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CONETIK REVIEWS >>>


Carbon Electriq v2.0 - CD 2005

Gothic Beauty Magazine
ReGen Magazine
Side-Line Magazine
Sick Among The Pure
Virus Magazine
Synthpop.net
Smother.net
DJ Genesis / Texas Goth Productions
Gothtronic
Ground Under Productions
Chain DLK

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REVIEWS


Gothic Beauty Magazine
It seems the people at Nilaihah Records decided to fire up their time machine and bring fans another sonic treat from the future. Conetik's Carbon Elektriq, while a bit silly in name, boasts an interesting fusion of the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. As a matter of fact, this album has an absolutely excellent cover of PSB's "Heart" that stands out as one of the best covers I've ever heard of their material. The dynamics on this album are definitely meant to be heard in stereo, preferably at club-volume levels. It is instantly familiar and strangely addicting.

Poseidon - Gothic Beauty Magazine


ReGen Magazine
After being impressed by this Norwegian synthpop duo's preceeding single "Dead End" I was looking forward to hearing their debut album so I'm glad to report that it doesn't disappoint. As the title suggests, this is the second version to see the light of day, the first being a smaller scale release on Tatra Records, if memory serves.

Conetik's brand of synthpop sensibly incorporates a wider variety of modern musical influences uncer its umbrella; the house effects that grace the commercial and dancey duo of "I Got Away" and "Superfluous" as well as the light drum 'n' bass rhythms that work in unison with some effective synth riffs on "Turmoil" are prime examples of this, proving that sometimes synthpop and dance are not far apart. Furthermore the small but effective little touches and effects that crop up as the album progresses add a few inventive touches here and there which is important for any new band.

The opening tracks actually feel quite understated in that none of the tracks really jump out at you (with the possible exception of the cover of The Pet Shop Boys' "Heart" and that doesn't count) so it actually takes a few listens to get into but by the second or third go tracks such as the opening duo of "Elektronova" and the more solid "Nothing Is" feel like old favourites as does the solidly rhythmic "Believe Me", although that's mainly down to the leadline being a deadringer for U2's "New Years Day", so much so that I at first wondered if it were a cover.

It does, however, provide a timely reminder as to why "Dead End" was such a good choice for a single as it sums up all that is good about Conetik, both musically and in Stain's vocals which are easily able to emphasise whatever mood the music is setting, be it the majesty of "Angel", the initially emotive feel of "Lovesong 1" (although once the rhythms are introduced this appealing mood is totally lost) or the initially sombre mood of "Straight And Narrow". Again the introduction of the rhythms brings a change but, thanks to the nice full sound, it all works far better here, adding to the feel rather than detracting from it.

To sum up, then, if the prospect of a punchier version of Wolfsheim appeals to you and/or you're into Mesh, Iris and the like then you should find this pretty appealing too.

Carl Jenkinson - ReGen Magazine


Side-Line Magazine
The Norwegian Conetik has been licensed to Nilaihah to re-release their debut-cd. 5 songs from the original album have been lost while 3 new songs have been added. The sound and style remain, of course, identically the same revealing a kind of cliché danceable melodious synthpop with some pretty cool cuts like "Dead end" and the sensual opener "Elektronova". We also get a cover version of Pet Shop Boys "Heart". Next, there's a heavier and more club-side revealing the "Superfluous", "Ghost song", and the groovy inspired "Turmoil" songs. I noticed a kind of breakbeat rhythmic, which works well on these heavier pop parts. This is a very acceptable debut!

DP @ Side-Line Magazine


Sick Among The Pure
Although Conetik formed in 1999, the Norwegian duo finally released their first full-length CD, Carbon Electriq, in 2005. Fans of Wolfsheim, De/Vision, Depeche Mode and other synthpop and future pop bands will love Conetik. Self-dubbed as "tech pop," Conetik breaks old sound-ground with new. Rhythms vary from the mellow melodic to infectious synth-ergy. But all the lyrics resound with the pulse of the heart.

