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act 83 · converter · shock front · cd

1st edition. extra heavy metal packaging in clear jewel case. deleted
2nd edition. cardboard booklet. still available

converter is the brainchild of scott sturgis, an ohio based one man electro-consortium and also the force behind the project pain station. converter investigates the industrial field, without denying its roots. his debut features ten tracks of hard hitting, noise tinged electro-industrial that reflects scott's growing interest in such rhythm-driven sound and represents a mature work in the same vein as other artists of the ant-zen family as p·a·l, imminent starvation and noisex, as well as well known rhythmic noise innovators like dive and esplendor geometrico.

"shock front" is loaded with infectious, and penetrating rhythms begging to light the way to the dancefloors. tracks like "conqueror", "shock front" and "denogginizer" assault the listeners with a mutated strain of machine-driven rhythms and a turbulent downpour of torrential electronics which create an infectious hybridization that demands movement on the dancefloors. bombastic rhythms are coupled with tweaked synths to create an atmosphere of distorted aggression and the burning fires of this inferno will show no mercy in their relentless attack on your senses. sturgis creates paranoid, intense and threatened atmospheres incorporating elements of power noise and analogue electronics. the result causes anger and frustration, a battering of synths with distorted beats which pound out a message of rage and pain. the force behind this project is stronger than any avalanche and is reinforced by a wall of impenetrable percussion on nearly every track. the listener is baited and lured into the labyrinth of soul-penetrating anthems driven by electronic abuse and violation. after listening to this debut you feel like you've just witnessed the death by electrocution of the world's most evil mass murderer.

with the release of "shock front", converter will place itself on the forefront of the so called power noise movement in one single step and proves how complex and massive this music can be. a project to watch out for, not only for its musical talent, but also for what it will do to the U.S. industrial scene.

"shock front" will be followed by a vinyl release of unreleased material and remixes entitled coma on hymen records

converter. coma. 12" 33rpm. hymen ¥014
dream converter, nix, deadman (perdition), reflex, denogginizer (kill the brain), coma, impure, material.

tracklist:
conqueror, shock front, cannibals, spirit shield, coma, sacrifice, memory-trace, deadman (perdition), denogginizer, sadist

converter homepage
hymen homepage

reviews:

orkus, april 1999
und wieder schickt sich ein neues projekt an, den industrial-techno-olymp zu erklimmen. scott sturgis aus cincinatti/usa und sein neuestes kind converter kann man guten gewissens als typischen, wenn auch mit einem gehörigem maž an eigenständigkeit gesegneten vertreter des genres bezeichnen. der sound des einmannprojekts klingt erstaunlich vielfältig und überraschend europäisch. mr. sturgis zeigt eine hervorragende begabung für abwechslungsreiche rhythmen und effektvolle, industrielle soundkreationen; und vermutlich auch durch seine erfahrungen im dark elektro-bereich bedingt, erweisen sich sämtliche stücke als aužergewöhnlich komplex und atmosphärisch dicht. interessante tempo- und rhythmuswechsel und die abwechslung zwischen brachialen, tanzbaren und ambienten passagen machen das album "shock front" selbst zu einem echten tip für entspanntes hören im trauten heim (und das kann man wahrlich nicht von allen acts aus diesem bereich behaupten). allerdings kommt der dj mit einer ganzen reihe potentieller clubhits trotzdem voll auf seine kosten. fazit: olymp erreicht! converter ist für mich auf jeden fall einer der vielversprechendsten newcomer im technoid-industriellen komplex. die bereits etablierten kollegen aus der alten welt sollten sich schon mal warm anziehen, um dieser schockfront paroli bieten zu können.

