Music Reviews



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Artist: NTRSN (@)
Title: People Like Gods
Format: CD
Label: Sigsaly Transmissions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
YES! It’s out, as I was hardly longing for this release. With the exception of a self-produced CDR release ”Human The System 2.04”, this is the official debut release of the Belgian EBM/Industrial-duo NTRSN (speak it out: Intrusion). For the most of our readers they seem to be a real newcomer, while they’re musically pretty dedicated to reanimate the heritage of Belgian old-school EBM bands. ”People Like Gods” features that form of EBM, which has been long forgotten out of our hearts and playlists. Inspired by works of those notorious veterans like early INSEKT, old VOMITO NEGRO, THE KLINIK, or lesser discovered Belgian cult acts like LIQUID G. or LESCURE 13, which all have had their heydays in times, where musicians had to record demo tapes. Yes, those were the days, and compared to some current happening tendencies, not the worst. Pieter David (sequences, vocals, production) and his partner Bram Declercq (vocals, video, art) have seemingly inhaled the spirit of those traditionally days and offer us 14 tracks full of experimental-minded, raw EBM-power. The received prominent help for the production of this awesome album, Maurizo Fasolo (Pankow) and Peter Van Bogaert (LIQUID G.) have proven in those above mentioned days their talent - now sitting behind the mixing desk has surely helped this album to sound and come out in this specific style. The harder and dancefloor-compatible forward moving tracks, like the intro ”Flashback”, ”Coming End”, ”Black Hole” or that irresistible ”Man Is Machine” are favorites for sure. Pure and analogue synth play can be discovered in some sequencer patterns in both parts of ”Never Before”, or ”Bodychange” - it’s nearly impossible to program this efforts under the usage of digital synths. ”People Like Gods” is an awesome example of work, how an EBM-driven music project manages to separate from the whole average mass. This old-school EBM sound has nothing to do with the multiple hordes of NEP/DAF-copycats, it rather reanimates and recreates a long forgotten form of Belgian Electro/Industrial-history.
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Artist: Marching Dynamics
Title: The Workers Party of Haiti
Format: CD
Label: Hymen records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
This of course has nothing to do with the latest earthquake tragedy happened some weeks before - it rather belongs once again on me, that I write quite late a review on it. Whatever a workers party on Haiti has to do with Shane Talada’s newest efforts, remains to be an unsolved riddle, but however, Mr. Talada’s work can be called valuable and it is a secret tip to those out there, missing an extra-ordinary and modern sounding IDM/Electronica/Powernoise release. It wonders me once again, what kind of wise calculating Electronica-musician Shane has become throughout the years. MARCHING DYNAMICS has nothing to do with that angry Industrial-outfit and unfortunately too early gone US-Coldwave act S.T.G., as he was a member of them. This album impresses with its integrated diversity, which got expressed through genre-bending drum patterns layered and sorted to each other. If he then programs additionally cold and ominous synthesizer sweep-sounds as it best presented on 3 or 4, the listener falls into euphoric impression of this cinematic-like sound design. May the cult act GRIDLOCK has to be named as possible comparison especially to these both tunes and for some of other ideas as well, but to me that isn’t a bad reference. MARCHING DYNAMICS offer once again a top-notch Electronica album by following the tradition of his previous album ”Nailsleeper”
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Artist: ESA
Title: The Immaculate Manipulation
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Remix collections are always a nice tool for musicians to bridge their required time between two albums, although the concept and the sense of remix works suffers and gets often abused due to financially aspects. The definitive ESA remix-collection instead is a well deserved release for this Industrial/Powernoise-project, since Jamie Blacker’s stunning last studio work ”The Sea & The Silence” has gained worldwide euphoric reactions. Also worth to notice is the fact, that Jamie has avoided to request remix contributions by the often chosen notorious names - instead you’ll find on this CD contributions by relative undiscovered names like PSILOPSYB, MOOD DELUXE, EXOTIC or LIGHTS OUT ASIA. Some well discovered label colleagues like the praised ACCESS TO ARASAKA and STENDECK provide quality interpretations. Also the names of the further rest rather speaks for well-thought chosen contributors, C-DRONE DEFECT, THE SYNTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION, MARCHING DYNAMICS or MANUFACTURA are approved and well recognized music-projects. To pick out favorites out this massive playlist is a bit tricky, because the musically diversity provides quite different listening experiences. But at first there’s to name ESA’s new and original composed track ”I Am The Filth”, another floor-burner and ideal tune to move to. The remix of the British newcomer PSILOPSYB on ”The Devil Worships Me” impresses with its fat and layered mood, while the modern sounding rhythm section is able to execute the dancefloors. Same counts also for MOOD DELUXE with their quite Techno-oriented direction of ”The Sea & The Silence”. Movement on the dark floors promises also the contribution of THE SYNTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION with a straight, but also slightly distorted kick and snare work. The usual coldness in the arrangements of ACCESS TO ARASAKA on ”Your Anger Is A Gift” combined with the tricky rhythm structures convinces again and again. A lot of good reasons to purchase this well-done remix album - and you will be additionally rewarded, because you’ll find a code, which allows you to download additional remix contributions available on the Tympanik Audio website.
