Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electronic Thisturbance
Format: CD
Label: Thisco (@)
Rated: *****
The new sampler from the ever active Portuguese label Thisco is largely based on the interaction between sound and the human voice. Most artists, like Von Magnet, Rasal.Asad & Sci-Fi Industries, Wild Shores, Phil Von and Telepherique combine spoken words and vocal samples with lightly rhythmic electronica. On the other side of the spectrum, GX Jupitter-Larsen (The Haters) offers a nice track of heavily crushed moans ("Her moans were grinding against his utricle"). Terre Thaemlitz and Jarboe (of Swans fame) are those who stick more explicitly to the spoken words formula, the former offering a kind of cover version of Rod Mckuen & Anita Kerr's disquieting "Nightwatch" (previously used by Boyd Rice/Non in "Music, Martinis & Misanthropy"). Finally, Francisco López is oddly featured with a noisy piece (in a harsh-noise style, actually!) based on contact mics and feedback, but (quite predictably for him) with no vocals at all. I have mixed feelings about this sampler: on the one hand, it's quite nice and flowing, but on the other hand I'd have expected more thrilling or daring contributions considering the very inspiring starting concept.
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Artist: DANIEL LENTZ
Title: Los tigres de Marte
Format: CD EP
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Distributor: Allegro (USA), RSK (UK), Silenzio (Italy)
Issue # 2 in Cold Blue's recent series of mini cds, Lentz's piece is also the most agitated and least explicitly minimalist one. Played by Marty Walker (clarinet), Brad Ellis and Lentz himself (electronic keyboards), Peter Kent and Robin Lorentz (violins), Maria Newman (viola) and Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cello), "Los tigres de Marte" is indeed a powerful, exhilarating and bright composition, which tends to ravish rather than lull you. Lentz himself talks of "tight clusters, glissandi, and even some bebop-driven rhythms". Quite a beautiful work, but when it comes down to personal tastes, also one I find less emotionally engaging than other Cold Blue titles.
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Artist: MONOCEROS (@)
Title: When I Was A Child I Wanted To Be An Astronaut
Format: CD
Label: Expanding Records (@)
Rated: *****
Joan Malé is the man behind Monoceros and he was already active along his bud Xavi Lloses as Lumiere. His new project is more focused on I.D.M. than house music and his first release is this CD titled WHEN I WAS A CHILD I WANTED TO BE AN ASTRONAUT. Released by London label Expanding Records, the CD fit really well the genre of the label by presenting eleven instrumental tracks. Tracks that fluctuating form a wider paint made of light melodies and complex rhythmical textures. As a matter of fact, rhythm is the main thing, but Joan is capable of giving something more to his sound, something more than only a "certain" ambience. Being more like an ambient album with I.D.M. rhythms, WHEN I WAS A CHILD I WANTED TO BE AN ASTRONAUT puts on hold your time machine creating fifty minutes of suspension. If you want to find a weak point, talking about the album, well we can say that the ambience created by all the tracks doesn't change a lot, but you've got to think that it's thank to this peculiarity that you've got that "suspension" effect, thing that Joan wanted to reach, maybe...
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Artist: DURAN DURAN DURAN
Title: Very Pleasure
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock (@)
Rated: *****
Rumors were reporting Jason Forrest of Cockrock being the main man behind Duran Duran Duran but the project is formed by Ed Flis (he is the main working member), Michael Chaiken, and Tony Gabor. VERY PLEASURE is their first record and it took four years of work. If you are an '80s lover and your first record has been "Rio" you could be offended by the provocative graphic of the CD (you know, linking the Duran monicker to two men that touch each other isn't that kind. Hehehe...) but this is the spirit of the project: taking everything fashionable and some times questionable ("All that she wants" by Ace Of Base for instance, isn't that thrilling track for my taste) that '80s produced, putting it into a blender and make of it an irreverent and powerful breakcore album. The first track is a sort of anthem: it's titled "I hate the 80's" and it's based on the manipulation of Yazoo's "Don't go" just to end into a controlled mayhem of rhythm and distortion. I'm an '80s lover, but I'm not offended by creativity. p.s. There's also a tenth beautiful unlisted track were heavy metal samples form an electronic version ïn your face"of John Zorn with stops and go.
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Artist: BOUNDLESS / LITTLE SAP DUNGEON (@)
Title: Geist
Format: CD
Label: Dungeon-Recordings/Backscatter (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Surprise, surprise, a new collaboration project release done by two of the leading Electro/Industrial acts out from the Salt Lake City area which grabs my whole attention. And what a release this is!!! The package itself left breathless. This full length split-CD is hidden in a kind of sharp aluminum case which is hold together with a screw. You need some tools to open it, a kind of package which reminds me on some Powernoise works done by a label like Ant-Zen. Comes next to this that this release is limited to 100 numbered exemplars. This will surely cause that you are able to buy it lately in two years, but then via Ebay for a horrible high price if you not act now! This will be a rarely collector’s item and I am very happy that I received one (thanks Kevin!!!).
