Music Reviews



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Artist: Icarus (@)
Title: Sylt [remixes]
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Once upon a time there was an album called Sylt. Their creator and craftsmen, Ollie Brown and Sam Britton, could never imagine that, after they changed course from theme variations on drum'n'bass (... appreciated for their renowned ability in lavishing scraps of minimal techno, psychedelic rock, avant-garde classical music and free jazz on hyperkinetic dnb rhythms... ) to avantgarde experimental artifacts, this nice workouts would have been so acclaimed that the Danish label Rump Recordings could decide to issue a collection of remixes. But the most astonishing thing that this collection of remixes looks like a sort of musical ambigram: you can listen to a remix, but by the way each track well represents a slice of the contemporary state-of-art of electronic music's wide universe and we're almost sure that if you could listen it without knowing it's a collection of remixes, you could imagine this release is a standing-alone album from a mysterious eclectic musician!!! Or maybe Icarus simply have satisfied their wish consisting of borrowing their legendary wax wings in their deafening sonic appearance to other potential explorer eager to learn some secrets of their musical flight... You're not going to take no account of this detail after you'll listen the result. As a consequence of the running trend of dubstep spreading throughout the Old Continent, there's a vast assortment of dubby rhythmical movements among the mentioned explorations: we particularly appreciated the entrancing one proposed by the Throbbing Gristle collaborator Ivan Pavlov (ex Coil) aka oxy/CoH - his moniker doesn't inherit with organic chemistry, but it's a Cyrillic written Russian word meaning both sleep and dream... - as well as the powerful crescendo chosen by Karsten Pflum in order to give a new dress to the lovely anthem First Inf(E)Rænce. For an unknown reason, a lot of remixers have decided to re-assemble Keet mostly (there's also a remix or just to say better a sort of orchestral maquillage made up by Icarus itself... ), the track introducing to the listening of Sylt: maybe the most astonishing versions are the ones rebuilt by the abstracts trenches by Bjork-collaborator Opiate and the trickling drum patterns interweaving with flowy sounds by the esteemed Frank Bretschneider, but it could be easy to fall in love with the chinking rivulets tinged with a shoegaze-like vibe reminding the sunniest repertoire by Chemical Brothers instilled by Isan as well as the tonal dubbed-jazz insufflations by the label-mate Badun, which built an interesting and (a)melodic aggregate of noisy gears. But there's a plenty of highlights you will discover while listening to the album: the stretched frequencies having a tidy hip-hop hair of the inference in Zela's machine words, the 8-bit wood-shaving of Second Inf(E)Rænce exiting from the Swedish wizard Goto80's Commodore -!-, the dark dubstep (fitted to the tastes of Skull Disco's fans) got out from Ital Tek's laptop as well as the abstract distillate proposed by the refined improve-jazz duet of Isambard Khroustallov (just an alter ego for a solo project of Sam Britton, one of the two wings pushing Icarus nearby the sun... ) and the Swedish clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier... Last but not least a lovely trip-hop fuzzy lullaby as a remix of Jyske well-forged by Digitonal. The artwork '“ with those London parakeets featuring a psychedelically colored plumage - is just a shot taken from a clip created by Alice Scott to the track Keet, available as a download from Icarus website as an accompaniment to the album.
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anymore
Artist: SELL SYSTEM
Title: RedRoom
Format: CD
Label: Breakdown Records
Rated: *****
Formed in 2007 in Torino, Italy, Sell System started immediately to work on their sound/tracks mixing elements of synthpop, future pop and darkwave. Presented into their bio influenced by Depeche Mode and Frozen Plasma, the trio formed by Rikux, Simon and D@x fortunately didn't go on the cover band approach but decided to pick up the catchy elements and to rework them on their personal blender. Upbeat rhythms, good synth structures along with Rikux's vocal melodies are the key elements of most of the songs where a bit of melancholy and danceability help forgetting some minor vocal flaws. Songs like the opening "Silence of the double faces", the following "Save me", "Afternoon song" and "Time with me" show at best the band's potential and are able to catch the attention of the audience immediately. The album covers different atmospheres as its songs span from the 4/4 pumping tempo of "Easy life" to the mellowness of "Obscurity". This is also the first release of the Breakdown Records, a label also from Torino which is looking for different kind of bands (they will start different sub-labels that will cover many genres, from industrial to punk).
