Music Reviews



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Artist: TIZIANO MILANI (@)
Title: Chamber music for screeching and artificial insects
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale (@)
Rated: *****
Second full length for this artist some of you have probably heard since he’s been used as primary sound source for the recording of Claudio Parodi’s "Horizontal mover" on Extreme records. It’s surprising how some barely unknown artists can put out a cd so intense that blows away bigger productions or even the most famous names, but this’ just one of the many cases I’ve the chance to find recently. Milani’s works present a crepuscular blend of different influences well assorted in what in general can (or should I say "will") be classified as electronic music. My reticence in speaking about electronic music has to do with the fact you can hear many acoustic instruments floating here and there in the magmatic flux, but I still dunno what is played and what’s not: who cares anyhow?. Another weird side effect I’ve sensed is the nocturnal modern jazz/contemporary classic feel that imbues the whole exhibit, be it for the harmonic dissonances or for the soft elegant interventions he’s put parsimoniously during the assemblage of every fragment. The full-length is divided in seven tracks evolving around the same harmonical/musical idea alas the global listening is really homogeneous, despite the long duration it’s not a boring release, sure it’s a intense and heavy trip, but while requiring a lot of attention it keeps the evocative power unaffected from the first to the last second. How does it sounds like? Like a dronical, post jazzy, atmospherical cloud where you have some scattered instruments crossing the scenario very discretely, therefore far from those short rides you hear in the most recent electro acoustic releases. While you some concrete sounds make their guest appearance in some of the acts, many sounds are patiently lead in and out of to the scene thanks to an intelligent use of delays and reverbs and above all thanks to a clever superimposition of layers. Yes, this work is what we may consider a dronical, electronical layering of different things even thought as I’ve already said the result is quite coherent in its elegant crepuscular dress. I’ve had the impression this music could concretize what happened if only David Tibet would have been much more into jazz or contemporary classic music instead of being lost in psychedelia and folk, probably it has to do with the "scattered memories" feel created by the odd melodies plus the field-recordings/samples drowning in the dark pool. Enchanting, odd record here: give it a try.
Sep 25 2007
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Artist: SUICIDE BOOTH
Title: Aura E.P.
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment Records (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
Formed on April 2007, Suicide Booth is a German duo formed by Spif Anderson and Stefan Fenzel. The band took inspiration from the film "The last man on earth" starring Vincent Price. Movie which was based on the Richard Matheson novel "I am a legend". The AURA E.P. contains four original songs plus a "Rendezvous" remix by Divide. If the opening track "Aura" could be seen as an electro track with some 80's e.b.m. intuitions the following "I am a legend" presents itself as a cool dance electro wave retro song with catchy refrain and sounds. "Rendezvous" is a mysterious mid tempo sounding so wave. On this one the clean vocals are really catchy and sometimes they recalled me the italo disco singers of the 80's (see Den Arrow, Gary Low or Gazebo) as well as German bands of the likes of The Twins. "Raumpilot" is a robotic instrumental track that introduce the listener to the "Cosmic rmx" of "Rendezvous" made by Divider. On this one the tracks has been slowed down a little and a certain dark/mysterious pitch has been added changing the original atmosphere but without turning down its "coolness". Das Drehmoment as usual did a great work by producing new cool electro bands... dig it!
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Artist: Terror Punk Syndicate (@)
Title: Extendet Playtime
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
After having discovered John David Karlgren’s project available on some well-achieved compilation like "Interbreeding VII" or the last "Burn/Evolve/Progress" compilation I was expecting a very near to FLA-like output of this debut release. But TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE’s musically horizon goes further and a simplification on only the FLA-formula is invalid. TPS combines some of the Leeb-esques structures like already offered with "Dysmorphia (Epicentre Version)" on the mentioned compilations with a rather classic Coldwave/Industrial-sound – the rich given info in the art names among others MINISTRY, KMFDM, NIN or PUPPY to be quells of inspiration. This somehow fits very well, and it has to be mentioned that John uses his art to inform the listener about his dedication. I find it quite funny that he explains, that the band name TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE was suggested by a band name generator and has no significant meaning – I would use this name to baptize a notorious forum :-D...
