Music Reviews



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Artist: Mind Confusion (@)
Title: Reprocessed and Overdriven
Format: CD
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this duo from Quebec (and neither have you, probably – that’s why you read Chain DLK), likely because their material seems to be self-released. How to describe them? My first impression is to think of X Marks the Pedwalk and mix their albums "Drawback" and "The Killing Had Begun." This is pretty good EBM. The main drawback to this release is that it is essentially a compilation, with only two previously unreleased songs and two covers, but I assume that the aim of this disc is to introduce new listeners to their material. For me, the best track on the disc was "The Last Stand," which reminds me a lot of old Project Pitchfork. "Faces Of Clay" and "Decadence" are also pretty good tracks. "Remains" has a good darkwave feel to it but the track seems out of place on this disc. I was unfamiliar with the covers, but "Lobotomie" had a fun chanting feel to it even though I have no idea what they are saying (I don’t speak French). If you’re interested in checking it out, they have samples up at www.myspace.com/mindconfusion. This disc weighs in at 52 minutes. Overall, a pretty good band to check out.
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Artist: The Drumstick (@)
Title: The Drumstick 2
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records
When I was listening to this disc, one of my colleagues commented that the disc sounded like something you’d hear if you were watching the scrambled porn channel. In some ways I am inclined to agree for the first two tracks. I tend to like my jazz more along the lines of Sun Ra, so the first two tracks were a disappointment to methey would be right at home on a radio station devoted to "smooth jazz." Fortunately, the disc then becomes much more experimental. This band centers around the work of jazz musician and biodiesel advocate E. Doctor Smith and the drumstick, an instrument of his own creation. On the promo sheet that came with the disc, Robert Anbian describes them this way: "I call the post-fusion, world beat jazz these guys play acid-bop.’" If that description doesn’t help you, don’t worryit didn’t help me either. On to some of the specific tracks that stood out on the disc. "Astral Aura" has a nice dark groove to it. "Neil and Jack and Me" is a nice piece of frantic, complicated jazz. It seems like it is about to completely descend into chaos. "Playin’ Possum" features a banjo and seems out of place on the disc. A bit whimsical, but didn’t really fit. "Zulu" has an electric guitar with some nice distortion that gives the track a bit of an edge. If you’d like to hear more, check out their myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/edoctorsmith. The disc is a bit short, weighing in at 36 minutes.
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Artist: Dubblestandart (@)
Title: Immigration Dub
Format: CD
Label: Collision (Cause of Chapter 3) (@)
I have to admit that I have never been a huge follower of dub. This is not because I have anything against the genre; there have just been too many other albums to buy. My main exposure to dub was seeing Twilight Circus open for the Legendary Pink Dots about 10 years ago and a Zion Train album that I somehow acquired. I’ve listened to a bit of ska here and there andlike everyone else in the worldI have Bob Marley’s "Legend" in my CD collection. All of that to say that this review comes from an outsider’s perspective.

If I wanted someone to like dub, I would give them this album to listen to. It’s a lot of fun (for example, how can you not like a song called "We All Have to Get High"?) and makes you move whether you wanted to or not. I suppose you have to keep it lighthearted; it’s hard to have street cred when you’re a dub band from Vienna. But they’ve been around since 1988, so they must be doing something right.

Here’s how they describe the album on their website: "An incredible fusion of hi-tech, vintage synthesizers and analog effect units, merged with solid dub beats, whilst experimenting with different styles that depart from the reggae norm." As for the music itself, for me the standout track was "Tiny Place Called Earth," which seamlessly integrates Rod Serling’s narration to a Twilight Zone episode ("The Invaders") into the music without sounding forced or cheesyin itself, an impressive feat. Other tracks of note include "When I Fall in Love," the incredibly catchy "This One Is About Flying," and the aforementioned "We All Have to Get High."

There are several covers on this album: "Wadada" (Dub Syndicate), "MPLA Dub" (Tappy Zukie), "Money Money" (Horace Andy), and "When I Fall In Love" (with the original Ken Booth vocals). You can check out some of their music at their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/dubblestandart). This disc weighs in at 68 minutes and even features a video of "Island Girl," which mainly consists of a dancing dreadlocked young woman and island scenes.
Artist: Aemae
Title: Maw
Format: CD
Label: isounderscore (@)
Rated: *****
Aemae is the sound project of Brandon Nickell of Oakland, CA, USA. It lives in the aether world of buzzes, clicks and whirrs of the insect. Sounds flit in and out of our view as flies, mosquitoes and moths dive bomb our heads. It is obvious that the details of each sound has been lovingly painted with the glow of the electron. There has been attention paid to the results here and even though we may not be able to speak the language of the micro-world of the insect, we can still appreciate its beauty.
Artist: Dub Trio
Title: cool out and coexist
Format: CD
Label: ROIR (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded live on February 19 and 20, 2007 at Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY. Exhilarating mix of reggae and metal riffing, with some dubby-spacey atmospheres added to spice up the set. No vocals, just playing. I’ve been kind of bored with the rock/metal scene lately, but this marriage of seemingly uncooperative partners has rekindled my interest. Excellent!
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