Music Reviews

Apr 04 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Hyperreality
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The Slovakian Dark Electro/Industrial label Aliens Production surprises their listeners with a new compilation which collects besides some international guests several more or lesser known acts out of their area or out of their neighbor state, the Czech Republic. Packaged this time in a beautiful metal case almost in size of a CD and of course strictly limited to 550 exemplars, it therefore lacks a bit of more info on the acts. That this label stands generally for music styles asides the current hypes at least needs to explained once again – mostly the signed acts to this label like DISHARMONY, SAMHAIN or ANHEDONIA are standing for a mysterious, creepy but very complex arranged Dark Electro music, which often integrates elements out of Ambient, IDM and/or Ritual Industrial music – rhythmically Powernoise efforts or classically EBM tunes are rather seldom integrated, if we point out GAPING CHASM for instance. So also this "Hyperreality" presents the who-is-who of their label as ell as out of both countries, Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also a lot of unrecognized and promising stuff, which will come up soon. Like on several other compilation, I like to pick out the most remarkable pieces. TERMINAL STATE, also a band providing the Slovakian Dark Electro formula and like DISHARMONY with a German past by releasing a debut CD on Broken Seal, is a band on which the return is eagerly awaited. This new track "Behind The Enemy" offers some vocoderized vocals combined with a rather PUPPYan bass line programming and some gloomy synth layers - well done, let’s hope that they can soon release their new full-length CD. ANHEDONIA are providing once again a new and typically arranged track – the spirit of the unfortunately defunct US act GRIDLOCK somehow continues in the musically output of this Czech act. That the Australian duo and member of the Crash Frequency collective EMPTY would enter this comp is rather surprising – the explanation follows, because the Slovakian duo of DISHARMONY has done a remix on the track "Alone". Both German acts XABEC and MNEMONIC have created remix works on each other which both appear here. Especially the Re-Programmed Remix by MNEMONIC on XABEC’s track "Open State" can convince with some melodious orchestral-like string sounds, decent synth textures, and... uuhmm a real trumpet? Really? Well – who cares, it sounds great. Also GAPING CHASM returns here surprising – the use of some guitar riffs and the cleaner than ever before provided vocals are rather unexpected – it seems a bit that Ergo manages heavily to create some new directions for this project. The DISHARMONY side-project OXYD surprises with a rather straight produced track offering an interesting IDM-inspired rhythm programming. LAST INFLUENCE OF BRAIN – yeah, they’re on returning and should be ready to come out with a new full-length album signed to the US-based label EAR/Vendetta-Music – another highly anticipated name offer maybe asides TERMINAL STATE the only real Dark Electro tune featuring distorted vocals, rotating bass lines and some extra-ordinary rhythm patterns. ANIMA MUNDI is another project of GAPING CHASM and Ergo likes to point out with this project the difference between both – "No More Heroes" is rather dark and sample-driven, also the obvious "church choirs" for which this project is known for are included. Also the MNEMONIC appearance, remixed by XABEC as mentioned above, can totally convince with its slightly distorted rhythm patterns meet sedating cold melodic synth layers. DISHARMONY and ANHEDONIA have collaborated for their track "May God Be With You", which is musically and rhythmically rather inspired by the new, a bit more IDM-inspired DISHARMONY works on their current full-length release "Malignant Shields" – soon more about this. German cult act POLYGON aka Ingo Lindmeier (MORTAL CONSTRAINT) also appears with a depressive Dark Electro/Ambient-inspired piece "Memorandum" with German lyrics dealing with a tough theme like the loss of an own child. Last but not least the Swiss act STENDECK providing us a dark and melodic outro piece. This compilation – as expected – is rather designed to get consumed under a good pair of headphones. Only a very few pieces can animate some people for some rhythmically movements – and somehow this is a trademark of the fine Aliens Production label. Isn’t it much appreciated to hear some stuff asides the trendy hypes of your usual Electro/Industrial listening? It is, thumbs up for this well done compilation.

1. OTX meets KENJI SIRATORI – Industrial Boy
2. TERMINAL STATE – Behind The Enemy
3. ANHEDONIA – Logical Closure
4. EMPTY – Alone (DISHARMONY Remix)
5. ENCLIPSE – Count 666
6. TABOR RADOSTI – Ho Basileus tú Kosmú
7. XABEC – Open State (Re-programmed RMX by MNEMONIC)
8. GAPING CHASM – Running Fight
9. FLINT GLASS – At Twaki
10. OXYD – Suspiria
12. ANIMA MUNDI – No More Heroes
13. MNEMONIC – Political Absurdity (8-bit Remix by XABEC)
14. DISHARMONY meets ANHEDONIA – May God Be With You
15. POLYGON – Memorandum
16. STENDECK – The Thin Light Between The Trees

