HAUJOBB

Album: "Vertical Theory"
Label: Metropolis Records (2003)
Style: EBM
Songs: 11
B

Reviewed by: Darklight

While I enjoyed Haujobb's previous Polarity release, I grew tired of it rather quickly because it sounded the same from beginning to end. So I wasn't really anticipating this follow up Vertical Theory. I just assumed that it would be more of the same. And while it doesn't blow my socks off, I do feel that it's probably the best CD I've heard by Haujobb. It's a varied release, and that's its strong point. You can actually tell the tracks apart unlike on Polarity.

This CD offers modern semi experimental technical electronic music with hectic programming, frantic beats, dramatic melodies and accented untreated vocals provided by Daniel Myer. Some tracks are fairly energetic and driving, while others are more slow and melodic. Some songs stand out more than others, but nothing is bad. Everything is quite listenable and enjoyable.

While the overall sound of the CD is a little more funky and experimental than I would like, I still enjoy it because it's not music that's in my face. But I admit that I would like to see Haujobb release a more club friendly CD in the future as I know they have it in them to make a good one.

 

Album: "Polarity" (2001)
Label: Metropolis Records
Style: EBM/Synth-pop
Songs: 19
A

Reviewed by: Darklight

Haujobb started out as a dark EBM act, but didnít keep that sound for very long and decided to venture out into other musical territories such as experimental ambient electro. I personally have never really cared for their music after their earlier efforts as I tend to like my electronic music more energetic and club friendly. On this latest release, they combine their old sound with their newer sound making for a modern EBM/Synth-pop hybrid album that works.

While this album is somewhat similar to Daniel Myerís recent Cleaner release, I do like this recording more for the fact that itís tighter and more consistent from start to finish.

I was scared at first when I saw that ten of the nineteen tracks were in-between filler tracks. I was worried that they each would be a couple of minutes long interrupting the flow of the CD. Thankfully, they are only a few seconds long. They are experimental electro sounds that are intros to the actual songs. While I could have basically done without them here, they do blend in never sounding out of place.

The actual songs themselves sound very similar to the slower tracks found on Covenantís ďUnited States Of MindĒ CD. This is cold and melodic EBM/Synth-pop hybrid music with a variety of electronic sounds, mid-tempo beats, beautiful melodies and deep clean male vocals that sing well along with the creative and interesting music. Nothing here is ever really fast enough for the club, but still have enough energy to keep you from getting bored. This is definitely more headphone music than it is club music.

This is the first Haujobb CD that I really enjoy. Itís a pleasant audio journey from beginning to end that I like taking often. I would highly recommend it to fans of bands such as Cleaner and Covenant.

 

Album: "Less"
Label: Metropolis Records
Style: Intelligent Body Music
Songs: 4
C

Reviewed by: Nicholas

Rating this CD was a struggle. I normally love haujobb and believe that all of their releases thus far have been "A"s, but the new single preview for their upcoming album does not live up to their usual high standards. I first put this disc in my stereo expecting to be blown away by the first new haujobb material in about two years that would undoubtedly be more complex and intense than anything in the electro realm so far, but instead I was greeted with minimalistic techno topped with female vocals. My initial reaction was horror and revulsion, and I decided to put the CD away until I could calm down and review it in a more objective mindset. So I discarded my expectations and again attempted to listen to it for what it is. This time I put it in my headphones (which I should've done in the first place, since it is haujobb) and payed much closer attention to the music reather than being distracted by an unfamiliar vocal style. I have to admit, the song really did grow on me and now I like it a lot. The single itself, however, still has many shortcomings and it is my job to review the whole disc instead of just the main song. The song "Less" has those nice watery/glassy tones and blips that only haujobb make, coupled with their usual interesting rhythms. Thankfully the music, while more minimal than their usual fare, doesn't revert to a 4/4 techno beat and is not some sort of cheesy dance track. The music hardly progresses, however, and there are very few changes in it. As for the vocals, Vanessa Briggs sings in a subdued tone that I can only compare to Camille Henderson's on the Delerium track "Duende". The remixes (even the one by s'Apex) aren't all that imaginative or complex, and end up being as minimal as the original or more so. This, coupled with the fact that the best song on this single ("Less") will appear on the album, means that when you buy 'NinetyNine' you will probably never listen to this single again. This is a nice single but will soon be obsolete and so I say it is for collectors only.

 

Album: "Freeze Frame Reality" (1995)
Label: Pendragon Records
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 11
C

Reviewed by: Darklight

This is a very typical sounding German electro industrial album. My first complaint with this album is that there are four instrumentals, leaving only seven songs with vocals. The songs "Dream Aid", "Consciousness", "Perfect Average", and "Nezzwerk" all sound fairly similar. They are very futuristic electronic music similar to newer T.H.D.. They are mellow and melodic, with very harmonic background synths and whispered vocals. But the songs "World Window", "Cold Comfort", and "Analysis" are very aggressive and sound a lot like Leaether Strip with angry growling vocals. I personally like these angrier songs the most, and would have preferred that the entire album featured this energy. With four instrumentals, four mellow songs, and three aggressive songs this album seems more like a compilation than an album by one particular band. This entire album is very well produced with excellent sounding music. This band is talented, and does have a very polished sound. But they don't do anyhting new. I'm hoping that their next album will be more unique and aggressive all the way through.