Music Reviews



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Artist: NEW SHINY THINGS
Title: Changing Colors
Format: 7"
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Anna Logue Records' music archive work is bringing to us a 7" which has been released on Blotto Records in 1982. CHANGING COLORS were the unique New Shiny Things release. The band for the single was formed by Billy Harrigan and Sara Ayers (with the additional help of Richard Fuller and Art Snay at keyboards). They previously were active on punk bands of the Albany, NY, zone. The Anna Logue Records reissue of the 7" has also a extra track, "Crayola psychosis", a track that Billy recorded as Operation Pluto. "Changing colors" is a minimal electro melancholic song which recalled me some Yazoo atmospheres. "Breadlines and dissidence" is a cool track with a great male/female duet and a melody/refrain that will stick into your brain. The extra track, "Crayola psychosis", is an upbeat nice particular electronic wave song with synth, guitars. This single is a must have and you can check all the tracks here www.myspace.com/newshinythings
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Artist: CHAIN OF COMMAND (@)
Title: Some Aspects
Format: 7"
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Active for few years during the end of the 70's/early 80's Chain Of Command were an English band coming from Birkenhead. During their activity they unfortunately released only one track on a vinyl compilation ("Some aspects" on "Subtle Hints", released by Sane Records back in 1983) but they had some others ready to be discovered almost 25 years later thanks to Anna Logue Records. SOME ASPECTS E.P. despite the title don't contain that song, it contains four demo tracks recorded in 1982: "Honour amongst thieves", "Programs for plunder", "Friends" and "Borderline". Their peculiarity was to have a bass guitar, two synths, a drum machine and no guitars. Their music was a blend from new wave and electronic pop with particular atmospheres. They recalled me a more accessible version of The Passage. All the four tracks are worth the purchase but if you want me to point out a hit, for sure that is "Borderline". Catchy melodies and choruses that will make you want listen to it different times in a row. Check some of their tracks at their myspace page (www.myspace.com/chainofcommandsynthy) and download other tracks coming from their demos at their web page.
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Artist: Punch Inc.
Title: Fightclub
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The German area around Bielefeld seems to be quite fruitful for acts providing the rhythmically Powernoise formula, also the duo of PUNCH INC. can be counted besides SYNAPSCAPE and their uncountable side-projects into this. After some years recording for Hands Productions, PUNCH INC. have exchanged the flags and hired to Ant-Zen – at least the decision pro the market leader. And as the second hidden title of this album announces it, "206 Bones To Break", PUNCH INC. do their best to provide a top-notch harsh album filled with straight and crunchy beats and rotten effects. They don’t take any prisoners and execute the dancefloors with the speedy pieces like "Roughneck", "Arm Against" or "Fight Your Enemy". Rather mid-tempo pieces like "The Daily Round" or "Rumble" can impress through the use strange voice samples, rotating percussive penetrations and its menacing mood. Some might say, PUNCH INC. provide the state-of-art for this genre and this release is quite typical for Ant-Zen. Indeed, since the whole world awaits a new studio album of CONVERTER, the title track is that sort of a masterpiece which could come out of the rotten world of Mr. Sturgis. The invitation into this "Fightclub" is quite unfriendly and broken bones and bleeding noses are guaranteed. There’s PUNCH incorporated on this album which is a safe purchase, if you can offer only a glimpse of sense for this genre. Also check out another excellent graphic idea by S.ALT. Good stuff!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Advanced Electronics Vol. 6
Format: 2 x CD + DVD
Label: Synthetic Symphony (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
A premiere for this successful compilation series, the 6th issue comes out with 2 audio CD’s and a DVD part which features clips of some of the represented artist. Nothing has changed regarding the concept of this comp series though, this DCD set got once again compiled by the guys and gals of the well-known Hardbeat Promotion agency. Also nearly without any surprises are the names of the featured bands on here. This comp tries to spin a connection between diverse electronic-driven music styles in between Electro/Industrial, Techno and Alternative. So you shouldn’t wonder too much if you can check out some tunes of among others like SCOOTER (!!!), ZEROMANCER, IAMX or NITZER EBB. The problem with this label info sheet belongs on the fact, that they like to rate acts like DISKONNEKTED, CRYO, AMNISTIA, PAINBASTARD or PROCEDD as being newcomers. Well, those acts are still a "small number" when it comes to start comparisons to the above mentioned mega-selling acts, but at least also they can’t be called "underground" or "newbies". Real new and inexperienced acts however don’t get any real chances in the play-lists of the DAC-voting DJ’s. The acts presented on here can count to get backed up by a financially strong label, which is able to pay for advertisements in the big German print-magazines like Zillo, Sonic Seduce, Orkus of Gothic. You as being the listener and possible purchaser of this compilation set should have this in mind. But not too much negativity here, since some good pearls can be found. PATENBRIGADE WOLFF, recently quite active with a new album, have to be named for their awesome and surprising harsh remix of "Demokratischer Sektor". Also worth a mention is – as usual – the Austrian duo of MIND.IN.A.BOX with their Short Storm Mix of "What Used To Be" – not new, not exclusive – but a great example how to combine traditional Futurepop with upper-class synth play. GRENDEL is another winner with the X-FUSION Remix on "Hate This", as this was expected. Though I couldn’t find myself too much comfortable with TECHNOIR, the remix of MESH on their "Dying Star" is a valuable addition and a fine example for experienced Synth-/Futurepop programming abilities. Those are the outstanding pieces on CD 1, while CD 2 has lesser interesting content to offer. PROCEED like it "Laut", that’s quite okay and will satisfy the fiends of traditional NEP-releases. Both XOTOX and NOISUF-X representing the spearhead of the ProNoize label and both do fine here, too. Nothing surprising new from acts like HOCICO, HEIMATAERDE or PAINBASTARD, which we haven’t heard multiple times before, but all of them are still fair enough in their style. As usual I print the track list of this compilation inclusive the track list of the DVD, which isn’t unfortunately part of the content of this promotional edition. As you see, here are a lot of favorites presenting mostly rare recordings or unreleased stuff. But if you’re seriously watch out for something new, then this compilation is maybe the wrong addition on your "must-purchase-this" – list.

