Music Reviews

Artist: GRANDCHAOS (@)
Title: In Sedens
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Deathkon Media / Vendetta-Music
Rated: *****
It was at first the idea to bring out an EP with a few remix works on the latest works of this classic EBM act hailing from the motherland of EBM, Belgium. Up until Tcheleskov Ivanovic, the man behind GRANDCHAOS learned to known Nader Moumneh, most of you surely better known under his Side-Line forum pseudonym "Electrofreak". With a lot of euphoria, his unbreakable dedication to old-school EBM and the intention to help Tcheleskov out by collecting some good and known acts presenting musically this required style of music, this EP has grown into a DCD on which both CD’s take a playing time of more than 70 minutes each. Nader Moumneh’s addiction for the only one and real kind of electronic music, old school inspired EBM, has made it possible that several classic acts made a step out the shadows some of them currently drowning in and we have here some not expected returns like the long missed German acts TRIAL, SERPENTS or ARMAGEDDON DILDOS. This is also the first official release of Deathkon Media, which is powered and published by Vendetta-Music, a US-based mail order service. I normally do not print the track listing into a review, if it’s not a compilation. But this DCD can be seen as a compilation, so take a look below to discover a lot of familiar of up and coming as well as veteran acts of the international Electro/Industrial scene. Of course it can be hefty argued if a DCD collection featuring a such a huge amount of remix works (...there are 12 (!!!) different remixes for the track "God Is Dead"...) makes any sense, but the idea and concept behind this release is definitively new and I can’t remember to have discovered anything comparable before. Also the few own compositions by GRANDCHAOS aren’t that outstanding in between the remix stuff, that I would tend to name them here. Regarding the bunch of tracks and so also the given diversity through the remix contributions, it is a bit hard to figure out the best tunes here. The already mentioned TRIAL get definitively a vote for their remix, because they added some addictive snare drums in their very own and authentic kind. DIGITAL FACTOR’s remix for "God Is Dead" also surprises with some biting bass lines, much more aggressive than expected. The French sensation NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT could lay their talented hands on "In Sedens" and also this piece drifts far away from the original. Muscle EBM is also rich featured, well done and produced by IONIC VISION, PANZERLAB, VOLT or MILITANT CHEERLEADERS ON THE MOVE. A lot of stuff here to discover, and I’m a bit nailed by the mass. Make sure to check this item out, if authentic old school EBM is your favorite stuff.

1. in sedens > bak XIII (extended version) 7:35 (120BPM)
2. electro troop > cobalt 60 3:00 (132BPM)
3. god is dead > trial 3:11 (138BPM)
4. groundlight > sphere lazza 4:44 (140BPM)
5. god is dead > ic434 5:50 (138BPM)
6. raving mad > brain leisure 4:48 (138BPM)
7. god is dead > digital factor 5:03 (138BPM)
8. the enemy > grandchaos 2:59 (120BPM)
9. in sedens > skoyz 5:17 (120BPM)
10. mutant x > electro synthetic rebellion 5:28 (138BPM)
11. god is dead > armageddon dildos 3:19 (138BPM)
12. open source > grandchaos 3:56 (138BPM)
13. god is dead > plastic noise experience 4:27 (138BPM)
14. density > severe illusion 4:35 (127,5BPM)
15. god is dead > tyske ludder 3:54 (138BPM)
16. raving mad > K-bereit 3:52 (150BPM)
17. in sedens > neon cage experiment 6:56 (120BPM)

1. god is dead > ionic vision 3:40 (138BPM)
2. horror > grandchaos (forrestbeast remix) 3:19 (120BPM)
3. god is dead > panzerlab 3:25 (138BPM)
4. groundlight > terminal state 4:36 (140BPM)
5. god is dead > synaptic defect 4:03 (138BPM)
6. raving mad > kifoth 5:14 (138BPM)
7. god is dead > serpents 4:29 (138BPM)
8. density > last influence of brain 5:40 (085BPM)
9. in sedens > datacode division 4:38 (120BPM)
10. god is dead > volt 4:05 (138BPM)
11. electro troop > depressive disorder 4:57 (83BPM)
12. open source > atopic 4:26 (13B,411PM)
13. dream factory > grandchaos (nightmare remix) 4:54 (120BPM)
14. mutant x > disharmony 5:10 (105BPM)
15. god is dead > militant cheerleaders on the move 3:38 (138BPM)
16. mutant x > violent entity 5:36 (138BPM)
17. in sedens > bak XIII ((new beat remix) 4:17 (120BPM)

