Inject This! REIN Reveals Debut Album

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REIN live at TEC 006
REIN live at TEC 006 (Photo: Aga Slobodzian)

Emerging from the Matrix, high voltage cables still wired to her nervous system, REIN is Reincarnated.

Source code has been rewritten. New subroutines have been programmed. Hardware has been upgraded.

Close DNA analysis reveals an inheritance of EBM, but new styles have been spliced into the twisted double-helix. The result of engineering together with Carli Löf, there are signs of glitch, house, rave and pop in the new sequences. Nitzer Ebb and DAF can fight over paternity, but under the glare of quartz-halogen strobes it is clear that something new has taken shape.

REIN’s evolution has been accelerated. On “Reincarnate,” an ominous introduction gives way to a frenetic rhythm and a manifesto of rebirth. There are stabs reminiscent of 1993’s “I Want Your Body,” reinvented for the age of organic computing. REIN’s vocals kick up the cortisol levels and send your chips into overdrive.

“Release Me” finds a classic hoover patch retooled and repurposed for the modern dancefloor, but there is nothing predictable about it. A consistent theme of REIN’s writing has concerned the need to achieve freedom and authenticity; and she tears at the ties on Reincarnated with intent and confidence. As we noted in January, when “Closer to Reality” was released as a single:

She confounds and exceeds expectations; refusing to be put into anyone else’s box. Rein casts off her chains and takes new forms just as music writers start to close in.

A track like “Reactivity” couldn’t have been written by the shouty men of the EBM scene. They might stare in envy at the harsh stabs layered over Kraftwerkian rhythms, but the shifts into Ciccone territory would never have entered their minds. REIN’s acid disintegration of musical styles breaks all boundaries.

This summer’s hard-edged single, “Bodyhammer,” is as solid as reinforced concrete. With its references to the cult cyberpunk film, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, and its crashing metal and growling bass, it is a dynamic, driving statement of intent. “Inject me!” she demands, and with this in your veins nothing can stop you.

Gears change for “Dystopia,” which explores broader landscapes more closely allied to Bill Leeb’s Delerium project. REIN keeps the tension going, while the pace slows enough to take in the sonic spectacle of a psychedelic rainforest. The Earth needs change, too.

Then it is time to “Accelerate,” and REIN’s bass programming comes into its own. Like a funkier version of Kraftwerk’s “It’s More Fun to Compute” or TAG’s “Broadcast Test,” the song transports you to an alternate dancefloor with a solid groove and gated vocals. A contender for the next single, surely.

“Off the Grid” made us sit up with its sparking, intense hooks. It still has the power and presence to see off those who would try to box REIN in. Cyberspace cowboys can’t keep up with the scattered packets of data that reassemble when it is time to move.

REIN’s first proper album ends with “Limitless,” but it is clearly the jumping off point for new things without compromise or contrition.

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