Music Reviews



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Artist: Black Lung
Title: Full Spectrum Dominance
Format: CD
Label: ant-zen (@)
Rated: *****
One half of the harsh industrial band Snog, the provocative Australian musician David Thrussel finally comes back with another of his shrubby and scathing releases by which he's able to shrivel the most raving aspects of contemporary human history, most humans sometimes ignore, as well as to have a squint behind controller's curtains through the use of musical language inheriting elements both from EBM, techno and scattershot electronica, a plenty of references running on the razor-sharpened edge of conspiracy theories and political matters and by which he manages to move the listener's mind up without using any lyrics. The plot standing behind this new release entitled Full Spectrum Dominance ' issued by Ant-Zen in collaboration with the seminal Tympanik Audio -, like the ludicrous military doctrine inspiring the American Department of Defense according to which a joint military structure should achieve control over all elements, including not only the classical air, land and maritime warfare, but also information space (the so-called Cyberwarfare) and electromagnetic spectrum and what is known as Joint Vision 2020, the famous plan for world hegemony developed by Joint Chiefs of Staff and supported by DARPA, acronym for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, a funding body of the US Government and the Pentagon, mentioned as the fake client of this release, intended according to the fictitious words of a DARPA's officer 'to deliver to the men and the women working in some of the Pentagon's most challenging fields as inspiring soundtrack to their daily working life, but also to present to the general public information and a view hitherto unconsidered of some of the lesser known branches of our military' and the booklet included with this record explains the references of each track, alternatively quoting some Chomsky inspired anti-capitalist issues, the Hostmen of Newcastle upon Tyne ' being maybe the first example in human history of energy cartels controlling resources and inventing shortages in order to appeal to the unmerciful market rules, inspiring according Thrussel's words the nowadays cartels'¦ -, the manipulations of world bankers in order to generate illusions and hypnotize markets (The Wonderful Wizard of Ounce is definitively the funniest and most bitter title David could choose for 'affording' this theme!!!), neocolonialism, the inner mechanism of the so called 'free market', contemporary fears about forthcoming future and other actual more or less paranoid arguments.