Jul 05 2006
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Freestyle Candies Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: Klang Elektronik (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Compiled by Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke of Alter Ego, the second chapter of the FREESTYLE CANDIES series come along with a particular DVD. The particularity is that the videos are made by students of the "Hochschule für Gestaltung" in Offenbach am Main under the direction of Professor Heiner Blum. I watched four videos at the label website and I can tell you that they are made using basic computer animation, simple elaborations of tv programs (a football match), elaborations of what it seems to be a home made video of old people dancing, etc. I had the occasion to watch only to small excerpts, so I can’t judge the DVD contents, basically. Anyway. This compilation greets the 100th release of the label and it gathers fourteen tracks. It starts with the minimal techno of Donna Regina remixed by Isolée just to pass to Farben's minimal electronics. The third track changes the atmosphere introducing to the audience the Latin electro of Lucien N. Luciano. Smith N Hack introduce some funky disco with their "To our disco friends". The rhythm became quieter with Slop Shop who, with the sensorama remix of "Tranzendenz express", presents a gentle electronic moment. The electro wave sound is here thanks to Rework with "Amoureuse". Bergheim 34 with "Oscillations" revive the CD with a dancey electro tune while Alter Ego presents two tracks of minimal ambient techno with little jazzy inserts on the two lone swordsmen remix of "Mescal". Closer Musik bring their experiments with lo-fi techno with "2 the beat 2 the rock" while Electronicat with "Where were you tomorrow?" are a good example of electro wave (even if this instrumental tracks is nice but it ins’t too thrilling). Eight Miles High play a kind of slow minimal techno with "Katalog". The sensorama remix of Denky Groove’s "Smoky bubbles" is a light lounge electro ambient track while Sikøra closes the compilation with "Public private moments", a sort of minimal experimental soundtrack. The compilation is various but most of the tracks focus their sound on gently electronic sounds with few electro wave or techno episodes. If you are into these sounds check it out.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: BääFest - 1stand2nd year diary
Format: CD
Label: Ebria (@)
Rated: *****
The concept behind this sampler is rather simple, the title says it all: one song for almost every (Italian) artist that took part to this well-known experimental/free-improvisation festival in Milan. After a premise like that I think you know you're going to be submerged in a 17 tracks trip of unconventional/weird music. Some studio recordings and a few live takes (with a superb quality) for some of the most dynamic and technical combos and with that I mean basically Roma's pride Zu, Anatrofobia, Uncode Duello and kraut-industrial legend Tasaday. The pack includes different styles, from Ovo in a singular relaxed salsa to the free splinters of Ben-za!, Freetto Meesto, Tanake, Pin Pin Sugar and I/O. In the middle you can taste some psychedelic "pastisse" a-la Storm and Stress/Sonic Youth (Chuck Norris Zen Solution), the cripple sound of Sinistri, the rough ambient of One By One We're all Becoming Shades and the japanese freakyness of IOIOI. The layout is simple but damn catchy and if you're into the bands included I think you won't be disappointed by their single contribute. BääFest is a unique event and it's a great showcase for music and bands that otherwise wouldn't find the adequate exposure in a country more concerned with soccer and indie rock than with new forms of expression. A good sampler but above all the morsel of a great event.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Franfurter ahung
Format: CD
Label: Sonic Arts Network
Rated: *****
Weird is such a small word to define this "object", but under the artistic profile the mere fact this' an "object" should put the release out of the ordinary "cd-context". This sampler features some of the greatest british improvisational icons of this century, like Lol Coxhill and Derek Bailey but also some new audio situationists, art-terrorist ready to give "out of mind" a new meaning. Together with some electroacustical takes you'll have the luck to meet new improvisers trying to follow the teachings of Ornette Coleman, Zappa, Bailey, Cage, Beefheart and only hell knows who else. 29 tracks of pure brain cell splattering, but that's the way it should be since this post-dada "exhibit" in some way is testing the guts of the buyer/listener. Some great tracks and some weird one, but I'd say that's the typical problem you have with samplers. One of the talented or demented pearl featured on this release (the line is always thin) is the track of Italy's Lendormin that some of you may know for their collaboration with post industrial trumpeter D.B.P.I.T.. Tip of hat to Ben Watson for having put together such a well assorted bunch of fools/geniuses, I’m sure if it was a psychiatric test to verify Watson’ sanity... well now he would sit close to somebody who claims to be Napoleon.
Artist: NEC PLUS ULTRA (@)
Title: Nec Plus Ultra
Format: CD
Label: Zona Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is another excursion into Eastern European music efforts, this time published by the Lithuanian / Latvian based label Zona Records. This label is already active since 1991, first of to serve the USSR market with Independent music. After the fall of the iron curtain and the join of the Baltic states to the EU, they redefine their structures now to introduce Independent music to the Western world. Their label program features a huge diversity featuring styles like Hard-Rock, Hip-Hop, Alternative, Ska-Punk, Electronica, yes, and this very extraordinary Russian project named NEC PLUS ULTRA. NPC is the solo effort by Leo Botzmann and hails from Perm, a city based in the Ural mountains (!!!). Life there must be hard, because so is his music. Leo’s music features definitively ideas and structures out of the EBM/Electro scene, but he combines it with several noises taken out of Experimental/Field Recordings sessions. Machines, noisy Industrial areas, driving trains – almost everything can be an inspiration for Leo. He seems to be one of the very few artists on this world who seem to see music still as a kind of art. So this whole album is filled with extremely noisy sounds, which easily can lead a track into a total climax ("Morgen" for example). The other strange point: when Leo integrates vocals into his tracks, he "sings" in German. I don’t know how, when and where he has learned my mother tongue, also it’s mostly quite funny for me to hear his accent and grammar, but I mostly understand what he tries to express. "Der Mensch kaput" gets my vote for the best track, it reminds me a lot on a classic old-school EBM piece, but of course well done with an own authentic touch. If you wanna discover something really unknown and new, then make sure to purchase this release from the growing Zona Records label. I hope the best for Leo and his cool project, that he can earn some international recognition which he surely deserves. Weiter so, Leo!
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