Music Reviews



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Artist: ERIK URSICH (@)
Title: 3048
Format: CD
Label: Farmacia 901 (@)
Rated: *****
3048 is the latest Erik Ursich album and since the title comes from the length of the suite you'll find on this limited to 212 copies CD-r, you could think that you're listening to a conceptual release. Well, I don't know exactly if there's any concept behind the analog sounds that Erik produces with his old synths (he uses Ems Synthi AKS, Moog Sonic Six, Steiner-Parker Synthacon, Roland RE-501 and an Ibanez DDL) but for sure 3048 sounds like a throbbing result of an experiment that gone bad. The track starts slowly and low with humming drones and pulsing waves and little by little starts to grow with the add more drones, low frequencies and bleeps that cries for freedom running from one channel to the other. The result is a mesmerizing track that is able to hook the listener immediately. You'll be trapped for 30 minutes and 48" and you'll find asking yourself if you got abducted by aliens.
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Artist: Moldover (@)
Title: Moldover
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****

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There are VERY FEW people pushing the envelope today. Moldover is undoubtedly one of them, big time! He doesn't just do it musically, but he even builds his own instruments and delivers his music in probably the most original artwork/CD cover I have ever seen.
A few years back this guy pretty much single-handedly launched a new underground phenomenon known as "controllerism" (the art of manipulating sounds and creating or remashing music live using computer controllers and software) which then turned into a whole scene of people doing similar things. He then went on to build the Octamasher (an interactive music installation made up of eight unique keyboard controllers connected to one computer that allows anyone to get in on the fun and jam with any 7 other people). His first album (reviewed on these pages) was a masterpiece of live-remashing of famous rock, pop, electronic tunes, but Moldover wanted to move beyond that and create something that was all original and so this album slowly started to take shape. He's been working on it for years and it sounds fantastic!
Musically you can hear that he has a rock background and in this record he takes his previously instrumental-only/digital-only electronic music to the next level and adds live drums, live guitars and even does some signing. It's hard to say what's in his iPod... There's a broad range of influences at work here, probably things like Squarepusher, Tool, Linkin Park, Aphex Twin/AFX, Frank Zappa, Clay People, Venetian Snares, Boards of Canada etc... Moldover's music is as fresh, eclectic and original as it gets, with influences ranging from funk to nu jazz, from prog rock to metal, from glitch electronica to ambient, from drum'n'bass to dance, from darker dronier stuff to bright solar things. Generally it's safe to say that it is a very uptempo CD and except for the last tune of the record (sort of a Michael Manring guitar-only manipulation) and one other tune, it's a very hype and hip fast-paced piece of work. You just will have to hear it and you'll know how cool it is.
The entire record is made using Ableton + Reaktor and a self-built midi controller made of a bunch of ribbon controllers, knobs, faders, switches and arcade video game type buttons which you can see him play if you are lucky enough to catch one of his very cool live sets (you should!).
You can download all of the tracks from a bunch of different places online or buy a cheap $10 CD from his website, but if you want something unique you've got to get yourself the "awesome edition" (remember when I mentioned the most original CD artwork of all times?). If you thought that the David Lynch/Sparklehorse/Danger Mouse was original, Moldover tops that by housing a real circuit board inside a regular jewel case. The PCB traces create a maze artwork around the word Moldover and on the back they actually outline the titles of the songs. As if this were not cool enough to just look at, Moldover made this circuit board into an actual working instrument that he calls a "light theremin", made up of two light sensors, a trigger button, a blue LED light a speaker AND a headphone jack! So not only can you impress people by literally "playing" the art work of this CD, but you can even plug it in and rock out with it for real like Moldover does at some of his shows! I don't usually post links to youtube videos but this time is different: you've got to do yourself a favor and check this out for yourself so you know what I am talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8UzSVFUIc0&feature=player_embedded
Friggin' awesome! Obviously the dude is from another planet.
