Music Reviews



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Artist: DJ Baby Anne & Jen Lasher
Title: Assault & Battery
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: System Recordings / Zone Records
Distributor: System Recordings
Rated: *****

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I found this to be an unexpected drop in my box. As a DJ remix CD it also seems to be a bit of an unexpected pairing as well in some ways. Two high energy female DJs on a 2CD set by System Records, this creates several minutes of nightclub styled dance music with two distinct flavors. The first is DJ Baby Anne who's overall style is that of the Bass Culture. This femme fatale hails from Orlando, FL and mixes the likes of Malicious Mike, Trixie, Scratch-D (Dynamix II), Mylo, and KMFX as well as dropping a few of her own unique tracks. The second is Jen Lasher, this was the big surprise for me! This cute redhead reveals more of the underground styles between EBM and Synthpop. I found this a pleasant switch from 'traditional' DJ remix projects I've heard previously. Many of the artists she spins have a retro-modern Synthpop flair, some with EBM overtones. I would never have expected to hear Wolfsheim and Covenant on a DJ remix disc! Very nice! She also spins quite a few great tracks I'm previously unfamiliar with by bands such as The Glass, Naommon, Roxanne, The Knife, Mason, Infected Mushroom and one of her own making. The first disc starts out rather 'traditional' to older bass style DJ mixes then slowly transitions into something less familiar and more unique. Overall, I found this to be entertaining and fun to listen to. Not the type of disc I normally purchase but if you are looking for something fun to play at parties and you have a mixed crowd of trendies and alternatives alike, you can get away with this nicely!
Sep 20 2005
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Artist: RED CELL (@)
Title: Hybrid Society
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
The young and growing Swedish label Progress Productions surprises with a new signing from northern territories of this country compared to the previous releases like the young PUPPYan-influenced NECRO FACILITY for example. Because RED CELL play globally said Electro/EBM-Metal Crossover. "Nothing new", some of you would normally argue, but better listen to this remarkable release before you judge too early. I haven’t heard any comparable release, especially with a critical look to some Cold Wave acts hailing from the USA, which gives such a strong dedication on quality EBM/Electro structures like this one. The electronic elements definitively win the fight against the guitar-driven acoustic elements. Genre-typical distorted, so I would qualify the vocals – they make here an evil and powerful appearance but can not surprise. More surprised I am of course by the already mentioned electronic elements which are not only thrown in to get some strange effects. These electronic are in here to build the leading elements in the music compositions this band has to offer, it doesn’t sound cheap and avoids mostly all cheesyness, and with "New Law" you can find also a pure Dark Electro piece with a remarkable melodic element. Satisfaction for all purists is guaranteed here! Other favorites I have found here in "Nothing" with the maybe most effective melodic line here, as well as "Naked", which hits the target with its hard ripping EBM sequences, good melodic influence and – I must say it – redundancy with the guitars. The only flaw I can find on this release – and this really disturbs me – is the definitively too short playing time of about only 38 minutes. You get 38 minutes full of excellent and powerful produced EBM/Industrial-Metal Crossover music for sure, but will the listener accept a short playing time when he can get a full packed CD for the same money from a different band out of this genre? Well, the music is above all averages.

