Music Reviews



May 13 2012
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Artist: Maurizio Bianchi
Title: CeltiChants
Format: CD
Label: Alone at Last records (@)
Distributor: Alone at Last records
Rated: *****
I think the name of Maurizio Bianchi / MB did not need any introduction here. He is simply one of the great fathers of electronic music in Italy and Europe and is long been considered a cult musician, recognized and enshrined in all our musical environment.
MB is an excellent artist and musician and tight end capable of producing, in over thirty years of activity, real masterpieces of music and ranging experiments at the boundaries between electronic and noise. Many of his records have become genuine landmarks of this genre.
In recent years, Maurizio has also become a point of reference and a friend for the work individual and collective for many of us. Always willing to work with many other artists in the electronic scene, he has managed to create a kind of permanent musical laboratory around them.

Into this second "sonic youth" the great MB gave us a wide range of excellent discs created by several people. And even when such collaborations have not reached the levels of the highest quality of all his previous solo work is still important and valid evidence of the symbiosis possible between his music and the artists who have collaborated with him. This MB work, however, is not in collaboration with others artistis. Maurizio plays alone (at last) and present to us a long and unique suite of sound entitled "Celtichants" that lasts just one hour. But, if you listen this suite, you feel like you take a few moments and you will do everything to try and play it back in the hour immediately following. Even'll be the last hour of your life. Because this "Celtichants" is a very beautiful work. Work i believe is also very, very important. For two different reasons.
The first reason is that, unlike other works of MB more extreme and perhaps less accessible, this work revealed from the beginning in all its splendor. Celtichants represents, for me, really "a new form of beauty" because it not only keeps intact the quality and the best creativity and artistic research of MB's music, that we always used to, but exceeds them instinctively and from the first listen. A real seminal work of which he felt the need after so much noise.
Listen to him with respectful silence then this beautiful "Celtic Songs" by MB! But do not expect human voices or ethnic harmony of the Celtic tradition. Because these Celtic songs come from a sound dreamy and unknown elsewhere and bring us up to the sound of his ethereal and stellar wind. These are our songs of Maldoror for a "fifth dimension", evidence of distant and remote place that belongs to us but in the depths of our being. A place where the spirit of Isidore Ducasse hovers behind every breath of cosmic wind that carries them. I will not say more words on the beauty of this work by Maurizio Bianchi to invite you to buy and listen to this record. But, if the first reason is not enough for a new disk of MB, I will give you a second reason why it fascinates me and I think this album is a masterpiece not to be missed. For fans of the genre but also for the neophyte listen to electronic or industrial music for the first time.
This record I came to me, last week, directly from Moscow. Together with other work which I will label the same way of speaking. The work of MB is the third title included in the catalog of a small fledgling independent label that was for me a revelation.
This label is Russian and is called "Alone at Last" and was born in march this year. On his website (www.alone-at-last.com) looks like a label focused on the realization of very limited editions of artists known and recognized in the electronic scene. It 's also the reason for not accepting demos.
If you visit his site you will sense the line and the painstaking care with which the "Alone at Last" creates their own records.
Rarely in the independent and industrial scene, I got to see this level of packaging. Each disk has a cardboard box, carved on many layers of different dominant color, each designed so as to be then folded by hand on the other in sequence. Each disc is a small gem of paper, carefully close like an ancient Japanese Origami around the jewel it contains. And the first 50 copies of each limited edition is also signed by the artist.
A few meager liner notes accompanying the content. No self-celebration of the label or artist. What is said is used as a theme track for the imaginary linked to each work. And the imagery of this is a poetic song. A deluge text composed by the terms of our technological imaginary. A poem dedicated, as all the work, to Ducasse, Comte de Lautreamont. Each disc also contains within it also precious polychrome photographic prints, based on the work of several photographers. In particular, the three prints that accompany Celtichants, are photographs taken by Siegmar Fricke in the Canary Islands over some beautiful basalt stones of Miocene epoch.
I believe I have nothing more to add. I want to give a final friendly advice: GET FAST THIS WORK by Maurizio Bianchi for Alone at Last Records. You will not regret.