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Artist: MILK MONEY MAFFIA
Title: Milkshake The Remix Album
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
As stated by the title this digital release hasn't new MilkMoneyMaffia songs in it. If you checked the MilkMoneyMaffia's debut "Musik" (always available on Basserk as digital release) you already know his the particular vocal style (a filtered voice formed by high and low pitch variations) and the energetic danceable tunes he proposed. Well, this time we have three of those ones remixed. Ricky y Rulo open the release with a great version of "Caramel" (the "Lollipop remix") where the original vocals are now mixed with a bouncing bass guitar and a dreamy synth atmosphere just to be turned into a sexy '70s style tune. Kid Goesting opted for a distorted electro acid version of the same track. With Boemklatsch, we have a different version of "The peanut butter". This time the track has turned into a sort of acid dub where bleeps and syncopated drums hypnotize the audience. Next we have two versions of "Stinky stanky" re-worked by DJ Donna Summer and 3-1. The first one is a mix of different genres it goes from the break beat to the acid techno while the second one turns the song into a dilated electro distorted track. If Ricky y Rulo created a new atmosphere composing almost a new track the other four acts opted for the "let's make a party" approach but in this case the original tunes where already good at it. Nice release but if you don't know the original songs check those ones first.
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Artist: DEGADA SAF (@)
Title: Without Religions
Format: CD
Label: Disco Dada Records (@)
Rated: *****
I was reading the reviews section into the September issue of an Italian music magazine when I read with surprise the name of one of the most original Italian bands of the '80s: Degada Saf. At first I was thinking that someone finally reissued their first and only album released back in 1984 by Rockgarage, titled "No inzro". I read the review and it amazed me to know that WITHOUT RELIGIONS was a new album. I checked myspace looking for if they had a page and I found it. I started to listen to the new tracks and the first thing I thought was: "wow, they do sound different. There's nothing left of the old electronic wave sung in a strange language". The second thought was: "Oh boy, they sound great!". Fausto Crocetta (original member of the first line-up) and Michele Piovesan (he joined the original line-up when they started touring) updated the Degada Saf sound giving to it a boost: danceable atmosphere, great melodies and a bit of industrial electronic attitude thanks to granitic guitar riffs. If in the past their music was suited for a new wave/electronic audience, now they are head to head with bands of the likes of The Presets, Digitalism, Autokratz, etc. The album opening is the self titled "Without religions", an incredible electro blast with a catchy female vocal that sings here and there. The second track is a great electro aggressive song with refrain and all which sees Fausto vocals dueting with guitar riffs/solos. WITHOUT RELIGIONS proposes different atmospheres: we have "in your face" dance electro tunes ("Without religions", "Let me inside when I'm walking" which is an re-worked version of "Riz du fles", the second song from "No inzro"), instrumental mid tempos with catchy melodies ("White body love", "D.j. blood" and the closing "2080"), semi electro pop tunes with less distortions ("Divine" or "Born to criticize"). There's also an unrecognizable cover of New Order's "Blue Monday" with mid eastern atmospheres and blasting 4/4 drums. Degada Saf are back and I hope that they're back to stay! Check them as soon as you can at www.myspace.com/degadasaf.
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Artist: RE-DRUM
Title: S
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 2002 with five releases out, Pavel Aleshin's Re-Drum is releasing its sixth for the Polish label Zoharum Records. S is the title of the new CD which contains four untitled drone industrial suites. During 55 minutes the album creates since its first minutes an hypnotic almost psychedelic atmosphere with long humming sounds, distant noises, loops, vocal samples, etc. On the second and fourth track things change slightly because of the use of Tibetan samples (as far as it seems to me Tibetan blows and Tibetan litanies' have been used) enriching a lot the sound created as they are really absorbing per se. The first and third movements have good moments but Pavel opted for a minimal approach using pads and drones creating tracks that need an extra concentration from the listener.
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