Music Reviews

Artist: Enya
Title: Amarantine
Format: CD
Label: Reprise Records
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
The beautiful Irish new-age ethereal songstress, Enya, is back with another extraordinary tranquility atmospheric album that is a follow-up from her 2000 release "Only If". Like all her previous releases, she will take you on a magical and mystical journey where love serenes, the birds flying and chirping , the sky is blue and the clouds moving so freely across the sky, the sun's shining so bright, the moon is full and the night is dark and cold, you can hear crickets and other insects noises close by and miles away, children laugh and play, taking a strode by the river and sea and listening to it sing, lovers embrace one another, the snow and rain falling from the sky, a moment of being sadden because of a lost love or saying a long goodbye to a dear friend who you may not see for awhile. So many times I've listened to this cd and laid in my bed listening to it and went to sleep like a child. I felt so calm and hynotized by Enya's beautiful trained vocals and harmonies. All 12 overwhelming emotional tracks are coaxed with the strength of happiness, sadness, loneliness, and lost. "Amarantine" is truly a passionate and compassionate dreamy and heart-warming album that shines and is polished majestically. Some music critics like Rolling Stone magazine criticized Enya for making the same type of music for years and a decade and not being challenged by doing something else different. Who cares what they think or say. Enya is the only recording artist who can sell 45 million records worldwide without touring. That my friends, shows you how well Enya can accomplish by winning hearts with her gifted voice what God gave her to use.Tracklistings:1. Less Than Pearl2. Amarantine3. It's In The Rain4. If I Could Be Where You Are5. The River Sings6. Long Long Journey7. Sumiregusa8. Someone Said Goodbye9. A Moment Lost10. Drifting11. Amid The Falling Snow12. Water Shows The Hidden Heart
Artist: G.O.T.H (@)
Title: G.O.T.H
Format: CD EP
Label: Goth Productions
Rated: *****
It seems like the state of Maryland is spawning more and more black goth acts. Let me introduce you a new artist called G.O.T.H, who is an expert in martial arts and likes Japanese/Chinese martial arts movies. He fuse hip-hop with gothic elements, which makes it very interesting. G.O.T.H is a gothic hip-hop or hip-hop goth christian project by Bobby Walker. So appealing, even the vocals are harsh with anger expressing from the bottom of the heart to the top of the lungs. The disc kicks off with "Out Of My Face", a very dark brooding track that's groundbreaking. The beat kicks ass with an industrial-gothic feel. The song is about telling the devil Satan to back off. The next track "Run" reminds me alot of bands like Diva Destruction, Love Is Colder Than Death, Wench, The Machine in the Garden, and Faith & The Muse. The track have a sample of a female singing in the background in an ethereal way. The tracks "Saved" and the instrumental "Sexy" leans more on the industrial edge that's in the like of Nine Inch Nails. The final 5th track "Fight (Heavy Metal Version)" is, of course, metal. The tension in the vocal really have that fierce and mad as hell attitude. G.O.T.H's ideas and music creativity in combining two different music genres actually worked out as planned. This guy is worth checking out.
Artist: SYSTEM
Title: Sample and Hold
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
Another "retro" release to start a time trip back the late 70ties or early 80ties this time provided by the Swedish label Progress Productions. SYSTEM, so the simple name of this duo consisting of Herr A and Herr B, could already gather some attention in their homeland Sweden with releases on Lobotom Records and have gathered a strong fan base. They play a mixture of KRAFTWERKian ideals, sounds and vocoderized vocals ala "Video Killed The Radio Star" combined with modern kinds of electronic based music. Next to KRAFTWERK acts like TANGERINE DREAM or some WELLE:ERDBALL works would offer a nice reference. It is somewhat inspired by Synthpop and Minimal Electronic efforts, but still with a strong dedication the mentioned times. Somehow it seems to be typical that a release like this comes out of Sweden, who lately often surprises with releases of things and kinds which seemed to be already buried and hidden in the endless history of music. One problem I see on this release: the tracks often remain pretty well in their style and I’m missing a bit that "killing" melodic input to offer something remarkable. Nothing against the Synthpop pearls "Tonight" or "Your Creation", but finally the bomb doesn’t explode because SYSTEM can’t offer anything what could help them a bit to come out of a musically death valley. Nice stuff for the Pop/Wave elders, but nothing for the hardcore stuff lovers.
Artist: TECHNOIR (@)
Title: Manifesto
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
A new signing for the Belgium-based label Alfa Matrix – where could be a more decent label to sign with, if you’re a female-leaded Synthpop/Electro/Industrial act? So is TECHNOIR, consisting of Julia Beyer (vocals) and Steffen Gehring, and this act is for sure one of the leaders in their genre, thanks to their past collaboration with the now defunct Bloodline label. Especially Julia Beyer we have lately well discovered on her guest vocalism contribution to the last ROTERSAND EP. With this "Manifesto" EP they come back after a longer break and they show their talent like they’ve never been really away. "Manifesto" is a decent and melodic Synthpop piece and this track here gets some great remix works done by peoples and acts not only based in the Electro/Industrial genre. We have here the House specialists DELOBBO who proves his great technically abilities plus also the German Synthpop institution of BEBORN BETON is well presented. Second main track of this EP is the track "Silence" featured with two remixes created by the Russian DJ RAM and the Hip-Hop producer RABAUKE. For the third track "Liar" we have scene-related remix contributions by Daniel Myer (haujobb.) and ROTERSAND. The eighth and last track is a new version of the track "Breathe" done by TECHNOIR themselves. I prefer somehow always the original works of the band, although the DELOBBO remix gets my vote for the best work here. But the originals give the best impression to the upcoming full length CD on which we can now eagerly waiting for. TECHNOIR have made a good teaser to start a new chapter of their successful journey so far.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Accession Records Vol. 3
