Music Reviews



Artist: Von Magnet (@)
Title: ElectroFlamenco
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Phil Von Magnet has always been a bright, out-reaching, barrier-braking, convention defying musician, and now he is taking all of that to a whole new level with something that is truly unique! In fact, with the exception of German The Brave's 1994 "Fiesta Fatal!" hit, I can not think of any other artist that has managed to successfully and tastefully mix the warm and dramatic world of flamenco guitars and cajon percussions with the digital electronics that Von Magnet is maybe best known for. He did it, and this is but a taste of what his forthcoming album "De L'aimant" will be like. This CDS starts out with a Mimetic mix of the title track, which runs through you like a driven percussive minimal-electronic techno parade where Les Tambours Du Bronx stomp on one truck, Paco De Lucia strums on one next truck and the Young Gods go for their floating electronics on the following one. "How to Breathe" introduces an unexpected theatrical vocal performance in english. "Ma Peine" takes the cajon's beautiful percussive textures, samples them, distorts them and filters them with sweeps, pitching etc, and in doing so creates the perfect sonic and aural support for Sabine Van Den Oever's flamenco guitar and the other ethereal vocal layers. The fourth and last track is a remix by Holeg Spies of "MorirMe" in which the male vocals are back (this time in Spanish) and the electronic soundscapes become more sophisticated and widely embracing.I think it's pretty darn obvious that I really like Phil's latest work, but I must also admit that I was hoping for an even deeper integration and a bigger use of flamenco elements.But now he got me thinking to "De L'aimant" I can't wait to hear the final product.
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Artist: Flutter (@)
Title: Toys in Coin Machines
Format: CD
Label: Alphabasic records (@)
Rated: *****
Chicago-based female-fronted trio Flutter is riding the wave of popularity after the discreet success (both in their homeland and abroad) of their "Toys in Coin Machines". They cleverly call it «subversive candy-coated political electropop», which is pretty much as close as you can get to describe their sound. I can't get over how west-coasty it sounds, hype and hyper-active synthetic clash-pop with ethereal and naughty vocals, socio-political lyrics, queer/goth aesthetics and nightclub-friendly attitude.The tracks sport really well-produced synth-pop with hints of drum'n'bass breakbeats and a very admirable drive for sonic experimentation. Of course the key selling point here is the very sexy vocals (somewhere along the lines of Veronica Ciccone with a more ethereal approach, falsettos etc). You'll be instantly sold to her charm. The Chicago/Nebraska-run indie-label Alphabasic has made it their quest to introduce this trio to the world. The CD also contains a multimedia track with video clip and the user name and password that you will need to access the secret room of their website (which contains unreleased photos, lyrics and b-sides in mp3 format). Smart, sexy, happy, beautiful.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Collective Consiousness
Format: CD
Label: Thirdwave Collective (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
The Thirdwave Collective is a group of US artists (there are some exceptions to that) who have obviously understood the importance of joining forces to support each other and create a more suitable environment for artistic growth. The collective of Thirdwave Collective artists that released this, offer their various assorted blends of powerful rhythm noise, industrial, ebm, dark and noise and include Endif (one of the founders), PTI, Y-Luk-o, Detroit Electronic Coalition's founder CEOXiME, Infinity Interrupt, Cruciform Injection, Sealed in Silence, Negative Gain's label owner's project Cyrostate, ex-Necrophilia members' new project Thttp://www.industrial-music.com/product.php?prodnum=TW+002welve Stitches, Y-Luk-o's noise side-project Lukotyk and Compliant. Support the scene, support the Thirdwave Collective!
Artist: Xeno Volcano (@)
Title: Black Book
Format: CD
Label: Hardpresse (@)
Rated: *****
Xeno Volcano, aka Zurich-based Californian David Beltran, has been living and performing minimal ambient music in Switzerland, while occasionally touring the US (twice a year). He uses mostly a minimoog, toys, samplers, a laptop and a vibraphone or other percussions, but in his third album "Die Organik" (2002), a collaboration with Swiss poet Eletka Sturmschnell, he had a guitar in the line up. "Die Organik" is a trip into pure sonic isolationism and the only contact with the outside world is the poet's spoken word performances over the music (mostly in german). Stereo spreading and panning, volume sweeps and other techniques are used to make the minimal sound come at you in a wave-ish fashion. The CD has a beautiful art work, among other things. His last album "Black Book", on the other hand, does not relay on the presence of the female voice, but instead has a less minimalistic approach and generates gorgeous atmospheres with soft and dragging beats and, in one instance, even a violin. Zurich is fabulous, so if you ever go there, try to also catch David performing (shouldn't be too hard, I read). Allegedly his performances are intense and include visuals by chemical lighting artist Denis Wier (also with Zappa) and other graphic artists. I am curious to find out this artist's more rhythmic side, which I hear, is being explored as we speak and is more the focus when he gigs in the underground industrial-dance scene.
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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