Music Reviews



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Artist: DDAMAGE
Title: Shimmy Shimmy Blade
Format: CD
Label: Tsunami Addiction (@)
Rated: *****
Ddamage is the project of two French brothers, Jean-Baptiste and Frederic Hanak from Paris. SHIMMY SHIMMY BLADE is their fourth full length and it is the first for Tsubami addiction (their previous two have been released by Planet Mu). The sixteen tracks of this new album feature on vocals a lot of people: MF Doom, Tes, Existereo, Bigg Jus, Mike Ladd, Dose One, Orko Elohiem, Crunc Tesla, Sin, TTC, Stacs of Stamina. All their guests are part of the independent hip hop scene and this, mixed with their particular blend of grime and electro, make sound this album like a particular one, a CD that you can’t file under a specific genre (even if electronic danceable distortions could be a good way of explaining it). The analogue sounds are mixed with samples, bleeps and 4/4 syncopated rhythms and the hip hop influence is given mainly by the vocals because if you concentrate your attention to the music you’ll discover electro distorted tracks with a dance attitude and thousands of influences that goes from techno to electro with a little bit of experimentations in the middle (try the instrumental ones like "Punkture", "Inter rock" or "Pull the plug").
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Artist: PAINBASTARD (@)
Title: No Need To Worry
Format: CD
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
Sooner than expected Alex P of PAINBASTARD returns with complete new studio recording. 15 new hard ripping EBM/Electro smasher are on here and wait for you to get discovered. The main difference to his last year’s second full-length "Overkill" can be found globally in the wider integration of different music styles. Sure, tracks like "When The Rats Desert The Sinking Ship", "Lebe Deinen Traum" or "The Time Is Ripe!" are hard-pounding aggressive PAINBASTARD tunes featuring some thick Endtime-like melodious synth layers and distorted vocals. But the generally outstanding pieces can be found in between. Check out the minimal, almost retro-like EBM cut "Kinky Species" (somehow the track list has a mistake...) with a vocal performance reminding strong on a veteran act like the Swedish POUPPEE FABRIKK. You can also find some aggressive and filled with aggressive guitar assaults pieces here like the angry "Mother", another stylistic change Alex has introduced us to on his last "Overkill" album, which got here a fine and better development. Other musically outstanding piece with some decent piano lines is "Torn" featuring a smooth lead vocal performance by Thomas Wendt of DIORAMA – a totally difference to the usually PAINBASTARD stuff. Two remix works are featured as well, the legendary FEINDFLUG have laid their hands on "Sternentanz", while C. Hermodsson of S.P.O.C.K./BIOMEKKANIK has worked on "Poison For Your Soul". It should be also mentioned that Alex seems to walk with opened eyes through his life and area and he seems to filter out especially the negative points like the currently corrupted political situation in Germany with a down the drain going social system, tolerance against foreigners with a critical view on religious ideologies, and so on. "No Need To Worry" therefore seems to be a ventilate for him to let out all his rage and saved aggression. And indeed – the tough and hammering "in-your-face-attitude" keeps this project and its machinery warm and offers some pounding results. Excellent done again, featuring a wider musically diversity.
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Artist: CYBER WHORE meets KRACHMASCHINE (@)
Title: Feelings Will Die
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem/Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
This is a new split-CD released by the productive X-Cem collective and presents the debut of both acts. To describe the people and the style and idea behind this release is a bit difficult, but I try my best. Conceptually following the earlier this year released split-CD with the both leading X-Cem artists WYNARDTAGE and ACYLUM and so also limited to only 150 pieces, this release starts with three mutual tracks provided by both acts CYBER WHORE and KRACHMACHINE. CYBER WHORE is a female-leaded act by Dee-Kay (vocals) and Louis Cyphre (music and vocals) and especially Louis has already made his way in this music business with the debut release of his solo main project LA MAGRA. But Louis stands also behind KRACHMASCHINE, which is described as a LA MAGRA side-project. Difficult to look behind this and the sense to build so much different monikers which almost musically can be hard separated. So with CYBER WHORE Louis is collaborating with his sister, and both are trying to combine cold electronic sounds taken out of Trance and Electro/EBM influences with the smooth and warm vocal performance done by Dee-Kay. Generally this works well on the presented 6 tracks here, although this project gathers some help from the remix desk done by LA MAGRA (funny, that Louis remixes his own stuff, but it works well here because he adds a relative important point to the track "Broken Inside" – some do call it PUNCH...), DAVANTAGE (this remix of "Oppression" hits the original...) and MAY-FLY. KRACHMASCHINE is rather aggressive and more Electro/Industrial-minded than CYBER WHORE. It is straight-forward arranged ("Amestery"), but I still search for that big difference to LA MAGRA. Musically the things are very comparable, maybe with only a slight tougher tone into some Powernoise-like efforts ("Krachmaschine"), the same out-of-the-grave-sounding vocals, which luckily avoid it to tell us some other vampire stories, are maybe the one and only difference. Also 6 tracks presented by this project including two well placed remix works created by WYNARDTAGE and ACYLUM, both fit with the concept. Globally said, both CYBER WHORE and KRACHMASCHINE can’t offer anything new to the scene, but they show some depth in the still underground-like hard working X-Cem collective.
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Artist: Stephan Mathieu & Janek Schaefer
Title: Hidden Name
Format: CD
Label: Crónica (@)
Rated: *****
After meeting at the MUTEK Festival in 2002, sharing the bills on various festivals all over the world and a previous collaborative effort in 2003 along with Radbound Mens and Timeblind ("Quality Hotel" out on the Mutek label), Stephan Mathieu and Janeck Schaefer decided to spend some days together in the home of a classical composer in the English countryside and there they recorded a huge amount of material that they later reprocessed and assembled in York Music Research Center. Basically Mathieu plays all the instruments and Schaefer does all the field recordings and in most of the tracks you can recognize both artist's distinctive trademarks but sometimes the symbiosis works so well and results in a new, unorthodox glitch-psychedelia. The highlight here is the sixth track called "Quartet for Flute, Piano and Cello", where you can hear pops and crackles of a worn-out vinyl over a complex sound patchwork somehow resembling Ehlers' "Plays" series. Due to its amazing sound quality it surely sounds better through loudspeakers rather than headphones. Recommended.
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Artist: IN YONDER GARDEN (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Freaky, psychedelic, seventies release for this international combo. Somebody defined it pastoral folk and indeed that's not wrong at all, but I'd put the emphasis on the psychedelic ambiental side o the whole project since that's perhaps the "file rouge" running between the different songs. The whole folk spirit of the project arises in the third episode of this cdr: "descend", I'd also say that it represents one of the most inspired moment of the whole recording. Old fashioned music but you know sometimes "old fashioned" stands for quality trademark and that’s far from the occasion in which it just means anachronistic. I think the result of Yonder Garden is quite good. Probably it may remember Third Ear Band, Pink Floyd and to some newcomers it can also make think to Cerberus Shoal after the fourth album. Perhaps that’s not outstanding but certainly enjoyable.
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