Music Reviews



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Artist: SYSTEM
Title: Tempo E.P.
Format: 12"
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
After five years from their latest album released by Scape, System is back with a new four E.P. released by Denmark Rump Recordings. Each member of the trio has been busy with their solo projects (Future 3, Opiate, Dub Tractor and Acustic) and with production work and I presume this has been the reason why it took a while to make something new. The new release sees the trio dealing with dub-step and two-step but filtered with their personal way, made of subtle melodies, razor blade sharped drums (the way the rhythms are filtered make them sound like metal) and fragmented structures. The multi layered track sound particular thanks to the presence of cold sounds along with the dub treatment and the semi jazz melodies. Starting from few loops the tracks soon grow thanks to new sounds that create a digital gentle avalanche.
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Artist: ZU+ XABIER IRIONDO/ICEBURN
Title: s/t
Format: 10"
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
With incommensurable delay here we're reviewing this "jazz"(?)-core clash of titans counterpoising Zu (with Xabier Iriondo) and Iceburn. The mighty Zu with the help of mister Iriondo (from Uncode Duello/A Short Apnea’s fame) floats in a new (at least for them) electro-acoustical territory, but without losing their typical jazz-core obsessivity and their hard pounding "bass and drum" repetitivity. Due to the improvisational/experimental essence of the session and probably cause of the heavy hand of Iriondo behind the mixer, this side could be described well speaking about physical post-core music with a Brotzmanesque saxophonist melt in an intentionally chaotic, heavy, electro-acoustical pool. The real surprise has come when I started listening to the Iceburn side, but before that, let's speak about these trio from Salt Lake. Hailing from the capital of Mormons, Iceburn has left from evolved, emotionally charged, metal-core growing into something gradually more progressive, jazzy and probably they've reached the top in "Poetry of fire". Later they changed their moniker and augmented their line up becoming The Iceburn Collective and this final release is played in trio with Gentry e Chad from the historical line up. Well, they've been one of the most interesting jazz/progressive-core band of the nineties (and "post core" would be a limiting definition for such a band) and here you can enjoy one of their many evolutions. These four songs presents an unheard sludgy post-Krimson obsessive incarnation of Iceburn. Less free jazzy than the last period, heavy as hell, psychologically devastating, this could be the declaration of love from this glorious band to some of their "hard playing" inspirators and let's include in the list people like: Black Sabbath, Melvins, Rorschach, Amphetamine Reptile, Dazzling Killmen and a good part of the Skin Graft catalogue, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn's Naked City and Painkillers and god knows who else. About twelve minutes to lose yourself in complaint for their never so missed departure even if they’ve generated and reinforced bands like Colossamite and Gorge Trio.

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Artist: GETATCHEW MEKURIA & THE EX & GUEST
Title: Mon Anbessa
Format: CD
Label: Terp (@)
Rated: *****
First off: long life to The Ex! It's easy to fall in love with these dutch punks, they embody everything I've always wanted to be and I've never been: anarchists, smart, open minded, radical, classy and above all coherent. Lately I've had the luck to see them live together with Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed (r.i.p.) at the Zu fest and they still kick ass with they post punk virulence!. They've always been into experimenting with different ethnical music forms sometimes it worked while sometimes it was just an experiment, but like it or not in a world where sometimes anti globalization itself fight globalization in a standardized and pre-packaged way, well they're the last of many demonstration: "another world is possible"...but they've always been demonstrating it, therefore the next question is: "when Bregovich of ethnic music becomes fashionable is it for a real interest or just cause it’s the last in an endless list of trends?", anyhow that's not the case, therefore forgive my old fart divagation. The mix of The Ex-element with Getatchew Mekuria and Guest is out of the ordinary, sure, but not so far from what you can expect, at last we're talking of a band with a strong contradistinctive language, but the "unconventional factor" is the african aftertaste of this saxophonist that sometimes probably is also the responsible of some song structures and it means that's not a mere collaboration in which he's playing arranging those flying dutchs without having his say. Sometimes I think the music is damn catchy like in "Aynotche terabu shemonmwanaye" sometimes it's good but probably less functional, but maybe that's just a problem with my ethnically-untrained poor ears. A lot of jazz, funk reminiscences everywhere, even if sometimes are barely audible but never forget when speaking about jazz we always speak of the so called "afro-american culture". Let’s repeat it all together: "Long life to The Ex and to their friends!!!".
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Artist: WINNING
Title: This is an Ad for Cigarettes
Format: CD
Label: Ache (@)
Rated: *****
Bizarre release, but I'd say if emo-core should have had any smart option of development that should have been the way. Should we give the usual list of references to paint a decent portrait for anybody who's never heard this one: if you ask me I'd say they combine the less poppy Joan of Arc with the most chaotic melodies of Storm and Stress and to me it alone would make them deserve the "good taste and great idea" quality trademark. Imagine Cap n' Jazz getting drunk as fuck, getting depressed, happy, melancholical and again happy and deciding it's time to rock in a "fee jazzy way"... well that could be the result. Bands like that makes you think how Capitan Beefheart deserves a special place in the history of modern rock music and therefore tip of hat to the mad bluesman. Energetic melodic indie rock with a strong free structure to keep it all dispersedly together, in someway it reminded me also a release like Union of a Man and a Woman in a softer and more "experimental" salsa. I don't know how many indie rockers can dig Winning since there's a lot of energy in their songs and there's also a good dose of extravaganza in their assembling the melodies but I guess if you're in some of the bands I've mentioned you should give it a try. Nothing so experimental probably but they have that element that many bands lose while going for the "free modus essendi", they haven’t forgotten the melody and that itself is a weird thing playing what they play.
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Artist: MANDROID
Title: Futurefunk
Format: 12"
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from England, Mandroid is the project of Adrian D. Rataj. Memberof the Defcon 5 crew in Leeds, he's best known for his previous releases on Breakin Records that is run by Ed DMX (DMX Krew) and on the USA-based label FBI Recordings. After two albums and six 12" E.P.s, Mandroid has landed for the second time on Dominance Electricity (the first time has been for the compilation "Global Surveyor Phase 2") with a seven tracks E.P. that will satisfy your analog electro funky needs. King of the vocoder, Mandroid influences span from John Carpenter (do you remember the atmospheres of the Halloween soundtrack?) to Kraftwerk passing through Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby and obscure '80s synth heroes. The tunes are upbeat tracks with a dancey flavor and bleeping analog sounds with a certain dark catchy atmosphere. The main title is a short electro instrumental track that closes the 12" but before that you will for sure be delighted by the opening "Jupitor" or the intriguing atmospheres of the following "Population overdrive". Check also the beautiful cover where I think is pictured a robot version of Adrian surrounded by robot whores...
P.s. The release is available also as a promo CDr and as digital download.
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