Conetik creates an instant connection with the catchy, energetic "Electronova." I love the playful keyboards, the echoing vocals and the negative-charged chorus: "I shouldn't have been this blind / I shouldn't have gone this far / I shouldn't have trusted you / Shouldn't have let you in / You've got nothing to give at all."

You can't help but sing along.

Many of the other songs - "Nothing Is," "Superfluous," "Dead End," "Heart," "I Got Away," "My Recent Sins," and "Erratic" - inspire your voice as well. In "Lovesong #1," I like how the deep, breathy ballad briefly morphs and riffs into cyber-tech distortion.

Not all the tracks delight. "Angel" strikes me as too melodramatic and tonally lethargic, and the harmonious vocals stretch too high for my comfort. But then again Conetik sandwiched it between my favourite tracks on the CD. How can a song with barely a BPM compete for my attentions when "Dead End," released in 2003 as a single EP, and "Heart," a Pet Shop Boy's cover, thoroughly enrapture - on and off the dance-floor?

Conetik engages on an emotional, primal level. With its simplicity and melancholic beauty, Carbon Electriq has cornered some new fans in my friends and myself. I suspect not too long in the future Conetik will win the hearts of all the synthpop, futurepop, and tech-pop fans.

Tap into the electronic vein of Conetik and feel a thrum in your blood.

Sick Among The Pure


Virus Magazine
Oslo, Norway's Conetik attempted to distinguish themselves from the future pop pack with their debut CD on the Nilaihah Records label. They didn't distinguish themselves, but the CD is a solid effort, nevertheless. With the future pop genre, there are always going to be the inevitable 1980's synthpop and techno crossover comparisons. In this case, most noticeably, the Pet Shop Boys come to mind (check out the impressive cover of "Heart"), as well as a little bit of Depeche Mode and Underworld. So what's left once you subtract out the references? A few standout tracks such as "Superfluous", "Angel", and the brilliant "Lovesong#1". Without a doubt, this is an ambitious album, offering fifteen songs and nearly 69 minutes of music. However, this ambition also presents a problem, as there is a lot of music to wade through in order to get past a lot of average songs. Despite this, I still believe that Conetik will be an interesting band to watch in the future. They have what it takes to be successful: great vocals, good songwriting prowess, and a good sense of song structure and melody. It is just a matter of the band finding its own voice and exploring the music in greater depth. The album ends with the track "Straight & Narrow", a fine song; but the title tells the tale of this CD.

Michael Casano @ Virus Magazine


Synthpop.net
This is the North America release of Conetik's "Carbon Elektriq", released on Nilaihah Records in 2005. This is a re-issue of the original album, which was released on Angel Productions in Europe. The band is a duo, but they are quite reclusive, with very little information revealed about either member on the band's website. About the only information I could reliably obtain was the names of the two members, Adreas and Stain.

There is some difference in the track order for this version of the album, as it adds "Erratic", and removes "Lovesong#2", "Nowhere.Belong", and "Starlights". Having heard this cd in it's original release, and now in it's re-issued form, I feel pretty comfortable with the Conetik sound. It's upbeat, dancey and very trance influenced, but still very poppy as well. That's apparent from the opening track "Elektronova". "Dead End", "Superfluous", and the cover of PSB's "Heart" is still quite excellent. "I Got Away" is interesting simply for the expansive synth sounds used in the song, and "Turmoil" is simply a very, very catchy song.

"Erratic" is the newest song of the album, and it shows. This track is even more polished and impressive than just about any of the other tracks offered here. Simply excellent. "Straight & Narrow", being a slower song, might seem a odd choice to close out the album, but hang on. Buried deeply in the track after 8 minutes of silence is a unnamed track, which is actually quite entertaining.

Overall, this album stands nicely between a PSB influence and trance-pop. The re-issue does show some of the development that I felt was needed after hearing the first edition of this album, and Conetik has some very cool songs collected here. Recommended!

