Grandchaos – We suffer when the world changes | Review by Vox Empirea

Leading figure in the underground electronic music scene since the early-80’s, the young Russian Tcheleskov Ivanovitch began his artistic course founding with his brother Trevosky in 1982, the same year of their transfer to Brussels, the unitary cult-project called Ivanovitch Dans L’Ombre, both attracted by the post-Neue Deutsche Welle and later by the first EBM born exactly at that time between Belgium and Germany. Through their platform, Tcheleskov and Trevosky originated unusual, elementary sounds, orienting them towards experimental emission of synths with compact rhythms of drum-machines, all this supported by special visuals. The two brothers created in this way a succession of tracks exhibited during their appreciated concerts, select and later independently published in a series of self-produced releases anticipated by the 12″ vinyl-single “Dag Command Dust 17′” dating back to 1987, followed by a concatenation of productions recorded on tape-format: the Maxi-single of 1989 “Listen The Sound!”, the albums “2 Missing Madmen”, “Expose! Expanse…” and “Amok! Shock! Seque!”, all issued in 1990, the Mini-album “1 2 3” of 1992 and subsequently two works published on CD format by Galaxy Records – label connected to the Swiss home Urgence Disk Records – the Maxi-single “Trans Level” of 2002 and finally the 2005’s super remixed-compilation “In / Out”: in the twelve tracks of this release they highlight the important reworking by Bak XIII, Oliver Moreau, Metamorphose, Op.ale and Shizuka. In the year 1995 Tcheleskov however decided to pursue mainly a solistic career, choosing as its nickname the effigy Grandchaos, further optimizing the past Electronic Body Movement sounds and releasing officially in 2003 a first product by Galaxy Records, the five-tracks Maxi-single “La Forge”, followed in 2004 by a second Maxi-single published by the label Urgence Disk Records, “Ionize Me,” which also contains five episodes. The year 2006 was marked by the release entitled “In Sedens”, a spectacular anthology of seventeen songs belonging to Grandchaos except one, the homonymous “In Sedens” previously designed as Ivanovitch Dans L’Ombre. The long tracklist of this work is remixed by many electro-artists, divided into two CDs and published by the Denver based label Deathkon Media, converted since 2007 to Revenge Music: all the song’s structures of this release, burned by the American Brian Hazard – who’s the synthpopish solo-act Color Theory – are remakes by great electro names among them, for their high reputation, we absolutely must mention Bak XIII, Cobalt 60, Brain Leisure, Digital Factor, Skoyz, Armageddon Dildos, Plastic Noise Experience, Severe Illusion, Tyske ludder, Neon Cage Experiment, Ionic Vision, Panzerlab, Terminal State, Synaptic Defect, Disharmony, Last Influence Of Brain, Electro Synthetic Rebellion and Depressive Disorder. The Tcheleskov’s old-school EBM style, increasingly considered as one of the best on the scene, allowed in 2007 the completion of “Open Source”, the fourteen tracks debut-album published by the same Urgence Disk Records and mastered by the Belgian electronic musician Geert De Wilde. In 2011 Grandchaos issued, again through the label Urgence Disk Records, a remixed compilation of fifteen tracks, “Refuge”, to which they partecipated famous projects such as, listed once again for their notoriety, Tech Nomader, Signal Aout 42, Interfront, Bak XIII, Mono Electronic Density, Mechaload, Equitant and Operation Of The Sun. By the successive engagement signed with the Italian label EK Product, occurred in the year 2012, it was issued the second and highly acclaimed album “Rumours of My Life” – mastered by the Belgian d.j. / composer / singer Cedrik Fermont aka C-Drík – within which we list thirteen tracks, four of them enhanced by the voice of the Belgian guest-singer Jacky Meurisse – from the famous EBM-band Signal Aout 42 – and two remixes created by French projects, respectively the electro /synthpop duo Foretaste and the EBM band Groupe T.