Well, back on topic, this TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE debut therefore doesn’t follow the Trance/Techno-driven ultimate Hellektro-power, though the band name may suggests this. It is classic structured and composed with angry lyrics and an enraged male vocal performance reminding me in the clear and natural sounding moments ("Dark Is The Psyche Of Man") a bit on BLUE EYED CHRIST (...and I refer ONLY on the EBM-related releases a long time out of print on KK Records...). Straight and linear produced ripping synth bass lines unite well with guitar riffs, also some rhythmic D’n’B-loops are featured as well, this album offers several highlights like "Horizon (Version)" (conspicuous melodic with harsher effected vocals), "Respect" (moves forward and should cause action on the dancefloors...), "I Wish I Was Retarded" (excellent ironic lyrics causing a smile), "Transhuman Dream" (kind of a Pop-song, maybe? Catchy as hell and excellent vocoder effects on the vocals...) and "Animal Love" (a "hot" theme with some sheep-samples, funny and sarcastic interpreted...).
And although that the EBM-purists maybe a bit frightened by the included guitar riffs and the generally American-sounding outfit, this album acts well like a long missed friend. Isn’t it funny how some newcomer acts seriously think about to escape the currently happened musically stagnancy by integrating the ideas of some veteran acts? Maybe the times 10 – 15 years before were better – musically I have to agree and would undersign this claim – this fine debut is an excellent proof.
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Artist: Signal Aout 42
Title: Transformation
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
More than only a few people represent the opinion that the times for the world-wide Electro/Industrial scene have been better 12 – 17 years before. Surely, the market was easier to look-through and some acts out of those days could make themselves a good name and could squeeze some bucks out of their music. Since the computer-based technology has grown, nowadays every PC user with a soundcard is theoretically be able to produce a fine sounding Electro/Industrial album while remaining in anonymity – as I said, theoretically. Therefore I too like to encourage acts to follow the classic sense with a handmade compositional effort featuring all the sweat of uncountable hours in a home studio. And I always welcome acts out of the better and glorious days if they try to start a comeback. Regarding SIGNAL AOUT 42 and their "Immortal Collection", released almost 12 years ago as being the first official Out Of Line release, I really thought that this compilation was marking the tombstone for this act. I don’t go that far to call their earlier releases like the "Pro Patria" or "Contrast" albums milestones for the EBM scene, also I still have in mind several reviews out of those early days comparing them to be a cheap 242-copy, but they nevertheless made their way to hearts of the fans. "To Talk Nonsense", being released as a 12" Maxi and originally available on the album "Contrast" can be still called a club-evergreen, SIGNAL AOUT 42’s authentic style featuring a mixture out of EBM, Tech-Dance and an almost forgotten movement called New Beat was to that time unique and could receive acceptance. Today, 20 years later after their first works they’re back with a completely new album. It seems that Jacky Meurisse could collect several new stuff, so that this new studio album got released as a fine looking DCD set in a digi-pack featuring some cool industrial-art impressions. Musically this album offers all elements which the old-school-minded EBM audience would like to hear. A deep dark male vocal performance, ripping synthetic bass lines, melodic structures awaking a late 80ies-mood and a solid kick and snare work far away from what is nowadays infected by the Techno-bassdrum. Oh, and some guitar riffs to strengthen some bass lines are featured as well. Although only 6 tracks are listed, both CD’s offer a seventh and very long clocking hidden bonus track, which both can’t be named filling stuff. Jacky Meurisse hasn’t forgotten about his programming abilities and this album offers the right stuff to come out as being a long missed friend for the veteran supporters. While it has to be said that the whole stuff hasn’t to be praised endlessly – some would call Jacky’s intention also to integrate here and there some modern synth textures nearly available without exception on CD1 as a way to work out different ideas asides the known EBM structures - I tend to rate it as a kind of adaptation on current hypes. However, there are excellent examples available on this DCD set, which proves some so-called Harsh-EBM-heroes what dynamic and pressure means. "One Night In The Other Side" and "The Last Day" I tend to name as being the best tracks on her, where the wheel really turns around. Musically surely not discovering new horizons, this release nevertheless marks an important continuation in the history of EBM – it proves that a music project in this scene can easily survive from the very first days until today without losing attraction and identity.

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Artist: Fayrierie
Title: Michelia Campaka
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Storming The Base
Well, Spain’s Caustic-Records label has besides the rough EBM-related outputs like PAIL, TANNHAUSER or the fine and latest release "Electronic Manifesto" compilation also a nose to bring out talented Neo-Folk artist, like this Spanish duo. Consisting of the both musicians Norax and Falke, and by adding 4 additional musicians, they like to present their tunes mostly leaded by acoustic guitars and charismatic up to dramatic sounding male vocals. The right musically support designed for the faint of hearts due to the starting darker autumn days. I see and recognize the term "art" behind this act, but this definitely isn’t that kind of music, which I am able to handle and rate fair. Therefore I avoid it to add some stars, because this won’t be a fair report.
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