Tag: Frozen Plasma

SOLAR FAKE Another Manic Episode

solar fake_anothermanicepisodeBerlin’s SOLAR FAKE came into existence in 2007, creating an instant stir in the electronica circles, hungry for more anger and industrial laden beats.

Sven Friedrich, best known for his rockier enterprises ZERAPHINE and DREADFUL SHADOWS, joined André Feller and to date have released three albums, ‘Broken Grid’, ‘Frontiers’ and ‘Reasons To Kill’.

The latest ‘Another Manic Episode’ is described by the band themselves, as their best work to date, which immediately invites the challenge to verify the veracity of this claim.

Happily charging €25 a year for their fan club membership, the SOLAR FAKE boys seem awfully confident in their latest product. The deluxe edition harbours nineteen songs, including the ten core tracks, with additional remixes by AESTHETIC PERFECTION and PROJECT PITCHFORK among many, as well as further seven piano versions of selected numbers.

The opening ‘Not What I Wanted’ curiously welcomes into the heavy world of SOLAR FAKE with EBM beats and alluring sequences, in which the band stays true to their roots. Influences of various other German bands are clearly palpable, making the opening track an eclectic mixture of pretty much everything heard before. ‘Fake To Be Alive’ follows with a clear danceability factor interwoven within a melodic, yet heavy sequence of drum and bass, as if borrowed from ‘Automation Baby’ by Bristol’s MESH.

‘All The Things You Say’, also being the first single from the production, changes the mood into more of a gentler, sublime and intelligent synthpopia. Refined vocals, this time lacking the heavy rock base, are fuller and inviting. Very clear influence from their native FROZEN PLASMA, yet original in their own way.

‘Under Control’ as well as ‘Observer’ serve heavy boot stomping to their industrial beats, while ‘Until It’s Over’ returns to the temperate, placid electronica which Friedrich is a master of. ‘The Race Of The Rats’ reprises the theme with a substantial dose of EBM, followed with ‘If I Were You’; it’s a melancholic track, yet well suited to heavy head bob and dance craze of your life.

The slower, more defined ‘I Don’t Want You Here’, is a broken love affair, MINEVE style. A listener-friendly melody with gentle piano elements, this makes the track one of the best on this collection. The closing ‘Stay’ is perhaps the song which ought to mark the style of SOLAR FAKE, as this type of direction is what they do best. Delicate electronica with a refined vocal, it wraps the album skilfully, denoting the fact the band are capable of a decent ballad.

The second CD, apart from the remixes by big names, includes two tracks which are worth a mention. ‘Somebody Told Me’ rings the familiar sounds of THE KILLERS. It has become a kind of a given, that SOLAR FAKE will include a cover on each album. And this one is basically a version of the original, which has been beefed up with synth sounds, leaving it resonating not too dissimilar from the prototype. ‘You Need The Drugs’, another cover, this time of WESTBAM’s big hit, from ‘Götterstrasse’, is more palatable and assembled with apt knowledge of the blueprint.

SOLAR FAKE 2015Like with any SOLAR FAKE release, the feeling persists, that perhaps the band, with their strong performances, are more of a live act and are better appreciated when in front of audiences, having toured Europe extensively before the release of ‘Another Manic Episode’ with great success.

The album, being rather compelling, will probably suit younger, less expectant listener.

For the lovers of COMBICHRIST, this is a perfect alternative; angry, in your face and destructive at times, only seldom punctuated with softer, lighter synth.

Whether the claims that the album is their best work to date, are indeed accurate, is debatable; however, the continuing popularity of the group speaks for itself.

‘Another Manic Episode’ is released by Out Of Line Records



Text by Monika Izabela Goss
3rd November 2015

Lost Albums: FROZEN PLASMA Monumentum

FROZEN PLASMA MomentumThe greatness started when Vasi Vallis from NAMNAMBULU met DIORAMA’s Felix Marc…

FROZEN PLASMA formed in 2005 and in the November of that year, the first single was released. ‘Hypocrite’ enjoyed a good position on German Alternative Charts and the first album ‘Artificial’ received positive reviews in many electronic publications at the time, praising the natural progression from NAMNAMBULU. Most recently, the duo have enjoyed success with hugely popular ‘Dekadenz’, hailed by chosen German reviewers as the best thing since sliced bread. (Oh… SLICED BREAD, the greatest electronic band of all!)