We Suffer When The World Changes is the title of the new, awaited Grandchaos album published in 2014 in digipak format always by EK Product, sixteen songs shaped combining classical EBM elements with electro-80’s procedures, along essential segments of voice and effective new-beat / techno strategies. As consolidated habit, in this album too Tcheleskov uses the collaborations by guest-musicians, both for the singing – again with Jacky Meurisse in two songs – and also for the remixes entrusted to good exponents from the European technological music scene, finalizing so an electronic sound fantastically danceable and energetic that shows the progress achieved today by the Grandchaos platform, which was recently performed on stage in Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Belgium with the legendary Signal Aout 42. The opening track of the new album is “The Light”, a song built by cyclic midtempo drum-sequencing and elementary vox counterpoints dictated by Jacky Meurisse, in a whole of monolithic euphonies that solicit instinctively futuristic dances, while the following “Man On Fire” shakes the rhythm by linear pulsing midtempo beats and essential hatches of programming, all this connected to the chant gutturally transfigured and scanned with coldness by Tcheleskov. “Love And Hate” is an electro-song surrounded by hypnotic midtempo cadences that dissect robotically skinny synth melodies and emphasizing at the same time filtered vocals pronounced with dark iciness. Jacky Meurisse also sings in the subsequent “The Death Of You And Me”, incorporating the harshness, the obsessiveness and the gloom of his vocals to circular, decelerated electro-EBM modulations of sequencer and drum-programming, as well as the penetrating buzz that pre-announce “The Tempest” propagates its noise throughout the length of this track, contaminating it by phases of radioactive sounds, danceable midtempo b.p.m.’, by android-loops, vocals uttered with systematic inflexibility and by fluorescent sequencing replications. Urticant keyboard flows torment now the first chapter of “Pulse”, which midtempo percussiveness is reproduced by the historic Roland TR-909, an half-analogic drum-machine widely used in the 80’s: in this song’s scheme, the synth emissions they blend with the Tcheleskov’s telegraphic vocalizations, together with a corpus of electronic-noises and sampling. As many fast than the previous ones but tonally more supple, the percussions of the next “We Suffer” subdivide the time joining them to a danceable agglomerate of atonic vocals and sequencer, so as the rhythmical unity of “Memory Is A Poison” spreads midtempo intermittences and periodic emanations of sequencing, into an austere electro-EBM song overshadowed by the artificial and mono-dimensional chant of Tcheleskov. “Tell Me You Love Me” is a track oriented towards techno / EBM sounds, through perpetual midtempo drum-beats reduplications punctuacted by synth and by programming over which they dominate concise geometries of voice. The second version of “Pulse” is instead characterized by the use of another ‘cult’ analogic rhythmic-machine from the early 80’s, the Roland TR-808: its midtempo beats drag you to a very-danceable space of rétro-minded keyboard flashes and short as rigid vocal messages, anticipating the following and totally instrumental “End Of Transmission” with its electro / techno sonorities created by acid distributions of synths, spills of sequencing and midtempo drum-beats. The first of five remixes included the title-track is that related to “The Tempest”, reworked by the Belgian Techno Body Music / Nu Body / industrial singer d.j. and producer Ethan Fawkes, who adds more depth to percussions, underlining vocals stubbornly firm, dark, enhanced by the action of drumming and systematically placed in an hyper-danceable contest. Alex Jarlev and Tomas Kulberg, both interpreters of the Norwegian EBM duo called Atropine, they now remix “The Death Of You And Me” intensifying the suggestive keyboard background, the electronic sections and the obscure vocals, alternating extended uptempo accelerations and minimally rhythmed interludes. VV303 is the name of the Belgian industrial / ambient / darkwave / futurepop solo project which remixes “Tell Me You Love Me”, a song slightly slowed than the original version, in which the machines reiterate a gloomy, iron, dance-minded electro-sound full of alienation. The sound of “The Death Of You And Me” reveals very-remixable features, so as to be again object of re-work, on this occasion for the Swedish Kaii, Judas and Nik Beat, from the alternative-electro band known as # 366: A Live Lifed: this project, deconstructing the initial song model, converts it into an unadorned, spectral rotation of downtempo drumming crossed by voice trasfigurations with progressive sampling, electronic impurities and, further on, solid reinforcements of sequenced percussiveness. The Belgian brothers Jean-Marc and Pierre Pauly, aka the electro / EBM project called Parade Ground, they remix the tracklist’s ending-chapter, “Memory Is A Poison”, illuminating it hypnotically through incessant, regular synth harmonies, strong drumming and strategic arrangements for dancefloors.

This release is studied by Tcheleskov with admirable dexterity, demonstrating once again the intention to forge a different and representative style. The protagonist formulates a set of sounds in which it prevailing the hegemony of traditional Electronic Body Movement with the addition of specific transversalities that reveal unconventional enterprise and original ideas. Each song is meticulously planned emulsifying and aggregating specular, dark, megnetic vocals with instrumental metrics always danceable, claustrophobically repetitive and rigorous as futuristic marches, often embellished by minimal-techno details. Rendez-vous dedicated to authentic connoisseurs, enthusiasts and practitioners of the electro disciplines: “We Suffer When The World Changes” is your album and Grandchaos is your emblem.

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