Music Reviews

Jan 13 2006
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Cyberl@b 5.0
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Well, a DCD compilation by Alfa Matrix which shall feature new talents, trends and hypes, as well as veterans, presenting new and unreleased stuff. Most of the presented bands here are somehow in co-operation with this label from Belgium, or they will it be in the next future. The whole concept reminds me a bit on the latest "Advanced Electronics 4" compilation – a lot of big names here, but finally something what can offer anything new is missed. Remarkable tracks on the first CD are the opener, the X-FUSION side-project NOISUF-X with a new Powernoise hardhitter called "Tinitus". MILITANT CHEERLEADERS ON THE MOVE is a cool band name – and they offer a minimal EBM piece called "Freaks" in classic NITZER EBB tradition. The German STERIL are also back and give us a new track with "American Dream" – it is Electro/Metal-Crossover, much in tradition of their classic "Egoism" release. MIND:STATE could be named as the Swedish answer on ASSEMBLAGE 23 – nice copied here, but own identity sounds different. Then we can find some well known names of the early days of EBM/Industrial music like INSEKT, THE NEON JUDGEMENT ("Factory Walk" remixed by IMPLANT) or PORTION CONTROL – and you’ll get finally the impression that their best times are over now. New tracks are presented to well here by TAMTRUM and TACTICAL SEKT, both concentrating on their music, art and style.
The second CD offers also some veterans like FRONT 242, TRISOMIE 21 or PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE, but again – the more enjoying tracks are done by the new generation. IMPLANT feat. ANNE CLARK offer a marvelous piece ranging between EBM, Techno and Trance – what a cool remix done by the ELECTRIC UNIVERSE. Also UNTER NULL ("Martyr") and HEADSCAN ("Lolife") can totally impress, although their tracks are now known and no longer unreleased, because all pieces are featured on their current releases. Last track is this time done by VIRTUAL EMBRACE and this band offers this much better worked out piece with the title track of their last full-length CD. There is normally nothing wrong with this compilation if you are new at this music genre. If you have already discovered several bands of this genre, or you did buy several of their CD’s, you would like to ask, who could have an interest in this. So it is a decent compilation which unfortunatly can not offer any big surprises which can’t be missed at all. Check the tracklist and check out your personal favorite. Decent, but far away to be called outstanding.



01. NOISUF-X . tinnitus *
02. COMBICHRIST . thi s*it will fuck you up
03. MILITANT CHEERLEADERS ON THE MOVE . freaks (exclusive mix) *
04. LEAETHER STRIP . suicide bombers (7" mix) *
05. INSEKT . bambi fucker *
06. STERIL . american dream *
07. VNV NATION . chrome
08. MIND:STATE . close your eyes *
09. AYRIA . my device (CUT.RATE.BOX mix) **
10. THE NEON JUDGEMENT . factory walk (IMPLANT mix) *
11. PORTION CONTROL unwellcome -sonic hijack (mr shifter remix) **
12. RED SNIPER . deeper than x *
13. SOMAN . pusher
14. TACTICAL SEKT . not entertained *
15. TAMTRUM . le son de la pluie (fils de pute mix by GRENDEL) *


01. FRONT 242 . happiness (live) *
02. IMPLANT feat. ANNE CLARK . tune up your chips and circuits (ELECTRIC UNIVERSE remix) **
03. THE SYNTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION . assiki: divine messenger (club mix) *
04. TRISOMIE 21 . red or green (DISKONNEKTED mix) *
05. DISKONNEKTED . after einstein
06. SERO.OVERDOSE . the one (excl.edit) *
07. ABSURD MINDS . dependence (rough mix) *
08. O.V.N.I. . good for you (radio edit) **
10. ZOMBIE GIRL . I want it (a/m mix) *
11. FIXMER/McCARTHY . freefall (THE HACKER remix)
12. UNTER NULL . martyr *
13. REAPER . daemon (gudfried remix by HEIMATAERDE)
14. HEADSCAN . lolife *
15. VIRTUAL EMBRACE . virtual embrace (cut&paste) *

