Music Reviews



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Artist: SASSE
Title: Made Within The Upper Stairs Of Heaven
Format: CD
Label: Mood Music (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After having recorded many vinyls under several guises (Freestyle Man, Winston Fletcher, Morris Brown, Sassomatic, Thirsty Monk and Mr. Negative), Klas Lindblad, a Finn residing in Berlin and the owner of Moodmusic, releases his first album. "Made Within the Upper Stairs of Heaven" is an interesting mixture of the ’80s with today’s trends in music, and shows his musical roots starting from disco and italo, going through the clubby Chicago and Detroit techno influences mixed with his fine ear for catcy melodies and fine tuned arrangements. The album is featuring vocalists Kiki (B-Pitch Control), Malte (Losoul/Playhouse), Jani Lehto (Star You Star Me) and Bernadette Hengst (Die Braut Haut ins Auge) and mainly consists of modern disco combined with house, electro and some deep house. The productions that stand out are the vocal ones, primarily: "Loosing Touch" with Kiki, "Up To You" with Malte (Losoul) and "Legacy". Perfect to groove the acid-infused "Soul Sounds" features Jani Letho from Finnish nu-disco outfit Star you Star me on vocals. Strong drum production and thight arrangements takes you a ride to Chicago groove, while in "Octagon" melodic Italo meets Cologne techno-structure and Sasse shows his ability to mix sounds and styles from various influences and creating an hybrid sound design with strong emotional touch, even if my favourite tune is the instrumental "The Sound of Highlife" with its daft punkish bass. The rest of the CD is filled mostly with calmer, more dreamy tracks so you listen to this unmixed album almost as if it was a cohesive DJ set, while "Notz" is a perfect ending to the album with its modulatine, arpeggiated synths, creating a dense, rhythmic groove with a mystic vibe.
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Artist: TOMCRAFT
Title: Hyper Sexy Conscious
Format: CD
Label: Kosmo Records (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****

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If I should sum the review of the third Tomcraft’s album titled HYPER SEXY CONSCIOUS I would only write: "wow"! I mean, this album is a smash! It contains all the elements that a dance album needs: good tunes, rhythm, house as well as techno and electro elements all blended into a perfect formula. Produced into his home studio in Munich, Tomcraft called Tai Jason for production (he also did the rap parts into the smash hit "Sureshot" and the electro gem "Quelle heure est il") and Rolf "Jam El Mar" Ellmer (from Jam & Spoon) for the creation of three tracks ("Electronic toys", "Roots" and "Dirty Sanchez"). For the female vocals he called Dacia Bridges and Stephenie Coker (she sung into "Bloated" a sensual soul’n’blues electro track and into "Da disco", a house track where her bluesy vocal enrich the cool melodies created by Tomcraft, Tai and Trokken & Lützenkirchen). The album opens with "Sureshot" (which is also the first single released after the album), a track that will convince you in no time with its hip hop techno structure (if you love Prodigy tracks of the likes of "Breathe" or "Smack my bitch up", you’ll love this one) and which is also present as bonus into the version featuring Sido & Tai Jason for an even more rappier version. "Quelle heure est il" is a perfect track for the electro lovers and it has already released as a single the last year. Check its 4/4 rhythms and the funky guitar...I’m sure you’ll love it! House techno is present with the following "On screen" where Dacia Bridges gives her sexy performance on vocals. "Roots" changes the atmosphere of the album turning it into a dark soundtrack with long synth pads and a catchy rock guitar. There are so many high points into this album that it is difficult to name each of them but each track contains something new that will catch your attention while your feet will start moving since the first notes of the album. Tomcraft is a well respected producer, he did remixes for Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Simple Minds and Dandy Warhols to name few and this is your chance to check his skills in full. Don’t lose this opportunity!
Artist: Robert Ziino (@)
Title: Plastic Loves Global Warming
Format: CD
Label: Experimental Artists (@)
1. Breast Eggplant[angry mosquito drums circling overhead – ring of positron whistles parting your follicles and foibles – Ponce de Leon in a grass skirt doing the hula with the native girls hoping for a snog]2. Camera Up Uranus[rummaging around the house trying to find it – throw the cushions aside – push the furniture again the wall – no sign – blood pounding at the temples – where the (h) (e) double hockey stick is it?!!! – maybe under the bed? – nope – under the fridge? – nope again – under the cat? – nope nope again – might as well give up]3. GMO’s Meet PMS[dance you moron! – she’s still not interested – wail and flail – speak in tongues – jabber and gabber – twitch and switch – pay and pray – she still not interested]4. I’m not Perfect[grovel and grind in the dust – wriggle and writhe – eat dirt maggot!!! – stop making excuses! – try harder! – no one gets anywhere by quitting! – whine you little fanboy – nobody’s impressed]5. Plastic Loves Global Warming[artificial – repetitive – a sore spot]6. Buddha & The Blueberry Wizard[stuck in the mud – avatar in chains – mind over matter – wizards in treacle – does this mean anything? – I like blueberry muffins]7. Error And Error[portrait of a young man – pulse and pound – blood and brain – swish and wash – all lost in repetition – warts and all]8. Mummy Crazy[mummy or mommy – fixation – Freud and Oedipus dancing a jig]
Artist: William C. Harrington (@)
Title: Urban Electronic Music
Format: CD
Label: Angry Vegan Records (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
1. The Overture

