Music Reviews



Incubite: Toxicum

 Posted by Steve Fearon (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 21 2011
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Artist: Incubite (@)
Title: Toxicum
Format: CD
Label: Dark Dimensions/ProNoize (@)
Rated: *****
Incubite is the project of Neill Oblivion and Miss Meow, from Dusseldorf, Germany and "Toxicum" is their full debut album.

Formed in 2009 by Neill Oblivion, Incubite is a starkly EBM affair, with little or no pretension at being anything other than an aggressive beat driven dance-floor shaker.

When it comes to aggressive beats, Incubite provide a powerful stomp-fest of wall rattling kick drums, bowel voiding bass-lines and the usual combination of soaring leads and samples.

Unfortunately, where Incubite fall down, is that their prevalence toward the EBM cliche, means that they look and sound exactly as you would expect from an EBM artist.

The same Vanguard/Access Virus lead sounds that had been industrial favourites for so long, now carry a weary sigh as opposed to a cheer, and their overall style is unfortunately similar to a lot of Incubite's peers.

However, despite the lack of an obvious unique selling point, Incubite do what they do extremely well, and if you are prepared to look past the usual military imagery, and the all too familiar lead sounds, they do offer a very solid EBM experience, and will not fail to deliver stomp fodder in the nightclub.

For some that will be enough, for others that won't be the case.

The production quality on the album is very high for a debut, and will sit happily alongside Suicide Commando, Uberbyte and Noisuf-X when play-listed, and generally is not out of place alongside artists of that magnitude.

Ultimately, Incubite, at this stage at least, are not likely to move to the head to the pack, but they are certainly good enough to join them, and they will definitely be one to watch for in the future.

"Toxicum" is not a ground breaking album, but if you are looking for some EBM to expand your repertoire, or if you are just interested in the next wave of potential Industrial stars, you can certainly do worse than give it a try.


Culture Kultür: Spirit

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 19 2011
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Artist: Culture Kultür (@)
Title: Spirit
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Rated: *****
It does good to see a music project still alive, which has been earned highly respect and which I had the chance, to consume them live on a gig now 12 years before. It has at least taken 5 years after their last effort signed to the German giant Out Of Line , until Salva Maine and Josua Clotet could decide to reunite and to start a comeback, now signed to their fellow Spanish label Caustic Records. 'Spirit' therefore collects some started new tracks and ideas, but it is mostly a witness of the years in between and the life experiences made after their last album 'Reborn'. Be assured, that their private life has had not only honey to taste. Musically, CULTURE KULTÃR are rather reinventing themselves ' still finding their inspiration out of artists like ASSEMBLAGE 23 or COVENANT, they offer their catchy form of Electro-/Synthpop music with clear male vocals and a club-oriented rhythm work. Tracks like 'Drum Machine', 'Never Again', or 'Sieged' are excellent additions to the play-lists of the international acting DJ's at the dark clubs. Good and quality rhythmic stuff ' but also known and expected from them. Therefore I tend to rate the rather slow, but dramatically arranged 'Dead Second' as being a highlight out this generally good and well produced album. Now backed up by the hard-working Caustic Records, we should have good hopes, that CULTURE KULTÃR will find their needed inner peace and inspiration, to return more permanently. 'Spirit' stands for their traditionally sound-design, so let's see and hear, what the future brings from them.

PRESTON FLEX: Little Feller

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 18 2011
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Artist: PRESTON FLEX
Title: Little Feller
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mars Frequency (@)
Distributor: Juno
Rated: *****
Mars Frequency is a label coming from Spain and is run by Robert Cosmic (who released under that moniker for his first EP on Shameless Toady). Their third release is an EP titled 'LITTLE FELLER' by an English artist called Preston Flex. Unfortunately I don't have further information about this artist but the music is able to speak for itself. Preston's music is based on deep warm bass lines influenced by electro and 90s electronica. Imagine lush warm pads mixed with deep bass lines/beats where synth leads bounce here and there. Try to imagine a mix of Orb and the latest Gosub. This is the core sound but a nice surprise is awaiting you on the closing. "The Stuff Of Thought" is a nice, robotic, schizoid approach to leads and rhythms with an addition of haunted pads. Everything is well produced and recorded and you can find it at Juno. Though if you want to pay less and you want to support the label directly, make it yours here: http://marsfrequency.bandcamp.com/album/preston-flex-little-feller
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)

