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genCAB – II transMuter

genCAB - II transMuter

CD, Hive Records, 2008

The punishing beat of “Left Eyed Gemini”, the first track of genCAB’s “II transMuter” does not prepare the listener for what is to come. The harsh industrial nature of this short introductory track can almost be considered superficial in relation to the deeply emotive, painful musical oddyseys to come (although more of this rhythmic approach can be appreciated on “Frozenpause”, a mostly instrumental intermission six tracks on).
genCAB is very easy to listen to, however, despite this highly personal nature. Thematically, it veers away from electro/industrial clich├ęs like the celebration of wartime valour, irreligious ranting or science fiction sampling. Musically, it also defies convention, combining elements of industrial, electro and glitchy IDM, but without making any one element stand out as being the overriding influence. This juxtaposition of styles not being quite enough, genCAB also merge -quite successfully, I might add – two vastly different vocal styles. At times filtered through layers of distortion, at times synthpop-clean, genCAB keeps you guessing and never fails to disappoint.
Even the name, “genCAB” (taken from the words “generation cable”) can be seen as taking the original industrial and EBM ethos a step further: originally classified as angry white music made by a generation of teenagers with no greater glory to live for than career, family and death surrounded by fat grandchildren, the industrial movement was spawned by children brought up by television. This resulting lack of human contact stunted the emotional growth of an entire generation, giving rise to the dissatisfaction with conventional society that typifies most subcultures today.
So genCAB can be seen as a new evolution within the saturated, uninspired EBM-electro-industrial genres. Even though the initial impact genCAB has on a listener may not be massive, it is a lasting one that crawls beneath the skin and lodges itself there. My first impression of this album was not that favourable, but as I have listened further, the depth of emotion accessed by genCAB has impressed me more and more. While “II tranMuter” is not the best album I have heard recently, it is definitely brimming with potential, making genCAB a definite artist to watch.


— David vander Merwe

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