Music Reviews



Feb 06 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Born/Evolve/Progress 2
Format: CD
Label: Progress-Productions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Winter time – compilation time # 3: Well, that’s a fine label compilation. The Swedish label Progress Productions likes to celebrate the new year with their second edition "Born/Evolve/Progress" on which all signed label artists provide new and unreleased tracks. No compiling of known smash hits, no releasing of unnecessary remix works by more or lesser known "stars" of the scene – luckily only new and never-heard-before stuff. Also a nice introduction to the new signings this label has recently picked up. TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE, thankfully featured with a Swedish solo project by John Karlgren has already worked hard to create a satisfied and complex sound for years reaching the level of some classic FLA works. It was about time and a consequential must, that this fucking-great artist finally has found a label home in Progress Productions. Already appearing with an enthusiastic track on the beloved Interbreeding VII (BLC Productions, www.blcmusic.com), this is an act to follow immediately. Opening act is CRYO aka Martin Rudefeldt, maybe the most underrated act on Progress, also present with two new pieces – it’s hard to find any better opener than this new track "Freedom", combining vocoderized vocals, cold melodic synth textures and rather old-school like bass lines. Follows the second new signing MOMMY HURT MY HEAD with a pounding Harsh Electro piece. This act hails from Denmark and can be seen as a follow-up act to the legendary ARZT + PFUSCH, a well-known act still in hiatus. Also the young NECRO FACILITY return with two Dark Electro tunes following more or less obviously some similarities to classic SKINNY PUPPY and/or INTERLACE works – good stuff. RED CELL then marks one of the surprises of this compilation. Wasn’t it this act which could grab some attention by some Swedish Metal music magazines? Where are the guitars? It looks like a huge stylistically change, because this track is a real Futurepop piece somehow comparable to CULTURE KULTÜR and PRIDE & FALL. Mr. JONES MACHINE and HYPE offer late 80ties-inspired Synthpop tracks and especially HYPE’s vocal performance by Robert Enforsen (ex-ELEGANT MACHINERY) can convince totally. SYSTEM continue with a rather minimal early 80-ties, KRAFTWERKian piece, while 8KHZ MONO joining this comp with a surprising hard Electro/EBM piece. Also IAMBIA, hailing out of Greece, are pushing the hard and stomping beats forward to some dark dancefloors featuring once again their fine worked-out signature. STURM CAFE could to my impression really improve their knowledge in German language, while the music formula with NEP-like bass lines and a solid kick and snare work remains the same. Finally the last new signing comes up with the last track, KOPFER KAT with "Spike" providing a rhythmically Powernoise effort which really shatters some walls to dust. Not that Tekkno-based 140 bpm and faster kick/open hi-hat work, but real distortions, easy, but effective produced. Regarding the "limited to 1000 pieces world-wide" special this compilation features as well, there can’t be any real reason not to purchase this fine collection. Progress Productions concentrates on quality releases and has grown in the past two years to much more than only a secret tip. The next label giant after the coming demise of Dependent? Well, let’s see how far it goes...

01: Cryo "Freedom"
02: Terror Punk Syndicate "Dysmorphia" (Epicentre Version)
03: Mommy Hurt My Head "Nothing Zero Option (After the pills)"
04: Necro Facility "Tuxedo"
05: Red Cell "Lust"
06: Mr Jones Machine "Vilda Drömmar"
07: Hype "Love-o-lution"
08: System "No Man"
09: 8kHz Mono "Crash Course"
10: Iambia "Program K"
11: Cryo "Rage"
12: Terror Punk Syndicate "Wish I Was Retarded"
13: Sturm Cafe "Weltliches Leben"
14: Necro Facility "Dope"
15: Kopfer Kat "Spike"
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Dependence 2
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Winter time - compilation time #2: A requiem release... For all of you out there who still haven’t heard the horrible news, but the included 24-sides long booklet to this compilation reports, that the famous and international renowned German label Dependent will close their doors during summer 2K7. Maybe this is the reason why this comp comes in a totally black designed jewel case. Anyhow, a stop of all business activities of this giant label is a hard slap against the international Electro/Industrial scene. I was shocked as I received this compilation – and I nearly had to sit down to realize and to believe what I had to read - I’m still shocked! I somehow wanted to present the booklet text here in this review, to give you the official literally word-by-word text by label chief Stefan Herwig, but for some reason I couldn’t find it on their site and also not in their forum. To cut a long story short, Herwig names reasons like the lack of sales of physical CD releases and the obviously higher rates of illegal downloads through Eastern European piracy websites. Also the lack of a clear statement to copyrights through the German government is a valid point Herwig argues here. I somehow think that this problem is only the top of an ice mountain, a lot of business frustration may comes along, too. Anyway, the text is worth a reading and if it will published completely somewhere else, I’ll gonna bring it on here in the news section. "Thanks" to this awful news, the content and this compilation generally have been moved a bit out of recognition. The second part of this compilation series holds again some goodies and special recordings of all main artists on board. It’s really hard to find any better opener for this comp than this marvelous "alternate version" of SEABOUND’s "The Promise" – this is perfect composed and played Electro/Futurepop music. Rather energetic and with some guitar-support comes then MINDLESS FAITH with an unreleased track. ROTERSAND offer the interested audience a new remix work on their classic "Merging Ocean", while Lukas Schneider aka AUTOAGGRESSION returns with a rather noisy and fast-forward pounding track "Speed". No club hit of SUICIDE COMMANDO, you’ll get instead a limited b-side, the instrumental piece "Second Death". MIND.IN.A.BOX preset with "Give Me My Life" a track you maybe already know, if you have visited their website. Last but not least, STROMKERN offer with "Hindsight" in its Extendet version the main track of their current download-only single release. Several nice pieces are on here, especially for those who aren’t the hard-stuff collectors which can purchase all limited editions of some release. But the smell of death lays over this compilation...

