Music Reviews



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Artist: WYNARDTAGE meets ACYLUM (@)
Title: Lords Of Darkness EP
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem (@)
Rated: *****
Yes, both favorite acts hailing from the German X-Cem collective return here with new and previously unreleased stuff. Both actors behind these successful Dark Electro/Industrial acts, Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE) and Pedro Engel (ACYLUM) also teamed up here to produce as a duo the title track "Lords Of Darkness" as well as the dark instrumental piece "Without Breathe". "Lords Of Darkness" is the main track here, a danceable club smasher and available here in 4 different versions, one remix was done by the new collective partners DAVANTAGE, which I would call the best out of the four mixes. Then both acts present themselves 6 tracks each consisting of a few new pieces, alternative versions and remix works created by different friends out of the scene. WYNARDTAGE offers excellent remix works by FORMALIN ("I’m Not Your God") and LA MAGRA ("Du Hast") and an own created remix of the club hit "Waste Of Time". Three new tracks are on here from which "Suicide" gets my vote for the best piece, while "No Confidence" is a bit too simple structured and turns into some useless Hellektro attitudes. I have the slight impression that WYNARDTAGE turns more and into some harder areas while growing on equipment. A new full length release of this promising act is scheduled to the fall of this year. Comes next ACYLUM with their unbreakable kind of Dark Electro/Powernoise-inspired music to offer 6 pieces, but unfortunately with only two new tunes. But these two tracks, "Rape" and "My Pressure Is Hate" are worth every investment, especially "Rape" will drive the tormented souls of the dark club visitors for some Pogo-action on the dancefloors – effusions of blood guaranteed! WYNARDTAGE and MAY-FLY offer well done remix works more based onto the Electro side, while the Sonic Violence Experience remix of "War" turns this track into that what this cool name offers: a sonic violence experience. So we have still the remix of "Black Virus" created by POLARLICHT 4.1, but – it can’t follow the rough coarse of destruction! Something specially stands behind this release. It will be soon a hard-to-get item because it is strictly limited to only 160 numbered exemplars. Plus it is also only available directly from the X-Cem community, so don’t ask your dealer. Make sure to contact Kai Arnold under the given contacts here and try ASAP to order this great release.
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Artist: ANGELSPIT (@)
Title: Krankhaus
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Australia’s Cybergoth female/male duo returns with a new hard hitting release with a German title "Krankhaus", and indeed, the conceptual outcome of this CD belongs on a hospital pretty much "designed" out of the insanity kind behind this act. Yes – this CD ROCKS, because like on their already discovered debut, Destroyx and ZooG combine harsh and attacking guitar riffs with stomping rhythms patterns which offer a special dedication to distortion effects and male/female vocals standing alone or as a duet. Possible musically relationship can be found somehow to KMFDM or MORE MAN THAN MACHINE, but – with any respect to both acts – ANGELSPIT have so much more to offer. Mostly the tracks are straight arranged, real Crossover assaults which make you pummeling for more. Nice to hear that they do never "forget" to integrate the Electronic part, it is globally lesser Metal-like than expected. A nice development I have notice since their debut "Nurse Grenade", they have laid a lot of effort into the outcome of their vocals. The vocals of both are sounding almost more clear than before, although they are still open for experiments ("Scars And Stripes"). "Make You Sin", "Get Even", "Dead Letter" and the last track "Wreak Havoc" can be named here to be the favorites of this hefty release. Please note also the fine artwork providing the very own and insanity world out of the brains of this duo. Think about a filthy clinic invaded by our both dear musicians and several Cyberpunk-inspired guests doing some horrible experiments on two mummy-like victims. This isn’t a computer-based comic strip, no, it is real photographic art. I can’t remember that I’ve seen anything comparable before. Rich detailed artwork, a cool new "Krankhaus" logo, excellent models, nice music – unbelievable that this whole album and the huge work behind it is completely self-funded. I don’t know, but – should I advise a big label like Metropolis to kick off the lately uninspired KMFDM and to sign this great ANGELSPIT duo? This would be well deserved! Get this rocking release, now available at the cool DSBP mail order!

