Music Reviews



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Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 (@)
Title: Weight Of Death
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
After intensively touring Europe Ambassador 21 concentrated their efforts on an important step of their musical career: the second album. For this reason they gathered their friends coming from Invasion Wreck Chords roster to help out: guitar riffs are by Ctrler, bass guitars by Mark Kammerbauer, Converter collaborated on "'New doctrine about trinity II" (already released on August as online single), Mothboy is on "Winter trip 2" (an ambient industrial track really intriguing), while Roger Rotor collaborated on "Delete the elite", which sees on backing vocals Proyecto Mirage, Synapscape, Rasputeen, Asche and Ctrler. Respect the old releases WEIGHT OF DEATH finds a better organized noise structure. If on "Akcija" the main thing was the "assault effect" on this new album the chaos has been better organized. Probably the various guests had an important role on this but I think that Alexey and Natasha are now more confident and trained into creating tracks where punk impetuosity, distorted sounds and break core rhythms find a good balance into their distinctive wall of sound. In this way the guitar riffs break through the shouted anthems of the duo while pumping drum sounds beat the rhythm of a riot's soundtrack. Ambassador 21 are tuning up their weapons and as they say: "the bullet changes the power fast".
May 01 2006
Artist: boris hauf (@)
Title: clark
Format: CD
Label: sijis (@)
boris hauf – clark (CDR)

1. SHE WAS A STATE TROOPER

solemn entrance by sharp noise braking the silence – electro-drone laying a bed of electric roses preparing us for ominous washes of vibratory silk

2. HIT ME WITH YOUR PET SHARK-

intertwining beats of wood and steel and skin – borg inplants squealing for attention

3. ANNIE, ARE YOU PUKING ON ELVIS?

naive rhythm – questioning bass – noisus interruptus

4. NON STOP FLIGHT

static entropy brings about electronic ripples of insect intelligences – factory floor dancing – cartwheels of delight and abandon – waiting in line with tinnitus and the awareness of electricity

5. LE CHIEN

do robotic dogs dream of electric cats? – fleas of discontent feeding off the static charge – burying the battery-powered bone – take a nap fido!

6. KEN DOLL IN THE WIND

wind tunnel reverberant plastic hair parted on the girl’s side sending messages of pain and embarrassment to the central core of being without member and less than needed flexibility – oversize the ambient wave for a well needed rest

7. YOUR AUNT'S TRIPE

heart and mind and stomach beat as one – the wonder of essential juices – dissolve! dissolve!
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Artist: NERVE FILTER
Title: Linear
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
This is the experimental side project of Tom Shear AKA ASSEMBLAGE 23 – yes, I said experimental, so don’t expect ANYTHING which could somehow compared with Tom’s main and very successful project. No Synth- or Futurepop anthems available here, but that does of course not mean that this debut of his already 11 years active side-project can’t offer anything interesting. If you look back on some more or less known compilations you might find here and there some remix works he did under this NERVE FILTER moniker – a remix for CONVERTER’s track "Be Broken" for example can be found on the compilation "Proven in Action" released by the small Swedish label First Aid Recordings leaded by my special comrade Anders Karlsson (www.thepainmachinery.com). So this side-project was through the years well hidden in the big and successful shadow of ASSEMBLAGE 23. Thanks to the fact that this side-project totally differs, makes it also so quite impressive. It is a fantastic journey through very diverse styles of electronic based music, it is only seldom that the tracks are that straight arranged, like my both favorites here, "Option.One" and "Auto.Mat", which do fall under the Electro genre. Further styles are present here with D’n’B, IDM, Techno – yeah, and some Trance elements as well. The songs are filled with almost dark inspired Synth layers, a very effective ingredient, which keeps the whole interesting and filled with complexity. What noone expected comes finally true after the listen of this album: Tom Shear is a well talented electronic musician, who has much more to offer than the known paths of ASSEMBLAGE 23. That several reviewers out of the scene (... no names here...) aren’t able to pick up this content and wrote some stupidity isn’t acceptable. This is a great example to explain the sense of a side-project, thumbs up, Tom!
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Artist: CODEC & FLEXOR
Title: Killer Machine
Format: CD
Label: Kitty Yo (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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Already been in a band together (was 1992 and they were into Atomic Comic), Codec & Flexor decided to collaborate again on year 2001 and the year after they released their first album "Tubed" for Christian Mongerstern’s Forte Records. Due to the club success of the song "Time has changed" they had a deal for the license of the album in the USA through Emperor Norton Records. Now the time has come for a new album and Kitty Yo proudly presents KILLER MACHINE. The twelve tracks of the new album show some slight changes from the previous one because KILLER MACHINE sounds more melodic and it has more new wave influences. If you listen to the first two songs "Do what you want" and "Nothing to hide" you’d ask yourself if this is the new Heaven 17 album because the electro wave of the duo has a certain funk flavor. The following "Step by step" steer the wheel toward a dance electro wave while "Welcome" seems coming from the latest Tiga release. The album, in this way, is capable of catch the electro fans, the new wave orphans and the dance floor fanatics and this is damn good!
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Artist: UR (@)
Title: Baptism & Birthday
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ur are an Italian trio (at least in this release, since they are now collaborating with a saxophonist too) coming from a hardcore-punk background, but playing gloomy industrial noise. This DIY two-track cdr is probably their first semi-official release, while a new one on Andrea Marutti's AFE Records should be out later this year; and I do hope more will follow, as they surely deserve more exposure. What's quite peculiar of this project is that most of their recordings come from live performances, not from studio recordings - this gives a sense of flow and development that a more rigid composition would not allow. The first track actually suffers a bit from this characteristic, since there are some "hollow" and repetitive moments in its mix of metallic bashing, samples and pedal feedback, but the second one is definitely great: the vocal loops are especially well arranged, turning into an obsessive insect-like drone. At their best, Ur could sound like a cross between NON's vocal-based compositions (circa "God & Beast") and IRM's visionary approach to power electronics. While they're essentially interested in performing live, I hope they try to crop and mix the best parts of their recordings into definite pieces, as that would surely lead to great results.
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