To the music: It was indeed a hungry longing to get to hear some new stuff from BOUNDLESS, the solo effort by Xon, one half of the legendary SYMBIONT (see interview here somewhere...). Still in a good memory is Xon’s debut CD "Perpetual" out somewhere in 2003 on DSBP/Backscatter. Here we have 9 tracks of this project which can be called an addition to his highly underrated debut. The opener "Vext" I have discovered already on the "Hotgoth Vol. 1" compilation a few weeks before (see also review somewhere here on this website...), but this version here is a new edit of this glorious track which unites all good aspects of the music from BOUNDLESS. Danceable surely, rich melodic layers, excellent sequencing and vocals ranging between undistorted soft to harsh screams are the trademarks of this track. Comes then a good and dancefloor oriented remix of SYSTEM SYN for "Predatory" which was one of the best pieces taken from the "Perpetual" release. Third we have a remix done by LEXINCRYPT (right – the other SYMBIONT member...) for the depressive track with a German title "Allein Stehen". Xon’s vocals are more tormented here and the whole track received some massive steady beatings. It is such a pity that SYMBIONT is now almost in hiatus because when I hear this remix and the strong vocal efforts by Xon, it could easily be a new SYMBIONT track! Follows then DA BEST BOUNDLESS TRACK EVER, "Grace of God", also a new one with outstanding synth layers, Xon’s distorted vocals, great samples, and, and, and. This is the piece on which I penetrate my "Repeat" button over and over again – more, more, more, what a marvelous track! Back in reality comes then a remix done by CARPHAX FILES for "Vext". This one is more EBM oriented and features excellent baseline sequences – well done, although I hear here some arrhythmic patterns near to the end of this track. Best remix work and to me personal the biggest surprise is the "Dancefloor Quarantine Mix" done by LITTLE SAP DUNGEON on "Club Trash", a track also out from "Perpetual". From LSD I do normally expect a somewhat dark, harsh, scary-like piece – but not a total EBM smasher which KICKS ASS!!! LSD will burn the dancefloors and it is one of the very few exceptions on which I prefer a remix work more than the original version! C2 give us then a remix of "Predatory" which consisted mainly of distorted break beats and fuzzy undertones - interesting work but not my cup of tea. "Imprisoned" is surely one of the darkest pieces out from "Perpetual" and here it gets a remix work done ROSES AND EXILE. Some nice reverberations and a overall dark mood – but not too far away from the original version. Finally then we have an incredible instrumental piece here, "Unjust" on which Xon performs with some excellent layers and piano sounds.
Track 10 is a short "Backscatter / Dungeon Recordings Segue" which marks the change from BOUNDLESS to LITTLE SAP DUNGEON.
The latest LSD album "Silent Entities" is still fresh and often present in my discman and so this band takes the chance to offer their growing audience some revised works of older recordings. It starts with the track "Through the Abyss of L. S. D.": dark melodic layers breeding a scary tension until the steady beatings hit your brain. Follows then some rough vocal performances with some more dark played guitar riffs and ready is a hard-in-ya-face stomper which ends almost in chaos! I am always again impressed how this band is able to create different dark moods and how tough they can destroy it in the very next moment. "Love Vs Hate Vortex" features some excellent melodic layers which make me forget some SKINNY classics!!! Marvelous played with some great distorted drum patterns near to the end of this track. Follows then the Acidland 25 Mix of the track "Ask Alice" originally from the "Ten Strip Sacrament" CD in 2001. I am not sure if this is a remix work by another band or simply a cool name for an own remix work. Anyway, this remix differs a lot to the original which is sample loaded and overall dark and atmospheric. This remix takes a step to a higher speed and includes some steady beatings here plus also some real sung vocals. I would say a kind of a real new track. Also the revised version of "Phantasm", originally also out on "Ten Strip Sacrament is of course totally improved and the whole sound quality is not to compare with original. Then we have the "Neu Tötland Remix" (Aaahm,... German here?) done by BOUNDLESS of "Never Ever Land" which can surely be described as one of the outstanding tracks from their marvelous last CD "Silent Entities". BOUNDLESS re-designed this track completely with adding a more dancefloor oriented beat and modern sounding synths. This gives the whole track a very different feel far away from the original. Finally we have a slow, scary piece with some great piano sounds, dark synth layers reminding me on haujobb.’s "Skull Fision" taken from their first "Homes And Gardens" and a surprisingly undistorted vocal performance by Kevin J. Cazier. This is one of their most intense works up to date, so must a slow and dark Electro piece sound! Marvellous track and one of my long list of favorites here.

So we have here an outstanding Electro/Industrial release from two highly underrated acts which surely deserve more attention. This piece in style, art and music is a MUST-HAVE! Finally I am not sure if this release will ever be distributed through DSBP or Metropolis, so it is better to make your contacts with mentioned acts and ask to get this collector’s item. This is one of my all-time favorites!!!

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