Music Reviews



Dec 02 2012
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Artist: Axiome (@)
Title: Ten Hymns For Sorbetière or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Freezer
Format: CD
Label: Ant Zen (@)
Rated: *****
James Brown once called himself the 'hardest working man in show business.' Well, he's dead now and I think that C-drik Fermont is trying to take his place. At one point his output was almost superhuman and he had his hand in a multitude of projects. I remember making his acquaintance a decade ago when he did a track for a compilation I had put together. He's been quiet for a while, but he's back and as good as ever. Axiome is a collaboration between Fermont and Olivier Moreau of Imminent, and it's released on Ant-Zen. If you don't know what to make of that, welcome to those stumbling onto Chain DLK for the first time ' come on in and make yourselves at home. For the rest of us, this is exactly what we came to hear. Evidently they chose coldness and ice as a central theme for the album. The press release describes the album thus: 'Splicing genres like idm, acid, rhythm&noise, dark, brooding electro infusions and techstep to an insane hybrid, these 'hymns' mark a perfect syncrisis of simplicity and complexity. Accelerated technoid rhythms are perfectly interfused with powerful percussion laced with hard, deftly sequenced melodic structures and combined with a retreat to insistent, repetitive analogue bubblebath-esque electronic textures. A mélange of force and beauty that is rarely matched by anyone else.' Overall this is a good mix of beats and stripped down atmosphere. At some points it is a bit too stripped down; 'Gèle Ou Crève!' for example, moved a bit too slow for my tastes. But others make the most of simplicity and 'La Solitude Du Grêlon Face à La Chute' is almost peaceful with its hypnotic rhythm. 'Lawine' closes off the disc and is a thing of beauty. No vocals or cheesy samples mar the compositions. This isn't exactly destined for the dance floor, but it still makes you move. This album weighs in at around 51 minutes.

Vacant Shores: Summer Ghost

 Posted by eskaton   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 02 2012
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Artist: Vacant Shores (@)
Title: Summer Ghost
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Number Transmission (@)
Rated: *****
I like 3' CDs. They're a good way to get a taste of an artist you haven't heard of before. As usual, this was one I had not heard of before. According to the press release that came with this, Vacant Shores hail from Bristol UK and use a mix of old analogue hardware and synths 'to create a lush, reverb-soaked electronica with emotive vocals.' Overall this isn't too bad, but it doesn't push the envelope much. When the label had the tags 'chopped and screwed' and IDM, I expected something along the lines of Autechre. However, another tag, 'dream electronica' comes closer. The vocals were interesting, and not as processed as one might expect on such a release, which was a welcome change. Overall, we could file this as 4 tracks of nice electronica. The album weighs in at around 15 minutes and is limited to 100 copies, so if this sounds good, you should go for it.

Aniaetleprogrammeur: The Friendly Expectations Of The Stars

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 29 2012
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Artist: Aniaetleprogrammeur
Title: The Friendly Expectations Of The Stars
Format: CD
Label: Pale Music
Rated: *****
After listening to the second album by Aniaetleprogrammeur, the first word that is coming to my mind is: chaos. A reported by their bio, they are Berlin-based but originally formed in Paris in 2005. The band is composed of Hanrigabriel (direction/guitars/vox/synths) Tata Christiane (synths/machines), and Valquire Veljkovic (lights/synths/bass). The trio is a multidisciplinary art collective whose activities extend to fashion design (with the brand Tata Christiane), video, photography and graphic design. "The Friendly Expectations Of The Stars" contains twelve new tracks that mix electro, industrial intuitions, psychedelic atmospheres and noisy wall of sounds. The concept behind the album resides behind what the stars are waiting for the beginning of 2013 as some say there will be the apocalypse. Tracks like "Moldy" or "Time Travel" could recall a bit KMFDM thanks to razor cut guitar riffs but "Out Of You" or the following "Low Passion" sound like an electro version of the latest Pink Floyd because of the constant feeling of melancholy I felt. The sixth track, "Interlude", seems to divide the album as after that we have the electro e.b.m. delirious "Affliction", the low bit electronic orchestrations of "Out Of Me", the e.b.m./classical experiments of "Project 21", the exploding noises of "The Great Change" which mix filtered vocals, slow blasting drum beats, synth and guitar distortions. The album is closed by "Outro 528", an experimental ambient tune. After four listening I'm not able still to understand everything I listened to and I think that this is what the band was aiming for...

