Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 16 - 02/11/98

Panacea
Low Profile Darkness
Chrome / Force Inc.

Everybody is talking about drum&bass at the moment. The former underground style from Britain has taken the world by storm and we at the German Luna Kafé branch office still feel the aftershock. In the curse of its triumphant advance this sub-genre of techno-music has diversified further. Panacea is an example of a style called "techstep" I was told, but all these nifty little names are nothing more than a marketing ploy to make your record/CD shopping easier. However you can't relate to these style names unless you've actually heard something, and open-minded people can't cope with all these fancy names anyway.

So what does the Panacea album sound like? My first impression is a really noisy one, with lots of distortion and overmodulation, a sound that I would describe as 'industrial'. No vocals, of course, except for a few samples, but what do you expect from a modern techno influenced dance project. The drum tracks are awesome but this is what you'd expect from a drum&bass record. It's really infectious, even though it's entirely mechanical. You can't imagine a real drummer playing these tracks. Melodies are simple, just fragmentary, one to three notes.

Reality Rmx starts with a whistling synth tone, then a vocal sample "The reality was very different." (of course, it's a remix, you know!) and a relatively conventional drum pattern. After a few minutes a break, then the real drum&bass-hell begins. The track is nearly ten minutes long.

Tron Rmx is another long track with a one tone intro. The drums are even more wicked this time, the sound really dirty due to the distortion of drums and synth. After ten minutes you'll be lucky that you've survived.

Hellbringer is a really programmatic song title. The bass drum is hammered into your brain. The track sounds really destructive because of the little breaks in the rhythm which always give hope for a millisecond before the noise continues.

Compared to the other tracks, Untitled sounds somewhat uninspired - not only the title but the whole track. It's nice to have a little rest in between the noisier stuff, however. With Shiver Panacea returns to the familiar form.

I have the double 12" vinyl here (yeah! - editor's note) for my review which has the basic central tracks of the album. The CD version adds a cool intro and outro plus a few additional filler tracks.

Recommended for masochists and those who are more interested in innovative than in friendly sounding stuff.

Copyright © 1998 Lonely Locke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Panacea article/review: Twisted Designz.

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