the new empire
converter. shock front. cd
this is the latest release from ant zen (act 83) and presents us a project of scott sturgis, who is well known as the mastermind of pain station also. but converter is not dark-electronics with some noise and ebm-elements like pain station. it is pure, technoid rhythm noise. the album shock front is one of the best maybe even the best ever made for this style of music. the cd itself is heavy several hundred grams and comes with two steel-plates instead of the normal paper-cover. a very cool idea and the first reason why you should own this record. heavy like the cd is the music on it also. 10 powerful noise-tracks await the listener with rhythms that go directly into the brain. they unleash a power unknown before and make your body shake and tremble with the strong demand to start dancing wherever you are. everything begins with the first tunes of "conqueror", the first real dancefloor-smasher on this record. the song begins brutal and noisy, develops into a brachial rhythm, transforms into a tensional loop and erupts after 2:53 with the speech-sample "become master of the universe" into a violent rhythm-inferno. i love it. the title-track "shock front" is dominated by a complex, developing rhythm-structure that slowly goes through a metamorphosis from painful to hellish beatz. one of the later samples used sounds a little bit like the distorted version of a sonar-ping we all are familiar with from the various submarine-movies. my favorite track is for sure "cannibals" (not only because of it's title...). the song starts with some looped white noise and scratching sounds, creating an immense tension that is slowly smashed by hammering noises. it reminds me of a steal-bulk under heavy tension that is about to burst into two parts. it is only interrupted by a speach-sample "all obsessed with the taste of flesh". not a song for the dancefloor bur the most intense on the whole album. "spirit shield" is next. it reminds me a little bit of "the war against the machines" in the terminator-movies. strange atmospheric sounds like the voices of a ghost in a abandoned factory are covered by weird and metallish rhythms. the sounds seem to be created randomly sometimes, but you can still follow the overall-structure. all in all a real quiet track. if there wouldn't be minute 5...the track explodes into an sound-inferno of heavy beatz, the desperate cries of tortured souls and then collapses into the again quiet end. number 5 is called "coma" and is almost a techno-track. listen to this rhythm! if he had used the normal drum-samples and not his unique noises, we would have pure techno. but it wouldn't be "converter" if it would be as simple like that. additional parts make the song interesting as usual. "sacrifices" follows and brings us deep, bassy rhythms and sounds like from an assembly line. track 7, "memory-trace" sounds somehow like the noises made in the machine-room of a star-ship. the monotone beating of the engine, the scratching of the metal, the rocket-fuel pumping through the pipes. an atmospheric and relatively quiet track...all 9 minutes long. "deadman (perdition)" is dominated by a strange "pipe", playing an awful inhuman melody over a slow and painful rhythm like a march of the dead. industrial zombie tunes! the 9th track is "denogginizer" and another great dance-floor-hit. the funny speech-samples make the song with it's fast and technoid beat to one of the most remarkable tracks on this record. brachial dance-industrial in it's best form! the final track is "sadist" and begins with a scream and it would be sadistic to keep someone from dancing who listens to this track! a fast and brain-crushing rhythm forces you to shake your body! you just have to dance! you have no choice! this is the final argument of scott sturgis to convince every listener of the pure energy of his album and it is an powerful argument. i think with this track he wins the battle for sure. finally i'd say, converter is one of the most revolutionary releases of this year, an important masterpiece of rhythm noise and dark technoid music and as special bonus a cd with a very interesting packaging, so even people who don't like the music can buy it for their collection. scott sturgis shows us what he has in store and what the music can bring to us in the new millenium. coolness: 10 / 10. album of the month june 1999. (toxin)

