Music Reviews



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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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Artist: Standgericht (@)
Title: Achtung Disko
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Although using several German words and names, here comes a release of a UK-based duo now signed to the German mail order service SkullLine. STANDGERICHT offer us a very rhythmically oriented piece of electronic music, they like to integrate old-school EBM ideas with classic Powernoise/Industrial-driven percussive elements. Almost every track on this album moves merciless forward with a strong "Alle Gegen Alle"-EBM-attitude, accomplished with some voice-samples and multiple rhythm pattern programmings. Of course, an obvious inspiration by some militaristic works and impressions documented through several marching beats, sirens, explosion or orders of drill instructors get several insertions too. Here and there it sounds a bit like if early DIVE would meet LAIBACH for a jam session after having consumed some drugs ("Recycled Life"). A small doze of humor is featured as well with the track "We Steal Die Ananas" – although dangerous to rely and sample a legend like a;GRUMH... Please note also the pure EBM-like hidden bonus track. This album means pure entertainment if you have a heart for some retro and veteran-like stuff. Since also this item will be strictly limited, I like to advise to hurry up to purchase it directly from the source.
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Artist: Kadaver (@)
Title: Running with Scissors
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
The label release output of Germany’s mail order specialist when it comes to purchase rarities out of the rather experimental music styles, the Augsburg-based SkullLine, has grown during the last few months enormously. It seems that there must be an audience which purchases the mostly strictly limited releases, which all get released in special art and packages. A new addition to the stable is KADARVER, a project cosisting out of the Israel-based musician Michael Zolotov.
The presented music is a sort of Harsh Noise and Power-Electronics, some rminiscences to some Cold Meat-Industry works and to some Japanese Noise-artists like MASONNA for example seem to be intended. This album offers 9 tracks and 45 minutes of torturing and static noise, rhythmically insertions got mostly left out. It’s a bit hard to find in between the walls of noise something like a corsage which could press and integrate a sort of structure into this uncontrollable Noise chaos. A release only designed for supporters of the purest noise assaults and nothing at all for the fainthearted.
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Artist: Objekt 4
Title: Shades Of Night
Format: CD
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People (@)
Distributor: ant-zen
Rated: *****
A new release by this known Ambient-artist, which at least got released under the collaboration of the 4 different labels Sabbathid Records, Basilisk Productions, Regimental Records and Bugs Crawling Out Of People. Since Bugs Crawling did mail out this promotional item I therefore like to refer on their contact to purchase this item – which is a strange one for the normally-diving-into-the-harsh-Powernoise-genre related Bugs Crawling-label. OBJEKT 4 creates musically ambience with cinematic and static layer sounds, several field recording elements and sounds of the daily life. 5 tracks are on here, which at least come on more than 53 minutes playing time, this documents the length of each track. "Spirits Of Soil And Sea" is available in two different versions. You’ll get the fog horns of a far away based ship, while the birds, winds and the usual sound of a natural field recording creates an own melody. Well, this is stuff for people who like to sink in and who are able to switch off all stress and hectic which comes in all days. Quite to Experimental-minded, I’ll miss some toughness and a break out of the endless repetitions

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