Music Reviews



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Artist: PASSE MONTAGNE
Title: long play
Format: CD
Label: Ruminance (@)
Rated: *****
The new wave of French Rock...more and more rock bands arecoming from the country of Michel Platini, but just look at the past and you'll find there's a good tradition of rock, noise-rock industrial-rock combos coming from there. Honestly when speaking about bands like Chevreuil and Passe Montage it's not proper "french rock" but much more modern one, post-rock, math-rock highly influenced by the wave coming from american epicentres like Chicago or Louisville. I'm sure like Chevreuil, Albini would have a good time recording and mixing a band like this, at last Passe Montage filter a sound with reminiscences of like Shellac, Slint, Minor Forest, Don Caballero just to give some "points of departure". The only potential "french factor" could be that depressed melodic shade cast here and there in some of the tracks, but the main impression remains that of a solid drumming crossed by a heavy pounding (but still melodic) bass and by a guitar the way it’s supposed to be. I think you already know the formula and if you're still missing something like June of 44 or Hoover or Regulator Watt you won't be disappointed. These talented musicians still write songs and not Gaudì-alike configurations, sometimes I'd like to see them leaving their influences back home to see what happens. Inside his body bag "rock and roll" body is still warm.
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anymore
Artist: PROJECT MORFEO
Title: Dicotomia
Format: CD
Label: Trostlos Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Written and performed by Gianfranco Biagini (with the help of Filippo Mastrangelo on extra guitars) DICOTOMIA is the first Project Morfeo album. Since the opening "Dark corners" (a track that remember me the good old Dead Can Dance dark orchestrations) you understand that this stuff is cool. With the second track the goth metal dances are opened with no hesitation and the music inspiration of Gianfranco opens its wings to start a convincing flight through the fields of the best goth metal around. Echoes of Paradise Lost and Tiamat (two bands he feels similar) make sound the album convincing and powerful. The electronic arrangement brings fresh ideas to a classic sound and underline the upbeat rhythm of some tracks (see the electro goth style of "Night creatures" for example) enriching the sound in an interesting way. I'm not that much keen about solos but fortunately only few tracks have some. Lately is difficult for me to be excited by a goth release in this way but Project Morfeo music sounds honest and with ideas (only "Vintersang" didn't convince me because of its hard rock/metal classic structure along with the following "Der siste kapittel" that has got some guitar sounds that remember me a midi soundcard). Check also the melodic lines that remember a little some 70s Italian band.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: History Is Bunk Vol.1 + Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: Hefty! Records (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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2006 will be a long year for Hefty! Records, because the tenth anniversary celebration will bring new special releases as well shows in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. HISTORY IS BUNK Vol.1 and 2 are the third releases to bring the 10th year anniversary brand on them. They gathers ten tracks each, that despite the title, aren’t old tracks. The two CDs contain exclusively new tracks and new remixes of old tracks. Vol.1 opens with Slicker (label’s founder John Hughes III band) which present "Russian ice slide" a good i.d.m. track with funky melodies. The second track by L’altra titled "The last", immediately remember to people the label’s peculiarity to produce different genres thanks to a beautiful intimate pop song. After that one we have the first remix thanks to Daybre which reworks "Snowbreaker" (a track originally composed by Some Water And Sun). This first volume contains four original tracks (be sure to check "Mackinaw pepper division", an electro i.d.m. collaboration made by STS9 / Slicker / Retina.it) and six remixes (there’s also a Ryuichi Sakamoto minimal remix of Telefon Tel Aviv's "Sound in a dark room"). The second volume contains six original tracks and four remixes and it is only focused on electronic music (lounge, i.d.m., jazzy and electro). I really appreciated the retro style of Plus Device’s "Compose the beat", a electro hip hop track really catchy as well the following Elliot Lipp track "Heat" that sound so 80s and funky. If you want to catch the essence of the label, enjoying also some good remixes, try these releases.
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Artist: NEONMAN
Title: Gift Of The Gab
Format: CD
Label: Pale Music (@)
Rated: *****
Lately dance music is taking inspiration from the most various musical scenes and the concept of dance music played with electronic instruments is fading fast. The target is to make the people move, no matter how. At this purpose mixing funk, punk and electro is not a problem. This is what Neonman do: music to dance to with thousands influences played with guitars, drums and keyboards. In this way the nine tracks of GIFT OF THE GAB sounds like a mixture of XTC, Clash and Gang Of Four with a pulsing rhythm. Listen to "One last breath" and it will seems to listen to Talking Heads playing with Grandmaster Flash. Each track have a dominance of one of the styles mentioned so you have to discover the tracks little by little because if "Bombs in the backdrop" sounds tense and funky, "Rude boy" is a punk reggae song a la Clash. GIFT OF THE GAB is a multifaceted album that will please all the punk wave kids that like also electro sounds. Check also the three remixes of "Buy now , pay later" by Shapemod (cool version with electro arrangement using original sounds along with electronics) and "Rich kids" remixed by Warren Suicide (he did a punkish techno version really good) and by The Scandals (they extended the track adding some punk/dub/techno moments).
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anymore
Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 (@)
Title: Weight Of Death
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
After intensively touring Europe Ambassador 21 concentrated their efforts on an important step of their musical career: the second album. For this reason they gathered their friends coming from Invasion Wreck Chords roster to help out: guitar riffs are by Ctrler, bass guitars by Mark Kammerbauer, Converter collaborated on "'New doctrine about trinity II" (already released on August as online single), Mothboy is on "Winter trip 2" (an ambient industrial track really intriguing), while Roger Rotor collaborated on "Delete the elite", which sees on backing vocals Proyecto Mirage, Synapscape, Rasputeen, Asche and Ctrler. Respect the old releases WEIGHT OF DEATH finds a better organized noise structure. If on "Akcija" the main thing was the "assault effect" on this new album the chaos has been better organized. Probably the various guests had an important role on this but I think that Alexey and Natasha are now more confident and trained into creating tracks where punk impetuosity, distorted sounds and break core rhythms find a good balance into their distinctive wall of sound. In this way the guitar riffs break through the shouted anthems of the duo while pumping drum sounds beat the rhythm of a riot's soundtrack. Ambassador 21 are tuning up their weapons and as they say: "the bullet changes the power fast".
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