Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Berlin Insane IV
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Pale Music Int.
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
This fourth volume of the Berlin Insane series has been a real surprise. Pleasant? Somehow, dunno if for you it will be the same. It depends how much are you fond of r'n'r/punk sound. To cut a long story short, the fist CD opens with the beautiful "Gott sei's getrommelt" by N.U. Unruh, a track made using metal percussing sounds that reminded me Polynesian folk sounds (if not from Polynesia you have understood what part of the world I am referring to) but after that you find a crescendo of r'n'r'/punk tracks/bands that make you question if you are listening to the right record. Some bands like Electronicat, Mount Sims (his new track sounds a little different from his previous ones but it don't changes his style. It is a little more r'n'r because of the melody chosen) or Boys Of Scandinavia have a oblique approach to the r'nr' verb (i.e. they use a lot of electronic stuff and in the case of B.O.S. the singers remember a little Jonny Rotten). The same goes with the following bands but little by little their sound is more and more based on the bass/guitar/drum sound and it surprised me to see Kid Congo Powers (ex Cramps or Gun Club) on Pale Music. A little exception is T.Raumschmiere Vs. Motor which uses samples from an old Cypress Hill song (it is "Insane in the brain"). Wow, man, listening to these tracks it was like listening to a particular Crypt Records compilation. There's also space for indie a la Bloc Party with Rich & Kool's "A 13". Also Neonman sound different from the album they released... I'll write it again: wow. This is innovating a genre, for sure. It is all about audience: if you plays to techno/electro guys, danceable punk rock this is something new for them... Anyway. The second CD is opening with a semi rap track, "Crime scene" by Stinkmitt and at this point I thought: "No! I'm not ready for this!". He, he. Luckily enough the following tracks are top electro tracks thanks to Glamour To Kill, Jake The Rapper, Mark Moore & Kinki Roland, Waldorf (their "a touch of glass mix" of "Get ready for your last dance" sounds like a 70s/80s mix. Do you remember the early Phoenix songs?). Also on this CD there are little exceptions like The Scandals or Crack Whore Society, Pink Grease and Grizzly that mix r'n'r/punk and a little of electronics. Noblesse Obliges is something totally different, because you must mix a chanteause with a bass guitar and a cool atmosphere. It was a surprise also to see Punx Soundcheck (featuring Gene Serene) dealing with a semi punk tune a la Suzi Quatro. The CD closes with Jammin' Unit's "Ich bin punk", a track that sounds like a drunk ragamuffin playing a rock song (the track I like less). Approaching to these 38 tracks compilation you have to remember that this is the document of an event that take place each year in Berlin and that shows that many faces of a city and of its music. Don't take it as an electro compilation of cool tracks as you won't be satisfied...
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Artist: ICK (@)
Title: La Parade Des Sans Illusions
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Ick is active since mid nineties and he already released several stuff for different labels such as Hau Ruck!, La Nouvelle Alliance, Blade Records, etc. LA PARADE DES SANS ILLUSIONS is the first 7" of the new Petite Enfant series: a new 7" only releases produced by Enfant Terrible, label that is anyway releasing music on vinyl only. This 7" contains four tracks of primitive industrial 80's electronic. Since the first moments of "Societe D'Ombres" is clear waht Ick is about: inflexible industrial electronic wave that sounds like an extreme version of early Die Form. The four tracks "Societe D'Ombres", "Je Cours", "Kings Of Speed" and "Avoir 20 Ans" (this last one has the same title of one Di Leo movies, starring Gloria Guida) sound like desperate anthems where the distorted vocals seem coming from the past, from a broken radio while the music built a desolation scenario really functional. This release is limited to 300 copies. Hurry to get yours and visit Enfant Terrible's website to listen to some audio excerpts.
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Artist: AFTER THE SNOW (@)
Title: Fracture
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to only 350 copies and on vinyl the first After The Snow album will make you revive the sensations of the first time you listened Clair Obscure or early Death In June. Let's tell by now that After The Snow's music isn't a mere reproduction of past formulas, we can say that as the first bands of the electronic cold wave scene the project tend to canalize emotions into a minimal electronic wave, without caring too much about how many sounds there are into a song or how much catchy it could sound. The sound proposed is rarefied and cold and vocals are evocative and sometimes distant. You can name it also experimental electronic wave because of the basic structure of the tracks and if you lived the early days of post punk and new wave you can understand what I mean...
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Artist: EDEN SYNTHETIC CORPS (@)
Title: Matte
Format: CD
Label: Scanner (@)
Rated: *****
Portugal is one of those European countries which features some very well and hard producing Electro/Industrial acts - but unfortunately these acts like NUCLEAR DAWN or (IN)-PERFECTION got mostly ignored by the labels of the scene and a lot of talent and recorded stuff will remain unpublished. The things are changing for this 4-men-output of EDEN SYNTHETIC CORPS, or short ESC, who present us here signed on the German Scanner label their debut CD "Matte". Frank D’Angelo, label chief of the Dark Dimension group and band member of Germany’s well-known act [SITD], proves a fine nose for the talent, although – and this has to be said, too – he follows the currently hype and has signed a Harsh EBM or Hellektro act. From the provided quality this quartet offers there aren’t any doubts – it’s nice to hear their routine in the kind of programming, the chosen sounds and the effective use of Alien-like menacing vocals. The mostly violent attitude, also rich present in their lyrics ("Magenta", "Unit 06" "Matte") also won’t leave any need of the Rivethead junkie unfulfilled, but – if you really look out to discover something authentic, which can be named unique for this Portuguese act, you won’t find it here. 12 tracks in all, with 2 instrumental pieces and a cover version on KRAFTWERK’s "The Robots", but a real surprise asides the known formula they’ve left out. A good and promising debut for sure, also a nice and aptly fitting artwork (they are the ministry of scars... indeed!!!), but also some free space to develop musically. Go on and figure out.
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Artist: PSYCLON NINE (@)
Title: Crwn Thy Frnicatr
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
I know we had already a review on this current effort of this in between becoming very famous and recognized act (see also an interview with front man Ner0 somewhere here on our site...), which was rather concentrated to argue on the kind and sound of Ner0’s voice. Of course, also on this new release his vocals are sounding still like a raging Chucky, the killer puppet. But can this be the point of discussion? I somehow think, that especially this style of vocals has done a lot to make this band that recognizable and at least successful – it’s a matter of taste of course. But also musically a lot has changed compared to the predecessor "INRI", maybe the most successful album ever sold through their US label Metropolis Records. What could be called on "INRI" a first tendency to create a rather different sound than the once proclaimed Hellektro formula, finds here a continuation and a closer tendency to some Black/Death Metal sounds. This doesn’t only belong to the fact, that they now have added some more raging guitar riffs on the track "Scar Of The Deceiver" and "Crwn The Frnicatr", also the kind of arrangements and the rotating programming of the bass kicks (rather like an angry instrument...) tends more and more into this alternative kind. With some few exceptions ("Flesh Harvest", "Visceral Holocaust"), I really think that PSYCLON NINE will get problems to storm the dancefloors in comparison to the still growing army of Hellektro purist acts. It’s no longer a must to bring it all into a 4/4-on-the-floor mayhem, the tracks rather tend to integrate a chaotic, at times Punk-like attitude. The Electro/EBM purists need to be a bit more open-minded – difficult for Europe and the NoiTekk supporters – but I see the victory train in the USA, now completed with a long tour. "Crwn..." got mastered by Da5id Din (INFORMÄTIK) – I guess to work on this aggressive and infernal-like album was also a new experience for him...

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