* previously unreleased track
** rare track
image not
Artist: STEREO TOTAL (@)
Title: Discotheque
Format: CD
Label: Disko B (@)
Rated: *****

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DISCOTHEQUE isn't really a new Stereo Total album but it is a treasure box for the people that love their attitude and the dance tunes. This new release contains some new versions of tracks released on their previous album "Do the bambi" ("Babystrich" and "Europa Neurotisch") plus a gorgeous selection of rare songs from side-projects (Motor Mark and Jacno) and remixes: the Echokrank (a crazy Berliner transvestite) reworked version of "Everybody in the Discotheque (I hate)" originally released by Motor Mark, the reggae-song "Bad news from the stars" from Brezel Göring last solo-record with Barom One, released on Gagarin Records and on CD here for the first time. On the CD version, there are also all the thracks of the "Erste Mal" EP and the "Do the Bambi" remixes, originally only available in limited vinyl pressings always on Disko B records. All this for one hour and sixteen songs that will make you move at the rhythm of the German techno pop of the Stereo Total. Try to imagine Serge Gainsbourg tracks in an electro sauce with sensual rhythms and catchy sounds and prepare yourself to dance. A treasure for your ears...
Title: Tony Alva's Hair
Format: CD
Label: Cocosolidciti (@)
Rated: *****
Titled after the 70's skateboard legend Tony Alva, the new Andrew Coleman album "Tony Alva's hair" is a mixture of ambient sounds, hip hop / break beat rhythms and modern classical music structure. Also active with the Animals on Wheels’ moniker, Coleman collaborated with Dose One’ of Anticon’ outfit cLOUDDEAD’ on the track "Not a speculation". The result is a particular hip hop track which sees Dose One rapping on the jazzy / ambient / dub background created by Coleman. Each track has got its peculiarity: for example "Finger tip control" starts as a piano suite just to find rhythm thanks to a break beat tempo and recruiting oriental melodies on its way to the end. Even if every track has got a different approach to melody or rhythm there is always a certain melancholic sense created by the atmospheres: it's like there's always something in suspension or like there is something that is still to come and that will break free into the track and it never arrives. My favorite ones are "Rain and dogs" (where you can find a beautiful piano and no rhythms), "Not a speculation" and "Miles won't answer". To my ear sometimes the tracks sound too clean and this could make the album result as a good style exercise while with some wilderness here and there could help emphasize the geniality of the composer.
Artist: PINKNRUBY (@)
Title: Garden
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Rated: *****
Three years have passed from the previous Pinknruby album titled "The vast astonishment". In the meanwhile Pinknruby worked hard to record their new one, GARDEN. Since the first listening the most evident thing is the increased Brazilian influence on the duo's music (just listen to "Zanamajo" or "Jakdo"). Half of the tracks of the new album show South American influences but as usual there are also Eastern Europen influences (the opening "Broceliande", "White lady mirror" or "Kislica"). As far as I can hear the acustic solutions took an hold on the electronic arrangements and the result is even more rarefied respect what I remember of the old album. This isn't a bad thing but you've got to calm down and you have to try to give yourself to the music. Only then you'll appreciate Pinknruby. If you loved the Cocteau Twins influenced stuff, you'll find "Zeleno" with its soft echoing and the acustic arpeggios. On the CDrom section of the CD there's also a video track you can enjoy.
Artist: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Title: The Proposition (original soundtrack)
Format: CD
Label: Mute
Rated: *****

