Music Reviews



Dec 31 2005
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Artist: XP8 (@)
Title: HRS:MIN:SEC
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah (@)
Rated: *****
XP8 is the growing EBM power-offering by Nilaihah records, boasting production by Icon of Coil’s Sebastian R. Komor. XP8’s line-up is Marco Visconti, Marko Resurreccion, and Paul Toohill. As I’ve come to expect from Nilaihah, HRS:MIN:SEC is cut from the purest technological stock; Sharp, clean, and precise.

XP8’s sound reminds me of Icon of Coil, Imperative Reaction, and even tidbits of NCC. The programming is top notch, and definitely XP8’s most stand-out quality. The vocals are distortion-free and complimentary to the infectious beats that demand movement and dance-floor play.

All in all, XP8 makes for a convincing EBM act. HRS:MIN:SEC is practically packaged and ready for dance floors, and will, no doubt, be a hit (if it isn’t already). I don’t know if it will pass the home-listening test of time, but XP8’s HRS:MIN:SEC is a solid album none the less.
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Artist: Mohan (@)
Title: As Is Where Is
Format: CD
Label: Devlian Records (@)
Rated: *****
Mohan is the newest offering from Seattle-based Dave Nugent. Nugent’s bio claims he is an award winning producer, composer, and film-scorer. While I am not familiar with his past work, I am apt to believe the claim. This is the composition of a professional, and this music is nothing short of art.

As Is Where Is is a graceful mixture of ambient textures drifting among skitterish IDM beats, organic tribal sounds, and the beautifully layered female vocals gracing at least five tracks. Nugent’s work here brings to mind anything from Delerium, Future Sound of London, and... Well... Pretty much anything. Mohan seems to touch on every end of the electronic spectrum, encasing it all in an easy-listening shell.

Mohan’s As Is Where Is is a brilliantly crafted album; Calming and chill till the last moment. This is a great accent to any laid-back afternoon. My recommendation goes out to anyone who enjoys trance, ambient, or electronic jazz music.
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Artist: Pink Turns Blue (@)
Title: Re-Union
Format: CD
Label: Orden (@)
Rated: *****
Re-Union the accomplished collection of singles from German darkwave Pioneers, Pink Turns Blue. Pink Turns Blue is the combined effort of Mic Jogwer (Vocals, Guitar), Louis Pavlou (Drums), Reini Walter (Bass), and Brigid Anderson (Keys, Vocals). The band reunited in 2003 to play a few festivals and decided it was time to re-grace the world with their presence.

Re-Union functions as a "best of," compiling their impressive list of singles from 1985 to 1995. Imagine if you will, Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke’s powerfully accented voice set to the poppy (though sometimes depressed) music of The Cure with the energy of Billy Idol. Pink Turns Blue’s sound is reminiscent of the best points of the 80’s and early 90’s darkwave movement, flawlessly executed and surprisingly ahead of its time.

Pink Turns Blue’s Re-union blatantly displays the influence and impact their work had on darkwave and goth-rock, and shows their continued relevance to the scene today. This is an essential listen for anyone with a soft spot for Goth-Rock, or for anyone with a soft spot for good music.
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Artist: SRMEIXNER (@)
Title: The dictatorship of the viewer
Format: CD
Label: Fin de siecle (@)
Rated: *****
Srmeixner is that Stephen Meixner of Contrastate, what we have here is a solo project, but obviously the fan of the band should give it a try. "The dictator of the viewer" has been meant like a big 55 minutes long suite, though Meixner had also the brilliant idea of dividing the whole book in 18 "chapters" that can be put in a different order up to the "viewer's taste". The title is coming from the 2003 Venice Biennale and embodies a reflection on the conflict between the viewer and the artist, it indirectly recalls J. L. Borgès ideas concerning the writer/reader relation. Yes, the record has some reminiscences of Contrastate but at the same time it moves forward, the release is more dark-ambient oriented, sometimes is hard to hear the passage from a "trail" to another, but that's not a bad thing if you consider this cd has been projected as a suite. I've said dark-ambient but the "post-wave/dark" keyboards at the same time makes me think to some "sci-fi"/"horror" soundtracks, that sound is somehow post seventies but even if it could sound a strange cocktail, the result is definitely good. It's a pity this release doesn't come along with images 'cause it would have been a great match, and there's a sort of idea that links the most of the episodes. How to say that..."the misty canals of Venice".
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Artist: STERIL
Title: 400 Years of Electronic Music
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Artoffact (@)
Distributor: Storming the Base
Rated: *****
Although this German trio has never reached that age to report us stories from the early beginnings of electronic based music generally, they can be called veterans of the Electro/Industrial scene. It was back in 1991 when I discovered this band the first time, they opened a gig of the both Swedish EBM classic acts SCAPA FLOW and POUPPEE FABRIKK in a small town in the north of Germany. To that time they were young and musically maybe a bit SKINNY PUPPY influenced, but they shocked some Goth chicks well with the use of some fake blood on stage. So I know this band since almost 15 years and we are based in the very north of Germany, only a few miles away. We have become friends through the years and had a lot of funny parties and meetings, especially when they got signed to the long dissolved Off Beat label. So for me this is a review on friends – friends, whose contact I have lost after their not expected end with Off Beat through some different reasons. So now, 15 years after their start, they are back on the Canadian Artoffact label with a "Best of..." collection featuring almost all important tracks through the years. So you get here remastered versions of also international recognized tracks like "Egoist", "No Remission" "Deep" (here in two versions, original and a remix by the SWAMP TERRORISTS) or "Zap". As a fan and supporter of them from the early, PUPPYan influenced years I find it a bit sad, that they couldn’t include some more classics like their smasher "Pervous" for example. "No Remission" is unfortunately the one and only piece taken from the "Transmission Pervous" debut CD of them. Their second CD "Egoism" out on Off Beat was licensed to the USA through 21st Circuitry Records in 1996 and it is with the tracks "Lies", "Temper", "Overgod" and of course "Egoist" rich present here. 13 tracks in all which give a good overlook to all different music attitudes and surprises this band has had always to offer, although without any new pieces here. STERIL are back on track for sure, new stuff seems to be almost ready for a new CD called "Realist". Rumors speak about a concentration on a sound in the direction of "Egoism" and that’s for sure a good decision. This collection is nice for all of you who aren’t familiar with their music.
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