Music Reviews

Lexincrypt: Scar Tissue

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jun 08 2011
Artist: Lexincrypt (@)
Title: Scar Tissue
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Crunch Pod (@)
Rated: *****
Last year has been excellent for several bands and music projects to start a comeback and the return of LEXINCRYPT a.k.a. Justin Cameron, newly signed to Crunch Pod, has been one of the most remarkable ones. No doubt, one half of the too early gone cult-project SYMBIONT hasn't forget his amazing abilities, with which he could release two full-length albums on DSBP in collaboration with SLC's Backscatter Records. 'Scar Tissue' is a logical and pretty much business-related EP taken out of Justin's last years' album 'Of Unsound Mind', his comeback release on Crunch Pod. As usual for an EP, which is intended to offer alternative stuff for DJ's, promoters, etc., you'll get mostly stuff, which counts to the rather straight and danceable oriented compositions of Justin. The impression of his 3 full-length albums released throughout the years, which all offer their depth featured through an ominous, classic Dark Electro-like sound-design, flies a bit under the radar through such EP releases like this one. 10 tracks have received a slot on this opulent EP and all are remix contributions, for the most part provided by Justin's dear label comrades like SINSECT, MANGADRIVE, or the Crunch Pod-state-of-art-project, Mr. Ben Arp's C/A/T. Other important people and friends in Justin's career found a free slot too, LITTLE SAP DUNGEON (which offer contrary to the main direction a harsh, Downtempo-like interpretation of the title-track...), XIESCIVE (That is the new, follow-up project to BOUNDLESS, alias Trevor 'Xon' Weeks...), or such long unheard projects like C2 (the harsh Powernoise side-project of CONTROL.ORG), or FILAMENT 38 (between all of these rather Powernoise/TBM-inspired projects a nice variation through their inclusion of heavy guitar riffs...). It doesn't need to rate the winner of this remix 'contest' on here, as this turns rather into a matter of personal preferences. MANGADRIVE have received the opening crown on this EP and are providing the most assessable work on here, which should be able to flame the dancefloors, while LITTLE SAP DUNGEON may represent the nearest of the above mentioned ingredients normally discovered in LEXINCRYPT's compositions. It's a pity, that Justin himself doesn't offer anything originally composed for this EP, like an unreleased tune, so this may alters a bit the impression of a new and cheerful listener. However, this stuff still rules.

Artist: Der Klinke (@)
Title: Square Moon
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Any panel of greyest or smoke-blackened new wave's followers will easily acknowledge the intrinsic value, the exact arrangement as well as the talent of this Belgian formation as Der Klinke shows fusionist skills off through a modern sonorous renovation of some almost godforsaken musical buildings, erected by many legendary Belgian predecessors, such as Front 242, The Neon Judgement, Vomito Negro or Poesie Noire, so that they ideally lenghten the so-called Cold Electro Wave, pierced by some plain rhythmical schemes belonging to EBM, which used to flood mainly European underground disco clubs and headphones between the end of the 80ies and the beginning of the 90ies, through a nowadays adaptation. The result is really interesting and could cause some problems to those reviewers obsessed by labelling of genres, especially when the band bridges the above-mentioned marching sounds with more danceable beats. Even if it's not plagiarist, they manage to hit nostalgic hearts, especially in tracks such as Clear Mind (featuring some drum sequences close to those voodoo techno beats by Vomito Negro or 808 State) or Square Moon, but they could also seduce many gas-masked and leather-blended dancers with tracks such as the foggy 3AM, the obscure "matsurized" techno march of Where It Ends (a track where they grabbed the gnashed voice by Gerd Van Geel aka CUVG, singer for the Belgian band The Arch) or those ones featuring the appearance of a former member of Der Klinke, the jazz singer Melissa Vanderville, who flushes her vocal chords for You, The Voice and Surrender. It seems like lyrics speak about personal stories or poetized pages of a diary, but there's some provokative hook here and there - I personally underwrite the one against cultural uniformation promoted by mass media in the song Radio ("The Radio/Is Your companion/towards an empty life...Go to concerts/go to parties/Meet musicians/Buy their records/But never/No never/Download music" , so Chesko Geert Vankerkhof sings about!) - as well as a nicely gloomy sort of lullaby for insomniacs, At Night, at the end of the record, my personal favorite track together with the above-mentioned Where It Ends, the misty-eyed title-track (I'd like to argue it's a love song by unwearing it from any possible esoteric meaning!) and the chronicly prosaic castle In The Dark. Go in for a dip before the (cold) wave ebbs!

