Music Reviews



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Artist: Dope Stars Inc.
Title: Criminal Intents/Morning Star
Format: CD EP
Label: Trisol/Metropolis
Rated: *****
The Roman cyber rockers Dope Stars Inc. are in the final stages of preparing their third full-scale cyber attack (to be unleashed via Trisol). As a trial of strength a double feature EP Criminal Intents/Morning Star is due to be released in April. The EP features four absolutely new songs, two of which will be on the forthcoming album, furthermore one cover version of Clan of Xymox’ classic "Jasmin and Rose", a cover version of "Can You Imagine" by Spiritual Front, a demo version of "Vyperpunk" and numerous remixes of older DSI songs by such renowned artist as Mortiis, Gothminister,KMDFM and others. The EP was produced by Victor Love at Subsound Studio. Fifteen tracks altogether is a rather unusually high number of songs for an EP. A value for buyers’ money.
The new material is just what the fans expect from the dopies; it’s cyber rock/metal/punk as we know it from band’s previous releases. Quick, ass-kicking and energetic. From the line-up that recorded Neuromance only Victor and Darin have remained on board.
A choice of a title to cover occurred rather unexpected to me; Clan of Xymox is not a band one would normally expect DSI to cover, especially since they played Motorhead’s "Ace of Spades" on their concerts. I can only say that the cover turned out really well. It is quicker than the original and sounds more up to date. A better choice than a screamo-like version of "Ace of Spades" would have been.
Mortiis had already a shot with remixing DSI for the Neuromance bonus CD. The Norwegian hotty elf did a good job again remixing "Braindamage" this time. As it was to anticipate the most original version was a cover of "Can You Imagine" DSI’s country fellow men Spiritual Front. They re-recorded this emotional song providing it with a sort of 1920s French atmosphere. An accordion is not really an instrument you would associate with DSI, would you? Gothminister added some choir parts among other to "Can You Imagine" making it sound more sinister and dramatic, just in his vain.
In the end it can only be added that the EP makes you keen to hear more of the band’s new album which is planned to hit the streets this summer.
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Artist: Hypnoskull
Title: Industrial Owes Us Money
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
I would agree on Patrick Stevens’ chosen title without hesitation, but at least I only hope for him personally, that some more people would pay attention and show him his deserved respect. HYPNOSKULL’s career is surely longer than a beard can grow and it has never been a piece of cake to explore Patrick’s abrasive kind of rhythmical Powernoise music. "Industrial Owes Us Money" is for some reason a special album following a musically copulation between the mentioned Powernoise efforts with multiple forms of Clicks’n’Dub and mixed with a sick Grindcore impact. The result is a disturbing form of abrasive E-Punk (check out his cover on the Dead Kennedy’s track "California Über Alles"), which beats and pushes the speed as hell, but it also vanishes a lot of the Industrial-related mood. Deepest respect for the try to break with music-related boundaries and for the will to mix nearly unfitting genres into each other. His offensive integration of multiple voice samples in English and/or German played and manipulated in diverse tempos between slow up to Micky-Mouse-effect causes some smiles into the face of the listener. But generally this massive amount of multiple processed beats and the hardcoristic guitar loops can overtax one or another listener, especially if there’s isn’t any slot taken for a pause. Well, a matter of taste I guess, let’s hope finally that Industrial brings in enough money to pay all of Patrick bills.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Spectra - Guitar in the 21st Century
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Quiet Design records (@)
Rated: *****

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You might remember Austin TX based label Quiet Design (run by our very own contributing writer Mike Vernusky) for their original take on steel drum in experimental music (which I reviewed a couple of years ago). Similarly to that release, this compilation aims at offering a new perspective of contemporary ways of how guitar can be used in the fringe musical genres that we came to love so much. With artists joining in from everywhere around the world, "Spectre" offers ambient soundscapes, artsy noodling, minimal sophisticated playing and highly processed soundscapes, all rigorously created with the beloved stringed instrument (which sometimes is easy to forget and is still surprising every time you remind yourself while listening). My favorite pieces are the minimalist acoustic piece by Tokyo-based Tetuzi Akiyama, the poly-chromatic colorful but dark composition by Mike Vernusky himself and Erdem Helvacioglu's ethereal and crystallized experimentations; the other featured artists include: Sebastien Roux and Kim Myhr (minimalist guitar based glitch music), Quiet Design's right hand Cory Allen (eerie and melancholic ambient textures), Keith Rowe (experimentations with noise and subdued feedbacks) and the prolific, reclusive and self-indulging Jandek who just strums away his detuned guitar while doing some drunken lamenting singing and even playing some harmonica (I guess Mike made an exception for him - there's a documentary movie about him on Netflix if you are curious about his music). "Spectre" also features beautiful organic art work and photography by Michael McGill, who does all of Quiet Design's covers.