review by downfall on rec.music.industrial
converter. shock front. cd
music has swiftly become a rather disposable thing in my day to day routine. an album is purchased, listened to a few times while writing, reading or gaming. sometimes it might even become the soundtrack to some obscure itallian horror flick whose acting is so wooden and dialogue so atrocious the only possible salvation for the stunning visuals would be life as a music video for music the director probably doesn't even know. after an album's initial use, it normally finds its way into the dusty confines of my cd rack to someday, maybe, but doubtfully, be listened to again. the latest release from ohio based scott sturgis, the man behind pain station, just won't let that happen. its monstrous beats, thick atmospheres, grinding white noise just won't allow it to fade into obscurity. it demands to be listened to. it absolutely warrants the utmost attention a listener could possibly grant an album. take for instance the beast that is "cannibals." the track begins with a haze of noise, from under which a smooth and stylish beat slips. slowly the track begins to throb and hum, grinding with a flare that few noise-rhythm artists manage to obtain. its not a dance floor number, by any means, but that's not really important. its hypnotic and stunning, and can not be denied ones undivided attention. sonar, eat your heart out. "spirit shield" is like an audio representation of a good horror film. the tension slowly, but surely, builds with dark, and disturbing atmospheres, that fill one with an unnamable dread and then, at just the right moment, it unleashes a barrage of violent and shattering sounds. the violence fades back into a silky world of frightening ambiance and then, once one feels safe it surges again, in its final moments leaving the listener shakened, but anxious to repeat the experience again. i count it as one of my favorite moments on the album. not one facet of post-industrial is safe from this noise monster. not even the dance floor. "coma" surges forth with a few jolts of noise and then settles into a nearly techno slant. pounding, danceable beats ease this track through its five minute duration. over top the beat a distorted, alien sound floats. the track goes through several transformations, adding layer after layer of sound, and shifting gears and keeping the listener completely off guard, never certain where the track will lead you next. if ever unleashed on an unexpected dance floor, it could conceivably leave behind a trail of broken and shattered bodies begging for another dose. one of the most intense and aggressive moments comes in the form of "deadman (perdition)." it starts out nasty with an extreme wash of noise, and only gets nastier. the noise takes shape and forms a very firm and well defined pulse like rhythm, around which distortion, weird noises, electrical shocks and floating, eerie keys surround. at moments the track nearly collapses into a wall of undecipherable noise, but it quickly strives forward and maintains a recognizable shape and form. it's an amazing track. this is, quite frankly, a great release and a must have for anyone into the power noise scene, and could easily serve as a gateway into the greater, underground noise rhythm movement. it's easily right up there with the finest releases put out this, or any other year. that would be considered quite an accomplishment, for any artist, but it's even more amazing considering that, under his pain station moniker, sturgis has already put out the best of the year contender "disjointed." with this release, scott sturgis proves that he's one of the most important artists working in the post-industrial field and deserves every single word of praise lavished upon him . hopefully, with this record, scott will not only achieve an even higher critical stature but greater financial reward and status of master of the universe.

deadwyre
converter. shock front. cd
picture a documentary filmed after a nuclear holocaust. picture images of total destruction and annihilation. picture a world dead and gone, with a dark sky, the sun blocked by dust. now imagine the soundtrack. if any music were to fit a documentary about the end of the world, it's the music of converter. heavy, gut wrenching beats laced with aggression and distortion blend with eerie and harsh noises. abrasive, to say the least! scott sturgis is a master when it comes to percussion, and this converter cd is no exception. extremely creative and complex beat structures make this cd stand out beyond any other power noise or electro act. there are no vocals (with the exception of a few dialog samples), so don't expect to sing along. a must have. get it now, or else. you have been warned. ross. rating: 5

sqid
converter. shock front. cd
converter is another project of scott surgis of pain station. this time, the sound can only be described as noise-core. intense pounding beats is the basis of the music, which comes at you unrelentingly, mixed with statik synth work and a few samples. converter almost instantly won my affection. this is fucking great shit. dance floor oriented noise electro industrial is quickly becoming my new favourite form of music, and converter is definitely in the top of the genre. there is a fair amount of variety in this album, although at the same time, not straying too far from the noise-core root. conqueror (track 1), shock front (track 2) and denogginizer (track 9) are heavy dance floor power-noise. coma (track 5) adds a middle eastern feel in a way that just works so well. there are songs that have a ambient-power-noise feel, as oxymoronic as that may first seem, forming a chaotic world of anger that seperates you from what you have come to expect from a musical experience. there have been some who link the sound of converter to other noise-core bands like sonar, but i feel this is unwarrented. converter lacks the repetition of sonar to begin with. converter definitely has its own sound, and it's incredible.

