Music Reviews



Jul 03 2009
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Artist: Tyske Ludder
Title: Anonymous
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain media group GmbH
Distributor: exclusive distribution for these territories: Germany - Nova MD GmbH Austria - Rebeat Music Vertrieb Gmbh Italy – Audioglobe France – Soundworks Spain – Redrum, UK + Ireland - Code7/Plastic Head
Rated: *****
Just on time, before the WGT festival in Leipzig kicks off the new, fifth album by Tyske Ludder has been brought out. The Frisian (West-North Germany)unit entitled the new output "Anonymous" and prove with it that they are still standing strong in the EBM scene. There is little if any self-restrain on those ten tracks in regard to volume and lyrics that just thrash you in your face.
The typical sound for TL Old School sound has got here some serious up-to-date touches thus the whole thing just strikes through the ears and into the morrow of your bones. This is the way many EBM fans like it. The dynamic and rhythm are certainly there to shake the dance floors.
"Bastard" has got rather contentious lyrics that are likely to cause some heated discussions. Similar can be said about "Frya Frisenia" and "Maschienenstaat." Lines such as Und deine Mutter, sie f**k ich auch" i.e. "And your mother, I’ll f**k her too" are usually expected from hip-hoppers, not from EBM bands, but perhaps I missed some important artistic developments in the electro scene recently. "Gebet" – "Prayer" is a rather strong song music-wise. DJs should have it in their case on every party thus it will be often requested. This number is absolutely capable to sweep the people away, especially those who speak no German or do not get much into song’s lyrics. "Panzer" sounded strangely familiar to me; hence I assumed it to be a cover but could not put my finger on the author. It turned out to have been originally written by TL’s label-mates Jesus and the Gurus that has got new, sharp EBM touch to it. "March" is a well thought through track that continues the military theme on the album. (I assume this is a British war song covered, but I’m not sure about that.) It is not really clear what makes people residing in the peaceful Germany to write so many songs about war. War is not aesthetic and there is nothing fascinating about it, take it from me.
"Anonymous" is a result of a long creative process and deserves to be given a fair listening; many strong selling points with some deficits mingled in between.
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anymore
Artist: BRONZE
Title: Bronze
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
The American band Bronze should have participated to the "Radio Resistencia" CD compilation as they took part to the HEX nights organized by Enfant Terrible but they ended having a 7" on their own, instead. The band formed by members of Vanishing (who performed at the Hex nights) and Spector Protector for this release recorded "One Night In Mexico" and "Hymn Of The Night Shepherd", two tracks which show a band with a particular sound influenced by post punk, post rock (see their use of syncopated drum rhythms) and minimal synth wave (check they synth inserts that sound like screams or like a theremin) but filtered through a sort of psychedelic approach. The alienated vocals duet with floating synth waves and almost tribal drums. The single doesn't offer easy listening sounds as the tracks seem two long acid trips shortened into four and six minutes. I would have preferred to listen to tracks with a different mood because this could make think to the occasional listener that the band has a limited vision, thing that I don't think it is true...
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anymore
Artist: FUTURE BEAT ALLIANCE
Title: Patience And Distance
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Eevo Next (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 1996 Matthew Puffett is the guy behind the Future Beat Alliance moniker and PATIENCE AND DISTANCE is his third full length release. Available as digital download the album offers fourteen tracks influenced by ambient and Detroit techno. His lush sounds recalled me some atmospheres created by Marco Bernardi/Octogen (check the beautiful "Breath in your fear" where Matthew created a convincing mix of melody, upbeat rhythms using warm sounds) as well as some Miami atmospheres a la Gosub. Growing cyclic structures are used to create strong atmospheric moments where you are lost into fluctuating sounds and rich rhythmic textures. Some tracks need more than a listening to be fully appreciated because at first they sound a little naive melodically talking but with the listening I appreciated also the extemporaneous experimental attitude (check the semi random notes of "Calculated notes" or the strings arrangement on "Which direction").
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anymore
Artist: Ayreon
Title: 01011001
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: InsideOut Music
Rated: *****
Perhaps it's the first time you can read here about a band playing progressive metal, but 01011001 is probably the best album I've heard this year. Calling Ayreon a one-dimensional metal band is kind of simplification as Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the man behind this project combines various genres, from ambient to progressive metal. I'm sure, however, that even orthodox electroheads may find this mixture interesting.
Some people say that progmetal is soullles - not in this case. On 0101100 you won't find tedious guitar solos or other displays of showing off. It sheer emotional music.

