Music Reviews



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Artist: SKORBUT (@)
Title: Firewall
Format: CD
Label: Sonic-X (@)
Rated: *****
Again released by the small German label Sonic-X, here comes the third full-length of this highly talented German duo. "Firewall" surprises at first from its look and the kind of art – such a "playing" with fake blood by the both protagonists Daniel Galda (vocals) and Jörg Hüttner (machines and compositions) I rather would have expected to see from a Hellektro act like DAWN OF ASHES for instance. Should SKORBUT have left their know way to join the camp of the already massive amount of Hellektro-troops? No, definitely not, although a slight update of the equipment seems to be happened. SKORBUT still present their straight, but clear male vocal performance which sounds a bit like Douglas McCarthy (NEP), and combining Electro/EBM textures with modern sounds and some Techno-inspired filter sweeps. Although offering a classic old-school EBM-kind, they are sounding new, refreshing and far away from minimal structures. This is something multi-layered and widely structured, which in the history only few bands were able to offer, take INDIVIDUAL TOTEM, some early haujobb.-recordings, or the last HEADSCAN works in a mix to get a possible comparison. This album offers 10 new tracks, a remix of "Fragments" done by Boris Black, and a special video edit of the track "9 Years Later" besides the original track, plus it holds as a special bonus the complete video clip for this track on board. "Firewall" works extremely well with some tunes like "9 Years Later", "A Second Of Perfection" or "Antikörper" on the dancefloors, but it holds also stuff which offer the purest enjoyment by using some headphones. "De(ad)cibel" has to be mentioned for its thrilling percussive moments and the cool filter effect manipulations, or "Valium 1" for one of the most action-loaded instrumental tunes I have ever heard by being a constant listener of Electro/Industrial music since 20 years. Or try to catch the wall of massive sound of the stumbling "Getting Colder", maybe the most outstanding track here. SKORBUT’s predecessor "Access All Area" was already an outstanding kind of work, but "Firewall" isn’t any weaker. Congrats to offer an intelligent arranged album showing the millionth of "switch-synth-on-get-hard-be-strong"-artists how to produce a possible guide line. An addictive masterpiece of an album, from which I hope it receives a world-wide recognition.

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Artist: FALLEN TEARS (@)
Title: Faith
Format: CD
Rated: *****

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Coming from Liguria, Italy, Fallen Tears born in 1999 and since then produced only one album titled "The drowned world". Formed by Giorgio Bormida (already active in the 90's with Sense and FEM), Elio Isaia and Jean Paul Braghin (he's also active as Architect's Eye, an industrial project which released two albums for Darkcell Decline label) the band is distributing their latest album titled FAITH. The album is a sort of hazard the band wanted to pursue because if the title recalled you the third The Cure album, well, you guessed it right, because the Fallen Tears' second album is their version of that album. The band knew that it was impossible to re-create the same atmospheres and they could had died by The Cure's fans hands into the attempt. Fortunately their covered it without being true to the original album but being true to the sound of the bands of that period. So, "The holy hour", "Primary", "Other voices", etc. have being recorded like they were covered by bands such as My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain, etc but keeping always in mind the band's personality. I listened to this CD four times before talking about it because it is a risk to tell to people if it is a good album or not and I must admit that it is. The trio did a good work into giving their version of those tracks without trying being clones or without sounding ridiculous. Good atmospheres and good arrangements (with the cool use of some electronics) are doing the rest. It is available through CD Baby for 11$ and there you can check the first three tracks. P.s. There's also a brief original track after 40 minutes of silence but it sounds like a dark atmospheric ambient outro and it isn't indicative of the original songwriting skills of the band...
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Artist: DREAM DISCO
Title: In Your Eyes
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment Records (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
Coming from Milan, DJ Overdose already released some tracks on Viewlexx and Das Drehmoment and now with the limited edition (200 copies only) of IN YOUR EYES he's bringing to the attention of electro lovers two beautiful tunes and a remixed version of the main title. "In your eyes" is a charming italo disco song where '80s retro sounds and moods find their natural output thanks to a male/female duet. A song that deserve to become a classic. "I hope" doesn't leaves the electro danceable style of the opening track but thanks to its melancholic melodies it changes totally the atmosphere. "In your eyes" remix is a little darker respect the original version, it is nice but doesn't add new elements. Anyway, this is a hell of a record and if you are into the genre it is a must have!
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Artist: Must Have Been Tokyo (@)
Title: Insects Ep
Format: CD EP
Distributor: mhbT
Rated: *****
Must Have Been Tokyo is band hailing from Lucerne-Switzerland, and the "Insects" ep collects songs written beetween 2003 and 2006. It sounds great and basically in all the 8 tracks the rhythm guitar and percussions curl around minimal postpunk basslines - less is more following Gang Of Four's shaolin. There are compelling hybrids like the track "Aah" which has some fearless eurowave analogue synths embedded into an all-English postpunk tune - possibly my favourite here and surely a killer track when played live. In seeking a way forward with Wave and Postpunk, mhbT have come up with something both bizzarre and danceable. They say "dance music for people who can't dance", but even "dance music for rainy days" would fit nicely. Contact the band through their website or myspace for a copy of the ep.

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Artist: Mind.In.A.Box
Title: Crossroads
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Yeah, it has taken weeks until I found the right entrance to the multi-layered sound outfit of Austria’s best Electro/Industrial artist. A MIAB-release isn’t that kind of music to bring on some background noise while doing the dishes – this music needs and deserves attention. "Crossroads" is once again a hard-to-figure-out journey for the short-haired 4/4-on-the-floor addicts, since it integrates influences taken out of different music styles. This, of course, is the trademark and for sure one winning point for MIAB. Like on both predecessors, "Crossroads" offers Electro, Techno-impressions, mixes sonic synth-layers with at times effected, at times high-pitched, and at times natural sounding male vocals. Their style can be surely called authentic, and even if this duo has never entered any stages to perform their stuff live, their encouragement is still unbroken. Tracks "Amnesia", "Identity" or "Stalkers" can be compared with the last years’ SI-CD release "Certainty" with danceable, nearly Futurepop-inspired textures, straight arranged but with special and at times nonlinear percussion elements. And for magically pieces like "Fear" I tend to travel to our dear German pope to speak this Austrians holy – although extremely high pitched, it is the male voice of vocalist Markus Hadwiger which offers the catchy moments on this track – a refrain to sing along the lines, while still extremely tasteful arranged. Another musically outstanding track has to be named with "The Place" with some introducing piano sounds, vanished rhythms and a very layered outfit. Make also sure not to forget the last track here, "Run For Your Life" featuring some fine orchestral sound extracts. MIND.IN.A.BOX somehow personify the ideal of the German Dependent-label – not always on the hunt to sign and to release the easiest and trendiest kind of music, but to have some open ears and minds for the real innovation, even if this ends in a loss. MIAB may are sort of this game, although I still haven’t given up the hope, that more people do use their ears and listen. Not to forget the tasteful dark cover art featuring a short story written by A. Gruber, www.agruber.com , and a code number to get entrance to a secret area on the bands’ website where you can download some more tracks and goodies.
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