seven
converter. shock front. cd
meet converter - the creation of scott sturgis from ohio, also famous for his project "pain station". "shock front" is a symphony. a symphony of the world of the machines. there is nothing human about this disk. it doesn't mean that "shock front" lacks emotions - this album catches you and won't let go till the end leaving you drained and overwhelmed with feelings. it creates images of incredible complexity and power that sweep you off your feet. this is a lot of what i have been searching for in the noise movement - the density of sound that matches the sound density of metal guitar-driven bands but surpases them in complexity and even aggressiveness. a lot of noise acts of today become annoying and repetitive when artists get carried away with pure technique. they become too experimental and their tracks become just studies of sound, not music. shock front never becomes annoying and you never know what to expect next. this is not beautiful chaos of autechre and not menacing ambience of gridlock; this is not abrasiveness of sonar or violence of imminnent starvation. converter is all that those bands lack. converter is definitely influenced by all of them, but not by what they have, rather by what they've missed. everything that you thought those bands left out of their compositions, scott added and created his own unique mix. every track on the album is unpredictable. there is no way to describe a single song as "aggressive" or "ambient" or "danceable". every single track will change from white noise to chaotic machine ambient, from almost danceable machine beat to ripping sound of crashing structures. there is everything here, but nothing you have heard before. there is nothing human on those tracks. every single moment is the life of the machine told by the machine. these are not human emotions that are being described. the music itself is completely unique. distorted percussion, cracking torn synths, harsh noisy beats that sound like overprocessed guitar, harsh white noise, pulsating dark beats, ripping breakbeats, torn drilling noises. the unique constantly changing mixture. from machine ambience filled with white noise to crushing exploding barbaric rhythms. the track might start with dark chilling emptiness and stay like that for 5-6 minutes before it explodes into 2-minute chaos. some beats are unexpectedly torn and broken, reversed and smashed against your face; some stay with you throughout the track, others appear once for a second and leave you wondering if you really heard them. every track is a journey in itself and you never know how and where it will end. "shock front" is one of the most futuristic releases in its vision of the future and the technoid culture. this is converter, and you have been warned.

review by eleet on rec.music.industrial
converter. shock front. cd
a few items i've picked up lately that i've been enjoying immensely: converter - shock front. awesome. brutal noise loops, caustic soundscapes, culminating, driving, pounding, stomping rhythms. the title track is my favourite ÷ incredible.

sonic seducer, juli, august 1999
langsam aber sicher schaffen es auch acts aus dem rhythm noise sektor, sich in den musikalisch sehr konservativen elektro-club des ruhrgebietes zu etablieren, also an jenen orten, an denen der musikalische horizont selten weiter als von f242 bis prodigy reicht. daž dies weniger das ergebnis geschickt eingefädelter label-promotionen, denn der verdienst einiger weniger djs ist, läžt hoffen, daž sich hieraus mehr als nur ein kurzlebiger trend entwickelt, von dem auch converter profitieren könnten. eingepackt in schweres metall finden sich auf "shockfront" zehn distortion-gewitter, die mancher schwachbrüstigen pa ernsthafte probleme bereiten könnte, aber dennoch ein differenziertes klangbild liefern. daž dabei zudem auf lyrische plattheiten in form von vocals oder sprach-samples verzichtet wurde, rechne ich converter zudem als grožes plus an. anspieltips: das gängige technosounds ins lärmige überführende "coma" und das bruitistische "sadist".

bodystyler, juni 1999
"converter? nie gehört!" - kein wunder, ist ja auch neu. nicht mit perwoll gewaschen, sondern durch den sampler gedreht. rhythmischer industrial im stil von noisex, imminent starvation, p.a.l oder dive (gab's sowas nicht schon zu oft? nein, so nicht!), und in diesem bereich schon jetzt auf jeden fall eine meiner persönlichen "cds des jahres", die hier seit tagen in einer dauer-schleife der heimischen anlage rotiert. "the master of the universe", scott sturgis, dem ein oder anderen eventuell schon von seinem projekt "pain station" bekannt, macht hier genialen krach, verwendet "dezent" samples, bringt rhythmus im vordergrund, klangflächen im hintergrund. techno-anleihen im nebenschauplatz und erzeugt aužerdem ein unwillkürliches rhythmisches zucken im "tanzbein" des hörers, sobald man auch nur in irgendeinen der songs kurz reinhört. hier wird nicht einfach nur ein stück über 5 minuten durchgezogen und dann abgebrochen, hier hört man variationen, auch innerhalb eines songs. das ganze album ist dermažen abwechslungsreich, wie man es in diesem bereich wirklich selten erlebt, und ebenso selten habe ich bei einer debut-cd so gestaut wie bei dieser hier. achtung, nicht von den ersten drei minuten enttäuschen lassen, die post geht so richtig erst danach ab. schlicht und einfach "geil". ganz, ganz ehrlich. oder, um mal einen "kollegen" zu zitieren: "selten war mir ein kaufbefehl zu ernst".

