Music Reviews



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Artist: 1919 (@)
Title: Dark Temple
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: We Must Mutate
Rated: *****
Disbanded more than twenty years ago, 1919 come back with a new line-up where only Mark Tighe (guitar) is the only member of the original one. 1919 were active in the early eighties in the goth rock / post punk scene and they produced two 7", an album a 12" and a MLP titled "Earth Song". To check their old style you can check the CD compiled by Cherry Red / Anagram where you can find every track produced by the band. Anyway... I mentioned an old style and this would make you think that there is a new style. Well, that is right, Sherlock! By listening to the new 1919 it could be like listening the first Killing Joke album and then directly passing to "Millennium". The sound thickens and it is updated into a solid version of goth metal: a sort of levigated goth version of Fear Factory with a varied tracklist. The first three song of the MCD, "Headpain", "Savage Messiah" and "Killing the alien" are an high concentrate of power with guitars and drums in evidence. "Wolf" is a sort of melancholic dark ballad. With "Skin" the energy is revived but the guitars are a little bit in the background along with synths. The sound is always energetic but the effect is less "wall of sound" respect the first three. The closing track "Fall of babylon" is influenced by dub, here Richard Green's vocals are clean (on the other tracks he had a more cry out loud style) and this create a good contrast giving the right balance between angry and dilated tracks. 1919's come back is a good one and for sure this isn't a revival of old days because they have much more to give to the audience. Check it! P.s. This is also the first We Must Mutate release. The label is a band's project which will release all their new stuff but other bands' music will be also considered...
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Artist: FUNKER VOGT (@)
Title: Navigator
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
With a new studio album of FUNKER VOGT it is a bit like in that classic short movie Dinner For One": same procedure as every year! But can we blame a band which has found a way to get that much success, that the band members can easily take the music to pay all bills? Should we really advise the band to stay dark and unknown in the underground through a change of the musical direction? I think we can’t do so. Yes, I would like to hear something new and refreshing, or something what could be called a musically risk. Unfortunately it is easily possible to exchange some tracks taken from the predecessor "Survivor" with some tracks available here. Nothing new also for the lyrical part, the whole stuff is still inspired by military things of victory or defeat, of known and unknown heroes – some track names already give you a hint, like "Killing Ground", "Fallen Hero" or the rather melodic piece "Friendly Fire". Yes, I am really hungry for something special from them, but as I said – can we really blame this band for trying to milk the cow as much as possible? This been said I was finally a lot surprised with the track "Für Dich", which is written by the singer Jens Kästel. It is a smooth and calm track with a huge emotional message – I would interpret the birth of an own child to be the reason for this track. All of you (and me included...) who have already seen or will soon see the wonder of a birth and the start of that big thing called "life" will dig this anthem a lot! So the greedy fans of this band will be very pleased with this whole album, globally said, it doesn’t offer anything new what can be considered as a development for the band – with the big and emotional exception named "Für Dich", which speaks out of my heart (Danke, Jens).
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Artist: INTERFACE (@)
Title: Beyond Humanity
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Unbelievable that this band is currently not signed! After the demise of their label Tinman which quits its business in the last year, this band is looking until today for a new and professional label. And with music like on this new full length CD "Beyond Humanity", I would like to advise the management of this band to contact the best and biggest labels of the scene. This release is currently self-produced, but it needs to be heard in all corners of this world! I am normally not to much into music somewhere placed in genres like Synth-, Future- or Electropop, but here I have received an unbelievable exception. They have also supported ASSEMBLAGE 23 on parts of his "Storm" tour, and I am sure that a lot of you out there saw on stage. "Beyond Humanity" is simply the best album out of this genres I have heard for a long time. People like mostly comparisons, so I would say that INTERFACE produce a fine mixture between A23 and CUT.RATE.BOX ("The Age Of Computers", "Faith in Nothing" ) with the tendency on the harder tracks (like "Mind Killer", or the dark "Insomniac") to get compared with the Australian ANGEL THEORY. The vocals are of course mostly clear and smooth and luckily not to much placed in the foreground. On some tracks they also integrate some cool KRAFTWERKian vocoder effects, especially on "Beyond Human". There is also an outstanding instrumental piece here with "Despair", and the band can enjoy with some well worked out melodic synth pads. My favorite next to the harder "Mind Killer" is the dancefloor smasher "Nobody’s Hero" with an unbeatable refrain and outstanding melodic synth play. If music done by the mentioned acts is your style you should hurry up now and start to purchase this one. Again – this band is currently not signed – labels, wake up and make your contacts!
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Artist: EX_TENSION (@)
Title: Desert
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This French duo I have at first discovered with a promising and danceable Dark Electro track on the "In This Cold Terrific Room Vol. 2" compilation done by the La Chambre Froide label (www.lachambrefroide.net ). The band is currently unsigned and this two-track demo offers Dark Electro/Ambient inspired music, surprisingly in a different direction than the comp appearance. The title track "Desert" is an almost 32 minutes long sound collage with diverse inspirations – a bit too long to my taste – it is hard after a while to follow the track with all needed attention. This stuff reminds me a bit on never-ending tracks of the old and classic THE KLINIK here and there – although I should admit that this track moves away from this comparison in the middle of the track towards to a more complex and overlaying Electro/Industrial. The second track "Journey" comes closer to that THE KLINIK comparison, maybe with some hints to the now defunct countrymen of STIGMA – surely not a bad reference. This is a satisfying and promising dark and intrumental demo of one of the up and coming acts hailing from France. If this kind of music is your preference you should give this a listen. Here is a lot of potential and I am curious for their next work...
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Artist: THE NEW BLOCKADERS/GOSPLAN TRIO
Title: Sound Sketch for Raging Flames
Format: CD
Label: Klanggalerie
Rated: *****
Free jazz and electronic noise have a lot in common, but oddly enough I don't think there have been that many attempts to really mix the two (I'm obviously not talking of borderline improv-electroacoustics à la Creative Sources). Here the notorious English nihilists R. and P. D. Rupenus team up with a Russian trio formed by Alexei Borisov (voice, guitar, electronics; also known for his solo recordings and collaborations), Sergey Letov (saxophones, bass-clarinet, flute, whistles) and the late Ivan Sokolovsky (electronics), and the result sounds like a more electric Free Music Productions record fed through some circuit bent mechanism. When Borisov talks over the chaotic mess, it's like tuning your FM radio to an unknown Russian channel, statics and disturbances included. My guess is that the Blockaders added their sputtering noise over the trio's improvised sessions, but I might well be wrong. The two tracks are incendiary indeed, and my only quibble is that the collaboration is based on the same tecnique throughout (electronic debris over jazz), without much room to experiment different mixes or ways of interaction; but what's there is surely worth a few listens. Limited to 350, so hurry up before this sells out.
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