Music Reviews



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Artist: Sote (@)
Title: Dastgaah
Format: CD
Label: Dielectric
Rated: *****
Sometimes categories become useless or even better some musicians make it inadequate. Sote's "dastagaah" sure can be filed under "ethnic electronica", but I'm not sure it really paints the proper image of what Iran original Akta Ebtekar plays. Together with the blend of this two different elements we should consider a top notch "deviation" factor. Honestly is one of the most bizarre record I've been listening during the last months, I don't even know if the mixture of iranian music and laptop elements fits perfectly in all of the tracks, but believe me, I hardly happened to hear something like that. If you're an electronic fanatics I'm sure you already know this guy’s earlier mini cd was on Warp... tip of hat to him!. For a few seconds it also reminded me of some Black Dog middle-est influenced harmonies, but "Dastagaah" is located somewhere else, take the fifth track: how can you define that if not "Odd"?. A-rhythmical or at least forget you're Panjabi Mc indian beats, Sote effort is mystical and directed to your grey matter, if I knew much more Middle-est philosophy/religion I'd say that Sote stands to sufism as "ordinary" middle-est influenced music to orthodoxy. Not always easy to be digested but definitely unconventional and personal.
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Artist: LEEZA (@)
Title: Living in a pixel
Format: CD
Label: Afe (@)
Rated: *****
I think lot's of our readers know Afe for the xperimental-electronic-ambient-weird-odd-mistique roster but Leeza has not that much to share with the afore listed categories. If a cd can stick to a good definition, you can bet "Living in a pixel" fits perfectly with the "Intelligent Dance Music" classification. If you've ever been into the glory days of Warp and you think Autechre before becoming a "total defragmenting machine" and Afx before getting fond of Satie and bored by the whole world were great, I think you'd better give a listen to this. Passatism? Mere revivalism?...A friend of mine would answer: "who care unless it sounds good!?" and he’s probably right. Leeza is perhaps a fan of that synth/keyboard sound that marked so deeply the tracks on the Artificial Intelligence samplers, while that's much more than an impression, rhythmically the song are quite simple but really straight to the point. Sometimes it was like listening to the "dearly missed" Black Dog but also to L.F.O. and in my book that's a good thing. Leeza is probably into building up good danceable tunes much more than trying to sound cool at any cost (listen to "Dav_home" or "Ermos" for exemple). An honest release that reminds when a "block party" was still a "rave" and not a "cheap" band on Mtv
Jun 02 2006
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Artist: SKOIZ (@)
Title: Hologram
Format: CD
Label: Cortex Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is the second work written by Skyoz, an ebm duo from Lyon.The band exists since 1995 and their electronic style is built up by using analog machines which create that typical atmosphere you can find in records such as VNV Nation’s ones or other names lake this. In fact, in the year 2000 the duo played as a support act for VNV themselves... But the most interesting thing is that Skyoz, this year, played with Front 242 for their 25th anniversary! However, this album has to be listened to, most of all for the perfection which can be found in each composition. The most appealing song are Cold Colour and Distorted Dreams, catchy tunes with nice synths stuctures.I am not an ebm freak but when this kind of music is played with passion and control of the synthesizers I must admit it makes great impact! In cases like these it’s not just a question of dancing (as it sometimes occurs with some ebm bands) but a nice occasion for listening to the choices of sounds as well.
Jun 01 2006
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Artist: SKOYZ (@)
Title: Hologram
Format: CD
Label: Cortex-Records (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution / DSBP
Rated: *****
This second full-length release of the both French Electro/Industrial musicians Stephane Ayas and Nicolas Ussel aka SKOYZ is a long-awaited one. It was entitled to be out on the Polish Black Flames label in summer 2005, but shortly before it got released, the label quitted its business. So SKOYZ had to look for a new label and after a while they got picked up by their fellowmen of Cortex-Records, the label which brought out the excellent NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT. It has taken a long time after the release of their promising debut "Decay" on the German Matrix Cube label, but to wait for this new one was worth it. A lot of stuff they’ve been produced and conceived as well, and so this CD really can be called a "full-length" with a playing time of about 73 minutes. 9 new track including the well placed compilation appearances "Dark Energy" and "Distress/Signal" are on here, plus you’ll get 6 remixes done and recreated by good names like the mentioned NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT, DESTROID, INTERLACE THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT, POLYGON and SKOYZ themselves, offering a lighter version of one of the best tracks here, "Cold Colour". SKOYZ play a refreshing kind of Dark Electro with cold distorted vocals, thick arranged atmospheric synth layers and rotating bass lines, at times with some filter manipulations reminding on some Techno productions. This "Hologram" release got mastered by Mike Johnson in his renowned Mao-Music studios (AGONOIZE, INFEKKTION, VIRTUAL EMBRACE...), so the result is a well produced Electro/EBM album which is not like anything else. It features of course a lot of pieces which go straight forward to storm the floors of the dark clubs on this globe, although it avoids a curry favor of too often heard Hellektro releases. Rich and detailed programming work also give a total satisfying experience under some good headphones as well. SKOYZ are for sure next to the already mentioned NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT and some others like E.S.R. or TAMTRUM one of the leading acts playing hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music France has to offer and this "Hologram" is an excellent example of this from track 1 to track 15. What are you waiting for? Get it!!!
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Artist: MONOLITH (@)
Title: Talisman
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
There’s no need to introduce Eric van Wonteghem to the interested audience of Electro/Industrial music for sure, maybe I should mention that he is more active than ever before? Also with his main and classic EBM project INSEKT he just released a new CD at NTP/Dependent besides this already sixth studio album of his solo effort MONOLITH. With this project Eric always tested the audience with his more experimental side of music, mostly the music of MONOLITH is based in the genres between IDM, Electronica, Tribal up to some real Powernoise efforts. So also this new CD features a lot of stuff to break out through some genre boundaries. You’ll get a full dose of never heard before sounds, complex rhythm programmings and strange structures generally. It is definitively a piece taken from the intelligent side of music, although I miss maybe a bit a "composition" and the human touch behind this music integrated through some vocals. Some repeating voice samples in between do never replace a vocalist, so the music of this release has to speak for itself. Eric’s musically activity lately with harder acts like SONAR is best transmitted here through tracks like "Indigo" or the title track "Machinebreak", and I definitively prefer this side of him. The global album is well done and good produced, like usual, what has ever left Eric’s very own Prodam studio. Please note that also from this release – like on almost all Alfa Matrix releases – there’s existing a special packed set with a bonus disc in limited edition of 666 pieces for the die-hard fans.


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