Nine Seconds – Poladroids | Review by Vox Empirea

The Nine Seconds is an EBM/synthpopish band originated from the merger among Oliver Spring, the vocalist of the dark/electro trio from Bern known as Sleepwalk well as founder with Charly of the project tEaR!dOwN, together with the German members René Ebner and Thomas Kowalzik, they with the singer Franziska Kalb interpreters of the EBM/electro-pop platform called No Comment. Relate with the music of Nine Seconds means getting in touch with a dark and danceable form of sonic-technological modernism, elements contained in large quantities in their repertoire which started from the first recording act, “Irresolution”, four self-produced tracks printed on 12″ format in the year 2012, for a release minded as “clubby anticipation” of the subsequent album-versions contained into the official 2013’s debut full-length now analyzed by Vox Empirea, “Poladroids”, published by the efficient and young Italian home Space Race Records, the sub-label of EK Product.

This work reveals nothing less than a blazing takeoff directed towards the highly placed spheres of the electronic Cosmos: during the entire extent of the tracklist, we are witnessing of a balanced succession of episodes in line with the latest EBM’S interpretations alternated with other ones full of shadowy synthpop evocations, instrumentally formulas elaborated through a massive use of drum-programming and keys both interconnected with the vocal acidity that Oliver pours in profusion into the electronic structures. The album, available in digipak format, presents in the credits the Nine Seconds deployed with the following roles: Oliver (vox/lyrics), Thomas (synths/production) and René (drums/video), three emancipated sound-generators from the combination of which have origin twelve of the fifteen tracks included in the album, three of which remixed by top names. The first track, “90 Seconds”, plans the intro of the tracklist expanding in its short lenght vocal samples, clouded synthetic emissions and robotic pulses, while the subsequent “Heal My Hurts” makes perfect the executive project’s schemes in the direction of a dark-electro midtempo within which the harsh filtered effects that infect the vocal lines by Oliver overhand the fullness of the drum-programming. “Girl Panic”, a track also listenable in the mentioned 12″ ep as “Schizophrenic Mix”, is a danceable, futuristic electropop vaguely And One-oriented, consisting in uptempo and dynamic propulsions and sensual, feminine spreads of vox-samples that beat the catchy geometries designed by the vocalist and by the keys. “Irresolution” is onother one of the four songs available on “Extended Mix” into the previous and homonymous ep, a song as well as viewable on an interesting video released with the collaboration of Marco Aeschimann, this track flagellates the rhythm by fast uptempo scans which erupt with great energy flanking symmetrically the programmed intermittences, the abrasiveness of synths and the vocals that Oliver modulates with tension and animosity, completing so a song of EBM’s matrix infected by dark-electro sonorities. On the traklist’s advancement, we can hear the following “Homesick Robot”, an episode which also corresponding to the electro-obscure style, within which the alienating and metallic tones of the vocalist create atmospheres as restless as a technological nightmare, connecting them to the sinister keys chords and to the pulsing coldness of the midtempo drum-sequencing. “Burn Burn Superstar”, an highly significant track, accelerates the rhythmic beating transforming it into a dynamic and danceable uptempo run which automatism acts as a powerful driving vehicle for the vocal incitements that Oliver pronounces with authority among hazy swirls of synthetic material, all this in a hybrid new-EBM/hard-electro logic. “Dans Les Yeux De L’Autre” is another chapter included in the 2012’s ep as “Short Cut” version: the album track now reduces the percussive metrics calibrating the bpm’s on a diagram electronically downtempo surmounted by buzzing/acid synths flows and by the Oliver’s vox transfigured by filtration and then followed by with the one more clearest extended by the guest-singer Corinne Boichat: the synergy between the two protagonists creates dark-electro paragraph culminating in an extremely incisive refrain. “Redeem Your Vision” keeps unaltered the rhythmic speed edifying shady futuristic scenarios within which they hypnotically flows the obscure currents propagated by the synths and by the programming, both them annexed to the cadenced resoluteness of the vocal sections, to the dark-effected spatiality and to the short phonemes articulated by an android lifeform. “Borderland (First Request)”, an electro/EBM track, begins through artificial mists followed by monodimensional midtempo replications, vocal-samples and repetitive programmed scans, sounds anticipating the next “Victim” and its pneumatic drumming supported by a thin line of dashed electronic sequences on which are activated a circular key mechanism and the Oliver’s vocal incitements. “Living On Video” is a good remake of the same old Euro-hit published in 1983 by Trans-X, now re-editing on this occasion by Nine Seconds as an irresistible and ultra-danceable electropopish version that comprehensively follows the instrumental and vocal movements of the original song, these latter built in combination by Oliver and Corinne in addition to most technologically advanced formulas and sounds that don’t change anything about the catching and unmistakable melody of the synth and of the rhythm which, now as yesterday, calling us to dance: this song is also available in the “Extended” format into the ep “irresolution”. A progressed dark-electro/EBM united to cyclic percussive midtempo apportionments constitute “Mission Accomplished”, a song full of obsessive and impure key harmonies supported by the fast and minimal drum-programming which geometries found the support for the Oliver’s vocal harshness, while Andreas Lehmann, Daniel Konrad and Sigmund Droese, aka the German electro-act called Framework, remix the song “Irresolution” slowing down the fiery rhythmic structure of the first version and making more atmospheric its complexity by an increased use of keys and by evocative interpauses. The Geneva DDDmix, Baron von Smock and Garf, the owners of the dark-electro/’80-wave project known by the nickname BAK XIII, are the interpreters of the clubby reworking of “Burn Superstar Burn”, now enriched by video games sounds, by more elaborated electronic architectures and a by streamlined speed that is well suited to the enthralling chant. In conclusion, the well-known Belgian project Vomito Negro, starring by Gin Devo, is the remixer of “Mission Accomplished”, expressed by adding a greater fluidity in the drum-sequencing and in the futuristic minimal-electro-wave sonorities.

The virtuous Nine Seconds perform impeccably their function of electro-entertainers, completing a release geometrically perfect within which they are incorporated intriguing dance elements and a dark, modern reinterpretation of the traditional sonic-technological constructs. “Poladroids” must be considered an interesting audiogram that the acolytes of the genre are invited to listen to carefully, admiring its morphology and the variety of its structures. A fundamental release, an object which absolutely should not be missing in the discographic archive of any evolved electro-listener.

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