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Artist: RYTHMIC SYMPHONY
Title: The Mechanism Fulfilled
Format: CD
Label: Section 44 (@)
Rated: *****
An electronic recording with a very good production. I actually do not like its cover artwork but as far as the music is concerned, the audio quality is detailed and well balanced. I cannot say the same for the songs, due to the fact that they aren't neither synth pop nor ebm. I mean, they aren't catchy enough to be remembered and at the same time they sound too light to be considered underground. "Too afraid" is the most interesting song.
cover
Artist: Seabound
Title: Double-Crosser
Format: CD
Label: Dependent
Rated: *****
It is an uncomfortable yet simple truth that some bands cross the line into being too complex or intellectual to ever become really popular --- IDM legends Aphex Twin and Autechre notwithstanding --- as Dismantled's Gary Zon lamented to death recently on "Get It Through." The duo of vocalist/lyricist Frank Spinath and Martin Vorbrodt, collectively known as Seabound, have always precariously perched themselves at the edge of this line, almost as if to dare their fans to follow them across it. Vorbrodt's compositions maintain sufficient structure to be easy on the ears, but he swaths them in enough random sequences, sweeps and samples as to make them mazelike in progression. Nowhere before have Vorbrodt's pilgrimages on the piano been more diversionary or expansive in their evolution than on Double-Crosser.

Spinath, meanwhile, is tonally one of the better vocalists the scene can claim, but his penchant for verbal eccentricity has always held him back from achieving equal footing with his electro-pop compatriots Ronan Harris and Eskil Simonnson. Harris's reliance on metaphor and Simonnson's grandiose benevolence carry their own baggage, to be sure, but Spinath's demons seem altogether unique. When he's on ---such as in "Hooked," the band's greatest work to date, or as in "The Flight [Lux]" from his Edge of Dawn side-project --- Spinath has no peers. Left to his own devices, however, his vocal styling and lyricism can appear indecisive at best and, at worst, self-indulgent.

As the name might suggest, Double-Crosser's theme is one of abuse and deceit and the psychological downward spiral subjected upon one who's been betrayed. Spinath makes this clear from the first verse of "Scorch The Ground," wearing his heart (and lungs and kidney) on his sleeve as he revels in a cascade of resentment, malady and regret. The listener is already hooked, even as "The Promise" prophesizes an album of epic emotional investment set to pulsing percussion and bittersweet, melancholy melodies. The chorus is vintage Seabound, a robust representation of everything this duo does well.

But then, as good a representation of Spinath's experience as ever there could be, comes the big let down. "DoublePlusUngood" is moving enough, but manages somehow to sound too much like both "Masses"-era Depeche Mode and "Disintegration"-era The Cure at the same time. This sets up "Sapphire", on which we find Spinath sounding more than ever like Simonnson, who produced two tracks from the album. The balance of Double-Crosser meanders through too many down tempo and muddling compositions, all be them exquisite and engagingly atmospheric, for this reviewer's taste. What's more troubling is that, aside from the flashes of anger revealed in "Domination" and "Traitor", Spinath seems to become more dependent and disenchanted on each subsequent track, with no sign of absolution in sight. The eight-minute closer, "Breathe," ambiguously alludes to revelation, but for exactly what the outcome is, we're left wanting.

This is by no means a bad album. It is an imperfect and perhaps overly indulgent one, to which the band's fans are most probably willing to extend the benefit of the doubt. And truthfully, Seabound deserves it. Individualism and experimentation have to count for something in this scene, and in this world, and the band delivers up both in ample, if sometimes excessive, portions.

Artist: Galerie Schallschutz (@)
Title: Montauk Project
Format: CD
Label: Tesco Organization (@)
[From the press kit] ""Montauk Project," also called the Phoenix Project during some of its phases, was a covert government’s ultra-to-secret electromagnetic mind control and time experiment project that took place during the 1970’s and early 80’s at an abandoned Air Force radar base at the southeast tip of Long Island, New York. GS provides you with the perfect soundtrack to go further into this secret world."