black, sommer 1999
als ich diese cd aus dem grožen ant zen-packet in die hand nahm, erlitt ich fast wirklich einen schock, denn das teil war trotz jewelcase sauschwer ÷ kein wunder bei zwei dicken verzinkten blechplatten statt booklet und backcover! auch musikalisch überrollt einem die │shock front" und man steht plötzlich mitten in der schlacht des rhythmischen electro-noise-industrial. im gegensatz zu vielen anderen protagonisten dieses genres ist converter aber dichter und vielschichtiger, der trackaufbau erinnert sogar an songwrithing und die struktur baut sich immer mehr auf bzw. wechselt oft die richtung. bei vielen anderen künstlern besteht ja meist die arbeit in einem loop, der dann einfach auf 5 minuten monoton aufgeblasen wird. aus oben genannten gründen werden deshalb die recht langen tracks von converter nie langweilig, sind aber dadurch für die tanzflure meist zu lang und deshalb gibt es parallel die lp auf hymen. auf dem vinyl kommt converter nämlich etwas schneller und zügiger zur sache, wobei die lp nur zwei tracks und einen remix von der cd übernimmt, der rest ist neu bzw. unveröffentlicht. ich jedenfalls finde converter als das beste aus dieser richtung in der letzten zeit und wage zu behaupten, das imminent starvation ernsthafte konkurrenz bekommen hat! ps: übrigens ist converter ein seitenprojekt von pain station, deren zweites album │disjointed" mich schon im letzten heft zu begeistern wužte und ein interview mit scott sturgis findet ihr im heft. (m.f.)

flesh & wire, issue 3
power noise. is this a phrase you've heard before? if so it will, invariably be linked with the label ant-zen. shock front, converter's debut release, displays the awesome talents of scott sturgis, also known for his project pain station. in a similar vein to label-mates imminent starvation, converter are the cure for even the most apathetic industrial connoisseur jaded by the litany of sound-the-same e.b.m. bands.
this is not to say that shock front cannot be enjoyed by anyone who doesn't own the entire merzbow back-catalogue and a thesis on experimental music. sure there are experimental elements to this release but these are combined with infectious, danceable rhythms ans hints of e.b.m. styling. songs like coma have a noise element to them, but this is combined with smooth, punding techno beats making it extremely danceable. if not for the noise samples instead of drum beats it would be techno in its purest form. however, what makes it a masterpiece, rather than a nice danceable number, is sturgis's ability to mutate the sounds many times during a song, catching the listener constantly off-guard and taking them on a wild ride to god knows where. other higly danceable tracks include comqueror, denogginizer and sadist. there are also many slower tensionladen, atmospheric and dark tracks such as memory-trace. not a second of shock front's 70 minutes is waisted! with the use of intelligent samples (not overused which is a common mistake), sturgis has created a fascinatingly diverse release. for those of you who have already descovered and revel in the industrial subgenre of "power noise" this release is a must. and for people who have a love of bands such as front 242, funker vogt and front line assembly but are searching for something a little different i 100% recommended this cd.

side-line, august/september 1999
scott sturgis - aka converter presents with "shock front" his debut 10-track album. the ohio based sound manipulator cannot deny his evident influences from the european industrial rhythmic noise family. within the first moment you are submerged under a avalanche of terrorising noise rhythm flows repetitive at wishes. a wall of battered distortions recovers you in no time and seduces you immediately or forces your way to the closer safety exit. an uncompromising album lacking the depth and complexity band like p.a.l or imminent starvation can be proud of. converter found his way, up to him now to work in deeper detailsn to achieve the pain conductor he's been searching for on this debut. rough and straight power noise for die hardcore fans only... risk of lobotomy.

