www.k-nitrate.com

voltage


K-Nitrate first made waves in the early to mid-‘90s with the seminal Xenophobia release, employing a straightforward and aggressive approach to underground industrial dance that was as much political commentary as it was reckless musical abandon. Appearing on several compilations, remixes, and gigging extensively, the duo of Graham Rayner and Christian Weber took a decade-long hiatus from K-Nitrate to focus on other projects. Returning in 2007 with Active Cell, it was as if they never went away, continuing to supplement their pounding techno beats with groovy bass lines that are too damn catchy to ignore. Such can be said of Voltage, an appropriately titled jolt of energetic EBM that shows K-Nitrate at the top of its game.

There is and always has been a rather simplistic quality to K-Nitrate’s music, and Voltage is no exception. Kicking immediately into high gear with the thumping assault of “Future Mind,” the listener is treated to a powerful display of throbbing beats and synthesized loops that will surely have listeners’ heads bopping, fists pumping, and feet dancing uncontrollably. There is not much in the way of extensive song structure or progression as tracks like “Flesh,” “Dead Devices,” and “Disbeliever” race by at boot-stomping BPM, chockfull of scathing and scratchy bass lines and squelches of seething synths that keep the atmosphere caustic and downright adrenalized. Vocals are provided by way of samples and brief snippets, but all of this demonstrates K-Nitrate’s propensity for playing to their strengths and offering listeners a healthy and heavy dose of good old fashioned EBM. “XMachineX” is one of the standout tracks with its marching three-count beat and ominous bass line, sounding like an amalgam of early Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, and Nitzer Ebb.

For all of its old-school mentality, there is a distinctly modernistic flair to Voltage; perhaps a result of updated production and just the right balance of bass, beat, and bravado. It can’t be said that K-Nitrate are doing anything entirely original, but it is original to them, showcasing a purity of sound and style that the band has exhibited since the band’s inception in 1993. For this, Rayner and Weber are revolutionaries against the puerile pop-induced flavor that permeates most EBM today, opting for unadulterated industrial brutality and keeping K-Nitrate a menacing force on the modern dance floor.

3.5 - Regen Magazine

 

'Relentless' was the first word that sprung to mind having listened to K-Nitrate's Voltage. Christian Weber and Graham Rayner continue to explore an industrial sub-genre that very few others ever enter and even those familiar with the field would have trouble attaching a label to. Not that everything must be labelled, of course, but labels remain a useful guide to the unfamiliar. One hopes that those unfamiliar numbers will be reduced by the release of Voltage, the band's third album, and its sequel (and to some extent companion remix album) Stark Punkt recently unleased on their new label Armalyte Industries.

Weber and Rayner themselves use tags like industrial, techno and EBM to try and pinpoint their special brand of noise. But on Voltage we witness K-Nitrate really coalescing around a truly distinctive and successful formula better than ever before. Here then are ten tracks of rhythmic industrial dance that manage to create a genre of their own and yet hangs together as a convincing proposition at the same time. What few vocals are utilised is often a textural layer as opposed to expounding lyrics that listeners are expected to pause and carefully consider. They add a worthwhile further dimension to some tracks but the emphasis throughout is firmly on the rhythm and beat and the interplay between the two. This is a long-running K-Nitrtate trait and one that, again, has reached the pinnacle of execution on Voltage.

The only act I think worth mentioning by way of point of reference, and this is less for what K-Nitrate actually sound like and more for the repetitive, dance-aware nature of their structural elements, is Portion Control. And anyone who knows what I think about Portion Control in recent years will understand what considerable praise that is.

Billed to some extent as a remix companion to Voltage, Stark Punkt continues the successful formula of its predecessor. Whilst there are overlaps, Datablitz (sounding a touch like Heimstatt Yppotash) here for Data Fix there, 9-11-7-7 a twist on 7-7-9-11 and a remix of Automatik Killer, much is new. So it's better to consider this an extension of or sequel to Voltage rather than simply a remix album. Context is everything, and in the context of the club floor, Stark Punkt should see K-Nitrate getting more of the airplay and exposure they deserve.

7/10 and 7/10 - DSO

 

Three years after the pretty cool "Active Cell"-album the British duo Graham Rayner and Christian Weber strikes back with the 5th full length of K-Nitrate.

