Music Reviews



Aug 04 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 4X4
Format: CD
Label: Kiss My Asterix (@)
Rated: *****
4X4 is the first Kiss My Asterix/Section 44 release of their multi single project. The four bands gathered in this first issue are Eloquent, Empire State Human, The Thought Criminals and Tristraum. Eloquent present five tunes of their bright and light synthpop that remember me early Cosmicity, Yazoo or some of the band that joined October label on early/mid nineties. Five good tracks that will make you check their first CD released back in 2003. Now that Tristraum's Randall Erkelens joined them, I hope that they will be able to release something new soon. You should already know Empire State Human (I reviewed each of their release and I interviewed them some time ago). Of their four tracks unfortunately only one is exclusive to this release ("Dollar blue collar" is an updated version version of the track coming from "Urbanism"), because the first three are coming from their new album "Cycles". Anyway, the new tracks sound different from their previous release. More modern respect their 80's influence. Is like they kept the 80's keyboards and updated the melodies blending pop with trance. Only "Chase the ace" is sounding like nowadays Dead Or Alive. The THought Criminals' tracks are a surprise: it is like listening to Heaven 17 with a punk attitude instead of their funk influences. "Electricity" and "Automann" made me remember also of Cabaret Voltaire and Portion Control. They are really cool! Tristraum's tracks are remixed tracks of their "First embrace" single. The first version of the track is exclusive to this release, while the second one (remixed by Empire State Human) is also included into the single. "I'm under no one" is another track coming from the single but here is remixed by Blind Faith and Envy. Check this CD, it's worth it!
Aug 04 2005
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available
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Artist: CYSTO (@)
Title: Built For You
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Being a personal project of a Toronto based musician Voytek Iwasiuk, Cysto saw the light in 2004. On his youth Voytek focused his efforts into the study of guitar and into hard rock, jazz and blues. When years after he felt that that way of creating music was kinda stagnating, he decided to convert his analog home studio into a PC based studio where he could create a kind of music more pumping, dancey and distorted. BUILT FOR YOU is the first Cysto album and offers to the electro lovers twelve sincere tracks. Cysto has got good skills about creating energetic tracks, but I think that Voytek should diversificate the vocals on the songs. The sound production is good enough to understand his style, but the sounds aren't always clear and the same kind of vocals isn't helping into the fruitiong of the song. The CD contains good tunes that would need a little more production. If you want to know how Cysto is sounding like, the first name that popped in my mind was Matrix (if you don't count the guitar riffs). Check the first five tracks on Cysto's website and write your impressions to Voytek.
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Artist: CYCLONE B (@)
Title: Consequence of Hidden Truth
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Electro/Industrial music makes a step forwards to conquer Eastern European states and sets a mark in Tallinn, Estonia with the debut of CYCLONE B. They are not really unknown and have made some remarkable appearances on highly acclaimed compilations like "Cryonica Tanz Vol. 3" or the quadruple CD box "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". The new Russian label Advoxya Records finally could get the deal with this 3 men outlet and so we have here a 11 track debut release which is – and I can take this realization in advance – one of my personal favorites of this year. CYCLONE B have produced a fine Dark Electro/EBM album which shows the listener with simple but effective means how to create and compose remarkable tracks which surely deal with several already known ingredients. I would qualify and compare this band with the recent works of PAIL and DEPRESSIVE DISORDER but of course without any clone syndrome. Tracks like "Reflection" or "Deathember" are playing skilful with decent melodic synth layers and also the almost distorted vocals show some progression to a more melodic content. Nice and remarkable done, but be sure that this band will not fall into any Futurepop cliche. "Agony" is more slow and filled with a depressive mood, while tracks like "Sputnik U.S.S.R.", "Nothing" or "Razor" will let the rivetheads invading any dancefloor in some dark clubs. Nice to hear are also the variations and progressions on the vocals. There is not the same singer at all, but CYCLONE B have also a fine taste to include some different effects like a vocoder or different kinds of distortion. Here is also no lack of ideas regarding the bass line sequencing, almost everything is filled with inspiration. And so we have a well done CD which can set some standards. This is a marvelous release of a promising band which seems to be soon a giant.
Artist: Bizarre Musik Machine (@)
Title: Bizarre Musik Machine
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Brand new band held of the city and state of San Antonio, Texas will paved their way to the top with this more satisfying eight tracks self-titled debut album. Bizarre Musik Machine is a female/male duo who have the sound of Cocteau Twins and Bjork combined with their own. The band is more ethereal and darkwave. A passage of moody and upbeat feel music that reached the right equilibrium between synths and Gino's guitar melodies. Excellent tracks to get into are "Obvious", "IndustRealise", a talk song poetry like, the danceable upbeat "Silent Regrets", and "From The Heavens". Yayumi vocals is certainly defined very heavenly and smooth like an angel who can create the same exact atmosphere the music is set course on. BMM is a new band who is delivering something unique and very different. Fans of Cocteau Twins and Bjork should pick this cd up.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Different
Format: DVD
Label: BLack Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Black Rain in the last couple of years, along with its sister labels NoiTekk, Funk Welten and Ars Musica Diffundere, grew its rooster of bands as well the number of people who is interested into the mixture of industrial e.b.m. music of Noitekk, the goth electronic of Black Rain, the Ars Musica Diffundere apocaliptic folk of Novalis and Kutna Hora or the industrial martialism of Predella Avant and to the ambient electronic music of Funk Welten with Echorausch and Flint Glass. Into the DVD you can find seventeen band videos (most of them are live performances recorded at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival or at the Summer Darkness festival) where you can have a good idea of the music proposed by the labels. Sometimes the audio isn't the top notch (it seems recorded with a good digital camera as well the videos are) but you can have an idea about the music anyway. Along with the videos we have a good extra section where you can find images of the people at the 2004 Wave Gotik Treffen (this is for die hard fans of the festival or for the people who was there), excerpts of Aslan Faction, Grendel and Feindflug performances at the 2002 Maschinensturm festival, a video of Feindflug 2000 tour, the backstage of the same band at the 2000 Wave Gotik Treffen and different galleries of the band with audio tracks.
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