Music Reviews



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Artist: Blackfilm (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Spectraliquid (@)
Distributor: Tympanik Audio
Rated: *****
Second release for the Greek Spectraliquid-label and with BLACKFILM they like to present their first foreign act. This is a mysterious one-man music project whose protagonist likes to hide himself and stays away as much as possible from any photo. He presents a sort of cinematic Ambient/Electronica music with a dark environment. The chosen band name is a trademark and BLACKFILM can impress with moody atmospheres and ominous soundscapes. As for further ingredients, some orchestral-sounds as well as some well chosen voice samples get some inserts. The cover art, done by Kostas K. of SUBHEIM, shows some dark gray and rainy autumn-like landscapes which reflect excellent the attitude of this album. As for musically comparisons, names like SUBHEIM, FLAGUE and GRIDLOCK come to mind, but BLACKFILM scores also with a completely different rhythmic outfit. Some tracks here seem to be created by chance or at least the rhythm section offers a lot of improvisation and a real "live" feeling ("Come & See" or "Stalingrad", the latter nails the listener with a playing time of more than 10 minutes...). It isn’t that "lets-program-and-distort-an-Electro-drum-kit-attitude", and the tracks tend to drift in unforeseeable directions. Another favorite of the IDM/Electronica-related audience is "Sonar" with it easier-minded arrangements and lighter percussion work. An album with an impressive artistic background, which is far above your usual Electronica experience. It is well-thought arranged and demanding music in which the listener can’t sink in after only 1 – 2 spins. It requires a bit time, attention and dedication. Packaged in a beautiful digi-pack offering some of the best photo images by Kostas K, which compliments this excellent release.
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anymore
Artist: Wynardtage (@)
Title: The Forgotten Sins 2002 - 2005
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Even if a so-called "Best of.." album would be a bit arrogant for this German Dark Electro institution, the project of Kai Arnold has jumped on the train of victory in the last 2 years. His albums "Evil Mind" and "Praise The Fallen" reached a higher and unexpected level of success and WYNARDTAGE seems to become a global-player in the Electro/EBM/Industrial-scene. This new album is nothing else than the re-recording of the early demo tracks by this act. The request of his growing mass of fans made it possible, that Kai decided to revamp his early recordings and to give the audience something special. Of course all tracks got remastered, and so the given title announces it well, these tracks are a bit dated and can’t be compared too much with his successful new albums – although the tendency is recognizable. Tracks like "Dein Fleisch" with its bloody Splatter/Horror-related lyrics therefore causing a smile in the face of the listener. But WYNARDTAGE wouldn’t be WYNARDTAGE, if there wouldn’t be something special on this album. Some collaborations with the LA MAGRA-musician Louis Cyphre have occurred in the past ("Dunkler Schatten", "Flieh Mit Mir") and Kai’s all-time-smasher "Sterbehilfe" has received another update to a 2008-version. He also has created with permission a cover version of one of his all-time favorites, CALVA Y NADA’s "Rascheln", a big Electro/EBM club-hit 12 years ago in Germany. Since also this collection has stormed immediately the German DAC charts and the encouragement of his fans is in safe conditions, this one once again documents the growing exposure of this German act.
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anymore
Artist: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden (@)
Title: Kampstaoff LOST
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
This band name sounds militaristic inspired with a German background taken out of an old folk song, but behind this project we have a US-based duo presenting us their vision of Military-Industrial. It is the debut release for Sean and Jason and they could already earn some attention through some compilation appearances like "Bewein Dein Mädel" (SkullLine). But there’s more than to settle down some WWII-related German voice samples with a repetitive musically string orchestra ("He Will Not Come"), ICH HATT’ EINEN KAMERADEN can integrate different musically styles out of their different influences. Be it a Classic-oriented outfit featuring strings and pianos plus a bombastic drum set ("A Final Movement Forward"), here is also Ambient ("Forgotten"), Martial (He Will Not Come") and at least a small doze of Noise ("Imperium In Imperio", "Like Ashes") included. On a few pieces they also include their vocals, which is rather a speech language instead of singing ("Before The Storm", "Imperium In Imperio"). Published and released by the German SkullLine label, also this edition is strictly limited to 100 pieces available, so if above mentioned genres fits with your taste you have to hurry up once again.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Machines Against Hunger
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Sigsaly Transmissions (@)
