Music Reviews



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Artist: BLÆRG
Title: Dysphoric Sonorities
Format: CD
Label: Bottle Imp Productions (@)
Rated: *****
After listening to Life Toward Twilight, I put this on and was not quite prepared for what came out of the speakers. BLÆRG unloads with both barrels, throwing down some harsh broken beats that reminds me a lot of Venetian Snares. But not all of it is so spastic. "Thrice Vexed" has its moments of calm mixed with the beats and "Crepuscular Harlotry" sounds like what would happen if there was a breakcore Bollywood soundtrack. Overall, this is complicated (but certainly not random), noisy beats mixed with lilting synth lines that provide a nice counterpoint. Of course there are the obligatory random samples as well to provide humor. The artwork also adds a bit of humor, with a woman wearing an octopus on her head. Certainly worth checking out, especially since you can get it for free on the label’s website. The disc weighs in at about 34 minutes.
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Artist: Life Toward Twilight (@)
Title: Blood
Format: CD EP
Label: Bottle Imp Productions (@)
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Life Toward Twilight’s "We Waited For A Subtle Dawn," so I was pleasantly surprised when this came in the mail. This is considerably different from their other disc. It sounds like they attempted to create the soundtrack to a disturbing movie, and the song titles seem to support this view - tracks like "Zombie Infestation" and "R’lyeh" (I’m a huge fan of Lovecraft’s literature, so this immediately caught my eye) provide a hint as to the kind of feeling that they are after. Overall, this disc works pretty well. Distant screams combine with atmospheric synth soundscapes and clanging metal to provide a heavy atmosphere. I would say that this is an excellent disc to pick up just in time for Halloween to scare the trick or treaters that come to your door. If Coil’s "Hellraiser" soundtrack wasn’t dark enough for you, this is a definite to pick up. If you have any doubts, you can get it for free on the label’s website. The only issue I see is that the disc is pretty short, weighing in at around 17 minutes, but it’s a fun 17 minutes.
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Artist: Beehatch
Title: Beehatch
Format: CD
Label: Lens Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this project, but I have certainly heard of their other projects. This is a collaboration between Mark Spybey (Dead Voices on Air, Zoviet France) and Phil Western (Download, platEAU). Evidently, they met while playing in Download 10 years ago. I probably saw that tour... . Now that we know the pedigree, lets see what this disc sounds like. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised by how mellow this disc was. After all, Download was not exactly known for their subtlety. This does remind me a lot of Dead Voices on Air or some of the more accessible Zoviet France. Some of the tracks seem a bit out of place here, like "Facing Up To The Facts," which sounds almost poppy and "YouSayWannaGo," which doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. But there is a lot of good experimental drone stuff on this disc. Some of the standout tracks include "God is So Good, God is SO Dub," which cycles through repetitive washes of synth drone and improvised drumming toward the end, sliding seamlessly into "Warm and Fuzzy," which has a nice beat and a background that slowly builds in complexity over time. In some ways, "Warm and Fuzzy" reminds me of Cabaret Voltaire. And honestly, how can you not like a song called "Phil's Zombie Party," which is a whimsical little ditty with disembodied moaning voices woven throughout. Overall, I would say that this isn’t bad, but Spybey and Western are hidden beneath the shadow of their pedigree. This lacks both the intensity of Download and the complexity of Zoviet France. But still, this would be a good introduction to experimental music. This album weighs in at 57 minutes.
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Artist: Accomplice Affair (@)
Title: An Act of Creation
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front
There is an old saying that some people live to serve as an example for others of what not to do. For those of you playing along at home that are thinking of sending something to Chain D.L.K. for review, I propose the following. 1. Do not send a burned disk without the artwork, etc., and then tell the reviewer that the artwork is on the website. 2. Don’t ask the reviewer to review an album that you know is already out of print without telling the reviewer when you ask. I found this out in the letter that the artist sent. Needless to say, I came at the album with a bit less sympathy than the more recent Accomplice Affair album that I reviewed previously for Chain D.L.K. It’s actually a shame that this album is out of print because it is a bit more interesting than the new one that is available. Where I found "Jezioro wspomnien" to be adequate synth-based dark ambient that didn’t really do much for me, "An Act of Creation" is far more interesting. Even so, the disc is a mixed bag overall. "Pomiedzy mgla" opens the disc with a nice dark, ominous soundscape - a mood that is continued in "Wewnatrz wspomnien." Other tracks, such as "Niewidzialnosc" were not as interesting; it seemed that the artist simply incorporated a few disparate elements together without really thinking about the overall mood of the track. It lacks a sense of unity. "Zatopione lzy ludzkosci" is a bit chaotic, but I’m not sure if it’s in a good way or a bad way. Overall, it sounds like a first albumone where the artist is still trying to find his voice. This disc weighs in at 46 minutes.
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Artist: Flutwacht (@)
Title: Final Noize
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik (@)
Distributor: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
Wow! A brutal slab of industrial-noise here on Fluchtwacht's "Final Noize" on the finest Special Series of Italy's Final Muzik. The first track is called "She's a Wolf" has unbridled moments of rage with the usual Fluchthwacht minimal rhythms. The second is called "Unbekannte Bewegung", a perfect soundtrack for the summer, resembles the controlled chaos of the early Spk's singles, and is obviously my personal favourite here. The album continues alternating noisy tracks and some primordial rhythmic-noise, all in a bad trip mood. I must say that I've been surprised by the improvement of this artist since I've heard his first works. Highly addictive if you're into real industrial.
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