Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Lasergun Compilation 2
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Lasergun Records (@)
Rated: *****
Founded by Savas Pascalidis back in late 90s, Lasergun Records was at first a way to release his own stuff (previously he released his music for 909 Pervertions, Kurbel and Loriz Sounds). When his name became famous (thanks also to his albums released by International Gigolo Records) he started to produce other bands’ stuff. Ural 13 Diktators, Lab Insect, Håkan Lidbo and Water Lilly joined the label and since then almost forty records have been released. LASERGUN COMPILATION 2 is a double cd that works as a reminder of what it was and also it is a trace of what it will be, because it contains also a lot of tracks coming from next releases. The twenty four tracks of the double compilation expand the initial minimal dark techno/house genre produced by its initial roster with new sounds, more electro, produced by Ulysses (really catchy "Empty hallways" with its electro wave vocals), Remute ("The journey" seems a early 80s dance track played with 8 bit samples) or DFX ("Relax your body" is a dark techno anthem with a pop attitude). Here you can also find two remixes of Savas Pascalidis’ "Saigon nightmare" reworked by Frank Martiniq and Richard Bartz as well as "Haunted house – misc. mix". LASERGUN COMPILATION 2 is a classic not remixed compilation that will introduce you to the sound of a really interesting label.
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Artist: THE STRIKE BOYS
Title: Being In A Boy Group
Format: CD
Label: Stereo Deluxe (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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BEING IN A BOY GROUP is the new fourth album from The Strike Boys. On this one Tommy Yamaha and Martin Kaisa did their best to offer to the audience the top notch danceable tunes taking influences from house, funk, dub, pop, indie rock and electro. I know that it could seems strange to name so many genres but I assure you that the ten tracks of BEING IN A BOY GROUP aren’t a nonsense mishmash. Probably you already listened the "Barfing barfly"’s funky rock into a Puma ad on MTV. If you want to know how to mix dub, funky and rock check "Paralyzed Part I" and "Paralyzed Part II" while the following "Chemical princess" (with Iamx vocals) is a catchy dark electro pop gem. "Heart on fire" with Thomas Lang (singer of the German indie rock band The Robocop Kraus) on guest vocals is an funky indie energetic one. "The body" switch the atmosphere on instrumental electronic reggae just to end into "Loss of the badman", another track influenced by reggae and indie rock (it reminded me the Gorillaz) and on vocals we find Earl Zinger (known also as Rob Galliano). "Push push" leave the reggae influences to embrace electro funky while the closing "Being in a boygroup" is a mid tempo indie rock dub track full of reverb. On BEING IN A BOY GROUP you’ll find so many highlights that you’ll forget about questioning yourself what genre is this.
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Artist: REIN[FORCED] (@)
Title: Futile Longings Of A Condescending Man
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This review starts unfortunately with the horrible News that Ben Bloom, responsible for composition and production for REIN[FORCED] died a few weeks before, just after the release of this CD. Our sincere condolences go out to Ben’s family, as well to the both other band members Jim and Turner and to the label DSBP. It’s a bit hard now to come back to the daily business, to write this review.
This release is not really a debut, it is moreover the second release of a band called FORCED, which could release its debut "Cherophobia" also on DSBP in collaboration with the side-label Optikon Records. The original band quitted its business somewhere in 2003, but Jim Semonik could integrate new members, he changed the band name into REIN[FORCED] and here I hold the result thankfully (probs to you, Tommy!) in my hands. Globally there aren’t too much changes in the style of this act, but why change a style if this act has found a very special niche and authentic sound? Also REIN[FORCED] provide the FORCED-like dual voice attacks, high-speed EBM tracks with rotating sequences and ass-kicking d’n’b flavors mixed in the straight arrangements. No European EBM band will ever be able to produce such stuff in this very unique style, that’s for sure. The EBM content placed in the kind how to produce pummeling bass lines maybe has lost a bit of intensity, therefore this act has grown a lot musically, mostly all tracks show some special things which proof a big knowledge in production and arrangement. The biggest winning point of this release is for sure the fact that it is able to cause a hurricane on the dancefloors, while it is still listen- and enjoyable at your home entertainment. Best worked out tracks can be named here with the opener "Waster", "Commitment Suicide" and "Cyn-Dicated". Note also the last track "Crisis", which features a female voice input done by Dagny Neel. As usual for the DSBP label – this release deserves a big recommendation and features outstanding stuff regarding music, production and style!
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Artist: TAKAGI MASAKATSU (@)
Title: Journal For People
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Carparkrecords (@)
Rated: *****
My god this is "supreme electronic-piano-music pop glitchness", does this definition make sense to you?. Whatever you think, Carpark keeps following its "electronic but melodic" root and you can bet this japanese is the author of many exquisite pop tunes. I think the nipponic taste for pop-music here gets along pretty well with modern electronic music (totally instrumental) and with a perfect use of the laptop. This cd plus dvd combines moods a la Stereolab with sounds a la Yoshihiro Hanno, analog sounds of harmonium, acoustic guitars or pianos (hyper melodic pianos) or get crossed by digital fragments that give the whole recording that characteristic "electronic shape" while most of its principal melodies are based on acoustic instruments. What's the difference between a good record and a ordinary one? Class and I’m not afraid to say Masakatsu has it, at last utilizing the language of many of his contemporaries he's able to manufacture real melodic gems. For what concern the dvd I’ve been kinda surprised by the fact it’s really similar to the last Yoshihiro Hanno’s work, the interface is more minimal "plug and play" sort of and with no division between the different clips but truly similar. Water, shadows, fireworks, children, black and white... yes the similitude starts by the subjects of the clips but c’mon isn’t that the matter of our subconscious? Jung himself would be glad to sit down in front of his tv set and have a "reverie" thinking this’ "a sad and beautiful world". Masakatsu music sounds like an everlasting summer.
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Artist: DJ OLIVE
Title: sleep
Format: CD
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
I know it's a shame but the only Dj Olive’s release I own is the project on SYR where his comrades are Kim Gordon, Ikue Mori and Jim O’Rurke. Sleep is a really long suite that respects the premise of its title, and that does not mean this record is boring, no way!. I can imagine it may induce many listeners to fell Morpheus’ kiss but in a really delicate manner, like the gentle breeze that carries dead leaves on the floor. The effect of this melodic and melancholic drones will make it in the heart of those who loved Andrew Deutsch's "summer" and I write it cause music like that makes you feel warm inside. Nothing gets out of proportion and even if the world is overcrowded with drone music this' definitely inspired. An ambiental mood and a minimalist aesthetics both on the cover and in the music, probably DJ Olive intended this record for a private and patient listening, when somebody talks about music therapy I happen to think of something like that. Even if all of tempo/note changes are easily discernible, it's quite clear they're complementary parts of the same whole. For those of you who've experienced Brian Eno's soundtrack of Glitterbug...well, I'm sure if Jarman would be alive he would have loved to work on the visuals for "sleep".
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