Previously available as a promotional-only taste of KMFDM’s prolific hit list, Retro is now available commercially as the definitive greatest hits collection. More a well-oiled musical machine than a conventional band, KMFDM have continued to evolve, swapping out members and collaborating with artists as diverse as Nivek Ogre, Abbey Travis, and New York poet, Nicole Blackman.
Retro spans eight albums released from 1986 to 1996, and represents various incarnations of the group. Founding member Raymond Watts (who later collaborated with Foetus and went on to form Pig) here lends his unique vocal interpretation of a tortured soul in Hell to the massive dance hit, “Juke Joint Jezebel” and the survivalist manifesto, “Brute.” Beyond the dance floor, the cohesion of their ground-breaking industrial sound is rooted in songs that often come off as Public Service Announcements with a beat. Messages running through their body of work include the band’s blatant anti-fascist philosophy (“Rip the System,” “Godlike”), pro-individuality (“Money”) and their disdain for the censorship of MTV (see Naive/Hell To Go). It’s also fun to check out how the band work their name into the lyrics of no fewer than three songs on this disc alone. “Light” serves as an anthem to the benevolence of KMFDM (“What we do for you/ is so good for you. / What we do for me/is so good for me”). With all of these amazing dance hits plus the phenomenal “What Do You Know, Deutschland?” and the hilarious “Don’t Blow Your Top,” Retro provides significant insight as to how KMFDM maintain their stranglehold on the industrial vanguard. TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10003; http:www.tvtrecords.com