Music Reviews



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Artist: IWR (@)
Title: Cold Asylum
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Maor Appelbaum is a producer/musician coming from Israel. On his collaboration list he has as musician: Vultures (I reviewed their two releases), Moonskin, Thy Mesmerized, Beta-Blocker, Old Man's Splitfoot, etc. As producer he worked with big names such as Marc Almond (England), The Legendary Pink Dots (England - Netherlands), Sophya (Israel - Netherlands), Apoptigma-Berzerk (Norway), Death In June (England), Hocico (Mexico), etc. Along with Tal Galfsky he begun to work at IWR back in 1999. Since then he produced only few compilation tracks until 2006, when for Black Rain they released their debut album "Groud zero". Devotee to e.b.m./industrial the duo on this new album titled COLD ASYLUM is bringing seven new tracks with the help of two female vocalists (Moran Uliel and Michal Jakubowicz) on "Ketamine sedation", "Wreckage" and "New age". Their style take a lot inspiration from Hocico and Velvet Acid Christ (especially because the use of distorted/whispered vocals) and thanks to Maor's production skills the sound is powerful and thick. Unfortunately this isn't enough for making sound this album fresh and different for all its length. For sure the three tracks featuring the vocal guests are working well thanks to the diversification of distorted male/clean female vocals but the remaining four don't offer nothing different from nice powerful industrial e.b.m. music (if you also count that "Black city" is a sort of industrial version of Carl Orff Carmina Burana's most known track "Fortuna imperatrix mundi"). The four remixes, instead, sound to me better than some original versions. "New dawn (Dark chamber remix)", for example, gathers a new life thanks to a total new approach: more intriguing, electro and cinematic.
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Artist: MARINA SIERTIS (@)
Title: The Much Needed Second Cold War
Format: CD
Label: Shadowplay Music (@)
Rated: *****
One year after the single titled "Disease" Marina Siertis are finally releasing their new album which contains the two new songs you found on the previous CDs. The thirteen new songs, as the single, are in balance from synthpop a la Depeche Mode and new wave The Cure style and they bring to the audience about forty minutes of pessimistic/realistic view of life where lyrics talk about a suicidal couple during their act, abuse, mental disease, war, the stabbing of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh, etc. At a first listening I didn't find a real catch up song (the general atmosphere is based on mid tempo songs with upfront vocals) and also the mix didn't excite me. I gave it a second try and I also louden up the volume and I must say that the listening session turned out to be different. A better one. The guitars are still in the background but drums and synth reveal a certain substrata of subtle sounds. Also tracks like the title track or the following "Cold anger" sound enhanced. I still miss a bouncing bass sound which could give to the whole album that energy shot which would boost the sound making it sound more homogeneous.
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Rarity?
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave (@)
Rated: *****
Soon available on iTunes or on Amazon, RARITY? is the counterpart to the first Empire State Human compilation "Popularity? and it contains seventeen tracks of remixes, unreleased and compilation tracks. For every ESH fan this download only album is a real bonanza as it gathers great tunes that are difficult to find: their covers of "Together in electric dreams" (the original was played by Moroder/Oakey), Eurythmics' "Love is a stranger", Fixx's "Saved by zero", Boytronic's "Photographs" and Dead Or Alive's "Special star". The four remixes (specially Qubiq's ones) give to the tracks a new appeal with a particular sensual dancey approach. RARITY? despite all these facts (good amount of tracks, rare ones, covers, remixes) it's unbelievably enjoyable by whom don't know Empire State Human at all and I find this a fantastic thing to tell about a band but if you already know ESH, you are already aware of this! P.s. Here you can find all the songs informations http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=164650750&blogID=331767818
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Artist: CELLULOIDE (@)
Title: Naphtaline LP
Format: CD
Label: Boredom Product (@)
Rated: *****
Partially available since 2003 at the band's website, NAPHTALINE is a tribute E.P. which has now been expanded and released on CD by Celluloide thanks to their label Boredom Product. I already appreciated their version of classic of the 80's which span from pop to new wave/goth arriving to electronic pop concerning the unreleased tracks and the ones which have been previously available only on compilations. Recorded during pauses they did on recording sessions (this is why the tracks have the same sets of sounds. They weren't able to change them because of the songs the were recording) the thirteen tracks of NAPHTALINE transpose songs like "Amoreux solitaires" (cult song of the early 80's by the French pop icon called Lio), Dead Can Dance's "In power we entrust the love advocated", The Cure's "Three imaginary boys", Siouxsie's "Happy house" and Lush's (do you remember them? They were one of the first shoegazer band that signed to 4AD. Personally I have only their first E.P.s and their album "Gala" because after that they kinda lost their touch) "Lights from a dead star" into something particular thanks to their bleeping cold electro style. These are the tracks you can still find on the website and that will be still available even if the album is out and these are the tracks which impressed me most because I knew really well the original ones and I think that it isn't easy to do good and personal versions of other genres' tunes which are deep rooted into people's personal track list. The other seven tracks, instead consider classic bands of the electronic scene but Celluloide did a good move by picking Depeche Mode's "Reason man" along with "Somebody" (track which have been speed up a little) because the occasional Depeche Mode listener don't know know this song which they performed only live during their early years. The other tracks are Camouflage's "Love is a shield", Boytronic's "Luna Square", Dark Distant Spaces' "Fashion", Trisomie 21's "Logical Animals" and Sista Manned Pa Jorden's "L'air". In my opinion this is an album to get but this time you have the opportunity to check half of it, so basically you'll be able to judge by yourself, but I know you'll agree with me.
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Artist: Zr19.84 (@)
Title: Reperte Omnes Tristia Invasti
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
The is an Italian-based one-man project hailing out of Milano lead by Riccardo Z, who can provide two different releases on the Dark/Experimental-label Apocalyptic Radio. Under his Zr19.84-moniker he offers a sort of Millitary-inspired Experimental/Ambient music, which touches the Martial and Noise genres. It’s an ominous sounding output which includes sampled passages out of soldier and march hymns taken of different belongings or – to my surprise – the Russian national hymn ("Jedinyi Sovestrij Sojuz"). This passages got mostly completely woven into the mix by placing them separated into a stereo field, but also and as expected under a heavily effect and lo-fi manipulation. There’s noticeable a slight dedication to some Neo-Classic influence in the kind how tracks got arranged, though it is a rough sort. Nothing to impress some faint-hearted listeners, this kind of music is specially dedicated to genre-lovers. Also this edition comes out in a special rounded metal movie can and is strictly limited to only 84 pieces, surely with respect to the projects’ name.
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