From Laebel comes a disturbing, darkened meeting of the minds of two electronic music legends. The Stricken is the duo of Claus Larsen (Leaether Strip/Klutae) and Ian Donaldson (Bronski Beat). Our offering today is their self-titled collaborative debut.
From Laebel: “One best describes the album as a journey into a dark abyss of bombastic industrial sounds with aggressive yet poetic lyrics. Created out of love for the dark and fear of what is to come. Can best be compared to bands like Skinny Puppy, Delerium & Throbbing Gristle.”
The Stricken contains twelve individually and uniquely identifiable tracks that blend moody ebm and darkwave. None of the tracks in their present form are very dancefloor-friendly (although “Tools Of Hate” comes close) but then… none of them are very friendly in the first place. The Stricken is a very dark musically and lyrically thought-provoking record.
Vocally I’m reminded of my all-time favorite David Bowie album, Outside especially when it comes to the focus on content against the dark backdrop rather than rhyming words. But Claus’s unmistakable character glides over the music like a panther waiting to strike. With The Stricken however, the strike is slightly more subdued. Musically, while incredibly original, I’m reminded of the creepy feelings of Pure-era Gary Numan.
“Meet My Master” (see video below) bears an old school industrial vibe while “Men Of My Blood” is an extremely mood-heavy track that utilizes as some tracks do some layered minimal noise and industrial sounds in the backdrop. “Endeavor,” is perhaps the most perfect example on the album of the pristine production and should be most appreciated through headphones or earbuds.
The Stricken is not at all what you would expect from two legends whose histories lie predominantly in ebm/new wave. On the other hand, the fact that it isn’t….. should come as no surprise given this pair of genre-defiant boundary-pushers.
Highly Recommended: very dark and disturbing but identifiable on musical and lyrical levels. I hope for subsequent collaboration.
The Stricken will be available on or around March 1 on ltd. edition CD and digital download.
Claus Larsen (Vocal, Lyrics) – Leæther Strip / Klutæ / Am Tierpark
Ian Donaldson (Music, Production) – Bronski Beat / Sordid Soundz
Please check out our page for information on a fundraiser for Claus and Kurt: