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Artist: BOXCUTTER
Title: Oneiric
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****

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Coming from Ireland, Boxcutter present his album titled ONEIRIC, a double 12"/CD (the CD has four bonus tracks) released by Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu. Barry Lynn has chosen the right title for his album, because ONEIRIC is a blend of dub, i.d.m. and ambient where the reverb is the main effect used. The effect created is similar to certain isolationist records (some of the latest Scorn releases) but with the rhythmic attitude of break beat. Each track has a different flavour (for example see the jazzy "Mossy", the grime bass of the opening "Tauhid" or of "Hyloz" and the 60s soul r’n’b attitude of "Bad you do") and Boxcutter is able to switch through different genres with easiness giving to his first album a good balance for an hour of ambient danceable cuts where the bass is always pumping and the tension is always at the top!
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Artist: FIRST NATION (@)
Title: First Nation
Format: CD
Label: Paw Tracks (@)
Rated: *****

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Have you ever wondered to know how a cabaret version of Slits could sound? Well, now your chance to satisfy your curiosity has come. First Nation is a group of girls that were used to support The Animal Collective and now they have their chance to prove their talent and just by listening to the first three songs I can say that their distinctive tribal minimal style is really functional. Listen to "Monkey" for example and you’ll realize that the apparent shabby style could be an updated version of Virgin Prunes, where punk, folk and controlled chaos create a sort of friendly freak. "Swells" could sound as a new version of "Sweet Home Under White Clouds" only with the instruments out of control. I really appreciated their attitude and even if their sound is less devastating respect the Irish band I loved so much, First Nation in my opinion aren’t a hippy band of the new millennium. Maybe their way of dealing with music could make the audience think so but if creativity passes from here, then there could be only a word left to say... PEACE!
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Artist: VV.AA (@)
Title: Oxia - Picture Of Now
Format: CD
Label: Scandium Records (@)
Rated: *****
Even if Oxia released only one album "24 heures" back in 2004 (nine years after his first E.P. released for his own Ozone records) for the label that he founded along with The Hacker and Alexandre Reynaud he’s active since early 90s as dj. Olivier Raymond has always been fond on techno and now we’ve the opportunity to check his nowadays flavour about dance music. Scandium Records, after giving the opportunity to Delon & Delcan to compile the fist issue of the PICTURE OF NOW series, asked to Oxia to give life to his personal playlist. He took seventeen tracks of the purest acid techno without using this chance as a way of promoting his label (there are only a couple of tracks coming from Goodlife releases: Bastien Grine’s "The missing note" and The Hacker feat Mount Sims’ "Traces – Oxia remix") and created a strong mixed compilation to party with where the drum and the bass rule. The labels covered are: Tic Tac Toe, Systematic Recordings, Playhouse, Traffic Signs, Tsuba Records, Hundehauss Records, Get Physical Music, Bpitch Control, Cocoon Recordings to name few. Most of the tracks aren’t remixed versions and you can find: Trentemoller, Marc Romboy Vs Stephan Bodzin, Goldfish & Der Dulz, C-Rock Pres. Dubstar, Rex The Dog, Williams, Kiki, Väth Vs Rother, Zen-Kei, Gui Boratto, D'julz, Hugg & Pepp, Bastien Grine, Fairmont and The Hacker Feat Mount Sims. If rhythm is your thing and you don’t mind that much about melody and catchy vocals this compilation is for you.
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Artist: EMEME (@)
Title: plague and bloom
Format: CD
Label: Japanoise (@)
Rated: *****
It's the first time I hear something recorded by Hiroshi Nomura and above all about Ememe, but from his press sheet he should be a relatively active musician. "Plague and bloom" is a really melodic listening right from the first tune ("raindrops") that's nothing less but pop. Ememe's electronic music has always an eye opened on melody and that's the one of the main characteristics of this homogenous release. Sometimes I got the impression this’ not that far from Mùm, but there's no female litany and Hiroshi's voice (when not effected) has a distinctive style that's close to british new wave. Probably the "wonderland/childish" air is the only thing that links Ememe and Mùm, infact the music has a "bubble bubble-videogame" feel that makes me think of the great Plone on Warp records. I'm sorry if I’ve been confusing but the last element you lack is Mouse on Mars ("niggun..." era), even if honestly "plague and bloom" is less chaotic but still really funny. Coming Ememe from Japan and not denying his roots there's an all japanese melodic attitude behind the scenes, but if that makes you think of Sawako, Minamo, Eisie you’re completely out of place.
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Artist: EFERMIX (@)
Title: Undolate
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: ainia (@)
Rated: *****
"Feed your birds, folks!"... no, it’s not John Cage and it has nothing to do with his recurring interest for winged animals, anyhow that's another lane since Efermix plays electronic danceable music. This four tracks cdr is danceable but at the same time grey and cold as the feeling suggested by the front cover. This ep can be found in the ranks of north european electronic music, not unlike Biosphere odd melodies but you can still hear the heart beating behind three layers of ice. I've mentioned Biosphere just for the global sensation, I don't think Efermix is s close to the finnish musician, judging from the first track I'd say this music could remind latest Scorn faster and less obsessive but Future Sound of London and Orbital are part of the lot. The drum sound even if programmed has still an acoustic taste with a post-dub emphasis on the rimshot, (in the title track becomes almost hypnotical). I think the dub influence (like in many Mick Harris' works) emerges right from the stoned use of rhythms. The most of the tracks are not lasting more than three minutes except for the hard kicking march of Birdwalk where a repetitive drum plus vocal loop makes the most of the structure. Simple, straight, cold electronics but good.
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