Music Reviews



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Artist: WELLE:ERDBALL
Title: Chaos Total
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
WELLE:ERDBALL – for some enjoyment, for others grief. I was mostly parted with their works inspired by a strong dedication between C64 sounds, German lyrics and a strong influence out of the Eighties and the NDW times. Oldest KRAFTWERK or TANGARINE DREAM also have had some musically influence on the band and there’s for sure to say that their kind is somehow unique. With "Chaos Total" they offer here a new full length CD featuring 20 tracks, a playing of more than 70 minutes and so the whole space a CD can offer. Here are to find some real pearls like the melodious track ""Pouppée de Cire" featuring the French female one-hit-wonder France Gall on the vocals. Both dancefloor hits are also available here named "Nur tote Frauen sind schön" and more especially "Alpha-Tier (C=64)", which is a hardcoristic EBM piece at its best! Check also out the funny "Das Souvenir" where WELLE:ERDBALL move back on their time journey into the earlier tries of electronic-based music to the good old 60ties. WELLE:ERDBALL somehow play with all time eras of electronic music, but rather from the first beginnings than to the newest high-end plug-in synthesizers. Music, message and kind transmit well the feeling of the young 80ties with almost facets of Pop/Wave music up to minimal old-school EBM. For some greenhorns they may offer a nice retro view of some past days, the elders against to this see their glorious days alive.
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Artist: MASSIV IN MENSCH (@)
Title: Klang Der Unsterblichkeit
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
I should admit that this "release" is a digital-only download item available on iTunes or related. But the label Artoffact from Canada made themselves the effort to send it out as a promotional copy, so there’s no real reason, not to review it. As usual, you have to take a MASSIV IN MENSCH release with a sense of humor. This 6-track EP is a teaser to the upcoming full length CD "Clubber Lang" of this German act, also out soon on Artoffact. And of course – like expected – this release features almost straight produced stuff somewhere between EBM and Futurepop with both lyrics in German and English to storm the dancefloors of the clubs. But it’s doubtful if this "sound of immortality" deserves its name – if so, I wanna die immediately! It’s a dance track available in two versions, yes, but reduced to the message itself and so not a compositional highlight. The second version, a remix work done by THE PROMISE, concentrates a bit more on the music part which is a wise decision. We have then a cover of the female German Pop music icon Sandra and her big media Control hit "Around My Heart", which I would review funny but irrelevant. Same I would say about the featured live version on another classic hit "You’re The Greatest Lover." These both pieces would work well at a drunken beach party. Finally there two more tracks, which can satisfy, a Re-Edit of the track "Morsch" and a B-side named "Secret Side", which features some well done tempo changes. To poke fun on scene to which this act of course counts is not always the fine kind and does not always earn respect. MASSIV IN MENSCH will for sure go on in their style, so lets look forward to the upcoming boxer story of "Clubber Lang".
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Artist: FIRE IN THE HEAD (@)
Title: Meditate/Mutilate
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Rated: *****
Started in 2004, Fire In The Head is the personal project of Michael Paige which has already released twelve CDs, counting this new one titled MEDITATE/MUTILATE. Focusing his sound mostly on industrial/power noise, Michael sees his project as a "cathartic outlet to explore and ratify the delusions and social perversions resultant of psychosis and the darker side of man's conflicted dual nature", as he says on his website. The ten tracks of the album fortunately don’t present a tedious wall of sound only but they merge elements of noise, death industrial, drone, dark ambient and power electronics without sticking only on one of these. So, if "True believer" or "Complete the obsession" remember early Whitehouse (see tracks like "My cock's on fire" or the "Peter Kurtin" album), "Kriegskunst" is more de-structured (like digital noises on the wild), "Psychotic underground" sounds like a noise version of Foetus and the closing "Meditate/Mutilate" remember me the dark ambient tracks on Non mixed with feedback noises. For sure this kind of sounds don’t require to be a trained musician but Fire In The Head succeeds into creating a certain tense atmosphere that you’ll dig for sure if you are into this kind of sonority.
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Artist: SEVERE ILLUSION (@)
Title: Panopticon
Format: CD EP
Label: Plutonium Distribution (@)
Distributor: Plutonium Distribution
Rated: *****
After their participation on the last Plutonium Distribution compilation "Showcase V. 2" the future sound of this band was a bit questionable, because their track "In Your Hostile Little Face" was a rather minimal EBM piece, which left out any huge integrated distortions and also the vocals were less effected. With this 5-track EP they luckily go back to that chaotic/Punk-like EBM-attitude this band is known and beloved for. Not that this means the comp appearance was any bad, but to me personally this band has found their very own place and niche in their own authentic style. The first piece here, "I Am The First Commandment" is a straight 4/4-on-the-floor smasher with a rotating old school EBM bass line. It may can be called the most "friendliest" and mass-compatible track here, because already with the next piece "Too Many Years" SEVERE ILLUSION fill in the purest chaos already with the kind how they programmed the rhythm part. Atonal noise collages also mark the start for the third piece "Cancel All Your Beautiful Plans", which furthermore kicks some serious asses through its attacking EBM bass line. Track 4 then turns into a rhythmic instrumental Powernoise effort which doesn’t take any prisoners, somehow comparable to some early works of CONVERTER ("Shockfront" era). The effective chaos also finds a new home in the last track here, "Walking On Glass" – but take care, your feet maybe bleed! I have again no doubts that SEVERE ILLUSION will find their deserved attention and success. It’s only a pity that this release finds its end after 5 tracks – but hey – this is a great possibility to use your "Repeat" knob. I can’t await the upcoming new full length, then again out on the rising DSBP label.
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Artist: BRIAN ENGLISH
Title: Beyond words
Format: CD
Label: Record Label (@)
Rated: *****
After Fluorescent Grey and Sote another cd with the Record Label trademark and it’s actually well done, thus I'm taking into consideration this label has an high profile. Mr. English’ electronic music is not weird/unconventional like the releases we've already reviewed from this label, but he probably doesn't even care, electronic for the electronic?...maybe, but he likes good melodies too and it all make the record accessible to a wide crowd of listeners. I've read Brian has a large collection of sounds he captured here and there but don't expect it to be an experimental release or else you'd be dissatisfied. "Beyond words" is based on soft rhythms far from being too fast or even worse obsessive, but the emphasis is mainly concentrated on song-structure and melody, according with these basic informations the end result is far from cold electronic music fixed on being the coolest Autechre replica of the block. This salsa has a soft Eighties savour that can recall some Mix Master Morris’ masterpieces but you hear the cd has been produced now, even if another name that I've been thinking was dear ol’ Plaid. This label has still to find its own outsider but it's again a good release.
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