Ostalgia is Rhys Fulber’s second album for Sonic Groove following the success of last year’s Your Dystopia, My Utopia. Like its predecessor, it continues his interest in pushing new boundaries in industrial techno, with kicks and bass lines woven together with clinical precision to cause intense speaker pressure, and atmospheric synth lines that will dig deep inside your mind. The title and the original socialist realism mural on the cover refer to Ostalgie – a romantic nostalgia for the old but comforting ways of Communist East Germany – and a yearning for rigid systems after progression into the future has led to chaos and uncertainty.
While the music on Ostalgia is at times a reflection of that chaos and uncertainty, it also refers to Rhys further exploring his Germanic ancestry. And although the sledgehammer beats of 12 Steppes and Fission evoke Rhys’ previous work with industrial pioneers Front Line Assembly, he is not simply paying homage to his past musical escapades here. This is forward-looking music, not content with resting on any past ideologies.