Music Reviews



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Artist: JONTEKNIK (@)
Title: Pride In Your Pocket
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Rated: *****
Already available into the latest Martin Philip album I reviewed sometimes ago, "Pride in your pocket" and "Omnidirectional" born from a Jon Russell collaboration with Martin Philip. These two tracks immediately caught my attention because they have a rich melody, upbeat tempos and a great synth programming. Starting his music activity in 1988, Jon during the years collaborated with a Danish vocalist called Eva Christiansen, Claudia Bruecken, Holly Johnson, Onetwo (the project of Claudia Bruecken with Paul Humphrey of O.M.D.) and also Martin Gore while he was programming the rhythm tracks of the Onetwo tracks. The last years he released a solo album titled "Sounds from the Electronic Garden" but is ready to try new collaborations. Meanwhile you can enjoy the PRIDE IN YOUR POCKET single purchasing it directly from his website as a CD-r or digital download.
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Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Bestie:Mensch
Format: CD
Label: Accesssion-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
New full-length for this well-known and internationally renowned German Electro/Industrial trio. Since they’ve done some remix contributions for some Chart-breaking acts like OOMPH! or ONETWO, it seems to be only a question of time, until [:SITD:] themselves can look on Chart positions. Enough capable stuff is featured for this on this new album, while the harder-minded EBM/Electro-listeners will even find a fair amount of some straighter oriented stuff ("Stammheim", "Kreuzgang V.2", "Propaganda"). Musically not too much news can be reported from this new album, it seems that the earlier years of experiments and the finding of the right sound direction have a bit gone towards to routine. Nothing wrong on this, since the studio work and the arrangements of [:SITD:] can be named as being one of the best and tastefully produced around. What is definitely new is the fact, that also Tom now picks up the microphone for one or another track to offer his vocals. And mostly the result is satisfying, Tom’s voice sounds a bit smoother compared to Carsten and it works the best on the rather slow, nearly Synth-/Electropop-like tunes ("Reincarnation", "Displaced" or the engaged dual performance with Carsten on "Herbsterwachen"). I guess it can be realized that [:SITD:] do concentrate the most to polish a bit their outfit, maybe with the side-effect, that their music sounds lesser aggressive than before. But it’s still an experience to discover the sinister sounding works with its epic and multi-layered arrangements, "Telepathic" has to be named, for sure one of the favorites out of this album. Lyrics got as usually provided in both languages, German and English, and like the title of the album announces it a bit, [:SITD:] deal with a lot of things related to the human kind and behavior. "Herbsterwachen" can be interpreted to be a reflection of the happenings in the ex-eastern part of Germany during the fall of the GDR-regime, but it can be also seen as a statement against the ongoing inertia of the people for taking all politically decisions without protest. Engaged lyrically content, music and production without failure, [:SITD:] are offering once again an album which defines standards. Their successful way will continue, no doubt.

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Artist: Onetwo (@)
Title: Cloud Nine
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Theremusic (@)
Rated: *****
What we’ve already expected and asked for in our interview with Claudia Brücken (ex-PROPAGANDA) and Paul Humphreys (ex-OMD) has become truth, ONETWO have released the track "Cloud Nine" as a special SiCD just a few days before the official release date of the album "Instead" (out TODAY!!!). "Cloud Nine" is a typical track based in the classic Synthpop/Pop Art style and got co-written by Martin L. Gore of DEPECHE MODE. Martin has also added his for sure well-known acoustic guitar play to create an opposite direction to the smooth Electronics and Claudia’s magically vocal performance. Available here besides the known album version in a special remixed Radio Edit version. Two b-sides are featured as well, both remix works on the album tracks "Kein Anschluss" (done by the German act [:SITD:]) and "Home" (done by MHC). Especially the [:SITD:] remix gets my highest vote for adding a slight darker and more danceable mood to the original version. A nice and decent done SiCD on which I hope to hear about of high sales chart positions – while I don’t expect a No. 1-hit...
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Artist: Onetwo (@)
Title: Instead
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Rough Trade Distribution
Rated: *****
This review covers a coming debut full-length release out in February 2K7. Behind ONETWO are hiding two well-known musicians, which can look back on a successful as well as pioneering work back to the 80ties with their represented projects. While it isn’t clear, who’s ONE and who’s TWO, we have on the main vocals Claudia Brücken, the female main voice of the German Bombast-Synthpop combo PROPAGANDA ("Dr. Mabuse", P-Machinery"). The music machinery of ONETWO is leaded by Paul Humphreys, one half of the legendary ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK, short OMD ("Maid Of Orleans", "So In Love"), whose mutual way with his partner Andrew McClusky ended in 1988 with the release of their last single "Dreaming" and a "Best of OMD" collection. McClusky later has released alone under the OMD moniker only one more album "Sugar Tax" in 1991. The question was and is: where have you been, Paul? Claudia meanwhile has tried to re-animate PROPAGANDA, but without success. She also has done some guest vocal appearances (ACT) and did record a solo album. So you might expect to get a combination of both outstanding talents presented musically and lyrically. Indeed, but this album offers more than this, both are working already for some time on mutual stuff and their long-time experience can be heard in every track, verse, chorus, part and note. This is high-quality Synthpop/Electropop, which should appeal all fans of the genre. Pleasing detailed arrangements unite with Claudia’s marvelous vocal performances ranging between energetic ("Have A Cigar") and sweet emotionally ("Heaven", which other title could this dreamy piece get???). Not to forget Paul, who's doing a fine job on front of the micro at "I Don’t Blame You", which proves that he can offer more than only some background vocals. A strong favorite for a possible SiCD co-release has to be named with "Cloud 9", which is by the way co-written by a totally unknown artist/composer named Martin L. Gore (DEPECHE MODE), who also has contributed the acoustic guitar sounds to this Synthpop pearl. One other piece "Kein Anschluß", the only one featuring German lyrics, reminds strong on some KRAFTWERK tunes ("Showroom Dummies") in the kind of arrangement. There are for sure several other pearls worth to check out, the divided opening track "The Theory Of Everything" or my personal favorite "A Vision In The Sky" which ends this outstanding release. A lot of productions out of this genre have to look on this as reference – maybe THE release of the coming year for the Synth/Electro-Pop genre!!!


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