Music Reviews



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Artist: MANUFACTURA (@)
Title: We're Set Silently On Fire
Format: CD
Label: Crunch Pod Media (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Already the fourth full-length for this highly anticipated US Powernoise act of mastermind Karloz .M, who had to bear some hard times full of personal tragedies (I think you all know...). His episodes are for sure also the reason for some thankfully words to his fans, family and supporters in the sleeve of the CD, as well as a tragic memorial to his died father. Musically I’m quite surprised that this new album isn’t that rough and merciless Powernoise effort like expected. For sure, here are some snatching pieces like "Live By The Knife, Die By The Knife", "Mephistopheles" or "Unforgiving Dreams ", but moreover Karloz tries to offer a different musically output. There’s a constant Dark Electro attitude presented on a lot of pieces here, just check out "The Divine Discontent", "There’s No Destination" or "The Betrayal". Pleasant also to hear that Karloz really cares to include vocals, mostly a kind on which other related acts fail. There’s no need to ask for a deeper meaning of the lyrical content, alone some track titles like "Death Of The Other" or "The Whore That Loved Me" will give you the right impression. But compared to the music I also can’t imagine to hear some "love-and-sunshine" bullshit. Also included a co-operation track with DJ Helltrash with the track "I am The Enemy". For Karloz maybe a difficult album regarding the influence of his personal issues, but maybe also a kind of cure that he still finds acceptance and recognition. Good job here, keep it on!

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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Violent Nation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem/Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
A compilation of four acts out of the German X-Cem roster, released under the Rupal Records fanatic series. Compiled by Pedro Engel of ACYLUM this release features 6 tracks by his very own side-project CHROME DIVISION, 7 tracks by SONIC VIOLENCE EXPERIENCE, 3 tracks by FORMALIN and 2 tracks by SENSOGEN. The musically content tends into rhythmically Powernoise, here and there combined with Dark Electro. CHROME DIVISION are opening loud and merciless this comp. While Pedro’s highly recognized main project already offers several elements out of the Powernoise genre, CHROME DIVISION differs a bit. Remove the vocal performances of Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE), reduce the nightmarish Dark Electro-inspired melodic ingredients and add just more pounding dissonance. His signature of course remains here, how could you expect anything else? SONIC VIOLENCE NATION consists of R. Kulawik and he continues to produce pounding Powernoise efforts here, maybe with a bit more reduced musically attitude. It seems a bit that only rhythm counts, they offer a rather minimal and monotonous approach and this 7 tracks can be named a kind of debut. The German male/female duo FORMALIN I’ve already discovered with some excellent remix works for WYNARDTAGE and a comp appearance here and there for the X-Cem collective. Their music is rather based on energetic Dark Electro but it takes some hints out of Powernoise. Very rhythmically structured of course, too, but with changing vocals and diversity in the textures and arrangements. Their three tracks are the outstanding work on this comp for sure. Finally last but not least two tracks of Kai Arnold’s side-project SENSOGEN providing his vision of aggressive Powernoise besides his currently very successful WYNARDTAGE project. He won’t get mad with me when I take ACYLUM as a reference, lesser dark and melodic but harsher. Valuable stuff as well, which keeps the hopes high for an own SENSOGEN release. The mostly Dark Electro-inspired sound of the X-Cem collective has already attracted several people, but the more harsh and noisy kind isn’t lesser interesting. There’s more to come from this collective, make sure to watch out for it in 2K7...

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Artist: MIND:STATE (@)
Title: bbbc2x
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
First EP release for this Swedish newcomer signed to the Belgium Alfa-Matrix label group. MIND:STATE is the solo project of Per Holmström and he provides us his version of danceable Electro/Industrial music – as expected after some compilation appearances – pretty much along the same formula which made acts like ASSEMBLAGE 23 that big and appreciated. Also in the kind how Per provides his good sounding male vocals here allows for sure to take those comparisons. Recorded and produced under the magically hands of Len Lemeire (IMPLANT), 4 new tracks are featured on this EP, and the most catchiest track "Close Your Eyes" gets my vote for being the best tune here. Also 4 remix works are featured here, which don’t leave you unimpressed. Great to see and hear the US cult act CUT.RATE.BOX back in front of the scene offering here the finest remix works on the track "Black Angel". Thumbs up also for both works of STATE OF THE UNION and IMPLANT, while the remix of AURAL VAMPIRE moves far away from the original. This one provides minimal 303-like bass lines – interesting work, but it tends to burden the melodic content of the original. Catchy arranged lighter Electro music for sure without any loss of quality, but Per has to take the reproach not to work out a sound which the audience hasn’t discovered before. An own signature and authentic style is still missed, also after this four tracks. Nevertheless it’s a good appetizer for the first full-length album "Decayed, Rebuilt" which doesn’t shrink the expectations.
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Artist: NEIKKA RPM (@)
Title: Rise Of The 13th Serpent
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
New full-length release for this New York-based female-leaded act. The charismatic Dominique tries to solve the riddle of the 13th Serpent here and acts with their vocals contributions between whispering and gasping like the serpent conjurer. Somehow her kind to place her voice between her most danceable produced songs has become a kind of trademark, it gives the tracks a very mysterious and icy feeling. Musically the whole disc is influenced by Dominique’s own style combining danceable Electro with IDM and Electro-Clash. Think of a straight-forward producing Len Lemeire of IMPLANT – this could be a possible comparison of the music. Other influences can be taken out of the guest vocal performances of some well-known scene acts and people. Claus Larsen (LEAETHER STRIP), Claus Kruse (PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE), DJ Rexx Arcana (BRUDERSCHAFT, FGFC820), J3 (à;GRUMH...) and the already mentioned IMPLANT-mastermind Len Lemeire are featured here and offer quality performances – especially the raging Claus Larsen on "Sacrifice (Sever The Delusion)" earns a special vote! Another favorite is Dominiques’s very own performed track "Spread Myself / My Sex On You" – not for her (hot) performance, moreover for the excellent ripping bass line arrangements. This is a straight produced and very club-oriented quality Electro album, which has ist own identity thanks to the mysterious edge Dominique brings in here. Good stuff.
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Artist: CLIENT
Title: Lights Go Out
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The signing of the relatively known female-leaded act CLIENT to the German Out Of Line label is for sure a strike of a genius. Without doubt, after the not expected success with AND ONE here comes the next smash hit guaranty and it shouldn’t wonder the scene any longer that some structures of the Out Of Line labels tend to work and act like a Major label. Time will tell, if they really can reach this status, but with some fine Pop art releases like this CLIENT SiCD featuring the title track and the fantastic b-side "Northern Soul" in their original versions, I lately don’t have any doubts on this. Much more dedicated to storm the international sales Charts like the mentioned AND ONE, plus the produced video to satisfy the all-time MTV/VIVA youth generation. No longer worries from my side that the given further three remix works can’t follow in any way and kind the quality of the bands’ own compositions (very courageous to let the old-school EBM duo SPETSNAZ providing a remix on this Pop/Alternative tune...).German Media Control Charts, here we go now, good luck for this exposure!
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