KAVAL: Sky Of Mirrors

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 31 2011
Artist: KAVAL
Title: Sky Of Mirrors
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Rated: *****
Three years from the release of the Keen K EP, the label Das Drehmoment is back with the first release of Kaval titled SKY OF MIRRORS. Formed by Roberto Auser (he's based in Rotterdam and has at his active releases with Alden Tyrell on Bear Funk and solo on Bear Funk and Nature Records) and Ian Martin (he is an artist and DJ based in Rotterdam with releases on Strange Life Records, Bunker Records and Further Records at his active), Kaval on their fist vinyl album bring in ten tracks which form two long suites inspired by the electronic pioneers of the 70s (Vangelis and the all the cosmic synth voyagers of the likes of Klaus Schulze, Robert Schroeder, etc) and by John Carpenter' soundtracks. Sounding now experimental, then tribal, the duo succeeds into creating tense atmospheres that often have epic synth melodies and sparse rhythmic fill-ins. Being a middle way from horror soundtracks and cosmic/ambient trips, SKY OF MIRRORS is a nightmarish album that is able to hypnotize its audience and slowly weaving its web that will trap them. Check it out!

Distorted Memory: Swallowing the sun

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 28 2011
Artist: Distorted Memory
Title: Swallowing the sun
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Rated: *****
Another Canadian band on Noitekk as well as DYM, Distorted Memory unleash a pretty nice second album after "Burning heaven", released in 2006 on Noitekk as well. Jeremy Pillipow's creature is into harsh-ebm/industrial as you are expecting, dance-floor groundbreakers alternated to some slower-paced songs, pounding bass lines, usual arpeggios (with some hi-nrg hints here and there). But not the Combichrist kind of clones proliferating around if this is your question, though there are many points in common. Vocals are harsh but more natural and with less effects than the average, kinda more black metal. Rhythms are driving, but songs sometimes show some unusual (for the genre) middle-eastern music influences, and I must say that "Swallowing the sun", probably the best song, though the less catchy and danceable, of the record, reminds me a lot of Ministry's "Hezbollah" (from "The land of rape and honey" album). This is something noticeable witnessing the attempt of putting some new ideas in a kind of music often stuck to the same recurring standards. "Hand of god" remix by Die Sektor included. Fans of the genre should take note of Distorted Memory.

Anamadim: Dymphne Sanctis

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 28 2011
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Artist: Anamadim (@)
Title: Dymphne Sanctis
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
A free download-able EP from a new Mexican talent, ANAMADIM consists of Javier M. N., who's maybe better in known under his pseudonym Yugao Otomo. He's also a talented graphic artist, as he proves his skills with the opulent cover artwork for this EP. ANAMADIM's efforts are sounding pretty much how a Mexican newcomer has to sound: mostly inspired by crafty countrymen like HOCICO, AMDUSCIA and the still rushing troops of the Hellectro-camp, these featured 5 tracks on this EP avoiding surprises. But his tracks do offer satisfying results, especially when it comes to figure out catchy harmonies of the lead synth programming, Think of above named idols combined with some smoother DECODED FEEDBACK for instance, and you'll an idea about Javier's outfit. His previously featured remix contributions to projects like MENSCHDEFEKT or STAHLNEBEL VS BLACK SELKET have been well noticed by the international based audience. But also here: an upcoming full-length album needs to be switched soon afterwards to approve this first good impression, otherwise ANAMADIM will swim relatively anonymous into the ocean-like flood of mediocrity.

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