Previous Negative Format releases have been exercises in a smooth electro sound. After the heavy trance influences obvious on previous release Distant Pulses, it seemed that Negative Format was almost ready to leap out of the electro genre altogether. Despite this, Negative Format resisted being labeled as another vocal trance act, due to the clinical and cold heart of their music. It is this heart grown hard and heavy that forms the new center of Negative Format's sound on the Static EP. Where Distant Pulses was soft and delicate, the synth lines on tracks such as "Static" and "Downfall" move to a harder EBM style previously unseen in Negative Format's format. The construction is the same -- techno synth lines, washes against arpeggiated melodies, breaks amidst solid dance beats -- but the mix of flavor with these elements creates a solid EBM sound packed with dance energy. Four mixes of "Static" are probably enough on any CD, since none of the remixes stand out incredibly. Arguably, the original "Static" is not the best of the original material on this release either, with "Downfall" and "Sense" providing energetic, dark beats that might not feel as polished, but are catchier. That said, Static is a very solid EP that offers no great surprises but delivers on all counts, and may even convert hard EBM fans to Negative Format's new cause.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Theo Kavadias