Album Review: The Plan: A Tribute To Mak



It's a beautiful thing when a community unites together, and a tragedy that the unity is one of grief as well as celebration. So it is that dozens of artists have contributed to an incredible tribute to the Godfather of Goth. Mayuan Mak founded the world famous temple of love and acceptance - the longest running Goth nightclub in the world in the form of Slimelight Elektrowerkz. This club is a shining beacon of acceptance and unity for all alternative culture. It was a real honour to stream Cyber EVM 2.0 in his honour very shortly after his passing, and it is an honour now to review this four album tribute.


Each album comes with a beautiful PDF dedicated to his legacy and with words from each contributing artist.

Let us all remember to honour his legacy and continue to support his closest loved ones left behind..

 

The Plan is a tribute compilation to celebrate and honour Mayuan Mak, the founder of Electrowerkz/ Slimelight London who sadly passed away on Wednesday 9th December 2020.


All proceeds from this compilation will go directly to the venue.

 

Review


The album opens progressively with some deep atmospherics from the first three bands, foreboding and heavy with the weight of the concept of the compilation. O C O S I then bring about a sense of pre-show excitement, that kind of track that plays before a band takes to the stage as the crowd hush and the lights dim, excitement tense in the air.

Xotox give voice to the not so silent agony we all feel with 'Silent Shout' to then give way to an upbeat track with comfortingly soothing lyrics as they bring a real sense of celebration to life thanks to Mechanical Cabaret. Naevus then treat our senses to some deep poetics exploring the human machine.

Proyecto Mirage change the direction completely with a track somewhere half way between heavy machinery adjusting and a bee hive rave swirling together in techno intensity which makes for a really enjoyable sensation.

Das Fluff then bring some harrowing spine chills with their track featuring the old duck and cover atomic bomb infomercials. It magnifies the dystopia now and the futility in escaping death. It is a fantastic track.

The distorted guitars of Leech Woman strikes hard like an industrial version of Slipknot, it is chaotic and the vocals are satisfyingly aggressive. Metalogue change direction again with an atmospheric and tense cyberpunk beat putting me in the mind of a gearing up for battle sort of montage.

Mono No Aware combat tribal dance through modern electronic powernoise and Kirdec take us on a weird and wonderful psychedelic trip. Inkubus Sukkubus bring the glorious metal riffs backed by impressive string sections and powerful female vocals with some very poignant lyrics; A truly brilliant track. S.K.E.T include the famous tank in their song title and really smash home that 90's old school dark tech disco feel that sums up Slimes wonderfully. Finishing off is Natura Est with a deeply touching and calming track that allows for reflection on the beautiful life that was Mak.

Somantic Responses open this one with a touching piece that sounds akin to mechanical butterflies fluttering in time to a heartbeat with Mothboy then bringing in some Cyberpunk laser 2077 vibes.

Ash Code treat us to some old school Goth darkwave alongside elegant synths. Winterkälte provide some chonky yet crisp noise that gets your foot stamping.


The Heresy Gene include the clip from Star Trek: Generations, with a great line taken from the poem, 'Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day,' by Delmore Schwartz. The line being.. "They say time is the fire in which we burn."

This track is a great psytrance offering that was unexpected but very welcome especially as it includes samples of lectures the likes of which you usually find in these psytrance gems of sound.


Greyhound bring us back to the ambience of powernoise in an impressively energetic boot-grinder. The Ghost Of Lenora then bless us with that signature old school Goth slap bass the likes of which The Cure often used. HIV+ sounds brilliant with headphones as their track cascades around the insides of your skull. Morgenstern and Claus Fuss play us out with some almost tragic and sorrowful pieces.

Starting this one off we have This Morn' Omina with an eerie yet mind opening tune that feels alive and breathing in its vibrancy. Jettenbach then provide quite possibly my favourite track of the entire compilation. I was reviewing this album at work and this track took me on a journey that was difficult to come back from. The vocals talk of nightmares and it hits a deep, vulnerable place in the soul. It is a masterful slow and beautiful piece that feels almost otherworldly. If you listen to but one song on these albums, let it be this. (If you're in an okay headspace that is)


Flux provide some great dark techno stomp intermixed with powernoise and Machine Rox bring in some much welcomed synthwave-esque love in a catchy earworm. Empirion throw in a flurry of electronic beats and Heliosis bring about a touch of dubstep. Most of this particular album feels like an experimental amalgamation of noise and synths which makes for a rather interesting mix of tunes.


Rather noticeable on this album is Julia A Katarina and her track 'Mawtini موطني My Homeland' A middle eastern sound and atmosphere makes for an incredibly poetic and touching experience that touches every listener in the same sense of connection with Slimelight being their 'Homeland'. A wonderful addition to the compilation that was completely unexpected but fits so very well. A true testament to the truly diverse and safe place that is Slimes for each and every attendee. Peace be upon you.

Detritus open the final album like sitting through a cold sunrise, its breath-taking but ultimately hits with a tense sorrow.

The Devil & The Universe blindside us with a dramatic dance fest of energetic and meaningful frenzy.

