Music Reviews



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Artist: Jamalski (@)
Title: Ruffneck Revenge
Format: CD
Label: Ozore Age / Play it Again Sam (@)
Distributor: Toolbox records
Rated: *****
If you were around and miss the live drum'n'bass NYC scene of the mid nineties, when pioneers like Jojo Mayer were doing their thing, changing the rules of the game forever, show after show, at places like Shine on West Broadway and Canal, you'll be pleased to know that you can get back to experiencing the same excitement with Jamalski's last record "Ruffneck Revenge", out on French label Vision Alternative/Ozore Records. He's been around since the early nineties, agitating crowds with his mixture of ragga, hip hop, drum'n'bass, jungle, funk, rave etc. This great NYC born MC is all about the fusion of all of the above. He rhymes at sonic speed and rocks the mic with his own vision of drum'n'bass and his own version of political lyrics (it's always nice to hear people sing against the war and against W, like he does in the "Peace and Love" interlude, but I love Jamalski's anti-fake-rappers "Stop" tune where he talks shit at fake hip hoppers all over and around the media). "Ruffneck Revenge" is a peacefully violent urban anthem against consumerism in society and bullshit on the media, it's fast-paced adrenaline at its best, it's sonic aggression packed in a drum'n'bass/jungle container of fast beats and deep bass lines, it's the ultimate union of original hip-hop rhymes, jamaican ragga singing/wording attitude and modern MC'ing.
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Artist: BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION (@)
Title: Exoskeleton
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is a side-project by the excellent French act E.S.R., consisting of both multi-talented artists Vince Puyol (E.S.R.) and Tommy T Rapisardi (label-owner DSBP, DIVERJE, IN-FUSED). Internet and so world-wide connection makes it possible to take easily the distance between France and the USA. Musically this project is focusing on several sci-fi themes, modern Electro sounds, experimental programmings and arrangements – not too surprising if you are already familiar with the sounds and music especially from E.S.R.. You will find a lot of similarities in style of composing, used sounds, also several tracks would do also well on a E.S.R. release ("Virus (Infected Mix)"). The influence of DIVERJE is reduced here, most recognizable on the tracks which feature Tommy’s lyrics and vocals like "Dead Inside", a track which receives here also a nice remix by the talented, but extremely underrated act TYPE001. The order of the track list also features an interesting concept, because after an instrumental track follows always a track with vocals. The colorful cover design done by Vince Puyol fits also well with the musically mood. This is a cold and very mechanized Electro/EBM album filled with a lot of impressive sounds above the average. For fans of E.S.R. and related a must-have, but also an impressive alternative besides the overrated styles – one of the finest pieces currently out there.
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Artist: LARVA (@)
Title: Diogenes Sindrome
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This is the debut release of a new project hailing from Barcelona, Spain, consisting of four members – and also another proof that Spain has to offer here and there some talents behind the known CULTURE KULTÜR, PAIL or ALLIED VISION. The presented 10 tracks on this release here spin a wide range of diverse styles, ranging mainly from minimal EBM structures ("Ojos Secos") to some experimental, up to Powernoise-like efforts ("Larvas I", "Larvas II"). There is also space for some good Dark Electro themes with a remarkable melodic infiltration like on "Religion", as well as a scary, intense and slowed down track like "No Soy Nada", which is my favorite here. This act shows its talent – but there’s for sure a lot of room for some improvements, timing and recording quality aren’t fully convincing here. They are looking for label to get signed, but I would say that this would come a bit to early for them. This CD can be more seen as a first demo output to the audience and I would like to advise them to use the possibilities to get on some compilations at first. Be sure and check also back their nice web shop where they offer some nice shirts, stickers and this CD of course.
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Artist: Sshe retina stimulants
Title: Gnostick +- Aktionable
Format: CD
Label: Diophantine Discs (@)
Released by a new US CDR label run by Kyle Wright of Ames, Iowa. The disc presents us with four tracks. I’ve been told that this isn’t as noisy as their previous releases.

1. "high-octane gnostic-praxic disturbances"

- deep percussive ringing tones over loop - swirling razor sharp static over deep percussive ringing tones - droney scary sounds, machine rhythms - mid-high frequency sonic overload

2. "when they awaken the consummate prescience"

- roiling washes of static drone punctuated with high freq shards of noise - scary effected voices - swelling, spacey old school reverb - electric hum and buzz

3. "through the variation of the lecherous combustion"

- high pitched electro-noise with perturbed low freq - shuddering metallic drone
- deep bass tones of rolling spectrum punctuated by sudden spasms of mid range frustration - tines of high freq cloudburst melting into uncertain fits and starts

4. "aggravated gift of alertness"

- shifting distorted feedback tones and percussive interruptions of spastic euphoria - reverberant searching voices - reticent imaginings crying for release
- rusted machines hiding damaged intelligences - a sudden quiet revealing structural underpinnings of hope
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Artist: LOUISA JOHN KROL (@)
Title: Apple Pentacle
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After her collaboration with Oophoi Louisa didn't stop and she prepared this delicious album that gathers classic folk elements (Gaelic as far as I can understand of folk music), a little bit of jazz (because of some instrumental solution and sometimes her voice) and a little bit of electronic arrangements a la Laurie Anderson on "Which of these worlds" (the vocal treatment remembered me "Oh superman"). Sometimes her voice remember me some Cocteau Twins melodies (like on "Ceracini") but her main vocal reference on this release is Kate Bush (as stated on the presentation sheet). Musically I can't say that Louise remember me Kate Bush because she and and her collaborators use a wide range of traditional instruments that made the tracks do sound different: the harp, the mandolin, the viola and all the acustic instruments are picked gently creating a charming atmosphere. Also the traditional references, made of various stories coming mostly from Green Man mythology, made of APPLE PENTACLE an album of its own that will please your spirit and awaken your ears.
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