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Chain D.L.K. is proud to present to our faithful readers the latest release by Nick Cave (with Bad Seeds member and The Dirty Three front-man Warren Ellis), to be released on Mute February 21st: "The Proposition" is the original soundtrack to the movie of the same name, accepted into 2006 Sundance Film Festival; and what is so special about the movie and the soundtrack is that they were BOTH written by Nick Cave himself. Cave is, needless to say, a prolific and extraordinary writer; as in songwriter (obviously, with The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party), book writer ("And the Ass saw the Angel") and now screenplay writer (even though "And the Ass saw the Angel" actually was initially meant to be a film script, and he had also written some dialogue for Hillcoat's previous "Ghost... of the Civil Dead"), in addition to soundtrack music writer ("Ghost... of the Civil Dead") and actor too. An all around outstanding, super-talented artist, who, when faced with the challenge to write an entire film's story and dialogue, masterfully rose to the occasion and delivered an intense, extremely well articulated and well told, interesting, engaging and beautiful story that takes place in Cave's very own lawless Australia of the 1880'es, where two out of three brothers wanted for rape and murder are caught by a local law enforcer who jails the youngest and offers the other the option (hence, the proposition...) to save him from death sentence by tracking down and killing the oldest, yet uncaught, renegade and violent-perpetuating brother.

Before we dwell into more information about the movie, I'd like to spend a few words on what most of our readers are probably most interested in ultimately: the music. We all know that when Cave and Ellis work together magical heights are seemingly effortlessly reached, but in this case they possibly went a step further together to re-define the spontaneity of raw beauty and the realism of timeless interpretation. Ellis' violin arrangements are devine and sophisticated, yet minimal and primitive, even slightly de-tuned to enhance that specific quality that remains with the music of our ancestors. Their melancholic and evocative essence majestically balances out with the minimalist choice of instruments and arrangements that the two composers wholeheartedly adopted and perfectly adapted and synced to the on-screen action and tale. Cave's muttered vocal contributions are few and far between to interact with the dialogues that he wrote for the story, a job that he has performed outstandingly, in respect to accent-specific localizations and the time-sensitive historic placement. String arrangement intensive, very acoustic, hardly ever electric or even "digital", deep, powerful, rattling, cycling, improvisational and fragmented, droning and theme-recurring, ancient and ghostly, sad and perpetual. For those who expect a Bad Seeds or a Dirty Three record, "The Proposition" will reveal itself as a surprisingly different, and in my opinion, not nearly disappointing effort at commenting the landscape and the fury within. For those who can read the beauty in the minor keys, "The Proposition" has so much to offer and so little to disappoint you with, that you won't be able to take it off your CD player.
I basically have nothing bad good words for this movie or its soundtrack.

I thought my John Wayne days were over, but this film made me re-discover the beauty of the old western movie tales. It was directed by Cave's friend John Hillcoat ("The Blonde's Date with Death" and "Frankie and Johnny", as well as music videos for Cave, INXS, Depoche Mode, Robert Plant, Placebo, Muse, Manic Street Preachers etc) who did a great job (together with the director of photography) at capturing the hot, dry and lonely land of Australia, with its yellow-ish/sepia colors, its unbearable heat, its dust and sand and its flies... His stunning vision, which bends and adapts to the raw and realistic violence and to some of the movie's crudest blood-splattered scenes, was complemented and aided by a crew of five exceptional mostly Australian producers with experience in the music industry, photography and the film industry.

The amazing (almost entirely Australian) cast includes: Guy Pearce ("The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", "LA Confidential", "Memento", "The Hard Word", "Seven Years in Tibet", "The Time Machine", "The Count of Monte Cristo", "Two Brothers"), Ray Winstone ("Quadrophenia", "Nil By Mouth", "Face", "The War Zone", "Sexy Beast", "King Arthur", "Ripley's Game", "Cold Mountain" and several TV shows), Danny Huston ("The Constant Gardener", "Alpha Male", "Marie Antoniette", "The Aviator", "21 Grams", "Silver City", "Fade to Black"), John Hurt ("The Dwarfs", "Krapp's Last Tape", "Crime and Punishment", "The Naked Civil Servant", "Midnight Express", "The Elephant Man", "Captain Corelli's Mandolin", "Love and Death on Long Island", "Miranda", "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", "Afterplay", "Shooting Dogs"), David Wenham ("Lord of the Rings", "Van Helsing", "Moulin Rouge!", "The Brush Off"), Emily Watson ("Breaking the Waves", "Hilarie and Jackie", "Wah Wah", "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" as well as TV and theater).
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