Music Reviews

Artist: Adan & Ilse
Title: Birds Fallen From Heaven
Format: CD
Label: Unknown Pleasures Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Not Peter, Paul & Mary, but it took me a while until I discovered the throughout talented people behind this strange sounding project-name since there wasn't an info-sheet available. Initially, Adan & Ilse has started as a French Electropop-project consisting of Adan (Pedro Penas Y Robles - well-known for his activity under H.I.V.+), Ilse (Michel Lecamp = Usher / Ushersan, also part of projects like Norma Loy or Die Puppe). Newly Peter Rainman of People Theatre has joined forces to produce the music content, so from now on Adan & Ilse are acting as a trio. 'Birds Fallen From Heaven' is already the third album release under the Adan & Ilse moniker and it seems that these fine talented gentlemen would like to point out, that Synth-/Electropop can have a quite experimental note. Strongly inspired by some early 80s Post-Punk- / New Wave-productions this album differs a lot to your usual Synthpop-listening experience of up-to-date productions. While the music flirts here and there with glorious Kraftwerk-heydays and focuses to install as much as possible pure analogue sounds, the vocals itself and especially its kind of performance surprise and reanimate lots of remembrances on the early works of Darrin Huss (Psyche) for instance. Not every track lets the listener sink down in ecstasy but as a whole you'll get the impression to hold a perfect relic piece of art in your hands. Haven't it been such bizarre, never-before-discovered vinyl albums found in alternative record stores in our salad days, which brought up the satisfying feeling to have hunted successfully something special? 9 original tracks plus four quite remarkable foreign remix contributions are filling this album. Favourites, and as for my part I tend to name the more accessible tunes, can be named with opener 'Boys In Eyeliner', the hypnotic and dark sounding 'Kind Of Blow' (... have they installed a saxophone here?) and the bit harsher 'Skin (Succomb To The Bliss)'. The remixes and here especially the ones by Sonic Area on 'Kind Of Blow' and the one of 'By The Way' by Novo bring up a more EBM- (Novo) and Dark Electro-related (Sonic Area) side of the sound of Adan & Ilse. This is a nice soundtrack for a journey into the musically quite more innovative days of the 80's. It's doubtful if the youth of today is able to appreciate the effort, but generally this one reflects perfectly the sound which has been nearly forgotten. It is quite good and entertaining produced.
Artist: Vindicare (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: AnalogueTrash Records (@)
Distributor: Trashdigital
Rated: *****
After the release of the Scottish Futurepop-project Advance and the Hardcore-/Industrial-Powerhouse Syd.31 earlier this year, UK-based Electronica label AnalogueTrash Records returns with a two-track teaser of the DJ/producer Addz Milner. Milner has been an active part into electronic music in different projects since 2006. His Vindicare-project he has been established in 2011 and can be sorted into the wide field of Techno-/Psy-Trance-driven music styles. Although this 2-tracker can't be seen as relevant enough to finally judge on his talent and the quality behind Vindicare, Milner's talent shines trough especially with the original composition of 'Pathfinder'. It's a quite accessible tune with driving kick and snares, lots of cool filter runs, ominous voice samples and enough breaks to keep it diverse and layered. The original version offers more inspiration and maturity compared to the additional 'Club Remix' of the same track. The 'Club Remix' reduces the musically content on the most constant elements, bass-line sequences and rhythm-/percussion-work. This one works excellent in the clubs, although already the original version beats the hell out of the boots when the masses conquer the dancefloors. It's all in all a quite good and quality produced example in this special music style, which keeps the hopes high for a soon to be released full-length album.