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
Their 10th year of existence this well known German label likes to celebrate with a new compilation presenting all active acts in their roster. It can and should make the people behind this label proud to resist all good and bad happenings in this shark-infiltrated indoor pool we call music business. Also the nice growing roster of quality bands should offer a satisfying look back – but also an optimistic look into the next 10 years. Packaged in a nice carton digi-pack and specially designed by, this compilation features only new and still unreleased stuff. We might hear one or another track soon on upcoming single releases of the presented bands here, but this comp works well as being a teaser of things to come. The Slovenian act SILENCE (please check our new interview here...) has the honor to offer two instrumental pieces at the start and at the end of this comp. They completely surprised me with two tracks featuring mainly thick synth layers and some distorted rhythm patterns with a strong dedication to some GRIDLOCK works – a really new facet in their marvelous work I haven’t expected. One of the leading acts of this label, [:SITD:] presenting us a new and reworked "2K6" version of their track "Area 51" which combines danceable beats and an excellent synth play ala SUICIDE COMMANDO’s "Mortal Combat" intro sequence plus a remarkable melodic content. Their usually fine stuff and kind – always and ever listened again! Also the Hamburg-based newcomer FADERHEAD gives us a straight and danceable new piece called "Bassgod" in their usual style by reducing the bass lines to the minimal required effort, an excellent and crystal-clear mixing and the attacking voice of the singer – hefty mass motions on the floor guaranteed! DIARY OF DREAMS – well, Wave/Goth Rock was never my preference – offer a luckily electronic-driven and enjoyable piece with varied vocal insertions between smooth and melodic up to rough and energetic. PANZER AG, the solo project of Andy LaPlegua, also comes with a new piece called "Gateway". Why the fuck hasn’t he offered this track on his last full length "Your World Is Burning" instead of experimenting with some Country/Western inspired themes? This well done track would offer any better rating and is a proof of his talent. Comes then with "Make My Day" a new stomping Dark Electro track done by one of my label favs, PAINBASTARD. As usual hard, danceable and near to the required perfection to enter the hall of fame of the big players like :WUMPSCUT: and SUICIDE COMMANDO. There are also still some acts in the stable of Accession records which I haven’t discovered before. HUMAN DECAY is one of these acts offering a decent Futurepop piece. DIORAMA also show a danceable Electro piece which flows well with already discovered flow of this compilation. PSYCHE aka Darrin Huss is still alive, although this legend can surely soon go into pension. Not for the music of course, PSYCHE presenting with themselves with "Absolute" more alive then ever, also thanks to the still charismatic voice of Darrin. BELIEF comes next, also an act I haven’t discovered before, offering again a Futurepop-inspired piece near to the almighty ASSEMBLAGE 23 pattern. Tom Shear then comes next with a new track called "Decades" – although it is the typical A23 track heard often before, he simply shows his followers his reached and deserved status easily. Also for me personally and my relation to A23 it’s the 10th anniversary, because in 1996 I discovered him for the first time on a compilation of the US label Arts Industria. The Danish/German collaboration LIGHTS OF EUPHORIA also returns with a light Electro piece "Emptyness (Accession To Euphoria Mix)" until the latest discovered Norwegian act SPEKTRALIZED comes along with a new cut named "Strange Reactions". No strange reaction from my side, it’s the best Synth-/Futurepop here – somehow these Scandinavians have the better feeling for decent and working melody lines. Comes then to an end ANGELS OF VENICE with Wave-inspired "Primitive Kiss (Accession Version)" featuring some real violin strings, clear male vocals and a mood reminding me to some works of THE ESCAPE, finally then the already mentioned SILENCE, still string-leaded, but this time without the disruptive rhythms. So we have as the final result amore than satisfying compilation proving once again the excellent quality. I’m missing Tom Shear’s side-project NERVE FILTER a bit, but it has my understanding that A23 has priority. Lets also hope that a fine day will make a comeback and join again this strong stable of Accession Records. Let’s start to discover the unknown territories of the next 10 years!

01 SILENCE | Present, Unexistent
02 [:SITD:] | AREA 51 [2K6]
03 FADERHEAD | Bassgod
04 DIARY OF DREAMS | leb-los!
05 PANZER AG | Gateway
06 PAINBASTARD | Make my day
07 HUMAN DECAY | Grievance again
08 DIORAMA | The pulse of life
09 PSYCHE | Absolute
10 BELIEF | Changer
11 ASSEMBLAGE 23 | Decades
12 LIGHTS OF EUPHORIA | Emptyness (Accession to Euphoria Mix)
13 SPEKTRALIZED | Strange Reactions
14 ANGELS OF VENICE | Primitive Kiss
15 SILENCE | Veronika - End Score

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