Stark Punkt" (Album, 2011) / "Voltage" (Album, 2010)"
Armalyte Industries ("Stark Punkt")/Advoxya Records ("Voltage")
‘Relentless’ was the first word that sprung to mind having listened to K-Nitrate’s Voltage. Christian Weber and Graham Rayner continue to explore an industrial sub-genre that very few others ever enter and even those familiar with the field would have trouble attaching a label to. Not that everything must be labelled, of course, but labels remain a useful guide to the unfamiliar. One hopes that those unfamiliar numbers will be reduced by the release of Voltage, the band’s third album, and its sequel (and to some extent companion remix album) Stark Punkt recently unleased on their new label Armalyte Industries.
Weber and Rayner themselves use tags like industrial, techno and EBM to try and pinpoint their special brand of noise. But on Voltage we witness K-Nitrate really coalescing around a truly distinctive and successful formula better than ever before. Here then are ten tracks of rhythmic industrial dance that manage to create a genre of their own and yet hangs together as a convincing proposition at the same time. What few vocals are utilised is often a textural layer as opposed to expounding lyrics that listeners are expected to pause and carefully consider. They add a worthwhile further dimension to some tracks but the emphasis throughout is firmly on the rhythm and beat and the interplay between the two. This is a long-running K-Nitrtate trait and one that, again, has reached the pinnacle of execution on Voltage.
The only act I think worth mentioning by way of point of reference, and this is less for what K-Nitrate actually sound like and more for the repetitive, dance-aware nature of their structural elements, is Portion Control. And anyone who knows what I think about Portion Control in recent years will understand what considerable praise that is.
Billed to some extent as a remix companion to Voltage, Stark Punkt continues the successful formula of its predecessor. Whilst there are overlaps, Datablitz (sounding a touch like Heimstatt Yppotash) here for Data Fix there, 9-11-7-7 a twist on 7-7-9-11 and a remix of Automatik Killer, much is new. So it’s better to consider this an extension of or sequel to Voltage rather than simply a remix album. Context is everything, and in the context of the club floor, Stark Punkt should see K-Nitrate getting more of the airplay and exposure they deserve. 7/10 and 7/10
Rob Dyer (November 2011)