Music Reviews



Artist: FLESH EATING FOUNDATION (@)
Title: Flesh Eating Foundation
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Active since early two thousands the band already recorded three EPs and with their FLESH EATING FOUNDATION EP they bring their name to the attention of the goth / industrial electro lovers. Despite the sound, which is a sort of distorted electro industrial, the melodies and Jon Zero vocals are recalling me the Batcave bands of the '80s with a little bit influences of bands like Velvet Acid Christ. The three tracks of the demo are really well released and the high energetic formula of the trio will catch the listener's attention in no time with their mixture of dark, dancey and distorted tunes. They are looking for a label to release their first full lenght. I hope they'll find someone, soon. For me, two thumbs up!
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Artist: ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN
Title: Old Boat House
Format: CD EP
Label: Silence Is Not Empty
Rated: *****
Released by Pawel Grabowski's new mp3 label as a free download ep (18 minutes total), "Old Boat House" features two tracks from 2005 and one from 1999 by this Tromso-based soundmaker, inspired by his old grandparent's house in Steines, a Norwegian coastal town. It comes as no surprise, then, to find water loops in "Korstog", my favourite track and probably the one where Knutsen's approach to ambient works better. "Host" opens the work with seashore recordings, pulsing electronics and synth patterns, while "Isodet", the oldest track, is more rhythmically oriented. As a whole, Knutsen plays a kind of serene synth-based ambient music which will probably please the fans of labels like Hypnos, while I personally find it a tad too old fashioned to really grab my interest.
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Artist: FICKLE & HL
Title: Distraction
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: No Ground-r
Rated: *****
This audio/data 3" cdr has been out for a while, but I get to talk about it only now due to a seriously messed up review schedule. HL is No Ground Processes main agitator Dan Hopkins, whose very interesting debut "A449/19 (Work in Progress)" was reviewed a while ago; here he teams up with a Stoke-on-Trent-based artist known as Fickle, who has another cdr out on Consume. The audio track is an edit from a concert that the duo played in February 2004, featured in its full length as an mp3 in the data part. I have no clue about who played what, but the kind of fragmented processing of the edit is quite similar to the above mentioned "A449/19 (Work in Progress)", only that this time there are apparently no environmental recordings, just "real" instruments. The piece begins with a throbbing hum to which different sounds and layers are added throughout: scratching loops, vaguely melodic tones, a steady pulse towards the end... Quite interesting for what it is, but a bit unrefined, and for my personal taste not as captivating, in the choice of sound sources, as HL's previous 3"s.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Interbreeding VII: The Flesh Harvest / Natural Enemies (NOLA Edition)
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Same procedure as last year: The "compilation of the year 2005" contest is over before the contest could start - and this unofficial title goes again to the US-based label BLC Productions which gives the scene another outstanding DCD collection from the scene. Yes, the formula of success is still the same by giving again a fascinating cover art (done by Wilhelm "Deaddreamer", www.deaddreamer.com) of the already known and ongoing alien inspired trilogy. Also the chosen bands out of the harder Electro/Industrial genre offer again almost quality and worth to listening tracks while BLC still keeps an eye to find the right mix between unknown newcomers and already established acts. Another fine note besides all mentioned good points: all donations of the pre-order procedure and the sales of a whole month will be donated to the victims of the hurricane Katrina which made a disaster in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the last year. A great signal of charity which needs more imitators. "The Flesh Harvest" opens with three remarkable tracks mainly based into Dark Electro with some nice layers and mostly distorted vocals done by both Swedish acts MORTICIANS and TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE, as well as the US-Based act PROCESS OF ELIMINATION. While MORTICIANS are already active since a long time and have recently released a DCD out at the Swedish label Plutonium-Distribution, both other acts are still unsigned – which is unbelievable. Austrian act WINTERSTAHL offers a Futurepop-inspired fast paced track with unconventional melodic synth efforts, we later get a remarkable hard ripping track by the new US act XENTRIFUGE, yet another quality track of a newcomer. From Belgium comes the solo project GRANDCHAOS, a band which will soon release a DCD full of remix works mostly done by classic EBM acts, with another remix of their track "Dream Factory" done by the Swiss BAK XIII. Also the German act HIOCTAN can satisfy with "Sacred Attraction", surely one of their best pieces at all. RUN LEVEL ZERO, a known DSBP-recording act returns with a new Dark Electro track, while the Estonian act CYCLONE B surprises with an old-school EBM track called "Cybernation".
The second CD "Natural Enemies" starts well with the Italian act AUDIOPLUG and their track "Too Late". It is a nice track walking more or less on the boundary between Synth Pop and EBM. We’ll get then a special remix of "Bastard" done by the German Alfa Matrix recording artist DUNKELWERK, also BLC’s very own THE PAIN MACHINERY gives a special "Interbreeding Version" of their new track "Pre-Programmed Automatic". With NEGATIVE FORMAT and DIVERJE two better known US acts storm this disc by giving us some hard to get remix works. Also ALIEN PRODUCT, signed to BLC, gives a new and until now unreleased track and show some develop since their past year’s debut. VIGILANTE is a new act from Chile playing a hard and straight crossover between Electro and Metal – it is one of the most powerful tracks of the whole comp. No wonder that they got recently signed to the German Black Rain label. Finally BRAINCLAW are back with another nice tune called "Strike", and also the often placed guests on this comp series, SEVERE ILLUSION return with a weird and of course unreleased remix of their "The Giant Never Speaks Enough" track.
Brrr, my fingers hurt me now, and all tracks are full of quality and worth to get mentioned here. But I stop now for good. Check out the track list below filled with a lot of other acts to discover besides the mentioned here. Check also back the BLC website, www.blcmusic.com, for some special X-mas offers around this compilation. Have I told you that this comp is essential? Get it!