Tribes of Medusa throw in some post rock vibes that are touching and emotive in in the simplicity of the track, almost like a deep but calm ocean.


A string of techno tracks that touch on a deeply personal level now starting with PF who add some super stompy techno that beats right down to your core. John Faust brings a layer of chillout to the techno with easy listening but energetic none the less.

Eva|3 provides a real journey of atmospheric techno with some incredibly majestic female French vocals. Asche make you clench your jaw tight with their grinding machine techno and great audio sample that leaves you wanting more; and finally in this string of deeply connecting techno we have DSTR bringing about a chilled electronic wave that has great lyrics that work so very well with the concept of the album and the remembrance it seeks to provide.


Electronicat is another track that sounds great in headphones with its electronic acid trip of exploratory sound venues. Klangstabil pair perfect poetry for Mak's legacy alongside catchy and happy tones. Nature Of Wires lay out an great all round track of enjoyment with ideal beats and vocals.

Finally Jo Quail breaks our collective hearts once again with a beautiful string section the likes of which you would expect from Lord Of The Rings. It is a funeral-esque sound that brought multiple tears to my eyes as it played out softly..


Tracklist

I Will Be Lurking

Zan Lyons - Ashen

2nd Gen - 99 against 100

O C O S I - Dead Cell

Xotox - Silent Shout (Very Special Version)

Mechanical Cabaret - Little Joys

Chapters of Reality - Did We Die

Naevus - The Mouth Song

Proyecto Mirage - Big Holy Machine

Das Fluff - We Must Obey

Cervello Elettronico - Metal

Leech Woman - This Is Parasitic

Metalogue - Cynosure

Mono No Aware - Nicht in Meinem Sinn

Kirdec - Muddy Path

Inkubus Sukkubus - Lost to the Darkness

S.K.E.T. - Tank on Torrens Street

Natura Est - Flawless Shore


There Is Hope

Somatic Responses - Moments Without Control

Mothboy - Blank Out

Years of Denial - Regarding the Pain of Others

Mark Hex - Gunter Grove

Aurelio Voltaire - Firestorms of Venus

Autoclav1.1 - Privacy

Dive - Insanity (Live)

Law334 feat. Choronzon - In Between There Are Doors

Ash Code - If You Were Here

Winterkälte - Love, Strength and Tanks (Mayuan Mak version)

The Heresy Gene - Timescape

Greyhound - How We Envision The Future

The Ghost of Lemora - Cabaret Queen

HIV+ (feat Barkosina YOD) - Nerfs

Alien Heart - Reabsorbed

Morgenstern - The Fall (Mak edit)

Claus Fuss - Thanks for This


You Never Know

This Morn' Omina - Star People

Jettenbach - Somniphobia

Edgewood - Hallucin_Ation Nation (Mak Mix)

Synapscape - What Are We Doing?

Gertrud Stein - 3000

Loss - All The World's A Stage...(But My Power Strips Won't Freaking Work RMX)

Flux - Sparkle (Nothing mix)

Thorofon - A Soul Bleeds Dry

Machine Rox - Follow the Beat

Empirion - What You Are

Heliosis - Halcyon

Luke Chaos - Prayer to Osiris

Non-Bio - Until the Dawn

Talvekoidik - Legacy Greater Than Life

Whispers in the Shadow - Forever 1985

Julia A Katarina - Mawtini موطني My Homeland

Tony Wakeford - Tanks for the Memories


Big Hugs:@)


Detritus - Arc

Othon feat. David Tibet - The Dreamer is Still Asleep (Mak Farewell mix)

The Devil & The Universe - Altamont Apocalypse

Black Light Ascension - Light in the Dark

AntichildLeague - Love Sucks

Supersimmetria - Et Omnia Vanitas

Tribes of Medusa - Failed Hope

PF - While Reading Le Bakchich

John Faust - Gozen Yoji

Eva|3 feat. Riotmiloo - La Memoire des Sens

Asche - Junk Clones (Happy Mix)

DSTR - Disappear

Electronicat - Dragway Star

Klangstabil - Pay with Friendship (Sonic Area remix)

Orphx - Undying (Live @ Kaos, Electrowerkz, London, 2015)

Nature of Wires feat. Madil Hardis - Through Someone Elses Eyes (Leaether Strip remix)

Jo Quail - South West Night


Conclusion


This is not an album that I can quantify in to ups and downs, good parts and not so good parts. Each track is an outpouring of grief alongside emotive cheers of respect for someone truly loved and respected in the alternative world. Each contribution is an expression of different souls paying tribute to one of their own and no one can, nor should they criticise or detract from these offerings. Each is beautiful in its own way like each and every alternative soul that was given a spiritual home where they could feel safe and accepted regardless of race, colour, creed, sexuality, lifestyle, or gender at the beacon of slimelight and the lighthouse keeper that was Mayuan Mak. This compilation is a touching and incredible tribute to the man who lives on through us all and will ever remain the brightest star in the night sky for all of us bats.


Scores


Technicality: 10/10

Dance factor: 10/10

Energy: 10/10

Vocals/Samples: 10/10

Re-play value: 10/10


Overall score: 10 / 10

 

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