Artist: Kyoka (@)
Title: Is (Is Superpowered)
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
A gust of cool wind on Raster Noton which manages to move the fronds of the tree that got tightly deep rooted on abstract techno grounds comes from Berlin-based Japanese producer Kyoka, the first woman in the ballistic roster that Frank Bretschneider and Alva Noto accurately built over years. The sonic spin doctors of Kyoka's third album are her label mates within Raster-Noton, Frank Bretschneider and Robert Lippok, who stretch frequencies and greases pawl and valve gears of an engine that seems skin-tight on the opening "Intl-A_Bin" and the following track "Flashback" where the removal of tarpaulin let prefigure and shine the gunky electromechanical sonoritiers through the first moments, but Kyoka's stylistical handliness becomes clearer when you keep on listening: even if she seems to add softener in the laundry where she centrifuges the harsher abstract techno of her mates, the balanced miscellany of ingredients that she adds into cloud of piercing frequencies, cleaving bleeps and smacking drums as well as a penchant for deconstructions are remarkable so that you could meet an unexpectable rap in the line-up of the chopped "Lined Up", otherworldy gurgling whispers and liquefied syllabic fragments in the aciduloud bolus of "Rot Neu", overstretched tie-rods and other industrial echoes in the captivating electro-house groove of "Rollin' & Tumblin'", a possible crossbreeding between AGF and Cibo Matto - ...and I'm quoting the NY-based Japanese female band not only for the inflection! - could be imagined while listening "New Energy Shuffle" or the amazing "Toy Planet" - the track where the concoction with To Rococo Rot and Bretschneider is well-rendered -. The triptych of track which features Mike Watt on bass follow: the hopping drilling and the radioactive saturations of Moonboots precede the amazing "Re-Pulsion" where Mike Watt inserts the funkier bassline of the album and the funny "Meander" where Kyoka's vocal chipping reaches its acme. The ablutions on UK acid pools of "Piezo Version Vision"a dn the gorgeous deep-house knottiness of the final "Mind The Gap" are the cherries on top of this excellent release.
Artist: Summed
Title: Left-Handed
Format: CD
Label: Out-ER (@)
Distributor: Rub-a-dub
Rated: *****
The first release that out-e(lectronic)r(ecords) decided to release both as a digital download and on CD comes from Italian young producer Filippo "Summed" Bologna. Labelling it as "experimental" is a little bit shallow as it doesn't say anything about the dexterity of this producer with drum machines and tech-ey loops: some tracks ("Operator's Dream", "As it happens") seem to have been recorded without the support of any recorded pattern, but by means of just fingers on the coloured buttons of drum machines, and many percussive elements could sound quite raw and inserted in the texture without any particular effect as they came out of the machines as their source is quite recognizable by all those who have a certain familiarity with drum machines, but it's not the most relevant aspect of this album. The most impressive aspect is the joyful and almost instinctive way that Summed follows to build enjoyable tracks and rhythmical vagaries that melt elements from house, breakbeat and electronic dub, whose glitches and funny "toytronic" strategies to unroll weird loops could surmise the attitude of some freaky stuff from Swiss dub shooter as well as some evergreen entries on Apollo. Many moments of this album could let you think Summed is playing drum machines as if he's playing against Rubik's cube, a playful approach which makes the listneing of some dubstep-oriented tunes interesting even if some reviewers consider dubstep already old-fashioned.
Artist: Response (@)
Title: S.O.S./Control
Format: 12"
Label: Ingredients (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of that kind of trapping sound which could turn blindness into a watchful eye permeates "S.O.S.", the title of the first half of this very good d'n'b shot by Mancunian dj and producer Nick Owen aka Response doesn't refer to the notorious Morse code distress signal, but to the so-called Son of Sevenless, a set of genes which has a key role in cellular signal transduction. Howbeit the tech-step-driven sound of this track could let you think about the rendering of the attempt of encapsulating a dangerously overwhelming pandemic till the moment when a voice mentions a violation of Section 409, which, if I remember well, is related to fiscal matters in the US Code. On the flipside, the dystopian contrails of the first tune procedes over "Control" a meaningful kicking 2-step tune, which depicts a computer-ruled monitored social system by means of sound. The sci-fi-like atmosphere could let you surmise it's a mirroring of an envisaged nonexistent hyper-reality, but are you sure it's more actual than you could imagine? Anyway, really good dnb shots!
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