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Album Review

During its heyday in the early 1990s, Plastic Noise Experience was a duo consisting of Claus Robert Kruse and SM Kalwa, and its releases helped shape the sound of Germany's dark electronic music and EBM scenes. Following a long hiatus, Plastic Noise Experience has returned as the performing name of Kruse by himself, and that name still stands for the best in old-school German electro. And when I say "old-school," I do mean old-school — Kruse's chilly but almost cheerful synthesizer bleeps and mechanical rhythms hark back explicitly to the glory days of Kraftwerk, even as his vocal style and distorted percussion sounds evoke the harsher and more dystopian sounds of Front 242 and KMFDM. Luckily, it's the relatively light-hearted music that ends up undermining the Teutonic sternness of the vocals rather than vice versa, especially on "Monoton Synchron" and the really pretty jaunty "Vad." The album ends, somewhat strangely, with two abstract (almost ambient) instrumental meditations titled "Schlafmodus 1" and "Schlafmodus 2." Translated roughly, those titles mean "Sleep Mode 1" and "2", and if they aren't exactly soporific, they won't necessarily rouse you from slumber either. Recommended.


Formed: 1989

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Plastic Noise Experience was launched in 1989 by Claus Kruse (synths, vocals) and Sm Kalwa (synths). The industrial-dance duo recorded a debut (Transmission) for the Gothic Art label and was then signed to Kk...
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Maschinenmusik, Plastic Noise Experience
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