Music Reviews



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Artist: Brandkommando (@)
Title: New Fucking Radical Orthodox
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
If you live in a flat and if you like to have a peaceful neighborhood, well, then don’t switch on this music! BRANDKOMMANDO is a Polish Industrial/Noise/Power Electronics act, which can look back on a rich discography. "New Fucking Radical Orthodox" is already the 15th release for Karol, who is the brainchild behind this act. It is musically one of the roughest and most disturbing releases I’ve heard so far. Walls of abrasive noise manipulations, effected, processed and overdriven in different frequencies with a high amount of improvisations. Add to this Karol’s not lesser manipulated screaming voice performance, and you’ll an album especially designed for the fans full of anger and hate. Radical may in its message, but surely radical of its music content, these 7 tracks are a pure sonic assault to breakdown your nerves. The skewered pig-head on a fork couldn’t been chosen any better, Powernoise in its roughest kind. Extremely limited as usual, try hard to get it directly via SkullLine.

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Artist: Glenn Love (@)
Title: Cryptesthesia
Format: CD
Label: Sonic-X / Danse Macabre label group (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
The connection between the Canadian DJ and Electro/Industrial artist GLENN LOVE and the German Sonic-X label seems to be a constant one, since after his now more than 2 years olf predecessor "Belle Epoque", he releases a new studio work. After having toured intensely through Europe and America and with the grown impressions taken out of all foreign areas in the past years, GLENN now offers with "Cryptesthesia" an album turning musically more directly forward to EBM and Dark Electro music. The tracks have definitely received more speed and - surprise, surprise - contrary to his past album, he now has decided to sing. More than this, he also has learned German in the past and some first tunes with lyrics in this language are featured too ("Sagt Mir Wo" or "Schnee Von Gestern"). GLENN uses a lot of different FX manipulations on his dark sounding voice, although I tend to say, that he hasn’t found an ideal kind of procession so far – the vocals are the weak part in his general sound outfit and do still need some polishing. Best tracks can be named with the title track, the already mentioned "Sagt Mir Wo" and "Hang On", since they all should be able to keep the fans stomping. Not that bad work, and even more recommendable, since GLENN avoids it to jump on the already passed Hellectro-train. A bit more polishing work here and there and GLENN starts an assault against the throne of the genre.
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Artist: Cardopusher
Title: Mutant Dubstep Vol. 2
Format: CD EP
Label: Spectraliquid (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
The Greek IDM/Electronica-label Spectraliquid grows an wins worldwide reputation now with the sequel release of their self-created "Mutant Dubstep" series, since they could arrange a deal with international renowned act CARDOPUSHER (check back the rich discography at Ad Noiseam for instance...). The provided music here and especially presented through the outstanding track "Toothsmasher" consists of effective filtered and manipulated Synth drops, diverse sounding rhythm and percussion works and some voice samples too. No stuff following a repetitive 4/4-on-the-floor-formula, but a paradise for fans of a futuristic trip under a pair of headphones. Three new tracks got provided by this exceptional artist pushing the standards of intelligent Electronica music to a higher level. Two additional remix works on both tracks "Toothsmasher" by INNASEKT and "Collapsible Shelter" by PACHEKO accomplishing this quite entertaining EP. Well done stuff and must-have item for fans of intelligent produced Electronica music.

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Artist: Forms Of Things Unknown (@)
Title: Black Trenchcoats & Swastikas N Shit
Format: CD
Label: Pimalia Records (@)
Distributor: Aquarius Records
Rated: *****
"BLACK TRENCHCOATS & SWASTIKAS N SHIT" (subtitled "DEMOS OUTTAKES & RARITIES 2003 – 2006) is the latest offering from Ferrara Brain Pan’s FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN project. Well, you can’t say the title and CD cover isn’t controversial; takes the Residents concept of Third Reich & Roll’ to a whole new level. If you need to know why Ferrara might feel compelled to do something like this, go to FOTU’s MySpace page and read "A True Written Statement by Ferrara Brain Pan" and you’ll be given some idea. (Bitchslapped by Bill Clinton? And that was just the fun part... )

BLACK TRENCHCOATS is nearly a full hour’s worth of FOTU material, most of it in the experimental vein. Opening track "Vallatar" is highlighted by a melodic mournful wailing woodwind solo. Nice tone-setter. "Interrupted By Interior Design" comes in two parts/tracks, the first underscored with a low frequency drone and a hissing sound while other tones (electronic and acoustic) are briefly introduced with some sort of breathing loop. The soundbyte at the end poses the question- "What maniac put this doll in my bed?" and then part two begins with a latin conga-driven rhythm groove with weird vocal soundbyte samples, some moaning drone and short feedback. Crazy baby!

