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act 227 · synapscape · again · cd

01 death wish head fish
02 who painted my cat black
03 stuck
04 countercroque
05 ahuenna!
06 ring the bell
07 aftermath
08 alone
09 requirement
10 time
11 purge
12 freefall
13 core

download the promo-sheet as pdf

the dynamic duo from bielefeld is back - one and a half years after 'now', tim kniep and philipp münch present another full dose of massive electronics for the mind and body.

tracks like 'who painted my cat black' and 'stuck' keep up synapscape's aural trademark: heavyweight interlaced polyrhythms, distorted textures and tim's non-reversible voice - an ecstatic mixture evolved to make you move! on 'countercroque' or 'requirement', crystal clear technoid detroit synth lines meet strictly accentuated beats, disturbing samples and captivating melodies. the more you listen to this album, the more details that will be visible. proper heavy engine!

the fascinating aspect of this project's work (since the beginning) is their ability to innovate in a genre in which many participants seem to restrict themselves - despite the countless amount of technical options. once 'again' synapscape assert their position as one of the most innovative artists of industrial music today. ahuenna!

synapscape. synaptic engine. t-shirt. ikon85
dark brown t-shirt w/ large frontprint in black & white ink. sizes: girlie, s, m, l, xl

synapscape discography on ant-zen 02.2k9:
again. cd. ant-zen act227. 2009
now. cd. ant-zen act217. 2007
scenes from a galton's walk (w/ asche). cd. ant-zen act192. 2006
act!. cd. ant-zen act167. 2005
the incredible three vinyl trilogy (w/ imminent). 3x7". ant-zen act183. 2004 / 2005
hands on centrozoon. cd-ep. ant-zen act157. 2003
raw. cd. ant-zen act137. 2002
positive pop. cd / boxset. ant-zen act117 / act117.7. 2001
screenwalking (w/ imminent). cd-ep. ant-zen act103. 2000
so what. 2cd. ant-zen act87. 1999
remix item (w/ imminent starvation). 10". ant-zen act78. 1998
rage. cd. ant-zen act67. 1997
helix. 7". ant-zen act57. 1996
synapscape. cd. ant-zen act27. 1995

synapscape websites:


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

vital weekly + earlabs
... with the debut almost 14 years ago, synapscape has been shaking the audience both in concerts and with a number of albums that combines distorted vocals and harsh noise expressions with hard pounding rhythm textures. even though the duo has impressed me with every new release, latest album titled "again" unquestionably find its way to the top among their approx. ten full lengths. despite the focus on harsh industrial, synapscape on this album widen their stylish approaches from listenable club-tracks to violently distorted noise. from clubbish technoid tracks such as the trance-like "countercroque" and the instrumental floor-filler "requirement" across cynic vromb-reminiscent ambient-scapes of "ring the bell" to the aural machismo of "who painted my cat black" and "purge". synapscape has always had the talents of creating progressive rhythm textures, but "again" seem to beat earlier efforts from the hyper-energetic combo: hyper-fast but always with an alluring catchiness making sure that the body of the listener will feel pleasantly restless throughout the 57 minutes. awesome comeback from the grand old men of power noise. (nm)

connexion bizarre
synapscape are one of the longer-standing members of the industrial and powernoise heavyweights club; since their first, eponymous release in 1995, this duo have been associated with hard-hitting technoid rhythms, where melodic components become a secondary concern to the crushing waves of percussive insanity. "again", their newest release (the title cleverly carries on where their 2007 album "now" left off) doesn't deviate from this tried and tested sonic recipe. massive distorted textures create epic post-industrial soundscapes across which militaristic rhythms march to the call of tim kniepp's grating vocals. tracks like "who painted my cat black" deliver the prerequisite levels of harsh 'n heavy, but you also have cleverly engineered pieces like "aftermath" displaying an intricacy that is often missing from a genre that tends to be quite minimalist in its approach. expect pleasant surprises from a melodic point of view. layers of sound reveal themselves in different ways with repeated listenings, often with unexpected results: "stuck" appears, at first, to be fairly run-of-the-mill stuff, but the high-pitched mechanics in the background, coupled with drill-like stabs and sheets of what sounds like jacob's ladder electrics, unsettles the listener on a primal level. lovely, but unnerving. then there are also moments of relative softness - "requirement", while still undeniably brooding, presents a façade more reminiscent of upbeat ebm than noise or power electronics. "core", the last track on the album, is the most out-of-place. sounding more like "sidewinder"-era download than synapscape, it presents something of an enigma: will the duo be congratulated on their diversity, or will their daring be greeted by confusion from a fanbase expecting rhythms and noise? i sincerely hope, for their part, it's the former, as "again" is definitely one of the better-constructed industrial records i've heard lately. for the most part, it will satisfy raging beat addicts, but there is enough substance in its technicality to maintain interest amongst those who prefer to listen than to dance. (david vander merwe)

