Music Reviews



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Artist: SISSY
Title: All Under
Format: CD
Label: Global Underground (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Sissy’s debut album ALL UNDER comes out from the minds of David Trusz and Johanne Williams. The first one was already active with several singles across many of the world's most respected electronic labels, while as a remixer he has worked on Groove Armada, Trafik and The Spoons stuff. The Canadian duo created a captivating formula that sometimes remember too much the latest Portishead (check Johanne's way of singing and the similar atmosphere created by the duo mid tempos). David used vintage synthesizers to have a warm sound and the result is really convincing and it will please all the lovers of sophisticated electronic music with jazzy/noir atmosphere. Personally I liked most tracks like "Wake up", "I see you" or "In the dark" where the mysterious vein was blended with a certain upbeat rhythm or a more personal arrangement that didn't make me think about the Portishead. It is a pity that all the album wasn't like these three songs.
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Artist: AUDIO WAR
Title: Under Enemy Control
Format: CD
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****

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Graham Rayner (ex Cubanate ) and Christian Weber (of K-Nitrate) released their previous Audio War CD "Negativity" the last year and in the review I did, I told that their method of composing their blend of technologic industrial metal seemed the result of an auto remix process. Now we have the opportunity to check what if their stuff was remixed by other people, because the new UNDER ENEMY CONTROL contains nine remixed or re-made versions of six tracks (the tracks are "Super freak", "Breaking down", "One drug", "Money shot", "Analyze") contained into the that album. On the remix front we have The Pain Machinery, Hyperfactor, Libitina, KreuzDammer and Action Directe while Audio War re-worked "Breaking down" (now "Low down mix"), "One drug" ("Stealth mix"), "Analyze" ("Dub" and "K-Nitrate De-humanize remix"). The whole work even if it is the result of different people sounds balanced and not too much different from the style of the duo. The only exceptions are the Libitina mix (because of its dark melodies), The Pain Machinery version of "Audio crash" (their version sounds like a techno industrial extreme assault) and Action Directe (they made out of "Super freak" an acid house industrial deranged track). I'd wish all my enemies would treat my music this way...
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Artist: Rich West
Title: Heavenly Breakfast
Format: CD
Label: pfMENTUM (@)
Rated: *****
It seems as though I’ve been getting a lot of jazz recordings to review lately, and I didn’t particularly think CHAIN D.L.K. was much into jazz. But, when you get a CD this good, you have to say something about it. (Besides, they want me to review everything that comes my way.) If you’re familiar with The Monks of Doom or Mike Watt, then you just might know who Rich West is. For the uninitiated, West is an avant-jazz (sometimes rock) drummer whose roots go back as far as Camper van Beethoven. Here, with group comprised of Bruce Friedman (trumpet), Lynn Johnston (saxophones, clarinets), Emily Beezhold (electric piano, Korg ms2000) and Dan Krimm (electric bass) West provides the percussive glue to hold this post-bop free-jazz ensemble together. West also throws in a bit of accordian for good measure, and probably also because he can play it. I’m not sure "Heavenly Breakfast" was the best title for what’s going on here. If your idea of a heavenly breakfast is five kids running amok at the breakfast table, cereal and milk all over the place, jam everywhere but on the toast and coffee percolating to the point of overflowing, then maybe it is. There is an incredible amount of free improvisation, and I’m not sure that all of it works, but when it does, it’s pretty engaging, of you like this sort of thing. There is a lot of contrasting dynamics, tonal shifts, and an undercurrent of tension in what West and his ensemble are doing here, and my gut feeling is that these guys area lot more savvy than they let on. West’s drumming is so sophisticated at times that it almost hardly seems to matter what anyone else is playing. And a good deal of the improvisation has that chaotic playfulness that comes across almost mockingly daring you to imagine where they’re going next. Sometimes the group seems to be in perfect sync in a groove, at other times in full-out frenzy, and still others where they are Sooooo far out, you just can’t fathom where they’re going. Crazy riffs gone wild seeming totally out of control, but then there’s always a grounding point they miraculously find their way back to, in sync, and ready to digress yet again.Some of "Heavenly Breakfast" is about as avant garde as jazz gets (and still be able to truly be called jazz). The individual musicianship is stellar, and when it comes together here on this recording as it often does, it’s a remarkable listen. Assuredly not for all tastes, "Heavenly Breakfast" might better be digested much later in the day.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Moonstarr Remixes
Format: CD
Label: Public Transit Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Um, excuse me Mr. DJ, this is hip-hop. Last I knew at Chain D.L.K., we don’t do no hip-hop here. I don’t care if Moonstarr is an Internationally reknown remix-king, you’re in the wrong venue buddy. Be that as it may, Moonstarr remixes tracks by Rednoise Distrikt, Povo, Ivanna Santilli, Feindrestar, Jazzanova, Ennio Morricone and more. Personally, I think Moonstarr’s just a little to drum-machine happy. It’s everywhere... in abundance... with prejudice!! I’ve heard the Jazzanova track remixed before, and better. It amazes me that guys like this who chop an’ slop other people’s music like this get called "artists". But hey, that’s another subculture I just don’t have time or mind for. Pass.
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Artist: Synthetic Dream Foundation (@)
Title: Tendrils of Pretty
Format: CD
Label: Mythical Records (@)
Rated: *****
I was really expecting to like this artist. I had high hopes. The CD cover art is intriguing, I like the name "Synthetic Dream Foundation", and even the opening track, "Auf Dem See" seemed to hold promise. Sort of a techno-drive beat with pulsing trance-synth and exotic female vocals. Basically just a diva-dervish thing with not a lot of frills, progressions or changes, but it had a certain jene se qua. Things soon began to slide downward from there. The follow-up track, "Amongst the Trolls" has a lot of intricate synthwork in it but just didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went on for too long. "Assiki: Divine Messenger " brings back the exotic fem vocalist with even a more driving beat but still never rises above so-so Goa. "Regeneration of the Damned" begins sparse and beatless, with chordal synthwork that seems to have a melodic theme in mind, goes on too long without much interesting happening, then switches gears in a burbling stew of sound that introduces a beat and eventually just sinks below the tide in some old-school synth voices. "Trapeze" combines some light piano with a fragile Kate Bush-like vocal, half-sung, half whispered. This would have been much more effective if it had followed a track with a lot of intensity that came to swelling climax, but there was none of that here. The smooth transition to the next track, "Eidolon" which begins with a light choir of female voices works very well. With the exception of the predominate use of vocal choir," Eidolon" is fairly old-school sounding. Reminded me of Tangerine Dream. Not necessarily a bad thing, just done so many times before. And it ended before it really even took off. "Ophelia’s Mechanical Wings" perked things up a bit giving "Tendrils of Pretty" some redemption and an improved dancabilty score. I think SDF needed to bring in those exotic female vocals again for this one, perhaps with lyrics and melody that could hold your attention. All in all, not a bad track, just not as spectacular as it could have been. "Puzzlebox" began with those harsh whispered vocals that reminded me of Shikee of Android Lust, but then became totally intelligible and melodic. Surprise! There are hints of Delerium in here, but only hints. Final track "How Love Remembered Lavender" isn’t much of a departure from what came before and suffers from the same syndrome of not really going anywhere. I think SDF has potential, if they can develop thematically and melodically. The synthwork/ programming is spot-on, they just have to do more than make trancey tracks. Their next release could be right on target.
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