V2A is not only the chemical symbol for stainless steel it's also the name of this new band comprising 304 (AKA Kevin Stewart-also live keyboardist with industrial rock band Sulpher) and 316 (Ines Lehmann-the band are being very mysterious about the meaning of these numbers!). Their music owes much to Stewart's many years of working at EBM clubs, experience which manifests itself in a sound that owes much to the harsher, old skool EBM with a modern slant that is geared directly towards the dancefloor. Right from the opening seconds of "Slave Unit (Intro)" where mutated voices and the sounds of industry, anger and decay melt into a dark soundpool through to "Error (Exit)" the pace barely lets up. While this is one of the album's strengths in that it will, undoubtedly go down well in clubs and in a live setting, as proven by "Raped By Technology", which was recorded at the 2002 Wave-Gotik-Treffen it's also it's downfall in places as the relentless onslaught of the first half passes by in a bit of a blur.This is not helped by the fact that a subtle touch here and there which can often serve to emphasise the harder elements is missing from this release in the main, although the breakneck "Revolt" lodges itself into the listener's brain after a few listens and the latter tracks such as "Sky" do see the duo mixing shades of dark and light as does "Infect" with it's scything rhythms which contribute towards the album's highlight.
However, it's the E-Craft remix of "Collapsed System" that shows how this music should really be done. A simple melodic motif serves break up the track a little while retaining the no-nonsense approach of the album as a whole. Schattenschlag/Siechtum's mix of the same track is even denser and harder hitting, bordering on power ambient/industrial noise realms and certainly not for the faint hearted.
For the most part, the vocals are relatively sparse and seemingly of secondary consideration, the harsh soundscapes and scything rhythms are the focal points, apart from Ines' hellcat shouting which breaks through "Breed Killer" (including NeoTekk's masterly rave-styled remix) and "Retribution" as well as the cover of "Fade To Grey" which, the unmistakeable bassline apart, is virtually unrecognisable from the original. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the album but will doubtless cause heart attacks in any unsuspecting New Romantics!!
While the uncompromising delivery means this may not be an album for all seasons the intense and dynamic style will doubtless do the business in a live setting and on the dancefloors.
Artist Link: http://www.trisol.de