The electronic project VNV (“Victory Not Vengeance”) Nation was conceived in London in 1990 by Ronan Harris, debuting in May of that year with the 12-inch “Body Pulse.” “Strength of Youth” followed a few months later, and at the end of the year Harris relocated to Toronto, where VNV Nation opened for Nitzer Ebb on their Canadian tour. After moving back to Europe, Harris released only a handful of compilation tracks in the years to follow before signing with the German label Discordia in 1995 to issue the full-length Advance and Follow. Three years later, VNV Nation resurfaced on another German label, Off-Beat, an alliance which generated the LP Praise the Fallen as well as the EP Solitary. Empires, which was issued with another European distributor Dependent, and on Metropolis in the U.S., followed in the spring of 2000. Singles such as “Standing” and “Dark Angel” were club mainstays, boasting Ronan Harris’ love for pulsating club rhythms and his developing seascapes of dark ambient waves. Mix projects Genesis.1 and Genesis.2 followed that format in 2001, giving a sneak preview to VNV Nation’s Futureperfect. – Jason Ankeny
“On the one hand the term POPGEFAHR clearly stands for the kind of music that we write best – electro pop. The title gives people a first idea where the musical journey is headed”, explains Steffen, proud father of a strapping boy since New Year’s Day. “The album title is further meant to draw the attention to the new self-contained label. For others this might not be of such relevance, but for us it represents a big step towards even more independence. For me the term even carries a further significance. I cannot refrain from a slight irony with all the experience I have gained over the years, that in certain circles and scenes POP is considered a GEFAHR, German for danger. Pop is sort of a commercial sell-out; if I listen to pop music I cannot be cool etc. For this reason certain people do not really listen when, for instance, we release a new album. Our music is judged even though not one single note has been heard yet.”
On the new album danger impends only in form of DE/VISION typical sing along anthems. Since their early beginnings DE/VISION have been a band that has confidently stood out against the crowd with their extraordinary song writing qualities. “POPGEFAHR” makes no exception. In an almost feisty and flirtatious manner the album presents ten ambitious electro tracks, all of them rough around the edges but going straight to one’s head, at the latest when reaching the irresistible choruses.
The anthem-like opera “mANDROIDS” not only in its title merges human qualities with artificial intelligence, but turns out to be a musically coherent symbiosis of mechanical rhythms, electrified sounds and deeply human, heart-warming harmonies. The single “RAGE” on the other hand presents itself invitingly mellow; only to furiously protest with screeching-rasping sounds and distorted voice in its chorus. This interplay of emotions and sounds runs like a thread through this atmospheric album. Songs like “PLASTIC HEART”, the other single track “TIME TO BE ALIVE”, “TWISTED STORY”, “READY TO DIE” or “FLASH OF LIFE” seduce the listener with their compulsive catchy melodies, danceable rhythms and recurring nostalgic sound gimmicks. In contrast to that the tracks “WHAT’S LOVE ALL ABOUT”, “BE A LIGHT TO YOURSELF” and “UNTIL THE END OF TIME” come along as extremely lyrical pop pearls that bring out the high standards set by DE/VISION for this album. The intention was to pour in their positive experience of last year’s tour as duo with a pure electro set into the production process of “POPGEFAHR”.
“We just had a great time and decided quite early on to do the upcoming tour again as a duo.” Steffen recalls. “It would have been absolutely stupid not to make use of this concept. “POPGEFAHR” is an electronic album, which we are very happy to present live just as it is. Soundwise we put an emphasis on perfecting our sound universe and on bringing back the old virtue of composing strong, memorable melodies. In a way with “POPGEFAHR” we went back to following our instincts.”
It is right there that the ten pop diamonds infect the listener with a virus that sticks to the ear canal. An antidote has not been found …
Following up on their last year’s tour’s success with a pure electro set DE/VISION are going to bring “POPGEFAHR” onto the international stages in the same manner commencing spring 2010. They are further planning an extensive tour of North and South America for early autumn.