Music Reviews



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Artist: Frank Tovey
Title: FAD GADGET by Frank Tovey
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Mute / EMI
Rated: *****
This is a 2CD/2DVD collection as a long awaited and need melange to praise one of the leading pioneers of electronic music generally, FAD GADGET aka Frank Tovey. Frank died too soon in 2002 after a heart attack and this documentary got selected with permission by his family, the Mute clan with Daniel Miller and several friends, band members and collaborators who did follow the extra-ordinary life of Frank through the years. A new 60 minutes long documentary with several explanations by among others Boyd Rice, Dave Gahan, Martin L. Gore and so on, live cuts, video clips of the thoughts and extravagant performance by Frank is surely the highlight of this collection item. The audio stuff of course features all relevant milestones of his unforgettable music career, "Back To Nature", "Ricky’s Hand" (co-produced by Daniel Miller of Mute – isn’t it not funny, how much sounds and ideas featured in this track got two years later used on a well known album named "Speak And Spell" by a young and unknown band called DEPECHE MODE???), the always used and still on airplay "Love Parasite" or the ordinary "Collapsing New People". But also his later career after Frank has decided to drop his FAD GADGET moniker and simply start to produce under his very own name. Besides the electronic content of his music he started to integrate more acoustic instruments like guitars, a banjo and some real drums. He has created to those days a modern kind of Folk music, which was highly underrated for sure. "Bridge Street Shuffle", the cover of a British classic "Sam Hall", or "The Liberty Tree" are for sure the outstanding pieces of his work. In 2001 he re-animated FAD GADGET to join DEPECHE MODE on their "Exciter" tour, 21 years after the days, when DM supported FAD GADGET on his gigs. Frank was a real visionary and true performer and it’s hard to pick up all relevant info in this review. For all of the younger people listening electronic-minded music I can only recommended to purchase this historical important item – you can learn a lot from it! A must-buy for the elders of course which re-animates the life and being of this unforgettable musician. Essential!

DVD DISC 1

Frank Tovey by Fad Gadget Documentary

TV performances and promos
1.Ricky's Hand (Neon, a short film by Alex Proyas) 2. Life On The Line (Karrussel TV performance) 3. Collapsing New People (Formula Eins TV performance) 4. Luxury (Karrussel TV performance) 5. Luddite Joe 6. Bridge Street Shuffle 7. Sam Hall 8. The Liberty Tree 9. All That Is Mine

Grand Union, a short film + hidden easter egg

DVD DISC2

Live performances: New York City Mud Club Coitus Interruptus

Hacienda - 28th Feb 1984 1. State Of The Nation 2. Coitus Interruptus 3. King Of The Flies 4. I Discover Love 5. Ideal World 6. Collapsing New People 7. One Man's Meat 8. The Ring 9. Jump 10. Ad Nauseam 11. Lemmings On Lover's Rock 12. Love Parasite 13. For Whom The Bells Toll 14. Ricky's Hand 15. Back To Nature

Whatever You Want 1. Intro 2. Coitus Interruptus 3. Sheep Look Up 4. For Whom The Bells Toll
Hotel Suburbia 1. Life On The Line 2. For Whom The Bells Toll / Interview 3. Ladyshave 4. Back To Nature
Exciter Tour 1. State Of The Nation 2. Ricky's Hand 3. Love Parasite
The Garage 1. Worried Man 2. Ricky's Hand 3. Collapsing New People 4. Chasing The Blues Away 5. Luxury 6. The Box 7. Ladyshave 8. Love Parasite 9. Fireside Favourite 10. Coitus Interruptus 11. Ad Nauseam 12. Back To Nature

CD DISC 1
1.Swallow It 2. Jump 3. Ideal World 4. Luddite Joe 5. Under the Flag II 6. Bridge St Shuffle 7. Sam Hall 8. The Liberty Tree (Single Version) 9. Cities Of The Plain 10. Chasing The Blues Away 11. All That Is Mine

Collaborations
Frank Tovey and Boyd Rice 12. Easy Listening - Ex 2
Mkultra 13. Immobilise

Unreleased tracks
14. A Place With The Pigs (theatre music)
15. Sleeper

CD DISC 2
Unreleased Demo Tracks 1. State Of The Nation 2. The Box 3. Salt Lake City Sunday 4. Coitus Interruptus 5. Back To Nature
Released Versions 6. State Of The Nation 7. The Box 8. Salt Lake City Sunday 9. Coitus Interruptus
Fans' Top Five 10. Back To Nature 11. Ricky's Hand 12. Ladyshave 13. Collapsing New People 14. Love Parasite
T emple X Tribute 15. Sorogui




