Skold vs. KMFDM – Review

skoldvskmfdm200Skold vs. KMFDM

by Scott Hefflon

Linear, German, and rhythmic Sasha Konietzko (KMFDM) teams up with Swedish, melodic multi-instrumentalist/programmer Tim Skold (Skold, Marilyn Manson, KMFDM) for a continent-crossing collaboration of 22 tracks. For those fondly remembering ’90’s Naive, ’92’s Money, fave ’93’s Angst (featuring the killer “Drug Against War” among other genre-defining tracks of industrial angst), or the “sell-out” ’95’s Nihil (featuring “Juke Joint Jezebel,” need I say more?), you’ll be surprised to hear a lot of cold, distant industrial wind (many interludes), a few throb and pulse grrr!s, with only a few finger/neck-snapping “tunes” to add to your iPod. The most obvious single is the NCIS-placed “Love is Like,” which opens with the deceptively dorky Doctor Who-sounding intro, before launching into souped-up melodic Goth rock like Tiamat’s been doing for a few years, but, like, produced by Skold/Sasha, so it peels paint. And Tiamat tends to be a little cheesier, cuz Goth layers the melodrama/sobbing on pretty thick.

Evidently, Skold and Sasha had a few ground rules when they began exchanging files: No guitars, no real drum kits. The results land closer to Funker Vogt than Strapping Young Lad, if you know what I mean. As a metal dude with a long flirtation with Skinny Puppy, Atari Teenage Riot (and the tragically unknown-in-the-States Japanese band, The Mad Capsule Markets), and the more melodic bands on Metropolis, I lean towards the marching beats, the red-light throb (close enough to a fist-bang), and the occasional spoken creepiness-over-violins/wasteland-whoosh. “Art” is swell, but I don’t listen to psychedelic wanderings while getting ready for work either, ya know? Gimme a beat and a direction to rage in, perhaps with a clever chorus/slogan to repeat, and I’m good. Hence liking Manson, and while owning some Tangerine Dream vinyl, not blowing the dust off too often.

So there you have it: 22 tracks, half being interludes (alternate takes on the songs), mired in plodding beats (think sleepy Umpa-Lumpas), occasionally snapping out of the nod long enough to scorch some Earth, or prick the ears with melodic, primal industrial thrust.