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Artist: VITOR JOAQUIM
Title: Flow
Format: CD
Label: Cr˛nica (@)
Rated: *****
Cronica is back with a couple of releases, a better exposure and the usual good quality of their outputs just to say that if you haven't noticed that, Portugal like Spain is an epicentre for what concerns electronic music nowadays. As you can see from their back catalogue Cronica is not one of those label into "easy electronic" at every coast, but more 360° oriented and this cd is the proof of it all. Vitor Joaquim pushes on the pedal of experimental/abstract electronic music and the result is probably closer to sound art than to ordinary electronic recording. Cold inexpressive music right from the first intentions, Joaquim put every single layer trying to define gradually every chapter. A profusion of resonators, high frequencies and glitchy beats and synthesized vocals (be it a vocoder or a laptop) but the record is really tight and compact sound wise. "Flow" comes out from that experimental electronic music that floats nowhere in the middle of contemporary electronic research post Stockhausen and isolationism a-la late eighties early nineties. Probably it's just me but the closest reference that came to my mind was Main above all when the band post-Loop was completely lost in abstraction. This cd feature an interesting clip with which the music of Joaquim gets along really well, it’s a soft and simple computer work but it has a strange manga atmosphere while the global watching is stoning.
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Artist: Theme
Title: Our Angels Dislocated
Format: CD
Label: Lumberton Trading Company
Rated: *****
Theme is a trio hailing from Brighton, UK. They have been around since the split-up of their previous band Splintered in 1996, but this is only their second work to date. They create a dark & hypnotic blend of ambient whose glitchy and ethnic detailing mixed together give birth to a quite unique sound.
The second track "Repeat to Fade" starts with a simple but effective guitar part, then gradually turns into a sinus-nightmare in the vein of COH or other fellow Raster Noton artists. In "A Few Words Failed' we have a repetitive droney sitar topped with frequencies, resulting in a hybrid mutant of minimal electronics and some weird post-industrial ethnic perversion. The fourth track is called "East of Now" and has some cool Indian chants in it. A mention must be made at the flawless production and at the artwork/packaging. Highly recommended if you're into post-industrial acts as Zoviet France, O Yuki Conjugate or even Coil's later ambient works - just sit back on your opium couch and enjoy this record.
Aug 29 2006
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Artist: NECROTEK (@)
Title: Satanik EP
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
NECROTEK is for sure one of the hottest newcomer of the international Dark Electro/Industrial scene thanks to some highly acclaimed compilation appearances like "Endzeit Bunkertracks Vol. 2" and "Interbreeding VIII". Surprisingly this act is still a side-project done by Denver-based James Geist of the Ritual/Industrial/Ambient act NITRIOUS FLESH. The dark and mysterious influences presented by this act also have found their way into the music of NECROTEK, although in a more subtle kind. It’s generally a well chosen combination of diverse influences well placed under the Dark Electro genre and it has that special style which avoids it to get thrown into that over-populated Hellektro/Harsh EBM style. The title track "Satanik" offers a really addictive dark bass line, while "Spectre" (...the appearance on "Endzeit Bunkertracks Vol. 2") comes with a drum and percussion input awaking some remembrances to the very old THE KLINIK stuff. The overwhelming use of distortion effects on "Wish You Dead (First Cut)" are the outstanding idea which keeps this track interesting, surely a wise decision by the BLC label to pick up this track for their "Interbreeding" compilation series. It’s a bit sad, that all of this fine music ends after only 5 tracks, a real full length effort by this up and coming US act is required. Labels should wash their ears and pick this talented act up, fans of Dark Electro not heard like so many times before should make their contact James Geist to purchase this fine item. I’m sure we’ll hear more from this maybe America’s best kept secret around. Recommended!
Artist: Into The Hole
Title: Do you want to play with me
Format: CD EP
Label: Alkemist Fanatix
The sound is very Nine Inch Nails-esque but more low quality. I think this EP is a re-issue of some sort. I am not sure why or how but anyway, just the name of the band suggests this is a NIN worshipping band (i.e. "Head Like A Hole" - INTO THE HOLE). Make sense? Good. The whole presentation of the album is cheap and very outdated. Who would re-issue something like this. The vocals sounds dull. I can't understand what the guy is saying or singing about. Too repetitive, nothing that will catch anyone's attention, not even a few seconds. Avoid at all cost.
Artist: Fe-mail
Title: Voluptuous Vultures
Format: CD EP
Label: PsychForm Records
Fe-mail is a duo electronic/noise outfit consisting of two Norweigian females, hence the name Fe-mail. The duo are also known to be in the band called SPUNK. The sound isn't very demanding, but for collecting purposes, this release is very limited to 1000 copies on CD. It's just noise and crazy sounds. Heard this, and I'm done with it. Take care.
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