Music Reviews



Artist: JACK JACK AND THE WANDELENDE (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Weird debut for this dutch laptop (?) musician. This cdr boxed in a dvd case is definitely the harvest of years and years under the Staalplaat-experimental domain over the Netherlands!!. Ok, sorry for the stupid joke, but that was not completely out of place, at last it all really reminded of some old works done by the legendary Asmus Tietchens and I think that's quite a great compliment uh?. Cd-skips? Glitches? Defragmented-white-noise-distortions? Minimal-electronic?...call it the way you prefer, it remains electronic music with an experimental edge and a a-melodical approach. It has nothing to share with industrial or post-industrial music, but somehow there's a thin link, I think that's not so far from some Hafler Trio's ideas even if not as impressive and sure, less sharp/obsessive. Noise, let's add: soft-noise/electronic music so that you can make a picture of what kind of listeners it may attract. Simple debut and sometimes still generical but there're some good ideas that could be improved, but there're some basic elements to get a good result. Will it be the sparkle that starts a fire or just the glittering light lasting for the blink of an eye?.
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Artist: FREUDSTEIN (@)
Title: Mass Market Misery
Format: CD
Label: Wasp Factory (@)
Rated: *****
After their first album "Mondo Freudo" released back in 2001 David Else and Andrew Bridge started to prepare their come back which arrived after five years from their first release. MASS MARKET MISERY is the new chapter of their industrial/electro/horror saga and since the first listening it convinced me. The different tracks have always something distinctive and the blend of the different influences (they name Goblin as well as Depeche Mode and Slayer but I’m sure they also have been influenced by the master of Italian thriller/horror movies Dario Argento) make of MASS MARKET MISERY a very inspired album that will thrill the lovers of industrial metal as well as e.b.m. or Killing Joke lovers (sometimes they also remind me Velvet Acid Christ). Also tracks like "Intro to filthy little whore Pt.2" or "Robots Pt1:Conflict in dollars" which sounds like horror movie soundtracks are really functional into creating a disturbing atmosphere that enrich the album. Electronic dark ballads team up with electro metal rides and industrial moments creating thirty nine minutes of breath taking dark music. Check it, MASS MARKET MISERY has now low points!
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Artist: BN LOCO
Title: Echo En Mexico
Format: CD
Label: Sonic 360
Rated: *****
Uriel Esquenazi is the man behind Bn Loco, a new project from Tijuana, Mexico. Uriel has toured around the world djing with Derrick May, Mark Farina, Jay J, Deep Dish, and Laurent Garnier. His newest release ECHO EN MEXICO is a blend of dub, minimal techno, jazz with Latin American influences (thanks to Titan, Sanchez & Ruiz and Sanchez Dub). Being a Sonic 360 release ECHO EN MEXICO is a download only release. It has thirteen tracks based on classic Latin American instruments like trumpet, percussions, etc mixed with electronic sounds. On tracks like "Hombre helado" there’s also space for some blues influences (see the vocals) which with the reggae rhythm of the guitar and the dub bass create a particular lounge atmosphere. The effect is particular and for this reason Sonic 360 decided to call this music "Bad ass border beats". The Mexican influences are evident on tracks like "Cancíon playera" where the beat of the drum machine duet with the bongos and with the vocals of a broken hearted man who sings his love troubles. The atmosphere turn into a jazzy thing with "Jazz joint" just to change with "Salu 2" where a guitar a la Santana duet with dub rhythms. The production is good and accurate and if you are into dub, jazz, latino and slick atmospheres with a little bit of experimentation, check this one.
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Artist: Urban Delights (@)
Title: Revolution No.1
Format: CD
Label: Unique Records (@)
Distributor: Groove Attack
Rated: *****
Urban Delights is DJ and MC Harry K. from Brighton, UK (known for being part of Apollo 440, Maximum Roach, The Jungle) and guitar player, singer and producer Malte Hagemeister from Hamburg, Germany (who played with and/or wrote songs for Black Rain, Fettes Brot, Timo Maas and many others). Together the two fuse their common grounds and mentalities for a genre-defying cross-border mix of disco-inspired rock-pop electro-clash (how about that?!). What is interesting is that the german guitar player almost sounds more like the musician hailing from the UK and the DJ sounds like he's been spinning euro-beats (yes the UK is part of Europe, but I think you'll catch my drift). It's really hard to make comparisons here. If you can, try to think of an unlikely but very modern mix of the Killers, the White Stripes, Blur, Bee Gees, Prodigy and what not... I am sure there are more appropriate influences to quote in this paragraph, but I'll let you find out what they are. In other words if you are a sucker for the brit grit sound and the hipshaking fat and dirty beats and the party culture male vocals, you can't miss out on this.
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Artist: KJ Sawka
Title: Synchronized Decompression
Format: CD
Label: Wax Orchard
Rated: *****
Kevin Sawka is to the west coast what Jojo Mayer is to the east coast: live drum'n'bass at its best. Based in Seattle, KJ Sawka started out in the mid ninetees and gained popularity playing with Siamese, but today he runs his own show and keeps pushing the envelope with sweaty jaw-dropping club performances and collaborations with the like of Bill Frisell, Amon Tobin, Reggie Watts of Maktub, Michael Shrieve of Santana (who took him under his wing), DJ Logic and many others. "Synchronized Decompressions" is twelve tracks (plus a ROM track with three bonus tracks) of drum'n'bass and jungle breakbeats with samples and electronic sounds and occasional female vocals. The album flows pretty well although it should probably be a DVD. What I mean by that, is that watching a live drummer tangle together insanely complex breaks and tying them up with super fast beats is really exciting, but whether "Synchronized Decompression" can stand on its on feet is a whole other story. I am not implying it doesn't, but it just ain't quite as exciting as a live show or as some other better drum'n'bass records out there. For one, KJ Sawka's attempt at d'n'b songwriting grandness is lacking some of those solid sun-sonic bass lines that we love and that make the room tremble. On the other hand he often chooses the more atmospheric and electronic path over the strictly mid-'90es d'n'b, which gives it that experimental aura that sets him apart from all the others doing the strict thing, which is cool. The introduction of the vocal parts also gives into that new perspective and makes the album equally approachable for fans of Delerium as well as (of course) fans of Jojo Mayer, M'Lumbo, Amon Tobin, Jamalski, LTJ Bukem, Al-Haca Soundsystem, Censor, Squarepusher, Laurent Brondel, Dieselboy, Rony Size and so forth... Definitely worth checking out.
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