Anthony Rother

We Are Punks 2

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As the title indicates, this is the follow-up to the original We Are Punks compilation overseen by Anthony Rother in his role as the Datapunk label's owner. His interests match the label's in general -- a reworking of early-'80s proto-sleaze synth disco through a modern techno/electro wringer -- and as a result We Are Punks 2 is pretty much guaranteed to thrill anyone with an interest in that description and irritate those put off by it. It's a collection for those who are already fans or predisposed to be ones and makes no apologies for it. This said, it's still got some standout tracks that would work in many different contexts -- Xenia Beliayeva's "Music," appearing in both its original version and via a Kiko remix, is a stellar track in either guise, with a memorable chorus and a sense of attention-demanding presence instead of filling out the numbers. Rother's own contributions are understandably high quality, and in all it's a dapper collection with a good mix from Ziel 100 tying both discs together. The second disc will be the one of most interest to those who already have everything, as a few unreleased numbers surface. Robert M.'s excellent "Elektro Tape," a live-up-to-the-title number straight up, starts the disc, while Ziel 100's own "Ready to Fog" flirts more openly with the early industrial/EBM roots recognizable throughout. A surprising downside is the Miss Kittin & the Hacker contribution, "Midlife Crisis" -- not a disaster, but it's somewhat nondescript on first blush.

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