Music Reviews



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Artist: The Orb
Title: Baghdad Batteries
Format: CD
Label: Malicious Damange records (@)
Distributor: Cargo
Rated: *****
The Orb need no introduction, they've been at it for longer than I can remember. "Baghdad Batteries" is the third installment in the Orbsession series and, differently from the first two volumes, is comprised of newly composed material written in their Berlin studio. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann give us eleven slow burning atmospheric floaters that gracefully flirt with occasional minimal techno beats and shades of world music (do I hear a kalimba?). If their different approaches to music are indeed divergent to certain extents (allegedly Paterson is said to be more about the hooks and sports a pronounced pop sensibility, while Fehlmann is more into his sounds) then I'd say the latter seems to have had the final say (especially in the first half of the record), but I think they both play nice on this record (no pun intended). The key element is the mood and the sonic palette is only an extension, a tool, to achieve the ambient nirvana the two have settled on. They are after all amongst the original masters of the ambient genre.
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Artist: NONMUSIC
Title: NOT EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA
Format: CD
Label: ECHOZONE
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Slovenian music project, electronic rock, with a great pressure, ready for MOVIES sound tracks. They aren't only electronic is easy to hear a lot of acid sounds especially in the cover of "It's no good"...something Placebo-like but less friendly and definitely more hungry. NONM is a band that does want to like simply, their aim is to create some sound scape non properly rock-Indie based they have a world made of electronics vibes, straight drums and acid voice. In a word they are SPECIAL and not so common as they appears in a first sight, they are walking in a space they have already focused, very well focused. Gender Changer is a manifesto of this approach to stay in the rules but making out a sort of alteration of them. Best track DIGITAL CRY, that makes me aware that's true: Not everything is made in China and this Slovenian band is telling to us acidly.
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Artist: Kilowatt & Vanek
Title: FOCUS AND FLOW
Format: CD
Label: DEPENDENT
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Have you ever imagined an unplugged band with some neurotic filaments attached to a glitch downtempo dominion? K&V have this feature! And the result is something weird as a Cronenberg early movies. The symphony of oddities and micro-sounds and breakbeats they built around a vibrating and human touch based song is something very very very strange, unique. For sure is a work ready for those are searching something related to that kind of evolution built up by Portishead. Organic feeling perturbated by something from the electronic unconscious. The electronic sound enters inside the recorded voice and the processing of the voice itself brings the listener inside the peculiar and genius world of K&V. I gotta say that the work they made has an incredible freshness and in the same time is able to be complex like a Rubik's cube, layers of sound weave rendering out a work easy to be old after many playbacks.
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Artist: AVOID-A-VOID
Title: Abyss Desires
Format: CD
Label: ECHOZONE
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Danger! It's a declaration of LOVE: I LOVE this DUO. They have all we EBM lovers are searching for: Robotic but not ridiculous voices, strong beat but not too dirty or too much TECHNO, electronic pads easy to listen but not like mobile phone rings. The researches they made put them in the OLYMPOS of my favorite band: CLOCK DVA, Depeche Mode and Front 242. AVOIDAVOID are elegant and cool like an EBM electro band has to be. This work makes you dance and think at the same time, suggesting paranoiac rides along SHYBUYA square in Tokyo with stereoscopic glasses. My personal anguish is to focus over one single track....I can't, this work is a must to have, and my written words cannot explain the pleasure to hear retro sounds put together intelligently and with a coolness that few band in this area have. The third track it is something my ears wait for long time in this era of idiot deja vu. The 5th track unchained in my mind the fact that they are an incredible mix beetween NEW ORDER and Depeche Mode early years!!!! AAV plays like the best parasites inside the creature called EBM/WAVE/POP and the time in their hands changes like in a sort of progressive electro EBM, every track is a small masterpiece. Thank you guys you given a reason to the "AIR" and I hope that all the Djs interested into to move ppl will grasp this masterpiece asap.
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Artist: Wayne Hussey
Title: BARE
Format: CD
Label: echozone
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
The Art of Wayne Hussey has the sure aim to focus over a simple status of mind where his voice and thoughts are really able to guide in his own world, he admits in fact that this work is an epitaph of his artistic past with the music project called The Mission. It's the art of the greatest artist to manipulate audience's mind and Wayne has this honest and great power. For sure I am not an easy-to- melancholy-person but Wayne brought me in inside a realm of hidden and secret minds, his personal changing world is revealed by his songs and it's easy to feel empathy about that; everyone of us has had similar experience to twist our life to reach a new adventure. His ballads and poems are subtle suggestions to try to get out the noise around us, for sure is a work very useful after a 4hours in the middle of chaos of our highways. The challenge of track 4 is not something easy: Whit or Without you is an absolute masterpiece and Wayne remembers that to us with passion and the art to play the guitar with his heart. Wayne is a pure WAVE singer, the deepness of his voice, the scenarios he suggest and his dark side are so evident that I strongly suggest thiswork to Spiritual Front's audience.
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