Music Reviews



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Artist: HARALD BOSH
Title: Die Sonne Scheint Für Alle Umsonst
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Dercho Music (@)
There are more and more people in the international Electro/Goth/Industrial scene sharing the opinion, that nowadays every act can be successful if even the right and effective promotion stands behind it. Labels have lost in times of an unbreakable technically development a bit of their meaning thanks to the rise of communities like Myspace etc. I don’t know if Harald has already a Myspace account to present his music efforts, but nevertheless the promotional efforts of his label, the German mail order service Dercho Music seem to work fine so far. After the three-track SiCD with the same title, they like to release this first full-length album packed in a beautiful digi-pack, together with a special bonus-DVD featuring all album tracks in live versions (where’s the audience, by the way???) plus several other goodies and "situations" – to name it friendly, if you’re interested in Harald’s trips to Munich airport or Stuttgart’s inner city, Harald in the studio doing nonsense, Harald drives home in an ICE train, Harald pulls faces, etc. – what a waste of money! What I’ve already expected after the SiCD has finally happened – several online resources, web and printed magazines haven’t left any good comment on Harald and his efforts – obviously he and his kind to sing and perform has left a lot controversy. Some so-called journalists even missed the target and have fallen into rants up to insults – well, this is nothing more than a sad proof, that the so-called "open-for-everyone" Electro/Goth/Industrial scene isn’t at all that open-minded as we all may have hoped for. Black or white ideology in limited dimensions only following the hypes has at least invaded this part of the music scene too, although – and I admit it honesty – Harald’s efforts are a special sort, which are in the first instance difficult to describe, in the second instance hard to accept in all terms of his production. Even if it comes to accept his German/Russian accent (he’s born in Omsk, Siberia) providing an opera-like vocal performance, some first doubts on the seriousness behind this production are coming in. The German lyrics often turn into nonsense as well (I was about to name "Sucht" as being an outstanding track musically and lyrically – until the final verse leads the scenario: "Küss mich bitte ich bin Dein Frosch"...). If intentional or not, he acts a bit like a comedian – I would tend to call him the parrot under the Electro/Goth musicians. The music itself, done by DWR 2009 and A. Krull (ATROCITY), is fair enough produced in that case that you don’t expect anything innovative. For this review I like to avoid it, if this music and the product "Harald Bosh" is any "good" or "bad" – check the website, listen to some files and judge for yourself.

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Artist: LUCIDSTATIC (@)
Title: Nexus 0001
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
This is a one-man project leaded by Jimmy Church hailing out of Anchorage, Alaska – well, some people like it cold in their area. It is already the fourth CD for this project, which has made itself a fine name as being a remixer/collaborator with acts like UNTER NULL, CLAWFINGER, NIN or MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO to name only a few. With 80 minutes playing time placed into 14 tracks the maximum to satisfy the term "full-length release" is fulfilled like never-ever before. LUCIDSTATIC plays a sort of intelligent Electronica by integrating an enormous diversity through different styles like IDM, D’n’B, Trance, Trip-Hop and a small doze of Electro as well. The tracks are mostly fast-paced and offer some complex drum pattern programmings – at times intentionally very nervous arranged ("Morter", "Robotix"). It is an instrumental kind of work, even some voice samples here and there give a hint on the meaning and content of the tracks. Favorites I like to name with the rather dark sounding "Connection", a track which generally slows down the hectic mood a bit, also "Slag" and "Gonna Get You" get this vote for having attractive, more experimental textures and a doze of Noise on board. If you aren’t an IDM addict, this stuff needs time to grow on you and at least your fully attention – the complex arrangements and the at times weird textures aren’t that easy to pick up and sort in. This stuff is designed for friends of some Component or Ad Noiseam-related stuff and acts – at least this references maybe besides the experimental-minded AUTECHRE do fit well as a possible comparison.
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Artist: Cenotype
Title: Origins
Format: CD
Label: Hive records (@)
Rated: *****
Hive is one of the best record labels out there to get your rhythm-noise, glitch-breakcore, IDM fixes. Their 24th infection is Cenotype, a NYC-based industrial-noise project that has been active for some years but only now releases his debut full length album. Obviously Mr Cenotype has been around long enough to learn the lessons offered by traditional industrial outlets such as Daft, Body, Ant Zen etc, and with "Origins" he offers a consolidated yet personal outlook on power-rhythm-noise in the 21st century. From hard-hitting, pounding and zapping saturated beats to dance-flirtatious 4/4 patterns that might even make him remix-material for some DJs out there that are not scared of abrasive and raw sounds as opposed to liquid and chill ones. Cenotype's beats are always mixed in with saturated and droning dark-ambient visions that grind against each other with the idiosyncrasy of machinery and industrial landscapes a-la Blade Runner.
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Artist: Praxis
Title: Tennessee 2004
Format: CD
Label: Roir (@)
Rated: *****

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Normally a CD like this is probably a little too rock for our reader-base, however I am sure our reader-base will appreciate an exception if you consider that this CD originates from Bill Laswell's prolific creativity. 14 years into its existence, this incarnation of Praxis is comprised of Bill on bass, Buckethead on guitar (a name that will sound familiar to Guns'n'Roses fans), Brain on drums (of Primus fame) and Bernie Worrell on keyboards (P-Funk).
Although Praxis has been compared to Primus for good reason (the restless drumming, the freaky on stage attitude, the sonic impact), it is important to understand that Les and Bill are two different types of musicians. While Les prefers skillfully slapping his way through a track, Bill much rather goes for super-low-end dub bass line and loves his pedals to add distortion, heavy chorus etc. The guitar playing on this album is also pretty mind-boggling, in tune with the tradition of the jamband scene portrayed at Bonnaroo, where this CD was recorded live in 2004 by producer/engineer Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Tabla Beat Science, Primus etc).
Being a live show recording, this CD contains a lot of solos and jam performances, so don't expect your typical song structure and only go for it if you enjoy long noodling, great playing and being "in the moment"...
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Resonance: Steel Pan in the 21st Century
Format: CD
Label: quiet design (@)
Distributor: Alas Seis Music Direct
Rated: *****

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Resonance will go down in history for being the first electronic music album made with Trinidadian steel pan sounds to ever be produced. Twelve artists from NYC, Austin, Greensboro, London, Brazil, Germany, Oslo, Australia, Tokyo and Belfast received samples of the peculiar sounding instrument by pannist Darren Dyke so they could get down and dirty with them and tweak from dusk to dawn. As you'd expect, there is a lot of the experimental/avantgarde thing going on (random steel pan sounds here and there amidst a bunch of other random noises, presumably all originated from the same sound sources but tweaked to the point where the source is almost unrecognizable) however there are also a lot of interventions where the processing is so heavy that you can't identify the instrument at all. In some instances the artists went to town creating their own beats and producing Warp-esque electro-ambient compositions (a great example of that is Paul Russell's exciting track, no wonder he is from London...). Other tracks go from pushing the limits of saturation to creating dreamy an crystallized ambient tunes or from glitch electronica to nightmarish dark drones. Diversity is definitely key so give this disc a listen on CDBaby, iTunes or on the distributor's site.
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