the longtime masters of the ant-zen label are back.. again! it's been since 2007 that they've released the excellent album 'now'. in 2008 however saw the light of 2 compilation releases by ant-zen, which were digital only and respectively titled '' and 'archive.two'. this new album is again full of angry noise and strange sounds. the album begins with the funny titled 'death wish head fish', which starts with some synth sequences before the rhythms kick in. the next track, 'who painted my cat black', takes good use of the aggressive vocals of tim kniep, amidst de harsh beats. a very energetic song! 'stuck' continues with aggressive vocals, hard beats and full-on noise, be it somewhat more abstract. the next track, 'countercroque', is rather mellow. it uses great sounding analogue synths. it kind of reminds me of an electro-clash track, only done the synapscape way. 'ahuenna!' is again beat-heavy. lots of bleeps and cutup sounds. with 'ring the bell' we start with some claustrophobic sounds before the aggressive vocals come back. this time the song is rather slow, but with lots of cutup noise around it. 'aftermath' uses again the electro-clash sounds and strange melodies, but with a lot of harsh beats and rhythms. with 'alone' things slow down again. it contains kniep's vocals again, only somewhat less noisy then before. it's a nice creepy song, perhaps what skinny puppy would do in the 90's if they made an album for ant-zen. 'requirement' is again very retro, with lots of analogue bleeps and rhythms. 'time' is again more aggressive, though it still contains a lot of bleeps. the end of the song gets the vocals of kniep again for even more aggression. with 'purge' we're back into fast pace territory were synapscape is known for. lots of hard and fast beats and aggressive vocals. great song! 'freefall' is a nice energetic upbeat instrumental. the album closes of with again a nice retro sounding electro song called 'core'. synapscape still prove they are the masters of the industrial/powernoise genre. their inventive use of sounds and vocals is what made them great and still sticks true. here they deliver there specific brand of powernoise, but now infuse it with splashes of electro-clash. this was already present on their last album, but now even more. so it's not all noise, but synapscape was never about noise only. a great album... again! (fabian)

der medienkonverter
hinter dem namen des neuen synapscape-albums "again" fehlt eigentlich noch ein "of course!". unvorstellbar, dass tim kniep und philipp münch irgendwann mal aufhören, musik zu machen. dass ihnen die ideen dazu einfach nicht ausgehen wollen, zeigen sie zum wiederholten male auf einem neuen longplayer. das duo erfand bis jetzt auf jedem album das rad neu. fest stand sozusagen nur, dass es wieder ein rad wird. nun stehen synapscape also erneut auf der matte und stellen ihre innovativen qualitäten wieder unter beweis. "again" ist eine kleine wundertüte geworden, die einen immer wieder aufs neue überrascht. natürlich ist wieder industrial dabei, mit staubtrockenem, aber wuchtigem beat und tim knieps herrlich heiserem und geschrieenem sprechgesang. in "who painted my cat black" trommelt der beat, tim kniep schreit und die welt scheint in ordnung. "stuck" wird sogar noch noisiger und verzichtet gänzlich auf melodie. doch dann folgt "countercroque" und die welt steht kopf. weg ist das geschrei, weg ist der noise, dafür gibt es sphärische synthies und chilligen rhythmus. doch schon bei "ahuenna!" prasseln die beats wieder wie paukenschläge auf einen hernieder und der song bewegt sich zwischen industrial und electro. den industrial bringt beispielsweise "alone" wieder ins spiel, bevor ihm bei "requirement" erneut das licht ausgeblasen wird. synapscape betreiben ein äußerst interessantes wechselspiel. zu ihren stärken, wie das aggressionspotential voll auszuschöpfen, gesellen sich neue, zwar mildere, aber nicht minder interessante. das duo hat ein paar sounds aus den 90ern wieder ausgegraben, reiht leicht verrückte melodien aneinander oder macht im fall von "core" sogar gleich einen riesigen schritt in richtung electro. immer wieder für eine überraschung zu haben, die zwei. "again" klingt immer noch nach synapscape, aber teilweise doch ganz anders. ja, sie haben das rad mal wieder neu erfunden, schon wieder. "again" halt.

auxillary magazine
the cover art is black and white blend of technical drawing and illustration over an orange background and the artist's name and album title are clearly displayed. it's not as cool a cover as the band had for positive pop, but it's fitting and looks decent enough. following up the 2007 release of now, again is another solid release from this long time ant-zen act made up of the duo philipp münch and tim kniep. the band has released a decent sized catalog of albums and eps and this is just as good as any of them. in again, synapscape has created another release for us that is an excellent combination of thud and thought. while other powernoise acts get caught up in delivering a pounding assault on the ears, synapscape pulls back a little and instead, mixes in idm flavored complexities in order to keep it interesting. tucked amongst the pounding and moaning bass are tiny gems of melody and sound design. repeated listens had me finding new interest points in almost every song. the sound creations which make up synapscape's musical palette are creative and engaging. when they all get pulled together, the harshest and most unnerving parts stand in the foreground while the subtleties of melody tickle your ear in an unobtrusive way. kniep's vocals occasionally appear but always to good effect. his vocal treatment is consistent throughout the songs on which they appear but the lyrics are repetitive; a perfect fit on both counts. "alone", in particular, stands out as a favorite. this track features a slow, plodding vocal progression that provides an excellent marriage of vocal line, low bass and high chirping rhythms with a sporadic, plunking synth. regardless that this album is more of the same from synapscape, again manages to avoid becoming stale or tired. (aaron andrews)