Track list:

THE FLESH HARVEST


Morticians - Zombie Centerfold (Project X Remix)
Terror Punk Syndicate - Dysmorphia
Process of Elimination - End of Line (boxcutter mix)
Winterstahl - Self-Deception ([dan.i] version)
Das Ich - Uterus
Synaptic Defect - Paralysed
Alpha Quadrant - The Borg Threat (BLC version)
Xentrifuge - Entombed
Syrian - Vega Velocity (Sidera Remix by T3CHN0PH0BIA)
Tristraum - I'm Under No One (God Project Remix)
Administrative Punishment - Brand New World (SMP Edit)
Grandchaos - Dream Factory (Bak XIII Remix)
Hioctan - Sacred Attraction
Void Kampf - Spiegel Mann
Schattenschlag - My Fault (Remix by Xotox)
Run Level Zero -- Plaything (Crescent Remix)
Cyclone B - Cybernation


NATURAL ENEMIES

Audioplug - Too Late
Supreme Court - Voice of Lying
Dunkelwerk - Bastard (Against the Beast Version)
The Pain Machinery - Pre-Programmed Automatic (Interbreeding version)
Negative Format - Momentum (fast forward)
Diverje - Enough to Destroy (system syn remix)
Alien Produkt - Acceso Denegado
Neikka RPM - Sacrifice
Vigilante - Juicio Final
Brainclaw - Strike (Hydroshok Remix)
Derma-Tek - Payback (Retribution Overdue)
Severe Illusion - The Giant Never Speaks Enough (Interbreeding version)
Painfetish - Deceit
Implant - Dirt (Hungry Lucy Remix)
Regenerator - Death (Lukotyk Mutation)
XP8 -- Bleed and Shout (Divider Remix)

Jan 03 2006
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Artist: DUNKELWERK (@)
Title: Troops
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This is the long awaited full-length debut CD of the German one-man project DUNKELWERK consisting of Martin Kester, who could made in the past a promising appearance on the "Cyberl@b 4" compilation series of the Alfa Matrix label. It took almost one and a half year to bring the Dunkelwerk tracks on the line with the helping hand of Len Lemeire of IMPLANT behind the mixing desk. Lets take the final result in advance: this release will be discussed controversy. Our dear comrades of the German printed magazine Sonic Seducer boycotted this release totally with the annotation of "some bad entertainment". Indeed – label and band released and included a lot of comments that this release has no room for any fascist ideology. But our dear colleges of the Sonic Seducer made it themselves a bit to easy, not to take a deeper look behind this act and the meant concept. This release moreover deals with defeat itself – there is no victory. And so this band has placed in almost all tracks some heart-breaking and at times rude voice samples, dealing with all that unexplainable terror of lost troops, of cities under fire, or of sinking submarines out of WWI and WWII. So it is not the music nor the lyrical content which will cause discussions – it is the content of the samples. That a band takes inspiration out of war themes is not new at all. But things are different with DUNKELWERK. I do understand people who are maybe still witnesses of time that they do not like to get reminded of the darkest time in their life. On the other side it is not acceptable that there is still so much bad and wrong shame about this delicate theme especially in Germany that it will be discreet up to death. This dark stories of our past happened 60 years before – we’ll keep it in mind – it will never be forgotten - but it must be allowed to ask for some backgrounds. Regarding the rough content of the samples I am mostly surprised how poppy most of the songs are structured musically. I’d expected somewhat more hard with a tough "in-your-face"-attitude. Besides this I do enjoy the good technically aspects of this release and the well chosen synth layers which bring in the perfect dark mood to the overall concept of this band. Again – it is a matter of your personal taste how this act spreads in their kind and message. Give it a try and a listen – and make your own judgement.
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