01 Seabound - The Promise (Alternate)*
02 Mindless Faith - Independence Day (Precursor Mix)*
03 Fractured - Cold Eyes (Reprise)*
04 Pride and Fall - Adored*
05 Rotersand - Merging Oceans (2007 re-work)*
06 Edge Of Dawn - Damage (Forma Tadre Remix)*
07 NNN feat. Dismantled - We Were*
08 Flesh Field - Swarm*
09 Ivory Frequency - Clock Is Ticking Fast (Demo Version)*
10 Autoaggression - Speed*
11 Insekt - Bambifucker (Remix Version)*
12 Suicide Commando - Second Death**
13 mind.in.a.box - Give Me My Life**
14 Stromkern - Hindsight (Extended)**

* Unreleased
** Rare

SAM: Synthetic Adrenaline Music

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3364)
Jan 29 2007
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Artist: SAM (@)
Title: Synthetic Adrenaline Music
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
New signing and output for the German ProNoize label, member of the Dark Dimension label group. With SAM they introduce us a German two-men output providing us a straight and harsh forward moving Electro/Powernoise sound. The music maybe somehow can be described if you use their band name, although this shouldn’t start discussions of a new sub-genre. Hard, forward-moving rhythmically Electro tunes, here and there flavored with some noise elements and mostly German voice samples – but not real Powernoise. This stuff seems to be rather designed for the short-hair Hellektro-supporter, thanks to a huge amount of repetition and monotony in their "songs", I somehow got the impression that two Tekkno-music producers got tired of their usual stuff and tried to jump on a darker and merciless train. I miss compositional depth, the 18 tracks here really deserve the description "track" like never-ever before – it’s a rather loop-oriented kind of work. Enjoyable under the influence of some drinks maybe with the need to move your lazy ass, but hard to find acceptance on a home entertainment. Somehow I prefer more the label colleagues of XOTOX and NOISUF-X or CONTROL-SYSTEM, which all provide more noise...

