|1999 was the year that did not have as many impressive releases in the "conventional" genres of ebm/electo/industrial, but a definitely successful year for rising power electronics/noise scene. below I will try to give my version of 1999 results - top 10 albums and some other highlights - "year in review".
the top 10 lists starts with converter's "shock front" - the disk that brought together the best features of rhythm'n'noise, power electronics and ambient in one brilliant mix. scott made a unbelievable breakthrough into the noise scene, immediately gaining recognition and legions of followers.
ah cama-sotz was one of my biggest discoveries this year - with impressive number of releases and collaborations in 1999, band's "murder themes & terra infernalis" presented one of the best mixes of harsh noisy ambient and rhythmic distorted textures.
architect's (another haujobb's offspring) "galactic supermarket" is of the most brilliantly executed, intelligent releases of the year mixing torn drum'n'bass and minimal delicate soundscapes.
"circumflex" by somatic responses - an intense album filled with twisted harsh drum'n'bass blended with melodic textures.
imminent starvation's "nord" opened completely new dimension of music to the audiences with its rich mix of rhythmic noise and power electronics. olivier moreau released an impressive number of projects this year that have been brewing for some time - ranging from axiome and imminent starvation to ambre and torsion.
very anticipated "fun with razors" by velvet acid christ indicates further progress of brian - this time he incorporated more influences in his music while making the sound even more polished - a great club-friendly release, reflecting where the scene of dark melodic electro is heading.
the mysterious magic of passarani's "unspeakable future outbreaks" simply cannot be overlooked - pure electronic music, bringing back memories of vangelis mixed with sounds of modern technoid edge.
"further" by gridlock might have been a disappointment to those that expected something different from the duo, but this album is a strong follow-up for the brilliant "synthetic form" delivering the same complex and emotional sound. 1999 was a big year for gridlock as well with work on under, dryft and paste, as well as compilation appearances.
xingu hill released its first disk on hymen that perfectly matches the profile developed by the label. the hidden beauty of "alterity" reveals itself to the attentive listener - layers and layers of precise minimal sound manipulations and rhythmic ambient soundstructures.
deine lakaien releases yet another beautiful album this year blending together melodic darkwave, symphonic orchestrations and almost synth-pop melodies. charming and catchy, "kasmodiah" remains one of the strongest synth-pop releases in 1999.
the ebm/electro scene continues to progress despite the fact that many bands are leaving the genre lured by the techno influences. among the strongest releases in 1999 the ones that deserve mentioning include atzt+pfusch, feindflug, pain station, hocico, l'ame immortelle.
the power electronics/noise scene was incredibly strong in 1999 with releases from hands and ant-zen/hymen that put out an amazing number of quality recordings - winterkalte, orphx, ah cama-sotz, vromb are the ones that made it close to my top 10.
wumpscut's new offering became the biggest disappointed this year. one of the reasons being the fact that "boeses junges fleisch" was among the most anticipated releases in 1999. subsequent "ich will dich" single confirmed that "boeses junges fleisch" wasn't just a slip-up or a deliberate joke. rudy's sound became more polished but at the same time lost the emotions and harshness, the raw intensity, that was so striking on "bunkertor 7" and "embryodead".
yet another disappointment was new b-ton-k album. the contrast between originally brilliantly executed "semihum@nbeing" released on rudy's own mental ulcer forges and latest "2nd vactor" is almost unbelievable.
biggest discovery for me this year were bands on hymen label - this sub-division of ant-zen established a extensive catalog of exceptional releases.
releases by l'ame immortelle, ah cama-sotz, stratvm terror were among the top list of my personal discoveries in 1999.