LES ANGES DE LA NUIT: Ruins of Victory

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2178)
Sep 16 2005
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Artist: LES ANGES DE LA NUIT
Title: Ruins of Victory
Format: CD
Label: Static Sky Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
With the license deal between German label Infacted Recordings and Static Sky Records, this debut release of this trio hailing from Fort Lauderdale, FL, is now free and good available on the US market. Two of the three men behind this band, Milton Sanchez and Anthony Stuart, are also responsible for the harsh and noisy output of RETRACTOR, a Terror-EBM act recording for the Polish Black Flames Label. Musically this both projects cannot compared at all, here and there I can hear out some similar structures, some same sounds, but that’s it. LES ANGES DE LA NUIT are servicing the wide field of the Synth-, Electro- or Futurepop genre, however you would like to name it. The vocals are of course without overdriven use of effect, they are clear and well placed in the mix – unbelievable if you still have the style of RETRACTOR in mind. Their strongest moments the band offers here with tracks like "Apocalypse", "Forever and a Day" or "Promise", which are floating well on current tide of the Futurepop genre. The melodic lines of these tracks will move through your ears in your brain and will remain there, very remarkable work. Also a favorite is the track "I Find Myself", the only one on which this band includes some distorted vocals. This album does globally well, but it is hard for me to figure out the differences to the wide mass of comparable productions. It swims with all current tendencies, but here is nothing really bad or that sensational good that this album could grab bigger attention. A satisfying and decent album, but away from being groundbreaking.

SYSTEM SYN: Postscript

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 14 2005
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Artist: SYSTEM SYN (@)
Title: Postscript
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
2004 was an important year in the already long history of Clint Carney’s band SYSTEM SYN, because this year marks the dedication to some more success and attention with the previous release "Premeditated". Only a year later and with the move from Sector 9 Studios to the big Metropolis-Records, this project – now grown to three member band – returns earlier than expected. The success formula behind the music of SYSTEM SYN is for sure still the same. Produced and mastered by Ted Phelps of IMPERATIVE REACTION, SYSTEM SYN offer us their vision of dark Electro-Pop music mostly based on already known structures and sounds. It is surely wrong here to ask for such a big word like "innovation" behind Client’s main project of course, everything could be listened earlier before from other bands or from his own predecessor release. Nevertheless the good production and the outstanding compositions of Clint Carney with some very personal influenced lyrics are worth to remark. The vocals are well balanced in the mix and are present here without the misuse of some harsh effects. Some good pieces can be discovered with "Burning Out", "All the Human Things" and/or "Now", mostly outstanding for their rich melodic input in combination with Clint’s excellent vocals. Also superb is the slow "The Saddest Sound Was You" where this band finally decided to slow down the tempo and to give the listener a more depressive piece. On the other hand I have found some tracks like "If You Never Heal" or "Existence in Neutral" which produce some doubts about. Are these tracks really ready done? They simply provide a big minimalism and seem to be filling stuff compared to the mentioned tracks before. So we have in all a decent release which wouldn’t lack of quality when the band could decide here and there to claim more originality in sounds and ideas. Not a bad release for sure, but far away to call it outstanding...
Sep 14 2005
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Artist: DJKEYONE
Title: bio.turn.mek device
Format: CD
Label: Green (@)
Rated: *****
This italian label is probably best known as one of the pillars italian hard core music during the nineties. Djkeyone comes from another planet and we'll use the label "dj culture" if it still make any sense. That's not such a weird surprise since the history of "hip hop" and the "Dj culture" in Italy passed also through the squats and from the same alternative culture of the late 80s/early 90s that nourished the punk movement. The real "aficionados" of Green records probably know Giulio (the label master) has always loved some of the early hip hop (one of the first release of the label was a demo by the hip hop duo Sacco e Vanzetti) and we can say this release is not that far from these cartesian coordinates. To get deeper into the real essence of this cd don't think of any b-boy thing with "rapping" overwhelming every single second of music, Djkeyone belongs to that breakbeat, dj background that has been the cradle of Dj Shadow, Dj Krush, Mo Wax or Cold Cut's Ninja Tune label. A pulsing rhythm and a squared beat follows the tradition, between the samples I've also heard Dj Gruff's "Questione di stile" (god bless that guy) that shows this turntablist is into the old school thing and sometimes that's plain evident in the shape of the cuts. Dj Shadow and Dj Krush could have mystified your ideas since this record is absolutely far from sounding "chillout" or even "jazzy", here you got stoned dark melodies and 4/4 beats where the dj shows his scratching-talent. People into this style of music should get it above all those who can appreciate the technical side of it all.


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