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act 167 · synapscape · act! · cd

eingang, the hoe, freedom kiss, reaktonoize, sonique, wings, katunga, kollberg, soundcheck, so einfach ist tennis, rejah, alice, sellout, masks.

no more waiting! a new release from synapscape! why the delay? concerts around the world and collaborations with the likes of imminent and centrozoon have kept them very busy.

t.kniep and p.münch have finally finished their first full length album since 2001 and compared to other ant-zen releases this is not simply an 'act' - it is an act!

on this cd, synapscape's astonishing rhythm skills are perfectly displayed. keeping the beat straight but always changing the patterns throughout a track. when a track starts you might think you know how it will proceed, but while listening you will end up being surprised. there is a permanent change - without any real interference.

the album could also be described as an 'attack on expectations' - sequencers and electronic percussion replace the expected bass drum; in a heavily distorted 4/4 track a techno-like 5th-chord is embedded; crystal clear drum strokes replace distorted beats; - those 'attacks' are the sparks of the burning flow.

the variety of sound is evident in the ambient tracks like 'kollberg' and 'sellout', the hard 4/4-beat-ers like 'the hoe' and 'katunga' (which lean heavily toward the distorted dance floor) and the live-killer-tracks ('wings' and 'alice') which may be well-known to synapscape addicts. but act!'s general mood is what makes this cd a real album and not just a compilation of new tracks.

this album is nothing less than an improvement and a logical progression of synapscape's conceptual work.

the act! is done.

synapscape discography 09.2k5
act!. cd. ant-zen act167. 2005
the revenge of the incredible three (w/ imminent). 7". ant-zen act183.2. 2005
the incredible three (w/ imminent). 7". ant-zen act183.1. 2004
hands on centrozoon. cd-ep. ant-zen act157. 2003
raw. cd. ant-zen act137. 2002
positive pop. cd. ant-zen act117. 2001
positive pop. boxset. ant-zen act117.7. 2001
screenwalking (w/ imminent). cd-ep. ant-zen act103. 2000
screenwalking (w/ imminent). 12". hymen records y023. 2000
so what. 2cd. ant-zen act87. 1999
remix item (w/ imminent starvation). 10". ant-zen act78. 1998
neuklang 8.11.97 (split w/ p.a.l). cassette. fich-art fich040. 1998
rage. cd. ant-zen act67. 1997
helix. 7". ant-zen act57. 1996
synapscape. cd. ant-zen act27. 1995

synapscape website:


a review in russian language can be found on the website:

i believe "raw" - synapscape's last album - was released in 2002. that makes it three years, and three rather long years. even though ant-zen has released two parts of the "the incredible three"-threesome, it's a new album we've all been waiting for. the sounds of synapscape and imminent on the vinyl records arn't comparable to this new album and that's what makes "the incredible three" only a small inbetween. synapscape once again prove to be leader in bizarre rhythms, who do exactly what you don't expect. according to the biographical information and earlier material, it's clear that a large part of synapscape's songwriting is based on performing an 'attack on expectations' and therewith creating hybrids of songs that combine several genres and ideas into one. some songs kick off as an expectable song, in which the regular 4/4 beat will be maintained and all noise/industrial clichés will be brought back to live. it is however an amazing variety of drum'n'bass influences, weird electronic loops and usage of pounding electronic percussion that manage to rebuild each song into a combination of several genres. "the hoe", for example, combines a nearly techno-ish breakbeat with aphex twin-like keys, but always combined with a certain tension that cannot be described easily. a comparison with acts like needle sharing or panacea goes a a bit too far, but it does show the influences included on this record. it's clear this isn't an easy piece of work, where everyone can lay their hands on easily. i've read about a comparison with proyecto mirage, but that's kinda awkward, even though the first minutes of "sonique" might confirm this. it's however not maintained on the entire album and isn't even followed by the rest of the song. "kollberg" turns out to be an ambient masterpiece and after the first three minutes of "soundcheck" it's not really clear whether synapscape or telepherique wrote this. as mentioned before: this is a dangerous hybride of various genres, combined into one vicious, d'n'b like assault on industrial music. fans of all related genres should like this. (eelco)

when people talk about the ant zen label they always talk about projects like converter, iszoloscope and imminent, it's rare that i hear people talk about synapscape, i don't know why, as i think synapscape is one of the best power noise/ebm bands signed to the ant zen label. this new album "act" won't disappoint the crowd who likes this kind of music, even the ebm audience would like synapscape's stuff if they gave it a listen. anyway, "act" is the 6th album from german synapscape, and from the very active guys p. muench (also involved in side-projects like rasputin, the rorschach garden and more) and t. kniep, and their first album since 2001. the music we get on "act" is harsh as usual with a lot of power noise influences with some ebm influences, but they still have a melodic sound with a lot of weird rhythms and sounds, which is maybe difficult for some listeners. on some tracks are added some distorted vocals, which gives some variation on "act". even when i think there is a lot of variation on the album, it's easy to separate the tracks from each other, like the song "reaktonoize", where we get a harsh distorted vocal, the same with "wings" and on heavy rhythm songs like "katunga", which easily could become a floor filler, if club dj's have the guts to play it, he, he. "act" continues with a lot of great tracks like "soundcheck", and "alice", another floor filler on the album. in my opinion synapscape have managed to make another great album, an album that won't disappoint the power noise crowd or the ebm audience if they dare buy it. (brain)

