Music Reviews



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Artist: MATHEW ADKINS
Title: mondes inconnus
Format: DVD
Label: Empreintes Digitales (@)
Rated: *****
From the day I've received it, I think I've been listening to this recordings many more times than those I planned to write this review, and it's been a great surprise. This cd comes in dvd format that means you're supposed to listen to this music via home theatre to recreate the same effect for which these compositions/installations have been projected. In the contemporary sound of Mathew Adkins there's a lot of electronics and while in many reviews they write about his electro-acoustic skill I think the listening of this collection of works reveal Adkins’ music deep electronic essence. Mondesin is cold, odd and leaves the potential listener wandering in a sort of trance, infact unlike many contemporary composers/musicians Adkins' music is beyond doubt expressive and emotionally charged but still cerebral. I think I'm gonna write something many of you will disagree with, but during the whole listening I got the sensation this music is really suitable with some Lynch and Carpenter's movies above all those where the locations become the main guiding line of the storyboard. This composer in some way follows the footsteps of Pierre Schaeffer and improves his ideas; I’ve read he received some international prizes for his composition and you from what I’ve heard he deserved it.
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Artist: DIGITAL GEIST (@)
Title: The Zero Engine
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
With a first look only on the cover art you may expect a kind of Techno/Trance-based music effort, and indeed – these elements can be discovered here besides some others. This is the debut full-length CD of Alex K and Newt, who are hiding behind this moniker and they offer as an interesting mixture of the above mentioned styles combined with some IDM/Electronica influences, Futurepop and a slight excursion into Electro-Clash music. So you’ll get a fine and detailed arranged album which will easily push your body to the dancefloors. With the track "Someone Like Me" they also have a piece on board which features real male vocals (though well manipulated with some vocoder effects...) and a real compositional background. Several "spoken word" inputs done by Krista Dragomer can be heard on 4 different tracks. This release also attracts attention because it has several collaborations and remix works available. With FRONT 242 working on "Someone Like Me" they could indeed win one of the biggest players internationally, also the Danish act NEOTEK has a good name in the Electro/EBM/Industrial scene. But it should be mentioned that both their remix works don’t push the sound of DIGITAL GEIST any nearer to EBM or Electro/Industrial music – they swim with the stream. Favorites next to "Someone Like Me" can be named with "Earworm (No Light Guides Us)" (what a fine synth layer work!) and the dry Techno-styled "Keep The Faith (featuring Christian K. of DHARMA LAB)". There’s a lot of talent and real effort behind this album and if you dig some of the above mentioned styles, you would be surprised by the diversity this release has to offer.
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anymore
Artist: RAN (@)
Title: Ran
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Ran is a new project of a duo formed by Giorgio (ex Templebeat) and Romina (ex Antinomia and estAsia). Their music blend elements of ethereal/fairy music (thanks to Romina’s vocal style) and electronic music with some industrial arrangement. They are experienced musicians and you can hear that thanks to the atmosphere they are able to create but I must admit that I liked mostly the musical part respect the vocal parts. Unfortunately for me when I listen to female singers that use that style automatically I compare them with Lisa Gerrard or Elizabeth Fraser and even if I don’t care if technically we are facing the same level, I like to be carried away by the personality of that voice. Romina is a good singer but her voice don’t make me feel the emotions I would expect to. Ran’s music seems to be built around her voice because the tracks are based on mid tempos and there’s lack of a carrying melody. To be sincere there are also good tracks like "The great below" or the closing "Splinters" where there’s also a certain amount of energy that exalt Romina’s vocal qualities but, for my tastes, this is what is missing on the previous ones.
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anymore
Artist: Ahab Rex (@)
Title: Blood on Blonde
Format: CD
Label: Lens records (@)
Rated: *****

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Ahab Rex's minimalistic electro-rock bounces back and forth from being a noir songwriter's most intimate and convoluted creation to showing the aggressive energy and raw sonic attack of an entire band. Unapologetic naked lyrics sung out with the conviction and the soul of one of the last of the spoken-word urban poets. If you tend to prefer the focus being shifted on words you'll appreciate the vocal characteristics of this young talented and very personal singer, who, without sounding like a clone will make you think, for one reason or another, about David Bowie, Tom Waits, Trent Reznor, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave etc... And if you are longing for big names, the collaboration on Ahab Rex's debut full length CD should make you seriously think about checking them out: drummer Martin Atkins (NIN, Killing Joke, Pigface), singer Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks), Steven Seibold (Hate Dept), Dylan Ryan, Pigface and Assassins (who both remixed one song on this record), The Countdown, Griffin Rodriguez (him) and engineer Adam Yoffe (Big Buildings) all lend a helping hand for an album that does sound mature and ready for a much bigger audience.As a music producer, this is the kind of band I'd be seeking out to work with and the kind of band where I'd wonder why they are not signed, so I am glad that somebody (Lens records) noticed them and is (hopefully) providing them with good promotion and distribution. I don't think I need to stress any further that this m+f duo knows what they are doing and are determined and set out to be noticed.
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Artist: BEAMSHIP (@)
Title: Big Brother
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
With a look on the cover art and regarding the band name I can assure you that this trio hailing from Brno, Czech Republic, hasn’t got anything to do with the Klingon empire out of Star Trek :-). It’s moreover a self-produced debut of this newcomer act, from whom some of you have maybe heard the name Martin Pavlik before. He’s a constant member with the DEPRESSIVE DISORDER front man Patrik Lev of the Dark Electro/Ambient side-project HEEL, which could release an amazing debut last year on Monopolrecords (www.monopolrecords.cz). BEAMSHIP has something different to offer. It is globally placed into the Dark Electro/EBM genre, but with some hints to different music styles like Techno and IDM. They’re also not afraid in the use of some guitar riffs here and there. This all builds a diverse sounding Electro/Industrial album and the dark and deep male voice of the singer reminding me a bit on a rough intoned J.-L. de Meyer. Favorites can be named with the catchy title track, the dark arranged "Mind Control" and for sure "Welt Gegen Welt", featuring some German lyrics. Two tribute tracks are also featured to conclude this CD, "Radioactivity" (KRAFTWERK), and "Monument" (DEPECHE MODE), but both can’t grab too much attention. Not to forget the video part at the enhanced CD, a 3-D clip of "Welt Gegen Welt". The globally content of this release features a critical view on ovious state control of the USA and has several critical reports about George Orwell’s famous book "1984" with the "Big Brother Is Watching You" theme. It also features some reports on the CIA programs "MK Ultra" and "Echelon". Interesting stuff to read and to listen to, get it!
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