Music Reviews



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Artist: Francky Brown
Title: New Slogan
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Ozore Age / Play It Again Sam (@)
Distributor: Toolbox records
Rated: *****
Immagine what a drum'n'bass record mixed by Sam Sever would sound like and you probably get a vague idea of what this category-elusive fella' sort of sounds like... Guitar player/DJ/programmer Franck Guillotin (previously with Black Maria and also known as BJQ/Brown Jurnior Quartet) teamed up with Dj Monolythe (scratching away on the tables) and packed up this "New Slogan for Hip Hop and Jungle" CD, that (you guessed!) features a mixture of Chuck D-ish hip hop grooves, Tricky-ed out jungle vibes, twisted Bad Brains-inspired reggae/ragga elements, Mind Power-referencing acid jazzy sounds and MC-ing that might easily remind you of Cypress Hill's nasal monotone rhyming or Jamalski's jamaican/american-style on some of the tracks. Interestingly enough all of this still comes wrapped in and around Francky's experience on the six strings, with slick licks and sneaky riffs camouflaged between these urban sounds and fast-paced chill beatz. This is (and better be!) the new hip hop generating rising up!
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Artist: A Million Billion (@)
Title: Today We Love You
Format: CD
Label: Filthy Schoolgirls (@)
Rated: *****

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Ryan Smith is a Brooklyn-based (hey neighboor!) laptop artist who has lent his skills to the like of The Silent League, Mogami, Stars Like Fleas, Public Enemy among others, before deciding to invest his time into a solo project that he called A Million Billion. His debut record, "Today We Love You", which follows his completely different sounding mostly acoustic EP "The Filthy Schoolgirls" (feat. Joan Wasser of Rufus Wainwright band and Kevin Thaxton of The Silent League), is a freaky orgy of sounds and beats that comprises crazed arcade videogame-like sounds and saturated zapping synth lines, merging in and out of each other at the speed of merciless and continuously interrupted cut & pasted rhythmical structures that add a dense sense of frenziness to the entirely frantic atmosphere... At times in the record, the whole thing lays back for a minute and takes a breather by utilizing some less schizophrenic compositions and even occasionally introducing vocals and guest musicians Shannon Fields (Stars Like Fleas, The Silent League), Jeff Snyder (Scattershot), David Nemerson and Megan McCoy. If you are familiar with artists such as 1L (on RES FREq recordings), Next Life (Cock Rock Disco), A Bit Crusher (Unschool records), Satanicpornocultshop (Sonore rec) or if you like the most brutal and least refined of Richard James' creations or, even better, if enjoy Squarepusher, Puzahki, Xiu Xiu, and stuff like that, you might find that A Million Billion is tailored to your CD collection!
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Artist: BLIND FAITH AND ENVY (@)
Title: Murder Of A Girl
Format: CD
Label: Silver Echo Music
Rated: *****

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After their first album released back into 2004 for Nilaihah Records, Blind Faith And Envy decided to quit that label and to work on their new album starting their own label Silver Echo Productions. They worked hard and after two years of writing and tweaking, the band finally released MURDER OF A GIRL. On the new album the band changed slightly their style adding a dark element that wasn’t present in their sound (check "Silver echo inside" for example). Another difference that I noticed is a certain song writing maturity and the will of creating songs with different styles: if "Smallest rewards", "Secret affair" or "Dirty town" are electro synthpop pumping and catchy songs, "Orchid", "Water and land" and "Murder of a girl" are melancholic ballads with seducing arrangements. If I was them I'd turned the melancholic ballads into the style of "Write to stay", but only because I’m not a romantic person and I prefer when a ballad has got a bitter taste. When you purchase a copy of MURDER OF A GIRL I’ve also direct access to a website section where you can download exclusive songs: "Just like anyone" and "Lock box" from the MURDER OF A GIRL sessions, "Fallen" from "The charming factor sessions", the unreleased instrumental "End well" and the duo first song ever recorded, titled "The lights are going out".
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Artist: Gods of Electricity
Title: Sundiving
Format: CD
Label: Faith Strange (@)
Rated: *****

