CD Review – Dope Stars Inc.
Criminal Intents/Morning Star
Metropolis Records

Dope Stars Inc. don’t treat us with releases much too often, but each and every time they send waves through the cyber-industrial community and leave their mark. 2006’s Gigahearts is three years old now and still amazingly popular and inspiring. Their recent hybrid album Criminal Intents/Morning Star is living testament to that, gathering artists from multiple genres to remix the greatest tracks of Gigahearts and come to the rescue of those addicted fans who have listened to that CD so many times that it probably doesn’t even spin anymore.

CI/MS is hybrid because there are four new tracks on the release, each unique in its own way. They come before any of the remixed songs and give a slight idea of what can be expected on the new album. Dope Stars Inc. is one of the few bands that carries a distinct commercial attitude to what they do and still feel very much underground. There’s always an unmistakable hit (“Morning Star”) on their records, backed up by tracks that draw your attention and if that’s not enough they throw in a couple of killer remixes.

“Lost” is a brilliant song and you couldn’t imagine a better artist than Sacha Konietzko himself to reinvent it again. It turned out to be heavier and more pronounced, actually just like the whole release. CI/MS feels darker and more monumental, without losing an ounce of their trademark energetics. Just when you start making parallels with early Trent Reznor’s work, “Can You Imagine (Spiritual Front cover)” turns your view on the EP around. What it holds should be left as a surprise. The appearance of Mortiis is even a bigger surprise though, as we see him leave a mark here with dark ambient/martial industrial soundscapes. A special word to the remix of the same song by Violent Diva – it’s anything but amazing, if you’re patient enough.

Impeccable production quality, true talent, acknowledgment by the likes of KMFDM, Crossbreed and Mortiis. What else could you want?

by arceon

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