Jason Baker @ Synthpop.net


Smother.net
I've now heard what people will be listening to in the next century. Thank you Conetik. Futuristic sounding aside, Conetik delivers ponderous trance pop that is as poignant as it is commercially viable. That my friends is a rare accomplishment for any club-oriented music as 99% of the world's DJs and producers can attest. With dance beats that are 4/4 and sometimes other signatures to keep the rhythm kids in check, "Carbon Elektriq V2" is a magnificent entry into the wall of fame that is known as the Nilaihah Records roster. Norway has seen its fair share of great electronica acts in Apoptygma Berzerk, Zeromancer, and Icon of Coil just to name a few, but now add to that growing list Conetik who promise to further fuel the wonderful debate of "Best Import" for years to come.

J-Sin @ Smother.net


DJ Genesis / Texas Goth Productions
So if you've never heard Conetik, then you need to go pick up the album. So you've got synthpop. SO you've got futurepop. Well, now, you have TechPop as the boys of Conetik claim themselves to be. Conetik is made up of Andreas and Stain and are from Oslo, Norway. Some of the greatest deathmetal came from Norway and now some of the greatest electronic acts come from Norway as well. This is a mixture of trance and synthpop as well as club beats. If you're a fan of such bands as The Azoic, New Order, Covenant and, especially Wolfshiem, then you'll definitely like this album.

What's really amazing about this album is the fact that this is their debut album.

The first track, "Elektronova" starts the album off in a smooth but strong state of musical enjoyment. Stain's vocals are haunting as well as melodic all the tracks but in this track he brings his voice a little more up above the music to stand out.

Track 2 is one some of you may have heard me play at Mind Control Tuesdays @ Slider's Bar, "Nothing Is". The track is very smooth and the melodies are complex yet simple and very pleasing to the ear.

Track 7 is a Pet Shop Boys cover, "Heart" and might I say, this cover is awesome! Stain shows his prowess as a vocalist in this cover as far as I'm concerned. The percussion track is very much an upbeat pop beat and is very catchy and infects your neck and head with that head bobbing act.

Track 9, "I Got Away" just made me want to go somewhere and turn on some club lights and turn the Computer into a dance club. The main synth track on it is very catchy and I guarantee you that you'll start dancing no matter where you're at.

Suffice to say, this album is great and a perfect add to any collection. So many tracks are just great for listening to with your headphones on or booming over the system of a nightclub. It's rare to find an album that is all around crunchy and vitamin filled musical goodness like Carbon Elektriq. My suggestion to you all, get up off yer arses and go out and get this album.

DJ Genesis @ Texas Goth Productions


Gothtronic
"Their utmost goal is spreading their alien genes and thus gain total world dominion" is the only biographical information you need about this Norwegian duo Conetik. Their musical journey started already in 1999, but "Carbon Elektriq" is the first album to date. It's been previewed by the "Dead End" maxi single, earlier this year and a demo EP entitled "Superfluous" which was sold in a limited quantity on the 2002 Europe tour with Undergod and Zeromancer. The album is however mostly based on new songs, instead of re-recording old songs as we see so often with debut releases. It means the wonderful "Suzanne" and "Lost Control" are not included, but have to make room for the mediocre "nowhere.belong" and "Ghost Song". The live-‘hits' "My Recent Sins" and "Lovesong #1" are included though. This duo - or actually quartet, as they are supported by two unknown entities conektor and &%/%( - plays TechPop as they claim by themselves, which is categorically placed in between Underworld and Kraftwerk, but also shows links to the more ambient work of Moby, for example. It's very smooth, and even suitable to replace I-don't-know-who in the Top 40 charts, but certainly has its charms. Because of the slow, electronic foundation and Stain's dreamy vocals I can imagine fans of Wolfsheim would be more then able to appreciate this recording. Last thing to tell you is that this album counts 17 songs, including 2 intro's and a cover from the Pet Shop Boys; "Heart".

Eelco @ Gothtronic


Ground Under Productions
Norway has been a precious source for high quality electronic acts - think of bands such as ICON OF COIL, APOPTYGMA BERZERK, ECHO IMAGE, ZEROMANCER and countless others... CONETIK is a new discovery from the land of the Fjords and they already opened LIVE on the last Zeromancer tour! With ‘Carbon Elektriq' the duo delivers a breathtaking debut. Modern electropop-soundscapes, fresh and powerful, somewhere in between NEW ORDER, COVENANT or yet even the PET SHOP BOYS... With ‘Conetik' Infacted discovered another Newcomer, that seems to have all the ingredients to play an important role in the higher league of the innovative Electronic acts! Newcomer of the month in ORKUS' June issue, the band will be playing for the first time at WGT Leipzig and a massive tour as opening act of a famous electro act is being prepared... KEEP AN EYE (& EAR) ON THIS BAND!!!

