Music Reviews



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Artist: CISFINITUM
Title: VS
Format: 7"
Label: Drone Records
Rated: *****
More obscure Russian industrial-ambient courtesy of Drone. "Curve" features rattling metals, menacing synth sounds, distortion and manipulated vocals, leading to an almost ritualistic second part. "Curse" is the other way around, beginning with vocal samples giving way to a more bombastic and aggressive explosion. Another good, sturdy record, coming on marbled black vinyl with some crazy handmade wool covers (!).
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Trumpett Sounds
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
It's always a pleasure for me to have the confirmation that the '80s have been a decade of musical innovation and this compilation released by Enfant Terrible is the clear evidence. TRUMPETT SOUNDS is a compilation of tracks made by bands that recorded for an '80s Dutch tape label called Trumpett. All the tracks have been recorded during the 1981-1983 period and they show that Netherlards have seen electronic acts before the famous "Hague electro" wave of bands (see the Bunker label discography as reference). Listening to tracks like Ende Shneafliet's "Twistin' on the tombstones" or Doxa Sinistra's "Conversation a la chaine" bring me back at the time when I was listening to the "Elephant table album" compilation for the first time. You know, listening to those characteristic drum sounds or to the fist sperimentations with synth sounds produced by young people, give back sense to the term "alternative band" or to "indie label", when money wasn't the only target to reach and the lack of it wasn't stopping the creativity. TRUMPETT SOUNDS is a good way for listening to cool sounds and for discovering unknown bands. Printed in only 500 copies this vinyl album is a must for all the people that love those sounds and that approach to music. Let's discover Ende Shneafliet, The Actor, Thromboh, Doxa Sinistra, Trumpetto & Einstein and A Van Garde with their electronic sperimentation full of new wave atmospheres.
May 19 2005
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Artist: LOLA ANGST (@)
Title: Am I Dead?
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Dark Wings (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by the ex Kamikaze 52 member Alexandar Goldmann, Lola Angst take the melodic approach of that band just to change it into a more danceable and catchy key. By listening to the three original tracks contained into the AM I DEAD? MCD ("Am I Dead?", "You let me kill" and "No fear of life") you can immediately notice the commercial potential of those tunes. This doesn't mean that this is the only thing you can appreciate of the Lola Angst project but for sure behind the cool sounds (mainly analog as far as I can hear) the song format has got its importance for Alexandar. Musically it's like to listen to a sort of Marilyn Manson / Front 242 hybrid: the main track is a killer one and you can imagine it at the top of the charts in no time. The other two original tunes are good ones but they impressed me a little less, maybe because it's hard to compete with "Am I dead?". Along with these tracks you can also find two remixes of the main track, reworked by The Scandals and Loom. The first one don't change that much the original one (it changes a little the sounds using a sampled guitar and acoustic drum sounds) while the "Loom Remix" gives to it an electro industrial treatment that it is interesting. For both the remixes, I have to say, that they don't succeed into having the energy of the original version. The MCD anticipate the album which will be ready on August 2005.
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Artist: XP8
Title: Forgiven -- Remastered USA Version
Format: CD
Label: Static Sky Records (@)
Rated: *****
Anglo-Italian veterans of all kinds of Industrial noise, XP8 emerged after their previous group, Retina, called it quits. Now, collaborators Marco Visconti, Marko Resurreccion and Paul Toohill bring a staggering variety of influences and experience to the table. As much of a stickler as I am for originality, when their description lists everybody from Bauhaus to ClockDVA to the Chemical Brothers to Coil to VNV Nation, I see no problem with that, because on this 15-track CD, XP8 combines them all--I mean ALL--and makes it work.I can't really understand why they felt the need to put out a "Remastered USA Version" of this disc, but make no mistake, it hits hard and fast and gets the job done. It opens with the sound of an orchestra tuning up, and then goes ballistic from there. All the aforementioned musical sources come to fruition in each track, if mostly using an anthem formula. The lyrics, too, have just the right balance of poetic meanness versus dancefloor-mandated simplicity to get the message across. This "Remastered USA Version" has a bonus track, "Your Heat," that goes: "I don't need your mind to make me complete,/So open your legs and give me your heat." Ironically (and unfortunately, for us guys) over here in the Land of the Free, using that as a pick-up line will not get you very far, but that alone scores points with me on sheer balls. Is this an essential part of your dancefloor arsenal, you ask? I think it is.
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Artist: THE PEPPERMINTS
Title: Jesüs Chryst
Format: CD
Label: Paw Tracks (@)
Rated: *****
Listening to a Peppermints record (and also attending to one of their gig, I think) is an experience you might remember for positive or negative reasons. It depends by your tastes, as always. JESUS CHRYST is their second album and their chaotic rage made me remember a lot of west coast punk bands of the eighties (Fear, Dead Kennedys, etc) as well as the first musical experience of Lydia Lunch which with the Teenage Jesus And The Jerks incarnated the primitive rage of the young N.Y. musical scene. The Peppermints, to me, sounds like those bands even if musically they seem more like a punk version of the Manson Family. The visual aspect and their sound made me think about them as futuristic hippies that blend all the expressions of freedom of the past just to give their version. By listening to them you could think about the Bikini Kill but in my opinion the Peppermints have nothing to do with no kind of movements (even if three out of four members are women). Just an expression of rage? Not properly. Maybe a will to refuse all the categories and to embrace the excess.
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