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VNV Nation | Transnational | review | electro | synth pop | Lollipop

VNV Nation

Transnational (Anachron)
By Mike Delano

20+ years and heaps of tracks and remixes since their inception, dark electro veterans VNV Nation still have some fascinating headtrips to share, as evidenced by Transnational, their ninth album. It's a solid mix of atmospheric mood pieces and more straightforward beat-driven dance numbers, but it's not incoherent -- in fact, the record feels quite confident in its two-sided approach. The chilly, paranoia-laden, smoke-billowing-across-the-2 a.m.-city-streets instrumental of "Generator" has a much-less-evil counterpart in "Lost Horizon," which has an almost triumphant synth-created momentum. The vocal tracks also have seemingly opposing outlooks. "Everything" has a positive, hopeful vibe, while the harder-edged "Primary" and "Retaliate" feature a more commanding vocal presence from Ronan Harris. Generally, the harder and darker material on Transnational is its best stuff, but the variety is compelling, and the best of the bunch -- the two-part, 14-minute "Teleconnect" -- ditches the dark/light, hard/soft dynamic altogether for epic, affecting melancholy.
(www.vnvnation.com)

 


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