base asylum. issue 2
more often than not, when an artist releases an album of peerless sophistication early in his career, it's temporary. it's the flame of a star burning its reserves raw before collapsing, spent. so when i realized that scott sturgis of pain station had released disjointed as well as his side project converter's debut album shock front within the span of a year, my jaw dropped in awe. shock front is an excellent example of the best - yes, the best - which power noise has to offer. completely instrumental, its dark nature comes through in the form of explosive, barbed tints of muffled noise, chaotic bursts of static, and pounding, distorted percussion. sturgis pauses to take breaks throughout, using subdued, suspenseful ambient churning - sometimes concocted out of just manipulated static - for his momentary lulls amidst the barrage. everything from sonar-esque hypnotic grinding in "cannibals" to dancy violence in "coma" to a mesmerizing, grinding melee in "spirit shield" comes into play throughout shock front. sturgis' new war machine converter lays the smackdown not only on perhaps any 1999 album thus far, but also possibly on the entire ant-zen backcatalog. here's hoping the man has it in him for more. [mihir tendulkar]

spectrum, issue 3
converter is the noisy, rhythmically annihilating half-brother to the doused in darkness industrial disarrey of pain station, both fathered by scott sturgis. opening with the seething rumble and squeal of angry machines, "conqueror" is then stomped under the heavy percussive footsteps of giants; once the percussion kicks in, an exercise in slingshot rhythms dynamics overlaid with a coat of fuzzy distortion, the relentless assault is on and there is no mercy to be had. "cannibals" devours the speakers via a rabid steel-brush scouring of an unknown machine upon which raw metallic rhythms continue to chomp and grund, chewing, digesting and excreting in cannibalistic glee. "sacrifice" gnaws in a subtly abrasive mode, rhythms multiplying as the track progresses, joined by hacking static and an exhalation loop, as if the machines are alive-so much of this incorporates the machines as a sentient entity, as if they really are alive! (and then there is the humming beehive towards the end of the track, an image of bees the size of dogs, adorned in a metallic armor, fervently buzzing, attack impending...) "memory trace" resides in a vacant alley, the ambience of acid rain corroding iron fire escapes and steel garbage dumpsters. "deadman (perdition)" scalds the senses with catastrophic eruptions of noise lubricated with machine oil and sweat, fuelinjected adrenaline and blood pulsing through the metal pipe tunnels of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. ther percussive typhoon presented here fits perfectly into the harsh ant-zen sonic mindset, seeping into power electronics, but with purpose and a rhythmic foundation. comes in a metal "booklet" (two slabs o' metal, my friends) encased in a standard jewel-case, most appealing; the weight feels good in my hands, and perfectly compliments the enclosed music.

ultime atome
la division blindée du label de regensburg comptait quelques solides éléments tout-terrains dans sa colonne : p.a.l., synapscape, noisex, hypnoskull ou imminent starvation pour ne citer que ceux-là. mais ant zen est bien décidé à fonder l'international relou, d×t ÷il employer les grands moyens. comme par exemple l'appel en renfort du mastoc converter, en provenance d'outre atlantique qui signe ici son premier cd, " shockfront " dont le design se résume à deux grosses plaques de vrai métal, histoire de concrétiser le contenu sonore, tout en sobriété mais avec efficacité ! est ÷ ce parce qu'il a grandi , perdu comme un con dans le trou du cul de l'ohio que scott sturgis, le gaillard derrière converter, se montre à ce point en colère ? bon, c'est vrai qu'il y a de quoi. du coup, maintenant qu'on lui donne l'occasion de s'exprimer, ce sont pas moins de 70 minutes d'un electro indus quasi torrentiel qui nous sont vomies à la face, engloutissant tout ce qui c'était fait dans le genre auparavant. ce sont nos saxons préférés qui doivent l'avoir mauvaise ! car seul imminent starvation semble pouvoir à priori s'en tirer, usant de son mythique " lost highway " comme planche de salut pour glisser sur cette vague de ferrailles à peine dégluties. vous l'aurez compris : garantie sans une once de finesse, jusque dans les titres vraiment craignos (" cannibals ", " sacrifice ", " sadist "), la musique ( ! ? !) de converter est à écouter très fort, le nez dans du béton frais et les doigts de pieds dans la prise. a noter que les meilleurs trax, sentant bon le groove technoïde (si, là, derrière les effluves de mazout et de zincĚ), comme " coma " et " deadman " se retrouvent sur support vinyle avec 6 inédits : c'est " coma e.p. " et ça tourne sur hymen, exprès pour les dj set les plus timbrés. et puisqu'on parle de harshbeat, rappelons l'existence d'une désormais copieuse collection de sillons labourés à la démineuse avec ruelgo (" vorace e.p. "), silk saw (" this time it's war "), tunnel / hypnoskull (" dark beat planet / react amno ") ou encore sonar (" cosmic rays ") : tout ça chez hymen, donc, label pour lequel il n'y a plus qu'à imaginer le dancefloor. a vos platines !