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Artist: DAVANTAGE (@)
Title: Split And Shatter
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records / X-Cem (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
Lately this known German Electro/Industrial had a lot of trouble through lawsuit regarding the rights on the band name. Kai Härtel, long-time singer and front man of this act, left this after several disagreements regarding the coarse and outcome of the band. So we got here the result, Kai Härtel has left this band and concentrates now on his project SUPREME COURT, both musicians, Mario Fritzsche and Rene Müller, are allowed to keep the name and trademark alive for their further musically journey. DAVANTAGE also left their label Black Rain thanks to this bad happenings and can now take all concentration on their own label Rupal Records (www.rupalheads.de), with which they already released a female leaded side-project called FUTURE TRAIL in 2005. One final episode: Kai Härtel still runs a website at www.davantage.de with the permission to bring it out as a time documentary between the early years up to 2005. DAVANTAGE are now also a member of the X-Cem community, which could lately satisfy with excellent debut releases like WYNARDTAGE, MAY-FLY or ACYLUM. So "Split And Shatter" is somehow a difficult release, because it still features some influences under the old formation. The music is a fine and rich detailed EBM/Electro sound, well produced to be called modern and attractive, but still authentic enough not get called conform. The new vocalist named Beam (Ex-FEINDFLUG) can satisfy with his deep male and typical EBM-like sounding voice. This works great for the faster and danceable pieces here like "Crazy Great Warning" and "Split And Shatter", for the slower tracks like "Flash Of Despair" there’s room to develop. Globally we can recognize the quality efforts of the band, which should be able to hold their old fan base. Please note also the special limited edition, a bonus EP named "Conference" featuring 4 new tracks, two remix works both by WYNARDTAGE and an alternative version to "Crazy Grey Warning". Fans will purchase both items before they got sold-out.
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Artist: ANDERS DAHL
Title: Hundloka, Flockblomstriga 1
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Hapna (@)
Rated: *****
When mr. De Waard (Vital Weekly) writes Hapna is a kick ass label I think he's right. Honestly of all the possible directions of melodic music to become experimental and the option to save experimental musicians from getting boring: I think this label has chose one of the most interesting routes. It's not just one record, I think the majority of their releases have just something more. For example take this Anders Dahl’s recording: how many acoustic guitar driven cds have you heard this year? And how many of them where interesting?...Dahl mixed a good psych-folk song writing a la Grubbs/Fahey with a personal experimental extravaganza. If you miss those inspired and enlightened Gastr Del Sol’s ideas, I think he will give you what you’re looking for. An acoustic track thus can become a drone-based/odd crescendo that brings the mood to its climax. Hundloka's three tracks create a continuum even if they're different one from each other (just listen the passage from the first to the second "movement"). Concrete elements and acoustic instruments married splendidly with a spew of electronics to keep everything together. Another nice trip sponsored by Hapna.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The eternal present
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
This' the second sampler of Elvis Coffee records I review and as I've said the last time this' a strange kind of label. The most of the music they put on their sampler creates a really uniform collage and nothing better than a collage epitomizes the approach of many modern/contemporary artists, uh?!. Drone music? Space music? Probably both of them...at last England is the cradle of many different genres of music one of which is psychedelia? (... bye bye Syd!!). When it's not "drone-odd" music, it indirectly (or directly who knows) pays tribute to people like early isolationists or to beautiful/degenerated minds like Nurse With Wound, weirdest Current 93 or something in the vein but everything here is more softly . Sideral music for odd people? Maybe... even if I don't know much about the most of the bands (apart those included in the first compilation) I'm sure some of them are definitely mature for some official release. Relaxing? Acid? Probably I'm writing this for the second time reviewing Elvis Coffee releases but that's acid music for modern fre-e-aks. Weird and interesting.
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