Music Reviews



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Artist: OCTEX (@)
Title: Variations
Format: CD
Label: Rx : Tx (@)
Rated: *****
Jernej Marusic is back. He released his first album "Idei Lahesna" back in 2002 for Technika and three years after, VARIATIONS sees its release for the new label Rx : Tx. Divided into eleven different movements VARIATIONS is a blend of ambient dub, techno and even hip hop music (even if the influence is really light), where asymmetric rhythms duet with long pad sounds. The base idea behind VARIATIONS is that in nature there aren't two identical things. Applicated to music the concept create a flux of sounds and rhythms that change continually: is like creating a living creature out of synthetic instruments and recording his breath. Musically the album could be hard to be enjoyed by an occasional listener because of its experimental nature but if you are into the genre, you could dig the magmatic glitch effect of Jernej's music.
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Artist: RE_AGENT (@)
Title: Abscond: The Abandon Remixes
Format: CD
Label: NXA
Rated: *****
The Canadian one man project leaded by Justin Tripp strikes back with a new release filled with 14 revamped and remixed tracks taken from his "Abandon" debut CD. A kind of label name he has also found (see above) but everything from the very first note up to the final production process lays still in the controlling hands of this talented artist. Justin only took some help with the mastering process done this time by the Canadian Powernoise act ISZOLOSCOPE. Thanks to a successful choice of artists which could lay their talented hands to remix the RE_AGENT stuff, this release gets a wide range of different music styles and earns again a double plus good in quality. It starts hard and straight with a danceable Powernoise-like remix by the Metropolis recording artist TERRORFAKT of the track "Weak and Wounded" – a great opener and one of the best remix works I have ever heard from them! The DSBP recording artist TYPE001 makes an excellent appearance here with a melodious remix on "U.W.M.R.F.L." filled with space-like thick synth layers and a deep dark atmospheric touch. Mr. RE_AGENT himself has also laid his hands on two of his tracks. While "Heaven Falling" can be compared not too far to be away from the original, thinks change with the remix on the normally slow piece "Never Satisfied". Adding here a completely new rhythmic structure gives this track a new pounding identity. Another refreshing remix works is done by the Canadian country men of FRACTURED, one of the most recognized Dark Electro acts of the past year. It is a great idea to fill in rhythmic interruptions (!!!) in one of RE_AGENT’s strongest tracks, "Brain Death", a kind of work I have probably never heard before. The remix of the already mentioned ISZOLOSCOPE of the track "Brain Death" takes a splendid bridge between the known Dark Electro sound of RE_AGENT transformed into a rougher noisy sound. This is a magnificent kind of creating a remix, an almost perfect symbiosis of both styles. Also very satisfying is the remix of the instrumental title track "Abandon" done by RAILGUN which surprises with a rich amount on new sounds and harsh noisy undertones.
I have mentioned only the ones which are to my taste the most outstanding remix works here but I can insure you that this whole and over 72 minutes long CD is a big enjoyment to listen to. And although that this CD is a remix based release it gives you a perfect view into sound compositions and musically world of one of the most talented acts out of the over-polluted Dark Electro genre. Make your contact to Justin under www.reagentoverdose.com and purchase this strong release!

Tracklist:
1. Weak and Wounded [remixed by Terrorfakt]
2. Never Satisfied [remixed by Krz0n]
3. UWMRFL [remixed by Type001]
4. Heaven Falling [remixed by Re_agent]
5. Creeping Up On You [remixed by Famine]
6. Brain Death [remixed by Fractured]
7. Abandon [remixed by s:cage]
8. Never Satisfied [remixed by Re_agent]
9. Under Blue [remixed by DYM]
10. Brain Death [remixed by Iszoloscope]
11. Weak and Wounded [remixed by Andraculoid]
12. Heaven Falling [displacer remix v.2]
13. Creeping Up On You [remixed by antechamber]
14. Abandon [remixed by Railgun]


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Artist: Etron Fou Leloublan
Title: Les Sillons de la Terre
Format: CD
Label: Musea Records (@)
Rated: *****
Avant-jazz quartet Etron Fou Leloublan seem to represent a legacy of sorts. Apparently part of a movement called "Rock In Opposition" (RIO), EFL existed and toured extensively in the United States and all over Europe in the early 1980s. This CD, Les Sillons de la Terre ("The Furrows of the Earth") is the re-release of their penultimate recording in 1983. The band had swapped talent among the likes of Fred Frith, who produced their prior album, Les Poumons Gonflés. I don't think it would be at all a stretch to say that EFL utlimately came to serve as a bridge from classic French pop and film music of the 1960s and '70s to the neo-retro-lounge stylings of Stereolab and Air. As far as I can tell, the avant scene they came from may not have been an isolated occurrence in recent musical history. Les Sillons sounds like genuine black-beret-wearing-existential-poetry-reading music, folks, and about half of the songs contain poetic platitudes loudly intoned all in French by either Ferdinand Richard (bass), Jo Thirion (piano and organ), or Guigou Chenevier (drums and tenor sax), in place of lyrics per se. Whether the songs be about a bathroom sink, people from Alsace, or Guigou's childhood, they are a fun opportunity to dust off that French dictionary you haven't used since high school. This provocatively upbeat recording would also go perfectly well with a trip to the beach with a bottle of your favorite cabernet, or perhaps a round of the Milles Bournes card game with your postmodernist philosopher buddies. Oui, I say.
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anymore
Artist: SIVA SIX (@)
Title: Rise New Flesh
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Rated: *****
Siva Six is a duo formed by Z and Noid and even if RISE NEW FLESH is their first release, they aren't newcomers, because in the past they have been members of Wintermute, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh and Horrified. With Siva Six the duo decided to focus their efforts into the production of a saturated sound which take inspiration from the e.b.m. / industrial scene. The ten tracks of the CD don't leave space to mellowness and fit the fifty minutes with music made of distorted sounds and 4/4 rhythms. Sometimes (mostly on intros and outos) the sound is influenced by dark ambient (see "Another dead world" or "Deep black well", for example, where the horrific ambience form a ideal soundtrack of the next chapter of the Resident Evil saga) and goth (see how they use the choirs). The whole result is a mix of danceable industrial harsh electronic music which could also work outside the clubs. During the whole album there are different evidences that Siva Six aren't just another Hocico's clone: different use of ambient solutions, different melody, etc. but a major diversification of the atmosphere of the tracks could help the listener into the identification of the band with their own original sound.
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anymore
Artist: SHINJUKU THIEF
Title: Sacred Fury
Format: CD
Label: Fin de Siècle
Rated: *****
Australian musician Darrin Verhagen has been around for a while (also with his remarkable label Dorobo), but I admit this is my first exposure to Shinjuku Thief, and it's been totally different from what I expected. Coming in a really beautiful layout based on pictures of flames against a black background, "Sacred Fury" does live up to its name: this is a heavy, bombastic work. The amazingly crisp and vivid sound quality gives a surround feel to the massive orchestration of explosions, cries, electronic noises, quasi-chamber interludes and tribal percussions. Though carefully dosed, the strictly musical element is almost swept away by the all-out conflict around. With its sense of urgency and panic, this easily puts most "miltary industrial" records to shame.
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