VV.AA.: Electrofunk Resistance

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 27 2012
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electrofunk Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Dominance Electricity
Rated: *****
After some months of silence Dominance Electricity, Germany's home of electro funk, is back with a new album compilation featuring twelve new tracks which will satisfy your wish of rhythm, vocoders and cool synth sounds. "Electrofunk Resistance" is the title of what will turn into your preferred compilation of this period. The album which is available into cd, digital and black or transparent blue double vinyl, has on the cover a nice sexy robot painted by a famous Japanese illustrator called Hajime Sorayama (drawing which is available on the blue vinyl set as deluxe poster) . The album starts with Principles Of Geometry's "Americhael", a track that starts with a 70s dance touch, just to turn into an electro dancefloor killer with stops and go. The track has also a bit of the modern electro French sound we already know very well. Datasette, from UK is next with a pleasant surprise: a cover of one of the dance floor hits of the early 80s... New Order's "Blue Monday". The UK combo did a great work with the track by mixing original synth parts with new upbeat beats, catchy vocoder vocals and a new electro bass line. Casio Social Club vs Xs Night are here with a track which isn't available on the digital format. "More Love" has all the characteristics of Justin's sound we already know, thanks to the releases he did for his own Mullet Records: 80s electro with boucy bass lines, smooth catchy vocals, nice synth pads and leads. Sygaire, member of Jazzanova, is here helped by Defcon and Capitol A for "The Latest", a song that recalled me Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's tracks. The Artificial Arm is here with a new track titled "Get Down (To The Sound) ". This is a nice electro tune based on few melodic parts which are well alternated by using different synth sounds with the add of sensual female vocals. Fendaheads are next with "Oxygen", a tune with funky guitar chords, bouncy bass lines and catchy vocals. Dynamik Bass System, with "Evolution", dispatch loads of 808 beats, vocoder vocals, hypnotic arpeggios and synth stabs as usual, delivering a cool song. Roko Dragonbreath from Netherland is next with a stunning track titled "Planet Europia". This song is a blast! It has all the cool electro elements: catchy melodies, robotic vocals, blasting drum beats and a chorus that will stick into your head! From Australia we have DJ Sing feat. Andre Kaman with "Let's Do It". The track is a nice electro tune with funk vocals, synth solos and cool melodies. It sounds pop and energetic. The last time I reviewed Diamondback Kid, was for their release on Binalog Productions. After that, they released two EPs on their own label. "Lost Souls" is a good mix of robotic syncopated sounds, mid 808 beats and cool melodic vocal inserts. A track that you'll want to listen to again soon after it's finished. From New Zealand we have Reggie Blount with "Shining Star". This song has a sensual touch thanks to whispered female vocals and to its nightly atmosphere. The down-sampled filtered/clean male vocals and the female one give a great . From the U.S. Biepang with "Neon Parallels" is in with a great tune which mix jazzy atmospheres and robotic craziness. Try to think about Dopplereffekt on drug while listening to Miles Davies. This was the closing track and Dominance Electricity did it again! They produced a great compilation full of cool sounds and songs. Support them!

Sonik Foundry: Explosive

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 26 2012
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Artist: Sonik Foundry (@)
Title: Explosive
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Rated: *****
Have these guys been listening to too much Combichrist lately? It certainly sounds like it. Unfortunately Sonik Foundry isn't ballsy enough to be in Combichrist's league. 'Explosive' was obviously designed for the dancefloor and live performance as it's a stripped-down mean-machine of (mostly) four-on-the-floor EBM, with only an occasional foray into the melodic. On opening track 'Beat It Down' Nikademus implores the masses with a growl to 'Get Off Your Ass Down To The Floor...Stomp Your Feet Like You Never Did Before...' whatever. It's beyond cliché. Speaking of cliché, there's so much use of portamento on the synths that it really gets old quick, song after song. Maybe it's becoming their signature sound or something. The mod wheel gets quite a workout too. What melodies there are are mostly simplistic sing-song, and there isn't much variety in the synth sounds either, making a lot of the tracks on 'Explosive' sound similar. The material here probably works better live, but on disc it comes across as heavy-handed, calculated and contrived.

There are 3 remixes on this album - 'Fuse' (Assemblage 23 Remix), 'Slipping Away' (00tz 00tz Remix), and 'Severance Pay' (SINthetik Messiah Remix) and I liked them all better than the originals ('Severance Pay' was on 'Parish of Redemption'), mostly because they're more inventive than the originals, and actually made the songs sound rather creative. Knowing how much I usually don't care for remixes, what does that tell you about 'Explosive' ? It's really too bad these guys had to head down the path of least resistance and opt for the lowest common denominator in EBM music. 'Parish of Redemption' showed promise but there's no redemption here. Not very explosive; more like a dud.


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