K-Nitrate started in the 90s as a furious crossover and side-project of Cubanate, but came back in 2007 with a more 'technoid'-orientated work. "Voltage" is clearly digging deeper into the realms of techno-dance music. Guitar sounds have been restricted to act in the background. This new album goes on where "Active Cell" left off. We're entering a powerful universe of body-techno sequences. "Voltage" is full of repetitive, hard grooves, which are sometimes reminding me of the work of Empirion and Kloq. We get a typical British electro sound merging EBM and techno ingredients into a demonic dancefloor sound.

K-Nitrate again prefers using samplings instead of vocals, but the trick totally fits to the sound. The first cuts really impressed me. "Future Mind", "Transmission" and the excellent "Flesh" left me rather breathless, but are just an appetizer for the upcoming "Data Fix". "Data Fix" is an astonishing piece of music on, which K-Nitrate simply proves to have reinvented their sound. But when experimenting with techno-inspired music there's always the risk and the trap to fall into pure techno music. This is the symbolic threshold between underground and commercial music. The song "Dead Devices" comes really close to this edge. It sounds as the most 'typical' dance-club track from the album, which doesn't mean that it's a bad song! I personally prefer the rawer sounds running through "7-7-9-11" or yet "Disbeliever" and the pure techno-EBM minded "Automatic Killer".

There for sure is a huge potential on this album, which will appeal for all fans of progressive electronics.

K-Nitrate is a rather surprising signing on Advoxya Records, but it's for sure one of the best releases I've heard for so far!

8/9 - DP (Side Line)

 

Cambridge electro-industrialists K-Nitrate return with their third offering in electrifying form, with a constant stream of solid dance beats, this is an essential for all Cybergoths. Whilst on the album each track has a different time patt...ern and tone, the overal concept is nearly the same, adding a flow to the album, making it one for parties and clubbing. This is the sort of music expected on The Matrix trilogy soundtracks, but whilst that is not to be, K-Nitrate bring a darker feel to Cambridge, one of cyber-culture and electronic music.

8/10 - Global Metal Network

 

Wow, another decent album.. Trust me, reviwing music can be a baitch! Haha! But with music like this... Mmmmm... What a pleasure. The music is like a sweaty workout, it's repetitive but not in the usual boring way!

Great tracks from start to finish! My absolute favourite is track 2, "Transmission".

Well done!

4/5 - BlipBlop

 

We have one of the best signings (and therefore albums) of this seal Hungarian and well established and active in the current scene as anyone. This time it is the turn to an old British project Cubanate emerged from one of the most important British formations during the nineties in the field of electronic guitars. K-Nitrate began his career back in 1994, publishing two papers in this decade closer to the sound of the mother group, after a hiatus of almost ten years, returning to the scene in 2007 with "Active Cell", a disc presenting a renewed sound, almost instrumental, which was combined with the emerging techno scene in line with groups like Empirion. Now thanks to the seal Advoxya can enjoy the continuation of this style with a hectic and full of nods to the more classic EBM, especially in the use of low and many of the drums, but not averse to sound more open oriented and cutting-edge clubs.

There are no paraphernalia or sangrerio, much less childish attitudes that are silent in many cases musicians offered a job that really polished and full of nuances. Here are good songs that ensnare us from start to finish on a journey full of unstoppable energy, producing very careful where do the work samples of the voices of so sublime without being a respite until the end of the tenth court.

As a representative topics include the effect of "Flesh" with a strong rhythm section and a judicious use of samples, the most technoid "Dead Devices", the Trotter "XMachineX" or achieved "Automatic Killer" and "Transmission", both ideal for merging at any meeting of Front Line Assembly and Terence Fixmer.

Ten cuts perfect for another of those records as necessary in our times. If you're looking for quality of composition, rhythm and certainly a record for an adrenaline rush you to "Voltage", as its name suggests, the work of "high voltage". Recommended without reservation.

La Defuncion

 

"Voltage" starts off with the stomper that is "Future Mind"; it's great stuff! "Voltage" is mixed to do maximum damage with a nice hard production. Good balance of frequencies. In some ways it's very old school and reminds me ...of the best of Nitzer Ebb with a hint of Front 242. Despite the repetitive nature of the tracks it works because the synth sounds aren't too obvious; K-Nitrate hasn't raided the bank of Industrial EBM cliche!

Strong, compelling music!

Synthetic Sensations Issue 04