Music Reviews



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Artist: AVOID-A-VOID
Title: Abyss Desires
Format: CD
Label: ECHOZONE
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Danger! It's a declaration of LOVE: I LOVE this DUO. They have all we EBM lovers are searching for: Robotic but not ridiculous voices, strong beat but not too dirty or too much TECHNO, electronic pads easy to listen but not like mobile phone rings. The researches they made put them in the OLYMPOS of my favorite band: CLOCK DVA, Depeche Mode and Front 242. AVOIDAVOID are elegant and cool like an EBM electro band has to be. This work makes you dance and think at the same time, suggesting paranoiac rides along SHYBUYA square in Tokyo with stereoscopic glasses. My personal anguish is to focus over one single track....I can't, this work is a must to have, and my written words cannot explain the pleasure to hear retro sounds put together intelligently and with a coolness that few band in this area have. The third track it is something my ears wait for long time in this era of idiot deja vu. The 5th track unchained in my mind the fact that they are an incredible mix beetween NEW ORDER and Depeche Mode early years!!!! AAV plays like the best parasites inside the creature called EBM/WAVE/POP and the time in their hands changes like in a sort of progressive electro EBM, every track is a small masterpiece. Thank you guys you given a reason to the "AIR" and I hope that all the Djs interested into to move ppl will grasp this masterpiece asap.
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Artist: Wayne Hussey
Title: BARE
Format: CD
Label: echozone
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
The Art of Wayne Hussey has the sure aim to focus over a simple status of mind where his voice and thoughts are really able to guide in his own world, he admits in fact that this work is an epitaph of his artistic past with the music project called The Mission. It's the art of the greatest artist to manipulate audience's mind and Wayne has this honest and great power. For sure I am not an easy-to- melancholy-person but Wayne brought me in inside a realm of hidden and secret minds, his personal changing world is revealed by his songs and it's easy to feel empathy about that; everyone of us has had similar experience to twist our life to reach a new adventure. His ballads and poems are subtle suggestions to try to get out the noise around us, for sure is a work very useful after a 4hours in the middle of chaos of our highways. The challenge of track 4 is not something easy: Whit or Without you is an absolute masterpiece and Wayne remembers that to us with passion and the art to play the guitar with his heart. Wayne is a pure WAVE singer, the deepness of his voice, the scenarios he suggest and his dark side are so evident that I strongly suggest thiswork to Spiritual Front's audience.
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Artist: Xotox and Detune X
Title: We are deaf
Format: CD
Label: RUSTBLADE
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Rustblade strikes again releasing this tool for DJ devoted to the dark side of Techno-EBM, DETOX is an Italian Project made in Legnano. The vibes preferred by this artist are based over the idea : NO COMPROMISE with clean drums. From the first track the EBM pulses are really dirty and metallic(rusted iron), the pads beyond them are vaste and symphonic, but what is very well focused are the structures of beats. A deep and complex aggression. The second track uses break beats and painful frequencies, I strongly suggest all the EBM Djs to consider this work to "kill and move" their audience in dance floor; Berlin working Djs are the best guys that can get this work to give a trauma to the air. The third track is just a lil'ambient, interferences of dead tvs and hum from abandoned radio station after a zombie plague; I like so much this kind of approach in EBM. I studied all the tracks and that's a final tool for EMB Djs, the richness of texture and the dynamics of every track makes out this work really precious for whom has to provoke an earthquake on the EBM-techno dancefloor.
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Artist: C-Lekktor (@)
Title: The Silence Procession
Format: CD
Label: COP International (@)
Distributor: DDT
Rated: *****
I have to give a band credit for even trying to put out a music product in these economically depressed times, especially with the abundance of technology available (both cheap and expensive) and the outlets such as MySpace, ReverbNation, etc. that make it easy for any yahoo with a bit of recording gear and access to the Internet to display their talent (or more usually) lack of it. That being said, just because you manage to land a contract with a label, even one as well-known in the electro-industrial genre as COP International, doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be the next big thing.

Such is the case with C-Lekktor. It should have been obvious from the CD cover, which features an image of a cyber-crucified skeletal Christ being adored by two bare-breasted babes that this was going to be about as clichéd as it gets. C-Lekktor is Markko (vocals, music lyrics), JMT (synths, music, lyrics) and Alekkx (synths, music, lyrics) who hail from Mexico. The Silence Procession’ is harsh electro-EBM in the vein of Hocico, Suicide Commando, Noisuf-X, etc. Of course, Hocico is the best-known Mexican act of this type, with a great and well-deserved reputation. But don’t go expecting C-Lekktor to be another Hocico; they’ve got a long way to go before they get to that level.

