Not very often do I encounter a Power or Rhythm Noise album which is worth listening to more than once, and I do like the genre. Guess I’m just too picky. There are times, however, when Lady Luck is kind enough to send me something interesting, which right now is an album by The People’s Republic of Europe. A band with 10 years of experience and I’ve found them only recently. I felt even more embarrassed when I learned that there is more to their music than simple humming of a vacuum cleaner joined by a rapid leg tapping.

Instead, the tracks are well constructed and include a healthy dose of variety. It is worth mentioning, that TPROE is not only skilled at Power Noise/Industrial, but also produces Dark Ambient albums, which in case of ‘Machine District’ is represented by rich backgrounds of the tracks. Apart from the classic, pardon my vocabulary, ‘whoop-whoop’ it is the very backgrounds which decide about the character of the presented music. Examples? Opening track ‘Wake Induced’, which next to the obligatory industrial glitches and power-like rhythm, serves us spacious soundscapes, which are placed right behind the other two elements. Probably the biggest surprise was a track called ‘Automation Test’. Every time I listen to it I feel like I’m walking through a wasteland of forgotten machinery. The track itself features a change of rhythm and amazing background electronics. A great tune indeed. ‘Stay Behind’, recorded together with Dead Hand Project, is yet another track incorporating an uncommon rhythm, distorted vocals and interesting surrounding sounds.

Right afterwards we are hit with a dynamic and fast ‘The Rebellion’, which is a perfect tune to play on concerts or parties. For more orthodox fans of Rhythmic Noise there are tracks such as ‘Deathstar’, ‘Burn Them All’ or ‘Centurion’, which of course does not mean they are not suitable for anyone else. Their sound is more like a chip of the old block, if you get my point. The greatest mystery on ‘Machine District’ is ‘Shake It’. I have no idea if this is a cover or not (I couldn’t find any info on that matter), which does not change a fact that the track is somewhat…bizarre. It sounds as if vocals from some reagge/rap/God-knows-what song have been imported to a Power Noise tune. Even if I can’t decide whether I like the tune or not, I have to admit that the track turned out to be quite interesting. As a partying gift TPROE gives us ‘Welcome to the Machinery District’, a nice drum’n’bass closing tune.

Fuiri, AlterNation

Throughout life there's always constants - Death, Hunger, Disappointment and the endless wheel turning. Industrial, to me is the same. This is exactly why I adore The Peoples Republic of Europe. I'm a fan of around Two dozen of the hundreds of Rhythmic Noise / Hard Industrial bands I've heard. TproE rank among the very top of these. On Machine District, which is something like their 12th release (including a small swathe of ambient albums), my excitement for this has reached fever pitch.

What this album needs to do is keep up the consistency, and remind me exactly why I adore this Dutch act - I fell for them after 2004's 'Juche' - I find political albums to be of great merit, and 'dedicating' an album to Kim Jong Il and his North Korean self-imposed philosophy was exactly the kind of statement that made Industrial both loved and revered.

Like all forms Noise should, this is brutal from the second you press play, and chugs along like an automaton hell-bent on destruction. You could argue that Rhythmic Noise sounds the same, but to me it's about the background sounds, the change in beat, and the moments where additional samples change to reflect the concept that make it. TproE manage to make each album sound noticeably different, and that's a skill which only the idiotic of you can deny.

The first two tracks on here are impressive, but it's track 3 'Automation Test' which immediately sinks me - it seems to blend other influences into a sound often well known for being offensive and intolerable. The manifesto by the group claims to infuse a hybrid of funk, disco, hip hop, EBM, techno and associated sounds; despite not noticing any of these directly, it's pretty clear this is streets ahead of its time.

As the album progresses, I feel more and more comfortable with it - 'Deathstar' is an excellent number that shakes your cranium like an irate juggernaut on the conveyor line, 'Stay Behind'' features Taury Goforth's excellent 'Dead Hand Projekt', and the superbly titled 'Disko Neubauten' make this a 'What you see is what you get' act.

The title is controversial and brilliant, the album titles always make me drool with anticipation, and the sound excels and blasts all genre stereotypes into whimpering fragments.

12 tracks; no filler all killer.

