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De/Vision :: SUBKUTAN

Last updated 29.09.06

«Subkutan» - new De/Vision album to be released on January 27th, 2006.


«subkutan (lat.: subcutaneous): situated or applied under the skin (e.g. injections)», reads the Oxford Dictionary laconically, putting De/Visionís music in a nutshell. Reduction to a single catchword has always been one trademark of this band that has successfully picked up and expanded the various facets of synthetic pop for 17 years, combining them symbiotically into an original style in a very organic, always emotive manner. Electro pop that gets under the listenerís skin.

«Subkutan» is also a more than suitable title for the new album by Steffen Keth and Thomas Adam. Having tried and tested for years all the conventional variations of electronic pop music - initially as a trio -, their 1999 release, «Void», experimented generously with rocky guitar arrangements and complex, noisy electronics, taking De/Vision to their limits, founder member Markus leaving the bandís previously so harmonic fold.


The two remaining band members faced the difficult phase of a comprehensive reorientation. Following their move from WEA to Drakkar Records and their 2001 album, «Two», which dealt with the new constellation of the group as a duo, a situation which took some getting used to, De/Vision tried not only to return to their old strengths, but also to benefit from the experiences of the courageous «Void» production.

But only the two subsequent albums, «Devolution» (2003) and «6 Feet Underground», brought that apparently indispensable consistency that inspires De/Vision to come up with great pop anthems, having found two producers in Arne Schumann and Josef Bach who know how to extract precisely that unique talent.


And now thereís «Subkutan». Their new album marks De/Visionís return at last to the very point where they see themselves in the post-modern diversity of interpretation and expression, towards which they have been moving with determination since their 2004 predecessor album, «6 Feet Underground», namely the wide field of modern electronic music that is certainly open to stylistic changes, but first and foremost consists of emotionally deeply touching, as well danceable electro pop.

The opener, «Subtronic», shows that Thomas and Steffen donít necessarily apply conventional compositional methods, but also pick up contemporary influences from the dance genre. Electro clash has spread to the De/Vision camp, where it isnít excessively stylized but subordinated to the professed goal of producing catchy records. So «Subtronic» mainly lives off the urgent beats that glow almost purely instrumentally in spherically shining electro sequences, before Steffen adds catchy vocal accents with his slightly contorted hooklines.


«The End», on the other hand, is a wonderful example of how De/Vision are beginning to work with noisy, rock-oriented elements, for which theyíve developed a certain affinity since their «Void» album, serving them these days more as an onomatopoeic, if powerful sonic ingredient. Just how much De/Vision have matured, also as songwriters, materializes on «Star-Crossed Lovers» in particular, its balladesque-sounding beginning going into an excitingly constructed, slightly dirty beat, only to take on very alternative-rocky features. «Addict» also proves that the band seems to have no problem composing timelessly touching pop anthems; all they have to concentrate on is dressing the songs as interestingly as possible in an electronic guise that still succeeds in resisting the usual transitoriness of radio-compatible tracks.

But letís not forget the great ballads that have always been the prominent milestones in the history of De/Vision - like «No Tomorrow» with its spacey soundscapes and thoughtfully presented lyrics, sneaking its way into the listenerís aural tract, while «In Dir» may come across slightly more groovy, gaining intensity with its sensitively performed German lyrics - the first in some ten years!


So «Subkutan» sees De/Vision move on broadly laid-out musical paths and in multi-layered atmospheres again, while continuing to present great pop music away from all genre conventions, always going... under the skin!

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