heathen harvest
let's hear it for teutonic techno-industrial. this is kind of retro, it really takes me back to my youth in the early 90's and finding cheap videos and cd's of all of the classic pop-industrial artists like skinny puppy, severed heads, ministry, fad gadget, kmfdm, and that whole vibe in general. it was a real mad max kind of thing, lots of guys with shaved heads wearing leather and yelling, sampled guitars and all manner of abrasively dance-y percussion. synapscape have that atmosphere in spades, although from pictures they appear to be very well-groomed and cultured gentlemen rather than post-apocalyptic heathens. for that style of stuff, this also features what i would consider to be a good handle on the more "upbeat" end of that spectrum, which of course draws on the great germanic pre-techno tradition of such virulent wotanic stock as harmonia, cluster, et al. the first two song titles show a healthy sense of humor, which is not unwelcome for this kind of thing, although the delivery is very straightforward and serious. the recording quality is very good and this record is suitable for use by dj's, in fact most of these tunes seem to be specifically designed with the dance-floor in mind. for the most part this is instrumental, and when vocals do come in they are in the tradition of industrial distortion-heavy mutter-rap like pop will eat itself and the like. the music is very modern, despite the somewhat retro style, and the developments in digital technology over the past ten years or so are evident in the complicated beat structures. the extraordinary booklet art depicts the machinations of an enormous and arcane motor filled with gears and tubes. it is a fascinatingly intricate bit of art that is credited to someone named salt. this is a very active release that definitely falls into the dance genre, but it is a varied release with lots of interesting segues. most of the songs end up in the realm of a steady dance beat, however, and almost any of these tracks would be a great addition to any dj's set, thick and interesting beats that could stand next to dance tracks of many different genres. it is all done with a distinctive euro-flair and the high level of quality that one associates with the ant-zen label. (vargr wulf)

they fell
it's been absolutely ages since i listened to any synapscape; what the hell took me so long? there is something undeniably and unashamedly retro about 'again' and it's almost like a breath of fresh air; drawing on just about every conceivable element there is under the industrial umbrella and a whole lot more reeks of vitality and a daring carefree gusto that is a pleasure to be party to, almost stepping on being genre-less as a result quite simply just going along at any given moment with whatever feels best with sheer abandon for convention. from the downright wax trax!-isms of the artwork right through to elements of skinny puppy, kmfdm and ggfh at their peak alongside elements of pwei and the like there is something just so refreshingly modern in all this albums backtracking that it is just what this scene needs right now; being the proverbial middle finger to a lacklustre generation of wool wearing, face munching drones that seem to have missed the point as to what has been missing for the last few years, carefully balancing itself on the edge of true euro dance music in a way that none of these people will recognise frankly. whilst delving into genre upon sub genre synapscape hasn't lost their technical edge either. each track is beautifully crafted with layer upon layer of folding different but latch-able elements, teetering off in one direction and sauntering off into other pastures at will, with this being what could just be their most accomplished work to date. all in all 'again' is a fantastic barnstorming breath of fresh air, a trip down memory lane and a huge marker on where the industrial scene lost ground; it's time to pick up the mantle again, and i can't think of anyone better for the job. (tony young)

chain d.l.k.
synapscape releases are still a welcomed and beautiful regularity - and "again" is no exception. the dynamic duo from bielefeld keeps on their long-year career with a new smashing album, but compared with the predecessor "now!", i tend to rate this new effort as being lesser accessible. their ability, to fascinate the listener with their extravagant poly-rhythm programming accomplished with tim kniep's heavily distorted vocal performance, is still unbroken. but the more they tend allow rather idm-related rhythm works to take a seat in their cadillac, the more experimental-minded they come out. it's nice to see, that they still have the ability to develop, but i found "now" generally more hitting the nail. good stuff on here too, the rather straight-oriented and with vocals supported tracks like "who painted my cat black" or "stuck" are favorites, while some others may tend to like those sick downbeat-tracks like "ring the bell" better. as for the instrumental tunes, i'll give out applause to "aftermath" with its pummeling kick and snare work. that rather like old dive-sounding tune "alone" impresses too. synapscape once again completely convince, although some hints on a more detailed concentration on idm-related structures seem to be integrated. their long and more than 15 years long career hasn't found a sudden end. let's see and listen, with which kind of evolution they'll surprise us next year. (marc tater)

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