Music Reviews



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Artist: Black Era (@)
Title: The Point of No Return
Format: CD
Label: aquietbump (@)
This is a bit more accessible than the music that I generally review for ChainDLK. It just barely throws in a bit of experimental elements, but samples alone does not an experimental disk make (the sample notes mention Entombed, Isis, Dustin Hoffman, Mad Season, and Quentin Tarantino). This is some decent jazzy trip-hop. It is quite catchy and the woman’s voice has a nice seductive quality at times, especially on tracks like "What About Us" and "Delete Carefully." That said, I have to admit that the album didn’t really do a lot for me though. I like my music to push the envelope a bit more than this. With a few exceptions, such as "Less Than Zero," there didn’t really seem to be much that differentiated them from other trip-hop stuff out there. However, it is well produced and you don’t have to take my word for it. You can actually download the album from the label’s website at http://www.aquietbump.com/aqbmp002.html. This disk weighs in at around 55 minutes.
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Artist: Körperwelten (@)
Title: Avatars of Rape and Rage
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
The first thing that you are confronted with on this disc is the artwork by Jonathan Canady. I am not really a fan of the artwork, and if you have seen any of his Deathpile releases, you may have some idea of what you are in for. But then again, many may think that this is the best part of the packaging. Needless to say, don’t leave this disc on the coffee table when you have your parents over. This disc is a collaboration between Nordvargr and Navicon Torture Technologies that took place from 2002-2008. According to their website, they took their name from the original German title of Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds exhibition of human cadavers. Considering the artists involved, this disc is significantly more subdued than I expected, especially considering the title and the track names. Pulsing, buzzing oppressive soundscapes and vocals that lie just beneath the surface dominate this album. It’s not quite noise, but not really dark ambient; rather, it appropriates the best elements of both. The sound keeps shifting ever so slightly to build tension and keep it interesting. Occasionally, there will be some semblance of beats and noise blasts to wake you up as the buzzing lulls you. This disc is considerably more engaging than the material that I have heard from either of these artists on their own – a rare example of synergy in collaboration where the sum of its parts is far greater than the components themselves. The album weighs in at about 39 minutes.
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: What's Next 2
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Eevo Next (@)
Rated: *****

After some E.P.s from the past/back catalog of the label and after some brand new band, Eevo Next decided it was time to do a little sum of the sounds proposed. Spanning from minimal techno to particular ambient electronic, WHAT'S NEXT 2 E.P. is bringing four digital/download only tracks/bands. Estroe, The Moderator, Terrace and Avigail are the projexts involved. Estroe's "Anybody" is a nice minimal techno tune where rhythms/sounds alternation create a varied pumping scenario which little by little become a little ambient thanks to synth pads and tiny melodies. Avigail's "Slipping" is the most particular track of the lot (I reviewed her E.P. months ago) and under a core of dub bass lines there's a little soundtrack full of strings, melody and passion with some i.d.m. rhythmical solutions here and there: it's like a particular mix of Cocteau Twins and ambient electronic. With Terrace, Stefan Robbers (the man behind REC, Con Man, Florence and Sierra Romeo), bring us "Lidl chronicle", a track suspended between techno, ambient and electro. The Moderator with "Bump!" closes the short compilation with a techno tune that mixes anxious melodic lines, ambient pads and bumping bass lines. Nice compilation but I'd have preferred a couple of track for each one, just to get the right mood from each artist.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 5 Years Of Great Stuff
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Great Stuff Records
Rated: *****
Founded in 2003 by Tomcraft, Great Stuff started with few tracks by him, the British duo Coburn and Gusgus from Iceland. In this small period the Bavarian label succeed into becoming one of the reference points of house/electro/techno music around. After five years the label decided to celebrate with some special events. The first one is this double compilation where on CD1 you can have an appetizer of the sound of the label's roster with 28 tracks mixed, mashed and treated by Tomcraft & Lützenkirchen. The result is a 74 minutes monster track where moment of minimal house music are mixed with electro and techno. The purpose isn't to make a collection of rare tunes or else, because here you won't find the whole songs in their original release, here you'll find two minutes snippets where like on a torrent the sound flow and one track gone onto the other creating a new energetic wave. The purpose is to let you taste the label's sound. On CD2, instead, we have 12 tracks properly remixed exclusively for this birthday. On this one house music with a little sprinkle of techno is the main sound proposed, so is perfect for the lovers of the genre. If you want a detailed tracklist, here it is:
CD 1 – BEST OF GREAT STUFF – MIXED, MASHED AND EDITED BY TOMCRAFT & LÜTZENKIRCHEN

