Culture Kultür

[Groundloop sleeve]"Revenge" (Album, 2001)

Out of Line

You can count the number of Spanish EMB-like outfits on the fingers of one hand, so it's probably fair to say that in their home country, Culture Kultür don't face much competition. Still, even on the international stage, their peculiar brand of EBM/future pop/trance/electro holds up reasonably well against the likes of market leaders Covenant, VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk et al. This is their second album and follows on naturally from its predecessor Reflex.

Culture Kultür's trademark is refusing to stick rigidly to one specific style or sub-genre, the resulting electronic dance although lacking the qualities of some of their competitors stands up pretty well. Curiously, the first couple of tracks, Forever and War is Over are probably the weakest. Track four, No Dogma, is the first to really bring the previously underlying trance elements to the fore and the result is head-bobbingly catchy. This approach is also carried through the next track, Promised Land Blues, and is perhaps the song closest to recent Covenant output, complete with sing-a-long chorus lyrics and trance-like synth lines.

There's plenty of dancefloor friendly material included and clubs across the globe are likely to give this album plenty of exposure. Other choice cuts are the instrumental Mientes, the very Nitzer Ebbish Europe, and the frankly just plain brilliant (and almost haujobb-like) Shipwreck. While the final Lost Ideals seems momentarily inspired by early Human League, the voice even recalling Phil Oakey at his best. 6/10

Rob Dyer