Music Reviews



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Artist: LANDAU (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Landau sails in the modern rock ocean where the Mtv sea and the post-emo sea kiss each other. I think we can say it sound major and it has a lot to do with the production and with the emphasis they give to the vocals in the whole mix. Usually such a records gets quickly filed under "alternative rock" and yes, I think that’s is it somehow, but keep in mind it doesn’t entails that’s a bad thing. If you ask me I'd put Landau's cd in between early Timoria, above all for the metrics of the vocals and Sensefield ("Building", "Killed for less" era) for the music. Good soft rock with a nocturnal feel and a good attitude for soft melodies, differently form the average band playing this kind of music their song writing is quite mature, probably much better than half of the italian alternative-pop rock scene playing at big festivals. The main difference from the major circuit is the production that's good but not yet groundbreaking while at the same time it’s not "thick" enough to have that "indie-rock" sound of bands such as Yuppie Flu or Julie’s Haircut (speaking about pop). Some songs also sounded like it was a sort of italian version of Filter since both of them have that dreamy-poppy feel and a touch of well hidden electronics. We’ll see what future will bring them.
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anymore
Artist: THE MAGICAKE (@)
Title: Botoxxx
Format: CD
Label: Piloft Recordings
Rated: *****
The Magicake are an Italian band formed on 2002. BOTOXXX is their first album and even if four years has passed since their early days, the band has already collected a certain success into fashion shows (where their music is used) or in Milan at clubs like the Glitter or the Rocket. DJ Pisti (ex Subsonica), which is now working with Motel Connection (along with Subsonica's singer, Samuel) is involved into the production along with the band and Marco Bertoni (Confusional Quartet's band member and now producer or active with his own experimental electronic project). The Magicake album gathers classic electro song with catchy tunes and dancey rhythms (see "I was dancing with Boy George", "Black leather" or "I don't care" where the electro clash meets a certain punk atmosphere) with obsessive tracks where one pattern is looped while Lulu's vocals sound sometimes seducing and sometimes detached (see "Latex dreams" or "When I was a girl") . There's also a good variety of influences that affect the band's music: if "Mary Ann" and "Man in make up" sound a little like Le Tigre, "Plastic divas" remember me the homonymous Client's track. New wave, electro dance, punk and dj culture are all blended just to looking for a new form of beauty. Sometimes the glamour factor seems to be more important respect the music but after a few listenings, you realize that there's fire under the ashes. This is the game and The Magicake are good at it!
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anymore
Artist: MANES (@)
Title: [View]
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Aural Music (@)
Rated: *****
After various line-up change during the years and after releasing two albums and several demos, the Manes see the release of their new EP titled [VIEW] that will be their last release for the Italian label Code 666/Aural Music. This new EP contains two new songs ("The neoflagellata revision" and "Knife & kleenex"), two covers ("Cinder alley" originally by 16 Horespower and "Title" which is somewhat inspired by Duran Duran) and three remixes de-constructed by Cordell Klier and DJ Don Tomaso. The two original songs are good mixture of melodic goth metal with powerful electronic e.b.m. arrangements (a sort of Metallica plays Nine Inch Nails). The two covers are two melancholic metal ballads (I don't appreciate the genre, so I can't tell you it they are good or not. Certainly they are well recorded and all, but I'm not a lover of this stuff). The two Cordell Klier remix ("Terminus deconstructus" and "Terminus dei profundis") balance well the industrial and the electronic sources. The latter is a little extreme (hisses and digital noise are the main elements) but it's the only noisy track of the lot, so it's ok. DJ Don Tomaso's remix of "Terminus" make of it a dub track without deleting its goth vein. A good track but it doesn't evolve during it six minutes lenght.
At the moment the band is without label but Kyrck Productions just reissued their three demos on one CD, so you can check their music anyway.
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Artist: ROTERSAND (@)
Title: Dare To Live
Format: CD EP
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Under the moniker "perspectives on welcome to goodbye" the trio ROTERSAND presents us here a remix EP picking up the lines and the success of their last year’s full length release "Welcome To Goodbye". Entitled to be the best "Electro-Album 2005" (Zillo – Musikmagazin) this album could enter the 2nd position on the DAC year-end album charts – only DEPECHE MODE with their "Playing The Angel" could hold the top position. So that’s of course a not expected success for this German act and so no real wonder, that a follow-up needed to be produced and released. First off, the concept of this EP differs from any usual compareable release because it focuses not only on some more or less worthy remix contributions, this EP is holds also asides this two new tracks "Give It All Away" and "Drop Your Education", and ROTERSAND themselves reworked their own tracks. The result is satisfying, the new versions of "Dare To Live" and "Almost Wasted" can more convince here. But the highlights are both new tracks, especially "Give It All Away" has an extremely remarkable melodic content, also the vocal duet between Rasc and Julia Beyer of the new Alfa Matrix signing TECHNOIR can totally convince. SOMAN ("By The Waters") and haujobb. ("Strom") offer the mentioned remix contributions and make this EP complete. 9 tracks in all, only "Almost Wasted" is featured in two different versions – if you liked somehow "Welcome To Goodbye" you have to buy this new one as well. Also for me personally this EP convinced me easier then the full-length. Hats down, guys, good and modern Electro/Futurepop stuff!
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Artist: monokrom
Title: tales of rabbits and hares
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Rated: *****
Relentless... grinding... seizure inducing walls of noise guaranteed to clear those clogged arteries and to blow out any and all pending brain hemorrhages. Monokrom's release "tales of rabbits and hares" is far from the pleasant sounds you'd expect from the bunny-laden cover art. In fact, it's quite the opposite. While in the midst of the noise/rhythms there are quieter moments, this is all relative. Even the quiet moments are more grinding than most other releases. The CD contains 5 rather lengthy tracks and an additional video. Now this is what sets monokrom apart from a lot of other noise acts out there: identity. The packaging for "tales of rabbits and hares" is nothing short of fantastic. It's a great looking (monochrome) cardboard booklet with images of rabbits hopping all about wrapped in a silver band... not overly complicated I know, but it's minimalist presentation fits extremely well with the music. Their identity is brought out even more though, when the video is watched. The video presents the act wearing Donnie Darko-esque rabbit suits throughout what I assume to be a live performance. Saturated in video projections and dynamic lighting schemes, the video portion of the disc is totally engaging. With the exception of the video, I can only recommend this release to noise fans because there just isn't much breaching past that particular niche genre. The video is a fun watch but still might not be enough to win over the casual listener/viewer who isn't specifically interested in pounding walls of noise. Recommended tracks: "A Bunny's Life" (video).
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