Music Reviews



Artist: BATZZ in the belfry (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
It's nice to see that somebody actually reads and pays attention to our submission guidelines. BATZZ have provided us with their latest CD-R EP (whose songs are also available as MP3's on their site). They are shopping for a record deal for what basically is a sound made of dark facets, long reverbs, electronic layers, melodic atmospheres and mixed feelings of sadness, melancholy, happiness and fear. Their ethereal mixture of darkwave and electro is a good support for lyrics about evil and good, heaven and hell, politics, life and spirituality. The instrumentation used includes software drum machines, guitars and synths. I particularly like the episodes where the deep low voices create somber soundscapes. When these goth vocal parts are joined by martial drumming or grand neo-classical orchestrations, they sort of sound like a band that could be on Cold Meat or the Dungeon Fossil. They have a polished sound and good ideas but they're not quite evolved as much as other bands are. I do think, though, that in a few years or a few records, whichever comes first, they might be able to score a deal with, say, Projekt records.
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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This is just an update on a review that has already been published when Daniele Brusaschetto sent us an advance promo of this record. "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" has now finally come out.The CD comes with a nice color booklet with lyrics in italian and english that is an experiment of modern cut&paste art (the booklet consists of professionally printed pictures of pages that were cut and pasted with adhesive tape). The CD is co-released by Bosco (Daniele's outlet), DSK (http://space.virgilio.it/sandblaster@tin.it), Radon (www.radonstudio.com), Oggetti Volanti (www.oggettivolanti.it) and Bar La Muerte (www.barlamuerte.com).Here is the review that we had written and published:I wonder if I could get away with saying that the new Daniele Brusaschetto album has a more "squat-friendly sound", but if you know what the average offering of that scene is, I think it is really true, at least to some extent. Maybe he was sick of touring places all alone with his machines and seeing those looks in the faces of those who expected some other crappy hardcore trio (I've seen them myself when playing squats with my band) or maybe it's just a natural evolution for somebody who comes from the bands Whip and Mudcake, but it certainly isn't far off from his original sound and its actual soul. With "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" (Total Poetry of the Muscles) he is turning to his roots and taking a step back from his previous more industrial-loaded sound in order to approach a slightly more easily-listen-able blend of fierce and fiery garagey noise-driven combo playing. The result is strong and powerful. Solid crunchy bass picking, rumbling room-reverberated and heavily compressed live drums, multiple layers of very expressive guitar strumming and up-front deep, doubled and harmonized vocals. I am probably not the ideal person to attempt comparisons in this field, but if you listen to some garage, post-rock, noise-core you'll find plenty of, and considering the affinity with the industrial-electronic sphere you might consider starting from Pitch Shifter or Fudge Tunnel or stuff like that. Lots of the electronics is gone in favor of a more "standard" rock line-up that sometimes sounds Italian, sometimes British, sometimes American. For that matter I think I was more into the older sound but that certainly doesn't mean that the new material isn't worthy of attention, contrariwise I must say I find it quite likable and I appreciate the touch and the tone. Of course he retained his connection with the experimental arts and you can hear that in very ingenious and refreshing ideas sprinkled around the record (such as "Palla Bianca con Scritta Rossa" -White Ball with Red Lettering- where two identical signals feed the board and he occasionally mixes the twin signal in to have that otherwise annoying phasing artifact that is simply cool his way and which I had never heard being used creatively before or thought of using at all) or in the occasional passages of noisy dark ambience and sparkles of floor electronics and distorted sampled sequencing. To honor the past there are even a couple of mainly electronic-experimental pieces, like the last two "Se lo faccio morirei" (If I did it, I'd die) and "Il Bambino Tram" (The Tram Boy). The extended poetic lyricism, the fact that all the vocal parts are in Italian and the way they are singed can't escape from reminding me of C.S.I. (not the American TV show, the Italian band you moron!). It's almost like realizing that he has always possessed some of that specific style but now it really bleeds through and shows big time. If you like Daniele's music you should listen to this because you will find the core of what has always been his signature in terms of vocal style, lyrics and guitar noise-ness, strapped to bone and true in his essence. Minimal in structure, maximal in impact. Less is more. More is Daniele Brusaschetto.
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Artist: Unto Ashes (@)
Title: I Cover You With Blood
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Projekt (@)
Rated: *****
Unto Ashes' new maxi single CD features six previously unreleased pieces or new versions of previously available songs. There are two mixes of the title track, one of which comes from their 2003 "Empty Into White", a new version of "Serve Me", a cover version of the Henry Purcell (1659-1695) 'A Clockwork Orange' theme "Funeral March for Queen Mary", a cover version of the Walter Vonder Vogelweide (1170-1230) "Palastinalied" (with Mariko and Natalia Lincoln on vocals) and another never before released new track by Unto Ashes, entitled "Exeunt Reges". Those familiar with the band know the deal; those new to sound of Unto Ashes can think of it as grand, medieval, martial and neo-classical anthems inspired by middle-ages scenes of every day life and battles. High quality.
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Artist: Null Device (@)
Title: A Million Different Moments
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah records (@)
Rated: *****
Synth-pop at its best is what Null Device offer us! As some of you might now I am not a great lover of synth-pop (Maurizio is really the man on the team that handles the genre), but Null Device have a really original way to portray their style and port their message. The key of their sound is integration. Their synthetic music for synthetic people intertwines with influences of middle eastern music, electronica, rock and breakbeats. Their instrumentation includes a healthy dose of electronic devices coupled with percussions and traditional instruments such as classical strings, rai instruments, flutes etc. Hence, this will be the cup of tea of all those people who are entertained by a nice blend of Depoche Mode, New Order, Delirium, Taha, Khaled, Faudel, Peter Gabriel, Mesh, Ganymede, Brave New World, Gary Flanagan, Muslimgauze, Gary Numan etc... After their remix for Distorted Realty's record on Nilaihah and their spot on the famous Cohaagen "Living On Video" synth-pop-only DVD, this was the natural progression for Null Device. Welcome to the world of multi-cultural cross-boundry multi-temporal moments!
Artist: Dj Purry Pants (@)
Title: Free CD
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ok, I have no idea who Dj Purry Pants is. Google has no idea who Dj Purry Pants is. And it certainly doesn't help when Dj Purry Pants sends me a 3" mini CD-R with absolutely nothing but his email, the envelope it was sent into, the postal stamp and the NY post mark (which I guess means Dj Purry Pants is in NY). Hell I don't even know if this CD is supposed to be self-titled or if the words "Free CD" that he printed on the envelope are supposed to be the title of this "thing", whatever this is... I hate when people do this to us! Anyway, 5 tracks, one minute each: (1) low-fi bluesy harominca solo, (2) a meowing cat, (3) a crazy string instrument solo, (4) a cheesy radio song and (5) some percussive sounds made with bottles or something... Basically a record that my 4 year old son could have made (if I had one). Am I being too drastic? Too hard on Dj Purry Pants? I wouldn't wanna be and those who read my reviews know that I have NEVER been this outspoken about a record... Maybe if this DJ fellow provided some motivation or some notes about this project I could better understand, thus better explain to my readers, but like this, to me these are nothing more than 5 useless senseless 1 minute takes of bullshit that have no reason to exist. Then again this could be the next Frank Zappa genius out there... You never know!
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