wet-works
rhythmic noise never sounded so lovely. "shock front" is pure ear candy and towers above most other releases in the power noise genre. scott sturgis of pain station is behind the sonic attacks and grinding mechanics of converter. pushing his machines to create fantastic voyages of dark, isolated soundscapes, "shock front" is relentless in it's presentation and utterly fascinating. the opening track, "conqueror," sets things off right with brain crushing percussion and various machine noises. another absolutely frightening track is "spirit shield," which instead of crushing your senses, relaxes them with some dark ambience and later surprises you with a burst of aggression that will have you gasping for air. converter is drastically different from what scott is doing with pain station, as it should be since this is a separate project. "shock front" comes encased in two metal plates and is heavy as hell, not something you would want to drop on your foot! fans of winterkalte and imminent will dig "shock front" immediately, while others that aren't so fond of the power-noise genre will have a hard time listening to it. "shock front" is filled with pure industrial rhythms mixed with some surprisingly ambient undertones that have you listening over and over again trying to find new things. "shock front" is one of the strongest, if not, the strongest releases to date on the ant-zen label. bring on "blast furnace"! (gunhed)

surface
converter legt mit "shock front" eine cd vor, wie man sie auf ant-zen eigentlich erwartet: knochig-krachiger industrial der härteren sorte. die verzerrten sounds sind an sich keine absolute neuheit und in meinen augen gibt es zwischen den tracks auf dieser cd und den momentan angesagten tanzflächen-industrial krachern kaum unterschiede. positiv in diesem zusammenhang sind die plötzlichen breaks und rythmus-wechsel auf dieser scheibe, gleich beim opener "conqueror" vorgeführt. beim titeltrack gibt man sich etwas gemächlicher und highlight ist unter anderem der track "coma". fazit: converter setzen erst bei mehrmaligen hinhören eigene akzente, die sich aus der industrialmasse abheben, aber tanzflächenkracher für industrialfraktion sind hier reichlich zu finden und bei einigen songs scheut sich converter nicht, mal die krachigen beats durch krachig-melodiöse strings zu ersetzen !

recycleyourears
"Shock Front" is heavy.
First, the music is a masterpiece of saturated instrumental rhythms, with, on most of the songs, very fast tempos and crushing sounds. Second, the atmosphere of this record is very dense. You have no time to think, this is music either to kill or to dance to (unless you just want to scream). Third, the booklet consists in two (very) heavy metal sheets, inserted in a normal CD package (advice: don't let it fall over your other CDs!).
Converter is a new project by Scott Sturgis, also known as the creator of Pain Station. With "Shock Front", this american musician has chosen not to present us dark-electro anymore. This is pure industrial. There is absolutely no un-saturated sound here, and you neet a lot of imagination to find melodies here.
As a matter of consequence, it was more or less natural for such a project to be signed on Ant-Zen, home of Imminent Starvation, PAL or Synapscape. Speaking about Imminent Starvation one can percieve a very strong influence of this band on Converter. The main difference, I would say, between those two projects are the fact that instead of disturbing you with new and bizarre sounds, Converter choses to crush you to pieces with saturation. I don't know how Scott Sturgis manages to get these sounds, but they sound less techno-minded that Imminent Starvation's, and reminds more of bands like Winterkälte or Decree. Anyway, the result is not for people looking for sweet melodies. It's very easy to understand that this thing has been done without mercy to the listener, and the title of this CD fits very well the content.
Extremely powerful and "pleasant", this is a must buy for fans of the trendy saturated rhythms genre, and definitely something to have in 1999. A major piece of work, ready to equal major industrial bands of nowadays.

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