Music Reviews



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Artist: DAVANTAGE (@)
Title: Split And Shatter
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records / X-Cem (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
Lately this known German Electro/Industrial had a lot of trouble through lawsuit regarding the rights on the band name. Kai Härtel, long-time singer and front man of this act, left this after several disagreements regarding the coarse and outcome of the band. So we got here the result, Kai Härtel has left this band and concentrates now on his project SUPREME COURT, both musicians, Mario Fritzsche and Rene Müller, are allowed to keep the name and trademark alive for their further musically journey. DAVANTAGE also left their label Black Rain thanks to this bad happenings and can now take all concentration on their own label Rupal Records (www.rupalheads.de), with which they already released a female leaded side-project called FUTURE TRAIL in 2005. One final episode: Kai Härtel still runs a website at www.davantage.de with the permission to bring it out as a time documentary between the early years up to 2005. DAVANTAGE are now also a member of the X-Cem community, which could lately satisfy with excellent debut releases like WYNARDTAGE, MAY-FLY or ACYLUM. So "Split And Shatter" is somehow a difficult release, because it still features some influences under the old formation. The music is a fine and rich detailed EBM/Electro sound, well produced to be called modern and attractive, but still authentic enough not get called conform. The new vocalist named Beam (Ex-FEINDFLUG) can satisfy with his deep male and typical EBM-like sounding voice. This works great for the faster and danceable pieces here like "Crazy Great Warning" and "Split And Shatter", for the slower tracks like "Flash Of Despair" there’s room to develop. Globally we can recognize the quality efforts of the band, which should be able to hold their old fan base. Please note also the special limited edition, a bonus EP named "Conference" featuring 4 new tracks, two remix works both by WYNARDTAGE and an alternative version to "Crazy Grey Warning". Fans will purchase both items before they got sold-out.
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Artist: ANDERS DAHL
Title: Hundloka, Flockblomstriga 1
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Hapna (@)
Rated: *****
When mr. De Waard (Vital Weekly) writes Hapna is a kick ass label I think he's right. Honestly of all the possible directions of melodic music to become experimental and the option to save experimental musicians from getting boring: I think this label has chose one of the most interesting routes. It's not just one record, I think the majority of their releases have just something more. For example take this Anders Dahl’s recording: how many acoustic guitar driven cds have you heard this year? And how many of them where interesting?...Dahl mixed a good psych-folk song writing a la Grubbs/Fahey with a personal experimental extravaganza. If you miss those inspired and enlightened Gastr Del Sol’s ideas, I think he will give you what you’re looking for. An acoustic track thus can become a drone-based/odd crescendo that brings the mood to its climax. Hundloka's three tracks create a continuum even if they're different one from each other (just listen the passage from the first to the second "movement"). Concrete elements and acoustic instruments married splendidly with a spew of electronics to keep everything together. Another nice trip sponsored by Hapna.
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anymore
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The eternal present
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
This' the second sampler of Elvis Coffee records I review and as I've said the last time this' a strange kind of label. The most of the music they put on their sampler creates a really uniform collage and nothing better than a collage epitomizes the approach of many modern/contemporary artists, uh?!. Drone music? Space music? Probably both of them...at last England is the cradle of many different genres of music one of which is psychedelia? (... bye bye Syd!!). When it's not "drone-odd" music, it indirectly (or directly who knows) pays tribute to people like early isolationists or to beautiful/degenerated minds like Nurse With Wound, weirdest Current 93 or something in the vein but everything here is more softly . Sideral music for odd people? Maybe... even if I don't know much about the most of the bands (apart those included in the first compilation) I'm sure some of them are definitely mature for some official release. Relaxing? Acid? Probably I'm writing this for the second time reviewing Elvis Coffee releases but that's acid music for modern fre-e-aks. Weird and interesting.
Jul 11 2006
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Artist: EMPTY (@)
Title: Open Aeon
Format: CD EP
Label: Aphotic Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is the follow-up act of the Australian EBM/Electro band TRON, some of you maybe have heard active at the Hellwire community (www.hellwire.com). EMPTY consist of both members, Aaron Potter and Daniel Brunet, and they are playing a kind of Dark Electro following some traditional ideas of the older DISMANTLED combined with some HEAVY WATER FACTORY ideas – if there’s really a need to compare them somehow. Recording for their own small label Aphotic Audio, this is a self-funded but very professional release regarding all important parts from a cool artwork up to the music. It is definitively a subtle but also attractive arranged electronic music which doesn’t follow any overrated hypes. Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY, whose talent is for sure well known (please check out the new interview with him here on our site...), has laid his helping hands on the mixing console and did some production on this release and result is a fine and very satisfying official debut EP featuring 6 tracks and two valuable remix contributions by ANGEL THEORY and iammynewt. The opener "Ghost Beside You" and "Blue" can be named as the favorites here, both feature a well done and remarkable dark melodic content – no wonder also that these both tracks received the remix contributions of the both mentioned act. Also a video for "Ghost Beside You" should be now available, just check back the website of the band. Check also out the intense and gloomy final piece "Alone". This release can impress totally through its decent dark, but melodic input, the mood and complexity generally. Here are no "get-hard-be-strong" artists at work, moreover a grown and experienced unit now finally providing outstanding results. Get it, check back the DSBP website to purchase this item.
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Artist: GODKOMPLEX (@)
Title: Audial Apostasy
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Noise Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Some of you may have discovered this Californian act on some magazine CD compilations of the well known Industrial Nation, maybe also from the well done "Wetworks Compilation III" which was online available from this now defunct webzine. Here they are back with a new 12 track album and all of you who have expected a music style like the compilation appearances mostly based on classic US-Industrial anthems will be surprised. Some far away possible comparisons to the old KEVORKIAN DEATH CYCLE maybe come to mind ("World Below"), but GODKOMPLEX have much more to offer. Some tracks turn into an Ambient-like style ("Not Human", "The Final Act"), while they mix perfectly in some cool Dark Electro tunes ("Kill-4-God", "Diminutive"). Conspicuous is the fact that this act has fine abilities to integrate complex rhythm patterns featuring several D n’ B and or IDM flavors – not everything here has that 4/4-marching-forward feel. I’m wondering a bit that there are only three tracks which feature the pregnant vocals of Daron A. Case ("All Or Nothing", "World Below" and the already discovered but still amazing "Intentional Disarray"). All other tracks are instrumental, but therefor voice sample-driven. It would be easy to advise them to write more tracks featuring some male or female vocals for sure, but on the other side I have to admit that this missed part doesn’t make the other nine tracks boring. GODKOMPLEX set the music in the center of their work – and their work is marvelous here! Distributed by the cool DSBP label/mail order should make it possible to get this fine item easily and to a fair price. A band to follow immediately!
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