The brainchild of German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, KMFDM (or, "Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid", which has a literal translation of "No Majority for the Compassion", or the looser, band endorsed interpretation, "No Pity for the Majority") are currently in their 32nd year. This compilation of reimagined and remixed tracks, according to the accompanying press blurb, "commemorates the band's 32th anniversary". 32th? Oh dear. It seems KMFDM's grammatical errors extend beyond misconceived German phrases, and translations thereof! And who celebrates a 32nd anniversary? Never heard of that one as a milestone before. I guess it fits in with KMFDM's nonconformist ethos, so hurrah for KMFDM's 32nd anniversary... I know, I know, that doesn't sound even sound right. Fortunately, though, the music on 'Rocks - Milestones Reloaded' does sound right... or should that be left, given Konietzko's anti-capitalism stance?!
Creating art within their self-proclaimed genre-labelling of "Ultra-Heavy Beat", KMFDM's music has metal, EBM and industrial rock prominence at the core of their music, complete with both male and female vocals, and all filtered through menacingly dark atmospheres. There's overt rhythmic repetition and general similarities between some of the tracks selected for this compilation - for example, just take the first two pieces, 'Kunst and 'Animal Out', where, short of one seguing into the other, they feel like stylistic twins in their industrial metal constitution. Both are drawn from the band's 2013, eighteenth studio album, 'Kunst', so I guess this partly explains the compositional similarities. However, there are fleeting moments on 'Rocks...' where compositions sway more towards one genre-bias over another, such as the cunningly titled 1993 track, 'A Drug Against War', which adheres to traits rife within the Teutonic thrash boom of the 80s... although said track is also given a hard techno remix by Marco Trentacoste to close the album, which works a treat for the scathing critique inherent in the lyrics.
While 'Rocks - Milestones Reloaded' offers up an introduction to KMFDM's aesthetic for newcomers (albeit a mere 14 tracks from their vast back catalogue of music), it also provides something new for the longtime aficionado, what with over half the tracks presented in remixed form. It also serves as a reminder just what a seminal entitiy KMFDM have been in popularising industrial rock/metal over the years. So, all in all, a neat, if not fully comprehensive, compilation.
ROCKS - MILESTONES RELOADED
Review by Mark Holmes
9th Sept 2016
1) Kunst; 2) Animal Out; 3) Light (Remix); 4) Son of a Gun (Remix); 5) Amnesia; 6) A Drug Against War; 7) Professional Killer (Remix); 8) (Still) Sucks (Remix); 9) Free Your Hate; 10) Tohuvabohu; 11) WWIII (Remix); 12) Krank (Remix); 13) Amnesia (Remix); 14) A Drug Against War (Remix)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...serves as a reminder just what a seminal entitiy KMFDM have been in popularising industrial rock/metal over the years."