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Album Review

A remix compilation covering material from this venerable band's Tohuvabohu and Hau Ruck albums, Brimborium should spur industrial aficionados onto the dancefloor with little problem. Featuring remixes by some of the genre's best, with Die Krupps, Angelspit, Zombie Girl, and Combichrist among them, the set showcases the band and its Ultra Heavy Beat sonics across 12 tracks that clock in at nearly 73 minutes, unusual by far for the group. Brimborium is an interesting kaleidoscope through which to view KMFDM, now nearly a quarter century on from their halcyon days, when they pioneered a musical landscape that had been resolutely wallowing in pessimistic foppery. And while they are indeed now grandfathers of a movement that did much to change the face of alternative music, the easy snub for the songs on Brimborium would be to fault the move away from the complex aural assault this band does so well and toward a softer and more malleable, danceable synthesis. "Tokuvabohu" receives a double whammy, and Combichrist's arrangement is by far the better of the two, while "Looking for Strange" strips back much of the original's glory and appends a fairly flat, fat beat across the song. Elsewhere, the wonderful "Hallowe'en Mix" of "Headcase" reminds listeners why they love this band, as Sascha Konietzko and company collide that classic industrial sound with the glam stomp of Gary Glitter big beats. If there is one track that should well be forgotten, it's the "all new" nine-minute yawnfest of "What We Do for You," a collection of voice-mail messages from fans. There will be harsh criticism that Brimborium is a watered-down waste of space, too soft and too sloppy an offering from a band that has fairly consistently delivered music a clattering cut about the rest. But as the album's title roughly translates as "something with little meaning or value," isn't it just possible that KMFDM were in on the joke all along?


Formed: 29 February 1984 in Hamburg, Germany

Genre: Electronic

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

Such industrial alt-metal outfits as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry received the lion's share of press and commercial success during the '90s, but a handful of other bands slugged it out for just as long (or much longer), including KMFDM. The band's name has been the subject of countless debates among fans over the years as to what it stands for (their record company even went as far as holding a contest in 1994 for fans to submit possible meanings, resulting in more than 1,000 entries), but the confirmed...
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