Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Festival Der Genialen Dissidenten
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
FESTIVAL DER GENIALEN DISSIDENTEN is the new 12"+7" vinyl collection compiled by Enfant Terrible. The album gathers bands which weren't included into the previous "Electronic renaissance" and which are mostly coming from the Netherlands / France / Belgium area. Agent Side Grinder opens the dance with a minimal electronic semi industrial short live track titled "There is a sound that always goes out". Then, we have a nice French/Belgium band called Dolina which with "Corridors" bring to the listener a good electro dark wave song. Vincent K. (project of electro music producer RA-X) plays a great electro version of Christian Death's "Romeo distress", here titled "White sheet glory". Great attitude, desperate cried vocals and retro electronics, make of this a perfect one. Nosztalgia Direktiva are next with "Here I am". Coming from Hungary they previously released their stuff, with the G.K. Agenda moniker, on Invasion Planete and here present a short track which recalled me early Die Form. Adolf Filter with "Inner walls" is presenting a retro electronic song in balance from melancholy and cold wave. Side B starts with :Codes, a Belgian band that released their previous stuff on Kommando 6 but which now is working with Enfant Terrible to deliver their cold electro. Next there's a robotic track in balance from early Portion Control and early Dopplereffekt, titled "The androgyne triangle" brought us by the newcomer Le Triangle De L'Androgyne. Pierre Normal, with "Orange", plays experimental electro wave (think about a strange version of Kas Produkt). The 12" is closed by "Catch a dream" by Yseult Descieux: a nice dreamy dissonant pop song which seems played with toys. On the 7" we have "Disco", the weird electro disco of Joungbloed (feat. Sofia E.R.) played with tambourines, blows and analog gear. The minimal pop of Coeuvert closes the compilation with "Celibataire". Be sure to purchase a copy of this compilation and you'll have the key to new fantastic electro analog independent music!
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: In The Realm Of The Hungry Ghosts
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Distributor: Voiceprint
Rated: *****
If you loved the previous reissue "Something Stirs (The Beginning 1981-83)" this new IN THE REALM OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is a release you won't miss. Collecting various compilation tracks coming from the 1983÷1986 period plus a couple of unreleased ones ("Marianne's dream" and "Into the waves"), the album is an in depth voyage through the early Third Mind period of the band. Before composing my personal favorite "Shrinkwrap" and "Pendulum turns" (those two were both coming from "Smiling, At The Hypogonder Club" album and were a good example of alternative electronic danceable tunes), Attrition were experimenting with electronic sounds and dark atmospheres and participated to different great compilation which later have been marked as fundamental for the experimental/industrial scene. Albums like "The elephant table album" or Third Mind's "Life at the top" contained bands like Coil, Chris And Cosey, Muslimgauze, Portion Control, Lustmord, Nurse With Wound and SPK to name few. The twelve tracks of IN THE REALM OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS span from ambient electronica with the distinctive female vocal of Julia to dark electro upbeat songs (see "The beginning of the end") with Julia and Martin duets, passing through the spoken word experiments with piano improvisations ("Questions") or the following classical electronics of "Which hand?". IN THE REALM OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS isn't a collection of tracks which didn't fit an album release but it's a document of the different faces of a band.
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Artist: DRURY, CIROTTEAU, MATTHEWS (@)
Title: Bszent Hun
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This trio's language is that spoken by many actual electro-acoustic musicians, they use it really well without leaving every possible "verbal" solution unexplored. Weapons this time are floor tom, objects, trumpet, electronics and yes, as you could have guessed yourself it's really abstract, above all if you consider also the trumpet is not involved in the emission of what you usually may consider a "normal" note, but this' not a peculiarity of this work since it's the lowest common denominator of the most of the releases of the genre. This cd starts really softly and grows (in every sense) with the passing of tracks, and it grows for good infact the fourteen minutes circa of Kyeur see the trio involved in taming what becomes one of the most expressive combination of Bszent Hun. Talking about a general change of dynamics of the release is pertinent if we focus on the whole central part, by the way don 't consider it just a dynamic progression for it would be a big mistake, infact they've been smart to put together a tracklist where they quiet down the atmosphere right when you need it. In general we can say the unvoiced playing of the first half of the cd is left for an electro-acoustic selection of jams that have a louder/stronger voice. In general the selection of sounds the play is quite sharp and low frequencies are less present but don't expect it to be a collection of sharp sounds as if Pan Sonic were involved into electro-acoustic impros.

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Artist: STUMM (@)
Title: I
Format: CD
Label: Aesthetic Death (@)
Rated: *****
Published a couple of years ago (I'm talking about it only because Aesthetic Death kindly sent me a copy along with their latest release and not because we changed our rules), the first proper album by Stumm is sounding like a post hard core band playing doom (genre called "sludge" as far as I read). The vocals remember me Ebullition stuff I was used to listen to fifteen years ago but the music is slower. Stumm succeed into creating a decadent and desperate atmosphere where titles like "A new Christ for every mourning" or "Breathing out smell of suicide" explain really well their mood. Nice release but its hardcore background didn't make me appreciate at full the tracks which sounded to me honest but not inspiring.
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Artist: Troum (@)
Title: Sen
Format: 12"
Label: Equation records (@)
Rated: *****
This packaging is so unique, we don't even have a proper category to file it under, so let me start with that: "Sen" comes in three different 2xLP versions, a picture disc set, a 180g virgin tan vinyl with a white record and a black halo and a clear vinyl with sepia haze only available via Equation records or the band. These amazing versions are designed by Eye.Lyft (eyelyft.com) and can/must be seen in more detail at http://www.chronoglide.com/Equation_mc13.html. I am in possession of the first, double LP picture disc set with velcro-fastened semi-circular gatefold PVC sleeve with a heavy-gauge 7" PVC wallet fastened inside and containing three 7" circular 2-sided satin-finish heavy-paper inserts and a sticker, sealed with a hand-numbered oval sepia sticker! Obviously the care that went into this is incredible. Needles to say it is visually absolutely stunning and unique! I haven't seen anything like it in years (Ant Zen and the vinyl-only Drone records used to make beautiful stuff like this, but not anymore... too expensive in this iPod era where the tangible has lost its value). Interestingly I also just noticed that Troum's email address ends in dronerecords.com, so there must be some connection I am not aware of... maybe they even are the founders of Drone records, which would explain the experience in graphically astonishing packaging (but probably not the choice of releasing it on a different label).
But let's talk about the music: Troum (which is an ancient german translation of the word "dream") is an ambient/experimental duo from Bremen, Germany, who also happens to be (previously) known as Maeror Tri. "Sen" is their second album, a re-mastered re-release of what originally saw the light as Staalplaat's 600 copies limited edition Mor Aux Vaches series (of which we have reviewed countless CDs in the past) featuring just one very long piece. For the purpose of this release that one long piece (which had been recorded in the VPRO studios at the end of 1999 in one take, with no overdubs) had to be split into four pieces (the four sides of the two vinyls). Musically completely engulfing and rapturing, these drones layer upon each other as they originate from multiple sources (guitars, bells, voices and of course synths) and build up to transcend to a more grand, lethargic and entrancing state by way of really long and slowly decaying reverbs and sub-woofer friendly frequencies and harmonics. The Cold Meat Industry-like post-industrial infusion blurs the lines between dark-ambient and experimental and expand into a hollow, somber and archaic, almost epic, magmatic universe of rumbling drones.
"Sen"'s four parts remind us of the original musical meaning of the word "drone" and re-define that for us with a contemporary clarity that sadly only a record of the past seems to be able to provide. Almost 10 years later this record still sounds timeless and gorgeous.
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