Music Reviews

Artist: My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (@)
Title: Sinister Whisperz
Format: CD
Label: Rustblade (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Just after some live performances in Chicago, home-base of the legendary Wax Trax!, the notorious label which issued the first works of the long named band My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, inheriting its denomination from the title of a track of the score for an unreleased movie (Hammerhead Housewife and the Thrill Kill Kult) on the style of Russ Meyer by Marston Delay aka Buzz McCoy and Frank Nardiello, former band mate of Ministry's Alan Jourgensen, the so-called Washington wives, id est the committee of famous groomed wives (Tipper Gore, Pam Howar, Sally Nevius and Susan Baker'¦women which could be condemned to oblivion if they would have not married important American politicians'¦it smells like patronage, you know'¦) founding Parents Music Resource Center (the association spreading Parental Advisory's stickers'¦), looked so attracted by the provocative language and performances adopted by these folks that asked for censorship on the basis of suspicions of being messengers of Satan'¦ a potential danger for the absolutely upright education of their children! We're not so interested in this kind of fuss, being just blowing smoke, overcooked matters by the usual conformists as we think that it's even more interesting to highlight the stylistic importance of this band, which ideally could wean a lot of later industrial band (..and not only industrial to say properly!), preferring to understate the right-thinking opinion on their art as we can actually do and even having joked on it by other funny provocations on the stage and by choosing self-ironic titles such as Kooler Than Jesus or A Daisy Chain 4 Satan'¦ it's more important to us to remember they were probably the first ones to add in the classic martial industrial song's structure some recipes taken from funk and disco and adding a bizarre touch by inserting some funny samples grabbed from horror B-movies mixed with pumping electronic beats and dark synths which reminded the somewhat ridicule soundtrack of those pieces of filmic work, being maybe bands such as Negativland their real successor in this way of composing!

That's why this first release of a series introducing a collection fully dedicated to a revision of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's issues and wisely entitled Sinister Whisperz should arouse the curiosity of all gothic/industrial/ebm followers which ignore their rich stock of creepy (!) stuff, focusing on the Wax Trax! Years running from 1987 to 1991 and perfectly retreated by Buzz McCoy, who expressed enthusiasm for Rustblade idea as it declared It was like visiting old friends after 20 years by remixing those songs and it was nice to finally add some sonic sparkle to those dusty, old tracks'. It includes most of the forerunning hits of the more plastic industrial dance wanton scene featuring sex charged and sleazy tracks such as Leathersex, A Girl Doesn't Get Killed By A Make-Believe Lover'¦'Cuz It's Hot (what a title!!!) or the funny Le Carnival Mix of Nervous Xians, irreverent sprinkling on the notoriety PMRC was able to give them such as the above-mentioned A Daisy Chain 4 Satan, the ironic and iconic And This Is What The Devil Does or the previously unreleased track Satana Rising. So are you fearing for you children'¦yet?
Artist: incite/ (@)
Title: iconicity
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: electroton (@)
Distributor: electroton
Rated: *****
The second of the four 3' mini-cds from Electroton is by Hamburg-Germany based duo Kera Nagel & Andre Aspelmeier. Once again, this is an audiovisual oriented project, and the music seems like a partial component to their abstract monochromatic imagery. The music to a great degree is glitch experimental, but 'iconicity' has a certain rhythmic flow to it that evens out the randomness and actually makes for a quite pleasant listening experience.

While much of the music in this field tends to sound sterile, somehow incite/'s compositions seem organic, with a variety of components that work together to form a body in motion in each piece. There is also a good amount of variety from track to track in the sound palette, even though the bass tones are somewhat similar. It is also interesting that the rhythms that drive each piece aren't confined to any one particular element; as disparate and incongruous as they may be, they work together like a well-oiled machine. Even the noise disruptions are timed to enhance the polyrhythmic aspects.

One particular piece that really stood out was 'Turnpike' with its funky interplay of glitchy blips, twisted noise patches, tapping sounds, synth farts and funk sub-bass groove. For me, this is experimental glitch at its best ' taking a bunch of diverse sonic elements and turning it into something that is not only quite audially appealing but engaging and thought provoking. I should mention that the final track, 'Sparks' is good deal darker than the other tracks due to the use of more elongated sub-bass and lower tones. It should also be noted that 'iconicity' is bone dry minimalism. I don't know about any of their other work, but incite/ definitely has a winner with 'iconicity' and I'm sure it will stand up to repeated plays.
Artist: v4w.enko (@)
Title: snd
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: electroton (@)
Distributor: electroton
Rated: *****
The first of four reviews of recent 3' mini-cds (in mini-dvd plastic transparent cases) from the same label ' Electroton (Nuremberg, Germany) by different artists pulled at random for the dissecting table. Let me say that I HATE the 3'mini-cd format. It's a pain in the ass to position in the CD tray, and almost impossible not to mar with fingerprints, accidentally drop and scratch, etc. That being said, let's go to the project background and then the music.

