Music Reviews



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Artist: Ego Tron
Title: Ego Tron
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: XS Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Ego Tron" is the self titled release from this Electro/ IDM project from Portugal, the solo project of one Katarina Magalhães. There are 4 tracks on the album, with the total run time being a bit under half an hour. Each song has it's own unique personality, but there is certainly a theme of happy, melodic electro that blends 80's synth sounds, staple house beats, and a somewhat game/ 8 bit inspired aesthetic. There are also some interesting Latin elements, especially on the opening "egotout". All in all this is very nice, well produced solid happy fun electro. Imagine Kraftwerk hanging out in a dance club in Portugal, and you kind of get an idea of what this sounds like. It's worth checking out for sure.
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Artist: A SPIRALE (@)
Title: agaspastik
Format: CD
Label: Fratto9 / Deserted Factory (@)
Rated: *****
Naples own A Spirale are back again after few months from the release of their electro-acoustic Gariga cd and right after and the second ASp/SEC collaboration, in case you don't know the electro-acoustic phase represent just one of their many mutations, infact with the ASp/SEC project they've been flirting with the electronic matter (which I can't but recommend you to give it a try), they started as a free-jazz rock combo but the most important thing is they've been playing a lot and from the result I guess they've been practicing and working hard to twist their former shape. I remember when on their debut cd they still had this post-prog-chamber-free-jazzy-rock touch and you already could hear they wanted more and they had the potential to cross the border. Agaspastik shows the flower is blossoming, hard to say if this' the band at its personal best, time will tell; by the way what really matters is that there's a combination of factors that make this record great. The recording is finally dynamic and vivid as a band like this requires, the tracklist and the length of the cd softens a journey that otherwise could have been heavier and probably wouldn't have helped these Neapolitans to show despite the different approaches of each fragment, there's a strong stylistic continuity, this also shows the different parts have a meaning as a whole. You pass from a quasi-Caspar Brotzmann intro to a "Naked City!?...we make them appear as a bunch of pussies" follow up, but beyond the aggressive approach you'll have the chance to find spores of melody coming from avant-jazz roots, reminiscences of fractured/avant-rock guitarism, traces of harsh and soft noise-ambient, free-jazz-rock drumming where some of you may recognize a transfigured portrait of Ruins, Painkiller, Orthlem, or latest Iceburn with less violence and with no fucking prog traces in the family background. From free-jazz-noise to avant-quasi-contemporary-post-hardcore-post-industrial shit, and the fact itself this cd comes out as a joint venture of avant-free-jazz-experimental label Fratto9 and post-industrial-experimental japanese Deserted Factory is a quite explicit reference. Brain, guts, aggressivity, control and atmosphere...A Spirale are really close to the boiling point or maybe here we have the last great eruption of Vesuvio... c'mon great mountain kill us all!!.




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Artist: Life In Sodom (@)
Title: Alone
Format: CD
Label: Nutrix (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most eloquent and narrative forerunners (even if we cannot say that that musical movement could not be considered so "brand new"... ) of the darkest side of the "grayest" gothic wave, Life in Sodom also known as L.I.S. officially come back with the album Alone '“ published with LIS onwed label mark, Nutrix!-, an attractive collection of new and old tracks anticipated by an EP, The New Year, including some new works by the exquisite band concocted by the vocalist Gerrie Brand far back in 1987. Its attractiveness mainly derives from its accessibility: they reduced the electronic devices' presence to the basic without stigmatizing its importance in modern composition, even if it seems they want to seal their favorite authentic sound keeping their faith to the traditional form of the dark-wave even in the matters they sing about. Feelings of solitude, deep (sometimes described as necessary or forced... ) loneliness, desperation, confusion and delusion have been drifted and sometimes ruthlessly analyzed throughout this record, which could almost be considered a sort of concept album dissecting the state of loneliness and many different shades of meaning for this particular feeling, often inspiring a lot of musicians and poets. Maybe someone could argue that such an album should have been filled with more dramatic moments and a certain pathos, but Life In Sodom decided to use a simple and uncompromised language even from the musical viewpoint., giving the idea of a subdued reflection especially when Gerrie's voice seems almost a plaiting with resigned sighs...