Distributor: Sigsaly Transmissions
Rated: *****
This is the debut release by the new Texas-based label Sigsaly Transmissions, a DCD compilation with some remarkable content. As the given title may leads to the right hint, this compilation and its content is heavily inspired to bring out a clear action of charity against one of the biggest problems of mankind at all. This project is meant to support all those aid relief organizations against famine and disease, in this case dedicated to Action Against Hunger, as they are leaders in this endless fight. 100 % of the net profit from the sales of this compilation will be donated. So not at all just another label compilation, the presented acts give an excellent cross-section of all thinkable styles of Electronica music available. Big names got united to walk this path hand in hand with undiscovered but promising newcomer acts, and mostly all are presenting exclusive recordings. As for the big names, we have here classic and veteran Electro/Wave acts like PSYCHE, PARADE GROUND, THE WEATHERMEN (...and they all can prove their abilities, as they’ve never taken a pause in between...) and side-projects of FRONT 242 and CLOCK DVA aboard, but also better known artists like DIVE, IMPLANT or PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1. The diversity of the different presented music is the remarkable point of this compilation, but as usual and compared with many other different compilations, mostly the newcomer acts caught my attention.
Starting with the bands, which are related or signed to Sigsaly, we have K-BEREIT. Right on, this is the continuation of the famous French act KRIEGBEREIT, which could only release a nowadays hard-to-find-MCD on the German Machinery Records entitled "A Forest". This one is maybe the best known (and best done...) cover version on this classic tune of THE CURE. Of course, K-BEREIT’s music follows the traditionally old-school sound and their "H(a)ngry" is an evil beating smasher with tragic German voice samples. K-BEREIT also created a remix for DIVE’s "Behind The Sun", which is featured here as well. Another new signing to Sigsaly is the Paris-based act CODE MACHINE, another straight and rather old-school-minded EBM outfit. Their track "You Say, I Say" is am angry smasher featuring sawing bass lines and emotional vocals, although we are talking here on the weakest part of their track, they could need some refining. Third one to mention seems to be the Belgian newcomer act NTRSN, who offer some KLINIK-al bass lines, vocoderized vocals and a steady beat much in vein of some older SUICIDE COMMANDO works.
The Hellectro field is also present with appearances of DERMA-TEK ("Mauled" – TAU FACTOR-remix, well done in the expected line, but wouldn’t it be time to offer new stuff?), PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 ("Lethal Defense Systems", although remixed by a musically comparable act like DEAD JUMP, I ask myself, if this Greek duo can’t really offer any other striking piece, since this track has been now switched the 27th time on compilations...), NURZERY [RHYMES] ("Alpha-Omega", presented in remix by WYNARDTAGE, not bad at all, but maybe a bit too often heard? It becomes more and more routine...), the talented newcomer MAN + MACHINES ("Revolt", taken from their last demo, just watch our search engine for a review on them...), and finally the best appearance of this genre, DAWN OF ASHES ("Nail Driven" in a remix by DIE SEKTOR, the quality of this interpretation really nails!).
The veteran old-school EBM sound of NITZER EBB and their followers are presented well through acts like IONIC VISION (what has been named "This Life" isn’t at all a new composition, it’s rather a special remix of their classic track "The End" to offer something special to this comp.), and a collaboration effort by both Swedish bands CONTAINER 90 and STURM CAFE. What else?
There are some additional works featured on here asides the above named styles and bands, which deserve attention. Both COP-recording acts THREAT LEVEL 5 and CARPHAX FILES can impress with rather Dark Electro tracks (not Hellectro!!!), while the synths programmings of DISKONNEKTED ("Broken" remixed by RAZED IN BLACK), THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT ("Nothing Warms This Room" in a special Machine Against Hunger Remix) and the instrumental tune of the collaborative effort between EMPUSA with FRIGHT DOLL lefts me breathless. Another highlight is surely the cover version of INTERFACE on "Land Of Confusion" (Genesis): radio-compatibility included, decent Futurepop-like arrangements, good vocal performance and it luckily avoids Rutherford’s dirty guitar work. Finally the Swedish act CHINESE THEATRE come up with a new version of "I’m Leaving You Behind" featuring pummeling bass lines, cold subtle female vocals and a strong dedication to some Pop/Wave-attitudes of the 80ies.
A lot of interesting stuff to discover on here and a compilation project with a lot of background, intense work and idealism. Please note the charity factor behind it, which alone should be reason enough to purchase this DCD set, but also the content alone is sort of something special. You’ll get rewarded with this convincing label-debut, so watch out for more from Sigsaly Transmissions.