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Gods of Electricity is one of those projects I would love seeing coming through my studio, but in a big city like NY for some reason I end up working with completely different type of artists most of the time. Think about the electrified air and the mellow moods of endless hours of sound manipulation and knob tweaking mania in the comfort of a dimmed light recording studio with two creative talents such as Mike Fazio and Thomas Hamlin. Think about the moods that can be created in the making of a record like "Sundiving", with ambiances spanning for anywhere between 2 and 38 minutes: stretching, modulating, oscilating, vibrating, morphing from sound into sound, from light into dark, from silence into noise, from rhythm into layers, from sounds into rawness. Engineer, guitar player, sound designer, producer and composer Mike Fazio (also creator of the orchestramaxfieldparrish processed guitar project) has put the greatest attention in the smallest of the details of this recording, attempting to recreate his own vision of electro-acoustic ambient-electronica, aided by drummer Thomas Hamlin (previously with World One and still with Black47), who adds his swing and his delicate touch to these compositions in a way that only few percussionists can. Eerie low deep drones, layers of ecstatic pads, a wide sonic palette borrowing from everything from traditional to modern... rhythmical elements that transcend beat to turn into an expression of the piece itself, migrating from a enhancment of an even otherwise tribal atmosphere to the mere juxtaposition of percussive ear candies in symphonies of mystic and aural states of mind... all of that and more comes into play in this beautiful CD, which is so multifaceted and gorgeous that you can hardly even reference back to other artists without having to mention a bunch of them, who don't even necessarily have all that in common with Gods of Electricity, when considered as a stand-alone reference... Try to think of a blend of Clock DVA, Synaesthesia, Manuel Goettsching, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Young Gods, Vision of Excess, Artemy Artemiev, Mana Erg, Richard Bone, Victor Cerullo, Gabor Csupo and so many other excellent artists who have given so much to the art of making good and heartfelt soundscapes. You'll get a vague idea, but you'll still need to give this hi-definition audio masterpiece a try and see/hear for yourself... Highly recommended.
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Artist: Les Boucles Etranges / Mem Pamal / Yann Richet
Title: Traveller Tcheque
Format: 2 x CD + DVD
Label: Electro Lab Factory/Ozore Age (@)
Distributor: Play it Again Sam
Rated: *****
Paris-based Ozore Age label, as well as their offshoots Vision Alternative, Electro Lab Factory, Xunk, E-beat, were founded by two French partygoers/DJ/graphic artist/promoters (Yann Ichbiah and Christophe Martin) who have since been releasing albums, promoting artists, organizing events and feeding venues and audiences some of France's best and least commercial techno music.This release sort of pays a tribute to the movement that has shaped people like Yann and Christophe, and does so by offering you the re-release of one of the most important cassette testimonies of the free party movement, a more recent live mix as well as a DVD with a movie that documents one of these nomadic party crews.The "Traveller Tcheque" film, includes footage documenting the itinerant efforts of an international troupe of youngsters that left France with a van, a bus and a Citroen to ride through Rumenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, organizing music, performance art and dance performances in venues, open air fields, city neighborhoods and such... It's a pretty interesting documentary, that definitely breaths rebellion and alternative life-style throughout every minute...When the free party movement started in the UK (with illegal raves taking place in every possible abandoned spot the city or the countrysides had to offer, with riot police shutting them off occasionally, with quasi-political anarchist agendas such as Hakim Bay's "T.A.Z." and everything else that came along with them...) it quickly spread out to the rest of Europe... I personally remember attending one of these parties in Switzerland in an abandoned airport... The vibe in the air was awesome. People were dancing and partying, high on music (and a few other things here and there of course...), well into the whee hours of the morning. In 1996 one of those parties, called "La Luciola", became sort of a milestone in the French scene and its music was released in a 200-copies limited cassette tape. For those who have heard about that mytisc night but never had listened to those tapes or even for those who actually were there to experience French techno history being made, comes this triple-disc release, where one of the CDs is just that! The other CD gives you an insight at what is left of the free party movement 10 years later. Mem Pamal recorded his "Precursub 057" party in 2005, while riding the wave of his double CD success, earlier in 2004, called "Longueurs d'Ondes" (also released by Electro Lab Factory/PIAS). His hypnotic blend of trance, minimal hardcore-techno and drum'n'bass will fit into almost any environment you'll decide to play this, just as it was meant during its creation.This entire disc has a great archival and documentary value attached to it and I recommend it to those who have left some of their youth and some of their good days at those parties, or simply to those who are into the European techno-scene.
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