Nick, Brutal Resonance

The Peoples Republic Of Europe (tPROE) can already look back on an impressive discography. This harsh project from The Netherlands has never been a cliché project. Even if they’ve always experimented with familiar influences mixing noise, industrial, power-noise they often succeeded in a very personal sound approach.
This new album released by Vendetta is new exposure from their non-compromised sound. Built upon industrial atmospheres “Wake Induced” opens the fire. It’s a cool opener followed by a power-noise assault entitled “Dreadnaught”. Things start to get really interesting with “Automatic Test”. We know get a heavy tracks composed with a great arsenal of sounds. A few samplings extenuate the industrial texture of the tracks. “Deathstart” and “Centurion” both are very efficient tracks in a similar vein, but the real highlight is “The Rebellion”. This track sounds as the offspring between industrial-techno and power-noise. There’s an irresistible icy tune on top of the track, which makes it sound totally accomplished. Another technoid experiment can be found on “Shake It Up” while the last song “Welcome To The Machine District” is quite surprising for its d’n’b orientation. It sounds a bit like another band is interrupting the apotheosis of the opus, but it simply shows another side of tPROE.
This is one more cool album in the discography of tPROE while some new releases are already in the pipeline.

Side Line

La terra di Grendel, l’‘Olanda, è florida e come il vicino Belgio alimenta tenacemente il fuoco demoniaco e dannato dell’‘harsh incrementando il capitale di bpm espresso in tanti anni di progetti militanti tra i versanti dell’‘EBM estrema, aggressiva, tecnoide.
Pieter Winkelaar torna dalle parti di Vendetta Music dopo il felice “Babylon”, recente affermazione nei favori del popolo cyber europeo.
Un harsh power e spietato è la sua lama sonora per fendere il dancefloor, i timpani nascosti dalle cuffie (ovviamente volume alto…), i vostri lettori, eppure “Machine District” non è la semplice rassegna di power-harsh, aprendosi invece in modalità finemente oscura e gestita nei tempi con “Wake Induced”, battito altissimo ma linee tatticamente direzionate verso suoni bassi, stop-reprise studiati nel punto giusto per ri-iniziare la follia sonora, quasi un’‘accelerazione voluta di ambientazioni tipiche degli Haujobb.
Lo stesso varrà in seguito per “The Rebellion”, ora speed-EBM techno-logica sempre a doppia cassa sostenuta, cadenze folli per corpi esigenti e pretendenti.
Altre soluzioni prevedono invece muri di byte e note contro le quali scontrarsi, ferire il cerebro, crogiolarsi tra fremiti adrenalinici e singulti danceable: “Dreadnought” ha la rabbia nevrotica dei Wuornos Aileen, “Deathstar” è una torcida estrema sui binari ad alta velocità ritmica dei Dulce Liquido di “Shock Terapy”.
Pieter però adora comporre tra righe frenetiche, così “Stay Behind”, grazie alla partecipazione di Dead Hand Project, è una sosta in midtempo, un interludio space-EBM cauterizzato dalla voce growl morente, un’‘agonia vocale soffocata.
Tutti ottimi motivi per far vostro “Machine District” ma uno ancora vale tutto l’‘album: “Disko Neubauten”, ballabile a tutti i livelli, cauto nei battiti meno power per dare spazio a molteplici linee di synth e sequencer lanciati in piena velocità eppure ancora controllati su dance-time irrorati di cristalli sonori, vetri colorati ed illuminati da neon industriali.
Non stupitevi della qualità dell’‘album: The People Republic Of Europe oggi conta sette full-lenght e varie ristampe o lavori rivisitati; mr. Winkelaar è stabilmente in casa Vendetta da anni dove condivide il dancefloor con Mono Amine, Xotox, Nachtmahr o i Punto Omega, una label dove impera la perversione corporea, il plagio fisico, la propaganda dance, sta a voi subire l’‘ennesima tentazione sul dancefloor.

Sounds behind the corner

"Machine District" is the new album for The Peoples Republic Of Europe.I must say that I was familiar with them,since I had listened to their tunes in the past. I should also admit that the thing that originally made me develop an interest for this group was their name! I loved it really and so, I went on to find more on this band.Second factor that arose my interest is their origin:being from the Netherlands, they are one of the few industrial/electro acts emerging from this country (the most famous of which is obviously,Grendel). They move on a different field than Grendel though:for the most part they would seem like a power noise combo. And sound like one,too!But after some repeated listening, it is easy to unravel lots of other elements and directions to their sound.From harsh ebm to drum and bass and beyond.