Joking aside, signed to Infacted Recordings, FROZEN PLASMA continue to make sensational synthpop albums and, consciously or not, have been copied by many new artists from around the globe. The recent productions from Utah based RARE FACTURE, and Swedes DESTIN FRAGILE plus many others all replicate the familiar synthscapes of FROZEN PLASMA in their own recordings.

Back in 2009, the hungry synth lovers eagerly awaited the second album, and in May that year, ‘Monumentum’ was finally revealed to the yearning public. The “momentum” was certainly achieved with that one; an album which still marks those glorious moments for Vallis and Marc.

FROZEN PLASMAThe ethereal and floaty ‘Open’ kicks the album off with gentle strings, pleasant melody and this uncertain gut feeling one gets upon waiting for something grand and wonderful to come. Cinematic, atmospheric and truly beautiful, the track really does not herald what the production is about to transform into.

And so it comes, unprecedented synth with those magnificent vocals by Marc in ‘The End-Deliverance’. Doom, melancholy and grief, all of which are skilfully wrapped up in an epic dance track.

‘The Speed Of Life’ is quintessential FROZEN PLASMA as we know it nowadays, an urgent lyrical call to stop the rat race, in which many people are enveloped as of late.

It couldn’t be more current, even after six years since the album release: “Let’s cease the day, let’s go astray, there is no reason to be shy”, “running at the speed of life” to escape the ordinary, leave your worries behind and submerge into the simple pleasures of existence.

‘Phoenix’ marks the sound for which the duo have been endlessly praised, and which has been recreated in many recent releases by various artists. It’s a bouncy floor filler, marked with meaningful lyrics and a longing vocal. ‘Natural Born Liars’ bears the characteristics of quintessential FROZEN PLASMA. This semi-industrial instrumental is sci-fi inspired, and quite a lengthy track for a non-worder at 6:42.

The anthemic ‘Tanz Die Revolution’ bursts in next. Having previously been released separately, this epic production expands beyond the imaginable. It really had to be performed in German just to have this extra punch and aggression, which is essential for such a legendary track. A magnificent dance tune; one can just imagine the black adorned crowd stomping on the dance floor; it is impossible to sit through this one!

‘Earthling’ follows, with ringing synth and poignant lyrics “And I realise there is no peace of mind….there is no remedy inside, wipe me from this cruel reality, until my kingdom comes…”; it’s a heavy-hearted and gloomy realisation that nothing matters and we are as good as God’s puppets. ‘Almond Flower’, the longest track on the album at 7:09, bar the extended version of ‘The Speed Of Life’, is a melancholic depiction of a broken love affair, marked by a gentle keyboard pattern and ballad-like quality.

‘Touching Ground’ continues the solemn mood, yet bears the sign of hope (“to discover what is still unknown”, “participate in this sensation… you will be no enemy of mine”), while ‘Murderous Trap’, with its ominous title, returns to the classic FROZEN PLASMA sound. A story of a seductive girl, weaving her sexual trap over an unsuspecting man could be perceived as controversial nowadays… not that it hadn’t been done before (eg DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Little 15’); “she played her game so well”, but “sweet 16 it’s time to let you go”.

The debauchery is broken up by a stunning instrumental ‘Forgotten Earth’; divine, statuesque and sophisticated in its simplicity, an ambient female backing vocal drives the melody through corners of the human mind, leading up to equally elegant ‘Close’ which concludes the making.

After six years, ‘Monumentum’ still has that charm of seductive synth ballads, interspersed with heavy, dance floor-worthy anthems. It clearly rings many bells for numerous artists, who try and recreate the mood, which Vallis and Marc have been spoiling audiences with since 2005.

If you have never come across FROZEN PLASMA yet, this album would be a good place to start. Beware however, you may love it too much…

‘Monumentum’ is still available as a CD or download via Infacted Recordings



Text by Monika Izabela Goss
31st October 2015