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Artist: Flesh Eating Foundation
Title: Purging
Format: CD EP
Label: Rebco (@)
Distributor: Plastic Haed
Rated: *****
A lot of music reviewers as well junkpunk lovers and Alec Empire-ian universe's satellites gave this uk aggro-industrial band a warm welcome after the issue of their premiere full LP, entitled Seethe, two years ago, even if their style's partially inspired by the harshest side of digital punk, which someone considers as an agonizing glamorous trend - maybe that's the reason why there are so many references to zombies... -. This is partially true as you could easily recognize some influences of mid 90's industrial bands such as Atari Teenage Riot or Dan Gatto's Babyland, but they show a trespassing musical personality (even if someone could argue that zombies lost their soul!) even when they throw stereotyped massive noise walls joining them to some bangings from recognizable drum machines and emulators. And the proof that this foundation (not intended for vegans and pro-clerical people) shows more than a wide assortment of bangs, clangs, lasers and bleeps is given in this EP. The favourite shooting target of these famished digital punksters seems to be the hypocrisy of religious organizations and organized religions, a smashing invective screamed by The Juddaman - lovely according to an unpredictable response from our ears ,the way he chooses for growling, shouting and tweaking "God"! - in the lyrics of Godless (it's reasonable you'll scream "we don't need your sins, we don't need your god, we don't need your lies,... " as if possessed after repeated listenings... it's just a temporary possession, mummy and daddy!), an ass-shaker virulent danceable track which it's going to be played by a lot of djs selecting this kind of stuff for their followers. Godless has been so appreciated that these butchery's fanatics decided to run a remix contest on their website. In Purging Ep, you could listen three of the remixes they received from their fanbase. The Ladder one is the most danceable (a sort of techno-ebm-march with a rough distortion on an alarm sound...), the Digicore one shows a punkey set on a sort of jungle which is soon covered by the sound of a distorted guitar and by violent kickin' grape-shots, while the Multi-Panel one has a strange weirdy appeal with an astonishing mumbling chord. We really appreciated the lyrics of Victims, reminding the brutal assassination of Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby, a famous murder case in Great Britain, as they were killed just for their attachment to the goth way of wearing. Victims is not the first tribute to these victims - one of the first to write a song ("Illusion") for them was Ronan Harris by VNV Nation -, but we agree with the intent of denouncing one of the most frightening example of social intolerance. Different interpretations could be given to the words of Fucking Sick, demostrating the lyricist knows the tricks of the trade quite well! The most intimate tracks of this ep are Septic and You Made Me Suffer, the latter of which has something morbid reminding to us a mixture of Sonic Youth and Starfish Enterprises covered with a slighlty digital sauce. After listening to this good ep - you'll never hear any tracks from it on Vatican radio...we're almost sure about that! -, you'll have a persuading explanation of the reason why they shared the stage with most famous names of the scene such as Sheep On Drugs, Caffeine Kill, Angelspit, Das Ich, Funker Vogt, Killing Miranda and many others. Hurry up if you're a cd maniac disliking digital downloads as the CD version of Purging is available as a limited edition run of 300 individually numbered copies.
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anymore
Artist: SIURISMO
Title: The Uninvited Guest
Format: 12"
Label: Monkeytown Records
Distributor: Rubadub
Rated: *****
First release of the newborn Monkeytown Records, label run by the two members of Modeselektor, Siurismo's THE UNINVITED GUEST is a six tracks MLP that can be filed under a new genre: "weird dance electronic gem". From the info sheet I read that "Siriusmo, aka Moritz Friedrich, is a real survivalist, played in a band for many years and is a fan of old keyboards. As a professional artist (painting, illustration, graffiti) Siriusmo lives off temporary jobs and even does construction work now and then". Well, I can only tell since the first track titled "The door" that Moritz is able to mix catchy electro beats, irony (the fake vocals of the wolf who's trying to catch the three little pigs is hilarious) and great sounds. The main track is a mix of electro and techno with upbeat tempo and obsessive but catchy melodies. "High together" is starting like an electro salsa tune and then it blasts off like an electro funky dance irresistible song. "Nights off" is a nice instrumental electro pop tune a la Digitalism but a bit more melancholic. "Let me in" is techno, electro and grime at the same time and it is really bouncing. The closing "Von kopf bis fuss" is an orchestral/techno short madness. This 12" will be released in June, don't miss it and write on your calender that at the end of the year will be out also Siurismo's debut album always on Monkeytown Records. Great release indeed!
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