Music Reviews



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Artist: AVIGAIL
Title: The other side
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: EevoNext (@)
Rated: *****
Avigail Baas is fascinated by the fact that sound generates brain activity. This make us feel emotions. This made her started generating sound a long time ago. Looped melodies and light sounds are her way to express herself. This EP titled THE OTHER SIDE is showing her dealing with songs made of light synth pads and dreamy atmospheres made of electronic sounds where her voice (a nice gentle voice) is able to make you feel welcomed in her inner world. Sometimes her tracks made me remember of a less obsessed version of Portishead (mainly on the main track). Her style goes from pop to electronic soundtracks enriched by orchestrations and circular melodies. The Terrace mix of the main track is more electro sounding but I don't find this genre fit her vocals. Anyway that is a nice one...
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Scontrum Act VIII
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Here we are at a new chapter, the eighth, of the SCONTRUM ACT series. As for the old chapters, we have three bands presenting three new tracks and this time we have March Of Heroes, Phragments and Across The Rubicon joining their forces to present nine tracks in balance from powerful percussions, orchestrations and martial samples. The CD opens with March Of Heroes. The French project presents three parts of "Stalingrad... our last hope", a cinematic trilogy where strings and percussions paint a dramatic scenario and where Russian sampled vocals enhance the sense of pain. Phragments present three tracks which differ from their latest album released on The Eastern Front as "Utopia", "Eruption" and "Tragedy" are less dark ambient sounding and based more on orchestration and a sense of suspension/tension. See for example the effect created by the dissonance of the strings on "Eruption" coupled with the light industrial noises. Across The Rubicon (the band born from the Rukkanor/Cold Fusion collaboration) present three linked tracks: "A soldier", "Survivors" and "A ghost". On the first one they have Troy Southgate (H.E.R.R. and Seelenlicht) performing one of his spoken words and on the second track we have Karol Skrzypiec of IV LAB at voice and grand piano. The tracks have a melancholic touch and create a convincing atmosphere where melody and powerful drums are the main elements. This is one of the SCONTRUM ACT chapters that convinced me most.
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Artist: GAB.GATO VS XBEAT (@)
Title: No Light Or Shadow EP
Format: 12"
Label: The Villains Inc Recordings
Rated: *****
Influenced by the sound of classics like Professor X, Egyptian Lover and the Den Haag sound (see many Bunker Records and Clone records releases) a bunch of guys coming from Milan, Italy, decided to form a collective called The Villains Inc. Their second release is a 12" EP which sees Gab.Gato and XBeat collaborating at the creation of four original tracks plus a mixed version of the main title. The EP opens with Gab.Gato vs XBeat "No Light or Shadow" Electro mix, a mysterious analog tune based on an acid bass line coupled by an analog drum machine and synth pads. On this one Gab.Gato deep vocals help giving the right thing that helps to impress the listener. The following version is more 90's sounding, more Detroit. On this one the vocals are filtered, the atmosphere changes a little but it's always cool. The B-side opens with Gab.Gato vs XBeat "Subterrania", an electro funk cool tune with pumping rhythms (lovers of the fore mentioned artists have been warned). The side follows with two tracks where XBeat alone performs "Autobody", another electro analog song with pumping bass and drums and sinuous synth pads and Gab.Gato presents "The Villains Inc", a nice mid tempo tune with vocals coming from an old educational toy which spells the words. The solo tracks are nice but the collaborations are cool and I'm proud of these guys because I'm Italian myself and it's good to see that someone is making this musical genre also on this country. Let's not forget that this is the place where Italo Disco born...
Jun 16 2008
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Artist: Flint Glass
Title: Circumsounds
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Rated: *****
Flint Glass’s latest limited edition release "Circumsounds" is a collection of remixes that Glass has done for various artists. However, what makes this collection unique is that it is not a haphazardly thrown together collection of remixes that is all over the place in style and quality (e.g. Twenty-Six Mixes for Cash). But rather, the remixes were carefully selected to have the thematic flow of an album of original material. The overall sound of "Circumsounds" is instrumental dark electronica that blends elements of EBM, IDM, drum and bass, and a hint of glitch. What’s impressive about the album (and also seems to be a trend in most Tympanik Audio releases) is the rather organic sound that it develops through its use of synthesizers and samples, which works to create a vibe that is more fluid and not as cold and sterile as a lot of modern industrial tends to be. The only complaint that I would have with "Circumsounds" is that it is too good at what does, in that while all of the remixes work together in a very cohesive manner, it does at times cause the album to sound a bit repetitive. While the album as a whole is rather fast paced, the standout tracks of the collection are the more mellow cuts such as HIV+’s "Havoc2027" and Tzolk’in’s "Zots." However, it must be noted that Glass’s remix for OTX’s "Blood for Oil" is definitely destined to be a club classic.
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Artist: TOTAKEKE
Title: Elekatota – The Other Side Of The Tracks
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Another new release by the rising Tympanik Audio label, this time a new album by the New York-based musician and producer Frank Mokros. Frank has made himself already a quite good name internationally, be it with several remix contributions for acts like TERRORFAKT, KLANGSTABIL or IMMINENT or with his own both projects. Under his second and rather harsh Noise-project SYNTH-ETIC, he’s signed to the German Hands Productions, as well as he has been active with both of his projects under the flag of Frozen Empire Media, which has sadly gone too fast. Tympanik seems to deal a bit with the surviving fragments of FEM, a few goodies are still purchasable through the Tympanik shop section, so let’s hope and see, if they will be able to re-animate one or another act out of those days again. But back to TOTAKEKE, because Frank’s album requires but also deserves your fully attention. It is a journey into a multiple-layered and diverse sounding kind of FX-Electronica, which ranges between slow and rather experimental oriented tracks ("Gift Of Nervous Methods") to complex Dark Electro tunes in vein of acts like REMAIN SILENT, MC1R or in parts MENTALLO & THE FIXER ("Pull The Plug", "Elekatota Two" and the outstanding pearl "Strangle"). With TOTAKEKE Frank offers a musically much more valuable alternative to the harsh and disturbing outfit under SYNTH-ETIC, since he can prove any better his sense for a thrilling mood and his abilities of a complex programming. "Elekatota – The Other Side Of The Tracks" drives the listeners into 73 minutes + clocking odyssey of an undiscovered space trip, so please fasten your seat-belts and take part with all senses. You won’t find too much better releases of demanding Electronica music.
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