Music Reviews



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Artist: GREGORIO BARDINI (@)
Title: Sentinelle del mattino
Format: CD
Label: Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
It's more than twenty years that Gregorio Bardini is active as solo music player as well as musician who collaborated with different bands (Thelema, Razza Ventura, Kino Glaz, etc). Trained classical flute player, he played with big names of the classical music scene (Severino Gazzelloni to name one) as well as teaching music. Deeply interested into Eurasian and Indian culture and traditions, Gregorio wrote also a book about music and shamanism. Anyway, it's long time I had no chance to listen to his music and I wasn't aware that he published different albums for the Arx Collana label. The last time I listened to his music was because of a tape released by Alberto Fiori Carones (if I remember well) where the flute was the main musical element as the other sounds were coming from recordings taken on different locations. SENTINELLE DEL MATTINO presents a similar approach to sound blending flute improvisation, spoken word (Ezra Pound's daughter Mary De Rachewiltz who read an extract from "Cantos" as well Ezra Pound who read "Contro l'usura", always from "Cantos), acoustic guitar, synth sounds, sax and violin just to give birth to particular tracks always in balance from experimental, modern classic music with some eastern/mid-oriental influence and some particular moments (see "Umani" or the following "Depeche") where electronic industrialism of a distorted voice/bass line are coupled with the flute and a piano. The tracks are able to create mystic moments which seem to be suspended in time. Without any kind of influence and being able to create such atmospheres if you are into experimental music this is for you...
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Artist: MELOTRON (@)
Title: Propaganda
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Since their previous album "Clichè" released two years ago Melotron started to re-define their style detaching it from the simil techno/e.b.m. influences of "Sternenstaub" and with this PROPAGANDA they found a perfect balance of aggressive arrangements used into electro pop songs. If you listen carefully to their single "Das herz" or the following "Arroganz der liebe" you'll find distorted sounds popping out from catchy melodies a la Depeche Mode of the '80s. Listening to 13 tracks of the album it seems to listen to a different band, one who found its sound, one they are confortable with. Maybe it coud sound a little more pop compare to the tracks of the "Brüder" E.P. but I prefer these new tunes to the ones of "Sternenstaub". Now the songs are based on defined melodies and Meltron confide on their capabilities composing energetic electro tunes as well as convingtunes Melotron did a good album and I appreciated a lot their new electro pop sound!
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Artist: Edge Of Dawn (@)
Title: Enjoy The Fall
Format: CD
Label: Dependent/Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Out of market strategies it may was a bit dangerous that the duo of EDGE OF DAWN has taken a longer than expected time gap between the release of the highly acclaimed predecessor EP "The Flight (Lux)" (out in October 2K5) and the release of this officially full-length debut album. But on the other hand – and you’ll hear it already after the first tracks – it was worth to wait and watch out for this. Mario Schumacher has constructed a nearly perfect album featuring excellent detailed and complex arrangements. Modern and up-to-date sounding, searching for similar structures in bands like COVENANT, SEABOUND (uuuhmmm...), or the hefty underrated Hungarian act IMPACT PULSE, "Enjoy The Fall" walks musically the paths between Future- and Electropop with some darker influences. It features of course the required amount of club- and dancefloor-oriented food ("Black Heart", "The Flight (Lux)", "Elegance" or "The Nightmare I Am") but also stuff designed to invade your mind, to sit down and to sink into the sound and meaning ("Descent", "Beauty Lies Within" or "Isolation"). Still a remarkable point out of the music is the appearance of Frank M. Spinath providing most of the lyrics and vocals. And no – this isn’t at all a copycat of SEABOUND – an allowed reference for comparison maybe, but you would be surprised how beastly and depressive-minded this album can be ("Black Heart", "Pray For Love"). The tracks "The Flight (Lux)", Descent" and "Elegance" were also featured on the mentioned EP, but no reason for unnecessary excitement here, because all included versions here got reconstructed and revamped. "Enjoy The Fall" is one of the very few albums which features so many details and shows possible ideas, that it would hold enough inspiration for the usually Harsh EBM act to produce 5 albums. An album which can only be out on Dependent – it may doesn’t sell the best, but the quality is top-notch and without doubt. To bad that the summer is near and Dependent will close its doors...

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Artist: Mr. Jones Machine
Title: Återvändsgränd
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
Being a Synthpop fan, can you seriously remember the early days of the nowadays defunct Swedish label Energy-Records? There was a band called PAGE (kind of pre-S.P.O.C.K. act...) which mostly provided all their lyrics in Swedish language and could gain some international attention. The trio of MR. JONES MACHINE of course isn’t that long active, but they follow the same attitude. Consisting of the brothers Jarmo and Jouni Ollila and Magnus Lindström they are that kind of band offering the musically formula you are expecting when it comes to talk on Synthpop hailing out of Sweden. Jouni Ollila? Well, by discovering this name my alarm bells were ringing. Wasn’t he the part-time third musician for the Swedish mammoth old-school EBM act POUPEE FABRIKK? I had to check my collection and – YES, he was it. But I’ve also found several more hints on him being active as a producer or responsible for the end mastering for some Progress label comrades like CRYO. So we can conclude that behind this act stands musically experience since more than a decade. This is maybe the purest Swedish Synthpop formation in its classical meaning. Smooth male timbre provided by Jarmo Ollila, sweet and catchy Synth layers and textures, also the needed portion of some 80ies Pop/Wave romantic is available, while the used sounds and equipment seem to be up-to-date. A bit hard to pick out 2 – 3 special favorites here, since all 10 tracks are offering a somewhat special catchy moment – which means that this would depend completely on personal preferences. Since the lyrics are completely provided in Swedish I expect this release to storm the album sales charts of this country. There’s no doubt that this will happen, since the production of this fine album is flawless and Progress Productions is known for some intelligent promotion ideas. A must-have release for Synthpop-fans – marvelous enough also to succeed international!!!
May 23 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Cryotank Volume 2
Format: CD
Label: cryonica (@)
Rated: *****
"Cryotank" is the second sampler for Cryonica music to celebrate the 5-year activity of the label. Here are the three highlights among some not so interesting clubby electro stompers for dark dancefloors:
Knifeladder - let me say that I loved the gloomy post-punk twist in the last Knifeladder album and that I have a deep admiration for John Murphy (former member of seminal acts like industrial gods SPK & post-punk legends Associates, and playing live for Death In June... need more?!?), here they
have an excellent track called "None of You" and an electro rmx by Antivalium.
Blue October - almost 10 years ago I was totally into synthpop/electropop and I remember I was blown away by Blue October's "Incoming", I even remember writing them emails filled with compliments and asking to come to play in Italy. I'm happy to find them in perfect shape with the two tracks on this compilation even if their style has changed a lot since 1998. Still brilliant!
Swarf - a blend of darkwave, pure electro & electropop a-là The Knife for this female-vocals trio from Brighton.
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