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Artist: Code 64 (@)
Title: Stasis
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: iTunes
Rated: *****
A download-only release from Sweden's Progress Production seems to be a new method for them to publish some appetizers. After more than 5 years and a glorious past signed to the Swedish label giant Memento Materia, this Swedish/Norwegian Synth-/Futurepop project starts a comeback ' nowadays with the integration of the new singer B. M. Borg who replaces Henrik Piehl. And to say it quite clear ' this new vocalist does his best to convince the listeners already with the both featured tracks 'Stasis' and the exclusive b-side 'Game Over'. While this b-side turns out to be a bit harder, more edgy, compared to the main title, 'Stasis' is a catchy club-hit with a sweet Alternative-/Pop-attitude, presented in four different versions. Asides the 'normal' Radio Edit especially the KARANDA remix caught my attention. I normally do not like too many unnecessary remix contributions, but this remix adds a chilling impression to the rather straight oriented original version. In all a quite promising appetizer for the upcoming third album of this project, which will be named 'Trialogue', to be released via Progress Productions in early autumn.
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Artist: Machinefabriek
Title: Daas
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rutger Zuydervelt started working as Machinefabriek in 2004 and since then he realized twenty four albums. DAAS is his first on Cold Spring and it isn't properly a new one, even if its tracklist sounds homogeneous. Anyway... DAAS collects unreleased tracks (which is the opening self titled one) and tracks released on limited releases ("Flotter", "Koploop" and Grom were previously released on a 3" CDRs while "Onkruid" appeared on "A Room Forever" 12"). In balance from modern classic music, minimal ambient and experimental, Machinefabriek's music is like a soundtrack for the mind or music you only heard on your psychedelic dreams. Formed by progressive minimal variations of sounds produced with cello, violin, guitar and processed sounds the five long suites you can find on DAAS sound like your life in stop motion. Growing slowly like a blade of grass, the sound pass from delicate moments to compressed wall of sounds (like on the final part of "Groom") without the violence you should think it could come from a wall of sound. Instead, it will seems a normal thing, like the increasing movement of an hand that closes and become a fist...
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Artist: Fire In The Head
Title: Confessions Of A Narcissist
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
CONFESSIONS OF A NARCISSIST is the final full length for Fire In The Head, after six years of sonic savaging. Michael Page plus guest appearances of Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni) and J. Randall (Agoraphobic Nosebleed), recorded these tracks during the 2007-2008 period and then dedicated himself to the composition of epic" length industrial / ambient compositions with another project. These thirteen new tracks follow the path he pursued since the beginning, under the same manifesto as he created these sounds as "cathartic outlet to explore and ratify the delusions and social perversions resultant of psychosis and the darker side of man's conflicted dual nature, to fan the flames which engulf the borders between obsession, compulsion, lust and need". Mixing destructive explosions typical of power industrial (which here sounds like digital grinding sounds with filtered vocals on top) with industrial ambient looping sound (which recall me the loops used by Boyd Rice), Fire In The Head finish his mission with a blast, recording a violent record that doesn't find its force into the amount of noise used but into the success of finding a good formula which could translate the cover Nick Blinko did into sound.
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Artist: Roman
Title: Roman
Format: CD
Label: Karaoke Kalk
The newest Roman self named album is his third and contains ten new tracks which show really well his multifaceted musical soul. Pop is the core and the key of his work and each track has a different arrangements where you can find rich orchestral sounds, folk instruments, electronic (check the dance sound of "Traffic" and the particular effect of the spoken word), jazz, 80s indie pop (check "Despair when young" for this) and more. Roman histrionic approach to vocals make me think of him like an actor who choose music instead of theater. Now happy and then melancholic (like on the closing "Shoot" where piano and strings make of it a touching song), Roman made an inspired album that you'll dig if you want to spice up your pop music collection.
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Artist: Venetian Snares
Title: My So Called Life
Format: CD
Label: Timesig Records
Rated: *****
Timesig Records is the new personal label of Aaron Funk a.k.a. Venetian Snares and the first release is, obviously, a new record by Venetian Snares. MY SO-CALLED LIFE contains ten new tracks where Aaron, as usual, free his musical craziness giving life to chaotic rhythmic collages where vocal samples, chunk of orchestral camera samples and the usual fast like hell dubstep/breakbeat, i.d.m. style give their best to create tornadoes of sound. The main title closes the album and along with tracks like "Goodbye9/Hello10" made my evening, thanks to a good blend of crazy rhythms, melody and dramatic atmospheres (check how the violins along with the breakbeat rhythms are able to create something innovative and tragic at the same time). Each track has been created into two days of work and Aaron structured this album like it was a record of those days using irony (I laugh out loud listening to "Aaron 2" where medieval like trumpets were introducing Aaron, whose heart was filled with hatred) and great sounds like a sword.
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