Various Artists

Critical Mass, Vol. 4

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The fourth installment in the Metropolis label's ongoing series of budget-line samplers is designed not only to appeal to the curious newcomer, but also to the die-hard fan who wants to get his hands on a few exclusive remixes and, in this case, even a video. Most of the label's heavy hitters are here: Teutonic industrialists Funker Vogt (whose "Prisoners of War" was maybe not the strongest track that could have been chosen from their recent album), Croc Shop (whose "World" was an excellent choice for inclusion, and is strengthened further by an exclusive Assemblage 23 mix), Pig, and Project Pitchfork, as well as such lesser-known artists as Imperative Reaction and Bella Morte. There's nothing here that will surprise or challenge the ear of any established fan of EBM, industrial, or future-pop, but those who hear bands like Assemblage 23 and Bella Morte here will probably be prompted to check out those bands' catalogs. Like the previous volumes in the series, this one is a fine introduction to the state of the art in this particular genre of dance music.

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