Track listing:

Disc One

01. K-BEREIT – Hu(a)ngry
02. Essence Of Mind - How Does It Feel [Machines Against Hunger Edit]
03. Implant - The Stimulator [People Theatre's Final Call Mix]
04. Container 90 & Stürm Cafe - 1/15
05. Dawn Of Ashes - Nail Driven [Die Sektor RMX]
06. Nohno - Unbalanced
07. The Crystalline Effect - Nothing Warms This Room [Machines Against Hunger Mix]
08. Threat Level 5 - Tripping
09. Diskonnekted - Broken [Razed in Black Mix]
10. Sunao Inami - Decreases
11. Code Machine - You Say, I Say
12. Interface - Land Of Confusion
13. Destroid - Revolution [Machines Against Hunger Version]
14. Nurzery[Rhymes] - Alpha-Omega [Wynardtage RMX]
15. NTRSN - Innerbleeding v1
16. Biodrone - Last Waltz

Disc Two

01. Hi-Tek Homeless - Planet Hump
02. The Tenth Stage - Black [Machines Against Hunger Slow Remix]
03. Ionic Vision - This Life
04. Radiotron 36 - Burned Out Cinder
05. Carphax Files - Guns And Violins
06. Empusa [feat. FrightDoll] - Unpreventable
07. The Weathermen - Your Town
08. Preemptive Strike 0.1 - Lethal Defense Systems [DeadJump Remix]
09. Dive - Behind the Sun [K-Bereit Light Speed Remix]
10. Autoclav1.1 - This Is Untitled [Magrette Mix by Coreline]
11. Parade Ground - Entertain Me
12. Man + Machines - Revolt
13. Psyche - Tears [Original]
14. Eisdrive - Reeperbahn
15. Je$us Loves Amerika - Cifer
16. Chinese Theatre - I'm Leaving You Behind (Help The Poor Version)
17. Modern Cubism - Le Serpent Qui Danse
18. Derma-Tek - Mauled [Tau Factor Remix]
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Artist: Wavefall (@)
Title: Heartstarter
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Storming The Base
Rated: *****
Since this Moscow-based duo has started with a promising debut entitled "Huge Frustration" to make themselves a constant good name in the Harsh EBM/Hellectro scene, the expectations on this follow-up were high. Let’s say in advance that WAVEFALL have increased and developed in their style and "Heartstarter" isn’t at all the simple copy to the debut. Bandleader Slava and his female better half Tatyanna teamed up again and could produce this new album with the required inner peace, far away from all the disturbing influences of a bad health condition, unfriendly times in Ukrainian prisons full of uncertainty and so on, just check out the included interview with them available on our sides here. It was about time to leave those unfriendly episodes back and to come back on the sunny side of life. This they like to document also with their heart-felting credits in the inlay. Musically "Heartstarter" gives a constant alternative to the blind valley entitled Hellectro or Harsh EBM, if you like to name it so. Sure, WAVEFALL do not at all completely split with their discovered path, but they add ideas and sounds, which may can be seen as the coarse of the future for them. "Heartstarter" is globally straight-oriented, full of angry moods, but drifts at times into different directions. The tracks have become more organic, also some guitar riffs, sampled or not, get some inserts ("Outsider"). This ain’t no Rock ’n’ Roll and this ain’t not at all Electro-Metal/Crossover – but it offers a subtle influence into Punk music. Besides the usual ingredients the band has to offer, like Slava’s energetic vocal performance (to me one of the best timbres the Harsh EBM genre has to offer... maybe because it still sounds quite natural, but still angry enough...), this can be seen as a real development. Meanwhile they also try to compose real different sounding tracks with a higher compositional demand, "Life In Extreme" with its moody interruptions has to be named. Another track worth to mention is "Invasion", which combines the harsh EBM outfit with bombastic orchestral pads, while the sirens are screaming, very nice. Also Tatyanna gets now a few inserts in front of the microphone ("Dance With Me"), which is another new tendency worth to mention. 16 tracks in all, more than 70 minutes of a massive and hard EBM outfit are reasons enough to purchase this item, get it!
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