Music Reviews



Oct 30 2009
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Artist: MINUSHEART
Title: Disease
Format: CD
Label: Echozone
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Formed in 2007 by Diver and Benden, Minusheart are releasing for Echozone their debut album DISEASE. Containing ten tracks and four remixes the album proposes a varied blend of electro ebm music influenced by industrial and electro pop. Tracks like "Don't feed the cats", "Feel the pain" or the opening "Icehouse' are good for clubs with their 4/4 pumping drums and others like "Future lies" (this one is my favorite because of its dissonant piano and mysterious sounding vocals coupled to upbeat rhythms) or "Burning star" (a melancholic dark electro pop mid tempo with male/female duet and guitar riffs) are showing a different side of Minusheart's sound focusing the sound on melody and rough/soft sounds contrast. Most of the tracks with upbeat rhythms recall me the ebm bands that were recording for KK and I think that Diver and Benden have been influenced by the sound of Vomito Negro or Force Dimension. The four remixes by Fragment Machinery, Accessory, Config.Sys and Momolith offer a mix of industrial, ebm and a bit of goth (check the opening of Fragment Machinery's version of "Iceburn") but don't excite me too much (except for Fragement Machinery) as they tend to flat the sound to only one genre thing that Minusheart succeeded to avoid.
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Artist: TANZKONSOL
Title: Tanzkonsol remixed
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
After the debut release of some months ago, Basserk release, as digital download, an EP of remixes containing three versions of "Learn from your mistakes" (reworked by Lazy Late Kidz, MilkMoneyMaffia and Quick & Brite), one of "New York" (Homework did the remix) and one of "She left me" (with Bronstibock on the mix). The first four versions present a down to the bone edition of the tracks focusing the sound on rhythms and basic melodies, while Bronstibock revisited "She left me" giving a personal touch to the song by using filtered vocals and a raw approach to sounds (check the grinding low-fi bass sound).
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Artist: CLP
Title: Strictly Confidential
Format: 12"
Label: Sugarcane Rec.
Distributor: Music Response
Rated: *****
Available on vinyl and digital download on Sugarcane Records starting from the next 16th of November, STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL is the remix E.P. (to tell the truth it seems more like an album to me because it contains ten tracks) but if it will be sold at an E.P. price that's neat. Unfortunately I missed the release of the album but I had the chance to check CLP with their "Homecourt/Dip Shorty E.P." and I can assure that also STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL is a blast even if it is contains only remixes of tracks coming from CLPs album Supercontinental. You know that I'm an home listener and I don't appreciate music based only on rhythm and loud sounds and sometimes remixes sound like a mishmash of the original tunes. Well, this time I'm glad that the ten tunes of this release are great electro tracks with bumping rhythms and instriguing vocals. Performed by Lazersword, Lando Kal, Sweat X, Fs Green, Nic Sarno, Spenza, Top Billin and CLP themselves the songs have still the hip hop influences, the energy and the freshness of the original versions. Do yourself a favor by checking it at the band's website.
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Artist: Life Cried (@)
Title: Banished Psalms
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most difficultly reachable goal of a plenty of ebm-gothic and electro dark bands consists mainly not only in finding a personal style, but keep on developing it without appearing banal and repetitive and carefully avoiding clichés and boring imitations. That's the goal Life Cried, the electro act led by the American musician Chris Reject (what a guessed nickname for such an artistic identity!), seems to have been reached in spite of the apparent stasis of the genre and that's maybe the reason they're not so prolific as other bands crossing the same musical fields: Banished Psalms is just their second full length album issued on the renowned German label Noitekk added to their discography even if the band's active since 1999 as it was necessary some ears to refine their sound which looks quite recognizable nowadays even if some tracks remind repertoires belonging to acknowledged mile stones and new levers of the scene such as Combichrist, Hocico, Dawn Of Ashes or Psyclon Nine.

The spellbound play of these banished psalms begin with a catching seraphic chorus and a tonal fragmentation on pianos introducing on the desperate self-tribulation of Another Sacrifice, which seems to narrate the psychological drama of an evil person divided between consciousness of guilt and the impossibility to avoid evil. Some chunky metallic screams and a bulldozing snare and bass-drum sequenced march of Bloodstained looks more accessible than similar electro-dark movements by other bands, while you'll easily appreciate the controversial between the harsh "rotulation" of kicks as well as the dirty percussive sets and the lull traced by piano and atmospheric sounds on the lush Dressed In Filth as well as the well-crafted hybrid of traditional Industrial style and brutal metal splinters exhibited in Bound In Hate, a track featuring the appearance of Nero Bellum (Psyclon Nine) on the keyboards (you'll get aware about the fact you should learn the art of refusing from Mr Reject when you're going to listen the scratchy guttural way he uses to sing "Hey, is this what you want from me? Oh that isn't enough, now bleed nut I said no, but I said No, this isn't what I want.."... really freezing and persuasive!!!). The evocative piano pieces Alone with realistic and dramatic samples of a weeping woman looks like a sort of prelude for the smashing fury of Preacher, whose infernal aura spitting fire and violence from a metallic 4/4 techno groove perfectly fits the ferocious and conscious '“stricken tormented words of the song reaching the peak when the shouting screams of the singer sing "we are crawling in ruins/ripped up inside/I've seen me insane/I felt my head fall/it took me to bleed"... words which look copied from a page of an imaginary notebook describing a fatal but temporary irritation. It seems the singer abandons its ferocious mood in the more melodic More To Tarnish, even if the lyrics oozes with desires of revenge and destructive purposes ("I used to hate myself for what I have done/Now I save myself from what went wrong/I destroy everything that comes my way"). Procession, Rigor Mortis stands as another prelude of the hard-hitting 5-minutes long Solemn, while Forbidden walks on the same path of the mentioned moods standing like an execration of the damages caused by despair and blind fury deriving from a blinded reason ("you fight the disease but you're causing the war/you fight the disease but you're causing more" are praiseful and prophetic words!). The enchanting and more experimental moody Derelict ends an interesting album which is going to disclose something deeply embedded in your memory!
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Artist: SHOCK AND AWE
Title: Bass Rage
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Utrecht Bass And Awe is releasing its debut release on Basserk and it's titled BASS RAGE. The five tracks of the digital download EP mainly deal with rhythms and bass sounds. Vocals have been used on "Shocker" but it's only a sample. I don't know exactly how to explain the kind of sound of Bass And Awe because it merges hip hop, techno, acid and electro using raw synthetic sounds, samples and obsessive rhythms. I must admit that the few melodic lines used and the upbeat drum result hypnotic to me and the feeling I have listening to this release is that it's good to party with but it's not easy to enjoy it at home if you don't need to loosen a bit and to dance around ending crashing on your coffee table. Check some tracks at the label's website as well at the band's myspace page.
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