Music Reviews



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Artist: PNDC & HOUSEWORK (@)
Title: Secondhand Language
Format: CD
Label: Ammonite Records (@)
Rated: *****
SECOND HAND LANGUAGE is the second album for PNDC and this time he tighten the collaboration with Thanos Vavaroutas a.k.a. Housework (each track see him playing guitar and he also sung on four of them) and you find it stated on the CD cover as it has been released under the PNDC & Housework moniker. The net collaboration between Serbia and Greece still worked fine and the duo offers ten new tracks in balance from dark electronic pop and dark wave with no boundaries. Offering intimate atmospheres, electro wave sounds and melodies that will seduce your soul the album convinced me and if Joy Division fans will be pleased by "Animal farm", lovers of female vocals will be seduced by Marina Skiadaresi a.k.a. Shadowlike on "Pilots" and "Goodnight". Musically, Pedrag created a good mixture of synths, piano and bouncing bass/drums sounds which found a good counterpart into the distorted/acoustic guitars of Thanos (which sometimes he sampled and treated). Sounding sophisticated and creative without forgetting to be "popular", SECOND HAND LANGUAGE is a good album which you should check. P.s. As bonus we also have three mix: "30.000 feet" reworked by "Laurent", "Shut my soul" remixed by Harold Nono (he did a wave semi industrial version of it) and "Goodnight" (this one is based mainly on Marina's vocals and layers of treated guitars).
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Artist: OGOGO
Title: lunar surphase
Format: CD
Label: III Records (@)
Rated: *****
This Is my third round with Igor Ogogo's music and I'm starting to recognize the sound of his guitar/music in a split second, I think that itself means this guy has a personality as a musician. According to my personal taste this' the best of the lot of releases he's sent me, it's the most heterogeneous, the melodies and the song structures are crazy but really catchy and somehow I find the songs have become really expressive. Expressivity is a focal point in the economy of the release, infact he hasn't left his bizarre taste back home but the narrative plot in most of the tracks is easier to be followed despite the several tempo changes. I've probably mentioned before the eighties-experimental-music aftertaste of Ogogo and the fact he reminded me some materials of Elliott Sharp's Carbon Orchestra but as I've already said this' not a copycat of some old Sharp's recording. On this recording Igor's guitars have been enriched by some guest appearences of Rod Oakes on trombone and Andrei Solovyov on trumpet and flute, with intruments like these I'm sure som of you may have thought to some weird jazz musician, but I hear more no wave-avant jazz-contemporary classic-funk-rock elements in the soup, that brings "lunar phase" far from what you may consider jazz, the only parallel I can think of is Isotope 217. As suggested by the title the "outer space" element is quite explicit above all if you think to the fact the majority of the melodies have that stoned psychedelic feel that makes you feel there's a bad trip going on inside your head. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of analogue-synth sounds and this recording is so full of reshaped guitar, synthetic bass-lines, weird keyboard and electronic drum-lines a la 808-drum-machine, but on this recording nothing looks out of place. I think I've to add despite the strong personality of the musicians, there's something ironic in most of the songs that makes it even ore interesting. Ogogo confirms to be a weird and bizarre musician a psychiatric answer to George Clinton but, please, don't take me literally.
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Artist: Vision Talk (@)
Title: Dirty Italo Disco
Format: CD
Label: Space Sound Records (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
This is a new side-project of both Swedish band-members of CHINESE THEATRE, Krister Petterson and Martina Ramstedt. They have added two additional members, the vocalist Richard Flow and the synth-player Stefan "Fellin" Olsson to share a mutual musically direction: VISION TALK represents the typical kind and sound outfit of the notorious Italo-Disco sound of the mid-80s, which brought act like Dan Harrow, Valerie Dore, Devine, Scotch and multiple others to unexpected success. Combined with the typical-Scandinavian-like talent to create the catchiest melodies Synthpop-music can offer, this album comes out like a time-machine to reanimate those golden days. Think additionally on bands like ALPHAVILLE, early-ERASURE, CAMOUFLAGE, BRONSKI BEAT and those alike for possible comparisons. Krister acts as the chief-programmer and some phrases he usually uses for CHINESE THEATRE can be discovered here too. The main difference are for sure the male vocals provided by Richard. Although Martina suits well for CHINESE THEATRE, she has to take a backseat at VISION TALK, Richard dominates the scenario. This music is rather dedicated to the elders of Electronica following that Italo-Disco/Spacesynth movement in the 80ies and has its highlights with the most catchy tunes like "Dina Tankar" or "Lacerta". 14 tracks to remind you that the Disco-Fox isn’t dead – true nostalgia pressed on a silver-circle to consume without hesitation!
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Artist: HPC
Title: Halfbreed
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
This is another fine proof of the talent scouts behind the Hymen Records label – they listen behind the current styles and trends and come up here and there with some unexpected new signings. HPC is a Norwegian one-man project, which integrates some fine extracts out of Dark Ambient, Powernoise and danceable Electronica music to a musically culmination banished on this first debut album. With the additional sense to integrate some soundtrack-like movie samples, this one comes out as a moody rival to the currently best acts available on a label like Tympanik Audio – band projects like ZENTRIERT INS ANTLITZ, STENDECK or BROKEN FABIOLA are allowed to name for comparisons. Besides the rhythmic-oriented tunes like "Dissociate", "Machine" or "Run", this album too offers rather weird tunes drifting far away of your usual listening experience. Just check out the interrupted "Fond Memories", which sounds like a defective vinyl record repeating a phrase over and over again. An act not to underestimate, let’s look forward for any further quality releases of this fine band project.
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Artist: The Crystalline Effect (@)
Title: Identity
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
Australia’s Electropop-duo THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT hasn’t surely any identically problems, although some of the musically influences this duo likes to integrate in their tracks, remains to be filled with diversity. It’s the rich musically horizon represented by especially Pete Crane, which draws on this album with black ink in huge letters by balancing between music styles like Synth-/Futurepop, EBM, Industrial or Trip-Hop. And some Downtempo-tunes only based on some sedating synthesizer sounds, a charismatic vocal performance by the female band member Elenor Rayner as well as slowed-down Breakbeat rhythm-patterns ("One Time In Life"), can be discovered too. TCE aren’t that sort of an "often-heard-often-forgotten" act full of linearity and foreseeable sounds. But they aren’t also a typically floor-filling act relying on the ability to produce that "one-hit-wonder". A fine example can already discovered with the opener "Blue Sea", which starts with a single piano introduction and Elenor’s aesthetic vocals, until the beat joins the scenario to push the audience toward to some floor-movement. As for another highlight I tend to name with "Life Has Failed You", with its staccato-like kick and snare-programming and the included interruptions to strengthen one or another part of the music arrangement. Three additional remix works by Lee Bulig (ex-STARK), ENDIF and especially IMPACT PULSE are offering at least diverse sounding and for the most part straight and dancefloor-compatible reinterpretations, which may help some lazy DJ’s by the decision to play TCE tunes in the club – the original tracks of this album aren’t that suitable for this. A quite interesting Electropop-album, which earns its praising by the refreshing kind to experiment with diverse styles and rhythm programmings.
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