Music Reviews



Candie Hank: Demons

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 18 2014
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Artist: Candie Hank (@)
Title: Demons
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult
Rated: *****
Patric Catani is a multi faceted musician and he's or had been involved into many projects of the likes of E-De-Cologne, Eradicator, The Horrible Plans Of Flex Busterman, Jewfunk, Methylizer, Patric Cremer, Ricardo Prosetti, Test Tube Kid, Toytone, The VIP, etc. In the past I crossed my path with him when I reviewed Driver & Driver and Party Catani releases. This time I'm here to write about his latest album as Candie Hank. With five albums and a couple of mixed CDs, Candie Hank has released on late April the album "Demons" on Shitkatapult. Available in CD, vinyl and digital, "Demons" contains eleven new tracks that are difficult to define as Patrick mixes genres and atmospheres just to create a new thing that is in balance from surf music (check "Swimming Rabbit", "Every Night" or the opening "The Fox" which sounds like a ride on a 60s rollercoaster with an apple candy stuck on your shirt), Arabesque atmospheres (like on "Think About You Mama" or like on "What Is Your Name", where those atmospheres finds a new home into a dub arrangement) and creative cut-ups. This is the core idea and the force of this record: its creativity. It's difficult that you'll find something else sounding like this and by listening to "Demons" you'll feel like a kid chasing a toy clown into a luna-park while a possessed Atari computer is playing its video game soundtracks. Full of nice sounds, upbeat rhythms, each tracks is a surprise and you'll find yourselves ready for another ride. Please check "What Is Your Name" on the label's Soundcloud page here https://soundcloud.com/shitkatapult/candie-hank-what-is-your-name.

Frontal: Lass uns Tanzen

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 08 2014
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Artist: Frontal (@)
Title: Lass uns Tanzen
Format: CD
Label: Emmo.biz Records (@)
Distributor: Emmo.biz
Rated: *****
Frontal is a German old-school EBM-duo consisting of Alex Wobig (Voice and Programming) and Denis Rehm (Live Drums) and they have been part of the flat-haired EBM-scene for several years now. After starting with a self-released album they could join the ranks of the legendary Electric Tremor label, while they now got signed to Emmo.biz. 'Lass uns Tanzen' is their 4th official album-release and this duo can be sorted musically into the same drawer like Der Prager Handgriff in their early years, meets Pouppee Fabrikk meets Jager 90. So you shouldn't be too much surprised if you'll get a pure, nostalgic and uncomplicated EBM-album with the typical straight kick- and snare-work, the monotonous synth-bass-sequences leading almost the whole music-outfit, plus the raging EBM-shouter with a deep timbre. All tracks are danceable produced with the expected 4-on-the-floor-attitude, so further musically surprises in their arrangements are reduced to a minimum. Almost all tracks provide German lyrics which deal with typical themes of the young 'get-hard-be-strong' EBM-youth like the mostly unsuccessfully hunt for girls, cars, beer, etc. One track finally breaks a bit out this known formula: 'i-Generation' offers more synth-pads thrown into the mix so that I tend to compliment this one out of the mass. Two remix contributions by Orange Sector and a complete reinterpretation by Jager 90 are closing this album, but both do not match the better original tracks. What generally impresses with Frontal is their pleasantly-relaxed expression of their music. They are far away from offering pseudo-aggressive shouts or nervousness in their arrangements. What disturbs is the fact that you shouldn't expect anything more demanding, be it innovation in their music or a lyrically content on more serious themes. It is ideal stuff to warm-up your next body-party, but it doesn't suit to every possibility as background noise.

Cryo: Retropia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 06 2014
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Artist: Cryo (@)
Title: Retropia
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
There is still coldness ruling the musically deeds in the Cryodome and so the Swedish label Progress Productions proudly presents us the newest effort of this highly recognized project. Meanwhile Cryo has grown to a duo, Progress Productions label-chief Torny Gottberg has joined forces with Martin Rudefelt. It is Cryo's third full-length album released after the appetizer "In Your Eyes", which could climb successfully the highest chart positions of the German DAC. With "In Your Eyes" this album also kicks off, it is surely one of the best tracks ever written by this duo. A catchy chorus, cold, but still melodic synth arrangements, plus the ideal speed produced through the powerful rhythm work are the outstanding characteristics of this track. The brain-washing bass sequencer-lines and pummeling beats of the second track then are maybe intended to satisfy the Harsh-Electro youth, personally I find this style a bit too mainstream. 'The Portal' will be another popular track by Cryo and the ideal tune to embrace especially their fans in Russia on their headlining tour. A video clip filmed in Pripyat (Chernobyl) will surely help with it. With the next both tracks 'Common Man' and 'I Use You' this album slows down and sets standards on a rather haunting and sinister mood. Kraftwerk-ian brilliance in synth-pads and typical vocoder effects on the vocals can be noticed on the 3-part-trilogy of 'So Close' at the end of this album, another highlight not to be missed. Even if Cryo has started as a one-man project years before, this duo nowadays picks up successfully the once chosen path. It is a typical Cryo album which doesn't invent a new wheel, but it is still breathtakingly authentic in the defined art and kind. Well done, gentlemen!

