Music Reviews



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Artist: LOST SIGNAL (@)
Title: Eviscerate
Format: CD
Label: 23 DB (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
We had to wait a while for this comeback – the comeback of the year maybe - and at some online forums already some rumors came up that this known act has ended all activities. But Charles Rehill returns here with a new full length CD almost five years after his successful debut "Catharsis", which got released originally on the long out of business Inception Records. "Catharsis" to that time became a classic and tracks like "Strain" or "Regret" are still up-to-date sounding Futurepop pearls. Maybe also thanks to the fact that "Catharsis" got produced by Tom Shear of ASSEMBLAGE 23, Charles could enter a not expected attention and this debut album brought him on the same stages like the mentioned ASSEMBLAGE 23 and VNV NATION. For some reasons Charles had unfortunately to take a break from being a musician – that’s hard for him today, because nothing will be like it was, his absence was surely a bit long and Charles has almost to start from scratch again. Luckily Tom Shear of ASSEMBLAGE 23 still stands faithful to Charles, this time being leader of the label 23DB Records, which now brought us this new "Eviscerate" album. Although there isn’t a special website up for this label, please keep in mind what happened with Tom’s last featured act, BACKANDTOTHELEFT, they got signed to Metropolis Records. An initiative which could also happen to LOST SIGNAL. By listening this new album I got the impression that the globally sound of Charles hasn’t changed that much. The kind of composition, the sound and the kind he sets in his vocals and several Synth arrangements show some similarities, but before people start to argue against this and spread nonsense words like "stagnancy", they’d better take a look to this music genre called Electro/Industrial/Futurepop with all the highs and depths of the past years generally. Although five years later released than the debut, "Eviscerate" sounds modern and like a logical follow-up – and so it is. Some musical maturity also Charles has experienced through the years like the use of some IDM and Breakbeat elements ("Distance"). So "Eviscerate" holds all expected properties on board, danceable Synth-/Futurepop tunes like the catchy "Locked Away", "Drowning" or "Perfect Sky" go in an undisturbed connection with slower, ballad-like tracks like "Mourn" or "Blind". Also Charles’ introspective kind of lyrics avoiding almost all cliches often heard in this genre are surely another outstanding point not only of this production – no, it’s a trademark of Charles generally. So we got a nice comeback release which doesn’t leave any wishes unfulfilled. Charles Rehill sends out a stronger signal than ever, hopefully it won’t get lost for another five years.
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Artist: ECSTATIC SUNSHINE (@)
Title: Freckle Wars
Format: CD
Label: Carpark (@)
Rated: *****
If you know Carpark via its melodical droned or electronic releases read carefully 'cause this not the classic product of their catalogue. Ecstatic Sunshine is well recorded and sometimes also really brilliant but this could be easily described as a modern guitar driven indie-rock record without drums. The funny thing is that this’ really far from being an acoustic or a slow release based on ballads: most of the songs have a pounding rhythm and the song structure give space to many accelerations. The music is rather relaxing but sincerely in most of the cases I've had the impression I was listening to some well recorded rehearsal tape or even worse to some Jad Fair solo release without the sick genius of the ex Half Japanese member. Imagining a solid drumming embodied in this "Freakles Wars" and it could bring to mind a sort of mix between softest Don Caballero ("What burns never returns"), American Football/Joan of Arc, indiest Sonic Youth and perhaps Modest Mouse. Sure this’ by some means unconventional in its guitar-only essence, it could also be the new episode of the Subsonic series of Sub Rosa if you remember it, but unfortunately it's not. Not bad, but you'd better give it a listen before buying it.
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Artist: AUTUNNA ET SA ROSE (@)
Title: L'art Et La Mort
Format: CD
Label: Ark Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
At a first listening the new Autunna Et Sa Rose album titled L’ART ET LA MORT could sound pretentious and goth to the bone (with a goth spirit, because here you won’t find the old goth rock sound but references to Antonin Artaud, Baudelaire, etc.). Also its title sounds so old fashioned that it could stops you from putting the CD into your player and also if you start listening to it, the recitative vocals of "Qui au sein... " could make you think that the band is a bunch of people that think of themselves uniquely as artists. Anyway... musically the CD does sound a little pretentious but I really appreciated the idea of taking songs like Virgin Prunes’ "Decline and fall", Coil’s "Ostia", Tuxedomoon’s "Egypt", Dead Can Dance’s "Anywhere out of the world", Ataraxia’s "Canzona" and so on, de-structuring them by taking their essence, playing them with piano, cello and samples and re-working them using lyrics taken from Antonin Artaud, Baudelaire, Pasolini, Hugo Von Hofmannsthal, etc. I appreciated that but this kind of stuff isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t know what to tell but I think that the cultural references sound forced as well as the use of recitative vocals or semi opera singing. I won’t rate this one, judge it with your own taste...
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Artist: OVER THE ATLANTIC
Title: Junica
Format: CD
Label: Carpark Records (@)
Rated: *****

