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Framework – Untold Stories | Review by Vox Empirea

The genesis of the Framework started in 1996 in Rostock, Germany, for initiative of Sigmund Droese and Andreas Lehmann, both animated by the desire to reproduce the typical dark-electro-alternative sonic models successfully proposed in that decade. By this synergy it arose in 1997 the first concrete result entitled “Hand On The Trigger”, or a self-produced single-cassette consisting in five electro/EBM demo tracks. The real evolution and rise of the project took place in 2000 when it introduced in its organic a third element, Daniel Konrad, with whom Framework sharpened more mature stylistic improvements becoming suitable for a good contract with the German brand Scanner, sub-label of Dark Dimensions. By this first subscription it had origin in 2002 the debut album “Reflections”, eleven electronics/electro/IDM/industrial episodes mastered by Kolja Trelle, aka the industrial/trance solo-act better known as Soman. Into this full-length we can find also the vocal partecipations of two guests from the German new wave band UNI.VERSAL, respectively Robert Frank in the song ” Warriors Of Time” and Manuela Peters in “Kill Switch”: the record received n a short time many flattering reviews encouraging so a fortunate series of gigs that contributed to the Framework’s consolidation with the Europenan audience. Despite the effective and growing reputation gained, into the band it occurred initially a period of stagnation, and then an unexpected division: in fact, Sigmund Droese was the first one to break away from the line-up, followed shortly by Andreas Lehmann who became the official vocalist of the famous Swiss electro-project Sleepwalk, supplanting in his role the outgoing Oliver Spring, he in turn included in the EBM/synthpop collective called Nine Seconds and member of the electro/industrial platform tEaR!dOwN. After years of silence, precisely in 2010, Daniel Konrad and Andreas Lehmann decided to re-establish Framework keeping their own music fundamentals of the 90’s, but adding to them the new concepts of techological sound, until reaching Electronic Body Music modulations together with synthpopish, darkwave, electronics and glitch elements: through this specific scheme and by a laborious, progressive exercise of improvement, the power-duo has deservedly been able to recapture the prestige, the self-confidence and the enthusiasm needed to finalize their second album represented by “[Untold Stories]”, the subject of this review by Vox Empirea. The tracklist, superbly mastered by Manuel G. Richter known by his electronics/ambient/downtempo solo-project Xabec and also to be with Gregoire Vanoli a member of the synthpop/EBM duo Underwater Pilots, includes thirteen songs, one of which created in collaboration with Nine Seconds, plus two wonderful bonus-tracks remixed by Disharmony and Talvekoidik; also important is the supporting label, the Italian EK Product, considered today among the best ones from the entire modern underground electro scene, which, as its good, long tradition, it publishes this full-length too in digipak format.

The title-track starts by the ethereal and totally instrumental intro “Non Ho Sonno”, formulated through infinite pads extensions and heavenly melodies broken by the rhythmical IDM asymmetries processed by drum machine, sounds anticipating the next song, “Sinners”, a dark-electro whose compactness originates from hoarse, testily vocals, surrounded by the icy embrace of synths and moved by the midtempo drum-programming scans. Similarly, “Scene Of Crime” flaunts an electro musicality obscured by synth’s cloudiness and rough vocalizations crossed by the robotic midtempo drumming, while the following “Mayhem” they active sequencer’s punctuations, uptempo drum-beats, exciting harmonies of keyboards and a guttural singing by which combination it germinates a dark-electro/EBM module strongly indicated for dancefloors. IDM/glitch recalls highlighted in the rarefied and fragmented sections of drum programming, loops, atmospheres electronically obscure, propelled by enchanted keyboard’s breezes and by contracted vocal tones, they form the structure of “Parting”, followed by “Submerge”, a track of great value in which the intrument’s coldness forges a classic electro/synthpop blackened by shady vocal melodies, dynamized by uptempo drum-programming and melodiously supported by a keyboard’s register, all this in a song of considerable interest for the alternative D.J.’s. The voice of the guest Oliver Spring embellishes the subsequent “No Shut Eye” uttering rancorous phrasing, as well as its midtempo rhythmical line, the sharpness of sequencing and the intensity of synths draw a sound that impels the dance, while in “Confidence” the pneumatic and rapid drum-beats, along with vivid keyboard’s transmissions and angry vocals always, they amplify the power of this forceful dark-electro track. “Before Dawn” generates a tense, restless climax, using the penetrating action of the chant which accents, perennially shaded by gloomy sentiments, they alternating with convulsive breaths, joining with them to the mechanical midtempo drum-programming and with the atmospheric suspensions of synths, developed a very danceable electronic musicality. “Walk Away” captures the listener through dark frequencies made by keyboards, by dry percussion’s fractionations, by sequenced impurities and by a vocal bitterness able to evoking moments of suggestive melodism, before the next song, “For A Lifetime”, in which the energetic uptempo layouts are combined with turbid, acid vocals that the singer extends between the intriguing touches of synth and the prolongations of pads, planning by these elements a formidable obscure-electro particularly suited for alternative clubs. In the version named “For Eternity” of the song “W.O.T.” they converge danceable midtempo percussive metrics and an abrasively melodic voice, which intonations they harmonize with the circular waving of programming and with the wraparound procedures of synths, waiting for the entry of “The End (Experience)”, a fully instrumental track, celestially symphonic, conceived by elegiac pads which chords they abduct, move, tearing apart your mind. The first of the two bonus-tracks is the remix of “Parting” reworked by the Slovak dark-electro/ambient two-men project called Disharmony personified by Robert Gajdos, aliasLord Sauron, and Riby: the song’s transfiguration deviates towards sophisticated electronics/IDM trajectories played by hypnotic downtempo beat-replications and rhythmical decompressions, by dreamy keys dimensions and vocal reverbs artificially modified; the epilogue is entrusted to the magnificent “Walk Away” mutated into “Tannhauser Gate Mix” version by the genius of Talvekoidik, alias the electronics/rhythmic-noise/modern-classical/IDM side-act of Kai Christian Hahnewald as well as member of the rhythmic-noise trio called S.K.E.T.: The track is deprived of its original schemes, completely recalculating its own configuration settling into a very elegant advanced-electronics/industrial form within which we highlight robotic phonemes, thundering downtempo percussions and a surreal orchestrations of keyboards.

The music created by the duo respects all main ’90 electro-culture dogmas, circumscribing their sonorities into the variable geometrism of Intelligent Dance Music and into the charisma of dark-sound, revealing an executive perfection and, most importantly, the ability to materialize it with exciting results. The tracks are compared in a space within which they interact rhythmics, vocals, keyboard’s conjunctures and extremely interesting technological-sonic artifices: everything listed here and now has contributed to building a solid album, “[ Untold Stories ]”, which connects listening pleasure, exhortation to dance and electronic refinement: all this and much more is the Framework effect.

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