CUBANATE ‘BRUTALISM’ album review

 

It’s scary how time flies! After C-Tec, a side project with Jean-Luc De Meyer of Front 242, the MC Lord Of The Flies collaboration with Raymond Watts of PIG and, recently, that strong solo album entitled The Hum by Marc Heal, we find Cubanate back on track. The Cubanate songs still sound as vivid as they did back then, although they have been remastered for this retrospective album called Brutalism.

As soon as I had heard that Cubanate was planning gigs and that it was going to release this brutal collection of 14 songs, I got excited. Listening to these songs again, after all these years, made me realise how Marc Heal and Phil Barry had influenced the sound of a lot of bands and that that sound has since maybe even become mainstream, something that it wasn’t at all at the time. Cubanate was experimental and ground-breaking.

The band unfortunately split in 2000 but reformed in 2016 for a performance at a festival in Chicago. And now, to celebrate the release of Brutalism, Cubanate will be doing two shows in Glasgow and London and it will also perform in late July at a festival in Calgary, Canada. Hopefully there more shows will follow!

17021389_10155769401712656_484141576840542672_nThe album title Brutalism is so well-chosen for this bunch of songs, the beats of which still kick you right in the face. Harsh, violent and brutal! These songs are from their 1992-1996 period for the Dynamica Records label. Techno industrial kind of drum and bass metal at its best and purest. The songs from the three albums are in chronological order and it’s obvious how the Cubanate sound evolved in time.

The retrospective voyage starts with “Autonomy” from their Antimatter 1993 album. You are being introduced to the relentless, powerful and fierce techno-industrial crossover sound. “Oxyacetylene”, one of the band’s most known song taken from their Cyberia album, can be found half way through the album. The song appeals more to the industrial genre fans and it’s great to see how Cubanate flirted with various genres during their 90s career. “Industry”, taken from the same 1994 release, proves it is really not easy to keep up with their pace. Last five tracks which made it to this release were taken from their 1996 Barbarossa album. This compilation shows that Cubanate sound is still relevant today, whether you have already been familiar with their harsh and aggressive electronic-industrial sound or you have just discovered them with this valuable and memorable retrospective treat.

Although Cubanate was founded in 1992, they will surely be (re-)discovered by many in 2017. As they were rediscovered by me.

Track listing: 1. Autonomy, 2. Junky, 3. Kill Or Cure, 4. Body Burn, 5. Angeldust, 6. Hatesong, 7. Oxyacetylene, 8. Skeletal, 9. Industry, 10. Barbarossa, 11. Vortech I, 12. Why Are You Here?, 13. Joy, 14. Lord Of The Flies

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