[the_demo sleeve]"the_demo" (demo CD-R, 2001)

This six-track US demo is chock full of EBM/techno crossover beats, each featuring samples from an impressive array of sources. More impressive is the trouble gone to in contacting the likes of directors John Carpenter, Kevin Smith and Sam Raimi for permission to use those excerpts (or so it appears). Berzerker begins with some samples from Smith's Clerks and opens with the lyric "Would you like to suck my cock?". Despite a few brief ambient breaks this is standard four to the floor techno-edged EBM. Predictable but the production is particularly impressive given the home brew nature of the release. Halloween featuring samples from (surprise) Halloween 1 and 2 is a beat-driven, but unexpectedly freefall interpretation of John Carpenter's main theme. Not as good as the version performed by The Borg, but interesting nonetheless.

Psychopath dates back to 1999 and, although fairly straightforward in structure, it has a pounding beat and simple but addictive sequencer groove that are hard to shake. Definitely one for the clubs. (Samples here include Return of the Living Dead and Doomed Megalopolis.) Drop_the_BASS occupies more traditional pumping EBM territory with a spacious production style that leaves plenty of freespace around the simple hook lines - sample appropriation via zeroG. Track five, Hello Lover, is the oldest cut here (1998) but follows a similar path. By now the incessantly regular BPM are becoming trying but there remain strong moments and at least the synth lines continue to develop even if the tempos don't (samples from Evil Dead 2). The closing track, Der_Shrecken, is breakbeat techno but its light touch comes as something as a relief by this stage - pretty good actually.

If all db2 wants to do is produce good club tunes or provide soundtracks for Playstation games then that mission has already been accomplished - the top notch production helps see to that. But throughout this demo there are hints at greater possibilities and more talent. More experimentation, and perhaps fewer samples, could be interestingly fruitful. 6/10

Rob Dyer

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