Music Reviews



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Artist: Datafreq (@)
Title: Fun For The Whole Family
Format: CD
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Rated: *****
First CD for Das Drehmoment records after the release of six vinyls (four compilations, a MLP for Divider and an LP for Ich), FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY is the first Datafreq album. Hailing from Toronto, Canada and headed by a guy called Dave Rout, Datafreq isn't the project of a youngster in love with '80s synthetic sounds. Dave already worked with different musical projects since the mid '80s. You want to know the names? Here are some: Methods Of Danse, Technique Berlin and Rational Youth. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY contains eleven songs deeply influenced by '80s synthpop, new wave and by arcade games. As you can see on the photos contained into the booklet, Dave used early '80s gear like Roland TR 606, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS 20, Clavia Nord Lead 2, etc. He also used along with a vocoder, those educational keyboards called Speak And Spell, creating a retro atmosphere that with the retro gaming visuals of the booklet creates a particolar atmosphere especially if in your teens you owned a Commodore computer or a Spectrum. Talking about the songs, Datafreq doesn't sound exactly like a synthpop band because even if on tracks "Just like 1981", "I desire" or on the instrumental "Circuitropolis" the influence of that genre is clear, on "Diskophonic" new wave and techno are the main references (and that is a really catchy track) while on "Silhouette city" I can hear echoes of the early John Foxx. Blending instrumentals, electro pop songs and new wave sythetic tracks Datafreq succeeded into creating a multifaceted album that convince for its freshness. Daring to experiment a little bit with genres without sticking the songwriting on synthpop and with the right dose of irony, Dave did the right thing and also Das Drehmoment showed its will to produce different kind of bands always being true to the electronic world. P.s. The CD contains also the nice "Arcade junkie" videoclip.
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Artist: OIL 10
Title: Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Funk Welten (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing several albums during the last decade, Gilles Rossire with BEYOND releases his first full lenght for Funk Welten, the Black Rain sublabel focused on ambient and futuristic sounds. Influenced deeply by Kraftwerk, Vangelis and J. M. Jarre, Gilles takes the sound of European electronic music precursors just to re-process it into a modern blend of ambient, dance and techno, succeeding into the creation of a convincing mix. If the opening "Synchro 4 all" is a technoid dark ambient intro based on bleeps, pulsating rhythms and pads, the following one, "High adventure", is like a Kraftwerk ambient dance track. "Tele tone" is more electro and if "High adventure" was recalling the Kraftwerk for the use of vocoder, this one remember them for the use of scales made by those carachteristics synthetic tones (do you remember "Pocket calculator"?). "Grand illusion" expand even more the concept of ambient dance music, because it seems to listening to a dance version of early Biosphere. "Far & away" recall me the last Bartos album but shifted into a space scenario. "X fleet" is a little more techno / early e.b.m. but Gilles mix it with a sound that seems coming from the sci-fi movies of the '50s: something similar to a theremin but with a better control of melody. "Departure" recall J.M. Jarre way of using melody just like its following "Boarding pass" make the French way of playing electronic music revive. "Mach III" is a potential dance floor killer while the closing "My neighbor Hayao" is a beautiful electronic ballad that has a bitter taste that make you want to play the album from the start and nowadays this isn't a common thing! Great album, indeed!
Artist: Legion Lost (@)
Title: Neotrauma
Format: CD + DVD
Rated: *****
Baltimore, Maryland's own four piece black goth and rock band Legion Lost is making noise in their hometown and gained attention. If you hear this band, you probaly think they're white. Their music is a cross between goth and progressive rock. More rock than goth though, but they're terrific and knows how to please the audience. The band's lead singer, Raven Black, who wears dreadlocks and white paint on his face, his vocal skills is a reminder of a lot of rock singers, even when he's singing in high pitch. The quintet rockers debut "Neotrauma" ep is based on total aspect issues we face everyday, which also includes the singer's personal life experience. The cd kicks off with "Sorrow's Carnival" that sound like metal. Heavy guitars going on in a mad rage. The track "Arise" is on the alternative rock edge, which sound like it can be played on the college radio stations. My favorite "My Eclipse" is a deep song about us people in general living in a society working like slaves and blinded by the lies what the government tells us. Also finding the animal spirit. In other words, finding one's true self, which we are lost because of our government deception. The love song "This Allure" can be a mainstream & Billboard number one rock hit. Reminds me of major rock bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Metallica, and others. The final track "Sister Rage", another favorite track of mine, puts me in the reminder of early 90's Seattle's garage band icon Sound Garden. Definitely a hard rock killer song that talks about destruction and death. The song starts mellow than gets louder after the first verse is sung.A dvd is included. The disc shows the band's live playing performance, attacking and talking about Bush and his advisors, who's causing a lot of problems as well in the United States and other countries, among its people and causing us to spend more money and taxing us too death. And a discussion on war, which isn't necessary that President Bush pushed and caused many many soldiers to lose their lives for nothing. And it's only because he wants to control the oil.Legion Lost lyrics and their music itself represents well to be accepted. The production is clean, crisp, and well produced. All five tracks will certainly draw you in for attention, especially if you're an alternative and a rock fan.
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Artist: REDIFFUSION with STEFANO GIUST
Title: Live in Turin '04
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale (@)
Rated: *****
I think you may know Stefano Giust being him the guy behind Setola di Maiale, but if you never heard Rediffusion consider this improvisational/electronic duo is constantly collaborating with Nicolette (a.k.a. Massive Attack former singer). Ok, after this obvious introduction erase what you know and restart again: this is an all electronic release with a deep electronic/experimental mood. We’re talking about rhythmical music (Giust is playing electronic pads), I write that 'cause many tracks are kinda danceable and considering the most of the material is coming from a live session, I imagine the people present at the gig probably moved their feet and asses to the beat of this trio. Danceable, electronic not glitchy and with a dub accent...I don't know if they're from Bristol, but I don't think I'm exaggerating if I say so many english musicians during the last years have been deeply influenced by dub music (just think to Mick Harris, Jah Wobble, Kevin Martin, Tricky, to name a few). If the global image is that of a soft release don't take it too light-heartedly since sometimes it's strange and with a night feel (post-club music?), but in general I think it could have appeal also for a dance/rave crowd. Good, above all considering that's a live session.