Album: "Groundlevel" (2001)
Label: Bloodline
Style: Dark electro-pop
Songs: 13


Reviewed by: Darklight

Technoir is a fairly new electronic act out of Germany. The band consists of Julia Beyer (vocals) and Steffan Gehring (music). This male and female duo create some rather impressive songs on this debut. What they basically offer here is mid-tempo dark electro-pop with well layered electronic programming, dramatic melodies, driving beats and enchanting female singing. Everything comes together quite well and feature a lot of memorable hooks in each of the songs.

Unfortunately, all of the songs stick to a similar formula without ever offering anything too different. Everything plays at about the same melodic pace only featuring female singing. It would have been nice if the band mixed it up a little more with club EBM songs and male vocals as well. But this is still interesting and entertaining music nonetheless. It’s very polished with nice sounds and structures throughout. And Julia’s singing is superb and really flows nicely with the music.

But everything here isn’t perfect. There are a few snags along the way. The opening instrumental “Groundlevel” is the mandatory opener that is rather typical and boring. Thankfully, it’s short and doesn’t drag on for too long. There is a sample of Elvis’ “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” at the start of the track “Nightmare”. Hearing this sounds humorous and pulls you out of the dark mood of the album for a while. Track twelve “Prelude” is a nine minute instrumental. While it’s good, it’s too long and placed in a bad spot. Track thirteen “Last Words” is only a minute and twenty seconds. These are some awkward decisions that do bring down the overall album a bit. But they are not too big of issues and don’t really detract from the album all that much.

This debut from Technoir is quite good offering a nice mix of electro-pop and darkwave that blends together flawlessly. While I would have liked a little more variety from song to song, everything still comes together quite well. If you are interested in dark electro-pop music with female vocals, this CD is a must for your collection.