Music Reviews



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Artist: Pride And Fall
Title: In My Time Of Dying
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Only one year after their predecessor release, the Norwegian-based Futurepop-act PRIDE AND FALL returns with a new full-length album. It also marks one of the very last releases by the German Dependent label and since this happening is more than sad enough, the band has decided to include some dedicated words to thank the label for the fruitful cooperation. Musically not too much has changed in the PRIDE AND FALL outfit. Still balancing out the genres between Synth-/Futurepop up to EBM, it nevertheless can’t be ignored that the term "epic" has to be added. Their arrangements are sounding rich, detailed and multi-layered, while I sometimes miss a bit the try to experiment with additional synth-sounds. Another striking point is the sad and romantic mood which the compositions of PRIDE AND FALL offer. All of you who draw relations of Synth-/Futurepop with happiness should use and listen this release to experience something different. Of course, as the title announces it already, globally the featured content here deals with dark, sad or depressive themes ("I Wither") – arrangements and lyrics full of "sunshine-reggae" would be misplaced. For sure the right album for some cold and dark autumn evenings in front of a fireplace, I also like to forgive them the here and there obviously try to sound like VNV NATION at their "Empires"-phase. "Adored" is a fine and catchy worked out Futurepop-tune, which should be able to cause some action on the dancefloors. "The Burning Faith" surprises with a cooperation-effort by the Japan-based Ambient-musician KENJI SIRATORI, who’s responsible for the lyrics and vocals. "In My Time Of Dying" is a very good produced album which deserves the so-called Dependent quality-seal, although nobody should expect the re-invention of the light bulb.
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Artist: MARY AND THE BOY
Title: Mary And The Boy
Format: CD
Label: Low Impedance Recordings (@)
Distributor: Msen Music
Rated: *****
Formed in 2004 as Mougra Band, Mary And The Boy during these years produced music for dance shows and theater. Coming from Greece the band is formed by two musicians and a dancer. Their first self titled album has a high dramatic and theatrical component and (not only because they're coming from Greece) the female vocals sometimes remember me of Diamanda Galas. The tracks are based on electronics and guitars but the main part is represented by the vocals (both female and male). In this way we have musical experimentations with a melodic structure which is functional to the theatrical aspect of the project. Lyrics deals with sex, death, humiliation and failure and they aren't descriptive of a particular situation, instead they are like flashes. "Black terror" for example opens with: "Oh black terror. Black whore of silence. That man nailed me down. He took his knife and ripped my heart". Musically the album opens with a duet with chants and piano just to explode with the second track, "Death", where a distorted guitar and a bass line create the right background for a crying woman. The band is good at the creation of these particular dramatic atmospheres and they deserve your attention.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: WHW
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Germany’s special mail order service and underground Powernoise-label SkullLine releases only a few month after "Document A" another compilation. This time they like to celebrate their 1st anniversary of the SkullLine label and for this event they’ve invited besides the complete own roster several acts musically based in the wide field between EBM, Powernoise, Minimal, Ambient, Martial Industrial and Neo-Folk. Of course and thanks to the rich amount of acts joining this compilation, this release comes out as a double-CD packaged in a huge DVD case. Also – as usual – it is limited to 200 hand-numbered copies, from which 64 exemplars will be released as a box-set including a T-shirt.
Giving CD1 a first spin, it is already conspicuous how diverse the musically playing field of this compilation will turn. SkullLine’s very own act TT provides an intro-track which comes unusual dark, while KALIBER 9 storming merciless in your brain with a hefty Powernoise tune, a remix of their track "Neurotoxin". Neo-Folk-inspired works musically supported by acoustic guitars you’ll get with the appearances of BERKANA ("Sehnsucht Nach Dem Frühling" – lyrics originally written by August H. Hoffmann, a well-known traditionally German text) or ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI. Rather sedating comes the Dark-Ambient tune of EINHEIT 731, while BLEIBURG surprises once again with an outlook to a coming new album, "Der Meldereiter" comes out as a straight rhythmic-oriented track featuring some amusing German voice samples. In between we have STANDGERICHT, another project new signed to SkullLine, offering Minimal textures with a slight noisy ingredient. Something new also from SHIFT 69, the track "Arbeit" features retro-EBM structures and sampled and vocoderized vocals – WELLE:ERDBALL can be named to be a quell of inspiration. The term "Noise" in a rhythmically form returns with the appearances of both ZYANKALI and TRITON 83, and with LIFE’S DECAY one of the international better known artists joins this comp. MANMACHINE, last but not least, ends this compilation with a rather dark Ambient-tune, also from this act a new release out on SkullLine is in the works.
CD2 got opened by MARK LANE offering a moody Dark Electro/Ambient-driven track entitled "Atomium". Other striking appearances have to be named with LADY MORPHIA ("Widerstand" – something between Goth and Neo-Folk, well-done male vocals and a orchestral-like musically building.), NEJET NOK ("Singen, Lachen, Töten", minimal retro-EBM structures with pitched vocals and German lyrics which cause a smile...) and SCHALLGEWALT ("Electrocabinette", a minimal but speedy rhythmic piece remixed by BLEIBURG). Also a positive point is the fact that especially the second CD of this set doesn’t forget to include some more or lesser known acts like MELEK-THA, HYBRIDS, CONTAGIOUS ORGASM or KENJI SIRATORI, all providing stuff in their representative styles.
Although the second CD out of this set may features the better-known names, the favorites can be mostly heard on CD1, at least to my personal preferences. SkullLine-chief Harald Jarosch has once again concentrated to collect a very diverse and wide-ranging music compilation, on which no appearance sounds like any other on here. Some surprises drifting in unexpected musically regions seems to become more and more a trademark of his work for the SkullLine label as well, so let’s listen and see what the coming months will bring until we’ve to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary.