DivIder: Minimal Distraction

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 30 2014
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Artist: DivIder (@)
Title: Minimal Distraction
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Basic Unit Productions (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Basic Unit Production isn't a new established label but both haujobb.-protagonists Daniel Myer and Dejan Samardzic are using this name to publish their very own musically efforts. Relatively new is the fact that they have recently decided to open the gates to foreign music-projects and to release some goodies in both formats, limited physically editions and of course to service the growing digital market. The first activities have been the release of a compilation entitled "Frost" in early 2013 as well as a debut-EP by DSX, the Experimental Electronica solo-project by Dejan Samardzic. Also DivIder isn't at all a bloody newcomer project, but a US-based Experimental EBM-project already active since the mid-90s. Actually they have been existed pretty much under the radar of higher recognition and could release, as I had to learn, three physically albums. As being kids of times when EBM/Industrial has had meaningful heydays, it shouldn't wonder too much, that DivIder's music is obviously infiltrated with a strong dedication to those nostalgic days. This digital-EP consists of two original tracks plus some fair remix contributions. The sound outfit already presented on the main track "Minimal Distraction (feat. Jasmin Yas)" reminds on some early-90s projects like Johnson Engineering Co., Electro Assassin, or FLA to their "Gashed Senses" era. Also positive to hear, that all remixes of this main track are trying more or less to pick up the vibe of the original, while they also include attractive ideas of their contributor. The 'Holm/Mirland Remix' for instance pushes the speed of the track to a higher level and adds a mind-blowing snare-drum. A second track entitled "Relentless At The Heart' featuring Martin Sax (T.W.A.T.) on the main vocals got featured too and is available in the 'Radio Edit' as well as in a remixed version by the prominent Aghast View follow-up project Aesthetische. While the 'Radio Edit' forges the steel through nailing old-school EBM-like bass lines, the Aesthetische-remix adds a post-modern vibe through fresher sounding, very dancefloor-compatible rhythm- and bass line parts. If I said this often enough to their predecessor project Aghast View in the past, this also counts for Aesthetische: the remix-abilities of this Brazilian project are always exciting and hit the nail! Even if this is meant only as an appetizer of things to come from DivIder, it is mouth-watering and filled with many ideas reflecting the often pronounced better days of EBM. Attention got awoken in high amounts for the upcoming album!

Empire State Human: Futura

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 27 2014
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Artist: Empire State Human
Title: Futura
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: House Of Analogue
Rated: *****
Inspired, touching and cinematic... This is the best way to describe the new Empire State Human album "Futura". Released eight months after their previous album Soul Of The Machine, "Futura" is the newest band's effort and this time Aidan and Lar decided to take a challenge and to write an instrumental album. During their career they already wrote instrumental tracks but they composed "Futura" with a different spirit, because writing an album which could be seen as an imaginary soundtrack it's different than dropping few instrumentals here and there. The duo composed the album paying homage, as they say, to Sci-Fi soundtracks, art installation music, film scores, ambient and electronic layered bleep music, that the band has loved all their musical lives. The ten tracks of the album mix a sort liquid atmosphere to melodic moments and synth effects. We pass from the hard beats of the opening "Into Futura" to the digital ambient sampled vocals based "Wire Tired", passing from the robotic rhythms of "Drop Inside A Beat". Futura sounds like Empire State Human never sounded and, as Aidan Casserly states: "Working purely on music that was never intended to have a voice on it, really helped us throw away the perceptions of who we are as a band, to not only ourselves but also to how others see us too. Very refreshing experience. It was also a brilliant learning curve and a great journey to make so soon after the last album". While digging these tracks, prepare yourselves to the next band's album "The Dark", coming anytime soon. You can check the tracks at the label's Soundcloud page.


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