Xiescive: Nexus

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 05 2012
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Artist: Xiescive (@)
Title: Nexus
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
A few months before we already had the chance to introduce you this new project of Trevor Weeks and his first tracks recorded under this new moniker. Trevor can be counted to the veterans of the US-based Electro-/Industrial scene, who has made himself a quite good name under his pseudonym XoN and his cult-music-project Boundless as well as his being as one half of Symbiont.
So here comes out an all new album of him now signed to Nilaihah Records, which is, I must admit, another surprise, since Trevor owns a label for longer than a decade (Backscatter). I guess here stands a business-related decision behind this deal, as this means a lesser financial risk for Trevor. At least this allows him more and more to concentrate on the needs of an artist only, instead of trying to unite additionally the interests of a label under that one hat. Nilaihah itself proves to have a fine nose for a mega-talented up- and coming music-project, which hopefully scores with this new album also internationally.
After checking with the tracks of this album, I am relative sure, that missing success cannot have anything to do with Trevor's talent. His compositions follow a well worked-out progression and unite to the same time melodic components with modern sounding kick-and-snare works. The tracks are for the most part beat-driven, and especially the harder tunes like 'Subversion', 'The Crucible Effect', or the fast pacing, sample-driven 'Bloodwork' should be able to satisfy the needs of every Harsh EBM-fan. Personally I can find preference with 'Just a Dream', on which Trevor varies with his vocal performance more than usual. Also the slow, ballad-like 'Liars Plea' with some beautiful string- and piano-arrangements receives a 'thumb up'-rating. Finally 4 foreign remix contributions can be heard too (Nitronoise, The Luna Sequence, Cutoff:Sky, and Dryft). With the exception of Dryft, you'll get alternative versions on 'Time to Die' and 'Subversion', all suitable for body movement on the dancefloor. Applause I spend for the Dryft-remix on 'The Crucible Effect', because the project of Mike Cadoo (ex-Gridlock) transforms this originally straight and dancefloor-compatible tune into an epic sounding instrumental experience, which will leave you speechless. What a great interpretation.
'Nexus' is a diverse arranged album, which doesn't fall into the same-sounding Harsh-EBM-redundancy, although a few of the featured tracks on here will appeal the fans of this genre. It continues musically the path, which Trevor has walked under the Boundless-moniker, while he has developed his production skills to reach a higher state-of-art ranking

LUST FOR YOUTH / WAR: The Glass House Etiquette

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 30 2012
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Artist: LUST FOR YOUTH / WAR
Title: The Glass House Etiquette
Format: 7"
Label: Avant!
Rated: *****
"The Glass House Etiquette" is a Lust For Youth / War split 7" which have already been issued the last year on tape by Posh Isolation. Lust For Youth, on side A, present "Denial, Veronica", a track recorded into their distinctive low-fi way which mix some simple synth lines and unintelligible vocals. The atmosphere created is obsessive and ghostly. It's like hearing echoes of 80s e.b.m. music played into a distant venue. On side B we have War with "Somme, Maggio". Formed by Elias Bender Ronnenfelt (Iceage frontman) e Loke Rahbek (Sexdrome and runner of the Posh Isolation label), War offer minimal synth lines with a sound similar to Lust For Youth: haunted factories atmospheres where you can ear echoes of clanging metal stamping presses that have been dismantled long time ago... I can't say I've been amazed by these tracks. I'll wait to listen to a whole release for a better judgment... You can check both tracks here: http://avantrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lfy-war-the-glass-house-etiquette-split-7

The Men Who Knew Too Much: The Oppenheim E​.​P. (Vol 1)

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 24 2012
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Artist: The Men Who Knew Too Much
Title: The Oppenheim E​.​P. (Vol 1)
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Diamondback Recordings (@)
Distributor: Diamondback Recordings Bandcamp
Rated: *****
"The Oppenheim E.P. (Vol.1)" is the debut release by Norwegian duo The Men Who Knew Too Much. It kicks off with "The Crossing", an ethereal electro instrumental, charming and menacing at the same time (and this controversy is what makes it special and very enjoyable!). Title track ("Oppenheim"), on the other hand, slows down the tempo and delivers some tough beats combined with dark, mysterious pads and an almost eccentric (but really fit) rap towards the end of the track. Ace! Release is concluded by the instrumental version of this funk "monster", an obvious (and welcomed) addition.
Strongly recommended EP, by a cooler than cool label: Diamondback Recordings. Available now at every fine digital store (but, as always, you should grab your copy via DBR's Bandcamp, to fully support my friend DBK who works sooo hard to bring us THA FUNK!)

