Music Reviews



May 01 2006
Artist: boris hauf (@)
Title: clark
Format: CD
Label: sijis (@)
boris hauf – clark (CDR)

1. SHE WAS A STATE TROOPER

solemn entrance by sharp noise braking the silence – electro-drone laying a bed of electric roses preparing us for ominous washes of vibratory silk

2. HIT ME WITH YOUR PET SHARK-

intertwining beats of wood and steel and skin – borg inplants squealing for attention

3. ANNIE, ARE YOU PUKING ON ELVIS?

naive rhythm – questioning bass – noisus interruptus

4. NON STOP FLIGHT

static entropy brings about electronic ripples of insect intelligences – factory floor dancing – cartwheels of delight and abandon – waiting in line with tinnitus and the awareness of electricity

5. LE CHIEN

do robotic dogs dream of electric cats? – fleas of discontent feeding off the static charge – burying the battery-powered bone – take a nap fido!

6. KEN DOLL IN THE WIND

wind tunnel reverberant plastic hair parted on the girl’s side sending messages of pain and embarrassment to the central core of being without member and less than needed flexibility – oversize the ambient wave for a well needed rest

7. YOUR AUNT'S TRIPE

heart and mind and stomach beat as one – the wonder of essential juices – dissolve! dissolve!
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Artist: NERVE FILTER
Title: Linear
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
This is the experimental side project of Tom Shear AKA ASSEMBLAGE 23 – yes, I said experimental, so don’t expect ANYTHING which could somehow compared with Tom’s main and very successful project. No Synth- or Futurepop anthems available here, but that does of course not mean that this debut of his already 11 years active side-project can’t offer anything interesting. If you look back on some more or less known compilations you might find here and there some remix works he did under this NERVE FILTER moniker – a remix for CONVERTER’s track "Be Broken" for example can be found on the compilation "Proven in Action" released by the small Swedish label First Aid Recordings leaded by my special comrade Anders Karlsson (www.thepainmachinery.com). So this side-project was through the years well hidden in the big and successful shadow of ASSEMBLAGE 23. Thanks to the fact that this side-project totally differs, makes it also so quite impressive. It is a fantastic journey through very diverse styles of electronic based music, it is only seldom that the tracks are that straight arranged, like my both favorites here, "Option.One" and "Auto.Mat", which do fall under the Electro genre. Further styles are present here with D’n’B, IDM, Techno – yeah, and some Trance elements as well. The songs are filled with almost dark inspired Synth layers, a very effective ingredient, which keeps the whole interesting and filled with complexity. What noone expected comes finally true after the listen of this album: Tom Shear is a well talented electronic musician, who has much more to offer than the known paths of ASSEMBLAGE 23. That several reviewers out of the scene (... no names here...) aren’t able to pick up this content and wrote some stupidity isn’t acceptable. This is a great example to explain the sense of a side-project, thumbs up, Tom!
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anymore
Artist: CODEC & FLEXOR
Title: Killer Machine
Format: CD
Label: Kitty Yo (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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Already been in a band together (was 1992 and they were into Atomic Comic), Codec & Flexor decided to collaborate again on year 2001 and the year after they released their first album "Tubed" for Christian Mongerstern’s Forte Records. Due to the club success of the song "Time has changed" they had a deal for the license of the album in the USA through Emperor Norton Records. Now the time has come for a new album and Kitty Yo proudly presents KILLER MACHINE. The twelve tracks of the new album show some slight changes from the previous one because KILLER MACHINE sounds more melodic and it has more new wave influences. If you listen to the first two songs "Do what you want" and "Nothing to hide" you’d ask yourself if this is the new Heaven 17 album because the electro wave of the duo has a certain funk flavor. The following "Step by step" steer the wheel toward a dance electro wave while "Welcome" seems coming from the latest Tiga release. The album, in this way, is capable of catch the electro fans, the new wave orphans and the dance floor fanatics and this is damn good!
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Artist: UR (@)
Title: Baptism & Birthday
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ur are an Italian trio (at least in this release, since they are now collaborating with a saxophonist too) coming from a hardcore-punk background, but playing gloomy industrial noise. This DIY two-track cdr is probably their first semi-official release, while a new one on Andrea Marutti's AFE Records should be out later this year; and I do hope more will follow, as they surely deserve more exposure. What's quite peculiar of this project is that most of their recordings come from live performances, not from studio recordings - this gives a sense of flow and development that a more rigid composition would not allow. The first track actually suffers a bit from this characteristic, since there are some "hollow" and repetitive moments in its mix of metallic bashing, samples and pedal feedback, but the second one is definitely great: the vocal loops are especially well arranged, turning into an obsessive insect-like drone. At their best, Ur could sound like a cross between NON's vocal-based compositions (circa "God & Beast") and IRM's visionary approach to power electronics. While they're essentially interested in performing live, I hope they try to crop and mix the best parts of their recordings into definite pieces, as that would surely lead to great results.
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Artist: PUSSYFINGER
Title: Chew and Swallow
Format: CD
Label: Dielectric Records
Rated: *****
A joint effort between Drew Webster (Die Elektrischen, and Dielectric Records' very soul) and Carson Day (who has a few rhythmic electronica releases under his belt), Pussyfinger debuts with an 11-track cd recorded live last December, complete with a gorgeous splatter layout. The press sheet mentions Folkstorm, Venetian Snares and Autechre as possible comparisons, which could or could not give you a clue of what this sounds like. Pussyfinger surely have a penchant for hard beats, as in the obtuse pounding of "Kurenai" (complete with gamelan-like percussion) and "Drunk and Disorderly", or in the energetic crescendo of "Pussyfinger"; but they also add heavy doses of distorted noise throughout, as in "Skull Crucible" or the fragment "!@#?!". My favourite tracks, however, are the droning interlude of "Trane" and, on the other side of the spectrum, the meanest ones, like "Leviathalidomide" and "Black Chorale", with their exhilarating mix of noise bursts, sampledelia and inhuman black metal vocals. As a whole, the album is still a bit discontinuous, and not always balanced in its different elements. I find the rhythmic part a bit monotonous as well (though "Pussyfinger" is a well constructed track), and I wish they had pushed more on the noise/vocals pedal, as it's where they get better results - but "Chew and Swallow" is a refreshing and interesting work nonetheless, which I'd recommend first and foremost to those into labels like Ad Noiseam, Rephlex or Ant Zen.
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