If you're not sure you'll like it, I'd suggest starting from the second song - "Comatose". It's a dreamy song full of electronic sounds featuring both male and female vocalists.

01011001 is a concept album - another sci-fi story by Arjen Lucassen. The lyrics at the album are as great as the music. 01011001's plot is tied to the "Planet Y" and "Forever of the Stars" storyline developed in the albums Into the Electric Castle, Universal Migrator and The Human Equation, but you don't need to know these albums to have fun exploring the lyrics. "01011001" is the binary representation of the hexadecimal number 59 (i.e., 5 = "0101", 9 = "1001"), the decimal equivalent is the number 89, which is the ASCII code for the letter Y. It makes sense if you know the story of imaginary Planet Y.

The album features 17 vocalists and 10 instrumentalists. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Thanks to it's complexity, it's very difficult to get bored with this masterpiece. Moreover, it's a double CD release which means that there's really a lot of music. Some of the songs last about 10 minutes yet they keep a listener focused all the time.
As it was said before, 01011001 is a concept album but each single song is a masterpiece of it's own. There's no point in analysing them because they are really difficult to describe - they need to be experienced, not described.
In my case it's one of the albums that have changed my point of view on music. No matter what you listen to everyday, give Ayreon a chance, it may turn out that there's vast area of music you didn't even expect to exist.
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Artist: Terra Sancta (@)
Title: Disintegration
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Distributor: Terra Sancta website
Rated: *****
You can always count on Malignant Records for some of the best Dark Ambient music ever recorded. Terra Sancta’s "Disintegration" is a fine addition to their catalog, and an intense work at that. Terra Sancta is actually Greg Good from Australia, probably not the first place you think of for Dark Ambient music. Terra Sancta has had two releases prior to this one. "Anno Domini" from 2002 was self released, and Aeon (2004) was released on Malignant. This is my first exposure to Terra Sancta, and it’s really quite enthralling. Comprised of four long tracks that are just under and hour in total, there is a fluidity and consistency to "Disintegration" similar to what you’d expect of Lustmord or Robert Rich. The first piece, "Disintegration I" begins with rumblings, and muffled voices as it builds slowly in intensity. The sonics give the impression of vast spaciousness, a quality that can be found throughout the album. You could imagine huge glaciers falling into the sea or the engines of a gigantic spacecraft. More electronic sounding drone tonalities creep in both higher and lower timbres that support the impression of an alien craft, as there is motion in the sonority. Words just can’t describe how huge it sounds.

"Ashes From Dust" is swathed in an ocean of white noise washes, and once again there is impression of something massive; the forces of nature released on an epic scale. As the firmament subsides, traces of muffled speech transmissions can be heard in the aftermath of the cataclysmic event, until the wave of disruption occurs. This cycle is repeated a few times with different turbulent occurrences. Quite an awesome soundscape.
"The Shifting Sands" takes the art of reverberated vastness to new levels, perhaps beyond anything I’ve ever heard before. This is truly deep space, and as the listener, you can’t help but be enveloped in it. Wave after wave of smooth but powerful sonics of varying atmospheres slowly wash over the sound palette drowning you in their immensity.
"Disintegration II" brings back some of the tonalities (as well as muffled voices) from "Disintegration I" while adding a new dimension to the apocalyptic entropy. Extraordinary in every way for this kind of Dark Ambient music, "Disintegration" is a five-star release. Highly recommended!
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