schwarzes wien
synapscape sind wieder da. und das aufregender, vielschichtiger und bedrohlicher als je zuvor. knapp vier jahre haben sich philipp muench und tim kniep nach "positive pop" zeit gelassen, um mit ihrem neuen album "act!" ein kräftiges lebenszeichen in sachen industrial noise/rhythm zu setzen. "eingang" eröffnet den düsteren reigen, voll rhythmischer tragik und bedrohlicher erwartung. was dann kommt ist "the hoe", treibend, wummernd, ekstatisch. nach "freedom kiss" steigern "reaktonoize", "sonique" vor allem das großartig lässige "wings" - mein persönlicher favorit, der mich frech an captain beefheart erinnert - das tempo, werden brachialer, lauter, kompromissloser, fallen in sich zusammen, formieren sich neu. sehr fein schließlich, "katunga", penetranter höhepunkt mit fast schon orgiastischen rhythmen. oh ja! ebenfalls großartig: "soundcheck", "alice" und "masks", allesamt ausgiebige leckerbissen aus feinstem industrial/noise. die neue synapscape überzeugt nicht durch einzelne club-auskoppelungen, sondern durch eine perfide konzeptionierte klangwelt aus ausgefeiltem industrial mit einer fetten brise rhythm & noise. fünf mal ein punkt. und jetzt: "act!"

der medienkonverter
vier jahre ist es her, dass synapscape ihr letztes reguläres album "positive pop" veröffentlicht haben und fast drei seit der zusammenstellung "raw". natürlich war das duo philipp münch und tim kniep in der zwischenzeit nicht untätig. neben der centrozoon-ep erschienen noch die beiden "the incredible three"-singles in zusammenarbeit mit imminent und natürlich muss an dieser stelle auch das letzte monokrom-album erwähnt werden. doch nun gibt es endlich wieder ein komplettes synapscape-album zum genießen. mit über einer stunde spielzeit hält "act!", was der name verspricht. das duo arbeitet sich einmal mehr durch zahlreiche fassetten des industrials und entdeckt immer wieder neue wege und spielarten, um auch noch das letzte quäntchen energie aus der musik zu kitzeln. die cd startet mit dem fast sechsminütigen intro "eingang", das sich langsam steigernd in rhythmische euphorie verfällt und dabei aber seinen düsteren sound beibehält. das folgende "the hoe" wandelt zwischen teils hektischen, teils groovigen beats und ruhiger synthie-vordergrundmelodie. der "freedom kiss" brennt derart unter den fingernägeln, dass es schon fast weh tut. erquickend kratzig und brutal, ohne dabei die schmerzgrenze zu überschreiten, ab der es nervend wird, was ja eine der stärken von synapscape ist. songs wie "reaktonoize" oder "wings" setzen dagegen mehr auf den verzerrten gesang von tim kniep, der fast wie ein eigenes rhythmusinstrument eingesetzt wird. schön wuchtig und wummernd donnert sich "katunga" ein, das die temperatur in jedem raum sofort um mehrere grad steigen lässt. doch danach wird es gleich wieder deutlich kühler. "kollberg" erinnert an eine eishöhle. düsterer ambient lässt gänsehaut-feeling aufkommen. ähnlich verhält es sich mit "sellout", das aber mit oszillierendem brummen noch etwas noisiger ist. kompromissloser ist da "soundcheck", das auf der einen seite kantig, eckig und sperrig ist und auf der anderen melancholisch melodiös. den abschluss von "act!" bildet das rhythmisch brachiale "masks", das eigentlich fast wie ein zusammenfassender überblick über das gesamte album wirkt, ein wechsel zwischen heiß und kalt, schnellen beats und langsamen melodien. mit "act!" demonstrieren synapscape wieder einmal ihre herausragenden künste in industrieller musik. ein wahrhaftiger leckerbissen und ein absolutes muss für jeden rhythmic noise liebhaber. (veit)

vital weekly 500
it is quite some time ago since we last saw a full-length album from german harsh-industrialists in synapscape. since their previous album "raw" released back in 2002, the synapscape-team have been cooperating with another legend from the ant-zen label imminent (formerly imminent starvation), though the expression on their joint venture-project "the incredible three" is quite different from the solo-works of synapscape. "act!" is yet another great achievement by the two members of synapscape (t. kniep & p. münch). there is a nice varied stylistic expression on the album. opening with three instrumental tracks of heavy-rhythm industrial with some doses of drum'n'bass, the fourth track titled "reaktonoize" is the first track to open the gates into the realms of sonic hell with heavy rumbling power electronics added some excellent demonic vocals. following track "sonique" could've been included on download's "the eyes of stanley pain"-album thanks to the progressive and constantly fast changing rhythm texture and the rather weird sound interruptions throughout the track. another gate into hellish sounds of power electronics opens with the track titled "katunga" - a slow rhythmic beast of crushing electronics transforming every sign of melodic tone into a storm of infernal noise. most outstanding moment on the album though comes towards the end of the album with the intense, strange titled work "so einfach ist tennis" opening with some atmospheric even melodic trance almost reminiscent of early underworld soon after to develop into a fast and furious mixture of distorted beats and destructible drones of crushing electronics. what makes this album so interesting is synapscape's ability to constantly surprise the listener. expect the unexpected and enjoy this magnificent trip to hell! (nmp)

this harsh rhythmic noise act needs no introduction. since ten years synapscape produces industrial techno with pounding distorted beats. this new album act! doesn't show many changes. tracks like 'the hoe' and 'wings' could well become dancefloor hits. only during a few moments synapscape takes a step back and leaves the dance beats behind. 'soundcheck' for example is a relaxing ambient track and 'sellout' is also a rather tranquil piece, despite the noisy sounds. in general act! is a decent industrial album but there is nothing shocking new or revolutionary to be found here. (mvg)

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