Let the Music Speak for Itself. Case Closed.

NovaMuteI’m infrequently one to pimp, verbatim, the concise and thought-out, profit-based, self-reflecting statements from record labels that tickle my fancy. With two parts respect, and three parts laziness, I present the NovaMute creed, in its entirety, without any half-assed PG interruption (found scrolled within the insert to the double LP, NovaMute Kompilation):

Rewind 1993, birthdate Novamute, Mute’s original dysfunctional sibling. A label torn kicking and screaming from the belly of Mute records, a label to satisfy the parent company’s love of the electronic pulse, a label to take things further into the dark heart of the sampler and synth. Fond of laughing in the face of expectations, NovaMute has never been an easy child. Always preferring the unexpected, the label has set a standard documenting the often highly idiosyncratic output of many of Europe’s finest electronic renegades. Never one to tame the extremes of their roster, their artists have benefited from the open-mindedness of the label’s philosophy. The result ? A salvo of critically loved and sometimes blindly misunderstood records that have often shaken electronic music’s foundations. Five years is a long time in music, but one thing has remained constant, NovaMute’s ability to keep on pushing the envelope and redefine the way we look at dance music in the 1990’s. The strongest evidence? Their roster includes Speedy J, Luke Slater, Plastikman, Joey Baltram and Darren Price. Let the music speak for itself. Case closed.

Lightning Man

Lightning ManNitzer Ebb’s Lightning Man was one of three singles to emerge from their third album, 1990’s Showtime. Originating in Essex, Nitzer Ebb is pure, unadulterated EBM (electronic body music) also known as industrial dance. My sincere apology if you already knew that.

Released on merciless Mute Records (definitely a label with which to go back and explore if quality electro is your thing), this 2-track 12” is a good example of the band’s refined maturity that spanned the three short years since their debut album, That Total Age. Lightning Man, and especially the b-side, Who We Are harbor deep, imposing, and often deliberately sluggish layers of sexy EBM that, sans vocals, would work perfect as film score. As is, it makes for a fantastic, yet unfortunately short listen.