Music Reviews

Emergence: Eschaton

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1899)
May 01 2005
Artist: Emergence (@)
Title: Eschaton
Format: CD
Label: Negative Gain Records (@)
Distributor: metropolis records
Rated: *****
Emergence- Eshcaton cdThis band hails from Denver Colorado and are making a mark in the electronic scene.This is by far one of the most moving dance cds out there, every track gets you to move about and start a dance floor revolution. Track one- Slow burn has a beautiful orchestrated beginning that moves into a electro synthesis. This track had me dancing onto oblivion. Heavy catchy thought provoking words spew out and imbed into our eternal hardrives. We move on with the Track 3- Eschaton the title of the cd. Heavy guitars with electronics everywhere and low backing robotics singing words to the ending age. All lyrics are telling a story of the pain we endure with life and just how it haunts us till our dying day. One particular track that stuck out was track 10- The Creeping Hours, it seemed to be the most powerful track on this album. A work of art was here and a track that would cause eternal clubplay wordwide. Singing ,"it's just an ordinary day and I never loved you anyway." Electronic break beats and heavy synthesized dance floor assault are written in the code to make all of you dance. The whole album in a nutshell is beatiful written emotional lyrics of the heart and soul and paying homage to the ode of despair by with dancing with depair. I give this album 4-stars. Emergence is on tour right now so check out if they are coming by you and go see this amazing band, you may never be the same again!
Artist: Battery Cage (@)
Title: Product
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
I’ve ruminated over writing this review for a long time. Initially, after my first listening session of Battery Cage’s "Product" CD, my reaction was pretty negative. I thought, "This sounds old, clichéd, scattered, and the singer can’t sing at all. Yet, there was something there that kept drawing me back for repeated listenings. Although it sounded overall like a cross between Mentallo & the Fixer and Frontline Assembly style techno-industrial, there were flaws that just seemed to push my buttons in all the wrong ways. Lyrics (from those that I could even decipher) that seemed inanely clichéd ("you’re getting in my mind, your wars, your lies, your lies, you hatred of mankind... their vision’s so pathetic, your words- so prophetic, you’re drug-dicked (?) all the time, attempt to realign... " from "Gone Postal"), vocals that ranged from a harsh whisper to a distorted scream with little concession to intelligibility, and a chaotic quality that makes this a very difficult initial listen. Only one song ever grabbed me at first, and that was "Caged". I thought it might make a decent dance-floor number and could be the saving grace for this otherwise erratic mess of a CD.But... .I knew I was missing something here. There were elements all too familiar that kept drawing me back to replay the CD. One of the elements was the electronic programming. I could tell that a lot of work went into "Product". My initial impression of chaos was gradually being replaced by the concept of a band that had so many good ideas that were unable to control the frenzied explosion of their creation. And also, it seemed like I had heard some of this material before... Which turned out to be true. I HAD heard them before, as I was reminded when I visited Battery Cage’s website. Back in 2001 they did a live show in Ithaca NY and I remembered that I did manage to catch it. I don’t remember being overwhelmingly impressed, but I don’t recall hating them either. I think I noted mentally, "has potential, needs work". I didn’t realize what the behind the scene’ scoop was. If I had bothered to read the inside of the CD insert, I would have found out.Battery Cage (from Boston) started out back in 1997 or so as Tyler Newman, AJ Kaelin and Jeremy Page. They met up with Da5id Din and were supposed to have "Product" released on his Sinless Records label, which collapsed prior to the release of the album. So "Product" is actually a 1998 CD that never saw the commercial light of day until 2005. I was beginning to get the picture. In the interim (sparing the drama of band personnel hijinks), the last man standing in Battery Cage ended up being Tyler. Tyler began collaborating with Mr. Din and was drafted (grafted?) into his Informatik project and resulted in the critically controversial "Nymphomatic" CD which I found to be OK, but a little boring after a few songs. This project permitted Tyler a relationship with Metropolis Records and gave Battery Cage a new lease on life, so to speak.Jumping ahead to Battery Cage’s 2004 CD, "World Wide Wasteland" (now Battery Cage consists of Tyler, Josh Greco, who engineered "Product", Paul Savio and Roland Adams) the sound they offer now has been completely revamped and "improved". Well, commercially improved from the standpoint of marketability. Generally, WWW subscribes to the VNV/Apop/Covenant school of dancefloor-oriented EBM with much better vocals than they’ve ever had before. Although intrinsically there’s nothing wrong with aiming your music to get some club play, I find this tends to make all bands that follow this route sound the same. There are so many VNV clones out there now that it doesn’t seem like there’s much in the techo-industrial realm of new releases that sounds really different.Back to "Product" – in light of the "trends" for new releases, this IS really different. In spite of the vocal deficiencies and some dated sounds, there is a hell of a lot going on here that is well executed and occasionally brilliant. Perhaps the departed Jeremy Page was responsible for a hefty portion of it, but "Product" has so many merits and juicy elements in it that repeated listenings will minimize the inherent flaws. This is "old school" techno-industrial, the kind that just doesn’t seem to be made anymore. Here you get influences ranging from early Haujobb, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Mentallo, you name it. Really creative and complex rhythms, a vast variety of synth sounds, amusing sample of dialogue, atmospheric ambiences, and just about everything else you could imagine. No, it’s not perfect by any means (the twelve-plus minute instrumental "Killfile" could have been distilled to half its length and the eleven second final track "Product" is just superfluous), but there’s enough good stuff here to merit repeated listenings. If Battery Cage could incorporate some of the better aspects of "Product" with their new direction of "World Wide Wasteland", they’d have an absolutely killer product’ that might even be able to blow away the big boys of the techno-industrial scene.

