Music Reviews



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Artist: Teckno Killers
Title: Teckno Killah
Format: 12"
Label: Industrial Strength Records (@)
Rated: *****
As seldom that this happens, but the Brooklyn-based label Industrial Strength Records (among others TERRORFAKT) still has its own ideology and tries hard to take part in the international renowned Techno club-scene. Although quite expensive from its production, the release of real vinyl 12 " records is so typical and still that state-of-art sort of working tool to all relevant DJ’s. But there are also some people out there still following the idea that vinyl thanks to its warm and analogue sound output can offer more "life" than the cold silver circle hidden in jewel cases. I too think it is still an enjoyable alternative idea for most electronic-driven music genres to reanimate the good ole vinyl for some special releases. TECKNO KILLERS, well, the name announces is, is a sort of Hardcore-Techno project consisting of a collaboration of some international renowned club DJ’s. Lenny Dee, DJ Randy and the Italian duo Neo Genesi have united for this release and giving their dance-addicted audience the needed drug: speedy Hardcore-Techno, which reminds to the huge "Terrordrome" CD compilations released in the mid-90ies. Musically surely not the new invention of a bulb, it pretty much follows the statement written in the info sheet of this release: "Let the people dance not think". Indeed, to start to think on this, or only to take a deep breath is hardly possible if this 150 bpm + - assault storms louder than hell out of your home entertainment. No stuff for some weak-hearted though, this one will be out accomplished with a video clip.

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Artist: COH + COSEY FANNI TUTTI (@)
Title: Coh Plays Cosey
Format: CD
Label: Raster Noton (@)
Rated: *****
At first I was thinking that COH PLAYS COSEY was a sort of tribute album, instead, Ivan Pavlov (active since nineties with his project and also as a Coil collaborator) isn't covering Cosey, he's playing her. How? Well, let's start from the beginning. Everything took form from e-mail discussions Ivan and Cosey had about things like human vulnerabilities, their perceptions or reactions to situations, etc. Ivan suggested to Cosey to create a diary of voice sounds that represented and exorcised the clusters of emotional responses to events over a period of time. Ivan took all these sounds and reworked them producing nine tracks. "Closer", "Crazy", "Mad", "Sin-king", "Lost", "Near you", "Fuck it", "Inside" and "Lying" are intimate moments where the listener is taking the role of a peeping Tom due to the personal nature of the recordings. The voice of Cosey has been dismembered and reprocessed and these sounds have been used like a functional background where Ivan pasted Cosey's phrases. Only on "Lying" we have the add of Cosey's trumpet (which can be seen always as a vehicle since it can't work without Cosey's blow) but everything else has been made from sounds produced by her mouth. Musically the album sounds minimal and glitch and silence has an important role. Rhythm is used with parsimony and mostly at the end of tracks when Ivan makes the sound grow. This is the fist chapter of an ongoing project and it is possible that we'll soon see the "Cosey plays Coh" album.
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Radio Rivendell Vol. 2 - The Book of War
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records & Radio Rivendell (@)
Rated: *****
This compilation might be the best one ever to be released in the genre of fantasy music not to a movie or game.
The album fits somewhere between the classical Hollywood soundtrack music to dark ambient.

Waerloga Records and Radio Rivendell evolve from their earlier collaboration which resulted in the appreciated first volume in
the series of compilations. The first was all about the new artists (almost at least) and with not as much exclusive material.

On "The Book of War" we got some established names such as Za Frûmi, Ataraxia and Unto Ashes but also some of the artists on
the volume 1. I should mention that some of those latter named are really talented in their own niche if you will.

Honestly, most of the artists on this compilation could do good soundtracks to movies, games or even regular albums.

When it comes to the music Dråm stands out a bit from the grandiose sound of most of the 17 artists.
They represent one niche which is the traditional folk music. Both members of the band are "Official Master Musicians of the Realm",
the finest honor bestowed upon a performer of traditional music in Sweden.
I loved the track even though I would have a hard time listening to a whole album only sounding like that.

Dimitrij Volstoj together with Lost Kingdom also stand out as both their tracks are slow and kind of low. They are both
extremely good and suits perfectly on the album.
Dimitrij is a classical composer and has conducted orchestras in France, Italy, Norway, Austria, Hungary,
the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Russia, Lithuania, Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Lost Kingdom are two guys from Sweden debuting (the same day as this album was released) with very good neo-classical music
released on Waerloga Records.

Sibelian stand out as the only one using metal in the music and also opera.

