Music Reviews



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Artist: HOLDEN
Title: The Idiots Are Winning
Format: CD
Label: Border Community Recordings
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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James Holden started his musical activity back in 1999 when he was at college when during the summer holidays, thanks to a £500 computer with Buzz installed (Buzz is an advanced version of Fast Tracker, one of the first sequencer program that can also use samples), he produced his first track that later made him recognized as one of the best producer in England. Since then James worked hard remixing and playing his own stuff. He also founded his own label called Border Community for which he now released his full length album THE IDIOTS ARE WINNING. The ten tracks of the CD are full of good ideas as well as humour, because along with tracks titled "Idiot" or "Idiot clapsolo" there’s also one with two minutes of silence titled "Intentionally left blank". Musically we could divide the album in two main currents: minimal techno with light catchy melodies and minimal techno with sound experiments based on rhythms. On both James Holden is good at creating interesting sound sculptures that when are enriched by soft melodies are really surprising (like on the opening "Lump" or "10101").
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anymore
Artist: FLUX
Title: Electric Woman + Protected
Format: CD EP
Label: Na-no (@)
Rated: *****
I received a couple of CD from a new Finland label called Nano. Both the singles are from Flux but they seem produced by two different bands. The first single is ELECTRIC WOMAN: the main song is a tune that reminds me of the latest Karl Bartos tracks and the Tuohimaa and Markis L. remixes add to it a certain electro dance flavor without changing it too much. They added some rhythms plus some syth lines just to enhance the catchy factor. The original "Lo Fi" version is twice longer respect the video edit version (and on the extra section of the CD you can find also the video) but the sound doesn’t differs that much from the short one. Closes the E.P. an instrumental track, "Pulsar – tseburex special", a nice track that seems coming from a Japanese space base. The second single is PROTECTED: it contains only two songs ("Protected" and "No more than alive") plus a remix of the main track. On this single Flux changed totally and thanks to a new female singer (on "Electric woman" we had a robotic male vocal) we have a couple of sophisticated electropop dancey tunes really convincing. The lovers of early Client for sure will dig "No more than alive" with its analogue sounds (something similar to the first Depeche album) and the sensual female vocals. I don’t know nothing about the band but I liked these songs. Keep an eye on them...
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Fabriksampler 1
Format: CD
Label: pharmafabrik (@)
Rated: *****
This is the cdr sampler of this new mysterious Pharmafabrik label. The music captured here ranges from Seed's Steinklang inspired industrial to Glaxprism's IDM pastiche with some weird highlights like Richard Dunlap's quirky sonic extravaganza. From the first look at the artwork the drug factor is always evident and maybe the only point in common of the artists in this way too eclectic sampler (sorry but I don't appreciate bands, labels or in this case compilations covering so many different styles). Anyway some of those artits have a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to hear further progressions.
Nov 28 2006
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anymore
Artist: SIVA SIX
Title: Black Will
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
I liked the debut album "Rise New Flesh" that Siva Six released back the last year and also this BLACK WILL is a good one. At a first listening you realize that the Greek duo don’t base their sound on innovation of the e.b.m. current style as the 13 songs are powerful e.b.m. tunes with prominent bass lines, lightly distorted vocals, samples (Crowley is a must recently) and all. In these days I listened to it different times just to get familiar with it. I must admit that each time that I put the CD into my PC each song had something that catch my attention: a melody, a vocal line, a sound an atmosphere (cool the classical inserts on the opening "See the six" or on "The seal"). After these listening sessions I released that Siva Six have a really good at creating horror atmospheres a la "Halloween". If a lot of nowadays bands focus their attention on the "in your face" effect, fortunately Siva Six aren’t one of them because see for example the instrumental "Dark night of the soul": it has good atmosphere, samples and a sort of romantic/nostalgic wave. If a guy who is new to the genre would ask me, I won’t fear to suggest this album along with classics as :Wumpscut:’s "Bunkertor 7".
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anymore
Artist: Delicate Noise
Title: Diversion
Format: CD
Label: Lens records (@)
Rated: *****
Chicago-based painter and actor Mark Andrushko, a.k.a. Delicate Noise, surprised everybody with a debut full length album that shows exceptional talent and maturity, for somebody that has never made any music before. Although he won't call himself a musician, the liberty to express thoughts and feelings within the comfort zone of a controlled environment such as music creation, seems to propel and instigate just the right nerves and instincts in the mind of this self-proclaimed private man. If it was foreseeable that his music would be intimate and a tad obscure, it wasn't easy to predict that it would sound this good. Blurring the line between the reverberated and dubbed out Massive Attack inspired alienated trip-hop electronica and the melancholy and melody of Depeche Mode's synth-pop, Delicate Noise wobbles from track to track with the pace of an artist who can (make you) appreciate space and subtlety. Less is more, and Mark understood that about sounds and layers. Maybe more so than about track count. I do think that if contained (read: "EP") these efforts would have been even more distinctive and remarkable, but since it is more about relaxing and enjoying the atmospheric anxiety and the enigmatic urban flavor of these tracks, I guess you can just roll with the flow, as ethereal as the flow is...
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