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leaetherstrip aescapism
Artist: Leæther Strip
Title: Æscapism
Genre: EBM
Release Date: 17th March 2014
Label: Emmo Biz

Album Review

The entire scene of EBM, Industrial & Harsh Electro owes a lot to LEÆTHER STRIP, more than actually some people are aware of. Starting in 1988 and influenced by early pioneers like FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY or SKINNY PUPPY, Claus Larsen from Denmark established a landmark for hard-hitting, hell-raising and yet extremely club-friendly electronic music with albums like 'The Pleasure of Penetration' (1990), 'Solitary Confinement' (1992) or 'Underneath the Laughter' from 1993. If you are a fan of HOCICO, AGONOIZE, :WUMPSCUT: (which really started as a LEÆTHER STRIP clone, technically speaking), early COMBICHRIST or more recent SUICIDE COMMANDO albums you should appreciate that all these acts just follow the direction which Claus Larsen aka LEÆTHER STRIP pointed at with his first few releases.

While Claus Larsen is a pretty prolific artist with more than 40 LEÆTHER STRIP releases (not to mention side projects like KLUTÆ), nevertheless there was some sort of downtime for LEÆTHER STRIP in the second half of the 1990s. The releases were very few and far between and often of a rather experimental nature, like the orchestral album 'Serenade For The Dead' or the rather poppy single 'Carry Me'. LEÆTHER STRIP's hiatus allowed other bands to follow into Larsen's footsteps and fill the void LEÆTHER STRIP left but since 2005 Claus Larsen is back, recommencing with numerous releases and even as a live act since then.

The last few years have been so busy for Larsen that he actually planned a break from studio work in 2013 but it didn't take too long until he gave up on such intentions. The result is the brand new LEÆTHER STRIP album 'Æscapism', and it is safe to say that it is one of Larsen's finest works since the comeback of LEÆTHER STRIP nine years ago. Firing on all cylinders, 'Æscapism' shows all the prowess and musicianship of Claus Larsen and also the diversity of his music. In the end Larsen's art has benefited from the meandering obliquities of the late 1990s, as his experiments in this period broadened the musical spectrum of LEÆTHER STRIP. On 'Æscapism' you find classic EBM like 'Humanity – Equality', 'Suicide Summer School' or 'In Fire On Fire' as well as melancholic and reflective pieces as 'I'm Not The One', the catchy Electro Punk of 'It Doesn't Hurt To Hurt You' or the weird gay club anthem 'Strong Boys' featuring RUMMELSNUFF and a mischievously nicked hook from DEPECHE MODE's 'Behind The Wheel' – when you listen to the lyrics you will quickly know that it's been nicked for a reason.

Other highlights are the haunting 'Hold Me', which subtly reminds of SOFT CELL's darker and more balladry moments, and the funky grooves of 'Hold Your Fire'. And then there's 'Sanctuary'! This simply has to be the coming EBM über club hit and should be in any DJ's set. Classic LEÆTHER STRIP and evidence why too many successors can't hold a candle to what Claus Larsen did ten years before they even started! Simply a fine album! Not too bad for someone who actually tried to avoid the studio...


01. We fail we forget
02. Sanctuary
03. Hold me
04. Humanity – Equality
05. Hold your fire
06. Suicide summer school
07. The hired man
08. Strong boys
09. Trash talker
10. In fire on fire
11. Unhuman response
12. I'm not the one
13. The dark gates of sundown
14. It doesn't hurt to hurt you
15. Extinction protocol

01. In Fire On Fire (Monospore Remix)
02. Hold Me - Leæther Strip / Amnistia Modifcaetion / Claus, Tino
03. We Fail We Forget (Neotek Remix)
04. Powertrip (Die Krupps Remix)
05. In Fire On Fire (Adkey Remix)
06. Hold Me (Decoded Feedback Remix)
07. We Fail We Forget - Leæther Strip / Sharing, Needle
08. In Fire On Fire (Enter And Fall Remix)
09. Hold Me (K-Bereit Remix)
10. In Fire On Fire (Decoded Feedback Remix)
11. We Fail We Forget (Xp8 Mix)
12. Hold Me (Para Normal Club Mix)
13. In Fire On Fire - Leæther Strip / In Absentia
14. Hold Me (Puppet Pusher Mix)
15. Hold Me (Vaylon Mix)
16. We Fail We Forget (Wrong Prophet Remix) - Leæther Strip / Betamorphose
17. Hold Me (Cyro Remix)


Claus Larsen


Cover Picture

leaetherstrip aescapism


Music: 8
Sound: 9
Extras: 9 (Bonus CD)
Total: 8.7 / 10

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