Erdenstern, Peter Szwach, Anabasis, Gargrim the Liar, Markus Holler, Encryption, Sean Beeson, Sully Koba and A Journey of the Mind all
sounds like more or less high class soundtrack music for a video game or movie.

Za Frûmi and Ataraxia bring some darkness to the table (other too but these two do it best) and also a lot of spirit.

Radio Rivendell and Waerloga Records have approached the project in a new way: they wrote a story of a war
between the dark lord Vojvod Szadrin (with his fearful troops of undead, demons and dark champions) and the heroic captain Angus (with his reiters, knights and infantry).
For this story (which is presented very well in the booklet) they made chapters which they later on named. These names became titles as the 17 artists/bands went into the project.
The artists had the titles to choose from and were only told a bit of the story.
Almost all the artist made new songs for this compilation.
Some songs will later on appear on albums and others will be exclusive for this release.

I love the idea and the way the story unfolds and how it is presented is stunning!
The writing really gets me into the story and the fine artwork and good packaging really make this release feel refreshing!

I am blown away by the brilliance of Gargrim the Liar who possesses the tools and the knowledge of everything in the world
of fantasy music. Za Frûmi is always great and shows it once again so no suprise there.
Erdenstern are strong, Ataraxia great, Markus Holler very cinematic...

I could go on and praise all the artists, producers and people behind this release forever!

This is a gigantic album from an extraordinary new genre called Fantasy music. The collaboration of the leading label and the
leading radio station in the genre is just great!
As always one might argue about a certain track or whatever but this album is not going in 100 directions as many
compilations do even though they are unified by a certain theme. This is more like having 17 acts making one story alive.
It´s a collective work that promise a follow up! I cannot wait for a third volume.

The album is just perfect.

Absolutely essential listening for anyone who loves fantasy. An important new thing has arrived!

Visit http://www.radiorivendell.com/compilations/2 to learn more.
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Artist: FANU, BILL LASWELL (@)
Title: Lodge
Format: CD
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
Hey, this another fine product featuring Laswell as a producer and Robert Musso as engineer, do you need anything more to figure out how the sound is like?. Beside the production the mighty hand of the "white ambassador of bass" Laswell and Fanu's break-beat skill characterize the rhythm section of this cd. Soft and groovy bass, stylish and pounding rhythms but differently from the collaboration with Submerged there's no trace of break-core, don't worry the usual "drum and bass" element is there but the atmosphere this time is way more jazzy, you have break-beat and classy fusion but also splinters of the post-Miles Davis era scattered all over the crime scene. Nils Peter Molvaer is a member of the crew as well as Bernie Worrell and Graham Haynes and with sailors like these you can bet the ship is gonna sail thru the warm water of modern black music, but at the same time don’t expect it to be a black album to the core. I think what this people really inherited from Davis (sorry for repetitions) is the global approach to music, atmosphere and introspection, that’s way I thing they get the most right when they twist and reshape jazz and funk to melt them together with dance-floor beats and/or nightly moods (like in Orh). I can’t say in which percentage Fanu did this and Laswell that for their styles on this work are really complementary and probably the arrangements of these top class hosts helped a lot to refine and keep together what was an already well assorted combination. Poor Miles, I’m sure he would have loved to be featured among the guests.


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Artist: Rent Romus' Lords of Outland
Title: You Can Sleep When You're Dead
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records (@)
Distributor: Independent Online Distrubution Alliance
Rated: *****
Rent Romus’s Lords of Outland’s latest release "You Can Sleep When You’re Dead" is definitely an album that will keep you awake and on your toes with its in your face blend of free-jazz, hardcore, and experimental electronica. The album offers an abrasive collection of tracks that sounds like James and Chance and the Contortions on some dangerous mixture of meth and speedballs. The songs are mostly comprised of noise jazz played on the saxophone, drums, and bass, with electronics being used minimally for added effect. However, as abrasive as the music is, it is much easier on the ears than John Zorn’s hardcore jazz works. And for you Zorn fans out there, this album doesn’t have any Japanese guys screaming gibberish. Additionally, the album also has some more relaxed moments, in that the pace is slower such as tracks like "The Demonic Circus of Certified Insular Asshogs" and "Disturbing Emergence" (FYI, I hear that the process for obtaining Insular Asshog Certification is rigorous). Though, even with these mellower tracks the album as a whole has an intensity to it that makes me fidgety and unsettled, especially with its off-time tempos and cluttered percussion. And this is coming from some one that listens to Merzbow while he studies. So, if you enjoy out there free jazz and noise music, then I would recommend this album. If you are looking for something more electronic, than Lords of the Outland would probably not be your cup of tea.
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