Music Reviews



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Artist: SNOLEOPARDEN
Title: Snöleoparden
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Snöleoparden is formed by a trained sitar player/multi instrumentalist member of Mofus and Badun. The guy's name is Jonas Stampe, he spent one year in India as a sitar student with Ravi Shankar as teacher and later he became part of his live band line-up. He took the name of his solo project from a rare animal who lives in the remote areas of the Central Asia mountains. Snöleoparden wanted to diversify its sound giving freedom to different form of expression: on Jonas' music you can find minimalism, children choirs, joyful melodies or weird sounds. Everything is good at the purpose of creating something free from every boundaries. Also his instrumentation follow the same rule and if you check out his photos you can see him playing self made instruments (mostly percussive ones). The eleven tracks of his first solo album span from world music (his main influence is Pakistani music and "Dreng" could remember that culture with a nice melodic song sung by a kid) to random rhythms passing through simple songs or semi-ritualistic ones (like "Trance") which could remember American Indian (low percussive sounds coupled with a blow instrument but in this case with the addiction of few synth sounds). The album closes with a joyful rickety tune titled "Grieg": a sort of drunk instrumental anthem. If you are looking for a different attitude to sound and music but you want it to sound fresh and also experimental, check this album. P.s. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until the 3rd of March when it will be released...
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Artist: Barodarho
Title: Triumvirâts
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
Well, my talent in Latvian language is unfortunately unavailable. But since this new album of this Electro/Powernoise-act seems to deal thematically with some works and slogans of the most inspirational poets of Latvia, Eduards Veidenbaums (1867 – 1892), I would likewise to know more about the content and meaning behind it. Musically however, BARODARHO are walking on a harder and aggressive way. It sounds a bit like an Electro/Industrial jam-session between BORGHESIA and THE PAIN MACHINERY with several analogue-tuned synths and rough metallic percussive elements. It’s not at all a forward-moving EBM-like attitude, the raw sound of BARODARHO tries always to integrate clanging frequencies asides the 4/4-on-the-floor path. This unusual sound gets complimented by a drastically male vocal performance, which surprisingly is that strong and powerful, that it don’t need to get manipulated by some distortion effects. The harshest works nearly drifting completely into the Power-Electronics genre like "Bez bailem, bez naida" and the bass-kick-on-speed-track "Zobratu paaudze" get my vote for being the most outstanding tracks in a quite interesting and not-heard-before Electro/Industrial-album. Not to forget the fact, that BARODARHO can also offer some slower and ominous sounding tunes, the track "Uz galu" has to be named. A video clip to the opening track "Pec goda, pec varas..." accomplishes this multimedia CD, which comes out decent and unique. Quite interesting new album of this act – you’ll have only to invest some patience until it grows completely on you.

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Artist: [X]-RX
Title: Unmöglich Erregend
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
A new German act signed to the ProNoize label and I was expecting a new Powernoise onslaught with a straight dancefloor-oriented attitude. Well, of course, it is dancefloor-oriented and works extremely well for the clubs – but unfortunately ONLY at the clubs. And where’s the noise??? This album offers nothing more than 70 minutes of redundant and repetitive beating Trance/Techno/Harsh EBM instrumental music, on which any artistic basic idea is missed. You may like to argue that any Harsh EBM-act nowadays follows a similar path. This is right regarding the chosen sounds, but there are many bands out there which at least try to figure out alternative textures and moods. There’s nothing comparable to X-RX and it has to be asked, why the band has decided to set in pauses in between the tracks, since all of the tracks offer the same sounds and percussion instruments – a 70 minutes-Megamix wouldn’t alter this useless album. Where is any depth? Where is any compositional recognizable effort? Why to blow this album to the length of 70 minutes if the featured ideas and sounds work for only 2 – 3 tracks? Well, the end result and rating of this album can be easily explained with an addition to the main voice sample of the title track: "Klingt irgendwie unmöglich – klingt irgendwie erregend – klingt unglaublich langweilig!"
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Artist: DER BLUTHARSCH
Title: The Philosopher's Stone
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco Germany
Rated: *****
Change has been the crucial issue for Albin Julius/Der Blutharsch during these last years. First he decided to change musical direction turning his martial industrial music into martial psychedelic rock. Then, he turned his project from a solo into a proper band, helped out by Marthynna, Jörg B. (of Graumadh), Bain Wolfkind (of Novo Homo and also with some releases under his own name). Now the time has come for a new change, I haven't understood if it's another change in direction or if THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE is the final chapter of Der Blutharsch. The key phrase is the one you can read on the rear cover: "Uniform are always changing, Rock'n'Roll is forever". What has this in common with the title? The philosopher's stone is a legendary substance, supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold; it was also sometimes believed to be a means of making people younger, if not making them immortal. For a long time it was the "holy grail" of Western alchemy. So, what's next for Albin Julius? We really can't guess. At the moment we have nine new tracks (one of them is an hidden one which starts at 13'54" of track eight) which have much in common with the ones of "When Did Wonderland End?" because of the rock psychedelic approach (there's the constant presence of driving guitar solos) and because of the rhythm section which hasn't a real drum but different percussions and a constant throbbing bass guitar. Most songs gave me the impression of a cavalry horse ride where speed up dark rock ballads find a new home. There's also space to some new experiments like the ones of the opening track (as usual tracks haven't titles) where synthetic rumbling noises are paired with psychedelic guitar solos an soon after an upbeat ballad starts. The opening part of track three, starts with a semi oriental loop while the hidden track is the most particular one as it has a little synth loop, some basic percussions and it is based on a spoken word. This is an album that needs a couple of spin to be appreciated. For being the final chapter of something I would had expected something more risky but THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE is an album you could enjoy.
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Artist: HARALD BOSH
Title: Die Sonne Scheint Fur Alle Umsonst
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Dercho Music (@)
Rated: *****
For the fist album of the Siberian born electro pop act Harald Bosh, his label Dercho Music decided to do big things. They produced a digipack CD with a bonus DVD containing the same track list plus some extras. Musically what Harald calls epic electro pop isn't bad even if some atmospheres/ideas tend to be recycled within the album length. Basically his music sounds as a blend of slow/mid tempo future pop (with semi e.b.m. rhythmic section) and melancholic electro pop with an epic edge (thanks to some little orchestration solutions and to the Harald vocals). The DVD instead isn't that thrilling as some catchy melodies on the CD. You'll ask me why, since it contains exactly the same songs. Well, the DVD contains a fake concert held on a stage with basic lighting and Harald sings while a guy stands behind the synthesizers. The video has a basic diction with zoom in and zoom outs and the extras show Harald at the Munich airport, in Stuttgard or working in the studio. Unfortunately the DVD hasn't any subtitle so if you don't understand German language there's no chance into joining the contents. P.s. Basically I'm confirming the review that Marc Tater did some months ago. The album contains nice music (some songs more than others) but the other contents needed a better production.
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