc, titled So Real by Vandalaze, which comes in a sexy thin clamshell case. This is The Stuff, man! The Stuff of dreams. Or, you could get a job… but you and I both know how that’s gonna feel: just a little too Real.

It begins with the radio edit of ‘So Real’. It’s got a nice, dense rhythmic feel, adding chunky bass synths, some stringy sample noises, then — wow, beautiful 80s synth sequences. It’s got a new beat / early EBM sound, reminding me of pretty much all the music I was obsessed with as a teenager, Severed Heads, Front 242… it even reminds me a bit of Torch Song. Music for roving gangs of mutants!

‘House Of Two Oceans (Formv1)’ has a bit of an acid-period Psychic TV vibe at first, like Towards Thee Infinite Beat, and kind of like Greater Than One. Very cool vibe, with wild samples, bizarre vocals with strange effect treatments, all verging into 90s techno-industrial weirdness. It’s impossible to not want to dance to this like a robot on the fritz. I love the deep bell/bass sequence, it’s somewhere between bleep n bass and EBM.

Next is ‘So Real (Cyborgs On Crack Dub)’ which, like all of the remix material I’ve heard from Cyborgs On Crack, is really great. It deepens the original with a sinister stalking groove, everything in the mix feels like it’s drooling at the lower bpm. The kick has a gated cutoff that is reminiscent of the low sample-rate of early samplers. “So real”. Creepy, sensual dancefloor industrial.

The VR Mix of ‘So Real’ by Inari Alchemist is pure madness, with Frontline Assembly style thick bassline sequences. It really pumps once the 4/4 grooves come on, the compression makes it feel adrenalized. This remix took me by surprise… definitely feeling 90s EBM vibes, like maybe Funker Vogt — except a lot cooler, funkier.

Then we come to ‘So Real (Bubblegum Crisis Mix)’ which is highly experimental, with rhythmic arrangements of vocal snip samples, low bass growls, light breaks, DX7 bell slides. My brain feels like it’s collapsing in on itself!

I’m really enjoying the 01b remix of ‘So Real’, beginning with dark pads, then a Jackmaster drum groove track that really slams you into the floor. There’s a sequenced bass guitar that basically gallops… the vocals here are mixed pretty dry for a change. String hits, sampled choir sequences, drum breakdowns, it’s a real blast from the past!

Last, and totally worth getting to, is ‘Scrambled’! As much as I loved the rest of the material on this compact single, this is probably my fave track. It’s got a lot of sampledelic electro style, like dreams of tomorrow, yesterday. The sections with reverse strings are pure bliss. I envision a glittering technopolis filled with psychic machines and hovering geography. Then, as if it couldn’t get any better, these synth chords come in with a freestyle electro groove. Very hot!

I must strongly recommend you pick this one up, especially for those of you who still remember buying up cd singles, new beat comps, strange European EBM imports and anything industrial/futurist. You won’t be disappointed! You can watch more awesome Vandalaze videos here, and below is the link to this single:

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