XOTOX: Essentials 2xCD Pro-Noize/Dark Dimensions
Way back in 2003, Andreas Davids released debut album, ‘Lichtlos’ upon the world; then going on from strength to strength, culminating in some of his finest work to date in 2013 (“Schwanengesang’) and a vinyl remix album (Redux). It’s a testament to the commitment of Davids and his creativity that he has been so prolific and successful.
‘Essentials’ isn’t the first ‘best of’ that Xotox has released (the other being ‘Hyperactive’ for the US market on Vendetta music in 2008); but it does feel more complete. This is mainly down to a few more years of musical output, a new master wash over older tracks and this being 35 songs in length.
Over the course of this two-disc affair we have club friendly mainstays such as ‘Mechanische Unruhe’ and the floor slaying ‘Pumpe/Düse’ to contend with; as well as older demo’s and a few remixes, as well as some later tracks post 2008. T he mix of old, new and rare, ultimately works well as a whole and consummately does its job (that being a best of) and I highly recommend this to those new to the fold.
Andy seems to have no end in sight with this project and more power to him and his creativity; given the medium he is working with, it would have been no surprise if he did run out of ideas. However, he has carved himself a name that will always be held high within Industrial circles; and for that genre, the title of this compilation couldn’t be any more apt.
XOTOX: Redux LP Pro-Noize/Dark Dimensions
It’s been a year since the excellent ‘Schwanengesang’ was released from Germany’s ambassador of Industrial music for hyperactive people. ‘Redux’ is a wax only release that for the lucky few comes in a special edition, limited red vinyl as well (and looks gorgeous to boot).
What we have on offer, are nine tracks remixed by some of the scenes well known artists such as Suicide Commando, Monolith; and Kiev amongst others. ‘Slå Tillbaka is the opening gambit to this release from the aforementioned Suicide Commando, with his trademark dance-floor synth plastered all over the track; and adds a new life to the song itself.
Overall the mixes provide a great variant on what has come before with Aehm touching everything up with light breakbeats and ambient sub textures on ‘Notwehr’ with Monolith bringing the distorted intentional (and essential) monotone beats that they’re famous for, reassembling the same track. The two variants match well and are prime examples on how different an individuals take on a song can be.
Variation isn’t a surprise with this release as many a style is covered, from the obscure electronics of Sci-Fi Industries and the Darkwave pads of Mondträume. It’s this pallet of sounds that provides the main interest to this remix album; that and the fact it’s so damn collectable. More power to Andy Davids for getting this release out there on this format and I am sure every other vinyl aficionado will relish this once they get their mitts on it for their own collection.
XOTOX: Schwanengesang CD Pro-Noize/Dark Dimensions
Given that the title of this latest opus translates as ‘Swansong’, I most certainly hope this isn’t an indicator that this is to be the hard working Andreas Davids’ last release. For many a year Davids has pummelled Industrial audiences with his unrelenting version of the genre for ‘hyperactive people’ and it would be a shame to see the project fold.
‘Kampf um’s Licht’ opens up as a warning to what is to come with a harsh array of controlled distortion and unrelenting beats that hammer repetitively over selective samples and is a fitting introduction, with the electronically guitar-like, beat torrid ‘Slå Tillbaka’ fittingly following suit.
The title track is up next and encapsulates all that Xotox is about as a project; rhythmically straightforward with one clear intention. ‘Muy Fragil’ provides an ultimately more soundtrack feel to the proceedings, providing listeners a pause for breath and displays another key element in Davids’ arsenal, luring the listener into a false sense of security before smashing their teeth in with the immense ‘Notwehr’.
On ‘Schwanengesang’ Xotox has once again raised the bar for the genre, with more concentration placed this time on the electronics to provide something fresh and new, whilst retaining the ability to please long-term listeners with the aggression they have come to love. There is simplicity to Andreas’ work that I have always appreciated, never overstating itself, whilst using the appropriate amount of each ingredient necessary to provide the required result. Once again this is no frills, no bollocks dance-floor, riotous Industrial that doesn’t proclaim to be anything other than what it is and long may Xotox remain so.
XOTOX: In Den Zehn Morgen CD Pro-Noize/Dark Dimensions
One of those long term busy scenesters in the Distorted Beat community, Xotox have risen through the ranks in the last few years crossing the bridge between your standard club going crowd and the rhythmic scene tearing audiences apart with their sometimes sparse, sometimes energetic mixture of electronics and beats throwing in the odd experimentation for good measure.
In Den Zehn Morgen is not the blasting monster I expected from the offset; it’s more of a slow boiling pot of electronics and beats that hook into you gradually teasing you to bite and hauling in their catch when you have settled in for the ride, with the likes of track four ‘Winterblut 2’ taking you down Andrea’s David’s familiar bludgeoning pathway, to clout you round the chops just when it is most vital.
IDZM is a welcoming listen, the last affair by Andreas being a slightly less rewarding release in the form of [PSI]. I simply love the bravery of attempting to cross all new shores with tracks such as ‘Czarny Las’ with its almost Haus Arafna hypnotic simple approach. It’s impressive and engaging and is followed up with a reminder of Xotox’s love for machine gun type structures casually eased along with subtle electronics.
With this new album Davids has brought to his audience a genuinely engaging and varied release that should satisfy his fans and new comers alike with a simple warm mass appeal.