3″ CD-R, Le Petit Machiniste, 2007
Previous forays into the world of ++99 (or “Doppelplus99”) had me believing that all there was to this industrial act was more of the same fast, crushing beats the scene has come to expect in the vein of artists like Winterkälte or Converter. I was, it seems, wrong. With “Weltverstrickung,” the freshest EP from this emerging act, the listener is treated to four mature, versatile tracks ranging from accomplished dark ambience that bristles with menace (“20rad steigend”), through cleverly modulated feedback patterns (“Social Sick”) and throbbing bass work (“Regressive Riot”), and culminating in the softer, yet still grinding, barely-held-in-check tension of “Atomtraum.”
Far more attention is paid to the growth of songs than on earlier releases; the tracks all build very well, although none climax particularly spectacularly. There’s also a greater attention to detail discernible, with incidental sounds and samples fitting into the whole rather than standing out as separate entities.
Sadly, while “Weltverstrickung” may represent a cleverer, better-produced selection than earlier releases on label samplers, it still offers very little that other industrial producers haven’t already done. Great potential may exist for ++99, but this is limited to a very small target audience where creativity often suffers for dancing appeal’s sake. The intellectual ability exhibited on this EP hints at far greater range than mere industrial can fully appreciate, and my suggestion would be for ++99 to explore other realms of electronic music before settling too deeply into a comfort zone of distorted percussive processes.
— David vander Merwe