Music Reviews



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Artist: INTERFACE (@)
Title: Beyond Humanity
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Unbelievable that this band is currently not signed! After the demise of their label Tinman which quits its business in the last year, this band is looking until today for a new and professional label. And with music like on this new full length CD "Beyond Humanity", I would like to advise the management of this band to contact the best and biggest labels of the scene. This release is currently self-produced, but it needs to be heard in all corners of this world! I am normally not to much into music somewhere placed in genres like Synth-, Future- or Electropop, but here I have received an unbelievable exception. They have also supported ASSEMBLAGE 23 on parts of his "Storm" tour, and I am sure that a lot of you out there saw on stage. "Beyond Humanity" is simply the best album out of this genres I have heard for a long time. People like mostly comparisons, so I would say that INTERFACE produce a fine mixture between A23 and CUT.RATE.BOX ("The Age Of Computers", "Faith in Nothing" ) with the tendency on the harder tracks (like "Mind Killer", or the dark "Insomniac") to get compared with the Australian ANGEL THEORY. The vocals are of course mostly clear and smooth and luckily not to much placed in the foreground. On some tracks they also integrate some cool KRAFTWERKian vocoder effects, especially on "Beyond Human". There is also an outstanding instrumental piece here with "Despair", and the band can enjoy with some well worked out melodic synth pads. My favorite next to the harder "Mind Killer" is the dancefloor smasher "Nobody’s Hero" with an unbeatable refrain and outstanding melodic synth play. If music done by the mentioned acts is your style you should hurry up now and start to purchase this one. Again – this band is currently not signed – labels, wake up and make your contacts!
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Artist: EX_TENSION (@)
Title: Desert
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This French duo I have at first discovered with a promising and danceable Dark Electro track on the "In This Cold Terrific Room Vol. 2" compilation done by the La Chambre Froide label (www.lachambrefroide.net ). The band is currently unsigned and this two-track demo offers Dark Electro/Ambient inspired music, surprisingly in a different direction than the comp appearance. The title track "Desert" is an almost 32 minutes long sound collage with diverse inspirations – a bit too long to my taste – it is hard after a while to follow the track with all needed attention. This stuff reminds me a bit on never-ending tracks of the old and classic THE KLINIK here and there – although I should admit that this track moves away from this comparison in the middle of the track towards to a more complex and overlaying Electro/Industrial. The second track "Journey" comes closer to that THE KLINIK comparison, maybe with some hints to the now defunct countrymen of STIGMA – surely not a bad reference. This is a satisfying and promising dark and intrumental demo of one of the up and coming acts hailing from France. If this kind of music is your preference you should give this a listen. Here is a lot of potential and I am curious for their next work...
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anymore
Artist: THE NEW BLOCKADERS/GOSPLAN TRIO
Title: Sound Sketch for Raging Flames
Format: CD
Label: Klanggalerie
Rated: *****
Free jazz and electronic noise have a lot in common, but oddly enough I don't think there have been that many attempts to really mix the two (I'm obviously not talking of borderline improv-electroacoustics à la Creative Sources). Here the notorious English nihilists R. and P. D. Rupenus team up with a Russian trio formed by Alexei Borisov (voice, guitar, electronics; also known for his solo recordings and collaborations), Sergey Letov (saxophones, bass-clarinet, flute, whistles) and the late Ivan Sokolovsky (electronics), and the result sounds like a more electric Free Music Productions record fed through some circuit bent mechanism. When Borisov talks over the chaotic mess, it's like tuning your FM radio to an unknown Russian channel, statics and disturbances included. My guess is that the Blockaders added their sputtering noise over the trio's improvised sessions, but I might well be wrong. The two tracks are incendiary indeed, and my only quibble is that the collaboration is based on the same tecnique throughout (electronic debris over jazz), without much room to experiment different mixes or ways of interaction; but what's there is surely worth a few listens. Limited to 350, so hurry up before this sells out.
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anymore
Artist: LOKAI
Title: 7 Million
Format: CD
Label: Mosz
Rated: *****
Lokai is an Austrian duo formed by Florian Kmet (guitars) and Stefan Németh (electronics and additional guitars), the former being a classical trained guitarist with several collaborations in his curriculum, the latter better known for being a member of Radian (by the way, what an amazing band... one of the most thrilling live sets I've ever seen). "7 Million" is a quite varied work, which doesn't necessarily add anything new to experimental guitar+electronics-based composition (it'd be honestly hard to do that, anyway), but turns out to be a successful work of synthesis. From the dreamy plucking and loops of "Histoire ds" to the intimidating distortion of "Mikrostekon", "Taora atoll" and "Chuuk" to the droning release of the almost Ambarchi-an ending "Hellen", the album skillfully alternates suspension and aggression, in a troubled intimism which is well portrayed by the layout pictures: the sea is close at hand, but the sun is not always shining.
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anymore
Artist: KEITH BERRY
Title: A Strange Feather
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
With a few releases on cult labels like Trente Oiseaux and Crouton, UK soundmaker Keith Berry is not exactly a newcomer, and his name is probably already familiar to many drone listeners. This limited edition cdr, professionally released on the exquisite Twenty Hertz label, features a lengthy and suggestive track of vanishing sounds and recurring ambiences. While soft digital cracklings and more recognizable environmental sounds punctuate the whole work, the emphasis is on the exapanding and immersive drones, which have a sort of melancholic and elegiac overtone. The inner writing actually seem to witness a moment of self release: "All the craziness, all the empty plots, all the ghosts and fears, all the grudges and sorrows have now passed. I must have inhaled a strange feather that finally fell out". While Berry's bent for quiet (though not necessarily "peaceful") composition easily explains his presence in the Trente Oiseaux catalogue, his thoughtful and slowly unfolding ambient music belongs to the same family of Mirror or Twenty Hertz's own Paul Bradley (especially in his recent "Anamnesis").
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