Where do you even start with KMFDM? As the press release notes, they’re ‘commonly regarded as one of the driving forces in what we generally term industrial/rock since their formation in 1984’dropping ‘such landmark albums as 1988’s ‘UAIOE’ and 1990’s ‘NAÏVE’’.
The blurb presses forward, informing us that ‘now in 2020, KMFDM takes this to the next level with ‘IN DUB’, reinterpreting a selection of the group’s best known songs of their over three-and-a-half decades spanning career into a blistering display of chilled out grooves and spaced out atmospheres. With a long history of addressing political issues and encouraging social revolution, it is fitting that Sascha “Käpt’n K” Konietzko should reach back to some of KMFDM’s earliest roots in dub music and present a fresh take on what it truly means to “Rip the System!”’
And yes, they’ve gone full-on dub here: ‘Dub Light’, a reworking of ‘Kight’ from 1993’s ‘ANGST’ kicks off low, slow and bassy, a classic echo-heavy rim shot beat clattering around a quintessential dub reggae guitar line that bobs along, as mellow as – meaning it’s barely recognisable beside the hard, driving guitar-centred original.
‘Superhero Dub’ take it a bit more uptempo, and features a bit more noise and guitar grind, but there’s brass drifting into the infinite echo, and there’s something vaguely comedic about ‘Dub Uranus’ that extends beyond the title.
The reworking of ‘A Dub Against War’ stands out, with the gritty-as-fuck industrial guitar making a return toward the end of the track, while elsewhere, ‘Amnesia Dub’ provides a pleasant surprise because it really is quite pretty, and if ‘IN DUB’ doe one thing, it showcases a greater diversity than one would necessarily anticipate. That said, it’s still a lot of dub action.
This, of course is KMFDM all over: the endless self-referentiality of the lyrics, the hyperstylized cover art, the myriad remixes, and the fact that they’ve spent over three decades recycling the tropes they devised in almost singlehandedly creating the technoindustrial / aggrotech genres abundantly evidence that they will always take a concept to its absolute limit and then continue far beyond. So what would have probably sufficed as something of a novelty EP absolutely had to be 12-track album, just because. And that in itself is reason enough to recommend it.