Tracklist:

CD 1
01) Nitzer Ebb: Payroll (John 0 Mix) 03:10 *
02) Zeromancer: Doppelganger I Love You (RMX) 05:32 *
03) Vive La Fete: Mais 03:05
04) IAMX: Nightlife (Single Mix) 05:00 *
05) Massiv In Mensch feat. Mind.In.A.Box: Supermassive Gravity 04:34 *
06) Faderhead: Electrosluts Extraordinaire (Preview Mix) 04:10 *
07) Scooter: Lass Uns Tanzen (Radio Edit) 03:44
08) Spetsnaz: Nothing But Black 04:05
09) Disconnekted: Prayer (Northborn Mix-Edit) 04:15 *
10) Patenbrigade Wolff: Demokratischer Sektor (Club Mix) 03:59 *
11) Mind.In.A.Box: What Used To Be (Short Storm) 04:31 *
12) Cryo: My Wall (Edit) 04:27
13) The Retrosic: Unleash Hell (Deeper Into Hell 2008) 05:15 *
14) Grendel: Hate This (X-Fusion Remix) 03:59 *
15) Amnistia: Self-Defence (Steel-Alloyed Edit) 04:59
16) Technoir: Dying Star (Mesh Remix) 05:21 *
17) Ladytron: Weekend (James Iha Mix) 03:58 *
18) Solar Fake: The Shield (Remix) 04:16 *

CD 2

01) Diary Of Dreams: The Plague (Version N4-4) 04:47
02) Destroid: Friend Or Foe (The Betrayal) 04:00
03) Feedback Machinery feat. Mortiis: Tainted 03:56 *
04) Trisomie 21: Now (Leæther Strip Version) 06:02 *
05) N.W.R.: Punkstar 04:15 *
06) Umbra Et Imago: Glaubst Du (Remix) 07:03 *
07) Der Tante Renate: Psychobot 03:51
08) Modcom: One Zero (FM Mix) 06:29 *
09) XP8: Dreamt Of Blue (Mindless Faith Remix) 04:23 *
10) Painbastard: Alive 06:07 *
11) Proceed: Laut 03:30
12) Santa Hates You: Sugar And Spice 05:59
13) Xotox: Ewig 03:55 *
14) Noisuf-X: Hit Me Hard (As Hard As You Can-Mix) 04:23 *
15) Hocico: About A Dead (Killed By Proceed) 03:14
16) Heimataerde: Vater (Person Non Grata Version) 04:58 *

*exclusive or rare Song / Mix

DVD:
Faderhead: Girly Show
[SITD]: Plastination City
Diffuzion: Wired tunes
Arya: My Device
Metallspürhunde: Was hat dich bloss so ruiniert
Scooter: Lass uns tanzen
IAMX: Spit It Out
Purwien mit Wit: Alle Fehler
Ladytron: Sugar
Mesh: It Scares Me (live)
Covenant: The Man (live)
Skinny Puppy: Haze
Retrosic: Maneater (live)
Leather Strip: Dirty little secret
Funker Vogt: Thanatophobia (live)
Zeromancer: Doppelgänger I Love You
Neikka RPM: Umbra Sub Noctem

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Artist: INADE
Title: Aldebaran
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Released back in 1996 by Cold Spring Records, ALDEBARAN was the first CD by Inade. The German combo already released on their own label Loki Foundation two tapes but with ALDEBARAN they were able to test their dark ambient sound with a wider audience. Divided into four different movements, ALDEBARAN, is a sort of concept album focused on "the black light of the universe which illuminates the inner world" where the "68 dimensions is the stair where the shadows of the secret knowledge darken the reality". The band's sound aims to make feel to the listener the pulse of the universe and all the four movements ("Signals from 68 dimensions", "The conquest of being separated", "The crushing of earthly foundations" and "The end of the beginning") tend to induce a dizzy sensation into the audience. Flowing/hissing sounds come back and forth through the speakers and even if sometimes the minimalism of the early tracks need more attention, there's a certain development which make the sound explode during the second part of "The end of the beginning". Here the hisses are coupled by obscure vocals, trembling sounds and darkness. Listened nowadays this is still a nice album and you have to listen to it loud to fully appreciate it.
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