"The Fifth Path" is a harmonium dirge that would make Nico smile, if she were still alive. (Not an easy thing to do; Nico wasn’t known for her happy face’.) The next track, "Quadrilateral" is the longest on the CD, clocking in at 15 seconds over 14 minutes. Up to this point, things are going pretty well. All that is about to change... Once again we begin with a low frequency drone, this time modulated with an LFO. A bit into the track two higher frequency tones enter- a steady ringing and a regularly intermittent blip. This is followed by a rapid white noise brushing’ sound which in turn modulates the ringing for a while. While it may be a cool minimalist synth exercise in LFO treatment, I found it tedious to listen to. FOTU returns to the bass clarinet on "Elegy", another woodwind solo. Moody and well done. "Blue Light" has all the dark ambience and oppressive heat of standing next to a huge furnace in some subterranean factory while machines and clank and bizarre voices squawk, chatter and laugh away in the darkness. "Save Em Dry Til The Cows Come Home" just may be the weirdest track on BLACK TRENCHCOATS. Over a repeating bass line is a woodwind arrangement while a variety of disparate sampled vocal and other bizarre soundbytes drift in and out. "Cobblestones" is a Renaissance style piece arranged for recorder ensemble and bowed psaltery. Nice little ditty. Think Aeon’ period Dead Can Dance. An alternate mix of "Mesozoica" is the next track, shorter in length than the one on CROSS PURPOSES’ and lacking the prominent woodwind work. More of a subdued dark ambient version. I don’t know why, but I was reminded of Steve Roach here. Still, it has merit. The last track, "Burial Of The First Toy" is FOTU’s version of the title them from Jodorowsky’s cult film, "El Topo". I’ve seen "El Topo" a couple of times, but it’s been awhile. I honestly can’t say I remember the main theme, but the track is a nice recorder solo.

Overall, "BLACK TRENCHCOATS & SWASTIKAS N SHIT" is pretty good, especially considering low lo-fi FOTU’s recording process was, and if it wasn’t for the 14 plus minutes of "Quadrilateral", I would have rated it higher. If you’re new to FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN, I’d start with the CROSS PURPOSES’ CD. If you like that, I think you’ll probably enjoy this one too. I wouldn’t take the swastikas n shit’ too seriously; even though there IS a picture of old Adolph on the inside of the trifold digipack. It really has nothing to do with the music. I doubt Ferrara’s a Nazi sympathizer. It’s undoubtedly just his warped sense of humor.
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Artist: Forms Of Things Unknown (@)
Title: Cross Purposes [Remastered, Extra Track]
Format: CD EP
Label: Pimalia Records (@)
Distributor: Aquarius Records
Rated: *****
This CD, "CROSS PURPOSES" by FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN, main recording project of San Francisco artist Ferrara Brain Pan was originally released in 2003 (and reviewed here at Chain D.L.K. I might add) but owing to a remastered version, some spiffy new packaging and an extra track I felt that this 2008 release of the CD deserved another review. Being that the initial review spent half the space explaining Ferrara’s background, association with Boyd Rice and other projects, I thought I’d dispense with that and just concentrate on the CD.

I remember having the opportunity to hear CROSS PURPOSES in its initial state, and at the time (2003) I thought it had some interesting things to offer but being under a half an hour in length, I thought it was a bit spare, lo-fi and could have used at least another track, possibly more, to make it a worthy purchase. Also, the packaging from what I recall looked DIY’. Ferrara must have also realized this, for the new, remastered version is everything the original was not; better sounding, contains a cool 8+ minute additional track, and comes in a very nice glossy trifold digipack.

The first part of the CD, "Black Candles & Pentagrams N Shit" is divided into two parts/tracks- "Risen, The Judas Moon" and "Errant Bodies". This takes up about a third of the CD. Dark ambient drones overlayed with a ringing sound, with some moaning and a slowly played bass clarinet melodic dirge in a minimalist format. Spooky stuff. "Mariam Matkem" a medieval Christian devotional song is also divided into two parts/tracks- "Instrumental" and "Vocal". It’s really a very nice recorder ensemble arrangement and Shannon Wolfe does a nice job with the vocals in Latin. Clearly the most accessible portion of the CD, I guess this is what gives "CROSS PURPOSES its Cross’. The next tack, "Stupid Blood" (penned by Howard Devoto during his Luxuria days) is sung competently by Bob Ayres with a staccato recorder and woodwind sub-melody arrangement that reminds me very much of Tuxedo Moon. Not my favorite track on the CD, but still very well done. The final track, "Mesozoica" was done in collaboration with Ure Thrall and is very dark ambient. Heavy, Lustmordian and ominous. Ferrara’s woodwind work on this track gives this doom-laden piece its ultimate eeriness. I love it!

CROSS PURPOSES is a worthy purchase, for it packs a lot of variety into only about 37 minutes. Fans of Current 93, Death In June, Lustmord, Tuxedo Moon, Raison d’tre and similar projects should take note.
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