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Re: Boot (Live '98)

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Album Review

Following the extensive 1993 tour, Front 242 took a temporary break which many assumed to be permanent after nothing was heard from the band for four years, while the individual members pursued other recording projects and work. 1997 brought a return to action in the live arena, and while no new songs were on offer, the bandmembers stated that they wanted to try new techno-inspired arrangements and presentations of many old songs. The results can be heard on Re:Boot, taken from two European dates in 1997 and 1998. Front 242 itself prefers this album to Live Code as a document of its in-concert work, and as fine as Live Code is, it's no surprise why the quartet thinks the way it does — Re:Boot really is a killer album. Kicking off with a rampaging version of Evil Off's "Happiness (Modern Angel)," Re:Boot serves up both the expected hits — "Masterhit," "Headhunter," "Welcome to Paradise" — and a slew of strong album cuts. "Moldavia," with de Meyer and 23, here credited with his real name Richard Jonckheere, borrowing the call-and-response chants from "Neurobashing" is especially great to hear, as is the massively supercharged closer "Punish Your Machine." As in the past, Codenys sat out performing in favor of working the mixing desk, with Tim Kroker adding drums with appropriately mechanistic, punchy percussion. De Meyer and 23 still have the knack for firing up a crowd and delivering their barked lyrics with the appropriate level of command and seething emotion. Where Front 242 change things around with the songs, the results can be fascinating — "Melt," for example, turns into a slow, moody crawl, mixed up with subtle breakbeats on the chorus. "In Rhythmus Bleiben" also gets an impressive energy charge, while "Religion" turns into an astonishing, Prodigy-tinged rave monster.


Formed: October, 1981 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most consistent industrial bands of the 1980s, even though they regularly pursued a more electronic variant of the sound that swept into vogue during the '90s, Front 242 were the premier exponent of European electronic body music. Initially, the group was just a duo when formed in October 1981 in Brussels; programmers Patrick Codenys and Dirk Bergen recorded "Principles" and released the single on New Dance Records. A year later, programmer Daniel Bressanutti (aka Daniel B. Prothese) and...
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Re: Boot (Live '98), Front 242
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