[random sample hold pinched cycles of faux bagpipes and tweeting electro-birds circling overhead - wooden branches of electric trees cracking in the wind – particles of sunlight brushing against insistent green]

2. God Bless the Miners

[tolling of industrial bells calling the laborers to work – action and time passes unnoticed – the divine intrudes on the consciousness and interferes with work – labor is the opiate of the Masses]

3. Enola Gay

[the hum of summer – the hum of engines – the hum of a tune – signs of summer – signs of engines – whistlestop]

4. Cuckoo to You

[electric beak and steel perch – silver forest and aluminum leaves – twist and turn and twist again]

5. Belles I

[on the back porch - moonrise]

6. Remnants

[I heard it – so did you – something this way comes – circus of freaks in buses – reality Ruth! – epileptic, schizophrenic manic depressive]

7. Jungle Birds

[path and undergrowth – signs of life – hidden safely – observant eyes – who has seen the wind – tendrils and claws – shake, rattle and roil]

8. Days Left

[direction to go – fork in the road – journey ahead – a ringing in my head – only my hair dresser knows for sure – sunlight draws a circle in my eyes – heat and haze and heart – hour glass and horticulture works the same ground as my hands]

9. Organ Song part I

[the body electric sings – sound the portals open – conversation ensues – communication seems possible – transmission is desired]

10. Belles II

[metal skirts of purest iron – brazen tassels swing and sway as they walk – they are the belles of the ball]

11. My Guitar

[repetition is the mother of learning – wisdom is the fountain of life – living provides examples of consequence – stay on the path!]

12. BOX

[precious fragility – the imposition of time and demand – attention dwells – think outside – a breath of fresh air? – six sides are enough]

13. One for Nick

[the saint? – the devil? – why only one? – traumatize and fantasize a willing reality – no chance for regrets – one foot in front of the other]

14. I Slept Through Vespers

[black and white – recrimination – somnambulant sisters – ring of cloth, ring of bells]

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Artist: TWZ (@)
Title: It Hurts When I Breathe
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
A new self-released CD of this talented Swedish duo is out now, and – I can say this in advanced – it passes all expectations. Special limited available from their website, this edition looks like a 7 " vinyl single and features 6 new tracks, 3 remixed and revamped versions plus some various previews. This band has developed a lot since their last CD "B-Sides 0" and "The Sixth Extinction". Their songs now go mostly direct from the ears to the brain into the body, they’ve won a more straighter attitude. This CD opens with the title track, an instrumental and dark melodic piece filled with some Russian voice samples. "Continuation" sets the first mark and already with this track it gets conspicuous, how linear the band now produces their track. There is a hypnotic effect behind their synth play and bass lines, and I recommend a good pair of headphones to recognize the rich and detailed musically content behind this new pieces. It is nice to see that all following songs share this ideal and do not fall down in quality. "Clairvoyance" finally turns into a hefty stomp-feast by focusing on a tougher insert of some rusty drum patterns, but my favorite piece is "We Don’t Walk The Same Path", which simply features all good elements of the band, but it has against to the other pieces here the best worked out melodic content, especially when you listen to the end of this track. After this 6 new tracks follow 2 remix works on both tracks "Continuation" (slows down the tempo and features monotonous bass lines similar to some OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF works...) and "Clairvoyance" (less aggressive, it lays more concentration on the musically content...), and both offer welcomed alternative views of this tracks. Next to some preview works we have a revamped 2006 version of the track "My Friend Disorder", originally taken from "The Sixth Extinction" CD to conclude this CD.
I also don’t wanna say nothing about the fact that I could receive a special bonus album called "Prologue: Death’s Dance" featuring 4 extra tracks and the title track in two different versions. So make sure to check out the given details on the website of this band, they offer real friendship packages featuring all of their products to a fair price. Friends of Dark Electro/EBM will make their contact to purchase stuff from this up and coming act from Sweden.

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