01. KLOVN – I WANT YOU (DISTRICT ONE REMIX) /
MASON VS. PRINCESS SUPERSTAR – PERFECT EXCEEDER (ACAPPELLA) – 02:14
02. BUTCH – AMELIE – 02:59
03. EYERER & NAMITO – SEEFEUER – 01:14
04. NAMITO – CITY OF GODS / EYERER & CHOPSTICK – ELECTRIC – 01:35
05. ROCKERS HI-FI – PUSH PUSH (M.A.N.D.Y. REMIX) – 01:45
06. STEPHAN HINZ – DIESCINERUM – 02:29
07. GREGOR TRESHER – BATTERY– 02:30
08. RAINER «EICHHOLD – BAMBOO (FORMAT:B REMIX) – 02:59
09. MARGOT MEETS THE MELODY MAKER – TORCH (ORIGINAL) – 02:37
10. MASON – THE RIDGE (OLIVER KLEIN & PETER JÜRGENS REMIX) – 02:29
11. LÜTZENKIRCHEN – PAPERBOY (D-NOX & BECKERS REMIX) – 02:44
12. COBURN PRES. DUMB BLONDE – WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY /
TRICK & KUBIC – EASY (ACAPPELLA) – 02:29
13. STEVE ANGELLO PRES. «HO’S «HO – S«EDEN – 02:14
14. MIKE MONDAY – ZUM ZUM (AUDIOJACK REMIX) /
COBURN VS DUMB BLONDE – SUGAR LIPS (ACAPPELLA) – 03:01
15. TOMCRAFT – «HEN I WAS SIXTEEN / HARD & CHEAP – TOO LATE (ACAPPELLA) – 04:59
16. ALEX CAPPELLI – BLOODY NOTES – 00:59
17. BUTCH – ON THE LINE (OXIA REMIX) – 01:30
18. FERGIE – IRELAND / NICOLETTE – NO GOVERNMENT (ACAPPELLA) – 04:15
19. RAMON TAPIA – MINI JACK / MIKE MONDAY – ZUM ZUM (ACAPPELLA) – 02:07
20. LÜTZENKIRCHEN – ALL THAT JAZZ (POPOF REMIX 01) – 04:00
21. TOMCRAFT – BOOGIE NIGHTS – 02:44
22. EYERER & NAMITO – QUIPA (ETIENNE DE CRÉCY REMIX) /
THE EGG – WALL (ACAPPELLA) – 03:37
23. JEAN CLAUDE ADES & VINCENT THOMAS – SHINGALING /
COBURN – «E INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM – 03:37
24. COBURN – GIVE ME LOVE (LÜTZENKIRCHEN REMIX) – 02:29
25. THE EGG – WALKING AWAY (TOCADISCO REMIX) – 02:11
26. LÜTZENKIRCHEN – DAILY DISCO – 02:29
27. MICKY MONZZA & JOSEPH DISCO – BOUNCE BABY (LÜTZENKIRCHEN MIXDOWN) – 02:15
28. GREGOR TRESHER – A THOUSAND NIGHTS (DUBFIRE QUIET STORM REMIX) – 03:11

CD 2 – THE NEW BIRTHDAY REMIXES

01. ROCKERS HI-FI – PUSH PUSH (RAINER WEICHHOLD REMIX) – 05:56
02. RAMON TAPIA – CAN YOU DIG IT (BUTCH REMIX) – 06:22
03. MASON – THE RIDGE (OLIVER KOLETZKI REMIX) – 06:32
04. GREGOR TRESHER – BLACK RAIN (MIHALIS SAFRAS REMIX) – 06:29
05. ROCHA & LEWINGER – DOWN SEQ (MARTIN EYERER REMIX) – 06:47
06. BUTCH & AMIR – SET IT OFF (RAMON TAPIA REMIX) – 06:34
07. GREGOR TRESHER – RUNNING SYSTEMS (OLIVER KLEIN REMIX) – 07:10
08. RAINER «EICHHOLD – BAMBOO (NAMITO REMIX) – 06:30
09. KAROTTE – TRONIC (GREGOR TRESHER REMIX) – 06:28
10. GUSGUS – LUST (TONKA REMIX) – 05:52
11. NAMITO – CITY OF GODS (FERGIE REMIX) – 06:54
12. TOMCRAFT & LÜTZENKIRCHEN – BIRTHDAY PRESENT (EXCLUSIVE TRACK) – 06:10
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Artist: SENSOR
Title: Naked
Format: CD
Label: Intuition Records
Rated: *****
Born in Russia in 2005 thanks to an idea of Ilya Pavlov (vocal, keyboards), Andrey Smayev (drums, programming ), Dmitriy Kozlov (guitar, synthesizers, back-vocal) and followed soon by Alexey Bogatkov (bass guitar), Sensor is the first pop release for Intuition Records. Gathering the best mood of the 80's music, the band is promoted as a mix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and U2. Well, listening to NAKED I might hazard that they are more than that. More than a copy of the best mood of a decade. Ilya Pavlov is able to make you remember Inxs, The Sound, Echo & The Bunnymen (like on the opening "Naked") and Frankie Goes To Hollywood but playing their tunes with an energy that the original bands didn't have. The modern synth arrangements help a lot into refreshing the sound and will make you understand that the band only wanted to use the best melodic ideas to pack a debut album that will astonish every lover of those sounds. On the short "All I get is..." the band is able to change mood and to write a song that will make you remember the smooth sounds of This Mortal Coil just to push the gas pedal on the following "Static" where a funky bass introduce a strong energetic tune. Good record indeed!
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