Music Reviews



Sep 06 2004
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Artist: E.R.R.A. (@)
Title: Light of Love
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames records
Rated: *****
Electro-synth-pop music with a fascination for extraterrestrial phenomena is what young Mexican artist Rick Nava presents to us with his presumably debut CD "Light of Love", a collection of 13 tracks with up-tempo dancefloor-friendly beats, layers outer-worldly sounds, rave-synth lines, lyrics in English and Spanish (really just one song). The CD comes with a beautiful artwork (even though the in-lay card came out with some printing allignment issue), and the S.E.T.I.-attitude helps spark interest, but musically the young machine lover has to further develop his already remarkable skills to become more personal, original and stand out in the crowd, which I realize is a very hard thing to do in the genre he picked. Keep up the good work.
Sep 06 2004
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Artist: davaNtage
Title: unholy
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media Distribution
Rated: *****
Even though it's got 13 tracks and 1 hour running time, "Unholy" is referred to as a CD EP, mostly because it features seven tracks (one of which is a cover version of the punk band Skeptiker's "Ja Ja Ja") + six remix versions by Suicide Commando, Soman, LC, Echorausch, Supreme Court, Solitary Experiments. The german trio carries around the word of electro body music with well programmed sequences, drum machine patterns and vocals that are treated with the same old distortion or sometimes with less distorion and more reverb, which isn't bad. Some remix versions are interesting and worthy of mention: Suicide Commando's version of the title-track is more martial/minimal/apocalyptic; Soman go for minimal electro-rhythm in Daft-records style (even though it assumes more dance-friendly shape later on); Echoraush's remix of the afore-mentioned punk classics brings back some guitar rings and more noises, and also slows it down, making it more evil-sounding. "Unholy" is a nice EP and davvaNtage are a good trio of musicians that spend muchh of their time polishing and arranging well written material, too bad the genre itself just seems to be stuck in itself...
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Artist: BJÍRG┌LFSSON/PIMMON/THORSSON
Title: Still important somekind not normally seen (always not unfinished)
Format: CD
Label: Crˇnica
Rated: *****
Coming in a gorgeous psychedelic layout, this cd documents the live performance of Heimir Björgúlfsson, Helgi Thorsson (both from Stilluppsteypa) and Paul Gough aka Pimmon recorded at the Melkfabriek, Den Bosch (The Netherlands) in October, 2002. The recordings were edited some time later by mighty Robert Hampson (Main, Comae, ex-Loop, Godflesh, Indicate etc.) at his Thirst studio. The laptop, etc. trios live recordings have become quite frequent, and sometimes the results are very good, as in the two Fenn'o'berg discs. So now, does the result live up to the names involved? I guess the answer is, unfortunately, no. This is a flow of the usual digital frequencies, glitches, hisses, samples, minimal rhythms etc., but without the coherence and quality that one could expect from these artists. There are some fairly engaging moments (track 1 and 4, for example), but as a whole this is just mildly interesting. Probably the original performance just wasn't that strong, which is not a crime since it's not easy to improvise with this kind of sounds and always have a super-tight output. Not bad, just uneventful.
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Artist: PSYCHIC SPACE INVASION (@)
Title: Book of dreams
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
Fourth official cdr release on Elvis Coffee by UK soundmaker Ian Holloway. The name of his project pretty much describes it all - PSI stands for trippy, yet dark electronica, somewhere between old minimalism/computer music and post-industrial. The press sheet mentions Elph-era Coil, which might give you a clue. Though mostly based on synths and effects, the sound is pretty varied, also incorporating desolate piano lines ("Hiraeth"), vocal samples, percussions ("an essence of true sleep", a bit à la Zoviet France) - but PSI's main direction seems to be a grey isolationist ambient ("nothing exists", "yellow duck") with cosmic excursions ("echoes of memory", "the theatre of the warm"). Promising material, but a bit too repetitive in some parts (some delay abuses, for example) and, for me, not that engaging on a gut level.
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Artist: SOBRIA EBRIETAS (@)
Title: Ouroboros
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Fourth solo work for Bertand Barbier, who's also member of Belgian Third Brass Collective, "Ouroboros" collects several tracks exploring different shades of the (dark) ambient genre. Pretty much everything, from atmospheric piano/keyboards-driven tracks, to industrial distortions, to ethnic/acoustic loops (tracks 7 and 8, a bit in the Zoviet France/Rapoon vein). As a whole, this could be a decent effort but has many defects and weak moments. The former being, for example, the abrupt changes from one section/loop to the other (where you can distinctly hear the gap between the sounds), some clicks, and too drastic fadings at the end. The latter being many tracks with just one looped sound which is not that interesting per se, thus not justifying its minimal use. The industrial tracks, on their side, offer little more than distorted wooshes. This is the typical case of a potentially promising project ruined by an under-produced and redundant release.
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