Tracklist:

CD 1 :
01. TT – WHW (intro)
02. Kaliber 9 – Neurotoxin (RMX)
03. Berkana – Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling (Lyric of August H. Hoffmann)
04. Einheit 731 (S.T.A.B ELECTRONICS INC.) – Last Glint
05. Rose Rovine E Amanti – Noi Ritorneremo
06. Von Thronstahl – Returne your Revolt into Style (Boss / Lagerfeld Mix)
07. Standgericht – Total Discipline (V2)
08. Bleiburg – Der Meldereiter (RMX)
09. Shift69 – Arbeit
10. Heiliges Licht – Untitled (only for WHW)
11. Zyankali – Zyklon
12. Triton 83 – Insolent Ungodliness
13. Life’s Decay - Regimental
14. MDMA – Vengeance
15. Bonemachine – Rhythmus der Einsamkeit
16. Manmachine – We Love in Still

CD 2 :
01. Mark Lane – Atomium
02. Genocide Lolita – Haganah Whores
03. Lady Morphia – Widerstand (symphonic version)
04. Melek-tha – Complaint de la Terre Brulee
05. Nejet Nok – Singen, Lachen, Töten
06. Hybryds – Resistance
07. Von Liebenfels – Sailing Homeward
08. Zhark – Eisenzeit (C-64) Dedicated to Josef Maria Klumb/Von Thronstahl
09. Kenji Siratori – Rebirth
10. Exemtum – Tribute to Club Moral
11. Camisole – Recycle the Dead
12. Contagious Orgasm – The Fall
13. Iron Youth feat. The 120 Days – White Comfort (Re-2007)
14. Lonsai Maikov – Coup de Grace (demo)
15. Schallgewalt - Electrocabinette (RMX by Bleiburg)
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Artist: SIGILLUM S (@)
Title: 23120
Format: CD
Label: Verba Corrige
Rated: *****
After seven years from their latest release, Sigillum S (Eraldo Bernocchi, Paolo Bandera and Luca Digiorgio) are back to celebrate their twenty years of activity. The new album 23120 has been issued as CD and limited double vinyl and they differ because they have seven exclusive tracks each, for a total of 23 new tracks. At the moment I received only the CD edition, so I'm going to talk about that one. I know Sigillum S since day one and I must say that I appreciated a lot their early stuff and a bit less the "Malattia" saga, musically talking. With 23120 they are back with a sound that sum twenty years of musical experiences that the trio had with Sigillum S and also with many other projects (Eraldo collaborated with many dub/experimental music gods as well as Paolo gathered many recordings under the Sshe Retina Stimulants moniker where we can see him as noise manipulator or under the Komplet one). As far as I understood Paolo gathered tons of sound sources (noises, electronics, samples, etc.) and Eraldo recorded and engineered everything. Many other people helped them with audio contributions (Andrea Marutti, Zu, Xabier Iriondo, Mark Solotroff to name few) and some tracks see also guests on vocals, guitars, etc. The sixteen tracks of the CD edition amaze first of all because the sound production and because the "thick" ambience they are able to create. If you want me to be more specific, I can talk about 23120 as a great obscure ambient dub album with many industrial and experimental inserts. You can find tension on each track and if on the dub/industrial crossover of "Soil-Borne Bacterium Root To Insect Pets & Safe To Higher" it explodes (thanks to the distorted vocals of Della Volpe), on tracks like "Legacy Of Identity Politics (Kill, Kill, Kill)" (which reminds the sound of one of their old tapes "Bardo Thos-Ghrol) or "Adventurous Contemporary Tune" is something more subtle, more like a crawling sensation. Great sounds and great atmospheres are making of this album a really good come back for Sigillum S. Do yourself a favor and check it!
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Artist: TIZIANO MILANI (@)
Title: Chamber music for screeching and artificial insects
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale (@)
Rated: *****
Second full length for this artist some of you have probably heard since he’s been used as primary sound source for the recording of Claudio Parodi’s "Horizontal mover" on Extreme records. It’s surprising how some barely unknown artists can put out a cd so intense that blows away bigger productions or even the most famous names, but this’ just one of the many cases I’ve the chance to find recently. Milani’s works present a crepuscular blend of different influences well assorted in what in general can (or should I say "will") be classified as electronic music. My reticence in speaking about electronic music has to do with the fact you can hear many acoustic instruments floating here and there in the magmatic flux, but I still dunno what is played and what’s not: who cares anyhow?. Another weird side effect I’ve sensed is the nocturnal modern jazz/contemporary classic feel that imbues the whole exhibit, be it for the harmonic dissonances or for the soft elegant interventions he’s put parsimoniously during the assemblage of every fragment. The full-length is divided in seven tracks evolving around the same harmonical/musical idea alas the global listening is really homogeneous, despite the long duration it’s not a boring release, sure it’s a intense and heavy trip, but while requiring a lot of attention it keeps the evocative power unaffected from the first to the last second. How does it sounds like? Like a dronical, post jazzy, atmospherical cloud where you have some scattered instruments crossing the scenario very discretely, therefore far from those short rides you hear in the most recent electro acoustic releases. While you some concrete sounds make their guest appearance in some of the acts, many sounds are patiently lead in and out of to the scene thanks to an intelligent use of delays and reverbs and above all thanks to a clever superimposition of layers. Yes, this work is what we may consider a dronical, electronical layering of different things even thought as I’ve already said the result is quite coherent in its elegant crepuscular dress. I’ve had the impression this music could concretize what happened if only David Tibet would have been much more into jazz or contemporary classic music instead of being lost in psychedelia and folk, probably it has to do with the "scattered memories" feel created by the odd melodies plus the field-recordings/samples drowning in the dark pool. Enchanting, odd record here: give it a try.
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