Music Reviews

Artist: The Psychedelic Furs
Title: All Of This And Nothing
Format: Tape
Label: Columbia
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****

This is a video collection of The Psychedelic Furs on VHS format. Not on dvd yet. The band was formed in England. The group started out as a six piece and then later on 1982, it was down to four. The PFs made their mark in the 80's, which is known as the new wave/new romantic era. The video starts off with 1980 "Sister Europe". In the video, you see a statue of an African woman. 1981 "Pretty In Pink" follows, my favorite song and video. The band later also re-recorded the song for John Hughes 1986 movie with the same title that starred Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer and Andrew McCarthy. This gave the band alot of recognition. Next is the slow motion images of the band doing their thing in "Dumb Waiters". Who can forever get their unforgettable 1982 black and white video "Love My Way" with background and outstanding images. The video shows the band standing and performing and moving around on a waterglass platform. The video was directed by Tim Pope who have directed numerous of bands videos including The Cure, Soft Cell, Hall & Oates, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Talk Talk and Men Without Hats. And later moved on to direct tv series and movies. We see Richard Butler in the bed sleeping and turning and a woman playing a cello in "Sleep Comes Down". Next is their 1984 "Heaven", which shows the band enjoying themselves playing in the rain as Richard sings. This video is also directed by Tim Pope. As 1987 rolls in, the British lads is in the Big Apple, New York City, where they moved to and shot another black and white video for "Heartbreak Beat". The final video is "All That Money Wants", which is filmed in black and white also. A collection of memories that any 80's child can remember when seeing this band on MTV and had their own signature sound and Richard Butler singing in baritone and voice very distinctive with amazement. The only video that's missing on this memorable collection is "The Ghost In You". Hopefully it'll be on dvd along with the rest of the videos collection, if ever it get to that.
Artist: Santogold
Title: Santogold
Format: CD
Label: Downtown Records (@)
Rated: *****
Who is Santogold? An African-American 32 year old woman, singer, songwriter and record producer. Born Santi White and held out of the City of Brotherly Love known as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This talented woman got her start in the music industry by working for a major label Epic Records as an A&R representative, but left the position to write and produce a song "How I Do", the debut from the singer Res. She also was a singer for the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Stiffed. While in this band, she was offered a solo contract. Her self-titled debut album breaks through the commercial music charts in the US & the UK. Santogold's album is a comparison to the sound of new wave 80's and punk and ska/reggae. Heavy synthesizers takes the toll with a rhythmic beat. Santogold vocals and vocal arrangments is reminder of Terri Bozio from Missing Persons and Siouxsie Sioux from Siouxsie & The Banshees. Her voice concocts in a soft haunting and wailing style.

The song "L.E.S. Artistes" kicks the disc off. A track similarly to the brushing tone vibe of Missing Persons and Blondie. The remix version is also included on this album. Composed and mixed with a dancehall feel. We get "You'll Find A Way", a new wave & ska combination that gives you an idea of the similar sound by The B-52's and British ska band English Beat (aka The Beat). Going deep for a joyride in the dub/ska/reggae genre format form, a deliver of "Shove It" with a slap in your face groovy funky tight kick ass bassline. Take a journey on a plane to Jamaica to dance. This reminds me of the five young black British boys Musical Youth, formed out of Birmingham, England back in the early 80's, who spun a hit "Pass The Dutchie" and video received a heavy rotation on MTV. Santogold gives us a punk reggae on "Say Aha". The Clash fans will love this one.

Entering the portal of electronic music genre, the progressive quirky bleeps and noises sparks out in "Creator" as Santogold adds rap on top of it. This song was used for a Bud Light Lime beer commercial here in the U.S. The seductive vocals stands out in "My Superman", as if we're wandering back in Berlin era of their first album "Pleasure Victim". In the 80's, remember those days at school there was a time when teenagers was dancing to music playing by live bands, especially in movies? Imagine Santogold existed in that time. Her songs "Lights Out" and "I'm A Lady" will be absolutely perfect featuring on a couple of film soundtracks. "Lights Out" has appeared in VO5 hair products commercials in the UK. Everytime I listen to it, I think of the all girl band The Go-Go's. The song is very well written, the singing and the background humming harmony is a reflection of female bass player Jane Wiedlin. "I'm A Lady" is thought provoking that goes down the line of Chrissy Hines and her band The Pretenders.