Instans: Common Ground

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3361)
Jan 26 2007
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Artist: Instans (@)
Title: Common Ground
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
I like to quote Fredrik Djurfeldt of SEVERE ILLUSION out of our recent done interview soon up here somewhere else: "Well, if it wasn't for Black Flames being so encouraging in the first place, there would have been no INSTANS. For some reason they spent all their money on another band that no one liked, and now they are no more. During the two years that followed, we still had the Instans web site and a Myspace site up and running. Through this we soon learned that there was a demand for the album, so when Advoxya offered a contract we were happy to sign it." What does this mean? SEVERE ILLUSION on half power? INSTANS a waste of time? Cool down, almost everything’s all right with the debut of this SEVERE ILLUSION side-project. The authentic style which Fredrik Djurfeldt and Ulf Lundblad have successfully created and installed on all of their releases finds here a decent continuation. Described as being a lighter and more danceable edition than the main project, I moreover come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t make too much difference if they would have been decided to release "Common Ground" as a real SEVERE ILLUSION album. Yeah, some tunes are definitively straighter and rather danceable-friendly produced than the works of the last SEVERE ILLUSION studio album "Shortcut To Civilization", especially a track like "Hard Work" with its minimal old-school EBM flavor and some "sweat-muscle-work" vocals can bring a smile in my face. Favorites I like to name with "Cause And Effect" (features some great done Dark Electro-like layer sounds...) and "First Off", both pick up a bit more the traditionally noise-infiltrated SI sound. So in all this is a must-have for every SEVERE ILLUSION supporter as well as for old-school EBM and Minimal fans. Thumbs up!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Interbreeding VIII: Elements of Violence
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Winter time – Compilation time #1: Well, not really released in this winter, but until today still an undiscovered edition of the international extremely successful and renowned Interbreeding compilation series. Also for this edition label chief Brandon L. Clark could pick up and invite some promising newbies besides some already known forces of the internationally Electro/Industrial scene. Again released as a double-CD set, both CD’s are filled with up to 78 minutes to the maximum possible storage and you’ll get some new and refreshing appearances not to be missed. Like on most previous released editions the mass and the huge playing time maybe nails the listener at first and it needs some time and more rotations until the best pieces can be filtered. It is important to know that the first placed appearances on the so-called best slots are maybe not the best tunes; it was and is always target of this comp series to spread the favorites in every corner of the track list.
I would like to mention from the first CD entitled "Bloodthirst" the Chilean Electro/Metal-Crossover act VIGILANTE, which offer here a remix work done by the German act FUNKER VOGT. As usual – almost a trademark – remix works of FUNKER VOGT are very pleasant, at times more accessible than their own compositions. Their work on "The Other Side" is no exception, also nice to listen to a vocalist who sounds aggressive without the overdone use of distortion and overdrive effects. With BLC’s own THE PAIN MACHINERY the music gets rougher and more pounding, while the extremely dark sounding and rather old-school inspired one man act NECROTEK aka James Geist offers a "first cut" of the track "Wish You Dead" – one of the most remarkable pieces here. The French act NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT offers a pleasant Dark Electro instrumental work, which you should give a try under a good pair of headphones – maybe the best and most complex synth play here. Still into the Dark Electro vein comes the appearance of MIND CONFUSION, an act from which I haven’t heard of about more than three years now. Germany’s ACYLUM combines very effective some spooky Synth play drops with a hammering old-SC/DIOXYDE-inspired rhythm pattern work and an out-of-the-grave vocal performance of Kai Arnold aka WYNARDTAGE. Futuristic Electro as its best is offered again by the French act E.S.R., for the first time including a guitar performance, while the German SCHATTENSCHLAG give a high-speed tune in vein of HOCICO.
The second CD called "Brutality" starts with another Chilean act, the newcomer duo of PROYECTO CRISIS. The still recognized success formula to produce hard and speedy EBM with Spanish lyrics in vein of the favorites HOCICO or AMDUSCIA is an always discovered phenomenon of bands hailing from South America and this duo is no exception. But while HOCICO seem to take a longer break to collect some new inspiration, the rather filthy but refreshing tunes of some talented newcomers are welcome. Also back on track after a longer time in hiatus is the US act FUNCTION 13, here presented with an instrumental piece which got well done remixed by the German act MC1R. Some PUPPYan and rather old-school minded works can also be discovered by both heavily underrated acts LITTLE SAP DUNGEON with an edited version of "Empty Rooms Breathe Heavily" and the Slovakian act GAPING CHASM with a special remix of their track "Only Shadows Will Survive". The French act TAMTRUM, signed to Alfa Matrix, give us then their energetic and speedy recommendation to "Abort The Pope". Also hailing from France comes the duo of SKOYZ, which provides a remix by SCHATTENSCHLAG on one of their best tunes "Distorted Dreams". Also a recommendation to check out the great Russian project THE-PULSAR with a new and unreleased version of their track "Leaving Underground" featuring almost clear and undistorted well sounding male vocals.
As usual, to pick out and to mention this appearances belongs on subjective preferences – of course this doesn’t mean that the other not-mentioned tracks are worse. Different folks – different strokes. Another well compiled DCD set out of the BLC knowledge base which you better get NOW – before it is completely sold-out!

Tracklisting:

bloodthirst

1. Y-Luk-O: Resistance (deflektor mix by Brainclaw)
2. Stark: Rfamekong
3. SMP: Hacker Like Me
4. Process of Elimination: The Sleepers of Telos
5. Vigilante: The Other Side (Funker Vogt Remix)
6. Gydja: element001: Host
7. The Pain Machinery: Scar Tissue
8. Necrotek: Wish You Dead (First Cut)
9. Servo.Hatred: Rage (Interbreeding Mix)
10. Neon Cage Experiment: Sequenced Lives (Edit)
11. Mind Confusion: The Final Chapter (Remix)
12. Acylum: Trip of Hate (BLC Exclusive)
13. T.H. Industry -- Die Wut (Massiv in Mensch Remix)
14. Omen Machine: MindMelt
15. ESR: Blood on the Walls
16. Schattenschlag: Breathing Evil (Interbreeding VIII Remix)
17. Brainclaw: This Human Condition (Souls in Transit Remix)

brutality

1. Proyecto Crisis: El Juego de la Muerte
2. Implant: Fading Away
3. function13: Prostitute (g-u-n remix by mc1r)
4. Tyske Ludder: Betrayal (Wertstahl US Remix)
5. Ilion Conflict: Genocide
6. Gaping Chasm: Only Shadow will Survive
7. LSD: Empty Rooms Breathe Heavily (Edit)
8. Tamtrum: Abort the Pope
9. Tau Factor: Cold Core (Mixdown)
10. Stigmata: No Way Out (Evil Dead Mix)
11. Wynardtage: My Hell (BLC Exclusive)
12. Wertstahl: Der Mechanische Soldat
13. Invisible Asps: Scarlet Design (Ravishing Mix)
14. Skoyz: Distorted Dreams (Condition Zero Mix by Schattenschlag)
15. The Pulsar: Leaving Underground
16. Anders Manga: Burn
17. The Crystalline Effect: When the World Ends (Implant Remix)



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