Music Reviews



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Artist: IN MY ROSARY (@)
Title: 15
Format: CD
Label: Syborgmusic (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Formed 15 years ago and after 15 releases, In My Rosary are releasing their new album titled...15. It's quite some time I didn't listen to their music and I must say that I quite enjoyed their new album. Despite the lack of homogeneity of the track-list (you can find wave, acoustic, electro songs which make it sound like a collection of songs more than else), the duo formed by Ralf Jesek (music, voice, instruments, programming) and Dirk Lakomy (lyrics and graphics) is presenting to the audience a new collection of sixteen nice tracks ("Just like you" and "G.t." are new version of songs that Ralf wrote for his other old band Derriere Le Miroir) which are capable to switch atmospheres and sounds with any problem at all. In My Rosary are good at passing from acoustic dark ballads ("A waste of pain", "G.t."), electro dark pop tunes ("Just like you", "Demo"), wave with some electronics ("Bitter fall", "Believe/Because) or blending them all together. As bonus you can find three remixes "Satin sheets" by Eternal Nightmare, "Short dance" by Tobias Bierkenbeil and "There's no light" by Syria) which present the songs revisited into an electronic key. As another bonus, you can download some special mp3s from their website (also their first E.P.) by writing one of the code you find into the CD booklet.
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Artist: VERHÖREN
Title: Death is Safe
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
Verhören was the solo project of US artist Justin Ward, who called it quits last November apparently due to a personal and artistic crisis. That's a bit sad, since this debut (210 copies, pro-looking cdr, digipack sleeve) features some good inputs, and is surely above average. Verhören plays dark ambient in a very musical/melodic way: most tracks feature recognizable keyboard melodies besides the expected noises, rumbles and samples. Ward says he's influenced by doom and gothic as well, and it shows - though still talking of largely droning and instrumental compositions, the names of Skepticism and Lycia have not been tossed in vain. Depressed and elegiac melodies for sure, closer to funeral doom than to, say, Lustmord or Inade. I have appreciated the liquid textures of "Neptune Bleeding", and the captivating keys+drums progression of "Alone in Autumn", while other tracks sound a bit redundant to my ears - but then, it's a matter of tastes, since I'm not a huge fan of Projekt-style wave either. Good depressing background music to drop out for a while, anyway.
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Artist: M.B.
Title: Regel
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
One of Maurizio Bianchi's most representative works, "Regel" (1982) is finally re-released with a new layout by Final Muzik, re-taking the remastered version issued by Alga Marghen in 1998, featuring the two sides of the original LP and the "Acido prussico" track from the "Neuengamme" sampler (Broken Flag, 1982). Let's say that "Regel" perfectly combines the two opposite/complementary sides of M.B.'s sonic research at that time: brutal noise stabs and cold, deranged machinery-like loops on one side, and dismal synth patterns, with vague melodic hints, on the other. I've written "opposite/complementary" because, while in other releases the characteristics are more polarized, here they frequently collide, giving birth to a monstruous wall of sound. There are some abrupt changes, probably deriving from largely improvised sessions, that make track 1 sound like a broken, out of control mechanism, while disturbed frequencies and echoes streak the dull synth lines of the filpside. As a whole, I can only see M.B.'s early phase as a sick, cancerous organism eating itself out. Possibly the perfect record to understand how the anti-musician Bianchi built a bridge between some of the most autistic performers of the Kraut era (Schnitzler, Kluster, Sesselberg) and the growing industrial circuit, especially the inhuman Come/Broken Flag hordes.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Scontrum Act VII
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden (@)
Rated: *****
New release for the Scontum Act series. This time we have two Peter Savelkoul's projects (A Challenge Of Honour and its French translation Un Defi D'Honneur) and Irvin Getrouw's Praetorio. The compilation contains three tracks for each band and as usual for the series we have a wooden hand made package limited to 369 copies. The three new tracks by A Challenge Of Honour shows Peter's most new-folk side bringing to the audience "Your Own Destiny" (a little D.I.J. sounding this track is a good neo-folk song with rumbling drums and gongs), "The Laws Of The Waterland" (a really good instrumental song which has an happier atmosphere compared to what we were used with A.C.O.H. and which sometimes reminded me of some 80's English acoustic alternative bands) and "City Of Decay". Praetorio present here three gems of neo classical militaristic music with tense atmospheres, tambourines, powerful orchestrations, trumpets, etc. The tracks are "Haelen 1914 (La Derniere Bataille De Cavaleries)", "Unconquered Hope" and "Die Letzte Truppen". Un Defi D'Honneur with "Guerre" Pt. 1 to 3 convinced me a bit less compared to what I already listened to. They are nice tracks but they sound less captivating, especially the third part.
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Artist: HAN BENNINK & TERRIE EX
Title: zeng!
Format: CD
Label: Terp (@)
Rated: *****
Can you blame me if I say I feel uncomfortable reviewing Bennink vs Ex since it’s like betting on Hagler vs Ray Leonard or even worse like putting you money imagining who will remain after Godzilla vs King King. Ok, this should be meant in a really respectful way for you can’t but admire these two mature heroes, the first is one of the most renowned avant-jazzy drummers ever seen in Europe and in the rest of the globe while the second is one of the two axes of the killer Dutch legend Ex. Radical improvisation which can be seen from different point of views, since if recording impros by some means turns into a type of picture book of an instant, well, go your way and carpe diem given the fact that this concept blows away critics (as it should be) criticism and everything goes beyond aesthetical judgments. If we opt for a normal review instead, consider everything is highly dynamical and above all far from those constrained impros where everyone is trying to make it all look super-intellectual forgetting the most of music (also cerebral music) is borne out of blood, instinct and real need for self expression. Thought as you can easily figure it out yourself this’ mostly unmelodical material it’s really expressive and both those mature players have still their pulsing hormones to erase a float of pretentious younger musicians, the result sometimes it’s a bit too predictable. Is their music obvious? I’ve never said that, I just mean sometimes these exhibits are a bit too close to their peculiar style in previous recording hence some Exesque guitar kicking "a-la-free-jazz-punk-we’re-Ex-and-we’re-here-to-blow-your-brains-out" and some radical Bennink "free-jazz-drumming-playing-in-duo-with-my-fucking-punk-friend-Terrie-Ex". Sometimes they show you they’re a kick ass duo, but not all of the episodes are on the same level.
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