His provocative joke seems consisting of wearing the mask of the controllers, spreading messages to the bovine masses in a witty and almost dramatic way, by using sounds as theatrical gesture and creating implicitly a possible soundtrack of our dark ages. From the musical viewpoint, Full Spectrum Dominance looks like an exhaustive summary of the previous breathings by the Black Lung, but I mostly prefer those tracks showing some ambience and atmospheric gears, such as the thoughtful and disquieting worried whispers of The Great Unconscious, an evocative collage of synthetic melodies standing as one of the best piece Thrussel had ever composed and which perfectly rendered the most buzzing divergence and the implicit imperfectness of any ordering supreme will, the disquieting beauty of the already mentioned The Wonderful Wizard of Ounce, the swarming concinnity of the bass intertwining some bizarre sounds in The Hostmen of Tyne, the dark sound granules of The Feminine Void which is going to carry your mind in the outer dumb spaces (!) and the gentle martial core as well as the stirred sounds on a disassembled march of The Neuroses of Nostalgia (another great immersive track!), but the most ominous techno crunched sounds you're going to hear in other appreciable tracks ' more easy to recognize by all those listeners which already tasted Black Lung's previous records ' should be considered just as parts of a whole. Maybe Full Spectrum Dominance is not so epic as other releases, but in my modest opinion it's the definitive proof that Thrussel's sound forging skills as well as its provocative grip reached some interesting peak indeed!
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Artist: Rock Stone (@)
Title: Girl Talk
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Corporate Records
Years ago there was a band called Lifestyle, they released an album then I never heard of them. Aug Stone in 2003 released a single titled "Cherry Vanilla" which I reviewed. A couple of weeks ago he contacted me to tell me about his E.P. he released with Ian Catt (of Saint Etienne) and to tell me that on the Corporate Records' website he put some of his old recordings on a "pay-what-you-want" basis. GIRL TALK contains five songs which spans from the synthpop of the nice opening "New val" (which recalled me a bit Freezepop freshness) and the following "Starring Amelia", to the electronic Jesus & Mary Chain 60's polished version of "Dreaming Of Catherine", passing from the ballad "Sarah's Records" (a sort of happy pop version of Jesus & Mary Chain with few synth sounds) and "Danielle's Hair" (a slow ballad with acoustic guitar and synth which recalls me a little Lou Reed's ballads but made in a synthpop key).
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Artist: SaM
Title: Brainwasher
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize
Distributor: Broken Silence
The siblings who by chance happen to be the members of SAM show no signs of slowing down and go on the offensive with their third fulltime release. Their technodustrial sound has been known and liked since 2004 while there hits are a constant part of the club-landscape. As the title allows presuming this time around SAM is going to make sure you get seriously brain washed.
The introduction informs the listener that listening to the album may cause some permanent brain damage and you are going to enjoy it on your own risk. Well, the blast truly are immense.
The intro is followed by 12 bellicose tracks all of which feature spoken samples supposedly mainly taken from B-horror movies. I could recognize only one of them: 'Ich bin keine Nummer. Ich bin ein Mensch'. Those of you familiar with Iron Maiden will recognize it too, once I translate the line into English: 'I'm not a number. I'm a man'. Since I don't watch much B-horror flicks I could not recognize any further ones, but maybe your luck will be better.
Sure as hell tracks such as 'Mad As Hell', 'Name And Number' or/and 'MKSEARCH' will make it to the relevant clubs and make sure people move their body parts on the dance floor.
What I miss here is some vocals (yes, synthesized would be accepted) and lyrics with content, that express more than aggression. The album reminds of Combichrist minus vocals, drums, guitars, imagination. This album kicks ass, but it can only touch a robot. For the same reason these perfectly recorded tracks don't stay in your memory for very long.
You listen to it on your own risk, but, as they say, no risk, no fun.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Chicken Accelerator
Format: 12"
Label: Astro Chicken (@)
Rated: *****
CHICKEN ACCELERATOR is the first release of a new German label called Astro Chicken. Dedicated to spaced out disco/electro sounds the label starts its journey presenting four cool tracks brought to us from four different bands: Hyboid, Starlight Hammer Sounds, Telebot and Sternrekorder. "Vogon poetry" by Hyboid has the task to start the dances and does it with an electro spacey upbeat tune. "Starlight Hammer Sounds" with "Turrican 2" sounds a little more robotic but always upbeat, with cool melodies and nice arpeggiator progressions. Telebot's "Disco dump" is a mid tempo with moog solos and alternates disco 70's atmospheres to dark atmospheres. Sternrekorder close the compilation with their "Geh lieber nie", which is the only song to have vocals and it's an upbeat song with 80's electro melodies and nice echoed German vocals. Sebastian Hübert of Astro Chicken Records did a great job gathering four bands that will be able to make you enjoy even more your galactic trips!
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Artist: Dawnfine
Title: Imperfect Thoughts
Format: CD
Label: Hybrido Records / Soulshadow Store
Distributor: Wave Records
Rated: *****
The international promotion campaign of the Brazilian label Wave Records (among others PECADORES) made it possible to discover Brazil's biggest talent in the Synth-/Futurepop-genre since the renowned trio of the 3 COLD MEN: DAWNFINE, also operating as a trio, have released their debut album under the flag of small local labels/record shops like Hybrido, in collaboration with Soulshadow store and Sensorial Discos (distribution in Brazil). Although a debut release, the three members of DAWNFINE seem to be friends since the mid-90ies. Hailing out of Goiana City, Marcus Paulo (vocals), Jeovane Cazer (synths, guitars) and Jethro Mendonca offer a catchy form of Alternative-/Pop-music mayhem, which draws a strong influence out of the golden 80ies with acts like DEPECHE MODE (of course!), AND ONE, or some of the Scandinavian-based idols like early APOPTYGMA BERZERK or NEUROACTIVE. Quite big and international renowned names for possible comparisons, this trio perfectly blends the best extracts to integrate them into their own sound. Synth arrangements and their sound environment are professionally chosen and are satisfying higher musically tastes ' while I wouldn't go that far to call this band in any form innovative. DAWNFINE are experienced and matured musicians, who know well, how to push the right buttons, without touching new or before undiscovered music paths. The completely in English offered lyrics provided through a smooth and well sounding male vocalist are too witnesses for their longing for international recognition ' since all terms of the production are flawless, this target should be reached soon. Keep an eye and an ear on them!

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