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Artist: ROPPONGI INC. PROJECT (@)
Title: R.I.P.
Format: CD
Label: UnderIze Records
Rated: *****
This is the musically output of DJ Negative aka Sergey Losyakov who hails from Moscow, Russia. He presents us here with "R.I.P." which surely is meant a reference to the strange project name, his vision of electronic music and how it has to sound. Like several of his more or lesser known DJ colleges (ADAM X, GLENN LOVE...), also the music of _ROPPONGI INC. PROJECT offers a mixture of different styles which works well for the moment. Globally said there’s a decent EBM mood on this first debut CD and this is much appreciated. Not that Techno-inspired hardcore stuff of nowadays productions, more the finer kind of the old-school. But Sergey also understands it well to integrate some slower and more experimental-minded, like the Ambient-inspired track "Think Twice". Favorites I’ve found with "The Lost Train", a fine arranged Chill-Out EBM piece and the dramatically produced "The Ring", a real floor smasher. Several samples which got used in this track are taken out of the same named Japanese movie. Already with this well done debut Sergey demonstrates that there’s more talent than simply to scratch some vinyl records on the turntables. Keep it on, Towaritsch!
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Artist: ONLY FLESH
Title: Strap On Crucifix
Format: CD
Label: Mizukis Box (@)
Rated: *****
This is another new release by the US label Mizukis Box, a surprising one I have to admit, after the first and very clean recordings of DUBOK and BODYHAMMER. ONLY FLESH totally differs from them and offer us a kind of filthy Electro/Industrial music pretty much dedicated and influenced by the generally fetishism – or better said – self-injuring attitude the actor of this band obviously likes to present on stage. The artwork like the chosen title speaks for itself, you’ll get some self-mutilation photos, dozens of tattoos, piercings and a generally sexually fetish attitude. A matter of taste of course and surely not everyone’s cup of tea. Like this graphically outcome, so is the music. You won’t hear any fine worked out electronic-based music pieces, at times I had the impression that the presented stuff here is a real live recording. The vocals are somehow in vein of Nivek Ogre and related, but can provide the required mood and message. It definitively could need a better production and most of the tracks need some polishing. Think of a musically comparison to the last GGFH album "Serrated Smile" without that horror/splatter image of course. It has also to be said that the whole album could be a bit more straighter produced, a well done track like "Sheep" is an exception. It is a quite courageous release and it has to be proven if there’s any acceptance, also there could be some censorship on the art internationally.
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Artist: The Impossible Flower
Title: Roots and Fruits
Format: CD
Label: Afe Records (@)
Rated: *****
This album was recorded between 2000 and 2004, when TIF was just a solo project by Andrew David Daly (Garreth Dickson joined in 2004). Crackling processed piano, small clusters of unrecognizable instruments, reverse damaged guitar debris and a subtle sense of melody are the main ingredients for this album. The second track is called 'The Jig' and features an unprocessed acoustic guitar plucking which is now and then penetrated by glitchy loops. 'Honey and Bees' is my personal favourite here, adding some catchy female vocals to different layers of gentle backwards sounds. Can't really wait to see where things will go from here.
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Artist: KARSTEN PFLUM
Title: Idhax
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The first words that pop out in my mind when I listen to this third Karsten Pflum CD, are: deranged, obsessed, minimal and cyclic. From the guinea pig that wanders in a garden between wires and broken amplifiers that you find on the cover, you realize that something is going on. When you start listening to the first track of the CD "Impulse 9" you realize that definitively something is happening: for the first five minutes i.d.m. rhythms make yourself lose your boundaries but after a break the rhythm turns into something more structured as well some melancholic melodies start to fill your room. After the first eight minutes of the album Karsten showed what you have to deal with as the whole album is based on the balance of these ingredients: rhythm, glitch noises, light melodies and suspended atmospheres. Having showed the essence of his music he didn't broke the toy, because each track has something to give and even if I appreciated some titles more than others, IDHAX is a nice album that dare experimenting with some chaotic moments (like during the whole "Draworder") but that at the same is able to create dark or heart moving atmospheres.
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