Music Reviews



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Artist: TARAB
Title: Wind Keeps Even Dust Away
Format: CD
Label: 23five
Rated: *****
Melbourne soundmaker Eamon Sprod debuted with the album "Surfacedrift" on the Australian label Naturestrip in 2005, and this second full-length quickly establishes him as one of the best field recording-based composers around. Tarab, adopting as a monicker an Arabic word for the "ecstatic surrender one can experience when listening to music", is allegedly interested in the falling apart of modern world, through the sonic exploration of its junk and debris; however, his flowing and emotional soundscapes seem to find a new sense of beauty, rather than depicting a miserable sight. Sprod weaves microscopic close-ups of wind, water, glass, earth and whatever contributes to a rich texture, and skilfully alternates moments of serene contemplation with bursts of turmoil, as in the storm of "Away" which closes the album. Tarab is surely working along well-established lines, and I'm not the first to mention Tsunoda, La Casa, Toy Bizarre or Watson as possible references; but this rather inevitable element doesn't detract from the absolute excellence of the listening experience.
Aug 22 2007
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Artist: PORTION CONTROL (@)
Title: Onion Jack IV
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Released as a digital download album and also available as a CD-r at Portion Control concerts, ONION JACK IV is the new album which follows the November 2006 release of "Filthy white guy". The ten tracks are build up forming a unique 35 minutes long soundtrack where the tracks fade one into the other or one is the continuation of the previous one. Reading titles like "Pearly king and queen", "Cosh boy", "Onion freak" or "All men need the gods" as well as the album's title, I feel this album like a critic to modern U.K., where the Union Jack turned into a stinking rotten onion. I'm hazarding such thing also because the music is able to induce a disturbing sensation on the listener because often the atmosphere created by the duo sonically paint an isolationist canvas opened by the industrial dub of "Pearly king and queen" to arrive to the bright ambience of "Sunbeam" (the only track which has a different and more relaxed atmosphere) passing through the electro pulsating "Cosh boy" and "Lambeth", the semi ambient "Onion freak" or the ambient industrialism of "All men need the gods". I also noticed that the time sensation seems dilated and while listening to the album you have the sensation that ONION JACK IV could be the soundtrack of one of your days and that it ain't one of your best ones...
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anymore
Artist: INNER VISION LABORATORY
Title: Insane Reality
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden Records (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing two albums and a mini for Far From Showbiz and Kaos Ex Machina net-labels, I.V.Lab has produced his first CD album for Rage In Eden Records and it is a good one. Containing nine tracks INSANE REALITY it's a good sonic exploration of the themes described into the band's presentation: "It's a cynical story about man, ideals, egoism, sick competition and destroying power of society. Reflection about passing by, daily routine and lost beauty". The music created could be filed under industrial ambient soundtrack because it is amazing to notice how deep is the sensation of space and time you have while you listen to these tracks. The only vocals used are coming mainly from samples (movies, I think) and this increase that effect furthermore. At the beginning of this review I named the term "industrial", well, if you notice how rhythms are created, with that alternation of distorted or saturated drum sounds and samples, industrial is the best way to describe the rhythmic section used. I must also underline how well the sounds and rhythms have been chosen as the production sounds really crisp and it is able to make the listener experience I.V.Lab's vision at the best.
Aug 21 2007
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Artist: :A7IE:
Title: Distress
Format: CD
Label: La Chambre Froide / Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Rupal Records
Rated: *****
Hailing out of France, here comes the debut full-length album of this act now signed to the small French underground label La Chambre Froide and with the helping hand of the German Rupal Records. Behind :A7IE: stands Guillaume "Gyom" Letellier and he could already gain some attention with a compilation appearance on "In This Cold Terrific Room 2", released by this French label two years before. Gyom is also responsible for the business actions behind LCF, be it CD releases of some promising French artists (note: nowadays well-known acts like OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF and TAMTRUM have started their trail of victory thanks to the help of the LCF team...), be it the organization of some live events, or be it some DJ works nationwide. With :A7IE: he now likes to offer us his kind of Harsh EBM assaults – and indeed, "Distress" can be called as such. Like expected, this isn’t the music stuff for the weak: harsh 4/4-on-the-floor smasher pieces featuring the needed doze of "filth" available in the mighty bass and kick works, with an ominous male vocal performance – Hellektro par excellence, a bit comparable with acts like DIOXYDE for example, but also filled with some scary and moody moments ("Prelude" or "Le Lapin Blanc" – the best track here!). That this all isn’t the reinvention of a wheel seems to be clear, nevertheless this debut convinces totally, also thanks to some well chosen artists offering remix works for this CD. It’s appreciated to have Jan L. of X-FUSION to produce this release – this also has saved his appearance for the creation of a remix on "The Cage". Also included are Germany’s WYNARDTAGE with a remix on "Messiah", the already mentioned TAMTRUM working on the same track, and the Argentinean-based musician FSJC (ex-SUICIDE SOLUTION) offering a speedy and hardcoristic interpretation on the classic "Pray". By the way, :A7IE:’s smasher "Pray (This Agony") isn’t available here in its original version – a good point for the owners of the "In This Cold Terrific Room 2" compilation, because this saves the value of this comp. "Sick music for sick people", so a slogan out of the info sheet accomplishing this release. It fits well...
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anymore
Artist: XENTRIFUGE
Title: Light Extinguished
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
New release for the well-known German NoiTekk label and this time they like to present the long-awaited debut of one of the most promising newcomer acts out of the US-based Hellektro army camp – Chris C. a.k.a. XENTRIFUGE. After having discovered his work for the first time on BLC Productions "Interbreeding VII: The Flesh Harvest/Natural Enemies"-compilation (track "Entombed"), I kept my fingers crossed for an official release. XENTRIFUGE’s audio results have often been named Hellektro or Harsh EBM – that for sure fits somehow, but it is also to mention that Chris’ works feature a constant Powernoise influence. His tracks offer a very disturbing outfit, a massive noise and disturbing inferno accomplishing to the already straight tunes. Think on acts like ALLIED VISION combined with outputs of comparable colleagues like LIFE CRIED (...and indeed, here’s a collaborative track with Mr. Death Condition offering the vocals on "Paragon Void") for example. That this all doesn’t end in total sound climax belongs on the fact that Chris understands it well to integrate a gripping Dark Electro-minded melodic content. By all included aggression it is appreciated that Chris never seem to leave his musically base – it is recognizable that he has tried out a lot to work on his very own authentic kind. Maybe Chris has already found his special niche in the scene, but this release deserves the unreduced applause at first. This is a must-have release if you’re supportive to this genre!

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