Music Reviews



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Artist: Ah Cama-Sotz (@)
Title: Ghost in the Shadow
Format: CD
Label: Spectre (@)
Rated: *****
This is what all live experimental performances should be like. The previous Ah Cama-Sotz material I have heard has been on compilations such as Crunch Pod’s Battery Sentinel 2, so this was my first exposure to an album length work. This is engaging material. Littered with samples from horror movies, these samples help set the atmosphere. Most importantly, they are not readily identifiable, which keeps them disembodied from their original context and allows them to coalesce with the music. Most of this album consists of dark soundscapes, but some tracks combine ritual ambience with noisy elements ("Virgins" and "The Howl of the Werewolf," for example). The tracks flow into one another, giving the album a sense of coherence. For me, the standout track on this disc is Lix Tetrax. Combining dark ambience with synthesized strings and beautiful female voice, this is a track of haunting beauty. This track would be right at home on the Hyperium "Heavenly Voices" compilations. Someone needs to use this as the soundtrack to an H.P. Lovecraft movie. After all, it has a track named "Yog-Sothoth"! According to his website, "Ah cama-sotz will transport your subconscious in a mythical universe where his alter ego ah cama-sotz’ haunts the night and proliferates anxiety amidst every living creature." (Ah Cama-Sotz is named after a Mexican mythological creature, a giant bat which used his extremely elongated sharp claws to decapitate his victims.) As you may have gathered, this is not easy listening dark ambience. This disc is limited to 515 copies, so if you want it, you should probably get it quickly.
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anymore
Artist: BLUME (@)
Title: In Tedesco Vuol Dire Fiore
Format: CD
Label: Pippola Music (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Blume is a new Italian band and their music is a blend of pop with electronic arrangements. Their first CD IN TEDESCO VUOL DIRE FIORE is a well produced album (it was something I was expecting for, because Paolo Favati produced it) of minimal ambient pop which contains some really catchy songs as well as other tracks that need more time to be dug. Tracks like "Fuori piove", "Non va bene" and "Ninna nanna alla regina" are good examples of indie rock with electronic arrangements and they can satisfy the taste of a wide range of listeners while the other tracks have a complex electronic arrangement that could amaze the purists but that can find some trouble into finding a place into commercial radio playlists. The minimal structure of the tracks sometimes give too much importance to Francesca’s vocals and due to her particular way of singing (she seems halfway from being awake and sleepy and sometimes it seems she sings while she’s yawning) I was losing the interest into listening some of their songs. For sure the album will find its fans but this isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Instead, I found interesting the nine mp3s of the CD extra section. These tracks ("Nuove Gioie", "CADEAU 2", "Seppia", "Waiting Snow", "Souffle", "Piedi", "Sweet07", "Sigaro Rosso" and "S.Croce in Settembre") are instrumental experimental indie rock cuts that are really functional as soundtracks. Here you can’t find pop influences but tons of melancholy mixed with other sour emotions.
P.s. Check the nice "Piove piano" video here:

Windows Media Video (wmv):
Low: 256kbts / 320x240http://compactURL.com/fdzs
High:1024kbts / 521x384http://compactURL.com/sctr

