Music Reviews



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Artist: MORDACIOUS (@)
Title: This Emptyness
Format: CD
Label: Hypervoxx (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is the first release for the Hypervoxx label, which is a subsidiary to Telegrammetry, which brought us the great "Weatherhead" compilations series or the well done debut of TAXIM. MORDACIOUS is the latest signing of this label group, but not unknown for sure, because this one-man act could already release two previous CD’s which caught some attention. The well recognized compilation appearance on "Weatherhead 1" also surely made the decision easier to add this act to the growing roster. MORDACIOUS’ music fits globally to the harsh Electro/EBM genre which still can earn a lot of popularity, just look to the growing armada of the NoiTekk label roster with acts like GRENDEL, LIFE CRIED or DAWN OF ASHES – all of these acts can be taken as possible references musically. Tracks like the fast paced opener "Dead To Society", "Burn It Down" or "Dream Girl" don’t let any wishes for some rough dancefloor execution unfulfilled. But Mr. Mordacious Mortem also tends to bring some diversity in the kind he adds his vocals to his tracks, they range between mostly clean and undistorted to rough and highly pitched distorted whispers. Not all pieces here spread the pounding aggression which leaves you pummeling for more, he also has arranged some pieces here which need some more rotations, also thanks to some experimentalism found in his synth/bass lines hooks (check out the title track...). This CD is decent done and produced, while finally it doesn’t offer anything what can be called new or not heard before. Fans of Terror EBM/Hellektro and what funny genre names some so-called promoters will invent for hard EBM/Electro/Industrial music in the next time should pick up this item.

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Artist: CORELINE (@)
Title: Please Keep Moving Forward
Format: CD
Label: Infekted Sound (@)
Distributor: Music Non-Stop
Rated: *****
This is the second official release of the London-based Powernoise/IDM label Infekted Sound, which has released before a compilation called "Rhythm For Decay", featuring some well known acts among others FLINT GLASS or ISZOLOSCOPE. When I received this CD and had a look to the cover art I expected at first to receive a kind of meditation release, he-he – but NO WAY! This solo effort by Chris McCall provides an almost fast paced hybrid of Powernoise, IDM, Glitch and Electronica compressed here in 9 original tracks and two remix works done by his label comrades of DYSPRAXIA and EVA/3. The chosen title can be understood as an order to keep your body in motion and it couldn’t chosen better. This is really hardcore stuff and surely not designed for the heart-fainted. Chris understands it well to keep all his elements well into the mix and here can be discovered some fine tune like the rotating and harsh designed Powernoise "Overdrive" or "Organized Sounds" and "Rollright (Far)" which both feature besides all rhythmically distortion some ominous synth layers. This release is harsh, noisy, disturbing, it features diversity with the integration of the mentioned styles, it’s addictive danceable without falling into that harsh EBM style mixed with Powernoise beats cliche – in short: you can’t ask for more. A marvelous output which can become a favorite for the genre fans. Also the fact that this release received the final mastering through the skillful hands of John Sellekaers in his well known Metarc studios proves the professionality behind this output. Well done, good work, keep it on.
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Artist: SURFACE 10 (@)
Title: Surface Tensions
Format: CD
Label: DiN (@)
Rated: *****

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Limited to only 1000 copies, SURFACE TENSIONS is the third release by Surface 10. While the previous two were containing tracks composed and reworked during the 1994-99 period, this new one contains tracks that have been composed within 1997 and 2006. Dean De Benedictis, the person behind Surface 10, describes the music of this album "techno-tragic sound". The eleven tracks of the album have been composed by Dean with the help of Eddie Loyola (aka Niture) and members of the Fateless Flows Collective. Musically the tracks have a strong electronic background that sound like a mixture of ambient and minimal techno with some i.d.m. here and there but if you listen to it with attention you will also notice a certain jazz or fusion attitude (see "X tension" for example) of the melodies used on some tracks. This is the interesting thing about Surface 10 music: the multi layered structure of the tracks contains so many melodies and rhythms that even if the whole effect sounds like ambient trance music, you’ll be amazed by the richness of the sound. This denote a will to experiment with sounds and solutions that I really appreciated and even if the approach to sound is really minimal you could let yourself lose into the ambience created finding something new that goes beyond the usual ambient music.
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Artist: ÉRIC CORDIER
Title: Breizhiselad
Format: CD
Label: Erewhon
Rated: *****
Cordier is probably known to most people for his "Digitalis Purpurea" cd on Ground Fault, or for his works with Éric La Casa and Jean-Luc Guionnet in the Afflux project. This 6-track, 73-minute work is a very intimate, yet political work (or, say, intimate like every truly heartfelt political statement), recorded using an old 10" vinyl as the main sound-source, filtered through a delay pedal and other unidentified "handmade devices", with the sporadic use of some outdoor field recordings and the constant one of vinyl noises themselves (scratched surfaces, motors, etc.). As Cordier explains in the inner notes, "the source record may be familiar to older generations as one of the first recordings on which the Breton language found its place again after decades of persecution and censure. Since the record became available, these pieces have taken their place in a national collection that has helped reassess the value of songs and language that were hitherto considered obsolete by the intelligentsia and the state". These lines should give you a necessary clue about Cordier's intents, along with the use of Breton in the liner notes themselves and with evocative titles like "Mes chaînes seront brisées" and "Vieux pays de mes péres". Cordier uses the pre-recorded vinyl support in a way similar to Philip Jeck's and Loren Chasse's, that is, a highly emotional and somewhat respectful re-reading of the past, in search of forgotten or - the main difference with Cordier - historically downtrodden memories. The original sound source (which the author calls "horrible because of the catechism-like vocal arrangements but a work of genius in terms of the beauty of the melody and the conviction of the singers") is mangled and stretched, but maintains a solemn, almost sacral feel; listen to "Breizhiselad/Ar Baradoz", the field-recordings ridden "Lieux de repos" or "Vieux pays de mes pères", all very intense pieces. These evocative qualities are present even when the melody is reduced to a minimum, and the track is mostly built on vinyl crackles, as in the final "Tu es le portier qui m'ouvre le ch'teau". Cordier has written a fascinating work, which manages to shed light on crucial matters like traditions, or the risk of losing your own tongue, without writing rhetorical manifestos. As an aesthetic experience, it grows with each listen, and I honestly wouldn't advise to take it all in one go, as it could sound redundant at first. A much recommended record for sure.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Cryosphere
Format: CD
Label: Glacial Movements
Rated: *****
"Cryosphere", a chock-full sampler featuring 9 tracks for almost 80 minutes of music, marks the debut of Alessandro Tedeschi (Netherworld)'s new label Glacial Movements - you may have noticed that the recurring theme is ice, glaciers, vast frozen horizons etc. in the best tradition of Thomas Koener, Biosphere, etc. None of the featured tracks is less than well-done, so fans of isolationist drones will surely have much to sink their teeth into. My personal favourites were Siberian Closing the Eternity (authors of a superb 7" on Drone Records), Tho-So-Aa (mostly working on menacing low rumbles) and landlord Netherworld of course, who is brilliant and deep as always; but you can easily pick your own soundscape among those offered by Northaunt, Lightwave, Tuu, Troum, Aidan Baker and Oophoi. I wish a bright future to Tedeschi, and heartily recommend this to those even remotely interested in labels like Drone, Manifold, Mystery Sea and the likes.
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