Music Reviews



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Artist: SIDRA
Title: A swampadelic blessing of downtown SF, the official bootleg
Format: CD
Label: Afe (@)
Rated: *****
While rumours are that Sigillum S are going to put out some new material, P. NG5361 Bandanera (Sshe Retina Stimulants, Komplet) is out with a new project and with a new mate, guitarist Tiberio Longoni. Sidra is really different from every previous project of Bandera, but nobody will be astonished by the fact the style is not that far from other melodic projects with a post-industrial background like those in which Eraldo Bernocchi was involved. Do I mean that's Bernocchi influenced music? No way! I just signify there's a "trait d'union" that joins some melodical/musical solutions you you’ll find here with some you could find in the releases of Teardo, Phyler Coleman and Bernocchi, but at last it’s true that "nobody comes from nowhere". Be it I love this kind of style or that "file rouge" I was talking about, I'm really into this release, I'm sure there's people who can whine about the fact it's not "trendy", but it's not even "old fashioned" in the strict sense of the word, I think Sidra's debut has its own identity. Late night music, weird but yet suggestive loops on which the skeleton of the majority of the songs takes shape. Sometimes it sounds like a less melodical and instrumental version of Phyler minus the drum and bass influence, sometimes a melancholic guitar loop moves on a 4/4 hip hop rhythm. Loop based electronic music with a big human feel, "old fashioned" but in a really interesting way, listen to "Heat reversal via volume exchange" and "Windows from shattered stairs (nude)". Honestly that's one of my favourite releases of the new Afe lot.
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Artist: LE∆THER STRIP
Title: Walking On Volcanos
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Claus Larsen returns with a new follow-EP to his last DCD album "After The Devastation", which got released at the beginning of this year. Some might think that Claus wants to make up what has maybe passed through the years in hiatus. His output tempo is currently unstoppable, think also on his side-project KLUTÆ and his releases in March/April. Here hides also a flaw behind this new EP, which features 6 new and unreleased tracks and two own produced remix works from his mentioned past album. I got the feeling that especially the new pieces drifting more and more into the gray area of averages. Both remixes, one for the heart-felting "Dying Is Easy, Life Is Harder (Abused)" and one for "Take Me Home Again", offer more interesting aspects through some fine sampling work and a dark melodic content. They hit almost all new tracks in quality, from which I would like to mention here "How Far Is It From Auschwitz To Guantanamo?" with its impressive politically message, plus also the sarcastic "I Love The Sound Of Acid Rain". Nothing also to say against the title track, nice melodic content walk in a line with calm and undistorted vocals. Two harder pieces forcing on speed and distorted vocals, "Hate And Fear" (Words Are weapons Mix)" and "Life Is A Kick In The Balls" (right said, Claus!), but... well, if Claus would do a second "Solitary Confinement", then these two pieces wouldn’t be under the first 50 tracks which would be chosen for this – this may gives you a hint how "strong" they are? Already the DCD "After The Devastation" had some time-outs for sure, but was nevertheless better conceived. Let’s keep the things a bit slower, Claus, we need you back in your best condition. The time will come...
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Artist: PANZER AG
Title: Your World Is Burning
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
Andy LaPlegua tries hard to earn money by producing Electro/Industrial music. This is normally not very recommendable, moreover dangerous, but as far as the cow is able to give milk...who cares...? It is to mention that there are some nice "cows" placed in LaPlegua’s stable, other projects of him are ICON OF COIL and COMBICHRIST (both recording for Out Of Line). Under the PANZER AG moniker he herewith releases his second full-length CD. It is generally said his "American" version of Electro/Industrial music – this counts also for the artwork. So you’ll get also beside the expected portion of Electro inspired music, a full dose of real guitars sounds, some acoustic drums as well – and some real campfire romantic on tracks like "Among The Few" or "Not To Late" , this kind is definitively not my cup of tea. I have found only three pieces which made it for me, "Paper Angel", "Mother" and "Crash n’ Burn", all of them have a strong recognition and well filled in Electro ingredients. These mentioned tracks are also the ones we’ll surely can find on some dancefloors of the dark clubs. But most of the other stuff is really hard to pick up and drowns a lot in a too slow tempo. This is globally not the album which can grab too much attention by the mostly on electronic sounds minded European audience – it is still to hope that the good name Andy for sure has will help here. Check it in advance.
Jun 09 2006
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Artist: INSEKT
Title: Teenmachine
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
I should admit that I have never spent to much attention on the words of Bono/U2, describing INSEKT as his most favorite Industrial band. Also the latest efforts of this veteran act from the motherland of EBM, Belgium, caught never really my attention too much after their reunion. But INSEKT still remains also for me a well known name, but mostly for their first works released on the long out of business KK Records like "We Can’t Trust..." and "Stress". The classic "Music From Belgium" 5-Track MiniLP/MCD, which featured their legendary track "Bacteria" finally made them undying and gave them a cult status. That these talented musicians would leave their safe haven they had in Alfa Matrix, and would to the same time join Johan Van Roy’s new label NTP, the companion label to Dependent, well – this fact can be seen as almost sensational and surely not expected. So here we have the first audio result pressed on a silver circle, a new studio album with 10 new tracks plus two remix works by EBM acts like FUNKER VOGT and SPETSNAZ. Of course the music of INSEKT has grown, and the classic EBM structures have received some development or the band has added other musically influences taken out of up to date styles. That’s what I expected. But EBM is still alive and kicking here. Check out track 4, "Isolated", a rough and almost chaotic piece reminding strong on some SEVERE ILLUSION efforts. Track 7 "Give It Up / "Don’t Give It Up" features well worked out vocoderized vocals, although it slows down some tempo. Also their energetic "Bambifucker", which could enter successfully the Cyberl@b 5 compilation of the Alfa Matrix label, is available here – whatever it means to fuck Bambi??? The music is globally mostly rough and could win a stronger Punk-like attitude especially on the first few tracks. The sound-wizard Eric Van Wonterghem has again worked out a fine musically effort, while Mario’s vocals are stronger and more effective than ever before. This album grows with you, the longer you spin it. Good stuff.
Artist: Edward Artemiev
Title: So Weit Die Fusse Tragen
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Cascadeur
Rated: *****
"So Weit Die Fuesse Tragen" (As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me) is the story of a german soldier who escaped from Siberian labour camps during the war on the Russian front only to cover 140000 kilometers (almost 10000 miles), mostly by foot trying to reach freedom in Persia, where eight years later he finally reunites with his family. This is the second Cascadeur Filmproduktion release (presented in 2001 and directed by Hardy Martins) and the score has been written by well known and established russian composer and electronic music expert Edward Artemiev. 38 tracks that will take you through the sonic journey that accompanies the journey of this soldier. Very cinematic, at times epic, and definitely highly evocative of bloody battles and suspensful moments. If one doesn't know the movie (which I haven't seen), except for a few more eastern european sounding pieces (such as "Bazaar" for example) this original motion picture soundtrack might as well, at times at least, bring sound to pictures such as Gibson's Braveheart or Crowe's Gladiator. This does not go to say that it is as bombastic and hollywoodian; what I mean by that is simply that Artemiev is no less than James-Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard or Danny Elfman and writes grand orchestral arrangments and music that would fit any epic war theme like a glove and is certainly up to spec with movie releases you might have seen in major theaters across the world.
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