Music Reviews



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.

Velvet Acid Christ: Maldire

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 16 2012
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Artist: Velvet Acid Christ (@)
Title: Maldire
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Mailorder
Rated: *****
One of the few in advance praised albums, which really caused curiosity: Velvet Acid Christ returns two years after the rather acoustical arranged 'The Fine Art of Breaking Apart'. 'Maldire' - so it was promised - would pick-up again the more Electro-/Industrial-dance oriented phase of Bryan Erickson, comparable to his classic albums 'Fun With Knives', 'Twisted Thought Generator', or 'Hex Angel: (Utopia - Dystopia)'. What shall I say? It turns to be out as such, although one can recognize Bryan's ongoing development regarding synthesizer programming. For all of you who don't know it: Bryan himself writes several reviews on stuff like movies, games, concerts, and of course music at his Hexfix93 blog at www.electricdethtripmedia.com, plus he introduces hard- and software-based synthesizers - several examples with links to software synth plug-ins can be checked out through his web resources. No doubt, Bryan knows every trick in the book and can rely on his experience. His programming skills, as well as the sense for the right 'industrialized' mood has helped him always through the years. 'The Art of Breaking Apart' was in most cases a difficult album. Not for Bryan himself, as he saw the insertion of real guitars and a more Goth-oriented direction as a quite logical evolution for VAC, but the acceptance of fans and reviewers was rather limited. Hardly understandable, that album was a real good one, only the unnecessary EP release 'Caustic Disco' suffered from the lack of artistically valuable ideas. 'Maldire' now brings back that sound which seemingly all love: I wouldn't go that far to call this album a milestone, because Bryan has already produced milestones for the books (see above) but it nevertheless can be called a very good VAC-album. 'Evoke' opens this album and reminds a lot on his rather mid-tempo tunes like 'Pretty Toy', or the often recognized classic 'Phucking Phreak'. With 'Septic Rinse' follows an instrumental track, but a rather unspectacular one, Bryan can provide better. 'Bend The Sky' then is a first favorite with a calm and catchy song progression and also Bryan's voice sounds pretty much relaxed and well integrated. 'Wasted' and 'Ominous Rattle' both are picking-up the traditional Electro-/Trance-driven style, which has made this project that famous. In between we have with 'HyperCurse' a second instrumental tune, but this time better conceived, as it strongly remembers to some tunes out of 'Twisted Thought Generator'. The title-track, 'Christ Whore' and the last one 'Mysteric' are highlighting this album and are ideal tunes to join the dancefloors of the darkest clubs. All of them feature the 'HIT'- factor and won't let you unimpressed. 'Dream Curse' is at least the most unusual, Downtempo-inspired tune with cumbrous and bizarre synthesizer arrangements. Bryan's voice sounds haunting and depressive on here, some relations to Rudy Ratzinger at his darkest moments can be recognized.
A lot of good things are happening on here and this album proves to be an excellent addition to his above mentioned classic recordings. I actually spin it quite often because it is nearly unrivaled with a fair overview of releases during the last 3 months. No retirement in sight for Bryan Erickson, he still sounds that fresh and full of inspiration to continue with his fabulous music-project. Good news also, that he's actually preparing for a new tour.

The Exaltics / Morphology: The Exaltics Meets Morphology

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 13 2012
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Artist: The Exaltics / Morphology
Title: The Exaltics Meets Morphology
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Here we are with a new 12" of the "Exaltics meets" series, where Robert Witschakowski this time shares with Morphology this second release after meeting Gosub on the first one. As for the first time, we have two tracks for each band. The Exaltics open side A with "Changing Things", a track that combine upbeat rhythms and paced arpeggios with spacey pads, creating an effect of "changement in stillness". "Quiet Earth" exalts the sidereal effect thanks to deep bass lines combined to windy synth sounds and echoed tiny melodies. Coming from Finland, Morphology is the duo formed by Matti Turunen and Michael Diekmann that is already known by followers of the electro sounds thanks to their album and ten 12" they released in the last three years. Here they open side B with "Neural Network", a track that has a bouncy classic electro bass line with 808 syncopated rhythms which dance with spacey pads and picked synth cello sounds. The second tune is "Stochastic Resonance", a track based on similar sounds but whose atmosphere is more tense thanks to sparse percussive synth bells sounds and space synth inserts. I noticed that on both releases of the series The Exaltics composed its tracks according to the atmosphere of the guest band, so I asked to Robert and he confirmed that this is what he wanted these release to sound like: two bands, one atmosphere. Anyway, you'll read more on the forthcoming The Exaltics interview.


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