Music Reviews



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Artist: Forms Of Things Unknown (@)
Title: Cross Purposes [Remastered, Extra Track]
Format: CD EP
Label: Pimalia Records (@)
Distributor: Aquarius Records
Rated: *****
This CD, "CROSS PURPOSES" by FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN, main recording project of San Francisco artist Ferrara Brain Pan was originally released in 2003 (and reviewed here at Chain D.L.K. I might add) but owing to a remastered version, some spiffy new packaging and an extra track I felt that this 2008 release of the CD deserved another review. Being that the initial review spent half the space explaining Ferrara’s background, association with Boyd Rice and other projects, I thought I’d dispense with that and just concentrate on the CD.

I remember having the opportunity to hear CROSS PURPOSES in its initial state, and at the time (2003) I thought it had some interesting things to offer but being under a half an hour in length, I thought it was a bit spare, lo-fi and could have used at least another track, possibly more, to make it a worthy purchase. Also, the packaging from what I recall looked DIY’. Ferrara must have also realized this, for the new, remastered version is everything the original was not; better sounding, contains a cool 8+ minute additional track, and comes in a very nice glossy trifold digipack.

The first part of the CD, "Black Candles & Pentagrams N Shit" is divided into two parts/tracks- "Risen, The Judas Moon" and "Errant Bodies". This takes up about a third of the CD. Dark ambient drones overlayed with a ringing sound, with some moaning and a slowly played bass clarinet melodic dirge in a minimalist format. Spooky stuff. "Mariam Matkem" a medieval Christian devotional song is also divided into two parts/tracks- "Instrumental" and "Vocal". It’s really a very nice recorder ensemble arrangement and Shannon Wolfe does a nice job with the vocals in Latin. Clearly the most accessible portion of the CD, I guess this is what gives "CROSS PURPOSES its Cross’. The next tack, "Stupid Blood" (penned by Howard Devoto during his Luxuria days) is sung competently by Bob Ayres with a staccato recorder and woodwind sub-melody arrangement that reminds me very much of Tuxedo Moon. Not my favorite track on the CD, but still very well done. The final track, "Mesozoica" was done in collaboration with Ure Thrall and is very dark ambient. Heavy, Lustmordian and ominous. Ferrara’s woodwind work on this track gives this doom-laden piece its ultimate eeriness. I love it!

CROSS PURPOSES is a worthy purchase, for it packs a lot of variety into only about 37 minutes. Fans of Current 93, Death In June, Lustmord, Tuxedo Moon, Raison d’tre and similar projects should take note.
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Artist: FOOD FOR FANTASY
Title: Fruits Of Fantasy
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
Active since the end of the 70's when Klaus Schulze discovered him, Robert Schroeder since then released different solo albums as well releasing stuff with different projects (one of his most famous is Double Fantasy). Taking its name from a Double Fantasy's song coming from the Universal Ave. album, on Food Fantasy Robert composes electronic easy listening tracks which have a wide range of influences. On his third album under the FRUITS FOR FANTASY moniker you can find new age, lounge, ambient, trip-hop rhythms mixed to form a strong background structure where guitar player Phil Molto is free to improvise. Dreamy and relaxed the album contains only a song with vocals (a nice treated electro like voice) which it is titled "Listen to the radio". This isn't my genre but you can check it if you want an electronic rock easy listening background.
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Artist: Autons (@)
Title: Who do you think you are kidding?
Format: CD
Label: Zip
Rated: *****
What a big surprise! Not easy fill this band, you can think to an electronic Franz Ferdinand version, sometime it reminds to The Strokes and Muse too.Their particularly brand of synth indie-electropop is fresh and great.Brit pop and post-punk guitar band without the usual plagiarism.Great!
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Artist: Waldsonne
Title: Wanderer
Format: CD
Label: RAIG (@)
Rated: *****
It took WALDSONNE almost three years to complete their debut full-length album.This russian band combines mandolin, guitars, Irish harp, and violin into acoustic blend of music with roots in medieval folk and heathen rite chants.Melancholic, meditative, calm and reflective medieval music closer to folk than gothic, for 'heavenly voices' fans too.
Jan 18 2009
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 12. Elektrisch Festival
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded live at the 12th edition of the Elektrisch Festival, this album offers to fans of classic e.b.m. sounds (the one that gathers melody, power, rhythm and sweat) extracts of seven great band's performances recorded at that event. The album presents two tracks for each band and I was quite surprised to see Birmingham 6 back on track. The last time I reviewed one of their releases was about eleven years ago. The track list opens with Absolute Body Control (don't miss the second reissue of their "Lost/Found" double album made by Daft Records and distributed by Ant-Zen!) with "So hard" and "Give me your hands", two tracks coming, in this version, from their "Wind[Re]Wind" album. Tyske Ludder are the next ones and, boy, they know how to make this kind of sounds! They are here with "Wie Der Stahl Gehärtet Wurde" and "Khaled Aker". Birmingham 6 present "Godlike (prayer)" and their classic "You cannot walk here". After these three the next four bands were kinda unknown to me and I have to admit that I've been really impressed by Swedish Container 90 and I was also surprised to listen to Hungarian Escalator and to know that they are active since late 80's. Also the newcomers Astma impressed me with their "Telephon terror" and "449 metal bullets". They have a bit of D.A.F. approach to rhythms and I liked it. Last but not least we have Pinsel Liest! with "Das Hat' Se Jesagt" and "Hör Oss Svea". The first tracks is a particular e.b.m. spoken word while the second one is a creepy atmospheric one. If you love the genre don't miss this great live compilation... it is limited to 500 copies only!
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