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Artist: INFECTIOUS-MG42 (@)
Title: death front
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Nobody can't say the title isn't explicit: Infectious-mg42 is in for the apocalyptic-thing. This cdr is full of fetish electronics (ebm-sounds-alike) for an apocalyptic release, the electronics usually is crossed by (or viceversa is crosses) different kind of samples. Some dogmas of the genre are respected, a good example could be the childish song or the "folk traditional" bombed with odd sounds or mixed with scary noises...and yes, there're some of these german samples coming from a documentary (or from a war movie). That's probably the point: war music, that's what Infectious-mg42 plays, war music...are you thinking about drum-marches a-la-Death in June? No way!! Psychic-warfare, that's what I would say, Infectious-mg42 is into psychic-warfare and he pushes a lot on it. Let's also say this' pretty electro for an "odd release", the sound is good and some ideas are interesting. The main problem is that this release is a bit too generical, but considering this' probably an "early release" there's a good amount of time to see what happens next.
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Artist: Zentropia (@)
Title: Subsonic Laws of Deconstruction
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Subsonic Laws of Destruction, Zentropia’s 8th release since 1997, is the stuff dreams are made of. My first exposure to Zentropia was through the caption in their promo sheet, reading: "Do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Zentropia." Sound advice. This release is the aural personification of a drug-induced haze.

Subsonic Laws of Deconstruction is comprised of dubbed out beats and indy guitar experimentations that float in and out of the speakers while dreamy ambient soundscapes dominate, weaving and growing, imparting vivid picturesque scenes of almost apocalyptic proportion. That sentence might be a mouthful but it, in itself, barely does this release justice. It’s almost impossible to describe the lush atmospheres created by Zentropia, in fact, without using a run-on sentence.

Grammar aside, this release is mind-numbingly powerful meditation music. Regardless your motives or outlet for quiet-time, Subsonic Laws of Deconstruction can do nothing but add to the peace and calm of the moment. Pick this album up, pop it in your CD player, turn down the lights, and let Zentropia’s Subsonic Laws of Deconstruction carry you awayI dare say you won’t be sorry.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Yokomono by Staalplaat Soundsystem
Format: 12"
Label: Staalplaat
Rated: *****
I am not really sure what and who to file this under... Staalplaat Soundsystem is a collective of (ex-)Staalplaat records emplyees/founders who wanted to break free from the releasing other people's music only scheme and wanted to create something new, uncharted, truly experimental and artistic. Yokomono is their second release/installation. Presented as a clear transparent 12" locked groove vinyl (locked groove means that the needle always plays one loop over and over, skipping to where it started, withouth continuing), "Yokomono 02"'s side A comes with 55 loops of digital silence, the deterioration and damaging of which, will generate the actual sound; while side B's offerings comprehend 55 loops by 11 artists (Anton Nikkil, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Charlemagne Palestine, Christian Fennesz, fm3, Ignaz Schick, Ilpo Vaisanen, Justin Bennett, Phill Niblock, Radian and Tim Hecker).Staalplaat's Mono Erosive Surround Sound Installation consists of 10 turntables with no arm/needle where the needle is mounted on 10 so-called vinyl killers, or toy cars customized with on board fm transmitter which basically "drive" through the loops creating new music. At the actual installations (taking place all over Europe) the sound will come through over two hundred radio receivers connected with the toy cars. These guys represent the true avantguard of today, the new pioneers of new music. After the refrigerators, the vacuums, the ventilators and all their other crazy and original ideas, who knows where they'll take us tomorrow. Check out the site of more info, pictures and more about Yokomono and related projects.
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Artist: ATARAXIA/AUTUNNA ET SA ROSE
Title: Odos Eis Ouranon - La Via Verso Il Cielo
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Equilibrium (@)
Rated: *****

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I can't even remember when was it the first time I've heard about Ataraxia, but I sure remember the first time I've heard their singer's voice on the record of this old friend of mine (Mox, the drummer of Monumentum), she was singing Visage's immortal "fade to gray" and the result was a gothic death march that blew everything away. I don't even know if the band's singer is still the same but there's no doubt Vittorio Vandelli focussed a lot the work of Ataraxia on talented female vocalists as you can hear. This' a special acoustic performance that comes along with the Autunna et sa rose cd in a classy digipack limited to 2000 copies on the portuguish Equilibrium label. While I don't think anyone into Ataraxia's medieval music will be disappointed by these acoustic reinterpretations (the four piece consist of piano, vocals, guitar and drums/percussions), I think "Strange light" (that's the title of their cd) could introduce many goth and "borderline" listeners to some of these decadent, enchanting ballads. The recording it's nothing but excellent, above all considering it's a live set. Some of these songs keeps the original phatos untouched even if without their original arrangements. I wouldn't say this a good "collection" to introduce the band but anyhow it could be a good way to start.
Autunna et sa rose is more classical music, this trio (soprano, cello, piano) is not medieval at all since what we have here is classic-contemporary-chamber music with a classic background (I suppose). I know many will be disoriented by the opening track since it sounds really close to that contemporary classic "that's not for everyone", but since the folks at Equilibrium haven't gone mad all of a sudden, right from the second track you'll discover how this split release together with Ataraxia makes really sense. Autunna's composition wander much more around the piano (at last the pianist is the composer, therefore: why not?) and both the vocals and the cello cross the piano works giving strength to the whole plot. Personally my taste for classical music is oriented somewhere else but I can't say I remained untouched by some passages composed by Saverio Tesolato. I can't say if the definitions: "neo-classical" music will be misleading or not but while Autunna's piano could be also compared to some of Nyman most inspired and classical passages, Ataraxia obviously have a strongest medieval/ancient feeling. If you're a fan probably must have release, if you're new to both of the bands this' all is interesing anyway above all the Autunna's cd (but that's a personal opinion).
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Artist: Indicia (@)
Title: Identifying Marks
Format: CD
Label: Kanpai Records (@)
Rated: *****
Indicia is the project of vocalist Betsy Lillery and programmer/drummer David Ward, both newcomers to the electronic scene. With that said, their debut album, Identifying Marks, comes as nothing short of a surprise. Ward’s sharp and outstanding keyboard melodies run in absolute harmony with Lillery’s rich vocals in a way that seems like they’ve been working together for countless years.

Identifying Marks is comprised of half-spoken, half-sang vocals over hypnotic and trip-hoppy atmospheres. Lillery’s vocals fall somewhere between the sensuality of Portishead and Collide, while occasionally also resembling those of Android Lust, Tori Amos, Meg Lee Chin, and others. The only thing more seductive than the vocals in this release is the awe-inspired programming and keyboard work. Ward’s intricate and crisp electronics flow flawlessly to create lush textures in perfect compliment to Lillery’s musings.

Accessible from the first listen, Indicia’s Identifying Marks is a compelling debut album that is sure to draw some attention. Indicia fuses the sounds of trip-hop, IDM, EBM, and darkwave in a unique and innovative way that becomes more apparent with every listen. Identifying Marks is a masterpiece in the making, with tracks well suited for home or the dance-floor, and almost crying out for remixing attention.
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