Cervello Elettronico: Negate The Instigator

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3485)
Mar 23 2007
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Artist: Cervello Elettronico
Title: Negate The Instigator
Format: CD
Label: Crunch Pod Media (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Another official debut release for the CA-based Crunch Pod Media label and with the NYC-based CERVELLO ELETTRONICO a not unknown name. Leaded by David Christian (aka SNARF) this act works already since years in the underground. Self-released and hard-to-get EP’s, uncountable live supporting gigs for renowned names like TERRORFAKT or MAUFACTURA, a gig in Germany on a Planet-Myer-Day, or some well-done remix works (again TERRORFAKT for example...) are reference for internationally recognition of this hard-working act. Globally said, David likes to combine classic Electro/Industrial bass lines, broken and interrupted voice samples with newer Electronica elements and rhythmically Powernoise – although this release behaves different compared to a typically genre release. David seems to manage hard on all tracks here not to sound like a repetitive and minimal Powernoise musician, also an overwhelming use of distortion and overdrive effects can’t be heard – he simply tries not to offer the harshest and roughest release around. His tracks are far away from sounding minimal, they rather offer depth and maturity. Plus he seems to be a specialist by using of low-fi and bit rate reduction effects – as it can be heard pretty much in bass lines as well as in rhythm patterns. Intelligent constructed and tracked down, this release – like the last ENDIF release – stands highly above the average. Hard to figure out some smashing favorites, because all tracks offer uncountable ideas and well-produced authentic sounds, so that all pieces can satisfy. Take a good pair of headphones and listen to this album in one turn. You won’t get bored also after the 20th spin. A must-have release for all genre listeners, as well as for open-minded Electro/Industrial lovers.

TORTURE CIDE: The Ghospel Of Force

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3442)
Mar 08 2007
Title: The Ghospel Of Force
Format: CD
Label: Hydra
Rated: *****
Heading from North Carolina, Torturecide is a side project of Subklinik (who was also a member of Profane Grace, which released for Memento Mori different dark ambient albums on early 00's). THE GHOSPEL OF FORCE! as far as I know is his second release as the first one was a limited CD-r released by Italian Slaughter Prod. This new album is a proper CD release and it's the fourth for the Salvation Group's musical branch called Hydra. This is the first power noise release for the label and they decided to start with a blast as Torturecide make brutal sounds that remember the style of Slogun, Fire In The Head, Grunt, etc. The wall of noise produced by synthesizer (in a post into I forum I read that he manipulates different Korg keyboards) creates the right atmosphere for his screaming and even if I don't have a booklet to check, titles like "Contamination", "Dead Americans", "Knee deep in the blood you've denied" or "Time is weapon" give a good idea of the tracks. Hisses, feedbacks, chainsaw like noises are looped and treated as well as the voice that, processed and distorted, is threatening audience's hearing. You are warned...

Asylum: Rattus In Sanguine

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (3426)
Feb 24 2007
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Artist: Asylum (@)
Title: Rattus In Sanguine
Format: CD
Label: Dead Love Records
Rated: *****
This cd is the official reissue of the demo already reviewed on this site. The album is released by the Australian label Dead Love Records and, compared to the demo, the sound quality has improved. Yet, I could confirm some of the observations years ago Maurizio Pustianaz wrote: seems that the one man band hasn’t decided yet which is its personal style, and it’s a pity because many ideas are quite interesting and could lead Cryos (the artist behind this work) to a bright future in the industrial area. All tracks are instrumental and show a large use of psychotic loops and distorted drums, usually in a crescendo that involves the listener in Cryos’ morbid Weltanschauung.
I prefer tracks like "Everybody’s Dead", with obsessive strings loops and harsh drums, or "Ancient Poets (Scream of Butterfly Remix)", obscure and sad but with a light remembrance of Enigma, the painful and distressing "Ploratus" or even "Lesbo Sado Dance" with its obsessive hardcore drums, a good track for smoky and crowded techno/industrial clubs. I can’t understand how can be in the same album tracks like the above mentioned and completely different ones, like "Crying People" (with some Vangelis’ atmosphere) or "Human Model", where the commercial influence is excessive for my taste.
Sincerely, ASYLUM has to decide with is its main path, giving an internal coherence to its production (at least on the official releases): the same confusion can be seen in the name of the band that changed continuously so that every time I look at the website I notice a different monicker (Asylum, Porno Machine, Angel Machine). This, together with a much better production (more clearness on string pads and noisy background and emphasis on the powerful drumbeats), could give to Cryos’ project the opportunity to emerge and place himself among the other good Italian industrial acts.
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Title: Artefacts
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
With the second CD release of Lukas Schneider the German label Dependent brings out just one of those beloved, but also courageous and in some phases strange release for which this label has reached a fine name world-wide. AUTO AGGRESSION isn’t at all like your daily and usual Electro/Industrial listening and like on his debut Lukas provides again a rather diverse and experimental minded kind of work. The concept for this "Artefacts" (NO typo here...) means to collect and to re-assemble audio byproducts out of digital sound manipulations. What sounds in this description as a real inaccessible extreme experiment isn’t at all that strange. Musically he offers his fine worked out mixture which combines Electro (A Thousand Fires"), rhythmically Powernoise ("Blame", The Sky Is Not Yours", "Speed"), Ambient, Electronica ("Mechanical Sun") and Pop art ("Shallow Things"). Definitively from the intelligent side of music, the used sounds are of course self-created and arranged. Mostly instrumental tracks, Lukas could add again Nives Garasevic doing the female vocal parts on two tracks, and Eskil Simonsson of COVENANT to perform on the track "A Thousand Fires". Always cool to discover something different, unfortunately also this release will be one of the last of this fine label.

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