Music Reviews



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Artist: IMMUNOLOGY (@)
Title: Newgate
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Debut release for the new Russian label Advoxya Records hailing from St. Petersburg! They have signed the Czech Republic Electro/Metal/Gothic-Rock band IMMUNOLOGY, which present here already their second CD. After having grown to now four band members this band presents now a change in their globally style with now including real played and recorded guitars as well as real drums. The Electro/EBM influences of the early days of this band are now sparse filled in here. Add to this a rough singer mostly sounding like Arne of the SWAMP TERRORIST and you got it, that this band moved towards to a more Hardcore/Punk-like sound. My favorite tracks can be still found with more classic inspired track like "King of Demons" or "Living Death", although the globally Electro-Metal influenced pieces like "Fallen Angel" or "Gundog" really rock here. Not at all my cup of tea, but I am sure that a lot of fans of the old Coldwave scene with bands like 16 VOLT or PSYCHOPOMPS will dig this.
Jul 31 2005
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anymore
Artist: VV. AA. (@)
Title: Decibel
Format: CD
Label: Plutonium (@)
Rated: *****
I've always thought it was surprising how some techno music and some dance music were not that far from "mechanical beats" and how that sound was somehow "industrial", this electronic sampler goes even more close to "industrial environment" I was talking about. Harsh electronics, techno beats, dark ambient, power noise, distorted samples, hypnotic loop: despite the different tracks this' not a senseless "bricolage" since the most of the acts on this cd have that "rave-till-death" flavor that makes the difference, even the rhythmic "tunes" (the 70% of these songs have a solid rhythmic structure) have a strong "industrial rave" heaviness. After having taken for granted the rhythmic astonishment is a constant for most of the songs don't forget there's an incredible abundance of distortion almost everywhere (Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails have based a carrier on effects like that) and sure, the "mental disturbing" sensation created with the repetitive loops by these young swedish musicians is there to "blow your brains out", for sure. No Merzbow worshippers here, neither some techno avant-gardists like Massimo (the italian guy on Mego and Staalplaat) even if we're not that far, probably that's the kind of music you'd love when under the influence of a bad trip. Even if that's another cup of tea never forget Brighter Death Now comes from up there: "the mechanical heaviness of repetitions", if this sentence stirs your curiosity, here probably there's something for you ears and mind.
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anymore
Artist: MATORE (@)
Title: Crocodile tears
Format: CD
Label: Curzweyhl (@)
Rated: *****
Matore plays dark-folk music but this could be pop for the high quality of the "package" (I'm not talking about the lay out but I'm referring to the production). "Crocodile tears" is a "chic" collection of heartbreaking tunes I wouldn't be so surprised to see Matore climb the charts. Sure, the whole thing is depressed-pop-folk but the production and the definition of every particular is so well done/arranged that I dare anybody to deny that. The notes of the label say Matore could be compared to the (divine) Kate Bush and it's true, but the use of the vocals brought to my mind also Beth Gibbons (some Portishead tunes are nothing but crepuscular, aren't they?) and why not, some Hooverphonic's passages. Musically what we got it's not traditional folk but contemporary folk with electronic inserts both for keyboards and for the drum beats, but again in a really "easy listening" manner which gives this record the potential to become a best seller. Matore is really catchy but it still lacks of a real pop arrengement or she should need just some more "pop-hooks" in the structures. At last dark music has always expressed some incredible "chart-climbing" talents in the past, just think of Siouxie or Robert Smith, Brita Adler is also nice looking which adds extra points for the music-system out there...change some little elements of the mixture and here it is: a potential pop prouct.
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anymore
Artist: Conjure One
Title: Extraordinary Ways
Format: CD
Label: Nettwerk America
Rated: *****
On August 30th the world will finally be able to welcome the new release by Conjure One, the personal side-project of critically acclaimed Canadian-born producer Rhys Fulber (of Front Line Assembly and Delerium fame). I remember loving his first self-titled album, and this second one, altough different, doesn't disappoint and meets all expectations. As in the debut, he makes use of a number of different (and great sounding!) female vocalists (Jane, and Chemda Kalili -also to be found on the previous record- and new voices Tiff Lacey and Joanna Stevens; as well as collaborations with Ashwin Sood, Sean Ashby from McLachlan's band, Leah Randy of Pink and ex-Abandoned Pools and string arranger Chris Elliot). The focus is still heavily on melody, altough the formula has shifted away from the middle eastern flavors and slightly more towards pop (acoustic guitars etc). Obviously everything is supported by a solid and consistent electronic music structure that carries along creating beautiful bass lines, great layered atmospheres and visionary landscapes. "Extraordinary Ways" is nothing short of what you would expect from a skilled and experienced top producer such as Fulber, so go for it without a question! It's a great sounding, relaxing, enticing, rich, dynamic, full, harmonious, gorgeous record!
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Artist: Madison Park vs. Lenny B
Title: More Than This
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: BasicLUX Records
Distributor: Tommy Boy Records
Rated: *****
Spun from Park's "Roxy Re-Modeled" tribute CD, "More Than This" as remixed by both DJ Lenny B and J.A.C.E. (a long and a short version from each) is a complete part of your nutritious mainstream dance-pop diet. Both productions blanket the song with frosty, Arctic synth chill over a smooth yet hot pumping dance pulse, and on his mix Lenny B applies the Vocorder on Park's vocals not-too-liberally. While I wouldn't tolerate such liberties taken with many other tracks in Roxy Music's catalog (especially from their early years), either mix should make those who saw and liked the movie Lost In Translation jump for joy. I'd say if you are one of the cool Club Kids strictly into Deep House, you could definitely get into this. My preference of the two styles is J.A.C.E.'s, which I figure you could somehow segue into Orbital's "One Perfect Sunrise," if you were a ballsy enough DJ.
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