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anymore
Artist: MOB RESEARCH
Title: Holy City Zoo
Format: CD
Label: Echozone
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
HOLY CITY ZOO is the debut album of an industrial rock super group which gathers ex Mission/Peter Murphy guitarist Mark Thwaite, Warrior Soul's Kory Clarke, ex Queens Of The Stone Age's drummer Nick Lucero and ex Killing Joke/Prong/ Ministry bass player Paul Raven. To tell the truth this album isn't only the Mob Research debut album, it's also a tribute to a great man and icon of industrial rock music Paul Raven, who died just after ending the recording sessions of this album in 2007. In these two years Thwaite and Clarke completed vocals and overdubs on the ten songs. If you know the previous Raven's bands you could imagine the sound you can find into this CD where granitic guitars and blasting rhythm section duet creating an industrial rock grinding machine. While the sound is solid and distorted Kory and Mark wink their eyes to melodic hooks that are able to please a wider audience (i.e. people who likes also glam metal and hard rock). The album contains also plenty of remixes with seven songs reworked by SinDaddy, Terminator, Akanoid, Programmist, Electrofish and DJ Rob. Each of them catch the melodic essence of the tracks distorting them, dilating them adding a little of danceable touch or making of them a crazy digital hardcore tune like the 322 Cubed remix of "Skull and bones" by SinDaddy.
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Artist: MISS YETTI
Title: Zuckerbrot Und Peitsche
Format: CD
Label: Gold Und Liebe
Rated: *****
Released after two years after her previous album "Insights" (her second), Miss Yetti is back with ZUCKERBROT UND PEITSCHE (that is meaning "The carrot and the stick"). Henrietta Schemall helped by René Werner Bessel worked during these couple of years at the redefinition of her music thanks to a minimal approach to sound (often looped melodies and rhythms have been used) and thank also to the use of her voice. Electro tracks (see the nice "Why" or the particular instrumental "Auro aurora" which mix semi i.d.m. rhythms and synth melodic lines) are alternated with ones sounding more techno and hypnotic where vocals, if present, are used to enrich the sound (check "Nass" or "Lost"). The album sounds different from the previous ones and for sure Miss Yetti sound is like a work in progress and I appreciated also the bonus track/video of "Blasebalg" where she worked with D.A.F.'s Robert Gorl composing an instrumental track that unfortunately didn't amaze me because it seems to lack of original ideas (it sounds like a demo where a synth loop and a 4/4 bass drum are the core of the track where some noises are added here and there). ZUCKERBROT UND PEITSCHE sounds nice but you feel that something is still missing.
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Artist: CROATAN ENSEMBLE
Title: Without
Format: CD
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
Interesting duo here, differently from several releases on Eh!?, Bill K and Iason P are not dealing with the electro-acoustic thing, nay everything is more dilated, more ethereal and also much more listenable, also for ears that are not trained to this kind of sound. Sometimes it reminded me a strange kind of mix of Kevin Drum drowning in a Kranky pool. This couple of musicians play strings, laptop, electronics, mics, pedals, synths and another bunch of weird electronic devices, but the global sound is less electronic oriented than you could have guessed by reading this list of instruments. Freaky music for freaky people, but Croatan Ensamble are not just playing something simply psychedelic, the music is overall quite ethereal and has a sort of ascension feel. I could help you by writing this’ one of those bands stretching the songs/sounds as much as they can, it implies they introduce changes of notes/sounds/atmospheres really gradually in order to avoid interrupting the trip. Sometimes I think they still have to add something more to reach an higher compositional level but I can assure you the first time I’ve played this cd it was on Sunday right during a bath and my head started spinning with all of my thoughts.


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