LEAETHER STRIP: "AENGELMAKER" - a review
LEAETHER STRIP: "AENGELMAKER" - a review
The Leaether Strip - mastermind Claus Larsen releases his new album "AEngelmaker" 27th March 2009.
After newer collaborations as Leaether Strip with Aiboforcen, Neikka RPM or Plastic Noise Experience and one new Klutae song ("Long Live EBM") on compilations like "Re:Connected 3.0" and "Endzeit Bunkertracks IV", this is the new regular album.
Also should be mentioned the "Retention" - series in which Mr. Larsen re-releases his older - then remastered - material and delivers new versions of specific tracks of that.era.
Danish female mass-murderer Dagmar Overbye was convicted of murdering at least 25 children between 1913 and 1925. She ran an advert in the newspaper where she offered to find adoptive parents for mothers in need of money. She actually murdered them the day they arrived and cremated them in her fireplace. During her trial, all the truth about her own abused childhood resurfaced.
Her story inspired Danish solo-artist Claus Larsen to write "Ăngelmaker".
As anyone can imagine, this album is a dark one, handling with psychological depths, fears, anger and a mirror for parts of the society and/or the world we live in.
The album is available as 2CD (regular album) or 3CD (together with "Yes, I`m Limited IV").
But let us get more into the tracks.
"AEngelmaker": This is a dark song - as the idea/inspiration behind the song also demands - and you will get pure Leaether Strip emotions with it. In my eyes a potetntial single as well.
"Anger": A faster track then the title track with compressed anger. "Can you feel my anger?" Claus Larsen asks and yes, I was able to feel it. It was slowly getting to the peak of emotions. Again a possible single.
"I Can`t Sit Still": A fast and powerful track, as the title already reveals, in which Mr. Larsen unleashes his inner emotions.
"Strap Me Down Again": No, this is no "Strap Me Down 09" or "Strap Me Down II". It is an emotional song about a personal fascination and memory about a sexual bondage experience.
"We Are Dust": A great midtempo track with distorted, spacey vocals in the refrain.
"Genetic Fuckup": "Imperfection is beauty" Leaether Strip yells out at the beginning of this track with sequencers running like in the old school EBM days.
"Lili Marlene": is a German love song which became popular on both sides during World War II. The words were written in 1915 during World War I by Hans Leip (1893-1983), a school teacher from Hamburg who had been conscripted into the Imperial German Army. Leip reportedly combined the names of his girlfriend and another female friend. This version by Leaether Strip - sung in German - reminds me a little bit of those bombastic Laibach cover versions and it contains one charming nice difference ("Lied" <--> "Leid").
"White Flag": No, this song is not a Dido cover version. A midtempo track about circumstances that might lead you to give up. Although there is hope even in these cases.
"Dying To Live": A faster song about the inner hell of someone and the inner torment of letting it out towards somebody else.
"When You`re Inside Me": Trust. Safety. Love. Soul- access. This is all that matters. I got goose-pimples listening to this song due to its repeating vocoded sound effect.. Unbelievable beautiful - a real jewel.
"Black Celebration": The title track of Depeche Mode`s 1986 album. One of the best DM albums and I absolutely understand why Leaether Strip chose this track. This cover version is in AE - style and stays faithful to the atmosphere of the original.
"Stolen feaethers": This song is a midtempo track about life and and unpleasant circumstances in it.
"Insect Warrior": A dark, aggressive track in midtempo again about revenge without a conscience.
"I Will Never Hurt You Again": Single no. 3 in my humble opinion. Fast, dark and great. "Help Me get out of this hell. I will never hurt you again. Help me to fight the demons. I will never hurt you again." I think this refrain says it all what this song is about.
"Treatment": A soulful, synth-pop cover version of the track written by British artist Martin Hall.
"Before I Fade": We need help from time to time in order to find the truth. This slow track expresses it.
"La Danse Macabre": Claus Larsen welcomes a little French influence to the AE - sound. Another new facette after already having e.g. Arabic sounds, native American sounds or bagpipes with oboes.
"Don`t You Dare Die On Me": Known from the "Diaegnosis" - EP, this track is about loosing a beloved soulmate/partner due to AIDS. Very soulful and scaring. "Who are we, divided?"
"Spinning": Could have fit on a new Klutae - album as well. The demand for freedom dominates this hard track , combined with critics about the general US - home education concerning religious themes.
"So Hard They Fall": "Lifelong scars and wounds", as the sample says. An intense, fast track about confronting the abuser and not turning the head, as the lyrics say. "Confront those who had a conspiracy of silence"
"Deliver Me": The original song is by The Beloved. Also known from the "Diaegnosis" EP. This song is a very good interpretation, offering warmth and hope.
"Blasphemous Rumours": The original song was a single by Depeche Mode in 1984, taken from the album "Some Great Reward". Mr. Larsen provided the own AE - atmosphere to this great classic song.
"Don`t You Want Me": A wonderful duet with Erica Dunham (Unter Null, Stray). The Human League released this song in 1981 and it was a huge hit back then. Never thought a decent industrial/electro cover version could come out covering this song. I see I was wrong.
