Music Reviews



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Artist: NOSZTALGIA DIREKTIVA (@)
Title: Nosztalgia DirektÝva
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Previously active as G.K. Agenda with three tracks released on an Invasion Planète Recordings' compilation titled "Sacrifice Moderne", Nosztalgia Direktiva is a minimal synth industrial project that already released under this moniker a track on the "Festival der Genialen Dissidenten" compilation (issued, like this E.P., on Enfant Terrible). Their self titled 7" E.P. contains four tracks where minimal electronic tunes pair dark atmospheres. Simple but effective melodic lines and analog sounds create the right background for mysterious semi recitative vocals. Nosztalgia Direktiva on "Tegnapok", "Amorphous", "Reflections" and "Néhanapare" are good at creating a mix of electro industrial pop for deviants. Their synths scratch the ears of the listener producing an insane pleasure. Soon available in a 300 copies run. Check three tracks on the label's website.
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Artist: INFORM─TIK (@)
Title: Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
It has been announced almost a year before from the BATTERY CAGE mastermind and INFORMÄTIK musician Tyler Newman in an online forum, that Da5id Din would "forget" for a few tunes his studio and producing work for foreign bands to compose a new INFORMÄTIK album. Said and done, the new album "Beyond" hits the shelves and got released of course via Metropolis Records. "Beyond" globally picks up the musically identity of this project discovered in parts for the first time with the 2002-album "Nymphomatik", followed by the 2004-remix-collection "Re:vision", but in a new manner. INFORMÄTIK have made a big step away from the Dark Electro/Industrial of their early days, the current dedication is more based on a Electro-/Futurepop-oriented base, which definitely allows to break with some boundaries to an Alternative/Pop music kind. This has surely something to do with the grown meaning of Tyler Newman to this project, mostly all of the 10 new tracks got "strengthened" with some guitar riffs. Still more based into the background compared to the latest BATERY CAGE-recordings, all Electro-purists and older fans can be assured that INFORMÄTIK won’t mutate to a calm BATERY CAGE-rip-off, since also Da5id’s influence and his compositional abilities are alive for this release. Also Da5id’s vocal performance comes out for the most part clear and sounds naturally, no comparison to highly manipulated kind presented of the earlier INFORMÄTIK-albums "Direct Memory Access" or "Syntax". "Beyond" is the release of two experienced musicians, which awakes the rich content of the Boston-based Electro/Industrial scene (now based in SF, but both are hailing originally from there...), which had its heydays 12 years before. The perfect and crystal-clear studio production (...as expected from someone like Da5id Din...), the tasteful arranged songs and the clever and intelligent lyrical content touches hearts and minds. But if it also touches the legs of the club-goers has to be proven – this album offers a lot of tracks between slow and mid-tempo, but not at all a track like the Techno-inspired classic "Watching You, Watching Me" or something related. Since Tyler has mentioned somewhere else the problems of BATTERY CAGE to accepted as being a club-oriented act even if they’d decided to produce obvious club-food, I doubt a bit that this will change with INFORMÄTIK – at least only for this album.
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Artist: Attacks The Darkness (@)
Title: I Am The Gatekeeper
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: self-released
Distributor: iTunes, Napster, etc...
Rated: *****
This is a California-based Electronica/Experimental solo-project by David Inden, who releases under his moniker ATTACKS THE DARKNESS his first full-length album after his predecessor EP entitled "Six Times Seven". David’s music isn’t that sort of an easy-listening Electronica with a calm attitude, it rather integrates multiple fragments out of quite different music styles and it tends to mix this fragments in an at times obscure manner. It is definitely rhythmic oriented, but a quite unusual sonic experience which needs some more spins to find an assessable entrance for the listener. Electronica, Experimental, Ambient and/or Electro/Industrial styles can all be discovered here, but in a quite unusual style. Advantageous is the fact that David don’t likes to explore a one-dimensional path of music, and as the info sheet to this album explains it wisely, "ATTACKS THE DARKNESS attempts to map the ever expanding soundscape that is on repeat in his (David’s) brain." Therefore it is hard to name some favorites, but the gloomy Dark Ambient-tune with the delicious title "There Is A Body In My Freezer And I Don’t Have Any Answers" gets a vote from me. Music for some open-minded Electronica music fans, in some parts compatible with some acts signed Tympanik Audio and/or Hymen. Available via several known online downloading retailers like iTunes, Amazon.com, Napster, etc...
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Artist: Kenji Siratori (@)
Title: Soul Of The War Dead
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Another new album for this Japanese Cyber-Ambient/Industrial artist, who has not only continued with own new recordings, also some more guest appearances on several releases out of the Electro and Industrial genres have been arranged. "Soul Of The War Dead" consists out of 3 different music parts which combine long delayed and reverberated Ambient drones in a quite static, but clean Electronica outfit. Generally this new album doesn’t pick the abrasive kind of the predecessor "Sickness For The 21st Century", it rather turns more into the realm of his first release on SkullLine, "Death Creature". His trademark, the integrated non-stopping strange sounding voice samples are featured as well and leave at times the wish to a more clear performance and message. But dealing thematically with the tragic atomic bomb drop over Hiroshima, the mood of this album doesn’t leaves any friendlier impression. An album quite along KENJI’s alley. The strict limitation of only 33 exemplars packed in a metal movie can saves the special status for this release too.
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Artist: Grabstein (@)
Title: Anne Frank
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Second album-release for the Switzerland-based Military/Industrial-act GRABSTEIN, which this time seems to be a kind of a conceptual release. The main theme deals with the female Anne Frank and the Nazi-German invasion of the Netherlands during WWII. Military-inspired stuff quiet often documented with some historic voice and war samples, but with GRABSTEIN often accomplished with some further music styles. Enjoyable Neo-Classic influence like a top-notch piano performance like on "Nowhere To Hide", but also some ominous sounding Dark Ambient-like sound environments as offered with "Deportation" or "Death". GRABSTEIN often declares not to follow or to defend any politically system and I believe in this, since the chosen samples seriously don’t bring on a drama – the historic content is recognizable. Rather more worth to mention is the out-of-any-question higher artistic and musically valuable content presented through the Neo-Classic arrangement. No stuff of course if you feel ashamed if someone feels the need to deal with some past atrocities, but... wouldn’t it time to grow and to get some more distance which especially counts for the older generation? No one should forget and everyone shall be warned – this album fulfills this with some real historic content.
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