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Artist: Undermathic (@)
Title: Return To Childhood
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Another new modern IDM/Electronica producer out of Poland got invited to release a full-length album via the Tympanik Audio family. Responsible behind this project is Maciej Pazkiewicz and his efforts draw an own and authentic sound dimension. You’ll get a full-scale layered Ambient album, featuring experimental sound consisting of surging, Downtempo-like rhythm patterns, melodic and dreamy piano drops, and dark processed strings and at times guitar sounds. This work sounds bombastic, dark, but also relatively organic to the same time. Even if some rhythm patterns seemed to be programmed by chance (”Understanding”), or with a high sense of improvisation, the generally clear song structures with at times catchy moments (”Keep Out No Entry”) resulting in a fitting unit for this rather experimental scenario. Highlighted by both above mentioned tracks, as well as the sample-infiltrated title track, ”Return To Childhood” isn’t definitely that sort of a futuristic end-time cyberspace-sounding work, but again a kind of special and demanding Electronica album. Once again the Tympanik Audio label provides a fascinating and extra-ordinary listening experience.
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Artist: Rothkamm (@)
Title: ALT
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Distributor: Darla
Rated: *****
One of the most enigmatic and prolific conceptual artist and philopher - as he’s considered the progenitor of some aesthetical ideas such as supermodernism, and IFORMM, acronym for (intuitive|improvised) (future|forth) oriented (retrograde|realtime) (motion|music) (music|machine), a sort of self-explanatory aesthetical idea…- , the German-born - but currently living in the former Wilshare Royale hotel, a 20ies dismissed building rich in panache in Los Angeles - Frank Holger Rothkamm chalks up another release fostering the mysterious and sometimes inscrutable aura around its character, but after many sound explorations including bizarre works between snooty academic-like austerity even if often peppered with kitsch elements (such as the FB series issued by Flux Records) and a certain sense of humour (i.e. the funny bunch of piano variations in Opus Spongebobicum), he decides to collect some fuzzy oddities he grabbed from his beloved analogue machines. Although Frank Rothkamm works on a limited palette of sounds, it’s not so correct to say ALT, released by the excellent French label Baskaru, is a microtonal ensemble as it’s decidedly more accessible and less “elitist” than his previous albums.

The role of the composer seems to be limited to the booting of self-feeding iterative processes and by his own admittance Rothkamm acts just as a sprinkle for subsequent fire! The premise is to create a sort of what he calls an “infinity machine” in order to experience an infinite process in a finite amount of time: it’s like the composer inject some starting tones and a generally triadic tonal sequence, reprising its vision of the theorized tri-fold unity of tuning, synthesis and instrument partially reflected in the funny choice to entitle its track with a 3-letter code, whose meaning is sometimes clear (such as the subtonal LOW or GUI, one of the rare track in which there’s a sign of melody created from a guitar sample of Max Laesser), sometimes quite obscure and almost esoteric. Then it seems the machine turns knobs and adjusts pitches by its own! I’ll guess ALT could be just a sampling exhibition of analogue synths close to the “historical” one recently released by Benge aka Ben Edwards on Expanding if I could ignore its author, so that ALT is more like a compendium to unveil Rothkammian mistery, but it ends to embody another enigma amplified by symbolic tricks and numerological games you could find in the track titles, their durations along a total timing of 39 minutes and 39 seconds and compositions as well. You could ask yourself if Herr Rothkamm looks like more the wittiest follower of Wilson’s modus operandi or shares the same metaphysical-logical vision by Leibnitz in order to traduce it into sound.
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