Quicktime (mov):
Mid:512kbts / 384x288http://compactURL.com/jrjj

Real Media Player (.rm)
Mid: 512kbts / 384x288http://compactURL.com/gver
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Artist: FAKE THE ENVY
Title: As They Fall...
Format: CD
Label: Idle Works (@)
Rated: *****
This is the debut release for Danish Synthpop duo consisting of Kristian Kroll and Kent Petersen. Also for the label behind this release, Idle Works, it is a debut and we like to say "Hello" to a new promising force which can set already with this first release a big exclamation mark on the still very poor looking Electro/Industrial map of Denmark. And when I said Synthpop, I mean Synthpop. No Futurepop attitudes have found the way on this 8 tracks, it can be also generally said, that FAKE THE ENVY do not at all produce their kind of music to build a dancefloor compatibility. The music is smooth, catchy and fills in the right melodic synth swabs when needed. Similarity also for the vocals, which are excellent set in. MESH, DEPECHE MODE back to their "A Broken Frame" times only played with Synths of the current times come somehow to my mind when I try to find possible comparisons. Especially their right nose for the ideas of the Pop/Wave times of the 80ies is the outstanding ability on their valuable work here, it may needs 2 – 3 more rotations until it totally gets you! Remarkable and recognizing refrain works can be heard in both "Obsolete" and "What Kind Of Mess", while the title track of this album is maybe the only one track which can lead the Synthpop maniacs to a residence permission on the dancefloors. This is dreamy and valuable Synthpop in its clearest form and I hope the best for this act that they can soon enter a wider recognition and success. Same for the label Idle Works, which will soon return with the band MACHINE SOLDIER which more focuses on harder EBM-like music.
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Artist: TAMTRUM (@)
Title: Elektronik Blakc Mess
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The French mass destruction machinery aka TAMTRUM returns with a completely new studio album, their first on the rising Alfa Matrix label. Their signing nearly to the end of the last year has caused some confusion, because only a few weeks before Christmas they’d re-released their successful debut "Some Atomik Songz 2K5" at the US label DSBP in collaboration with their first French label La Chambre Froide. Surely the hopes were high at the DSBP to have them now on board, until Alfa Matrix intervened and gave them a contract "they could NOT resist". Somehow understandable, the possibilities with the Matrix are multiple, especially for the European continent. So here is the newest onslaught of this Punk- and Terror-inspired act, which now has became a trio. This new album is again an elementary assault against the fainthearted of us here, TAMTRUM again mix their influences well to a another explosive slop. Their typical speedy and straight Electro richly influenced by some Punk- and Death Metal attitudes, added male shouted vocals full of hate, sexism, sickness and perversion and a globally rebellious behavior are documented here already with the title of this CD (no typos here!!!). For the opening track of this CD "In A Little Skull Box" they could also add Rose Hreidmarr of the Black Metal act ANOREXIA NERVOSA for some guest vocals behind the microphone. Other outstanding tracks here can be named in the ultra-fast piece "Paranoiak, Hypokondriak and Toxicomaniak" (what a cool title!!!) and "Abort The Pope" (Yeah, this act doesn’t like to be sparse against religious themes...). That TAMTRUM are besides all rebellious and "Against Everything"-mood some well producing Electro musicians goes somehow a bit under. So please check the musically strong pieces here with "Deshumanization" or the surprising melodious track "My Fall". TAMTRUM take again no prisoners at all and you should pick up these piece somehow. Please note also the release date, 06th of June and so their number constellation: 6.6.6. Of course, this hellish stuff RAWKS again!
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Artist: TACTICAL SEKT (@)
Title: Syncope
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
No other act signed under the German label NoiTekk has formed the typical sound and attitude of this label like Anthony Mather’s project TACTICAL SEKT. Having started as a solo effort to waste some time between releases for his main project ASLAN FACTION, TACTICAL SEKT became more successful with both previous releases "Geneticide" and the EP "Burn Process". Yes, this act is nowadays a big player in the hard Electro/Industrial scene, highest chart positions at big mail order services like Metropolis for example prove this well. No real wonder that the audience was waiting anxiously for this new full length. Too much hasn’t changed in the direction and the style of music for sure – why should it? Anthony again combines mostly hard and straight rhythm patterns with Tekkno-sounding bass lines and synth play, plus he adds his ultra-harsh distorted voice to the tracks. Definitively the kind of music nobody really can really sit still to – it works the best on the dancefloor of the dark clubs. It’s also a hard and noisy listening for your home entertainment, maybe a bit to much and overdone for the fainthearted of us. The stupid genre name "Hellektro" comes here definitively to mind and the music of some other acts like RETRACTOR, AGONOIZE or VIRTUAL EMBRACE offer allowed comparisons. Of course it is solid done and maybe the quality of TACTICAL SEKT lays in some thicker and more complex bass line sounds, but it definitively holds nothing surprising in the background. It is the expected kind of EBM/Dark Electro dose, which has some highlights, for example in "Awaken The Ghost (Final Awakening)", "Waiting For The World To End" which both offer a strong dedication to some changes of the snare and kick sounds. Also "Dark Sky" offers some well done breaks, while "American Me" brings in some heart-felting voice samples all based on the tragic happenings at 9/11. Maybe this track is meant as a special "welcome back" statement to the Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, because Anthony lately decided to go back to the States and he’s currently on the move back to his home area in California. So we have in all 12 very satisfying tracks which once more will mark TACTICAL SEKT’s status to be one of the leaders of hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music in the world. I had also the luck to receive a piece of the limited and numbered of 2000 exemplars box set as a promotional copy for this review (thanx Marco!!!). It features an extra disc with 8 new and previously unreleased track of TACTICAL SEKT. Normally bands out of this music genre do offer more less tasteful arranged remix works done by mostly well known scene acts – but not TACTICAL SEKT. Again – this 8 tracks are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED!!! EXTRA TRACKS for your hard earned money!!! The quality maybe alters a bit on a few tracks, also some long-time running instrumental pieces are on here, but the die-hard fans of this act know very well, which issue they have to pick up. Hurry up and ask for this limited box set - it should be sold out soon and become a collectors item.
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