Music Reviews



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Artist: EXTRAWELT
Title: Schöne Neue Extrawelt
Format: CD
Label: Cocoon Records (@)
Distributor: Intergroove
Rated: *****
Formed by Hamburg born artists Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe, Extrawelt is releasing the first album SCHONE NEUE EXTRAWELT after three years passed releasing 12"s for labels such as Kompass Musik, Traum Schallplatten, Gemini Recordings, etc. Active since the early '90s in the dance scene Arne and Wayan started to release their own tracks on 1999 as Spirallianz and the year after also as Midimiliz. The duo started to work at the first Extrawelt album two years ago: they wanted to span through different genres of electro/techno/ambient and prepared 25 tracks but they soon realized that in the end that wasn't working for them so they experimented different tracks during their live show and then they re-worked them during that period. The twelve tracks of SCHONE NEUE EXTRAWELT (nine on the double album edition) deal with minimal techno music bringing to the audience different ways of interpreting it. Using a lot of melodic ambient subtle melodies on the opening "One three hill" and on the following "Darkside of my room" the duo created two fantastic tracks that are able to hypnotize with their dreamy like sound and at the same time energizing the listener with techno low frequencies rhythms. "Wippsteert" and "Messy machinery" change the approach by using less catchy melodies and sticking more on cyclic rhythms/melodies more usual to minimal techno. "Must attack" mix ambient to acid techno while "Trümmerfeld" has pure distorted techno bass lines mixed with treated/reverbered synth lines. "Wolkenbruch" mix house rhythms with acid/ambient sounds creating a particular effect. "Added Planet" mix ambient and techno with electro vocals while the one minute short "Kurt Curtain (Skit)" sounds almost like an experiment with rhythms. "Daten raten", "Lost In Willaura" and "Homing" mix ambient atmospheres with minimal techno and close this 77' long album which has a lot of good tracks and sounds but if you want my honest opinion at a first listening you'll fall in love with "One Tree Hill" and "Dark Side Of My Room" because they are able to create a great ambience with catchy melodies.
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Artist: TOTEM>
Title: Solar Forge
Format: CD
Label: ESP-Disk'
Rated: *****
A (true) power trio formed by Bruce Eisenbeil (guitar), Tom Blancarte (upright bass) and Andrew Drury (drum set), TOTEM> deliver with four tracks of spiky, angular free music. Always intense, hectic and never resting, their interplay merges the taste for elegant, microscopic details with a current of sheer power pervading all of their performance. At their most intense, Eisenbeil's atonal plucking, acquiring a rhythmic quality here ("Hephaestus' Wrath") or writhing in electric signals there ("Annealed"), streaks the low-end droning of the bowed upright-bass. Inventive cubist music with a cutting edge.
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Artist: Greifenkeil (@)
Title: Blood Mystery
Format: CD
Label: GrenTzwert Musiclabel (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Again sorry for another too late done review, but at least the heap here on my table shrinks a bit. Germany’s Dark Electro/Ambient art-project GREIFENKEIL returns with a new full-length album again signed and published to the Munich-based Grentzwert label. The resume in advance: also this new album requires the full attention of the listener, since the musically course once again draws influences of the darkest music styles electronic music can deliver. A. von Greifenkeil, the mastermind behind this project, has again created a sonic assault, which integrates the darkest Dark Electro, Dark Ambient and Powernoise impressions, at times all styles pressed into a single track ("Vendetta"). New and worth to mention is the fact, that A. von Greifenkeil is able to watch over genre boundaries, also the integration of guitar riffs ("Blood War") is nowadays an allowed stylistically element. If the chosen album-title may suggests a close dedication to some terror-EBM- or vampire-related content, GREIFENKEIL has never been and surely will never be thrown into this redundant field. "Blood Mystery" also hasn’t got anything to do with a normal biologically process, it rather offers a higher, but still mysterious and intellectual content. It’s a bit to keep the inner out, the might of blood seems to have a deeper meaning to A. von Greifenkeil, as he announced, that this will be only the starter for more excursion. Also the length of the main tracks – mostly provided with 8 + minutes playing time - are speaking for a rather artistically content, instead to follow a Mainstream-oriented "chorus-bridge-refrain" kind of work. GREIFENKEIL offers once again an amazing sound excursion, which even has the ability to touch a deeper part of your mind. It’s definitively more than a usual Hellectro act has to offer. A video edit of the audio content on the main title "Blood Mystery" accomplishes this album (watch out at Youtube for this act...), while some first live performances of this project have meanwhile occurred.

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Artist: Autodafeh
Title: Hunt For Glory
Format: CD
Label: Sigsaly Transmissions (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
The old-school EBM-movement brings out more and more promising newcomers, which may haven’t eaten something like innovation with spoons, but they awake the ideology of some long forgotten days. Technically spoken, EBM remains EBM and hasn’t too much changed – just in case you don’t accept the Harsh Hellectro-/Trance-/Techno-driven formula as being a comparable style. That means that some sounds, beats, samples or messages, which have been up-to-date in 1988, have survived the time. Some frustration has become imminent, since the Hellectro-rush still celebrates promising sales and receives still attention. Same also for the Swedish newcomers of AUTODAFEH, although there’s an important point, which draws a big difference to any "get-hard-be-strong" artist out of this style: the members of AUTODAFEH aren’t at all teenagers getting some first experiences to manipulate synth and drum computers. They are rather elders with some rich musically background. The existence of AUTODAFEH can be may explained that the band members Mika Rossi, Anders Olsson and Jesper Nilsson got fed up with the current styles. "Hunt For Glory" surely collects all audio results of their mutual time after forming this band, because AUTODAFEH has been built in late 2007. The musically formula behind AUTODAFEH is quite reduced with its hard pumping EBM bass lines, a solid kick and snare work and two male shouters providing mostly easy-minded lyrics with a singing-along-guarantee. That is all pretty much along the expected alley, but also the production is crystal-clear and like the state-of-art. Flaws? Not really, maybe some hints: I would suggest for the future to reduce the inserts of the second co-shouter a bit – at times this repetitive kind reminds on a parrot ("World Is Dying"), a bit lesser could be more. Of course, this album is a must-have for any fan of the old-school EBM sound following pretty much the ideas of some early NEP/242-productions. Lets wait and see, what ideas AUTODAFEH will be able to integrate to reach more an own unique sound for the future.
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Artist: ARTRIDGE (@)
Title: Butterfly Wing Theory - Pt.1 (Think Tank)
Format: CD
Label: Interlink Audio (@)
Rated: *****

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Four years after their second album Artridge present their latest one titled BUTTERFLY WING THEORY PT.1 (THIN TANK). First of a two part project, the album has eleven new tracks that musically differ from what you can find on their previous album "Finished Soundtracks For Unshot Films". Dropped the industrial ambient influences Christoph Mainz and Robin Pleil collaborated with Ben Makinen of Area 15 and Christoph Hellmich of Nautilus (they took care of the percussive parts of the album). Recorded during different night sessions the album is keeping the soundtrack approach to sound but adding a jazzy/post rock attitude with sprinkles of dub (see "Milkbar" or the bass section of "Worldpool") and electronic (see the early sequenced bass lines of "Spec ops"). Listening to the album I can't give an exact definition of how it sounds because as usual Artridge like to dare by mixing genres and sounds. The most important thing to underline is that they didn't create a mishmash of whatever music could sound artsy or inspired. They created a good tracklisting of post rock ambient tracks where samples enrich the classic drum/guitar/bass guitar triptych where the unconventional approach to sound makes sense.
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