"Law Of Jante 09 (Golem Mix)": Known from "Retention No.2", this is the mix Leaether Strip did for recieving the Golem award at the end of 2008 in Denmark.
"Lovehate": A collaboration with Sideshow Sid who is responsible for the lyrics. Interresting song-
Leaether Strip vs. Supreme Court: "Europa" is a collaboration with the German project Supreme Court which already did a remix for Leaether Strip. A nice track with a catchy refrain: "Together we stand. Together we hide. Together we fear."
Leaether Strip vs. Titans: "Deadhead". Now the collaboration with Titans. Again a catchy, melancholic refrain.
Leaether Strip vs. Supreme Court: "Overkill". The second collaboration with Supreme Court. A faster, more aggressive track this one is. Both tracks ("Europa", "Overkill") can also be found on the new Supreme Court album "Keep Calm & Carry On".
"Back In Control (Bigger Mix)": The original track is from the album "After The Devastation" and the remix with the "Japanese Bodies" - samples ("Born The 13th version") from the lim. 3CD ("Aefterburner") edition. This track here is a new remix including the "Japanes Bodies" - samples as well.
"Go Ahead 09 (Hungarian Club Version)": The original song is from the album "The Giant Minutes To The Dawn". This more danceable version has been done for a Hungarian AE release party and was also part of the "Diaegnosis" EP.
"One Nine Eight Two (Obamarama Club Mix)": The original version is from lim. CD3 ("One Nine Eight Two") of the "Civil Disobedience" - album. A retro track which has its very own charme. "AEghties style".
"Snakebite (Black Mamba Mix)": Original song to be found on "Civil Disobedience". This version comes up with pressure.
"Pain Is Beautiful (Freemixx)": This version with the female voice in the background is absolutely beautiful.. The original song can be found on "Hourglass" (limited CD 2 of "The Giant Minutes To The Dawn").
"Genetic Fuckup (Nostalgia Mix)": A remix from the track on AEngelmaker - Disc 1 with a little more focus on sequencers running.
The general idea of having a new "Yes, I`m Limited" including rare tracks and precious collaborations deserves an appreciation. I hope this becomes more of a tradition now with every following AE relaese.
We got here LEAETHER STRIP, strong as ever.
Sending out a friendly "fuck you" towards the moaners that still think that AE is not as good like it was back then in the "good ol` days".
"AEngelmaker" is a fantastic album offering you Leaether Strip as it always was and should be.
"Solitary Confinement", "Underneath The Laughter", "Rebirth Of Agony", "The Legacy Of Hate And Lust", "Self-Inflicted", "The Giant Minutes To The Dawn", "Civil Disobedience", "AEngelmaker"....any more examples for great albums needed?
Take your time, sit down and listen via headphones to this new creative masterpiece four - five times.
After that you will experience how tracks like e.g. "AEngelmaker", "Anger", "I Can┤t Sit Still", "When You`re Inside Me", "Black Celebration", "Insect Warrior", "I Will Never Hurt You Again", "So Hard They Fall", "Deliver Me", "Blasphemous Rumours", "Don`t You Want Me" (feat. Unter Null), "Snakebite (Black Mamba Mix)" or "Pain Is Beautiful (Freemixx)" grow on you.
Apart from some other artists Leaether Strip puts - as always- the soulful componet and depth in the creative output. This also affects the faster tracks. If you are open-minded enough you will be able to feel it.
This is the tracklist of the new AE - album in an overview:
LEAETHER STRIP: "ĂNGELMAKER".
AEngelmaker (69:59 min.):
3. I Can`t Sit Still
4. Strap Me Down Again
5. We Are Dust
6. Genetic fuckup
7. Lili Marlene (cover version)
8. White Flag
9. Dying To Live
10. When You`re Inside Me
11. Black Celebration
Stolen Feaethers (75:29 min.):
1. Stolen Feaethers
2. Insect Warrior
3. I Will Never Hurt You Again
4. Treatment (Martin Hall cover version)
5. Before I Fade
6. La Danse Macabre
7. Don`t You Dare Die On Me
9. So hard They Fall
10. Deliver Me
11. Blasphemous Rumours (Depeche Mode cover version)
"Yes I`m Limited IV": (bonus album only available with the limited box edition of "AEngelmaker") (75:35 min.)
1. Leaether Strip feat. Unter Null: "Don`t You Want Me" (Human League cover version)
2. Law Of Jante 09 (Golem Mix)
4. Leaether Strip vs. Supreme Court: "Europa"
5. Leaether Strip vs. Titans: "Deadhead"
6. Leaether Strip vs. Supreme Court: "Overkill"
7. Back In Control (Bigger Mix)
8. Go Ahead (Hungarian Club Version)
9. One Nine Eight Two (Obamarama Claub Mix)
10. Snakebite (Black Mamba Mix)
11. Pain Is Beautiful (Freemixxx)
12. Genetic Fuckup (Nostalgia Mix)
Snippets plus a video to the song "AEngelmaker":
Personal album rating: 9,2/10 possible points