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Fulber: Realism (Sonic Groove)

Fulber’s name might not be a household one, but he’s had a heavy hand
in the evolution of the EBM/electro-industrial music sound since its
inception in the early to mid-80s. He’s most often played partner to
Bill Leeb to comprise Front Line Assembly (in my opinion, on most of
their finest albums), Delerium, Intermix, Noise Unit, and
numerous other projects, along with providing the electronic heft
behind 90s goth-industrial doom projects like Will or grindcore act
Fear Factory. To be fair, I haven’t kept up with FLA or many of the
other projects lately as my tastes have wandered from my
electro-industrial roots, but Fulber’s knack as a producer comes
through immediately as “Effigy” begins with a hammering bass kick
and a signature stabby bassline and pitch-bent vocal samples. It’s
not hard to imagine a vocal on the track, though kudos to Fulber for
showcasing his talents on his own with instrumentals. “Reload”
doesn’t pack the same dancefloor punch, opting instead for a more
staggered wallop of a drum pattern with layered synth patterns,
crossing over between IDM and EBM seamlessly.

Realism (SG 1778) by Rhys Fulber

My favorite of the four
tracks is “Minsk Maschinen,” a bleep-infused, dark dancefloor
track that feels like a natural companion to music by Terrence Fixmer
that’s appeared in Sonic Groove’s recent output, with kicks that are
clipped and fuzzy, industrial and mechanical synth patterns, and,
again, bits of vocal samples peppered throughout. The last track,
“Abstraction,” is just that, relatively speaking; it opens up
with wider spaces between, despite still sharing “Reload”’s heavy
handed, staggered drum patterns. It’s a strong albeit not especially
surprising display of production prowess from Fulber, and I’m
interested in hearing more solo material from him.

Buy it: Bandcamp