Music Reviews



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Artist: TRISTRAUM (@)
Title: First Embrace
Format: CD EP
Label: Section 44 (@)
Rated: *****

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FIRST EMBRACE is the second single coming from Tristraum's latest album "Gray". It contains remixes of two tracks ("First embrace" and "I'm under no one") plus "Shiver - Therm remix" already released as B-side of their "Shiver" mixes 12", released two years ago. On this E.P. we can find four versions of the main track thanks to Empire State Human (they did a good dance electro pop mix of the track), Amurai (the "Club remix" is really convincing with its house/trance revision), Trotski's Block (this version is more dance e.b.m. oriented) and Lime N Dale (this version is trancey and dilated, good for dancefloors). "I'm under no one" has been reworked by God Project (dreamy electro pop meets e.b.m.) and by Sequentia (they did a synthpop remix permeated by a certain dark vein). If you appreciated the band's album, for sure you'll dig these remixes...
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Tearing Arms from Deities 1980-2005
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods
Rated: *****

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There aren’t many bands who have gone through 25 years of dark contemporary history and come out unscathed. Attrition have, maintaining all the time a remarkable coherence and integrity. Martin Bowes, leading soul of Attrition, has compiled a new anthology of tracks covering the whole span of that history. It is very much a personal and intimate recollection of the different periods of the band (often just Martin and female singer Julia Waller), unlike the recent Something Stirs where the fans were treated to the very early beginnings of Attrition. The interest of the CD lies in the good number of rare tracks from hard-to-find samplers or 7" and new remixes of old tracks presented in the booklet with accompanying comments and memories by Martin himself. The very human exploration of the mysterious duality of man – like the Two Gods of the same title – comes across in the mix of dark ambience, pulsing rhythms, and the often contrasting voices of Martin and Julia.Part of the music ventures into classical moods, melancholic strings yearning for love, integrity, peace (see the 1997 Etude CD of classical interpretations). This is carried along by the wistful soprano voice of Julia Waller. My own personal taste prefers the rhythmic nervousness of tracks like "Beast of burden" where the electronic programming skills of Martin Bowes show how Attrition rose from the dark industrial, cut-up electroculture of the early 80s. All in all a very fine compilation which can provide an excellent introduction to the band for those who have not yet listened to Attrition. "The light and shades that make up the whole", according to Martin’s words, is what keeps together these haunting tracks, inspired by the passions, by the turmoils of love and losses witnessed by Martin Bowes in the booklet. Thus, the CD is also a journey where each track unravels a page in a very personal diary. The best surprise? The long, sparse krautrock symphony titled "A few of my favourite things".
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Artist: EIGHT TO INFINITY (@)
Title: Aether
Format: CD
Label: Section 44 (@)
Rated: *****

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Formed back in 2002 and hailing from U.K. the Eight To Infinity since then participated to several compilations ("Electricity 2", "Utopia: A Tribute to Giorgio Moroder", "State of Synthpop 2005", etc.). They initially signed for Nightwave, passed to Kiss My Asterix records and since the label converged into Section 44 they finally had a chance to release their first album AETHER in 2006. Containing 13 tracks (11 if you don’t count the intro and the outro) the album has a good dancey pop/electro attitude that goes beyond the synthpop classification. Arron, Sophie, Alistair and Val created a good blend of electro wave that sounds fresh and personal. Some examples? "Mistress vinyl" is a really good pop track with a little bit of electro e.b.m. and a bit of synthpop and the alternation of male/female vocals is really catchy. Another good one is "Travelogue", an upbeat ballad with particular sounds (check the use of electro sounds and the violin interlude ) that keep the energy high and that exaltate the soft voice of Sophie. All the tracks are worth the price of the CD and Eight To Infinity score an important point and they did it with their first release. This is good, isn’t it?
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Artist: DAWN OF ASHES (@)
Title: In The Acts Of Violence
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
LA-based trio DAWN OF ASHES finally make with this full length release their first step on the German NoiTekk label and this should give you already the hint, which kind of music you have to expect. Harsh EBM/Industrial, also known under the worst genre name ever created, Hellektro. DAWN OF ASHES are using the same formula like so many acts these days, which also mostly can be found and heard from the NoiTekk roster – it has become a special trademark for this label. After the well recognized LIFE CRIED and DIE SEKTOR, also DAWN OF ASHES are hailing from the USA and are so the third band this year out of this country presenting their debut on NoiTekk. Violence and anti-religion are the main themes here, documented in 10 tracks and one remix work done by FGFC820, the project of BRUDERSCHAFT-leader DJ Rex Arcana. The compositions, especially provided through the lyrics are surely not designed for the fainthearted, the amount of steady violation, insults provided with uncountable "fuck-shit-kill-bitch" words can’t be counted in numbers. Like the lyrics, so is the music – a rough and destroying kind of known and repetitive Electro/EBM arrangements. DAWN OF ASHES unfortunately miss the point in contrary to their label mates of DIE SEKTOR to bring in something new or remarkable – they swim with the big average mass. There are several points also regarding the sound and production which could need a development – I like to name again both above mentioned acts as a reference. The cover art features well done the kind and mood of the album, but in all this isn’t the finest release of the NoiTekk label so far. It’s a debut, so keep on working and evolving.
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Artist: DYSTOPIATE (@)
Title: Feral City
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hailing from Winnipeg we got here the self-produced debut release of Skot Moat, the man behind DYSTOPIATE. Skot presents us here 9 tracks based into the Dark Electro/Industrial genre, but with some peculiarities. The kind how Skot arranges and uses his self-created drum patterns and bass lines has got a kind of special, even not heard before. A bit hard to find some possible comparisons, I tend to use elements of the early FORMA TADRE, IMPLANT to their CCP times, and parts of TYPE001with a lesser EBM attitude as a possible try. Add to this a more American-like drum pattern programming and you’ll got a hint how it is. The music is well and intelligent arranged, also the lyrics aren’t like anything else discovered before, and Skot seems to put some efforts in it, not to fall into EBM/Electro-like cliches. The vocals seem to be kinda manipulated, but still understandable – they may could need a bit more of a "human factor", some more kind of singing than trying hard to act like a news reporter. Although some tracks like "Paranalysis" or "Holocaustic" can provide some dancefloor action, I don’t think that this is the intention of Skot’s music - the stuff works better under a good pair of headphones. So we have a nice done and professional looking debut release of one of Canada’s up and coming artists. Thanks to his given talent, I’m sure we haven’t heard for the last time of this promising act. Recommend!
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