Music Reviews



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Artist: MATORE (@)
Title: Crocodile tears
Format: CD
Label: Curzweyhl (@)
Rated: *****
Matore plays dark-folk music but this could be pop for the high quality of the "package" (I'm not talking about the lay out but I'm referring to the production). "Crocodile tears" is a "chic" collection of heartbreaking tunes I wouldn't be so surprised to see Matore climb the charts. Sure, the whole thing is depressed-pop-folk but the production and the definition of every particular is so well done/arranged that I dare anybody to deny that. The notes of the label say Matore could be compared to the (divine) Kate Bush and it's true, but the use of the vocals brought to my mind also Beth Gibbons (some Portishead tunes are nothing but crepuscular, aren't they?) and why not, some Hooverphonic's passages. Musically what we got it's not traditional folk but contemporary folk with electronic inserts both for keyboards and for the drum beats, but again in a really "easy listening" manner which gives this record the potential to become a best seller. Matore is really catchy but it still lacks of a real pop arrengement or she should need just some more "pop-hooks" in the structures. At last dark music has always expressed some incredible "chart-climbing" talents in the past, just think of Siouxie or Robert Smith, Brita Adler is also nice looking which adds extra points for the music-system out there...change some little elements of the mixture and here it is: a potential pop prouct.
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anymore
Artist: Conjure One
Title: Extraordinary Ways
Format: CD
Label: Nettwerk America
Rated: *****
On August 30th the world will finally be able to welcome the new release by Conjure One, the personal side-project of critically acclaimed Canadian-born producer Rhys Fulber (of Front Line Assembly and Delerium fame). I remember loving his first self-titled album, and this second one, altough different, doesn't disappoint and meets all expectations. As in the debut, he makes use of a number of different (and great sounding!) female vocalists (Jane, and Chemda Kalili -also to be found on the previous record- and new voices Tiff Lacey and Joanna Stevens; as well as collaborations with Ashwin Sood, Sean Ashby from McLachlan's band, Leah Randy of Pink and ex-Abandoned Pools and string arranger Chris Elliot). The focus is still heavily on melody, altough the formula has shifted away from the middle eastern flavors and slightly more towards pop (acoustic guitars etc). Obviously everything is supported by a solid and consistent electronic music structure that carries along creating beautiful bass lines, great layered atmospheres and visionary landscapes. "Extraordinary Ways" is nothing short of what you would expect from a skilled and experienced top producer such as Fulber, so go for it without a question! It's a great sounding, relaxing, enticing, rich, dynamic, full, harmonious, gorgeous record!
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Artist: Madison Park vs. Lenny B
Title: More Than This
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: BasicLUX Records
Distributor: Tommy Boy Records
Rated: *****
Spun from Park's "Roxy Re-Modeled" tribute CD, "More Than This" as remixed by both DJ Lenny B and J.A.C.E. (a long and a short version from each) is a complete part of your nutritious mainstream dance-pop diet. Both productions blanket the song with frosty, Arctic synth chill over a smooth yet hot pumping dance pulse, and on his mix Lenny B applies the Vocorder on Park's vocals not-too-liberally. While I wouldn't tolerate such liberties taken with many other tracks in Roxy Music's catalog (especially from their early years), either mix should make those who saw and liked the movie Lost In Translation jump for joy. I'd say if you are one of the cool Club Kids strictly into Deep House, you could definitely get into this. My preference of the two styles is J.A.C.E.'s, which I figure you could somehow segue into Orbital's "One Perfect Sunrise," if you were a ballsy enough DJ.
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Artist: Carlo Sperra & Stereonoise
Title: Sto Correndo
Format: CD
Label: VideoRadio Linea Alternativa (@)
Rated: *****
Every single day, I give thanks that the revolution in electronic dance music and technology of the past twenty years occurred when it did. Otherwise, eclectic popster Carlo Spera and many other artists like him would have no compass whatsoever. His new CD, Sto Correndo, has a completely unruly will of its own, with no way to tell whether or not it is steering him in the right direction. It's the variety of rhythms and whimsical flavors that carries this disc, which at times recalls Underworld, Wham!, Cabaret Voltaire and Shriekback, as well as the humorous, jazz-pop stylings of Malcolm McLaren and Barry Adamson. The main issue with Sto Correndo is not Sperra's influences, however, but that all of his ingredients sound as though haphazardly thrown into the pot, without much of a discernible song or album structure. A jazzy track here, a hip-hop-inflected track there (and what sounds inexplicably like a looped guitar from AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" on track number 12, "Il Gladiatore")--just what are we supposed to be getting, exactly? The pastiche of loops, turntabling, Italian-language libretti and female background vocals works best on track number 9, "Tiempi Moderni." Obviously, due to my nonexistent Italian (no, really, il professore, the dog really *did* eat my dictionary), I may be missing some relevant and vital lyrical themes, but on the whole it suffers from an uneasy balance between fascination and clutter.
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Artist: HIOCTAN (@)
Title: Concentration Overload
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
This is already the second release of this one man project hailing from Rostock, Germany. Like on his first CD, Michael Senft presents here his version of harsh EBM/Electro music with already heard distorted vocals, rough and steady beats and overdriven sequencer bass lines. Comparable to older SUICIDE COMMANDO stuff like the "Critical Stage" era is surely a possible reference, but unfortunately are HIOCTAN not able to play in the same league like his alter ego act. Here is a lot of repetition on almost all tracks, a lift up in song structuring wouldn’t be bad at all. Also the choice of synth sounds cannot really convince me, most bass line and melodic strings are sounding careless and old. It is a pity that here isn’t too much interesting stuff which would help this project to gather a higher level than average. If you look out for some stuff with an edge, with a musically demand, you are wrong with HIOCTAN. This album (excellent cover artwork with nice photos by the way...) is only dedicated to harsh EBM short-cut-hair rivetheads.

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