CD, Infacted/COP International, 2007
From East Germany comes the 2nd full length long-player from EBM act Soman. Taking the moniker from the name of a toxic nerve agent developed by German biochemist Richard Kuhn near the end of the second World War, the deadly toxin is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous military weapons. That’s about as interesting as Soman gets.
The music element of Soman describes itself simply as “Industrial Music for Clubs” and that’s just what it manages to be – simply that. “‘Mask” contains 12 techno-driven tracks, their only purpose being to most likely serve intoxicated club-goers with repetitive 4×4 beats and lazy synth licks to bob their heads to while their minds wander off to sleep. With track titles like “Twister”, “Beatbox”, “Body Stepper”, and “Phonkey”, one can easily surmise the shallow premise of this ‘album’. In a last ditch effort to install a human element in this generic proxy of dances tunes, two tracks, “Mask” and “Eye to Eye”, feature the flat, flavorless vocal endeavors of Slimelight DJ and alternative diva hopeful Lahannya. All of the songs here shamelessly flaunt the techno blueprint so many have worked from. Each track offers nothing more than simple, mindless Electronic Body Music that will keep your head nodding, whether to the repetitive beats and yawn-worthy synth patterns, or in an effort to keep yourself from falling asleep.
I have to say, I enjoy most of COP’s releases over the past couple years but Soman’s “Mask” obviously left me feeling frustrated. Mindless dance music best kept for club DJ set-filler.
— Paul Nielsen