Object: Mechanisms of Faith

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 18 2012
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Artist: Object (@)
Title: Mechanisms of Faith
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Electro Aggression Records / COP International (@)
Distributor: COP International / DDT
Rated: *****
Fourth official album of this German one-man project now released by Electro Aggression Records, so this label continues the fruitful cooperation with COP International after the spectacular 'Old School Electrology' quadruple-box-set-'beast'. Both, label and artist, have already collaborated with the release of the last Object-album 'The Ethane Asylum', which has been out in 2008 under the wings of the Denver-based Vendetta-Records label. This new album release leads the listener once again into the mysterious world of a quality Dark Electronica music-experience. The teachers of Andreas Malik come easily and quick to mind while spinning this nice looking DCD album over and over again: Mentallo & The Fixer, 'Too Dark Park'-like Puppy and affiliates have had their impact on Andreas. This won't surprise his experienced listeners as they could never-ever imagine, that Andreas would fall into a conflict to change anything drastically. This very special, layered form of Dark Electro music has always been Andreas' kind to express him artistically, any change would rather confuse. So you'll get the expected doze of a monumental produced Dark Electro album, on which Andreas' tricky synthesizer-programming skills receive the full amount of attention.
Where to start and where to end this review? That was a constant question with me, when it comes to name highlights out of this album. It is just too simple to name the opener 'Mescaline Crisis' as being the ultimate tune available here, as this one adds successfully vocals and lyrics of Martin Sane of Fix8:Sed8 - so yes, of course, this tune is awesome with its diverse rhythm programs. I personally have found preferences in the beautiful arranged title track as being one of the tunes in an ongoing row, on which Andreas could integrate the most successful his opulent, melodic synthesizer arrangements, treated with a constant produced kick-and-snare work and his mostly fx-manipulated vocals. By picking out further pearls of this generally epic sounding album, I tend to name 'Soul Seeking (feat. Sascha Lemon of LPF12)' and the 'Album Version' of his compilation-appearance for the German Electro Arc label ("Electro Arc Compilation Vol 2"), 'Empires in Peril', as being tracks worth to include on this highlight-list. To integrate a bit variation, Andreas has also decided to add some instrumental tunes, which can be discovered with nearly every fourth track. While 'Dream Collector' isn't to me a savior, I fall on my knees and praise the Lord for 'Distant Memories" and 'Density of Fear', as these both are masterpieces and give a lesson to any Electronic musician who is trying to produce thrilling, futuristic sounding instrumental tunes. More than 76 minutes of brilliant produced Electro/Industrial-music in this special Puppy-an style finally find an end after 15 tracks, but you still get the impression, that you have forgotten some valuable content hidden in between the tracks. Good to know and to hear, that this album offers enough treasures worth to discover also after the 20th + spinning. Which of the latter productions you can serious remember offers such a quality?
But this positive madness doesn't stop after this first CD - the second one has to be praised too. Under the working title 'Old School Conspiracy' it initially looks, that you'll get your usual remix contribution bonus-CD. The main content holds remixes, right, but the featured names are promising something special. Someone out there who can remember Robotiko Rejekto, a German cult-EBM-duo releasing on Technodrome/Zyx Records in the late 80s? They are back again, reanimated and vital with a hard stomping remix on 'Blood Patch', a track which has been originally released on Andreas' second album 'The Reflecting Skin'. Also the duo of Controlled Fusion returns with a remix on the second part of 'Blood Patch'. As for further remixes, which are taken from the original new album, you'll get a breathtaking remix on the instrumental tune 'Density of Fear' by the French genius Brain Leisure. 'Mescaline Crisis', the cooperation with Martin Sane (Fix8:Sed8), gets some revamped versions by Sleepwalk (fantastic layered and tastefully arranged - who has given the Ruch-brothers a Vitamin C-pill after the departure of O. Spring?), Germany's Second Disease and the US-newcomer C. Lewis, a.k.a. Red + Test (when comes out an official album, gentlemen?). Additional works can be discovered by amGod, One Eye Wanders, Jihad ('Morphine Desire'), as well as Pyrolline and Abscess, who have buried out another goody out of the Object archives, 'Existence on Trial', originally released of the predecessor 'The Ethane Asylum'.
And - reward, reward - you'll get two additional bonus demo tracks with 'Static Motion' and 'End of Line'. A quite fair, better said, good quality content and an ideal second CD to dive deep into the musical dimension of Object
While I highly recommend you, to purchase this awesome looking DCD set with its tasteful icy landscape well packaged in a digi-pack, I generally need to bring to your attention, to consume this album with enough free time. The richly included details and fx-gimmicks hidden in Andreas' arrangements are part of this album production well worth to discover - to listen to this album in a rush will offer you only a glimpse, but not the complete content. So take your time and explore this epic and monumental Dark Electro release.


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