Sliding back in the electronic & synth-pop genre, the melodic "Star Struck" follows in the dark and shadowy steps of Depeche Mode, their darkwave era. We proceed on to another British band sound we all know, Bananarama. A personality of the female trio and a Jamaican accent added to make "Unstoppable" a complex track to make. Santogold did a superb job by pulling it off. The song is about a woman who's dangerous and carries a gun and different kinds of flammable sprays that is used to spray any attacker in the face. Furthermore, on the run, especially from the police. Finally we're now engulfed in the darkness and the ghost of "Anne" gives us the gothic and haunting reminiscent sound of Siouxsie & The Banshees. On this track, Santogold does sound like Siouxsie. Soft gloomy vocals will pull you in. The song will get alot of attention at a club where everyone wears black.

Despite today's mainstream music sucks and making people dementia in this day & time in the 21st century, Santogold wants to bring back real music that everyone can relate to and feel. She is rated as one of the top ten artists to look out for this year of 2008. Her music has already been receiving heavy rotation in clubs and airplay in urban Afghanistan. Her professional music skills is a promising in the near future.

Title: Musik
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
MilkMoneyMaffia is a project of a Greenland's guy called Jark Gurken and MUSIK is his first release. Available as download only the seven tracks mini is the second of the Basserk's AllDigital releases. If with Drifter TV Basserk explored the acid techno, with MilkMoneyMaffia we're back on the pure electro field. The first track "Smelly finger" is a mid tempo minimal electro song with a grime bass line, while "Caramel" recalls m,e since the first drum hits, the Egyptian Lover electro style. "Stinky stanky" and "The Peanutbutter song", instead, are good for a Gigolo Records compilation. "Cuba Pete" is a mix of salsa cut-ups with a techno bass line. With "Gone" everything changes and we have a nice slow ballad with electronic sounds and brass samples. "Milkmoney" closes the mini with a good catchy electro mid tempo. Jark made a good debut and you'll be convinced by his powerful sounds and by his double filtered vocals which create a funny effect. Check three songs on his myspace page.
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Artist: 20.SV
Title: Apocalyptic Desert
Format: CD
Label: Autumn Wind Productions (@)
Rated: *****
The sound of this disc excites me from the start. Veiled behind walls of decimated audio signals, buried entities of voice, guitar, synthesizers, and unidentifiable noise generators gasp for air from an 8bit radioactive soundscape. Floating on this green ocean of sonic obliteration are passing waves of decayed melody and radioactive timbres that ignite your ear canals while foreshadowing the destruction yet to come.

Constantly shifting densities fluctuate between onslaught, feedback and sandblast, with the occasional relent of high frequencies making way for the earthmovers to pillage towards a desperately needed, yet always denied moment of pause. Never resting on a single texture for long, Apocalyptic Desert manifests itself through pulsations that undulate and loop under the hand of its creator. One thing that sets this release apart from others of similar ilk is how he maintains (for me) a sense of liveness that makes this interesting and worth repeated listening.

20.SV is a noise project of Lebanese musician Xardas, who also released Burning Sigils under his actual name, Osman Arabi. I recommend listening to his music, particularly this album, at a very high volume for the intended effect. The ascent from zero to about 14 minutes is worth the price of admission alone. Further, Xardas uses both right and left channels to disorient the listener and create a trance-like effect which often lands in a surprisingly musical’ soundscape, that resonates more deeply with each listen. Its very effective, and I can only imagine what this would sound like in surround or live. Recommended to fans of extreme noise like Messiah Complex and Grunt.

Title: You Hear What Eye See
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
Drifter TV is an audiovisual dance electronic act coming from Netherlands. YOU HEAR WHAT EYE SEE is a title that really fit their project, because the visual is really the counterpart to their music and sometimes I think that their visual art has more relevance compared to their music. The seven tracks of the digital only release shows the duo dealing with acid techno and techno electro in a nice way but after visiting their website and after checking their flash interactive creations you feel that the nice tracks contained into the release would be great if experienced along with those because most of the tracks tends to play around few loops where they are filtered, stretched, treated and mixed with samples and I have the feeling that also they created them thinking also to the acid effect created by their bizarre boyscout twins characters.
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