Music Reviews



Jan 04 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 4X4 Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: Section 44 (@)
Rated: *****
4X4 is a CD that gathers four tracks of four different bands and it is a great opportunity to catch new sounds and new bands. This second volume brings to our attention the San Diego band MODyssey, Endanger, Rhythmic Symphony and Provision. This is the first time that MODyssey's and Rhythmic Symphony's songs have been released, so you can check them out on CD, here exclusively. MODyssey are formed by two brothers which are in love with the original '80s synthesizers sound (they collect them). Their songs sound like a mix of Erasure and Cosmicity and they are preparing their first full lenght album which will contain the first three songs you can find here. Endanger already record their material for Nilaihah Records (they already recorded 5 albums) and their electro pop reflect the nowadays German scene with catch melodies and dancefloor arrangements. Three out of four tracks are coming from their 2004 album "Addicted to the masses". I don't know where "Spark" (that is sounding more English respect the others) is coming from. Rhythmic Symphony is the personal project of Justin Kesselring and these four songs are the first official release of the band. He's style of synthpop is mostly based on ballads but with hard dose of rhythm. His voice helps a lot into the characterization of his music which sounds personal, mild energetic and highly dreamy. Provision is the latest band of the lot and their four tracks are all coming from the bonus CD of their "Visualize" album and they are all remixes. The tracks sound more dark respect the other bands but I think that this is due thank to the remixers (CRTL, D.j. Dissent, Rename and Provision themselves). In any case their sound is influenced by the European electro pop of the '80s and I liked them a lot.
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anymore
Artist: LA MAMOYNIA (@)
Title: Mono Ego
Format: CD
Label: Die Kraft Durch Die Form
Rated: *****
Formed back in 1999, La Mamoynia changed line up and music which brought their initial improvisation three bass guitar music to the nowadays experimental post punk / electro new wave. Musically they remember me some Italian bands of the past (early TAC, Aus Decline or Dark Tales) but with some industrial solutions. The songs sound interesting but the particular voice of Dimitris Triantafyllou seems mostly to declaim the lyrics instead of singing them. This, at first, make the listener losing interest, focusing the attention on the vocals rather than on the whole song. I like the structure of the songs if you listen to Kammeno Charti", it has good '80s atmospheres with some metallic percussions (a la Einsturzende Neubauten) but the voice is mixed too loud and the track results unbalanced and weird. The band has got good intuitions but a little more production would help.
Artist: FLESH EATING FOUNDATION (@)
Title: Flesh Eating Foundation
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Active since early two thousands the band already recorded three EPs and with their FLESH EATING FOUNDATION EP they bring their name to the attention of the goth / industrial electro lovers. Despite the sound, which is a sort of distorted electro industrial, the melodies and Jon Zero vocals are recalling me the Batcave bands of the '80s with a little bit influences of bands like Velvet Acid Christ. The three tracks of the demo are really well released and the high energetic formula of the trio will catch the listener's attention in no time with their mixture of dark, dancey and distorted tunes. They are looking for a label to release their first full lenght. I hope they'll find someone, soon. For me, two thumbs up!
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anymore
Artist: ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN
Title: Old Boat House
Format: CD EP
Label: Silence Is Not Empty
Rated: *****
Released by Pawel Grabowski's new mp3 label as a free download ep (18 minutes total), "Old Boat House" features two tracks from 2005 and one from 1999 by this Tromso-based soundmaker, inspired by his old grandparent's house in Steines, a Norwegian coastal town. It comes as no surprise, then, to find water loops in "Korstog", my favourite track and probably the one where Knutsen's approach to ambient works better. "Host" opens the work with seashore recordings, pulsing electronics and synth patterns, while "Isodet", the oldest track, is more rhythmically oriented. As a whole, Knutsen plays a kind of serene synth-based ambient music which will probably please the fans of labels like Hypnos, while I personally find it a tad too old fashioned to really grab my interest.
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anymore
Artist: FICKLE & HL
Title: Distraction
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: No Ground-r
Rated: *****
This audio/data 3" cdr has been out for a while, but I get to talk about it only now due to a seriously messed up review schedule. HL is No Ground Processes main agitator Dan Hopkins, whose very interesting debut "A449/19 (Work in Progress)" was reviewed a while ago; here he teams up with a Stoke-on-Trent-based artist known as Fickle, who has another cdr out on Consume. The audio track is an edit from a concert that the duo played in February 2004, featured in its full length as an mp3 in the data part. I have no clue about who played what, but the kind of fragmented processing of the edit is quite similar to the above mentioned "A449/19 (Work in Progress)", only that this time there are apparently no environmental recordings, just "real" instruments. The piece begins with a throbbing hum to which different sounds and layers are added throughout: scratching loops, vaguely melodic tones, a steady pulse towards the end... Quite interesting for what it is, but a bit unrefined, and for my personal taste not as captivating, in the choice of sound sources, as HL's previous 3"s.
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