Music Reviews



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Artist: ERIK LEVANDER (@)
Title: Kodens
Format: CD
Label: Rumraket (@)
Rated: *****
Active since late nineties with different projects and at the second solo full length album, Erik Levander is a Danish guy who is presenting to the lovers of minimal sounds his newest album titled KODENS. The new album took almost four years in the making and different compared to its first version (the hard disk of Erik's pc crashed and he lost almost everything), KODENS is a mix of melancholic atmospheres, glitch mayhem and ambient intuitions where also acoustic instruments are used (see the main clarinet part on "Manen viskar" or the piano track "Tribut"). Creating a thick web of sounds where light noises and bleeps crashes and die just to find a new form/life, Eric gave form to a complex structure which sometimes is difficult to enjoy at a first listening and it's difficult that it would be enjoyed by people who don't love i.d.m. or experimental stuff. Anyway there are tracks like "Kvad" that immediately are able to catch your attention thanks to the little melodic lines which give more power to the intricate sound structure while others like the opening "Sekund" sound too intimate.
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Artist: MESSIAH COMPLEX
Title: above the floods
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Industrial Culture (@)
Rated: *****
Best surprise of the whole new lot of 3" cdr on Industrial Culture records, this duo gives us a twenty-one minutes track with a good song progression. The fact is that this combo hailing from Scotland had the taste and the guts to move slowly to the core of the suite avoiding the abused (and sometimes predictable) framework where noise gets pushed at the maximum level from the fist to the last second of the composition. Messiah Complex deal with a magmatic wave really dense and in which both the buzz of the bass frequencies and the high frequencies drown in a poll of apparently distant white noise. The gradual progression gives an old skull industrial taste which brings to mind some early Maurizio Bianchi, some early Deutsch Nepal, some post-krautesque feel that many freaks of the first mighty industrial wave were really proud of. If you remember old sampler like the "Melt" compilation you know what I'm talking about. The question is: being old school means being old fashioned? Not always, sometimes it's a good way to evelv naturally (and differently from the rest) into something new.


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Artist: Humour Malade (@)
Title: Humour Malade
Format: 12"
Label: Brouillard Définitif (@)
Rated: *****
Another great release from the Brouillard Définitif label after the new album by Guerre Froide and the Leitmotiv collection (a must for everyone into coldwave or darkwave). Humour Malade are an obscure French act hailing from Aix-en-Provence. They were active between 1988 and disbanded in 1992 - they recorded more than 100 songs and covers but no records, singles or even demos were put out - this lp is a selection of their finest moments plus a cover of Joy Divison's "Exercise One" and let me say it... the result is a monster of an album. Musically they are close to the coldwave bands and the overall sound of the album is soaked in a lo-fi reverb, so it's all a little abstract (Cabs are stated among their influences). The LP is on clear vinyl and comes with an amazing artwork. A major recommendation for this one and I strongly hope to hear something else from their archives.
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Artist: Moth Electret
Title: lil
Format: CD
Label: mystery sea (@)
Rated: *****
Stig Berg is famous for having created one of the most beautiful and inspiring ambient albums of the last few years, "The Nacrasti", released under the name R|A|A|N, sadly overlooked but with a strong cult status in the dark ambient scene. This new release as Moth Electret keeps its obscure roots but deals with different sounds - the compositions here on "Lil" are made by field recordings collected in areas with fishing activities like Eureka in California or Barcellona's Harbour. The result is slightly different from the usual droney works out on the Mystery Sea label - there's a lot of movements here, best enjoyed with your headphones on.
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Artist: OBJECT (@)
Title: The Ethane Asylum
Format: CD
Label: E.A.R. / Vendetta-Music (@)
Distributor: KDG Media
Rated: *****
Still numbed by the last months’ release of the French NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT, the Denver-based label Vendetta-Music in collaboration with E.A.R. has already a next valuable horse to start off, this time the German one-man Dark Electro artist OBJECT. OBJECT is Andreas Malik and he has made himself already a good name with his earlier 2 full-length albums "Part Time Paranoia" and "The Reflecting Skin", both released during 2001 – 2002 on the now defunct German label Broken Seal (MIMIC MIND, TERMINAL STATE, BLINK TWICE; DISHARMONY...). Also not to forget his glorious days during a fruitful tape phase starting in 1994 to 1998 where he released three own produced demos and a first CDR entitled "Self-Designed Eden". It has happened in early 1996 that Andreas could make his first CD appearance ever with his track "Amkura 3" available on the compilation CD accomplishing to the German Vertigo-magazine 02/1996 (r.i.p.), an appearance which had my personal involvement and brings still a smile back in my face.
Lately here and thanks to his hard work and will to improve and to grow on all terms of production, OBJECT became very soon a secret tip and could grab the attention of the responsible people at Broken Seal, who have always distributed Andreas’ demo tapes through their mail order service. Broken Seal built their label with the intention to release the first CD releases mostly by bands which have sold well their demo tapes through them. Therefore the signing of OBJECT was rather expected than a wonder. Both albums are still quality relicts of a past where was a lack of quality Dark-Electro music in vein of old INFORMÄTIK, PULSE LEGION plus the layered works of earlier MENTALLO & THE FIXER in Germany. Often, very often Andreas gets compared with the before mentioned patterns and there’s surely a constant amount of truth behind this.
A typical trademark in the music of OBJECT can be named with the cold, but melodic multiple synth pads, his abilities to work out some spacey moods are still outstanding. Andreas trusts once again mainly his programming skills on the Roland workstation XP-50 and it seems a bit that he can’t think of to produce music without this not very new synth. To each its own, also "The Ethane Asylum" seems to be completely composed and arranged thanks and through this synth. Therefore all who have been consumed the earlier works of OBJECT before, will find themselves quite familiar with the new album. Andreas didn’t exchange that much of his equipment, the used sounds and drum programs as it seems, he may develops some of his compositional efforts here and there.

Some pieces have be named as being outstanding. "Dreamer Without Dreams" convinces completely through its well-thought usage of eerie synth layers and smooth piano textures. Not very danceable thanks to the use of some "broken" drum patterns though, but a complex kind of programming which "wows" the listener. The ballad-like "Existence On Trial" surprises with a vocal performance by RESPIRANCE, which drifts between Synthpop-like calm to vocoderized to slightly distorted. "End Of Sin" is maybe the most accessible work of Andreas with a steady beat and an easy-to-follow bass line and drum pattern programming. Two additional remix works by MC1R (presents a remix of "The Reflecting Skin", the title track of the last OBJECT album) and BRAIN LEISURE (a very FLA-sounding remix on the title track "The Ethane Asylum") accomplishing this top-notch dark Electro album with a playing time of more than 75 minutes.
"The Ethane Asylum" is an expected album and this isn’t meant negative. At least it is also an album a lot people were hoping and waiting for. Too much Hellectro/Trancewhackedgoregalore-productions (copyrighted term by electrofreak) are still the leading force in the clubs, let’s hope that this production receives enough positive recognition to become a constant force against this virus. Let’s finally hope that OBJECT won’t let us wait another 6 years before a next new album will be ready.

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