Music Reviews



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Artist: LOKASENNA IOC (@)
Title: November Wind
Format: 10"
Label: Elite Pop (@)
Distributor: Tesco
Rated: *****
Lokasenna I.O.C. are a band active since 1994. Since then they released only a couple of CD-Rs ("Archive 1994 – 2004" and "Archive II 1998 – 2005") containing reworked songs coming from the indicated periods. Their sound gathers elements of industrial music as well as dark folk. This 10", released in a strictly limited edition of 248 copies by Elite Pop, is the final chapter in the archive series and it contains six songs coming from those previous CD-Rs. The song titles are: "November wind", "Hier stehen wir", "Ostara", "Cello", "L’ame solitaire" and "Dernier acte". When I read the term dark folk I trembled because this is a genre that for my tastes lose a big part of its verve at the end of the nineties (or simply I lose interest into this kind of sounds). Well, in this case, I’m so glad to find a band that has on me the same charm that the Death In June had with albums like "The world that summer". Lokasenna Ioc are able to blend industrial arrangements and dark ballads with no problem at all as the tracks sounds so natural. Take a song influenced by dark wave like "L’ame solitaire" is. It is simple (an echoed piano, the voice of a child, some simple melodic lines and some noises) but it has an atmosphere that is unique and intense. Don’t miss this release. It is a must have! I hope they’ll release something else but not so strictly limited...
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Artist: :BAHNTIER// (@)
Title: Blindoom
Format: CD
Label: Rustblade (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
BLINDOOM is the latest :Bahntier// release and since from its first track you’ll realize that something different is going on. The sound is different, more organised and less disturbing respect the previous "Revulsive". Then you read that on drums and production worked Justin Bennet (drummer of the Skinny Puppy, Pigface, My life with a trill kill kult, Peter Murphy) and then you understand. You understand that an Italian act got an international recognition and thanks to Justin, Eric Van Wonterghem (member of Insekt, Sonar and Monolith which mastered the album) and Kenji Siratori (cyberpunk writer which collaborated for the spoken word parts and with noises on "Nucleus"). The tracks are focused on rhythm thanks to the percussive sounds as well as to sequenced basslines and on this structure Stefano sing his lyrics with a filtered voice that sounds sick. Check tracks like "Dispute" (it recalled me also some early N.I.N. tunes with whispered vocals and a certain tense atmosphere), the opening "Dsimulation" (here the atmosphere created with noises and a piano is really functional and tense) or the closing "Underworlds", where you’ll find a sort of industrial dub based sound thanks to the drums section played by Justin. Anyway, by listening to the ten tracks there’s no doubt that the project evolved and this will please the lovers of electro industrial music.
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Artist: FATHER MURPHY / LORENZO FRAGIACOMO
Title: When Ground Figures bless in black Tutus
Format: CD
Label: Madcap collective (@)
Rated: *****
Good news from the front of pop-folk and it's a split that got hitched Father Murphy and Lorenzo Fragiacomo. I was positively impressed by Father Murphy’s last release that came out few months ago and even if I think that is their compositional acme so far, this "When Ground Figures bless in black Tutus" is the proof they haven’t lost their good taste. The first obvious conclusion is that this time "the Father" went much more for sadness but don’t think to long and desolated ballad a-la Will Oldham or a-la last Current 93. "I was in a coma..." and "We know..." are more immersed in disheartened psychedelia than into folk and be it the atmosphere or the hammondesque keyboard sound but the impression is to hear Fuzztones (obviously not their garage-rock-ass-kicking-tunes) hybridized with some ol' american folk-ballad a la Violent Femmes, Tom Petty and so on. The closing track of the release brings Father Murphy into a more country but yet visionary scenario and it's still hi-quality lo-fi folk the way it should be done. Lorenzo Fragiacomo could be too quickly filed as pop-folk, less evocative if compared to his mate on this release but more arranged and less lo-fi. Even if I'm sure this' far from his intention, these three tracks could be an incredible discovery for the fans of Blur and Damon Albarn. Who said Brit Pop? Not me, infact I'm speaking about the latest period of the band, and I'm sure if Damon could give a listen to "Walking on the moon" would nod with his head to the danceable rhythm of the drum machine. English music with an ounce of soundtrack-taste that owes so much to Bacharach (ask Jimmy O'rourke)...the vocals and the arrangements are a good example of it. "Another indie folk/pop is possible" then, and I'm glad there's people that tries to escape the "american-indie-folk singer-wonnabe" formula.
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Artist: Scarlet Slipping (@)
Title: Fire In The Mist
Format: CD
Distributor: Projekt
Rated: *****
Scarlet Slipping is Dawn Wagner, who was the second female who collaborated with Askelon Sain in the gothic/darkwave duo band Trance To The Sun. Her debut release is satisfactory with beauty, feeling, beautiful vocals, breath-taking, hypnotic, and enchanted. The album is darkwave and ethereal. Music so complex with soft synth layers and celtic tribal drum rhythms. Dawn will take you on a cold icy journey that's magical, mystical, enlighten with narrating singing with emotion. A conquest she should admire herself for delivering something different that's fathomless and outstanding. The production work is even superb and polished with perfection. All the songs are written, performed, recorded, and mixed by Ms. Wagner herself. She have the skills of DIY. All nine tracks on cd are incredible to enjoy. Take it from a reviewer who relish Ms. Dawn Wagner's first creative work. Bravo!

1. We Are
2. Severance
3. Scissor Candy
4. Autumn Air
5. Snowflake
6. Your Icy Waters
7. Shatter
8. Chartreuse Moon
9. Feel Me
Nov 07 2006
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Artist: RE/MOVE
Title: Uppercut
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Coming from Tenerife island, Re/move is a trio that decided to focus their efforts into the creation of what they consider "the next level of e.b.m. music". Basically they decided to keep everything was making of e.b.m. an energetic kind of music (pulsating rhythms and powerful sounds) but they removed what they considered the weak points about the genre (for this reason they called their project Re/move): static live sets and repetition of song structures. Their music recall me a sort of mixture of modern e.b.m. (less industrial and more dancey) mixed with synthpop (clean vocals and defined melodies). They did a process similar to what Covenant did by creating a danceable mixture of melodic e.b.m. but Re/move didn’t clean the sound as much as the Swedish band did, because their aim seems to mix upbeat rhythms with energetic riffs (the guitar is present but the music is not driven by guitar sounds) and danceable tunes also without losing a certain dark vein. The result is convincing but I don’t see it like a revolution of the genre even if "I’m over again" is a great song that is representative of what they were looking for. With more songs like this or like the following "We are the message", I can totally agree with them.
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