VV.AA.: Revelation

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1890)
Apr 21 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Revelation
Format: CD
Label: Bugs crawling out of people
Distributor: Ad Noiseam, Malignant
Debut sampler cd from Bugs Crawling Out of People (great name, and great logo!), "Revelation" features 75 minutes of music from Prospero, Dead Man's Hill, Casual Coincidence, Nörv, Pneumatic Detach, Legion Ultra, Sedarka, bETON bARRAGE, Scrap.edx, Iszoloscope, Asphalt Leash and Nitrous Flesh. Unfortunately for my taste, except a few droning ambient tracks, it is mostly heavy beat-driven industrial stuff I'm definitely not fond of, and honestly can't judge. I suppose if you're into these projects and/or the labels they're on (Hive, DTA, Mechanoise Labs, Steinklang...), or, say, the Ad Noiseam and Ant-Zen roster, you'll find A LOT to sink your teeth into, so go for it. The cd comes with creepy apocalyptic writings and bad drawings.
Title: Geräuschinformatik
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
After having heard a few compilation appearances of this German Electro/Industrial formation I expected to get a full-length debut album filled with Dark Electro music combined with some Powernoise elements plus a huge amount of German voice samples. Well, it is all here – but there is more – much more! AUTO AGGRESSION is the solo effort by Lukas Schneider, a student at the Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media in Essen/Germany (WOW, to study there must be an unfilled dream for a lot artists...) and this "Geräuschinformatik" can be described as a kind of exam. True, this album differs a lot in kind and idea from comparable releases and expectations. The mentioned dancefloor oriented stuff a lot of you have already heard on three parts of the well-recognized "Septic" compilation series is not the only kind how Lukas is able to squeeze out of his machinery. I have noticed a lot of strange ideas in sounds, arrangements and kind of composing which break with all conventions of this music genre. Take some pieces like "Aufwärtsrosten", the strange rhythmic works on "Kubus" or his masterpiece "City of I.C.E.", which features some nice female vocals, and you have the strongest pieces here which try to break out from the death valley in which this music genre drowns. I am sure that Lukas did create and program every single sound here on his very own – nothing sounds here like heard before. Also the whole kind of this release breaks with expectations, here are no "Pain-Sick-Worlds end" - rambles, and here are no cheap effects on stolen drum loops – everything sounds clear and very well thought out. "Intellectual Industrial" is a catchword in the info sheet – well, this release is not far away from this. What you have to investigate to enter this music is a fair amount of a some more rotations than usually. You will be rewarded with a well produced Electro/Industrial album which is able to show hints and ways to avoid the lack of new ideas. It is also a brave release for the rising German label Dependent and it will be very interesting to see, how the audience will react on this. Give it a try – you won’t regret it!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1885)
Apr 18 2005
Title: Panamena
Format: CD EP
Label: Sonic 360
Rated: *****
Never thought that it was a pity that Cure didn't record other songs like "Let's go to bed" or that New Order didn't record other songs in the like of "Blue monday". Well, this isn't the exact case but into the four GladKazuka's songs you can find all these atmospheres and more. Hailing from Colombia the solo project is part of the download only label, Sonic 360. The four tracks that will be available to download from Napster and Itunes starting from the 25th of April will convince you that this project is innovative even if its roots are deeply grounded in the '80s. "Panamena" has got a driving bass line which sound just like New Order (you know that flangered sound, don't you?) mixed into a bleeping and popping melodic tune that it's capable to catch immediately your attention. This song could work so well on the radio... The second one "Solo me gusta contigo" seems a joke with that treated vocals. It seems a dance tune sung by a cute mouse and it's fun. "Take me" sound like a dance tune coming from the '70s/'80s period but with a launge arrangement. The fourth tune "Doblan" mix '90s ambient dance experimentalism with '80s sounds. This E.P. has been a surprise for me and I assure you that it is really cool and it makes you wonder for more!

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