Music Reviews



Mar 16 2007
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Artist: FUNKER VOGT (@)
Title: Aviator
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony (@)
Distributor: SPV GmbH
Rated: *****
Only a year after their last full-length release "Navigator", Germany’s well-known EBM/Industrial act FUNKER VOGT returns with a new album. A rough stylistically change would surely surprise the whole scene and this shouldn’t be expected. Nevertheless also this "Aviator" features some remarkable ingredients worth to mention. It’s still fine to see and hear FUNKER VOGT in their own style, while the used synths and instruments have received another update. The tracks itself have developed and have received a rather speedy attitude, at times to more than 140 bpm – absolutely dancefloor compatible! The so-called "hits" featuring melodic and catchy refrains are still present with tracks like "Paralyzed" or "City Of Darkness". More satisfying to me are definitively the harder-arranged pieces like "Child Soldier" or "My Fortune", or the rather on its melodic content concentrating tracks like "Darwin’s Nightmare". So musically FUNKER VOGT remain more or less in their own signature and their tracks can mostly heavily defeat the poor and repetitive efforts of the uncountable Hellektro troops. The artwork shows photos of several old and baggy war planes out of several wars in history. They like to animate their listeners to think for a minute on the forgotten soldiers fallen in unnecessary wars – with the background that the situation in the middle East is still uncontrollable ("Paralyzed") and censored. The theme is pretty much suited to the still militaristic behavior of the band. "Aviator" is in no way weaker than the predecessor "Navigator", it’s rather a proof that FUNKER VOGT are far away to go in pension.
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Artist: PATENBRIGADE: WOLFF (@)
Title: Hochstapler
Format: CD
Label: Zweieck Recordings (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Hidden in an exclusive metal-case featuring laser scripts and a 16-sided picture-photo-book here comes out a new full-length release of this German duo. Being the phoenix out of the ashes of the relatively known act THE DUST OF BASEMENT this duo, consisting of Sven Wolff and Lance Murdock, is already musically active since 1998 and could release previously two full-length CD’s and two MCD’s under their label Zweieck Records. Some of you may have discovered them also with an excellent compilation appearance on "Annihilation & Seduction", the debut release of the US label BLC Productions. This duo takes its musically influence out of the daily work of construction workers, it shall be the musically paraphrase of all happenings on building sites. It isn’t definitively not yet-another-NEP-clone styled EBM formation with a shouter providing "sweat-muscle-machine" poetics – while it is old-school minded. The musically arrangements take mostly their influences out of some late-80ies remembrances and remain instrumental, here and there only interrupted with some voice samples out of a radio and at times with a politically background ("Ostberliner Bauarbeiter"). Two tracks here, "Gefahrstoffe" and "Doppelmeisterschalter" are featuring SARA NOXX providing some cool guest vocal performances – especially "Gefahrstoffe" should lead the masses to the dancefloor with its ripping EBM bass lines. Also favorites I would like to name with "Zusatzfunktion" and "Korrosionsnarben", which both feature the complete musically dimension of this duo. A fine release with a decent musically concept – not like anything else heard before. How do they call it? Electro-Ambient for Tower Crane Conductors? Well, let’s say: good work, men!

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Artist: BLOOD (@)
Title: Spleen
Format: CD EP
Label: Cure (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
A new release for this Japanese trio still active in their third phase with Fu-Ki performing the charismatic vocals of this band. "Spleen" is a kind of conceptual mini-album and features 5 tracks. It is heavily inspired by the French tragic poetry "La Fleurs Du Mal" by Charles Baudelaire – so you’ll get the Japanese paraphrase of this story board. Musically BLOOD remain in their known paths by combining Goth-Rock with Fu-Ki’s smooth vocal performance and some synth textures here and there. The track "Danse Macabre" has to be named here with some orchestral-like synth layers and a rather gloomy mood, well done. Always outstanding on every release of this band is the photo art showing the band members wearing different costumes, jewels and ornaments inspired by their cultural and historical background of Japan – it’s like that they want to introduce and to share their culture to the wide international audience, while the photos here are aptly done on a snowy graveyard. Finest Goth-Rock with depth and decent concept, well done.
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Artist: BLOOD (@)
Title: Vengeance for Blood 2
Format: CD
Label: Cure (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
We welcome the Japan-based label and distributor Cure to the international scene, although the three-men Goth/Rock act BLOOD is for sure not unknown, since they’ve recently perform live on some stages in Washington, LA, New York and Boston. This trio can be named for sure a kind of spear head of the Japanese Dark Goth scene and with a website translated into 7 further languages besides Japanese some international attention and success is guaranteed. The band history features an uncountable amount of releases available in all formats and it is separated into three different phases – this seems to belong on the changing membership in between the band. But everything is related to the band former member Kiwamu, who stands also behind the Cure label. Always in all phases on his side is the bass player Kaede, while Fu-Ki is the singer for this third phase of this band. This "Vengeance For Blood 2" is the second episode of a trilogy mini-album release series and features 7 tracks. Guitar-driven Goth-Rock with some synth textures and a charismatic and well tuned male vocal performances are the used elements here and can form a mostly catchy (especially on "Forever Lost") output. To everyone who’s interested in the lyrically content, on all releases are translations into English and/or French language featured. This is a convincing output especially designed for the fans of this genre – a bit short maybe, but I guess the ongoing trilogy has zo be seen and listened as a whole.
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Artist: THE GASMAN
Title: Love Collection
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Personal project of Christopher Reeves, The Gasman delivers a new album titled LOVE COLLECTION. It is strange to think about a break-beat love collection but The Gasman on tracks like "Vigor", the following "Cubicle", "Parts" or the closing "Flounce 2" is capable of creating a smooth blend of styles that sound relaxing but having a good amount of energy at the same time. The tracks spans from semi ambient rhythmical compositions to tracks that are more schizophrenic thanks to the different rhythmical cut-ups and thanks also to Christopher’s way of creating electronic instrumental tense tiny suites. In this way we have a sort of good mixture of ambient and i.d.m. with some break-beat influence. Does this have something to do with love? If we think about love as a mixture of feelings and emotions, then... maybe.
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