The profound introspection surfacing from the lyrics appears as something gentle and fragile, almost appealing to the respectful leniency of the listener even if he/she doesn't consider him/herself alone in this world!!! It's not so difficult to notice a certain narrative approach of some tracks '“ such as the introductive The lonely march (with its grave and obscure piano and a "bony" lead guitar howl... as tenebrous as Gerrie's vocal guessed interpretation... definitively not a quote of Death In June... ) and the gloomy ballad Heartache ("a desperate song/to say no more/to signal a friend/when tears must fall/to wash away/this heartache '“chorused '“"... so lyrics say... ) as well as the catchy Tied Tomowind -, epic somber episodes '“ the cloudy Faction, the touchy Dead Memories sung by the skilled Virginia Fuillerat with some eyebeams on some electro-prog foggy atmospheres, the march-like ballad Violenza, a track already appeared on Charader, the first full length by Life In Sodom '“ and rock-propelled songs (such as the darkish Angel Alone, She Cried and Young Waste, a touch of nostalgia walking on the darkest path traced by Smiths in the 80s... ). The final Alone with the atmospheric trimmings and the stunning explosions of the sounds is a good way to close a nostalgic but pleasant album.
Artist: Dope Stars Inc.
Title: 21st Century Slave
Format: CD
Label: Trisol Music Group GmbH
Rated: *****
The Italian stallions launch their third full-scale attack on the system, which they strike with its own weapons. After their double feature EP Criminal Intents/Morning Star" (also to be found on this site), performances in mega-metropolis like London and Moscow the digital warriors release a new album full of sharp guitars, defiant attitude and juicy synths. The trio lead by Victor Amore, better known as Victor Love, play Cyber Punk the way it has to be in the 21st century with which they impress fans throughout Europe and way further.
DSI draw their inspiration from authors such as William Gibson and Neal Stephenson who write about distopic, futuristic forms of human co-existence and the role of the media, especially the internet, in those brave new worlds. With DSI you get a whole package: the music, the lyrics and the look are thought through and complete the picture tastefully.
One can claim that this unit hits the nerve of the zeitgeist better than most. DSI are loud, and loud they shout their message, party-oriented and as they would put it themselves, fast and beautiful. DJs really should embrace this act and include their songs to every playlist, as long as they don’t want to gain a reputation of obsolete.
The title song is somewhat of a cyber punk version of Placebo’s "Slave to Wage" lyrics-wise. With all the party bangers the boys don’t forget to show their emotional side with some ballads, "When I See You Smile" being perhaps the best, whereas "It’s for You" could hit a sentimental cord even in Dark Vader’s heart. DSI blend Nu-Metal, Electro, Industrial and Rock, while it all sounds just great and was skillfully produced. The CD comes in a pimped-up 6-page digipack the artwork of which is there to prepare the listener for the musical experience.
The 21st century remains rebellious. This is one of the most ass-kicking productions of 2009 up to now.
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Artist: TRANSISTOR6 (@)
Title: Virgin Venom
Format: CD
Label: The Black Lodge
Rated: *****
Two years after the demo MCD Claus Collstrup and Kira Li a.k.a. Transistor6 are back with their first full length album titled VIRGIN VENOM. The 13 new tracks (none of them available on the previous demo CD) give to the audience the chance to experience at full the cinematic ambient e.b.m. music produced by the duo. Despite the rare use of vocals (we find few samples and few phrases here and there plus "Get My", the only song that actually has lyrics and has been sung) Transistor6 is able to produce a rich and balanced mixture of rhythms and multi layered synth sounds. Dancey rhythms are alternated to calm atmospheres that slowly turn into 4/4 tempos where cosmic atmospheres duet with soundtracks for cyborgs. Few times I felt that something was missing (maybe a bit more of vocal samples) but generally the music and the sounds proposed by Transistor6 works fine. You can check a couple of tracks at their myspace www.myspace.com/transistor6net.
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