I usually come at this kind of music as an opportunity to create a mood, and it seems to be more effective the less context I give to the piece. Considering its abstract nature less is more when it comes to saying what it all means. GS is attempting to give us a look at mind control presumably from the inside out, that is, from the subject’s point of view. The disk contains what one would expect from the title, lots of electronic noise and tones depicting various states of mind representative to electronic mind control. But since this is music and not a psychological dissertation we ask the question: does it succeed? I would say that it does if this is an attempt at portraying an inner journey effected by outer manipulation.
Artist: Kristoffer Nystroms Orkester
Title: brakeHEAD
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records
KNO is Peter Nystrom of Megaptera/Negru Voda fame and Kristoffer Oustad of V:28, recorded in 2005.

biTer (deep cut edit)

machine music, all the factory sounds are here, squealing noise, beats, the underlying hum of electricity giving the track a tonal grounding, scary metallic voices and string synth pads appear and disappear, a minor chord apocalyptic mood abounds throughout



high_level_input-slow_speed_ouput (well done)

more emphasis on the factory noise this time, the beats are reverberant to within an inch of their lives, tapers off to let the distant music through, filtered by running water and the sound of machines and humans in tandem, almost sad in a way


extenDEAD konnektion (shortened diskonnekted version)

at 19:30 this is considered the short version, swirling clouds of dirty humming air accentuated by mechanical sonic detritus clogging the ears and the brain with its slag, the sonic equivalent of industrial metallic waste


asphalt flowers (kontinentalische norswedeische ordnungsverkriftung mix)

aural meditation on terrorism meant to make you uncomfortable and not as secure as you thought you were, and it succeeds
Artist: Strange Attractor
Title: Everything Is Closer
Format: CD
Label: Music For Speakers
This project is comprised of the duo Niels van Hoorn (soprano sax, etc.) and Richard van Kruysdijk (Electronics, softsynths, samples, etc.). When there’s a sax player anywhere in the mix you immediately think jazz, and there’s plenty of that kind of thing ging on here, but this is modern jazz, and a bit RIO. All kinds of music is presented here, from traditional arrangements to abstract noise and atmospherics. This was originally released as vinyl as Rorschach & Rorschach II. But here’s the tracks individually:

1. Rorschach

angular soprano sax melody, dissonant harmony, busy jazz drumming, buzzy electro bass in a repeating pattern with various embellishments added each time the theme comes around leads immediately into

2. Black Earth

synths set up an harmonic tension underpinning with harmonized soprano sax in delay mode on top, various electronic effects for added sonic seasoning, busy drumming to hold it all together

3. Alpha

heavy halting drums over delayed electro tones, white noise, leading into

4. Omega

jazzy electric piano and female vox and drum programming, reeds and flutes in accompaniment mode

5. Simulcra

scratchy samples in loop mode, noisy percussion added to repeating synth melody figure, slowly building and changing form, new melodies and patterns added but holding the same center of melodic gravity held in place by bass clarinet

6. The Mind Travels Further Than The Body

ominous, dissonant voices, a pulse, a distant calling horn

7. Never Say Never

the voice of LPD tells us another of his strange stories in his usual style

8. In the End It’s All Pretend

jazzy fretless bass sets the tone of rain on windows, slowly moving crowds with heads down staring at the sidewalk, living inside their own heads

9. Dreamtime

treated vocals (by Richard Sinclair of Hatfield and the North) on a bed of wispy synths, driven by a repeated bass figure saxes and drums

10. Scrap Metal

back beat with dissonant melody and counterpoint, cute/creepy I would describe this

11. Fishface

vocals by the LPD guy again using the melody line from the previous track , dark atmospherics added for extra depth, "feed me" he says, a fishy tale, water samples used as rhythm section is a nice touch

12. 26 September

a musical question mark for electronics and soprano sax

13. Five Below Nothing

Sax section of Tenor, Bari, and Bass all played by Hoorn. Good drum programming since the track credits list no one else helping. Goes straight into

14. Melancholy Station

vocals by Marie-Claudine Vanvlemen of Sonar Lodge, with vibe based jazz combo, nice

15. Undone

I think I recognize a Mahavishnu Orchestra sample being used or am I going to get someone in trouble here. The looped sample is accompanied by a bass clarinet, and more vocals by Marie-Claudine

16. Fifteen Years Of Sorrow

same MO sample used but with soprano sax accompaniment this time, vocals by Ka-Spel this time, dreamy synth pads and deep bass add to the mood, aha, I think I hear a Soft Machine sample too! track builds nicely around the vocals
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