The usual method for most industrial compilations is for a label to release a sample of its offerings or perhaps to collate the most popular club hits of the year. The noise scene seems to have different priorities, however, and the compilation of the German Maschinenfest 2000 performances form a double CD of diverse noise tracks from both established artists and newer acts. Maschinenfest is more than a simple collection of dancefloor noise. Klangstabil provides their own interpretation of machine noise that borders on ambience, and Scorn offers their own unique brand of hard-edged dub alongside club favorites such as Imminent and Synapscape. Others, such as Winterkalte, deliver crushing aural assaults. The blend is perfect. There is enough intelligence and variety to range the spectrum between hostile dancebeats and a sensibility that is almost avant-garde. The recordings themselves are not the usual live recordings as would be expected from an event compilation -- tracks are good quality, without crowd noise. That said, they are not the usual fare. The version of "Death Time" that Converter provides, for example, is a very different beast from the original version from Blast Furnace. Also, some tracks are hard to find or exclusive to the compilation (Mono No Aware's track is actually presented as the "Maschinenfest Remix"). This first installation of Maschinenfest threatens to establish a regular release that noise fans can base an annual budget on. This compilation does not fall short in any department -- a trend that, hopefully, Maschinenfest 2001 will be able to sustain.
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AllMusic Review by Theo Kavadias