KITBUILDERS: You Thrashed My Mind

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 15 2011
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Artist: KITBUILDERS
Title: You Thrashed My Mind
Format: CD
Label: Vertical Records
Distributor: PIAS / Groove Attack
Rated: *****
Ten years after the first edition of their debut album "Wake up", Kitbuilders are back with a new album titled YOU TRASHED MY MIND. Available on CD and double vinyl it will be released the next month on the Cologne duo personal label Vertical Records. The album contains fifteen tracks where they give life to electronic dance extravaganzas where disco, techno and electro play a big role. As a musical counterpart to the club oriented sounds you can also find different tunes influenced by 80s electronic music (see Chris And Cosey) and synth wave music ("Shoot you", "Bodies" or "Spellbound" recalled me of Pink Industry for the warm sound and the feeling of uneasiness). I'd like also to underline that Kitbuilders put a big effort into sound programming: by using mainly analog synthesizers they improved the roughness and the impact of of their music thanks to fat bass lines and warm oscillators. Obsessive arpeggios and fast hard beats find their nemesis into the passionate female vocals of Cordula, which alternate mysterious atmospheres to detached ones. If you are in the mood for dancing or in the mood for a good rich electronic album, YOU TRASHED MY MIND fits them both.
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Artist: The Dark Unspoken (@)
Title: Diode In Your Head?
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
I cannot say these funny lads are not intellectually fair after I approached to their new album provocatively asking if there's a diod in someone's head as THE Dark Unspoken seem totally conscious of developmental limits of the genre they tried to play as well of the fact that it's not easy to satisfy different stylistical palates without rediscovering some clichÃés. Tying the knot without doing your block is a possible mission just for writers of essays for halfwit dummies as well! Their trustful declaration of honesty could be sensed in the track Ich Mache Die Maschinen (I make the machine), in their own words, a statement against the increasing lack of interest in the meaning of texts, as theirs are intended to act as passphrases to damage that diode, a small electronic component which The Dark Unspoken considered as a fitted metaphor for the so called unilateral thinking, often the cognitive cause of intolerance, due to its function to allow current pass in one direction. If you consider just the stylistical viewpoint, don't expect anything particularly revolutionary, as even if Diode In Your Head? sounds more refined than their previous album Rotten Memories, the listener could experience deja-vu listening experiences here and there. Basically they unearths some mid 90ies electro-pop to relive with magical future-pop powders mixed with grated metal guitars - especially in tracks such as Abandon Thrill or Abnormis, one of my favorite track of the whole record in spite of the oldness of its sounds -, they arguably gormandized with 80ies wave, but their "tidiness" should not be necesserily regarded as a defect. Straightforward "Denglish" lyrics dealing with "real" life shouted by the hoarse ugola of Darkun are maybe the most relevant aspect of this record and covering a wide range of matters such economical critical situation, nearly an existential variable at this point, contaminating those rare certitudes of anyone cultivating the myth of self-made man (Wild Life) withered with the bad fertilizer of the so-called competitive spirit (Growing Paintre, Abnormis, Won't Sell Your Will). But it's funny to notice that sometimes the approach to contemporary disfigured electromechanical version of human being is almost friendly anf if your soul has almost been annihilated by some balance sheets or greedy intentions, you'll almost perceive a friendly slap on your shoulders when listening to tracks such as Diode In Your Head? - one of best crafted song definitively... - or the enlighting revelation of a guru on Painful Heaven, even if Darkun's gruff (but hearty) voice will gently whisper a plenty of oaths in your ears!


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