Music Reviews



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Artist: SEMION
Title: Sex, Death & Repetition
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by Semi0n , Limp Sidney, Wilhelm Stroker and the mysterious Captain Shitébeard, Semion deliver their first E.P. on MOMT. Available as download and CD-r, the E.P. has four tracks that mix post punk, dub and electronics. The band isn't afraid of experimenting and if the opening "Die with dignity" is a vibrant post punk anthem sounding a bit like early Killing Joke of "Are you receiving" the closing "I think we're dead" is a cool electronic dark electro tune. Eclectic and energetic, Semion are a band to follow!
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Artist: Zebra Baby
Title: W.A.R.
Format: CD EP
Label: ITD (@)
Rated: *****
Warning, nasty music’s aficionados! An over-excited Zebra Baby has escaped from its forced New York shutting up in order to crop all the grass of your musical kitchen garden; this mischievous pet has been conceived by a fiery musical liaison between Ali Ramos (what a wonderful name for a dj and producer coming from the criminal-junkied up Oakland, one of the most nice city in California and even of the city in the world having no south quarter laying on the lovely Lake Merritt) and the cheeky singer Char Johnson, whose sexy vocal skills have been spread in the electro-discoid glittering planet by the famous dance-hitter Hustler by the renowned electronic dance act Simian Mobile’s Disco, whose romantic set was Char’s apartments on Washington Heights. Much to my annoyance, you’re going to make a mistake if you’ll consider this project just another collection of eggy rumble-like buzzing noises and bleepy sounds or just a musical yawn pong, as Zebra Baby’s neighs are blended with breaks inherited from the tradition of the contemporary electronic hip-hop and some nice sound samples all over the play-plot; this Ep issued by the German independent label ITD includes three nice tracks showing ZB sound: the nasty +1 features licentious whinnies (warning: explicit recommendations for cuties denying the existence of sun&moon shines), a phat jumped brass &bass pattern, bizarre inserts of oriental choruses and a bewildering gamelan-ish xylophone, while the next (healthily provocative) track, Jumbo, has a more classical rhythmical riding nicely textured with laser-like sounds and a slight of vintage on heavy bass dubby lines. Propelled by a slice of offensive wantonness as usual, W.A.R. is surely the track I prefer for that abstract sense of balance between a certain vintage taste combined with some trigger-happy dj’s artillery on beat pattern, whose wicked make-up by Chris De Luca (one leg of Funkstorung) could stand as a body of evidence of the appeal of ZB sound with mixer’s possible divertssment! The Ep also includes a booty-breakin remix of +1 by the Bavarian Schlachthof Bronx (Man Recordings), pulverizing the original version and ideally checking pulsations of the pet with a funny trickery game on nice chirpy pulses, but don’t miss the more obscure dubstep-like Booty D’s remix of Jumbo (just on digital download version of the EP) as well as the bizarre way of performance Zebra baby’s going to set inspired by their nippo-Swiss friends Tim & Puma Mimi, based on the funny usage of Skype’s technology (a dj performs on "real" stage, while the singer performs through the wire by using Skype’s videochat!), you could enjoy on Zebra Baby’s myspace! What a wonderful world!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Danza Meccanica - Italian Synth Wave 1982-1987
Format: 12"
Label: Mannequin Mailorder (@)
Rated: *****
Covering rare or unreleased tracks of Italian synth wave bands, DANZA MECCANICA have already sold out the 500 copies available from the label (but you can find some copies through mailorders all over the world like at Anna Logue Records) and it will be reissued in CD format with bonus tracks. The ten tracks of the album cover mainly the first half of the 80s decade (only "The Story of The Death Boy" by XNO has been released in 1987 and it was into their MLP printed by Supporti Fonografici) and span through synth wave sounds with goth influences (the aforementioned XNO), minimal wave (we have Victrola's beautiful synth melodies of "The mutant glow", Janitor Of Lunacy with a song coming from the compilation tape released by VM fanzine plus Carmody with "Vulcani", a song from one of their demos), electro synthpop (the Monument's version of "Veiled lady" you can find here is an outtake from the MLP "Age" and has the Simmons drum sound that characterized that record) and electronic wave (we have the great dark atmospheres of Vena, Intelligence Dept. with a song from their demo, Chromagain's "Wake up" is an outtake of their MLP "Any Colour You Like" released in 1985 by Supporti Fonografici, Tommy De Chirico with the B-side of his single "Open your eyes" and Lisfrank's dark electronic sounds are here represented by a different edit of "Identity"). All the songs are great tunes and represent very well the Italian underground wave of the 80s (and in this case Alessandro covered a lot my city as Carmody, Tommy De Chirico, Monuments and Chromagain were from Torino) but be ready for more, because Janitor Of Lunacy, Chromagain and Intelligence Dept. will see full length releases out this year. Watch out for more!
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Artist: BUZZ (@)
Title: Cyberclash Live @ Aligre FM-Paris
Format: CD
CYBERCLASH is the newest Buzz's album and it contains a live recording of a short concert they did for a Parisian radio station called Aligre FM. Formed by Dragan Vujcic and Jean-Christophe Van Thienen, Buzz are a French band active from the mid 80s to the end of that decade. They passed through different line-up changes and recorded some 12"s for Danceteria during the late 80s and self produced several releases as well. Reforming in 2006, the band participated to different compilations and self produced compilation and remixes albums. CYBERCLASH gathers, with no overdubs or remixes, eight tracks coming from the past history of the band such as "Kennedy" from their 1986 12" as well as "Berlin" from the "Sexe" E.P. plus new tunes they recently wrote. Live, Buzz, sounds like a cold synth version of Skinny Puppy thanks to their vibrant guitar riffs and obsessive synthetic drums rhythms. You can check some of their songs at their myspace page at www.myspace.com/buzzbiz
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Dante's Kitchen
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Rated: *****
Originally released back in 2004, DANTE'S KITCHEN is the last album of the reissue series and this edition has all the songs of original release plus the four bonuses that were issued on the Russian print. DANTE'S KITCHEN is one of the best Attrition's album of the new millennium as its ten tracks are structured like a concept album where the female/male vocal duets are supported by the sound of a tormented violin played by Rafael and by upbeat synth bass lines. Sounding dark and sensual tracks like "Two gods" or "Dante's kitchen" were ready to become instant band's classics. Inspired by Martin's personal life facts (you can read the interview I did on that period on this very magazine under the interviews section) DANTE'S KITCHEN tells of a trip down to hell where the kitchen is everyone's everyday inferno. The first time I listened to the album sometimes it recalled me the latest Clock DVA because of its ambience and because of Martin's whispered vocals. The bonus tracks are three interesting re-visitations/remixes of "The head of Gabriel" (Philip Hickman, Pablo Sonic Terrorist and Empire State Human reworked it giving to it a tribal orchestral ambient arrangement, a gabber sound and dark electro wave mix) and a re-assembled acid dark electro version of "Dante's kitchen" by Sveldt.
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