Release Date: 13th 2015
Label: Out of Line
FORMALIN, the Berlin based industrial duo, was founded on the idea of reflecting the dark abysses of human life with their music. Three years after their ‘Wasteland Manifesto’ and numerous highly celebrated live shows, the duo is back with their long-player ‘Supercluster’, creating an utopia of electronic music. Unlike many other future visions, theirs is a positive one and merges together all the best bits of electronic music history. After the instrumental ‘Operation Haven Sky’, the record starts with the fulminating ‘We Are the Future’ which delivers FORMALIN's message in a very direct way: “I Am the Voice/ Of the People/ Who are Afraid/ To Open their Mouth/ I Bring the Change/ I Bring the Future/ And I Feel so Alive” A bit arrogant, huh? But the way the song is delivered makes the arrogance incredibly sexy.
Musically, FORMALIN offers a firework of electronic music with ‘Supercluster’ but calling it merely industrial does not do justice to the highly experimental value the record has as its extracting all the best bits of different electronic music from the past and present and creating their very own sound with it. Nevertheless, the aggressive aspect of the music prevails and hits the listener in their faces quite harshly. Formalin want to galvanize, their music screams: “Here we are, deal with it”. But ‘Supercluster’ is not only about super heavy and in-your-face industrial beats, and ‘Neomania’ exhibits their melodic talent. I hope they will decide to release ‘Neomania’ as their single as it shines with its catchiness and represents their concept of a cyber-futuristic sound quite well. And most of all, it makes you want to twirl round the dance-floor.
Having danced and endured the harsh reality of ‘Supercluster’, the listener gets to take a small breath while listening to ‘If the Stars were Dead’ and ‘The Ignition’, a break that can be used to think about the future. How far have we come? Which value will electronic technology have in the future? What will humanity be like? Even though FORMALIN talk big, they are not able to deliver a comprehensive answer regarding the future. But maybe that is just me with my academic background demanding too many details for a future concept. It certainly does deliver its futuristic vision with its music though, fusing spacy 80s sounds with today's heavy industrial beats. However, more catchy sounds like ‘Neomania’ are kind of missing on the record.
‘Supercluster’ makes for a great album for electro, specifically industrial, fans who are willing to be taken on a musical journey through time and space.
01. Operation Haven Sky
02. We Are the People
03. Above the Sun
04. Wipe it Out
06. Fear as a Weapon
08. If the Stars Were Dead
09. The Ignition
12. Virtual Love Supply
13. The Universe Inside
Tominous – Vocals, Lyrics, Music
Gabor – Music, Lyrics, Drumming
Total: 7 / 10