Music Reviews



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Artist: FEINDFLUG
Title: Volk Und Armee
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain
Rated: *****
Ideally linked to their album "Feindflug [4.V.]" VOLK UND ARMEE ("Nation and Army...") brings, after three years since their last album "Hirnschlacht", the band towards a new chapter of their new industrial danceable instrumental music. The fourteen tracks of the album work like a personal musical comment to the facts of World War II. The tracks titles mainly deal with things that commonly make people think about the craziness and cruelty of a war (see "Ak47" or "Gulag") or recall images that are in everybody's mind (titles like "Neue sieger" - "New winners" or "Sperrfeuer" - "Defensive fire"). Musically the tracks are built around a core of industrial e.b.m./techno where simple melodic lines (played mostly by synth strings) are overwhelmed by distorted and saturated drums. If it wasn't for the cover and the titles I wouldn't think about war but if you use this CD along with a documentary about WWII it could work well.
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Artist: MR. SCHMUCK'S FARM
Title: Good sound
Format: CD
Label: Oral (@)
Rated: *****
Right the other week I was watching a documentary on Canada and I've caught myself thinking what a paradise it should be for modern/contemporary music: Oral is from up there and their catalogue is already brilliant. Mr. Shmuck's Farm are coming from Berlin and you should write their name on the top of your want list in the section: "weirdness, drones and atmosphere". The three tracks (the shortest of which is fifteen minutes long!) of "Good sound" fuse a real passion for drones to an all german taste for contemporary music/art. There's a track in particular ("don't give up, what is death?) that reminded me of an old band repressed on Sonig: Hajsh. Hildur's cello is damn odd and played in a really dissonant manner but the result is nothing but excellent. This duo works really patiently on the natural evolution of every track, controlled feedbacks dueling with reverb echoes and soft noises, they also give many peak variation to each suite above all in "my favorite caucus airchamber". Lately I'm always glad to hear there's a wise use of reverb in a recording (sometime this effects kills a lot of frequencies) and this cd is the vivid proof of a mature work. That played by Mr. Schmuck's Farm is odd and drony music, but still music where something is happening differently from bands like Stars of the Lid that work a lot with stillness. I wish if I say that's interesting and psychedelic it makes sense.
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Artist: DUBOK (@)
Title: Shiver
Format: CD
Label: Mizukis Box (@)
Rated: *****
The new US label Mizukis Box sets a first strong exclamation mark with the release of the new and long-awaited DUBOK CD "Shiver". DUBOK, previously recording for the now defunct Tinman label, have found a new label home – a bit surprising, because I really thought they could enter a better known and longer active label after their highly recognized past releases on Tinman. But with more releases like this new "Shiver" CD, the label Mizukis Box will get worldwide attention and success. DUBOK go on in their special style, combining modern Synthpop anthems with danceable rhythms, while not forgetting some 80ies influences here and there. Almost all of the presented 10 tracks here can be called ear-catching and offer some nice melodic ideas while not sounding like often heard before. For the lyrics – well, some tracks here offer some heart-broken content about lost relations or never replied enthusiasms ("For the Throat", "Natalie’s Song"). These mentioned pieces I would call as the strongest moments here, as well as the ballad-like "Left Behind". Full of variations and emotions are also the very well placed vocals – another good point in the music of this 4-men act. This full-length CD is an outstanding release for the young label Mizukis box and a perfect continuing release in the discography of DUBOK. Well placed and produced Synthpop music with an intelligent note – this should easily enter some "best of the best 2005" Synthpop compilations. Get it and order this release directly from the labels’ website.
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Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Odyssee: 13
Format: CD EP
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
After the "Coded Message: 12" the rising German act [:SITD:] returns with a new EP, giving some remix works as well as some new tracks. And I must admit, that I am again impressed how clean produced their music is. They don’t spread any nervousness or hectic in their arrangements, moreover they seem to know about their strength. The comparisons with SUCIDE COMMANDO or harder acts out of the genre turns more and more into background. Critically reviewed in several forums is mostly the style of vocals done by singer Carsten Jacek – well, I would say he is now on the right way and I can hear especially on the both new tracks "Suffering in Solitude" and "Venom (Slow Version)" a nice improvement. The vocals are sounding more natural because the band avoids overdone effects here. Both mentioned can be count to my favorites done by this band but also the other new tracks "Firmament" and "Benumbed" can satisfy in the known style of the band. Add to this the Club Version of their smasher "Wegweiser", originally available on their last success album "Coded Message: 12". You will also find a strong remix of GRENDEL for "Crusade" and a completely revamped version of "Plastination City" by PAINBASTARD, who is responsible for the remix and guest vocals. Finally we have an almost average remix by ABSURD MINDS on "Ascension", also taken from the last "Coded Messages: 12". With a running time of about 50 minutes the EP tends to look like a full length album and I must admit that I like several tracks here more than from their last full length. A strong EP which should bring [:SITD:] to the forefront of Electro/Industrial music made in Germany.
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Artist: SELAXON LUTBERG
Title: .Total Control in the Heart of the Sun.
Format: CD
Label: Butcher's House
Rated: *****
Selaxon Lutberg is the solo project of Roman audio-visual artist Andrea Penso, who has also been member of the now defunct duo Novecentostaube and runs the label/mailorder Cold Current. As SL, he has released a couple of ultra-limited cdrs, so this dvd-housed cdr on Butcher's House, with a more relevant run of 100 copies, may easily become his visiting card to awider audience. Oddly enough, however, it could also offer a partial view of Penso's music and interests, as it's probably his most openly industrial/dark ambient release to date. ".Total Control..." lies somewhere between the Northern European wave of bleak soundscapes (Raison d'Etre, Nordvargr, Svartsinn) and the ritual-industrial experiments of the '80's. Penso does a good job at mixing synth patterns, throbbing electronics and blurred samples (from concrete noises to looped melodic chants), creating enjoyable ambiences for the dead hours of night.
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