Music Reviews



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Artist: NG-Pro (@)
Title: The Place To Be
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Although already formed and active since 2000 I must admit, that I haven’t heard of this EBM/Electro/Industrial-act hailing from The Netherlands before. All of their releases have been self-produced so far and this album "The Place To Be" is their second full-length, accomplished by two additional MCD-releases. The fact shall not at all disturb you, because this trio consisting out of Niels, Gerwin and Bas is capable to work professionally without th helping hand of a label. "The Place To Be" is sort of a reference, how a self-produced album should be. A crystal-clear sound quality, well-done compositions, skillful arrangements and the belief into the own abilities. Pressed professionally on a real CD with a smooth looking cover artwork, this release satisfy higher demands. Musically the band surely doesn’t reinvent the wheel – they of course have patterns they like to follow. I tend to name their infamous countrymen of ANGELS & AGONY, VNV NATION and/or SEABOUND as being references, just to let you know, that NG-PRO plays in a wide field between Future-/Electropop and EBM. The tracks with the best worked out melodic synth layers get the vote as being the finest works of them, like the opener "Star # 9" or "Today". A track like "Ebriel" then turns more into the EBM direction and should be able to appeal to all fans of that genre. With tracks like "Judgement Day" and the funny "Pretty Lisa" they prove their sense for the effect of well-chosen voice samples. "The Place To Be" is an album to follow without hesitation and I keep the fingers crossed, that this album is only a take-off for them to some higher recognition of the international audience.

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Artist: Project Blue
Title: Duality
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Urbcom (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
This is a newcomer project hailing out of Denmark and newly signed to the British Urbcom label. Martin Host is the sole brainchild behind PROJECT BLUE and he provides a first EP featuring 4 tracks. Musically his efforts are based into the wide field between Futurepop and harder EBM. The first 2 tracks "Pressure" and "Loveslave" are straight-forward moving tunes to keep the masses in motion. "Loveslave" also comes out quite rough through some overdrive effect manipulation on the repetitive bass lines, which provides a hypnotic impression. As for constructive criticism, both tracks aren’t high-end compositions and extracting their power and message only out of some repetitive shouts – well, Martin can do better. Both further tracks "Embrace" and Breakdown" are rather smooth oriented, but show his convincing programming abilities and are of course better and more in-depth compositions. Martin’s voice performance suits perfectly with this style of music and has still enough potential to sound unique into this overfilled genre. Hard to judge completely on Martin and his project after only 4 tracks, but let’s hope, that he can return soon with a full-length album.
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Artist: Jérôme Chassagnard
Title: (F)light
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Since there hasn’t been too much activities with Jérôme’s main music project AB OVO, he has decided to record a solo album, featuring a lot of influences taken out of his private preferences. "(F)light" is definitely a lighter music outfit than AB OVO and he produces a sort of intelligent Electronica sharing more on Dub and Breakbeat elements instead to fall into a noisy kind. Several tracks a beat-driven pieces which would allow some dancefloor movement like "Hazy", "Alternate Reality" or "Resonance", but the preferences are rather based on the moody tracks offering some strange ambience. "A Short Story About..." can be named as being a highlight here, although the chosen sounds remind strong on a thinkable Electronica-sequel to DEPECHE MODE’s "Oberkorn (It’s A Small Town)". Thumbs up also for the atmospheric outro tune "Light" with its melodic touch and mysterious samples thrown in. "The Fan" surprises with a guest vocalist appearance by Guillaume Eluerd, while "Circle Of Memories" features a musically collaboration with the German one-man act FLAGUE. The most weird sounding track has to be named with "Snowflake" which is drive by a repetitive acoustic guitar-riff and various voice samples. And as seldom as this happens, I totally agree on a sentence taken out of the release info sheet: "this album holds a perfect balance between beat and drift". So it is, highly recommendable.

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Artist: Boeoes Kaelstigen (@)
Title: Commuting Colour
Format: 12"
Label: Adrian Recordings (@)
Distributor: Parasol
Rated: *****
New release from the Swedish Synth-Electronica-label Adrian Recordings, it’s the follow-up 12 inch vinyl-EP of BOEOES KAELSTIGEN after their successful debut "Pan European" EP, with which they caught attention Europe-wide in multiple dance-clubs. "Commuting Colour" continues generally to follow the same musically path, which has the predecessor already taken. 2 new tracks with "Cecta" and "Radius" got presented and both receive a remix by two international renowned club-DJ’s, Mikael Stavöstrand ("Radius") and Dumb Dan ("Cecta"). It’s globally an entertaining form of instrumental Techno-/House-Electronica with a spacey and futuristic-sounding touch, which offers a strong club-appeal, but it luckily avoids any Hardcore-like redundancy. And – it still gets pressed on the good ole vinyl – the warm feeling of this medium is highly recommendable, since it offers for the listener the impression, not to listen to an ice-cold machine-generated music. As much as it seems to be a "must" to present well-sounding DJ-names through remixes, I must say, that the both original compositions by the band have my preference, the sedating space-ambience is awesome and suits perfectly with long trips by car. Applause, keep it on, how are the things with a full-length album?

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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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