Music Reviews



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Artist: Deadburger (@)
Title: C'e' ancora Vita su Marte
Format: CD
Label: Goodfellas (@)
Rated: *****
Deadburger is one of the smartest and most interesting bands to come from Italy's underground scene of envelope-pushing avantgarde-electro-rock bands. Their sound is eclectic and mature and their lyrics are intelligent and thought-provoking. In fact Deadburger walks the fine line between definitely underground and potentially mainstream (since bands such as C.S.I., R.S.U., Subsonica have broken through mainstream media before) and add fruition-friendly meaningful words and mysterious poetry into the mix (like C.S.I. or Battiato have done). However if Deadburger were a product of the States, you know they'd be a recurring name on the bill of the ex-Tonic in NYC (r.i.p.) or of similar avantgarde-downtown-music joints.
I had heard a pre-release version of this record some time ago. The final version of "C'e' ancora Vita su Marte" (which is italian for "There's still Life on Mars") comes with a beautiful super-glossy art work and thick booklet with lyrics to complement the 22 tracks. The album also features a number of collaboration with prominent local instrumentalist which add that touch of collaborative magic.
I think this record has a lot of great songs and some fillers (but with 22 between songs and interludes it couldn't be otherwise) and could have maybe be more direct and immediate with a shorter and more selective track list.
However, the average quality of the songwriting is still really high and makes for a completely enjoyable record. I strongly urge anyone interested in original music to give this album a serious listen. If you happen to understand Italian you really have not excuse not to, but in either case you should!
Jul 23 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The Perils Of Paradise
Format: 12"
Label: Elite Pop (@)
Distributor: Tesco
Rated: *****
Elite Pop isn't a really active label but its releases have a concept. This time the label picked up a track titled "The perils of paradise" by and obscure Dutch minimal Dutch project and gave it to Echo West, ICK and to Terroritmo. The original track was referring to visions of an utopian society criticizing at the same time the Western society which is seen like a "make belief paradise" by some. The 12" opens with the original track which will recall to your ears the early industrial noise bands of the 80's, while Echo West, kept the original track as background for the opening of their industrial wave version adding lyrics and some melody. A nice way of re-working it... ICK, true to his cold analogue industrial approach, substituted the industrial factory noises with analogue synth distorted waves and added filtered vocals, shaping the original track into a cold alienated track. Terroritmo based their version treated vocals on the first half of the track, building a similar rhythm structure which originally was played by machines. On the second half, the track is enriched by some light and subtle rhythms, vocals chants and few noise layers, turning the track into a tense crescendo. Interesting and LIMITED release. Check it...

X-FUSION: Rotten To The Core

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3796)
Jul 21 2007
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Artist: X-FUSION (@)
Title: Rotten To The Core
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Souldfood
Rated: *****
This is the fourth officially full-length release of this striking German project, which has developed through the past years to one of the global scene-players regarding Harsh Electro/EBM/Industrial music. May I don’t have to mention the multiple playing fields in which Jan L. likes to contribute his efforts in – so this is for the very few readers, which haven’t heard before of his projects. X-FUSION stands for the main music project and offers a violent and rough kind of end-time Electro/Industrial pretty much along the :WUMPSCUT:/THE RETROSIC/STARK formula.
Jan has also built his very own X-M-P-studios, in which he produces several scene-related bands, plus he runs also the successful side-project NOISUF-X which rather follows the ideal of a rhythmical Powernoise artist. Some more contributions he likes to put into his mail order service X-Beats and the label Dephyte Records. Matured and experienced is his ability to combine fragile-like melodic inserts with cold and at times fuzzy distorted bass and rhythm patterns, accomplished with a raw and monstrous sounding male vocal performance. In times when the hardcore-Electro listener awaits a new milestone in this stagnant scene after :WUMPSCUT:’s "Embryodead", X-FUSION may holds the right weapon loaded in his hand – while "Rotten To The Core" also offers a lot stuff to infect your mind with slower paced sinister and creepy tunes.
After the dark "Drowning In Deep Silence" the first smasher "Defiled And Raped" rules the scenario and leads the purists to some Pogo action on the floors. With "Traitors Of Our Age" you’ll got maybe the most outstanding work for the danceable-minded tracks, while "Rotten To The Core", "My Inner Storm Blows" and "Death Plan" can nearly rival this. But best track to me is the rather mid-tempo based "Pitch Black" – besides the rough vocals with the easy to follow refrain part (...although hefty distorted, Jan’s vocals are nevertheless one of the winning points for X-FUSION), his well-done melodic synth textures are proof your a higher musically training – Lee Bulig of STARK couldn’t do it any better, applause! This is a fine and for the short-haired EBM/Industrial freak a must-have release – the only tiny thing to criticize is the fact that also "Rotten To The Core" can’t and doesn’t try to offer anything new – but who can nowadays?
Available also as a DCD digi-pack featuring the extra-CD "Bloody Pictures, or as a special box set featuring in all three CD’s with the main release. "Bloody Pictures" and "Choir Of Damnation" offer both unreleased tracks, alternative versions and some remix works created by SUICIDE COMMANDO, RUN LEVEL ZERO or SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS to name a few examples. Try to purchase this soon hard-to-get item ASAP, it is worth any investment!

