Music Reviews



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Artist: Roppongi Inc. Project (@)
Title: Hard Times... No Future?
Format: CD
Label: Q-Code Records (@)
Rated: *****
Already the third full-length album for this Moscow-based one-man-project consisting of DJ Negative. Sergey Losyakov is the protagonist behind all of this monikers and with this new album he offers his best and most matured work of his musically career so far. With "Hard Times... No Future?" he proves nice, that a DJ can do something more, than only to spin silver circles in a player – DJ Negative doesn’t offer any negativity. Musically he likes to walk on several paths – be it EBM, Dark Electro, Futurepop or smooth easy-listening Electronica. The only mutual thing is that all of his efforts are electronic-based, but at least he doesn’t like to get sorted into one-dimensional genre-cupboards. And though the rather straight and a bit harder EBM-minded tracks like "Don’t Be Proud", "Relax", "No Future", "Minimum Maximum (All Or Nothing)" and – best of some very good tunes – "Still Acid" receive my votes as being the best pieces, Sergey’s tracks can satisfy and entertain in all manners and styles. Some ominous voice samples right and well inserted can be heard on the intro tune "Fuck Up" or "Oasis (Cemetary)", while his light-hearted Electronica side receives its best moments on "Pop Muzik Never Die". As so-called bonus tracks you’ll get to heard two remix works. The first one on "230206" by SEVERIN24 concentrates completely to turn this album track into a pure analogue sound event. Second one is a remix on "Hard Times" of the Russian old-school EBM acts DBS – but the final result even ended in a completely new track, on which DBS added some broken German vocals, which caused a smile at me. A lot of different styles to discover and I would recommend to give this album some more spins – you’ll get rewarded with a quite good and entertaining piece of electronic music. In recent news ROPPONGI INC. PROJECT has been selected by DIVERJE to appear on their upcoming remix collection.
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Artist: Pecadores
Title: 10 % For Jesus (Brazilian Edition)
Format: CD
Label: Wave Records (@)
Distributor: Hellion Records
Rated: *****
I have to apologize myself for this delayed review and I hope that the responsible people behind the rather small Brazilian label Wave Records can forgive me. PECADORES is a four-member EBM/Electro/Industrial band out of Brazil presenting with this album their officially full-length debut. They too could release a 4-track SiCD entitled "Macumbaria" and also this album has been released a few months before in Europe under the German label Danse Macabre as a different 14-track edition. For this Brazilian Edition they have added some remix contributions (MORGUE, SIVA SIX, TRUPPENTERROR and STRANGERANGLES) and a totally new track, which is a collaborative effort with the Brazilian underground act A INDUSTRYA. The music of PECADORES is a sort of extraordinary mixture of straight EBM tunes with traditionally Macumba beats and drums, a Brazilian kind of ritualistic Voodoo spirituality. So this Industrial-Macumba, as they call it, is surely a musically experience you haven’t heard before. The four band members, Dark Messenger, Apostle Niwt, Sister Mege and Brother Vlad are raging lyrically mainly against all kinds of discrimination and the Christian/evangelistic greed and bigotry hidden under a religious mantle. They choose drastically lyrics in both English and Portugese languages and visuals to strengthen their hatred messages, which seems to be an endless fight taking influence on their daily life. They have recognized very well that different religions can be the reason for all failures happening world-wide around. Though their attitude, outfit and kind of stage performance deserves fully support, the EBM-related sound outfit isn’t the new invention of a wheel. Their tracks like "Apocalipse", "Macumbaria" or "Padre" are powerful and good food to dance to, but could need some refreshing sound-wise and a bit more experienced programmings. Favorites to be named are "Possessed", which drifts a bit forward to offer better worked-out synth layers plus it has a sort of recognizable melodic content; and also the drastically harsh tune "Kapitalist Gott", maybe that track which transmits their message to the clearest. Not bad at all of course and still with some room for development, let’s watch out for more stuff about this interesting Brazilian act.
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Artist: Somatic Responses (@)
Title: Digital Darkness
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Another act with a quite good name finally returns on the train of the Hymen label, SOMATIC RESPONSES, the dual project of the brothers John and Paul Healy. They’ve been always thrown into that Experimental/IDM-related music genre, so there wasn’t any real reason to change this. They still produce heavy and unusual beat constructions, experimental filter, effect manipulations and a globally ruling nervousness recognizable in nearly every track. Fans of layered synth pads or at least a little melodic input will be heavily disappointed with this new 77 minutes long album. Though they are picking up some traditionally ideas like the use of a TB-303 as being a main bass line synth, the problem with this release belongs on the overwhelming use of difficult to check and dance to rhythm section. Breakbeat, Clicks’n’Dub and a doze of rough distortion destroy almost everything what could place something in like a mood. Two rather Down-Tempo like tunes with "Stranded" and "Neu" have to be picked out as a proof, that the brothers Healy have a sense for the right mixture. But generally only 2 convincing tracks out of 15 of a hammering ice-desert isn’t a fair amount.
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Artist: ICECOLD ARCHBISHOP (@)
Title: The Sun Dies Too
Format: CD
Rated: *****

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The Icecold Archbishop are a duo coming from the Indiana, U.S. Their music is a particular blend of B-52's, Three Jones, Devo and Talking Heads (these are the names that I find could fit better their music). They mix new wave, rock and whatever they have in their mind with fun but also ironic lyrics. Take "Packages", for example. Musically it remembers a little The Devo and the lyrics talk about the need of a good package, because "Everything's in packages / who needs a damned excuse? / We don't like things loose / Eveyone's in packages... / The Christians and the Jew / Eveyone's in packages / My girlgriend's in there, too...". Also "Buy guns, buy food, buy gold" is another good one which takes under a different point of view a post nuclear situation with an upbeat rhythm and cool melodies. P.s. Another similarity I found is about Flynn Picardal vocals as it remembered me Daniel Ash of Bauhaus, Tones On Tail and Love and Rockets fame.
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Artist: EDO NOTARLOBERTI
Title: Silent Prayers
Format: CD
Label: Ark Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Violinist active with Argine and Ashram, Edo Notarloberti has just released for Ark Records his first solo album titled SILENT PRAYERS. The album, presented into a first print of 601 embossed digibook copies, contains nine piano/violin compositions which ideally recalled me some Wim Mertens / This Mortal Coil atmospheres thanks to the vocal guests Valentina "Judie" Del Giudice and Salvio Sammartino, to the great piano performance of Martina Mollo and to the cello played by Giampaolo Nigro. Melancholy, a bit of darkness and great atmospheres will make of this album a must have for the lovers of classic music as well as people who will recognize both the dreamy and the sad side of this record and will be magnetized by both of them.
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