First off, EVOLution gets an automatic “***” rating just because of the way the songs are categorized and organized. Part I, entitled “d.n.a,” consists of six original Decoded Feedback compositions, Part II “genetically altered,” is six remixes by a variety of fellow androids, and Part III, “cloned,” is a cover of “bio-vital” credited to frozen autumn. Metropolis and Zoth Ommog is a partnership made in heaven, so far.
Can I talk about the cover version first? Incredible idea, it’s like a self-contained tribute album, and the cover is a wondrous slice of Joy Division-as-Eurodisco. Oh my! On the remix front, Funker Vogt and din-fiv pretty much turn Decoded Feedback songs into Funker Vogt and din-fiv songs, while Aghast View turns “relic” into a disorienting cyber-funk workout and In Strict Confidence layers “breathe” with eerie synth sequences.
Finally, on to the original “untainted” songs. Decoded Feedback have a distinctly European ear for harmony and rhythm, thus all songs are instantly infectious and danceable, even when presumably plumbing the depths of emotional despair. Which, I suppose, is a Catch 22, but it sure does make for good listening. Witness the melancholic strings used in the song “EVOLution,” to suggest one mood, then coupled with a four-on-the-floor beat. Subversive! Decoded Feedback have a Wagner fetish too, choral effects, strings, and orchestral washes pervade most of their compositions, giving them a stirring and triumphant feel, in spite of themselves. “Re/animator” brings me to one more salient point I’d like to make about this band — for a seemingly cold and mechanical genre, Decoded Feedback communicate longing and loneliness on par with the best of them. If anything, the electronics just highlight the alienation in the machine. All six original numbers are ridiculously catchy and instant classics of the genre, expect to see them on Cleopatra “Best of…” compilations within the next two months.
Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com