Music Reviews



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Artist: DEPRESSIVE DISORDER (@)
Title: Ultima Ratio
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
DEPRESSIVE DISORDER is a newcomer duo hailing from Brno/Czech Republic. The more I listen to music coming from Eastern Europe in times of a filled EU with many new states and open boundaries I get the feeling that acts hailing out of these states do better and are still full of new and refreshing ideas. These bands are still not influenced by the use of repetitive sounds and monotonous song structures too many bands currently have to offer. So it was already with NO NAME DESIRE who gave us a strong old school EBM influenced debut release, so it is also with DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, although both Czech bands are not to compare musically. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offer us a wide range of styles almost all based on different EBM/Electro themes but still with an own identity. "Ultima Ratio" is one of the very few albums on which nothing is foreseeable. Food for the dancefloors is strong available here with "Serial Killer", "Genocide" or my favorite track "Victim", which reminds me a bit on the latest tracks from RUN LEVEL ZERO. They do also serve some excellent pieces to satisfy the friends of dark and gloomy Electro with the amazing "Under Watch" or "Fallen City". Outstanding feature of DEPPRESSIVE DISORDER are without any doubt the marvelous performed vocals which can range from tremendous whispers to aggressive screams. The chosen sounds and especially the used drum patterns won’t also leave you unimpressed, they are up to date and no track here sounds comparable to any other. With more bands and releases like this little masterpiece the Czech label Monopolrecords will earn very soon the fruits of their work. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER are surely the best kept secret of the Czech Republic and now is the time for all of you readers to check this band out!
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Artist: NIMP
Title: Development Concept for Formulation of NIMP
Format: CD
Label: Parametric Records
Rated: *****
Abstract electro rhythms and melodies that are very similar to Plateau (that's cEvin Key) and has the flavor of early OMD. The brains behind NIMP, French solo artist Guillaume Eluerd, has issued and titled this CD of his as if it were a blueprint presentation of some kind, complete with a Flash/Quicktime interactive file and cool custom metal box for the disc. The interactive sports not only some nifty, weird collage art pieces, but links to both Eluerd's own website and that of his label. Nothing too groundbreaking, yet a pleasant listen. The best on here are the final three, brooding tracks, "Creeps," "The Final Boy" and "La Balançoire Américaine" ("the American swing". Somebody please email and tell me what that's supposed to mean, would you?)
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Artist: Verplanken
Title: Autopsy of a Dream
Format: CD
Label: Marie-Line T Discovery (@)
Rated: *****
This CD from Verplanken, one-man synthmeister from France (a prior release, now that his new CD "The Missing Tracks" is out), is average in scope but contains many exciting ideas and combinations involving both musique concrète and prog rock ideals. The mostly vocal-less disc is a pleasant mixture of symphonic loops, footsteps, piano scramble and low, repeated utterances. "Paradise," the nearly ten-minute opener, broods along nicely like a lapping ocean shore, and gives one fond recollections of the introductory suite "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album. Fifth up, "Sputnik Ghost Dance," is a nearly humorous display of synth wash at a swing tempo, superimposed with a robot voice repeating the song's title. Track number seven, "Lost Interlude," makes you think of a chorus of summer insects that won't stop trilling their hypnotic patterns. Autopsy isn't too long of a disc, running at just the right duration (about 38 minutes) to leave you wanting more. And by the way, "Autopsy of a Dream" is my favorite title of anything I have reviewed here thus far. Good going, yo.
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Artist: RETRACTOR (@)
Title: No Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames Records (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
At the first I had listened to this I was really confused. I took again the cover and stopped the CD to make sure that I did not listening to a wrong release. No – it is the debut of RETRACTOR from Ford Lauderdale, FL, USA – and not the new and long awaited release of TACTICAL SEKT. But this almost perfect copy of the musically efforts of Anthony Mather’s famous solo project can really confuse. And so I have already named the biggest flaw of this production. This originally hailing from Puerto Rico duo produces a hard and cold, dark Electro/Industrial album pretty much influenced by the current hype. Distorted and rough screaming vocals, steady, straight-in-ya-face beatings with nightmarish bass kicks and overdriven harsh synth lines – these are all the typically ingredients for this Terror-/Hellektro EBM sound too many bands currently present. Famous and similar acts next to the already mentioned TACTICAL SEKT can be named with AGONOIZE or SUICIDE COMMANDO and so now the supporters of this dancefloor-orientated music do have a new favorite. Own ideas or influences of this duo are sparse filled in here. I would like to mention the track "Evolution" which shows a development to more complex synth layers. The tracks "Final Defense" or "You don’t Know" can satisfy with extremely stomping bass kicks, the most aggressive beats I have heard for a long time. It is sweat-and-worker music, no track really slows down and give you time to take a breath. Pain is for the weak and the fainthearted better take their fingers away from this. I would wish that this band will increase their sound and think about a more original and self-created music because their efforts here are well copied – but lack of an own identity.
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Artist: VV. AA.
Title: The breath of forgotten places
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffin Records (@)
Rated: *****
Here comes a weird and interesting label, a visit on their website is recommended: just give a look at their link section to know a bit more about what I mean with "weirdness" (or I'd better say "open-mindness"?). Let me say both the music and the cover of this sampler give you the feeling you're dealing with a bunch of visionaries; without any doubt the most of these cyclic loops may induce to a state of trance: Jebus, Green End Listening Station can be good examples of it. Some other songs have a strongest "space-ambient" feeling (Distinctive 4, Ulysses Girelle, The Buff Monkey Ensemble), while let's label the last category of tracks as the "deep-space-with-no-light" one (Swn, Psychic Space Invasion). If what we have is visions: here it is! A deserted lunar landscape far away from home, another dimension based on odd feelings and no words. This sampler is somehow homogeneous except for a couple of tracks and notwithstanding the fact not all of the musicians have the same "modus operandi", probably the thread joining the most of the songs included in "The breath of forgotten places" is the celebration of the new "Utopia". The fellow countrymen of sir. Thomas Moore are not less mystic, or at least that's the impression you get while experimenting "The breath of forgotten places".
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