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pankow hogre
Artist: Pankow
Title: Hogre
Genre: EBM/ Industrial
Release Date: 30th November 2012
Label: Out Of Line

EP Review

A legend of the EBM/ Industrial scene is back, and it's one of the few Italian bands of the genre: PANKOW! Formed in 1982 in Florence by Maurizio Fasolo, Alessandro Cellai, Alessandro Cimignani and German-Italian singer Alex Spalck, PANKOW made quite some impact with their albums 'Freiheit für die Sklaven' (1987) and 'Gisela' from 1989. Their music had all ingredients of EBM and Industrial, garnished with some Dub and Funk elements. After all, some of PANKOW's work was produced by Adrian Sherwood, well known for his pioneering work with ON-U Sound and who produced a broad range of music, from Industrial to Reggae and Dub to working with bands like DEPECHE MODE or NINE INCH NAILS. But what really differs PANKOW from the rest of the scene is their chaotic, anarchic approach and their omnipresent humour, which can be quite corny (at first sight, at least) but also very sarcastic and black. And while PANKOW sometimes sing songs about 'Me And my Ding-Dong' (song title) they are also often pretty political.

The 1990s had more downs than ups in store for PANKOW. After two more albums, which could not repeat the success of the earlier albums, vocalist Alex Spalck left the band and after another album in 1996 with Gianluca Becuzzi from LIMBO on the microphone PANKOW eventually disbanded. PANKOW returned in 2003 with Alex Spalck back as the front man and two new albums. The band is currently based in France and Belgium with yet another frontman, singer Bram Declercq. Five years after their last album, 'Great Minds Against Themselves Conspire', PANKOW found a new label – Out Of Line Records – and as a forerunner to the new album next year the band around mastermind Maurizio Fasolo just released an EP titled 'Hogre'. It features seven tracks, both new and old and all remixed by other musicians or PANKOW themselves. The EP starts with the dark and groovy ten-minute monster 'Don’t Follow' as the 'Hogremics'. It is quite unusual to start a record with such along song but it is simply a great track, hence it deserves this prominent position. It even gets a second remix treatment in the second half of the EP, and the version by ESCORBUTO is clearly under the 5-minute mark.

Track number two on 'Hogre' is a completely reworked version of the PANKOW classic 'Wodkachaos'. BINARY PARK add a lot of noise here and with its heavy beats, it is in the best Electro Dub tradition of 'Freiheit für die Sklaven', PANKOW's debut album from 1987. PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE also laid their hands on PANKOW material and their version of 'Deny Everything' is an engaging EBM dance floor track. 'Crash & Burn', remixed by Memory lab, is more melodic and almost a Pop song while 'Extreme' leans more towards to the Techno side of things. But fortunately PANKOW and their remixers avoid the stereotype Techno and Trance elements which make too many bands from the Electro/EBM make sound the same these days, and the quite cranky and weird 'Radikal' makes it apparent that PANKOW still love the more experimental stuff – as well as political stuff, lyric wise. Talking about lyrics, 'Radikal' also contains a pretty bitchy dig at ex-sing Alex Spalck with the line “Uncle Alex is a miserable failure” in German language.

This EP definitely spurs the appetite for more and here is hope that PANKOW are going to draw more attention and success than with their last few albums, which were unfortunately under the radar of too many fans of that genre. The quality is definitely there!


01. Dont Follow, hogremics – fm
02. Das Wodkachaos (binary park remix)
03. Deny Everything (plastic noise experience remix)
04. Crash & Burn (memory lab remix)
05. Extreme (remix by die-6/ismael martinez)
06. Dont Follow (escorbuto remix)
07. Radikal (nems-secam remix by p·a·l )


Maurizio Fasolo - programming, production
Enzo Regi - synthesizer
Massimo Michelotti - synthesizer
Bram Declercq - vocals


Cover Picture

pankow hogre


Music: 8.5
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 8.8 / 10

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