"Cryonica Tanz V.1", Various Artists (Double Album, 2001)
Cryonica is the label set up by UK industrial outfit Inertia a couple of years ago. Since then, the label has gone from strength to strength, signing new artists (VoID CoNSTRUCT and man(i)kin), licensing international names (Fiction 8, Spahn Ranch) and now promoting live events under its 'Virus' guise. This latest release from the label goes far further than just representing the Cryonica artists but stands as the label's view on the new electro/industrial scene. Of course, Cryonica artists Inertia and man(i)kin get a slot each and, like many of the 31 tracks included in this double CD, these are remixes or exclusive tracks.
Stylistically, content ranges from the melodic electronic pop of The Nine's My Fallacy, thru Technoir's surprisingly effective cover of Ultravox's The Voice (with female vox) to the harder, darker territory of Layer's Paranoia. There is a preoccupation with the mid tempo dance beats and this is perhaps the compilation's only real shortcoming. Otherwise, it's a diverse mix of global artists, although there are some notable absences such as Covenant and VNV Nation. Nevertheless, we do get some great, proven artists like The Galan Pixs (Pearl Necklace), Cleaner (Neuromancer) and Attrition (Cosmetic Citizen - Stromkern remix) alongside new names like System Der Dinge, Strategy and the aforementioned Layer. Most notable of the new names is Skorbut, their leftfield 5 Minutes Rhythm kicking off the first CD with its almost retro techno repetitive hook loops and beats.
The packaging is nice too, a cool white and green sleeve design is carried through to the well laid-out booklet and onto the two CD themselves. Compared to much of the competition, notably the also recently released (and UK) Cyberpolis: A Darker Dance Floor, Cryonica Tanz (with its total running time of 145 minutes, retailing for a staggeringly low £10.00 (!) represents outstanding value for money. With more than two-thirds of the tracks being either exclusive or remixed, this double album will provide hours of listening pleasure for those who like their beats hard and fast and their more mellow moments touched by technology. A fine example of how to put together a genre compilation. Oh, and in case you were wondering, 'Tanz' is German for 'dance'. 8/10
Official Cryonica website: http://www.cryonica.com