Music Reviews



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Artist: ORPLID (@)
Title: Greifenherz
Format: CD
Label: Auerbach (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 1996 and named taking inspiration from the the poem "Gesang Weylas" of the German romantic writer Eduard Mörike, Orplid are a duo formed by Frank Machau and Uwe Nolte. Their fourth album GREIFENHERZ will be released at the end of November and it will be a pleasant surprise for their fans and for all the ones who are willing to listen to something fresh into the neo-folk/industrial genre. The album has a wide range of influences and sound solutions that many names came to my mind, even the Portishead. Let me explain first, don't freak out! Ok, relax a bit and take a deep breath because Orplid didn't change their sound or their industrial approach to neo-folk, they only widened their sound palette. Using dramatic male and female vocals (sorry but I can't tell you who helped them because on the promo CD is missing her name) and orchestrations along with acoustic guitars and martial drums they created a great atmosphere which is enriched also by the massive use of melodies. I named Portishead because of how they used the organ pads/clean guitars on "Des Sperbers Geheimnis" and also for the use of sampled strings/female vocals on "Traum von Blashyrkh". It's great how they worked on these atmospheres adding more theatricality. You know, when you listen to Portishead you feel like a feeling of emptiness, well, Orplid kinda filled that emptiness with their dark vein. Despite my audacious comparison GREIFENHERZ has so much more to offer, thanks to acoustic ballads, electronic atmospheric tunes enriched by choirs (see "Der Anarchist" and the following "Gesang an den Horusfalken"). Great CD indeed! Don't miss it!
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Artist: RAMON TAPIA
Title: Mini Jack
Format: 12"
Label: Great Stuff (@)
Rated: *****
With few releases releases and remixes on labels like Turbo, Craft Music, CR2, Yellow Tail, Blu Fin (also under his side project El Carlitto), Ramon Tapia increased his confidence into his music and refined his style also thanks the everlasting support of Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier, Jimpster, Peter Kruder, Gusgus, Luke Solomon and Martin Eyerer. This double 12" gather seven new tracks which sound in balance from minimal techno, ambient and trance. Two of first tracks of the lot "Tanzgefuhel" (which features Neka), "Ufo" and the closing "Enterprise" stick on the trance minimal techno repetitive scheme with hypnotic rhythms and sounds, while the opening "Mini jack", "Just me", "Morning funk" (the ones I preferred) have more variations with stops and go, treated vocals, ambient pads. "Can you dig it" is a little different from the others because mixes spoken word, house intuitions and minimal techno rhythms.
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Artist: RUKKANOR
Title: Despartica Face Two
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden (@)
Rated: *****
Robert Marciniak is a really active guy: he runs with Marcin the Rage In Eden label / distribution, always with Marcin he did an album under the Across The Rubicon moniker plus during the latest year and half he did a couple of Rukkanor releases ("Despartica face one" and the Rukkanor/Cold Fusion collaboration "Silk road"). His latest Rukkanor's release is this DESPARTICA FACE TWO. As for the first part, DESPARTICA's lyrics are excerpts of classic 19th and 20th century poetry (William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Emily Bronte, etc.) but this time the music differs a lot from the the last year's release. If on "Despartica face one" martial industrial was the main style, on DESPARTICA FACE TWO Robert surprised everyone by changing almost totally the sound palette as 80's electronic with a bit of e.b.m. has been his main influence. Try to imagine a martial bumping version of Visage, with the same decadent/romantic atmosphere(check the vocal/piano duet of "When you are old") but with a little bit more aggressive attitude: just like an industrial version of early John Foxx. The clean vocals of Robert (only on "The dead" he treated them) balance really well the music, creating an interesting contrast. This is one of the best albums of this year's fall!
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Artist: NADIA SOHAEI (@)
Title: Talking To Myself
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Nova
Rated: *****
Actually this is the CD I preferred of the new lot of Decadance Records' new releases. Classical pianist and mezzo soprano singer, Nadia Sohaei collaborated in the mid 90's with Trans-X and then started to compose soundtracks under her name and then with the Thai-Essence moniker. The solo project and TALKING TO MYSELF started to take form with the help of Nik Wejedal who joined her in 2007. Mixing orchestral arrangements, synthpop melodies and bumping rhythms Nadia Sohaei is able to convince electro pop lovers thanks to her vocal abilities and also thanks to the personal mixture of decadent atmospheres and electronic catchy sounds. Mid tempo seducing atmospheres and danceable tunes alternates creating a nice mix. Blinking an eye to the lovers of modern synthpop with electro e.b.m. influences (see Ashbury Heights) Nadia Sohaei adds to the palette her classical past experiences and a touch of drama that help spicing up the formula.