Music Reviews



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Artist: ELLENDE
Title: Heroin
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: AFE Records
Rated: *****
A nice addition to this mysterious Dutch/Japanese project's extended discography, "Heroin" is a 20-minute piece as grim as the title and the graphics suggest - the concept obviously being taking one's like via drug overdose. Ghost voices crawl in and out of the sullen drones, and Ellende surely know(s) how to mix all the different sounds in a cohesive composition. Even the final litany, apparently filtered through a vocoder, sounds credible and effective. Limited to a mere 50 copies, so hurry while you can, as it's very good.
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Artist: COSMICITY (@)
Title: Definitive
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Kiss My Asterix Records (@)
Rated: *****
After riding the synthpop waves for seven years Mark Nicholas decided to give an end to his project Cosmicity. For about a decade the name of the band has been linked to A Different Drum label as they kinda "grew" together. DEFINITIVE is a good sum of what Cosmicity have been but it hasn't been released by ADD as the Kiss My Asterix label released it giving to it also a visual counterpart because along with the nineteen songs compilation you can find an hour long DVD titled TWO CAMCORDERS & AN iMAC. The DVD contains different moments of private life deeply connected to Mark's music. It is a sort of home made documentary of the band story and by watching it you'll realize that behind the melancholy taste of Cosmicity's music there's a funny guy who's trying to have fun with people/friends bonding with them kindly. So, you'll find the different recording sessions of the five Cosmicity's albums (one of them actually is a fun re-creation of the recording session with trained actors....yeah, you wish they were! Actually they are Mark and his wife Sara). Along with tour shots and sessions you'll find also the "Technology" and "Sedgwick" videos. After watching this DVD you'll have the impression of knowing Mark a little more, you'll appreciate his attitude and you'll realize that his music is genuine. The CD compilation will make you know a little bit more the band's music, if you haven't listened to them yet. Only the first two pre A Different Drum CDs have been excluded, so if you want to check them you've got to get "The vision / The moment" double CD separately. Strangely enough, the compilation go backwards starting with the tracks from the last album "Escape pod for two" (four tracks are included from this album) and arriving to four tracks picked up from "Isabella" (passing through Pure's "I want you", "The princess of Detroit" and "Hotel Allegro Chicago", The Binary Language Of Love's "This city", "Digital delays" and "Technology", Resynthesized's "Orange", Reinassance's "Too far gone" and "Fate and time" and Forgive My Sins' "As long as it takes"). With nineteen tracks you'll have the opportunity to check Mark's synthpop dancey melancholy and you'll ask yourself how will sound the new tracks his preparing. Well, you can check two of them at his new website www.marknicholas.org: they sound less melancholy, they are more pumping and a bit distorted. Also the lyrics seem different: they sound darker than usual. Anyway... I think at this point if you have already checked the Kiss My Aterix website to purchase your copy for 18$ and checked the new tracks leaving to Mark your thoughts about his new stuff. ;-)
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Artist: TAYLOR DUPREE + EISI
Title: Every still day
Format: CD
Label: Noble (@)
Rated: *****
This good friend of mine who's into Taylor Dupree told me this cd was not Dupree's "ordinary administration" since it was a sort of production/post-production/arrangements/reinterpretation (Taylor put his hands on the recording added here, remixed there and gave a new look to this old suit). It all sounds really weird-melo-acoustic music, if you're confidential with Dupree experimental-electronic releases forget it. The vocal of Mujika Easel is the recurring element in the most of the tracks (and it could be somewhere between Cat Power and Bjork), the music has a constant "dreamy-trance-like" atmosphere but the song structure and the shape changes constantly. "Eisi is stirring" have this acoustic guitar that reminds of Joan of Arc or Jackie O' Motherfucker as much as "Cloud, light, water (fall)", but on the other side you have synths landscape, computer processing here and there in a lot of tracks in some other it's even dominant ("Awaawa (windows)" for example). There's also a saxophone and together with synths that's probably what makes the recording even more "visionary", these arrangements tend to rise from the back filled with ghostly-reverb while the framework seems absent (ergo: "free"). If Storm and Stress were less technical and would work on prog-psych-folk tracks without their characteristic explosions and with the help of a computer, I imagine they could be really close to "Every still day". On the front cover there's a bright overexposed picture of a room flooded by the light of the morning: lot's of light, some shadows on the wall and a sunday morning climax, the essence of this record.
Sep 07 2005
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Artist: VEX'D
Title: Degenerate
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
There's a big dub aftertaste hidden between the lines of Vex'd "Degenerate" (above all in the second of the two cds). This London duo has an interesting way to mold drum and bass and breakbeat to make it all sound "kicking ass" electronica "ready-made for any unconventional dancefloor" (!?). I can't say if this people has ever been into Adrian Sherwood, Photek or anything on Possible records (above all Mick Harris during is drum and bass trip), but somehow these could be some of the weapons from their arsenal. "Hard core" electronica for "diehard rave believer"!? sure this'an aggressive record, add some of these "old-synth" sounds (it's not the first time I'm saying that but have you noticed how many artists from the old school are reusing those sounds?). A friend of mine said if 808 State were from today and would have been more into breakbeat they could have sounded almost like that, personally I think that's a misleading description, but the idea of the "hard electronic beat" is similar and the dark mind-blowing atmosphere is there too (man..judging from the cover it could have been an industrial record!). If you hate "sassy electronica" and you're into rhythmical beats and jawbreaking beats you'd better give a listen.
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Artist: INFECTIOUS-MG42 (@)
Title: death front
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Nobody can't say the title isn't explicit: Infectious-mg42 is in for the apocalyptic-thing. This cdr is full of fetish electronics (ebm-sounds-alike) for an apocalyptic release, the electronics usually is crossed by (or viceversa is crosses) different kind of samples. Some dogmas of the genre are respected, a good example could be the childish song or the "folk traditional" bombed with odd sounds or mixed with scary noises...and yes, there're some of these german samples coming from a documentary (or from a war movie). That's probably the point: war music, that's what Infectious-mg42 plays, war music...are you thinking about drum-marches a-la-Death in June? No way!! Psychic-warfare, that's what I would say, Infectious-mg42 is into psychic-warfare and he pushes a lot on it. Let's also say this' pretty electro for an "odd release", the sound is good and some ideas are interesting. The main problem is that this release is a bit too generical, but considering this' probably an "early release" there's a good amount of time to see what happens next.
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