Tuesday 26 April 2016

Review: nTTx – 'Objective EP'

'Objective EP'

nTTx craft a classic blend of industrial-tinged ebm meats synthpop. The project is the work of Toronto-based musician Gord Clement formerly of Atomzero. With only a single in the form of 'Falls Beautiful', a compilation appearance and a handful of remixes for other artists nTTX's début 'Objective EP' has a lot of ground to cover in order to make its mark. But with a sound that melds the rhythmic expertise of Nitzer Ebb with the likes of Spetsnaz, Cryo, and Covenant it looks like a place on the dancefloor is pretty much guaranteed.

Musically the tracks sit around a pretty solid core of classic ebm augmented by nice synthpop melodies and harder more aggressive industrial elements added when things need kicking-up a notch. It's a solid formula perfectly crafted for the dancefloor and the four tracks here perfectly illustrate that.

'Falls Beautiful' takes the lead with a straightforward blend of steady dance beats, ebm bass, catchy leads and sing-a-long vocals that show why this was an obvious choice for a single. 'cRave' follows with a more industrial leaning feel while keeping that pure ebm core intact for another infectious cut. 'Bastion' feels harder still with the vocals getting a bit more distorted and some nasty guitar sounds cropping up in the mix. While 'We Kissed' pulls out all the feels for an emotional and melodic closer that rounds the original tracks off nicely.

The remixes included courtesy of Stars Crusaders, Caustic and Kiss Is Kill who all add their own take to the originals. But in particular its Caustics stripped-down 'Teknotronikon' mix and Kiss Is Kill's throbbing club mixes of 'cRave' and 'Bastion' respectively that really do something fun with the source tracks.

Production-wise the EP is really well-constructed. The album is true to its dance-friendly core throughout and particularly those who enjoy the old-school industrial and ebm hits of the 90s will be able to dig this with ease. It's punchy and fresh, has that nice classic edge without falling into the trap of trying to sound dated.

There are some great tracks here and a hell of a lot of potential. There are a couple of points where I feel Clement could push himself further though to make nTTX a really great act. One is in the vocals, which sound a bit safe and turn of the millennium and could be varied up in terms of delivery. The second point is illustrated by the remixes somewhat. The core ebm structure of the songs is again a bit safe and particularly the final two remixes just go to show how different they can sound if Clement were to get a bit more experimental. But on the whole this is a damn catchy bunch of songs that will undoubtedly get his foot in the door and it will be interesting to see how this translates into a full-length release.  

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