Music Reviews



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Artist: KREUZER
Title: In Hoc Signo Vinces
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
Musical project of a young guy coming from Israel, Kreuzer's debut album IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, has been released by The Eastern Front. Limited to 300 copies two panels folded cardboard packing, the album differs a lot from the MCD "Noises Of Independence" released on the Eastern Front sublabel T'an! Kaven!! Ash!!! Taking as inspiration medieval atmospheres and Crusaders' battles the album is a pleasant surprise. Despite the over exploited theme (the good thing is that here the tracks sequence follows a theme like it was a concept album), IN HOC SIGNO VINCES succeed into creating an interesting atmosphere made of 8-bit distorted rhythms, treated vocals, synth ambient sounds, martial atmospheres and basic melodies. Being minimal but with a strong personality, tracks like "Our Sights Are Set At The Holy Land" or "New Christian Empire" create mysterious scenarios with hypnotic effects. Kreuzer don't exceed with drums or industrial sounds and this well balanced mix help into the creation of a very good full length debut. On his myspace you can check some tracks.
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Artist: LOSOUL
Title: Care
Format: CD
Label: Playhouse
Rated: *****
Active since 1996, Losoul is the creature of Peter Kremeier. Is newest album will be released on April for Playhouse, a sub-label of the Ongaku family. The ten tracks of the album show very well Peter's ability into creating rich soundscapes made of minimal techno/house rhythms and sounds. The album open with three great minimal techno tunes "Slightly" (this one contains jazzy samples and fragmented sounds used to enrich the rhythm structure are its main attraction), "The crush" (this one sounds like a creepy suspended minimal techno one where on the final part syth pads sounds duet with a great violin synth. This one will convince you for the way it grows) and "Up the beach" (a nice synthetic bass line meet pumping drums and stereo wind explosions). Also "The lords of sanity" is a nice one with a convincing tiny melodic final part. "Vacuum stance" is a nice track good for NY dark neighbors. With "Sunlite" the atmosphere changes and house music starts to influence deeply this tune and the following "Gridlock". "Deuce" leave house for a particular minimal atmosphere where house rhythms are coupled to an obsessive looped bass line and reversed synth sounds. House and techno are mixed on "To last" but there's always a dark atmosphere crawling. "Btw" is a 30" joke where a voice tells "oops, I forgot to say a metaphore... sucker!"
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Artist: Ethan Rose (@)
Title: oaks
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru
Rated: *****
Baskaru keeps on putting out some heartfelt classy post-ambient music like in the case of american artist Ethan Rose. This guy has several releases out on japanese Locust music-Headz label and yes, the aesthetic nature of his compositions by some means reflects this japanese electronic influence, above all if you think to those electronic ambient artist from Japan dealing with soft ethereal music with some soft digital sounds, I think this may help you to identify the global sound of this work. "Oaks" is really relaxing and luminous, from what I can read in the inner notes Rose has adopted as a primary source a bunch of sounds coming out from a 1926 Wurlitzer organ and then manipulated it all with computer and electronics, if I wouldn't have read it inside the notes I doubt I would have ever recognized the primary source of sound. The music definition is great and despite the analog source the global sound has a digital aura, but yet warm and self assuring. In tracks like "the floor released" this cd reaches a great atmosphere by tying the knot between soft high pitched melodies and a warm bass framework. As I've been repeating from the beginning of the review this cd can be easily filed under ambient-electronic music and is not one of those work where the artist looks desperately for a strange or extraordinary revolutionary solution, it's a simple (but not simplicistic) release where Ethan Rose has embroided some delicious, relaxing and easy listening solutions. The production is good and the majority of the melodies strike deep inside where you heart aches, if that's still a good reason to put out and buy a cd here is a warm embrace to celebrate the spring that's approaching.


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Artist: CLP
Title: Homecourt/Dip Shorty E.P.
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult
Rated: *****
Chris De Luca musical history begins in 1995 with "Godzilla vs. Metalhead", the first 7" of Funkstörung. He along with Michael Fakesch released different records for various labels (their last one has been !K7) and remixed tons of other artists of the likes of Björk, Faust and Jean-Michel Jarre. After ending that adventure ten years after, Chris released a solo album in 2002, titled "Deadly Wiz Da Disko" and on this one he started to put hip-hop influences into his sound. CLP experience started in 2006 when Chris teamed up with Phon.o. They collaborated before, exactly when Funkstörung had still to do some gigs when Michael Fakesch already left: Phon.o helped out and the duo noticed that there was a good chemistry. CLP a.k.a. Chris de Luca vs Phon.o released their first album "Supercontinental " on October 2008 for Shitkatapult. This 12" contains two versions of two tracks coming from that album and on both of them we have the NYC rapper Kovas on vocals. Side A has the "CLP double dutch mix" and "Housemeister's eurodance mix" versions of Homecourt (the first one is a adrenaline hip-hop shot with brass sounds, choruses and stops and go while Housemeister is giving to it a techno 4/4 versions). Side B opens with the original mix of "Dip shorty" followed by the "Bugati force rabiata mix" of it. A distorted lo-fi version with 8 bit guitar samples and cool vocal mixes.
Artist: House Made of Dawn
Title: House of Dawn
Format: CD
Rated: *****
House Made of Dawn is a band that hails from Los Angeles California. It is a Indeadstrial Gothic Metal band that has a unique sound. We open to track 1, " Burn the House Down" which is a heavy indeadstrial horror track with beautiful words of wisdom that practically speaks in tongues, for example, " Inert I'll float in stagnant pools like Old King Log."They sing to us, " Come, tear it down! " This track is sure to burn the danse floors right through. We move to track 3, " Blacksburg " which is a cool song that throws punches and has some bite. Next is track 4, " Vice Principal " which is hard and witty in it's own right. They sing, " Safe in the shadows I can wield a power, unforseen and safe in the shadows, I will walk away and disappear." Haunting, melodic and driven. We move onto track 6, " Lost", which is a cool beautiful backing female vocals complimenting the darkness it sings and brings. They sing, " it's after midnight, I think I've seen you before, I feel a burn in my veins in unison complimenting the driven force and giving it life. Next is track 7. " Posesses this" which is another sure hit danse floor hit that would be perfect for a background track to a big event or perhaps magic trick. They sing to us a tale of childhood haunts and taunts. " You would possess this innocense." A tale of deceptions, lies and delusions. The rest of the album is full of good fun creepiness and will lead you to the element of surprise. Good plain scariness wrapped up in a pretty skeletal bow just waiting to be unwrapped and challenged. ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo
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