Music Reviews



Jul 05 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Freestyle Candies Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: Klang Elektronik (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Compiled by Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke of Alter Ego, the second chapter of the FREESTYLE CANDIES series come along with a particular DVD. The particularity is that the videos are made by students of the "Hochschule für Gestaltung" in Offenbach am Main under the direction of Professor Heiner Blum. I watched four videos at the label website and I can tell you that they are made using basic computer animation, simple elaborations of tv programs (a football match), elaborations of what it seems to be a home made video of old people dancing, etc. I had the occasion to watch only to small excerpts, so I can’t judge the DVD contents, basically. Anyway. This compilation greets the 100th release of the label and it gathers fourteen tracks. It starts with the minimal techno of Donna Regina remixed by Isolée just to pass to Farben's minimal electronics. The third track changes the atmosphere introducing to the audience the Latin electro of Lucien N. Luciano. Smith N Hack introduce some funky disco with their "To our disco friends". The rhythm became quieter with Slop Shop who, with the sensorama remix of "Tranzendenz express", presents a gentle electronic moment. The electro wave sound is here thanks to Rework with "Amoureuse". Bergheim 34 with "Oscillations" revive the CD with a dancey electro tune while Alter Ego presents two tracks of minimal ambient techno with little jazzy inserts on the two lone swordsmen remix of "Mescal". Closer Musik bring their experiments with lo-fi techno with "2 the beat 2 the rock" while Electronicat with "Where were you tomorrow?" are a good example of electro wave (even if this instrumental tracks is nice but it ins’t too thrilling). Eight Miles High play a kind of slow minimal techno with "Katalog". The sensorama remix of Denky Groove’s "Smoky bubbles" is a light lounge electro ambient track while Sikøra closes the compilation with "Public private moments", a sort of minimal experimental soundtrack. The compilation is various but most of the tracks focus their sound on gently electronic sounds with few electro wave or techno episodes. If you are into these sounds check it out.
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anymore
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: BääFest - 1stand2nd year diary
Format: CD
Label: Ebria (@)
Rated: *****
The concept behind this sampler is rather simple, the title says it all: one song for almost every (Italian) artist that took part to this well-known experimental/free-improvisation festival in Milan. After a premise like that I think you know you're going to be submerged in a 17 tracks trip of unconventional/weird music. Some studio recordings and a few live takes (with a superb quality) for some of the most dynamic and technical combos and with that I mean basically Roma's pride Zu, Anatrofobia, Uncode Duello and kraut-industrial legend Tasaday. The pack includes different styles, from Ovo in a singular relaxed salsa to the free splinters of Ben-za!, Freetto Meesto, Tanake, Pin Pin Sugar and I/O. In the middle you can taste some psychedelic "pastisse" a-la Storm and Stress/Sonic Youth (Chuck Norris Zen Solution), the cripple sound of Sinistri, the rough ambient of One By One We're all Becoming Shades and the japanese freakyness of IOIOI. The layout is simple but damn catchy and if you're into the bands included I think you won't be disappointed by their single contribute. BääFest is a unique event and it's a great showcase for music and bands that otherwise wouldn't find the adequate exposure in a country more concerned with soccer and indie rock than with new forms of expression. A good sampler but above all the morsel of a great event.
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anymore
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Franfurter ahung
Format: CD
Label: Sonic Arts Network
Rated: *****
Weird is such a small word to define this "object", but under the artistic profile the mere fact this' an "object" should put the release out of the ordinary "cd-context". This sampler features some of the greatest british improvisational icons of this century, like Lol Coxhill and Derek Bailey but also some new audio situationists, art-terrorist ready to give "out of mind" a new meaning. Together with some electroacustical takes you'll have the luck to meet new improvisers trying to follow the teachings of Ornette Coleman, Zappa, Bailey, Cage, Beefheart and only hell knows who else. 29 tracks of pure brain cell splattering, but that's the way it should be since this post-dada "exhibit" in some way is testing the guts of the buyer/listener. Some great tracks and some weird one, but I'd say that's the typical problem you have with samplers. One of the talented or demented pearl featured on this release (the line is always thin) is the track of Italy's Lendormin that some of you may know for their collaboration with post industrial trumpeter D.B.P.I.T.. Tip of hat to Ben Watson for having put together such a well assorted bunch of fools/geniuses, I’m sure if it was a psychiatric test to verify Watson’ sanity... well now he would sit close to somebody who claims to be Napoleon.
