Music Reviews



Artist: North-Without-End
Title: 1940,1944 lp
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
Minimalist droning loops building layer after layer that slowly fill up every part of the frequency spectrum creating overtones that induce the desire to submit to the sound. Created in four parts, this is music for a quiet afternoon. Another free download from Forty-seven Records
Artist: Long Hair
Title: The Rise, Progress, and Termination of Long Hair
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
Originally the "lo-fi" label was used to indicate that the artist had chosen a certain amount of limitation when it came to sonics. It was an artistic choice made to reduce the number of available choices so that there could be more art as a result. Unfortunately many have used the lo-fi moniker to hide the fact that it was talent that was in limited supply. We don’t have that here. What we do have is an effective study in contrasts played in the arena of the psychedelic, read new psychedelic, since the first manifestation could only exist at that time. Lots of delay and loopy pretty guitar playing contrasted with heavier fuzz induced sounds of the universe. A bit self-indulgent at times perhaps but that seems to go with the genre to a certain extent anyway. The release gives us three longish tracks of lysergic drama. This is all a free download from the label.
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Artist: RE:\LEGION (@)
Title: 13 Seconds
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Another debut for a German duo, which has worked already for years in the underground with the release of some own produced CDR’s. The connection to Kai Arnold of WYNARDTAGE and so to the promotion-A&R of the German label Rupal Records documented though some compilation appearances released through Kai’s X-Cem collective ("Lost In Darkness 3", for example...), finally pays of. RE:\LEGION’s music has surely grabbed some attention before, tracks like "Nachthexen" have become local-based club-hits in advance, so a mutual and now official debut CD can be seen as a logically consequence. Musically the relation to some already released label comrades is obviously, names like VIRTUAL VICTIM and/or MAY-FLY can be easily filled in as a possible reference. It’s Dark Electro/EBM with a concentration to bring action on the dancefloors, while not falling into complex experiments. As being epic I tend to rate their synth pad- and layer-programming ("Legion", "Equinox"), there’s real effort behind this work. As being unnecessary I unfortunately have to criticize the at times too loud bass kick work ("Line B") – why always follow the same stupid example provided by the millions other acts out there? These guys have enough fine worked out tracks with which they can prove themselves any better, "Deception (Honoured) V2.0" is a great example, also regarding the more aggressive vocal performance. The sound of the vocals is generally another good point behind this production, they like to vary this element and also some vocoder effects ("Electri:city") can be heard, too. Rupal Records can once again satisfy with a newcomer act – as expected, I tend to say. A good debut which will remain for a while in my Discman.
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Artist: The Pain Machinery (@)
Title: Chaos Transmissions
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
A double-CD-set release for this Swedish Electro-/Powernoise-artist leaded by Anders Karlsson out on BLC Productions, but it isn’t a new studio work. "Chaos Transmissions" unites on the first of both CD’s recordings out of the early days of this band. So the main tracks available on the previously very limited CDR-releases "Terminate Transmission" (2000) and "Chaos in Expansion" (2001) will be now available to a wider audience. Be assured that the technically skilled and permanently perfectionist Anders Karlsson wouldn’t offer simple his old demo recordings, all included audio stuff got revamped and polished for the best thinkable sound quality. Musically his signature compared to his latter releases like "Hostile" is recognizable, while it has to be said that his old stuff offers more roughness. The often announced term "Punk"-influence is more obviously featured in tracks like "Revenge" or "Monster", which both should work extremely well to earn some bloody noses at an uncontrolled Pogo-movement on the dancefloor. That’s harsh Powernoise-speed-action music with a snatching snare drum work. Some other pieces to impress the more faint-hearted listeners which offer a rather dark and Ambient-driven out fit can be discovered with tracks like "Already Dead" or "Psychotic Disorder". A track like "Fear Me, Hate Me" than already features some TPM-typically rhythm patterns, which also got re-interpreted in different ways on the later releases. After checking Anders’ stuff once again I come to the conclusion that it was the right decision to make it possible for a wider audience to discover this recordings. Although originally, and although that THE PAIN MACHINERY has developed to a modern-sounding high-skilled Electronica/Powernoise-act, this stuff can still rival with some nowadays released productions. It features much more musically background compared to the nowadays too often heard redundant EBM-formula featuring repetitive distorted drum patterns and stupid voice-samples.
This been said, let’s check the second CD of this set which got aptly entitled "Live Chaos". Since Anders and his comrades including TPM-vocalist Jonas Hedberg could make it possible to storm the stages at WGT 2K6 in Germany, it would be a shame if some recordings of this live performances would never get released or heard. So you’ll find here 3 cuts out of 2K2 including some heavy stuff like "Monster" and 9 tracks taken from the WGT-festival. So here you’ll get all the favorites through the years like "System Error", "Pre-programmed Automatic", "Dominator" or both rough cuts "One" and "Dehumanize" in a fair live-recording quality, which offers a satisfying alternative to the studio music. The content of this second CD seems to be an ideal recording to all of you, who couldn’t make it possible so far, to see TPM live on stage. Let’s hope that a lot of promoters and concert agencies will open their ears and will offer THE PAIN MACHINERY to play at all places on this world. So lets also hope that Anders will soon find enough inspiration again, to produce a new album. An awesome and well-deserved release for this fine Swedish act.
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Artist: Homicide Division (@)
Title: No Tears To War
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
A Brazilian new-signing for the Arkansas-based BLC Productions label, that’s for sure something special, because quality acts hailing out of Brazil have been available in very limited amounts lastly, with the one exception of DEAD JUMP. But also the guys behind HOMICIDAL DIVISION aren’t at all greenhorns, both, Paulo Lanfranchi and Alexandre Lira, can look back on some promising beginnings in the golden tape-times. Paulo had a project entitled SECURITY DEVICE, which could also grab international attention thanks to some tape compilation appearances of underground labels like New Will Productions (MORGUE) or Corprofagia, which was also a copied fanzine at the times 13 and more years before. Alexandre had a project simply entitled REALITY back in 1999 with which he can proudly look back on three own produced CD’s and a compilation appearance on "American Industrial Revolution", which got released by a Sao Paulo-based record shop. And somehow their musically past has survived through the years and finds a refreshing re-animation in the music of HOMICIDE DIVSION. Although their used instruments and sounds may offer the best possibilities out of the world of VSTi-synthesizers, their kind and outfit draws inspiration out of the good old-school-EBM times. A mixture somewhat between AGHAST VIEW, FRONT 242 and the German act FUNKER VOGT comes to mind, the latter mentioned, because of the drastic militaristic attitude of HOMICIDE DIVISION. Like the artwork of this CD, which got once again extremely eye-catching arranged by the Austrian magician Wilhelm "Dead Dreamer" Steiner, so are the lyrics – mostly the content deals with war- and soldier-reports. That is surely not the re-invention of the light bulb, but at least still a very effective kind of style, like it or not. Some really remarkable tunes are available on "No Tears To War", which should be easily able to cause a mass movement on the dancefloors ("Dust To Dust", "Evil Burns In Your Mind" or "Dressed In Black"), but the favorite has to be named with the rather Dark Electro-minded "Funeral Of Mankind" with some more detailed arranged synth layer sounds. Mastered by Len Lemeire of IMPLANT, this is just another proof for the invested professionalism behind this project. HOMICIDE DIVISION have produced a well-done debut on which both actors can be proud of. This album will surely find its audience mainly by the friends and fanatics of classic old-school EBM.
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