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First released on Involve Records in New Zealand, Over The Atlantic’s debut album JUNICA has now been reissued for a worldwide distribution by Carpark Records. The two releases differ because two tracks of the first edition ("Life Of A Seed" and "Never Listening" are the missing tracks of the new print) and because the different track listing. Over The Atlantic is a duo formed by Bevan Smith (also active as Signer) and Nick Brinkman (who played guitar in several bands since he was a teenager) who’s able to blend pop freshness (thanks to their way of singing, using also different vocal tracks one dubbed on the other) with late 80’s influences (see the opening "Starsign" that sound like a Jesus & Mary Chain outtake or "France" that sounds just like the My Bloody Valentine did). But don’t think about Over The Atlantic as an outlet of old sounds because the duo bring pop to a new level, using guitars and laptops just to create light melodies and catchy tunes. Be sure to check the nine minutes of the closing "Fly to the States", this will prove that Over The Atlantic isn’t only about nice pop songs.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: NEIN RAID Compilation
Format: CD
Label: NEIN Records (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
This is a kind of label compilation of the San Diego-based Nein Records and it offers you mostly two tracks of each signed or related bands to that label. Also some well named guests are featured here to keep this compilation interesting. So the presented music deals mainly with some rough Powernoise efforts in both kinds, rhythmically (EPIDEMIA, the Crunch Pod Media recording artist C/A/T featuring Crunch Pod chief Ben Arp, MOS[K], the well known Hands-recording PROYECTO MIRAGE and also H.I.V.+, no further need to introduce this act) and static XIPE TOTEC, COMPLEX MATHEMATICAL EQUATION, but also Ambient tunes (HAR_ROOT) and some real Electro/Industrial pieces (SLAAVE). Something special got offered by – as usual MIMETIC BE-AT with a slight oriental arranged track and CHUIBIT, a side-project of the Spanish EPIDEMIA providing us a kind of "good-night" Synth tune for a tight sleeping. So diversity is well filled in here and almost everyone can be able to pick out his favorite genre. A bit open-minded is surely helpful here, good compilation.

Tracklist:
1. Epidemia - Fiebre en la Pasarela
2. C/A/T - Headshot
3. Proyecto Mirage and Pablo Guiareta - Knowledge about Christianity
4. H.I.V.+ - Havoc 2027 (Le Diktat remix)
5. Mos[K] - Raid Beat
6. Mimetic Be-At - SDAA27
7. Xipe Totec - Copilli Quetzalli
8. Mos[K] - Scape Motion
9. Slaave - Burning Souls
10. Complex Mathematical Equation - Equation of Circle
11. Cubuibit - Thelma y los Duendecillos
12. Har Root - Border Hack
13. Har Root - Hacktivist
14. Slaave - Viral Staircase
15. Complex Mathematical Equation - 1,110 ft/sec


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