Music Reviews



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Artist: Boy Is Fiction
Title: Boy Is Fiction
Format: CD
Label: List Records (@)
Rated: *****
Here’s how the label describes it: "Fragile, emotional tones with a prevailing melancholic feel ... this debut release by Australian artist Boy Is Fiction captures those quiet moments of introspection just before sleep ... juxtaposed against broken late night sounds and restless movements ... utilising electronics, effects, drum machines, guitars, and pianos to put together this collection of intensely personal tracks ..." To me, it sounds a bit like Harold Budd with touches of Autechre thrown in. At some times, however, the drums that come in seem to be out of place. It’s as if Boy Is Fiction can’t quite decide what they want to sound like. Even so, this is definitely not music for the dancefloor. For the most part, the drums are incidental to the drones and synth lines. Overall, this is a very pleasant listen but not terribly demanding of the listener. Good background music for reading. For me the best tracks were the two that don’t seem to really fit on the album: "Glue/Let Me Think" and "The Bits in the Numbers." These two tracks are a bit more dissonant and more forceful than the rest of the disc. You can check out some of their tracks on their myspace page (listed as artist link above). This is the first album on a new label and it seems like they have a good start. Well worth checking out. The album weighs in at 49 minutes.
Artist: Gotterdamnnerung
Title: Of Whores and Culture
Format: CD
Label: Strobelight
Distributor: Strobelight
Rated: *****
Gottersammerung, hailing from the Netherlands, is at it's hardest traditional deathrock best. The new album called
' Of Whores and Culture" is by far if not where Rozz Williams would hae left off. Rozz would have been proud. We open with track one, "Warhorse, a ultmate dancefloor tragedy that have hard driven down and diirty guitars comlimenting Guido's voice thaat is hard and Rozzesque. Then we move on and groove on to Track two- First-in-Man thats takes us into a psychedllic world of whimiscal wit and hard electronic back beats and samples that get you circling about the room. One of the most tracks that really was pronouced to me was Track Seven Vibroboy an electronic nitescare with hard crrashing beats beating at your heart and Guido sings "Your teas like lovers dice, give in to career, sustain the sorrow" morbid, about our a a futuristic boy who has no emotion, this tarck is dark, clever and just downright in your face. Moving forward we come to Track Eight At Status which Guido tells the tale of woe, he crys, " Forgive her sins, she always had stauts, theft at large", This track is traditional at it gets and once again a dance floor metaphor that arises before you least know it. Christian Death esque guitat and industrial veins popping us in to a frensy to get out there and move to the beat. Over all this album is a deathrock masterpiece that show the old skool side of what traditional truely is and where the guitar is god. ~ 4 stars a must have for any true old skool deathrock or traditional goth.
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Artist: Tor Lundvall (@)
Title: "The Seasons Unfold" Sampler
Format: CD EP
Label: Strange Fortune (@)
I am familiar only with Lundvall’s artwork for Sol Invictus’s album covers. However, this gives a pretty good indication concerning what his music would be like. His artwork is peaceful and kind of washed out, like sidewalk chalk drawings after a light rain. This (too) brief sampler gives a taste of what will be on the upcoming 4 disc set, "The Seasons Unfold," providing alternate versions. The best comparison that I can give is Vidna Obmana’s or Harold Budd’s ambient works. Sparse music that fades into the background well. The press sheet refers to Lundvall’s music as "ghost ambient," so I was surprised to hear the vocalist come in for "29" and "The Backyard." Even so, this is not the typical "verse – chorus – verse" style. The words seem almost secondary to the atmosphere that is created. The only drawback I see to this disc is that it is pretty short, weighing in at only 15 minutes. But according to the press release that came with the disc, this sampler is free to anyone who orders something from Strange Fortune beginning the first day of Autumn, 2007. If you were going to order something anyway, this is a pretty good bonus to get.
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Artist: Frightdoll (@)
Title: Reference Version
Format: CD
Label: Frightdoll Records (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
This album came with a poster with Frightdoll on one side and Noisex on the other. She thanks Raoul Rotation in the liner notes. Thus, you’ll understand why I was expecting something more along the lines of the Ant-Zen sound. That isn’t what we get, but it isn’t bad. Here’s how Frightdoll described this album in an interview with Cyber Angels (http://www.cyber-angels.nl/InterviewFrightdoll.html): "Reference Version delves into the interaction between consciousness and technology and poses a search for a sense of self within a medium in which the distinctions between the human mind and digital processes have become blurred." Sounds like a concept album, which may account for the sense of coherence in the album; it plays like a whole rather than a collection of singles.

On to the music itself. Nice heavy dark synth with a good beat and female vocals with slight processing. The music itself is pretty stripped down and the beats are pretty straightforward, but it doesn’t quite have the energy that I would expect for something made for the dancefloor. Nothing too demanding on the listener; if you played this in Hot Topic, it would probably sell like hotcakes. Some of the standout tracks on the disc are "Tension" and "Crash." "Unit" is a nice simple instrumental that sounds almost whimsical in the context of the rest of the album. It almost feels like it is serving as intermission music.

You can check out some of her stuff at her myspace site (www.myspace.com/frightdoll). It is nicely packaged in a gatefold digipak with lyrics. Those looking for the musical rarity that is female electronic music should definitely pick this up but it’s also well worth checking out on its own merits. The press sheet that came with the disc states, "If you’re looking for personality, why not lend Frightdoll an ear?" Agreed. The only drawback to this disc is that at 37 minutes, this disc is pretty short.
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Artist: Cyanotic (@)
Title: Transhuman 2.0
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Bitriot Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is pretty standard heavy industrial music. Nothing that breaks any major ground, but still enjoyable; like something Reconstriction Records would have put out back in the day, complete with slightly distorted angry vocals and a good synth / guitar mix. If you want a feel for the kind of music that they do, take a look at some of the people they bring in to help. It seems that this is part reissue and part new music. I have to say that version 2.0 is an improvement on 1.0 while still retaining the flavor of the original. This may be partially because of the "it takes a village to produce this album" aspect, considering they bring in members of Front Line Assembly, 16 Volt, Rabbit Junk, Ad-Ver-Sary, mindFluxFuneral, LiD, and Infocollapse. Add the involvement of Acumen Nation / Dj? Acucrack (who they just toured with) and you have something akin to Pigface’s superband. There are also remixes by Drukore, mindFluxFuneral, Deadliner, and Perileyes.

As for specific tracks, on Version 2.0, some of the standouts include "Sensory Overload," which stuck in my head for a day, and "Altered States of Consciousness," which was almost peaceful with a nice lilting synth line, like something Delirium would put out. The only remix that really seems to try to push the envelope was "Suspension of Disbelief" by Perileyes, along the same lines as "Altered States of Consciousness." On Version 1.0, "Deface" would be right at home on the dance floor. "Axiom" is an interesting stripped down track. Of course "Sensory Deprivation," the original version of "Sensory Overload," is also good.

Disc 1 weighs in at around 53 minutes and Disc 2 weighs in at 74 minutes, so you definitely get your money’s worth out of it. If this sounds good, check out their myspace page for some samples, where I was pleasantly surprised to find a cover of Chemlab’s "Suicide Jag." Overall, well worth checking out for old school rivetheads.
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