Music Reviews



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Artist: hl
Title: A449/19 (Work in Progress)
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: no ground-r
Rated: *****
hl is UK artist, and founding member of No Ground Processes label itself, Dan Hopkins, here creating an interesting soundscape out of the A449/19, which is "a road between Newport and Monmouth in South Wales. This road lasts for 19 miles, during this road you cannot turn around and go back to the place you have left. There is no access from one side of the road to another". Must be a cool place to visit, eh! Sound sources are not easy to detect at all, but there must be some heavily manipulated field recording of cars passing. The 20'30" piece is quite basic in its form, and maybe a bit more composition and layering could have helped - but it does hit the right spots and keep you interested until the end. Heavy on bass frequencies, the sound samples are looped and filtered (in real time?) throughout, with a good control of minimal variations, quiet parts and aggressive bursts. Quite nice for sure, and if this is a work in progress I'd like to hear its next steps.
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Artist: Centrozoon (@)
Title: Never Trust the way You are
Format: CD
Label: Resonancer
Rated: *****
Centrozoon is a trio based in Germany who caught my attention a few releases ago and who keeps developing their style into an ever more mature blend of artsy pop music, minimal electronic music, alternative use of loop structures and intimate and sophisticated vocal lines and lyrics. Altough the album has been recorded and mixed in the US, Canada, Finland and Germany, you can definitely hear Berlin's strong influence on these guys' music as something that goes beyond the mere fact that Resonancer is based in Berlin (which makes me wonder why Mute isn't on this yet). Echoes of Einsturzende Neubauten, Depeche Mode and David Bowie will keep you company throughout the 13 tracks. No-Man singer Tim Bowness' own style beautifully counteracts the David Torn-ish touch guitar style of Markus Reuter and the astonishing rhtyhmical patterns programmed by Bernhard Woestheinrich. The album also features the collaboration of King Crimson's Pat Mastelotto and beautiful b/w photography in purple art-work that comes in a clear jewel case with cardboard slipcase and an 8-page booklet. Impressive.
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Artist: DOORMOUSE (@)
Title: Stanley Yershonowsky Presents: Xylophone Jism As The Ridiculous
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco (@)
Rated: *****
Innovation and good ideas is something that I always appreciated and this Doormouse (just like the other Cock Rock Disco releases I listened to) release is full of humor, rhythm and craziness. just the right mix to entertain you all. I'll try to be more specific. From the cover you'd say that you're holding in your hand something purchased from a medicine man coming from the old far west. Daniel (who is also one of the bosses of Addict Records) for this STANLEY YERSHONOWSKYPRESENTS XYLOPHONE JISM AS THE RIDICULATOR took thousands of sound sources (indian records, jazz records, metal riffs, tv recordings and everything he could sample) and focused his attention on his aim: originality (at least I like to think things gone this way). Anyway. Everything has been reprocessed, filed, filtered just to give birth to these eleven tracks that will make you forgot about your dull days. It's amazing how break core, jungle and blues (that's how "Swimming with the fishes" sounds) could fit perfectly and it's so good to be amazed by these kind of things on each track! There's also a twelveth track which isn't on the tracklist: a ten minutes track which starts quietly just to start as distorted hip hop track (a sort of Mark Stewart & The Maffia track, sung by Public Enemy). Cool!
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Artist: FEAR OF DOLLS (@)
Title: She Dances Happily To Happy Songs
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Projekt
Rated: *****
Three years passed from the day I reviewed the older Fear Of Dolls release and after these years the band is keep on going strong with their personal mixture of goth and post punk songs. SHE DANCES HAPPILY TO HAPPY SONGS blend in a perfect way guitar noise experimentation, tension and dark atmospheres just to form five tracks that are capable of put the listener in a state of "stand by". Like murder ballads the songs could be good also like soundtracks. Even if the band uses normal rock instruments like acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, etc, the way the songs are arranged make turn a simple song into somethnig else. The same effect of watching a movie with your eyes closed. You feel yourself lost but you feel that something is going on and you are focused on the sounds you hear. The same it's with tracks like "She lives alone" or "Saint Dymphnæ". Musically it was like I was listening to a mixture of Bauhaus songs played by the Birthday Party and sung by Lidia Lunch. Is it enough for you?
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Artist: AESTHETIC PERFECTION (@)
Title: Close to Human
Format: CD
Label: Out of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
German label Out Of Line made a very right decision and licensed the debut of one of the most promising acts currently hailing from the USA, AESTHETIC PERFECTION, out on Bractune Records. This band produces floor-filling, hard and dark Electro music with some surprising ingredients here and there, but more with an excellent vocal performance which is below that average "use-of-x-times-distortions" behavior that comparable bands offer. The vocals here can really transmit the "human factor" to the music, the lyrics also avoid that "Psycho-Killer-Massacre" attitude and are intelligent written and done. Musically this piece reminds a bit on IMPERATIVE REACTION’s first release "Eulogy For The Sick Child" but with an own identity of course. Hard pieces like my favorites "Fix", "I Belong to You" and the new recorded version of their known track "Sacrifice", which entered the third chapter of the highly recognized "Septic" compilation series, can easily cause that typically "head-banging" syndrome, if not more – it is music for a movement therapy, best done on the dancefloor! The musically surprising pieces are present here in a track like "Overcast" which slows down the bpm a bit and give an undistorted vocal performance. A strong HAUJOBB influence on this track is obvious. This band is also able to deal with well-thought instrumental pieces, one example is the marvelous "Ersatz". Check this out if you like cinematic styled Electronics. One flaw I finally found after this up-to-date and refreshing hard Electro album and this belongs to the too short running time of this release. 44 minutes of quality Electro/Industrial music are far not enough offered here, give us more! An excellent debut which is worth to be picked up!
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