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Portion Control – Dissolve Plus

by François Zappa

German label Vuz Records recently released a compilation on CD of hard-to-find material from industrial/EBM/techno act Portion Control. Most of the content comes from Dissolve, a multimedia CD-Rom released in 2004 which, to live up to its name, stopped working 66 days after being installed. Together with this, we have the tracks from the Stansted single released in 2005, and the EBM pioneers’ contribution to the Solar Enemy vs. Portion Control split from 2008. The compilation is completed with three more tracks, one from the third volume of the Belgian Independent Music Compilation and two that only appeared as digital downloads. On Dissolve Plus we find material released between 2004, when Portion Control made their comeback, and 2010, when they released Violently Alive. The cassette edition has been released in a limited edition of fifty copies by the Maneki Neko Tapes sub-label and is currently sold out.

The album begins with the three tracks from the Solar Enemy vs. Portion Control split. We remind you that behind Solar Enemy we could find the members of Portion Control who, after thinking that it was time to end the original band, took this name. Of the three tracks signed as Portion Control, “Barely Alive” is a new version of the Wellcome track and “Burning” and “Surge” are two powerful samples of the band’s EBM-flavoured electronica. After this, we can find the eleven tracks from Dissolve, which this time we can listen to at our leisure without fear of them being deleted. It was quite a varied EP with more experimental stuff like “Earl Blue” or “Tremor Cake Exit” or more direct tracks like “Meatball” or “Sonic Jack”.  The compilation continues with a different version of this last song that appeared on a CD that accompanied the Dark Entries magazine and that proves that this is one of their latest masterpieces. Next, the four tracks from Stansted show us the darkest side of Portion Control that it’s for me the best. Finally, two tracks of powerful EBM that came as a gift with the preorder of Violently Alive.

In short, an essential purchase for fans of the band, but also for those who want to know how Portion Control sounds in this century.

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