Ground Under Productions


Chain DLK
By the turn of this century, dance music had become so generic that it is not even 'funny' anymore. That said, Andreas ("electronic stuff") and Stain (vocals) "began making music for a new breed of humans, living as dandys...," terrorize the world with their latest weapon called "Carbon Elektriq," a 15-track 'virus,' and called themselves CONETIK to assume the blame. Since I do not care much for hype - especially concocted by the duo to titillate their already screaming fans - I will not indulge you with "The Story of Conetik" -- buy the CD and read the comic-like tale for yourself. Besides, guys who wear those pair of sunglasses and a shirt with a stratigically ripped shoulder do not need unnecessary (written) affectation to be noticed -- COREY HART would be impressed, I'm sure.

"Dead End" is THE groovilicious of the bunch. The fashionably distant lyrics and "basic" (but extremely catchy) melody will definitely infect the listener like a negative mantra. I luv his vocal phrasing, especially on the chorus and adlib: John, one of the guys listening to this CD with me, gets a kick lipsyncing this song, while the rest of us howl and "carry on" (as in dancing). With the right music video - drenched in sweaty, young bodies doing their latest (old skool) aerobics like those found in the movie "Breakin'" - this track might even become a crossover wonder, and no doubt, the self-absorbed "circuit" clones will bump to the beat, for it will mix flawlessly to an almost neverending CHER megamix.

There are those who might even call "Nothing Is" a very mature song, but I will leave that up to you. Those 40-something "k-kids" will surely reminisce, mind you, because the flavor tastes as sweet as NAKED EYES' "Promises, Promises," but without the electric guitar strum, and the backbeat has been freshened up with that similar "Crazy Legs" by CASSIUS. This, however, is the closest to passionate singing one will ever get from Stain. True, he is no Bono, but who is, nowadays??? Even Bono (U2) does not have the same effect on me, anymore. Regardless, our boi-of-the-moment's technique, if one would call it that, is perfect for this machine-driven thump. Then again, they might surprise us on their next album, and "belt" the hell out of us a la MARTHA WASH.

"Heart" is "too faggy for Alan to play," as Michael helpfully declared it in "Boys in the Band," the film. Even if Stain's delivery, especially on the bridge section, is a limp-o-maniac, the accompaniment is still complete with blips and blops of LASSIGUE BENTHAUS, a vast improvement compared to the original Energy style -- thanks Andreas. Perhaps this is their inside-joke? Perhaps Stain is making fun of the PET SHOP BOYS? Perhaps his Norwegian accent caught up with him? I doubt i it since Andreas could simply delete the weak parts... Whatever their reasoning (blah blah), the singing is plain sloppy.

"Elektronova" is a danceable Tech-Pop, but I got bored with the oppressive, synthpop-like melody rather quickly. If you like GARY NUMAN's voice with a touch of COUNTRY WESTERN twang, then you will enjoy the chorus, I suppose.

"Superfluous" is a clever song, indeed; fans of Rave synthpads and arpeggio-driven songs will not be disappointed. "Ghost Song" is a tolerable Techno-EBM filler, but only in small doses. "My Recent Sins" will take you back, back to the days of JAPAN's "Tin Drum" album. The intro of the extra track reminds me of, but not as great as, THE CAR's "Heartbeat City"; nonetheless, Andreas got that New Wave thing down!

"I have heard it all before...," sang Stain, BUT despite this simple fact, the album works on many levels, mainly because the lyrics on the tracks, at least the ones I mentioned, are not overly pretentious, political, religious, nor anti-religious -- basically, this is your typical savoir-faire (to not dampen the party mood). And they are right on time!!!

DJ Vex @ Chain DLK

back to Conetik - Carbon Elektriq v2.0
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