V4w.enko is a sound and visual project by Kiev, Russia based Evgen Vaschenko. It began in 2007 as live electronics, sounds and video stream realized in real time by manipulating self-programmed algorithms with simple forms and correlated with one another by simple rules. Compositionally, this is sort of a math thing (at least to me) and seems to be more in tune with musical architecture than aesthetic design. Be that as it may, there is obviously a method to the composition at work that may appeal to minimal structuralists and fans of Glitch while confounding the average listener. If you're still clueless, this is experimental, and likely to work better with visual stimulus that may have been intended to accompany it.

The titles of seven rather brief tracks on this mini-cdr are based on anagrams of the EP title ' snd, with the exception of track #4 ' 'and'. In terms of sound timbre and tone, there is a similarity running through all the tracks, with a limited palette of light bellish and high tones of varying sustain and decay times, buzzy blips, noise spurts, percussive snippets, sustained drone tones with or without some modulation and synth clusters that sound like mini car horns. Some of the electronic effects used sound like the CD is defective (that dull, rapidly repeating, skipping click), but I assume that's the music and not a bad CD.

The first two tracks ' 'Snd' and 'Sdn' are very much alike, the former being a little lighter than the latter which lower tone random percussion and more sustained synth clusters. (My impression was a traffic-jam in Toytown; your will likely be something completely different) Third track 'Nsd' adds random noise spurts and that CD skipping sound to the mix with a near-subliminal drone undercurrent. I found the bellish sequences interesting but couldn't get past that CD skipping sound. Next track 'And' has a more eerie and dreamy ambience with a complex gentle modulated sustained ambient tone and bell tones and buzzes sustained longer with interjections of light noise, almost like breathing. For me, this was the most fascinating track on the album.

'Nds' has a regularly repeating same pitch bell tone like a sustained glockenspiel while with low muted tones and muted noise in the background. 'Dsn' just had too much of that sustained synth cluster for my taste, and final track seemed to be about the most random, yet perfectly placed collection of sounds in the entire work. This one is sure to please minimal electronic glitch fans.

Overall, you really have to be a fan of this type of music to fully appreciate it, and I'm only 50% on board with that. I'd strongly recommend you go preview this at the artist's website, and if you like what you hear, you'll probably enjoy the rest of it too. For me, it was a mixed experience; moderately interesting at times, but not enough to get really excited about.
Artist: Promonium Jesters (@)
Title: EP2010
Format: CD EP
Label: P in a Circle Records (@)
Distributor: P in a Circle Records
Rated: *****
Out of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada come Promonium Jesters led by Ethan Mosely. I've heard them described as psychedelic industrial/thrash rock and although I'm not sure that's the best description for this band, but I can't think of a better one so we'll just let that stand for now. Over the course of 15 years they've released 12 other albums and have managed to keep on the fringe so that I've never heard of them until now. To their credit, Promonium Jesters is a live performing unit, at least in Canada for the time being.

For the most part, the music has an 'everything but the kitchen sink' aesthetic ('Oh, we missed the kitchen sink? Well fuck, let's rip it out of the wall and throw THAT in too!!') that manifests in a kind of controlled chaos with nearly relentless, and sometimes breakneck grooves. Imagine early My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult on meth, and you have a better idea of what's going on. Moseley's heavily processed vocals are more recited, whispered, spit out and screamed than sung, and only occasionally can you make out what he's saying. There is plenty of electronic effluvia in the mix, lots minimal sequencing, twisted tones and dark drooblings. For sure, this is a different kind of industrial music than you might be used to, fairly far from the mainstream. The track I liked best on 'EP2010' was 'Scar Master,' one of the less frenetic numbers with its dark ambient intro, stuttering synth sequences, raging vocals, wall of processed guitar accents, and brief spatial interludes. At times, it is super dense, at others, quite minimal. If NIN were to turn avant-garde, it might sound something like this. The last track, 'Omnicide' is also a medium-paced groove that might be the most psychedelic thing on the EP, and a psychedelic death trip at that. Manson would probably dig it; Charles, Marilyn, take your pick. At over 8 minutes though, it just seemed to drag on a bit too long for my taste.

Overall, there were elements on 'EP2010' that I really liked, and some that I didn't care for, but hey, that's just me. For you, they might just be the greatest thing since sliced bread; if you like your bread hacked with a chainsaw, dipped in petroleum and toasted in a blast furnace.
Sep 27 2010
Artist: R21
Title: Robot Funk
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Musical project of a guy coming from Reading (UK) called David Mott, R21 is delivering his first release on Binalog Productions after releasing some EPs on Devine Disorder under the DJR21 moniker. This new digital release, exclusive to Juno Download, is titled ROBOT FUNK and contains three new tunes: "Robot funk", "PopBot" and "Groove 1". Listening to the lot different times is evident that R21 is in love with robotic upbeat tempo rhythms, fat bass lines and analog pads where melody paints a main theme and the alternation of the different elements enrich the formula. In balance from Kraftwerk, Drexciya and Dopplereffekt, Dave succeeds into creating good electronic tunes made of spacey sounds, squared rhythms and robotic dance atmospheres. Dig it!
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