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Artist: NEC PLUS ULTRA (@)
Title: Nec Plus Ultra
Format: CD
Label: Zona Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is another excursion into Eastern European music efforts, this time published by the Lithuanian / Latvian based label Zona Records. This label is already active since 1991, first of to serve the USSR market with Independent music. After the fall of the iron curtain and the join of the Baltic states to the EU, they redefine their structures now to introduce Independent music to the Western world. Their label program features a huge diversity featuring styles like Hard-Rock, Hip-Hop, Alternative, Ska-Punk, Electronica, yes, and this very extraordinary Russian project named NEC PLUS ULTRA. NPC is the solo effort by Leo Botzmann and hails from Perm, a city based in the Ural mountains (!!!). Life there must be hard, because so is his music. Leo’s music features definitively ideas and structures out of the EBM/Electro scene, but he combines it with several noises taken out of Experimental/Field Recordings sessions. Machines, noisy Industrial areas, driving trains – almost everything can be an inspiration for Leo. He seems to be one of the very few artists on this world who seem to see music still as a kind of art. So this whole album is filled with extremely noisy sounds, which easily can lead a track into a total climax ("Morgen" for example). The other strange point: when Leo integrates vocals into his tracks, he "sings" in German. I don’t know how, when and where he has learned my mother tongue, also it’s mostly quite funny for me to hear his accent and grammar, but I mostly understand what he tries to express. "Der Mensch kaput" gets my vote for the best track, it reminds me a lot on a classic old-school EBM piece, but of course well done with an own authentic touch. If you wanna discover something really unknown and new, then make sure to purchase this release from the growing Zona Records label. I hope the best for Leo and his cool project, that he can earn some international recognition which he surely deserves. Weiter so, Leo!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Noise Terror Volume One
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Don’t let this title lead you into the expectation that you’ll get here a Powernoise-inspired compilation. No, this is nothing else than the first label compilation of Germany’s Dependent evil twin, the division for hard and merciless EBM/Electro/Industrial music, Noise Terror Productions, leaded by Johan Van Roy alias SUICIDE COMMANDO. Mr. label chief himself is also responsible for the collection of the different artists, a mix between both, newcomers and established acts. That Johan has the ability to compile a well recognized compilation is not really a secret, just remember the legendary Voltage and Decoder series he compiled in the together with labels like Possessive Blindfold, Dying Culture or Infacted-Recordings. Now on his very own NTP label, this compilation follows a similar line, also nice to see that "label politics" don’t play a serious role and several already signed acts found a free slot. The very own NTP acts are featured here (SUICIDE COMMANDO, INSEKT, CONTROLLED COLLAPSE, FRACTURED and DIOXYDE) of course, but also acts signed to Noitekk (LIFE CRIED, DAWN OF ASHES, FGFC820), Alfa Matrix (UNTER NULL, LEAETHER STRIP) and Pandaimonium (SCHATTENSCHLAG) are on here. Excellent names generally someone would say, but the refreshing part comes as usual from the more or less unknown and so unsigned acts. CAPTIVE OF SOCIETY give a social critical "Das Tier", but more than this RO1OR, a new project of NOICE PROCESS mastermind Michael Renfield, giving us an amazing "Brain Dead" are definitively to mention here. I would have seen maybe 2 – 3 more unsigned acts, but okay – that’s not really a valid point to criticize. The best of this comp is the fact that almost all acts present us a special remix only designed for this comp or they give a new and still unreleased tune. With a sales price lesser than 10,-- Euro there’s no real reason not to purchase this well done compilation.

Track listing:


01 Distatix - Replicant
02 Schattenschlag - Sentenced To Death (noise terror edition)
03 minDecease - Tears Of Redemption (industrial accident mix)
04 Controlled Collapse - Insane Asylum (Naked Beat remix)
05 Insekt - Isolated (Anschlag edit)
06 Fractured - All That's Left
07 Leather Strip - Sleep Is Only Heartbreak (Jesper Schmidt remix)
08 Captive of Society - Das tier
09 Life Cried - Hallowed Be Thy Name
10 RO1OR - Brain Death
11 Dioxyde - Words Of Judas
12 Suicide Commando - We Are The Sinners (club edit)
13 Dawn Of Ashes - Maximum Damnation
14 FGFC820 - GBA
15 Unter Null - Your Nightmare (Grendel remix)
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