Music Reviews



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Artist: CRYSTAL CASTLES
Title: Crystal Castles
Format: CD
Label: Last Gang (@)
Rated: *****
Named after She-Ra's home (do you remember He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe?) Crystal Castles are a male/female duo which are already named as the next big thing. Their self titled debut album contains sixteen tracks in balance from digital punk and dark lo-fi electro. Their use of retro gaming sounds (old Nintendo games and similar) is giving a fresh touch to their melodic but also difficult style. Based on loops and digital cut-ups and helped out by torn vocals of Alice Glass Crystal Castles previously did great tunes such as the singles "Courtship dating" and "Crimewave" (noted as Crystal Castles Vs. Health). The second time I listened to the album I thought about their music as "shoegazer digital distortion": mixing the "I don't care" attitude with great melodic taste (see "Vanished" which is able to become an instant hit), the album contains great electro songs, digital punk distorted ones, "autistic" instrumentals and much more. If I understand something of music, their inspiration won't be gone after the first album. The next big thing is now...
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Artist: EQUUS (@)
Title: Eutheria
Format: CD
Label: Get a life
Rated: *****
Right yesterday I've seen Lento and Ufo Mammuth playing live and I was thinking how Neurosis, sludge, Stoner and 70's hard psychedelic rock have won, be it Isis here, Queen of the Stone Age there, Sunn O))), Boris or Southern Lord, whatever it is you know that's the trend. I know with a beginning like that you're probably thinking this the same flavor everybody is selling at the moment, but that's not exactly true since this band from the land of chocolate, of Young Gods (and Alboth!) plays post-70's music with that melodic-heavy style many are playing, but I think they've some more prog elements and a goodman inspiration to make the difference. Most of the times I get fucking bored while listening slow heavy band but tip of hat to these gentlemen hailing from Suisa because they've good taste to sell and their rifforama I traditional but not a copycat of something else. The most of the songs are based on a muscular but yet warm rhythm section on which keyboards and guitars embroid some prog meets post-rock finitures, the first of the three long long song here featured sees them mixing together Om and something more melodic like early Tarentel when they were still on temporary residence. The whole idea of the record is like a concept musically since the following tracks share the same atmosphere plus what I perceive as a consequential song-structure. The cd starts getting more prog-rock during the second suite and even more depressive and physical approaching the end of the recording and obviously you pass from clean guitar sound to a more distorted but far from heavy Neurosis-wonnabe-guitars and right when you don’t expect it to happen they also have a great acoustic-psychedelic break. When Five Roses sent a mail to advise about the promotion of this cd I've been giving a check to their myspace page and I was positively impressed after a few seconds listening, after having passed the test of several repeated and careful listenings I can say the early impression was good, I wish they'll evolve more and more in a personal way cause they're already better the majority of the bands playing this genre.
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Artist: Denergized (@)
Title: VHS Recall
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
It can’t be said that the originally out of St. Petersburg hailing responsible label people of Advoxya-Records wouldn’t watch the market in their home country any longer, since they moved with their headquarter two years ago to Hungary. The project DENERGIZED is just another fine example of what can be possible. They are hailing out of Kaliningrad (Königsberg), which is at least a real divided part of Russia, since all of the Baltic neighbor states like Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania could reach completely independence. Bands out of the Eastern European area often complaining in interviews the effect of the long-year cultural and scientific isolation of the gone soviet government, it would be therefore interesting to know how they feel as being still a but nearly forgotten part of Russia. However, musically this official debut of DENERGIZED is a marvelous trip into a rather mid-90ies inspired Dark Electro music. :WUMPSCUT:, yeppers, Rudy R. seems to have some inspirational influence on their work, maybe here and there mixed with early SUICIDE COMMANDO recordings have to be named to describe the dark and ominous sound outfit of this duo. Not bad references, but be assured that DENERGIZED haven’t done the mistake to copy the sound outfit of the above mentioned patterns. Irrelevancy and Hellectro-repetition isn’t their business so far and will hopefully never be. Two tracks are standing a bit out of this quite attractive debut, both "Neuro" and the already discovered piece released on the "PABS 2" compilation "After Tomorrow" both offer the straightness to let the dark masses storming the dancefloors. That whole album comes out quite energetic, but it rather concentrates to create ominous moods and offers several obscure rhythm patterns. Even if this is their debut and also regarding the fact that these tracks are a sort of collection taken and extracted from their first musically steps, it come out quite refreshing and coherent. Plus, all stuff which doesn’t follow any generic and repetitive Hellectro-course needs to be praised and DENERGIZED aren’t definitely a kid of the Trancewhackedgoregalore/Terrorbanana-movement (copyrighted terms by Electrofreak). A quite entertaining album for the old-school EBM/authentic Dark-Electro audience.

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Artist: Pedro Delgardo
Title: s/t
Format: 12"
Label: Industrail Strength Records (@)
Distributor: SBM Online
Rated: *****
Another new 12 " release on good old vinyl which is supposed to take the clubs by storm. If this will work out well has to be proven though, but this 3-track release by one of UK’s finest Dancefloor/Techno-DJ’s around, Pedro Delgardo, can’t leave you unimpressed. At least also Techno can be produced well into mid-tempo as the A-side entitled "Illusion" can prove. It may belongs to the integrated hard and metallic percussion elements, that the boundary to some more Industrial-/EBM-oriented genres gets thinner and thinner, if not vanished. The 2 additional B-sides even act supportive to this first impression, this 12 " is accessible to both parts of the genre. It is a quite entertaining output of one of the best 250 DJ’s in the world, as he has been voted by DJ Mag Top 100 in 2k7. A proof that some DJ’s can do more and better than only to rotate gig black vinyl circles on a record desk. Convincing Techno music, if this is your favor.
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anymore
Artist: HERMAN MUNTZING
Title: DeConstruCt. 10 solo pieces
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Nice exhibit of solo performance for this experimental musician playing a Flexichord a sampler and some objects. A Flexichord is a string instrument Muntzing has built with the help of Martin Kohn, it looks like a weird mixture of a zither and a guzheng, this swedish musician plugs, strikes, scratches the strings with a incredible number of objects remembering the approach of Fred Frith to go beyond traditional guitar playing. "DeConstruCt" is an interesting effort and take for granted it has its moments, for example the opening and the closing tracks simply blew me away, I wish the cd had some more high pitched notes for the sound of the instrument and the taste of the player here get mixed "tres bien!". There are some additional samples to enrich the salad, a drum here, but Flexichord is the real and only protagonist of this work. One of the favorite trick in most of the pieces is to change note with the help of tremolo, improvised slides or who know what else, the electro-acoustic factor is really small and most of the times this music reminds of some minimal, gamelan-alike composition. No, we're quite far from serial composition but repetitions or loops have their importance or at least that's the impression I got. Funny how Muntzing likes to bang the chord to make it sound like some prepared piano emphasizing the percussive aspect of playing a string instrument. If you force me to do a mannerist classification I'd put together definitions like "abstract soundscapes counterpoised to melodic, minimalist tracks" where the voice of the harmony of the instruments becomes central. An interesting work, above all when he goes really close to some traditional way of playing harps.
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