AMNISTIA: Neophyte

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 21 2007
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Artist: AMNISTIA (@)
Title: Neophyte
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
AMNISTIA is a new German duo, which we like to welcome with their debut release "Neophyte" to the world-wide Electro/EBM/Industrial scene. Against the still successful Hellektro rush, they rather follow on "Neophyte" some traditional ideals – names like early ACCESSORY, PROJECT-X or ABSENT MINDED are coming as possible references to mind, while I don’t like to go that far to name old FLA as a possibility for a comparison – these Canadian heroes are still playing in a higher league. AMNISTIA provide generally a kind of old-school EBM which had its heydays in between 1994 to 1997, of course played and produced with modern technique and equipment. A positive point on which I like to make allowances, is the fact that AMNISTIA have spend a lot of hours to develop their used sounds, be it some effects, the hammering bass lines or some dramatically voice samples – no minimal structures here, the arrangements are filled and "Neophyte" never starts to bore. The more faster tracks are the favorites here – "G.S.W./Rage", "Red Coloured Emotions" or "Self-Defence (Steel-Alloyed Edit)" are suitable for some floor action. "Tempted" is the track which offers a bit more of a musically culture thanks to the insert of piano and guitar sounds. On two tracks, "Headfake" and "Self-Defence (Steel Alloyed Edit)" this duo could take the profit to have Daniel Myer of HAUJOBB as co-producer behind the mixing console. A bit muddy to the end of this CD, since the tracks are losing a bit of speed and intensity, but generally this provided debut album marks a fine addition to the growing force of retro-EBM formations. Quite well-done and promising debut, here and there a small doze of more toughness wouldn’t be wrong, but this falls under a personal preference. Good work, men!

Press: The Fine Art of a White Label

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 11 2007
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Artist: Press (@)
Title: The Fine Art of a White Label
Format: CD EP
Label: Lens Records (@)
Rated: *****
The title concept of this latest EP by Press, a one-man Electronica act fronted by Robin Smith, is a clever self-parody of the CD release as a "white label" test pressing. Perhaps it is a bit too fitting, since most of these six instrumental tracks indeed sound like they're still in a beta-testing, un-vetted, embryonic stage. The music itself is enjoyable, with bombastic and moderately syncopated drum tracks that could serve to boost a DJ set somewhere in the middle of the mix, but by itself is altogether without distinction. Only the last two titles, "Still" and "1000 Tiny Feet," stir the blood to any significant degree.

It's more difficult than ever before to tell how electronic music is made, as sounds of familiar, once-recognizable keyboards and synths that you used to be able to name by ear are replaced by faceless, anonymous, PC-bound digital audio. You begin to wonder how lost we're going to feel after the PC finally takes over completely -- hopefully on future Press releases, Smith won't allow himself to succumb to this great Nothing.


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