What keeps this together as a piece is its dance-floor direction:most of their songs are perfectly crafted and their obvious destination is a dark,industrial club.Having gained some experience already,something logical as the band operates for more than 10 years now,they go on to deliver a work of great confidence.A great example would be "Dreadnought":a potential club hit that could move almost anyone to its addictive rhythm and pounding beats."Deathstar"is absolutely fabulous,moving in the same,dance orientated terrain.An honourable mention should be made on "Disko Neubauten":everyone who mentions Neubauten should be praised,in my opinion!The track itself,distances a bit from the usual hammering presented here:based on steady beats,then moving on to a sound collapse frenzy,something reminiscent of the german industrial pioneers,of course.On the other hand,it would be impossible not to mention "Welcome To The Machine District",final track of this album.Which stands out for being an open exploration on drum'n'bass sound and aesthetics.This clearly brings to mind LTJ Bukem and serves as a grand surprise,closing this album in a perfect manor.While someone could detect some weaker points(some vocals in particular do not work very well,I think),but being totally honest,I need to say that"Machine District" delivers on all fronts.In the end,it is something that should appeal to everyone really:djs,in order to find some dance-floor options,ear-hungry audiences in search of good electronic music and,even artists themselves,to catch a few ideas on how power noise should be properly performed.Big smile..

SubExistance

Netherlands-based harsh noise/industrial band The Peoples Republic of Europe has just released their seventh album ‘Machine District’ on Denver, Colorado-based Vendetta Records. With influences that span the gamut from early industrial to dancehall, P-funk to techno, The Peoples Republic of Europe is one of those rare projects wholly in advance of the typical rhythmic noise sound. While past releases saw tPROE delving into terrain that included everything from harsh noise to dark ambient, ‘Machine District’ sees the group pushing themselves into topography more melodic and unrelentingly aggressive than ever before.

The one word that immediately springs to mind with this album is STOMPY. Things thud along right away with ‘Wake Induced,’”as a clinical, detached voice implores us to “Get comfortable... Let go of your thoughts... Look around you...”; it’s a piquant proem of things to come. The crunch continues with the brutally sublime ‘Dreadnought’- an energetic, violent exercise. ‘Automation Test’ is Skinny Puppy cum George Clinton funk, while ‘Deathstar’ and 'Burn Them All' keep the frentic pace going with bashing beats and crashing noise.

Hands down, the highlight of this record has to be ‘Stay Behind’, featuring Taury Goforth of Dead Hand Projekt. Perhaps the first Witch House /industrial hybrid, it lurks along in moody, lugubrious brilliance with melancholic leads and hip-hop inspired beats, while the Dead Hand Projekt front-man gets lost in existential rumination: “I need, I bleed, I try to see the fear in you and the pain I give to you.” This is a haunting, soulful track that maintains a reverberating beauty.

‘The Rebellion’ starts subdued, with ambient synthscapes, then kicks into high gear like power tools bashing concrete. ‘Centurion’ continues in much the same noisy vein as the previous tracks, with floor-shaking rhythm, like a violently masticating pit bull out for blood. ‘Disko Neubauten’ is another high point of the record- combining more grinding bass with jackhammer beats and gorgeous melody akin to hammers banging on sheet metal.

‘Shake It’ is the most unique song on the record- once again bringing to surface the Reggaton/dance hall/ funk influence, unifying tradition influences with industrial oontz. ’Amoklauf’ stomps along in similar manner to previous tracks, with sound bites from Seung Hui Cho thrown in: “Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ.” The final track ‘Welcome to the Machine District’ is an epic drum & bass-sounding number with freezing synths layered on top- this is our final stop on our journey into the fallen world tPROE has painted such a riveting portrait of; a cold, detached world where machine has overtaken humanity.

All in all, this is a stunning release, fans of previous albums like ‘Babylon’ and ‘Singularity’ will find much to love here. One of ‘Machine District’s particular strengths is its ability to be experimental while retaining crowd-pleasing crunchy oontz, to delve into realms like dark ambient while providing a virtual symphonic stomp-athon- this is machine music in its purest sense; tPROE will leave listeners simultaneously abused , exhausted, enthralled- I can’t recommend it enough.


Neuwelt Magazine