The CD starts out amusingly enough with an intro track titled, "Who the Fuck are You?" as a sampled female voice asks that question a number of times over an electro-industrial background of burbling synths and percussive stabs. I’ve been asked that question a few times myself, and after listening to this CD, I’ll rephrase the question and ask, "Who the Fuck do You Think You are?" "The real music starts with second track "We are Already Death," which begins earnestly enough with typical four-on-the-floor beats and an overlay of sequenced filter-modulated synths and sampled dialog swathed if effects repeating the phrase, "you know nothing about dying". Music intensifies and with more synth sequences added, then the vocals come in- it’s Gollum with a sore throat! I know one of the hallmarks of harsh electro-EBM is those raspy processed vocals, but I can’t make out much of anything of what Markko is saying, and it’s in English too. Every now and then a word surfaces; ... ."surrender... .we are... .confrontation (?)... " jeez, this is just too much work.

Aside from the unintelligible vocals (I admit that a lot of harsh electro-EBM vocals can be a bit difficult but after a little exposure you can usually get the gist) the music production has issues too. I think the band attempted to make their sound huge and symphonic by adding a lot of effects (to nearly everything except the bass drum) and too much compression. Instead of having the separation and spatiality this kind of music needs, it just sounds like a wall of sound. And I don’t mean that in a Phil Spector-ish good way. Even the dialog samples (of which there are quite a few, probably too many) are often swathed in echo. If this were a live recording, it might be forgivable, but it’s not, and things get lost in the mix.

The overall effect is that the music becomes tedious to listen to. The next track sounds like the previous, and so forth. There isn’t much breathing space given in this sonic stew and it gets oppressive quickly. Even the few changes of pace like in "Silence Remains," and "De La Gloria Al Infierno" seem suffocated in sound and effects. Don’t get me wrong, basically I like their sonic palette (I’m a sucker for synth music, even though I’ve heard these sounds many, many times before) but with better production I think it would really have crackled. C-Lekktor’s songwriting skills aren’t bad either, even though we’ve all heard bands like this so many times before. I just don’t feel they’re bringing anything new to the table.

And those vocals... they are problematic. I know they’re supposed to be conveying a sense of doom and dread, menace and malice, sturm und drang, whatever but I can only handle the incomprehensible monotone rasp of wraith for so long before I’m wanting to hear something different. It would have made a bigger impact if the band had a strong vocalist with the ability to carry off something more melodic and less reliant on harsh hoarseness. I think the rest of the flaws might have been downplayed in light of that, and with a strong fronting identity, The Silence Procession’ could have been a release to be reckoned with. I supposed club DJs might consider trying a track from the CD out on Goth-Industrial night. Let the politics of the dance floor. Who knows, you might even end up booking the band if they come your way on their next tour. They’re probably better live anyway.
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Artist: Roughhausen (@)
Title: SomeOne's Got To Pay
Format: CD EP
Label: TinderBox
In the sleeve-notes of this mini EP by the half Canadian half Taiwanese band Roughhausen, it's written that all songs have been mixed and mastered at The Sanctuary Post Production Studios in Tapei by JS (initials of Jeff Stoddard, the male voice as well as keyboardist and guitarist of the band, previously involved in renowned electro-industrial bands such as Front Line Assembly, Will and Decree) assisted by the bitches (a quotation as well... ).


Well, we've read some articles about the pretentious desire of acquiring American citizenship expressed by a lot of young Chinese people as well as youngsters turning into a plenty of bizarre imitations in figurative arts, music and lifestyle and we can't blame Jeff for appreciating the presence of cutie girls as it could arguably be delightful the assistance of some cutie girls and its potentiality of becoming a source of inspiration while recording an album , but SomeOne's Got To Pay runs the risk of being perceived as a dull reprise of notorious elderly mile stones of the American scene without adding nothing really original to it and pondering over old grudges; for instance tracks such [sic]fuk or U Better Run seems to lack real inspiration and originality as it seems a sterile ragbag of harsh sounds and quotations. The Lying MOFO Mix of Control is slightly more interesting with its danceable EBM geometric lines and some melodic nods, even if heavily influenced by Front Line Assembly, as well as the sculptures on walls of noises proposed by D.Boger on the Rise and Shine mix of An Awakening, which partially reminds to us some good samples of corrosive grooves such as the ones by 2nd Gen, but it's not enough to unveil a real artistic personality. Roughhausen show some skills and good gears to demonstrate they're just a band of wannabes even in this EP, but we think this house definitely needs improvements to be better rewarded for their appreciable efforts. According to a Chinese proverb, higher thoughts require higher language... Paraphrasing what we have seen on their promotional videoclip announcing a launch party in Taiwan, we're ready to be roughed up... So rough it up, folks!
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