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Artist: MR. SCHMUCK'S FARM
Title: Good sound
Format: CD
Label: Oral (@)
Rated: *****
Right the other week I was watching a documentary on Canada and I've caught myself thinking what a paradise it should be for modern/contemporary music: Oral is from up there and their catalogue is already brilliant. Mr. Shmuck's Farm are coming from Berlin and you should write their name on the top of your want list in the section: "weirdness, drones and atmosphere". The three tracks (the shortest of which is fifteen minutes long!) of "Good sound" fuse a real passion for drones to an all german taste for contemporary music/art. There's a track in particular ("don't give up, what is death?) that reminded me of an old band repressed on Sonig: Hajsh. Hildur's cello is damn odd and played in a really dissonant manner but the result is nothing but excellent. This duo works really patiently on the natural evolution of every track, controlled feedbacks dueling with reverb echoes and soft noises, they also give many peak variation to each suite above all in "my favorite caucus airchamber". Lately I'm always glad to hear there's a wise use of reverb in a recording (sometime this effects kills a lot of frequencies) and this cd is the vivid proof of a mature work. That played by Mr. Schmuck's Farm is odd and drony music, but still music where something is happening differently from bands like Stars of the Lid that work a lot with stillness. I wish if I say that's interesting and psychedelic it makes sense.
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Artist: DUBOK (@)
Title: Shiver
Format: CD
Label: Mizukis Box (@)
Rated: *****
The new US label Mizukis Box sets a first strong exclamation mark with the release of the new and long-awaited DUBOK CD "Shiver". DUBOK, previously recording for the now defunct Tinman label, have found a new label home – a bit surprising, because I really thought they could enter a better known and longer active label after their highly recognized past releases on Tinman. But with more releases like this new "Shiver" CD, the label Mizukis Box will get worldwide attention and success. DUBOK go on in their special style, combining modern Synthpop anthems with danceable rhythms, while not forgetting some 80ies influences here and there. Almost all of the presented 10 tracks here can be called ear-catching and offer some nice melodic ideas while not sounding like often heard before. For the lyrics – well, some tracks here offer some heart-broken content about lost relations or never replied enthusiasms ("For the Throat", "Natalie’s Song"). These mentioned pieces I would call as the strongest moments here, as well as the ballad-like "Left Behind". Full of variations and emotions are also the very well placed vocals – another good point in the music of this 4-men act. This full-length CD is an outstanding release for the young label Mizukis box and a perfect continuing release in the discography of DUBOK. Well placed and produced Synthpop music with an intelligent note – this should easily enter some "best of the best 2005" Synthpop compilations. Get it and order this release directly from the labels’ website.
Dec 12 2005
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Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Odyssee: 13
Format: CD EP
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
After the "Coded Message: 12" the rising German act [:SITD:] returns with a new EP, giving some remix works as well as some new tracks. And I must admit, that I am again impressed how clean produced their music is. They don’t spread any nervousness or hectic in their arrangements, moreover they seem to know about their strength. The comparisons with SUCIDE COMMANDO or harder acts out of the genre turns more and more into background. Critically reviewed in several forums is mostly the style of vocals done by singer Carsten Jacek – well, I would say he is now on the right way and I can hear especially on the both new tracks "Suffering in Solitude" and "Venom (Slow Version)" a nice improvement. The vocals are sounding more natural because the band avoids overdone effects here. Both mentioned can be count to my favorites done by this band but also the other new tracks "Firmament" and "Benumbed" can satisfy in the known style of the band. Add to this the Club Version of their smasher "Wegweiser", originally available on their last success album "Coded Message: 12". You will also find a strong remix of GRENDEL for "Crusade" and a completely revamped version of "Plastination City" by PAINBASTARD, who is responsible for the remix and guest vocals. Finally we have an almost average remix by ABSURD MINDS on "Ascension", also taken from the last "Coded Messages: 12". With a running time of about 50 minutes the EP tends to look like a full length album and I must admit that I like several tracks here more than from their last full length. A strong EP which should bring [:SITD:] to the forefront of Electro/Industrial music made in Germany.
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Artist: SELAXON LUTBERG
Title: .Total Control in the Heart of the Sun.
Format: CD
Label: Butcher's House
Rated: *****
Selaxon Lutberg is the solo project of Roman audio-visual artist Andrea Penso, who has also been member of the now defunct duo Novecentostaube and runs the label/mailorder Cold Current. As SL, he has released a couple of ultra-limited cdrs, so this dvd-housed cdr on Butcher's House, with a more relevant run of 100 copies, may easily become his visiting card to awider audience. Oddly enough, however, it could also offer a partial view of Penso's music and interests, as it's probably his most openly industrial/dark ambient release to date. ".Total Control..." lies somewhere between the Northern European wave of bleak soundscapes (Raison d'Etre, Nordvargr, Svartsinn) and the ritual-industrial experiments of the '80's. Penso does a good job at mixing synth patterns, throbbing electronics and blurred samples (from concrete noises to looped melodic chants), creating enjoyable ambiences for the dead hours of night.
Artist: ReActivate (@)
Title: ReActivate Your Mind
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Product Records (@)
Distributor: Epopland
Rated: *****
Another excellent release from Synthetic Product Records. ReActivate debut "ReActivate Your Mind" is a well produced killer album with infectious beats and constructed synthesizers with catchy melody hooks, emotional lyrics with strong feelings that dominate the album. The songs on this album will surely take the audience on a complete emotive spellbound journey. A majestic futurepop/synthpop club vibration that will lull you to the dance floor. Non-stop electronic dance tracks that's highly provoking, addictive, danceable and splendid hypnotic. Favorites include "No Way Out", "Star Driver", "Last Wishes", "ReActivate Your Mind", "Dream In Silence", and "Lebenssinn", which is sung in the band's original German language. ReActivate wants the music lovers to know that don't let the government, anyone, radio, and the record companies who put out bogus & lame music to change their mind/way of thinking. Everyone is value to their own opinion and listen to whatever they want and makes them happy. So ReActivate your mind! Pick up this cd. Synthpop fans will surely enjoy it!
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