Music Reviews



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Artist: Terminal Sound System
Title: Solaris
Format: CD
Label: Hive records (@)
Hive records is a small home-run outlet by Davyd C. Pittman, aka DJ :insect. One of Hive's latest releases is Australian Halo's STK Terminal Sound System's debut "Solaris" (previously released in his country but never before available in the US, fully re-mastered for the occasion and with remixes by Hive artist Retnah and Ad Noiseam artist Larvae). What we have here is a gorgeous work of industrial electronica with elements of ambient, dub and experimental music. Eerie, disquieting atmospheres super-imposed over uncanny beats that vary from slow motion dark-industrial rhythms to fast-paced electronic textures that make intelligent use of delays. Illbient-trip-hop-noise with breaks and a wide spectrum of layers of frequencies for both those who love the ear-candies and those who want to feel the sub, with rich textures of hi-pitched noises, drones, deep bass lines, convulsing broken beats, glitch electronics, wide open atmospheric ethereal soundscapes and so much more that you'll really have to buy this to get the whole picture. For the same reason it is hard to compare Terminal Sound System to other artists, but if you are familiar with some of the work by Von Magnet, Mlada Fronta or Mimetic and maybe you mix that up with some Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach, then maybe, just maybe, you'll get a vague idea of the type of high quality blend of industrial and ambient you're looking at. This is truly a masterpiece in its kind. Highly recommended!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Susan Smith's "Songs for Dead Children"
Format: CD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse recordings (@)
Unfortunately I didn't get to hear this CD because it arrived damaged in the mail, but I guess I'll give it a quick review/note anyway for those who might be interested. Somnambulant Corpse recordings has decided to release this creepy CD compilation inspired by child murderess Susan Smith, who's serving a life sentence. This is supposed to be a desperate plea for affection (Susan Smith's personal ad is printed in the CD in lay card so that non judgmental people wishing to write her in prison may do so). The compilation features Baal, Axiomata, Sickness, Recant, Edicius, Inhalant, Yeti, SCR-project Kuru, Ergastula, Xterminal, AntiChildLeague, Baal/Berith. You can get this Species23 CD from Somnambulant, The Rectrix and Baal/Berith for US$12/US$14 world postage paid.
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Artist: Tragedie Ann (@)
Title: Corruption of Reason
Format: CD
Label: BZ Communications
Glad to see somebody still remembers about industrial-metal, this category wasn't getting much reviews lately... Tragedie Ann are an American trio who just self-released their debut full lenght CD, which follows a 5 track EP that was released three years ago ("Hollow"). Angry, distorted vocals are blended in with nice heavy duty metal guitar riffs, pounding industrial beats, a load of distortion and synth sequencing and programming that goes from layers of pads to more ebm oriented arpeggiators. And if you need a break from the aggro-industrialness, here and there you get inserts of dark visions and dramatic interludes. Violent hard-core industrial metal with an electronic soul and a trash/grind attitude. If you need references think Die Krupps "Rings of Steel" sound, Testify, Pigface, Flugschadel, Bile, KMFDM, Strapping Young Lad, Pro Jekt etc. If you're looking for some heavy action definitely check these guys out!
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Artist: Boozoo Bajou
Title: remixes
Format: CD
Label: Stereo Deluxe (@)
Distributor: Caroline
For all those DJs out there who are frustrated because they can't find some of the best Boozoo Bajou remixes who sold out through the years comes this collection of remixes, including hits spanning from their 1998 debut on Stereo Deluxe to their latest 2002 collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Wayne Martin, Bigga Bush (Lightning Head - ex-Rockers HiFi) and others. Enjoy this collection of downbeat, nu-jazz, lounge music.
Artist: The Best Of Modern English
Title: Life In The Gladhouse (1980-1984)
Format: CD
Label: 4 AD
Colchester, England's five lads MODERN ENGLISH made an impact by becoming one of the British acts to enjoy heavy video rotation on MTV back in the 80's with their successful number one hit "Melt With You." It's been 16 years since they recorded for the label 4 AD, but at last the best of their 4 AD legacy is captured on one album and it reveals their unwillingness to settle for tried and tested methods; their flair for oblige strangely uplifting atmospheres; a sense of adventure in the filmic sounds of their records and a dry black sense of humour. Before Cocteau Twins, Clan Of Xymox, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus and many others who were doing 'dark music' and were signed on the label, Modern English became the very first band to be signed on the label. They were placed in the late 70's and early 80's as a band who forged a relationship with all the emerging British styles-post punk, New Wave, synthesizer pop, New Romantic, Goth, neo-psychedelic and the so called Second Wave of UK Pop which invaded America in 1982 and '83. In 1977, the band's former name was called The Lepers, which consists of Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowel (guitar), and Richard Brown (drums). A year later (1978), The Lepers evolved into Modern English, after when keyboard player Steve Walker and bassist Mick Conroy, joined the band. They released three albums and a couple of singles in four years period. From 1980-1984. This compilation features their very best songs from "Mesh and Lace," "After The Snow," and "Ricochet Days." "16 Days", "Gathering Dust", and "Swans On Glass" have a punk and gothic feel with anguish and emotions spilling out of Robbie's gut. "Black Houses" have a Bauhaus dark music similarity. The way Robbie sings reminds me of Peter Murphy. "Dawn Chorus" shows a warmer more romantic approach, which talks about where they recorded their second album "After The Snow." Their smash hit "Melt With You" peaked outside the American Top 40. They made a video which was shot in a London basement. In October 2001, the band received a BMI award for over one million radio plays, their finest pop song. The next single became "Life In The Gladhouse." "After The Snow" album went pure gold. Tracks "Heart" and "Blue Waves" have a psychedelic style with string sections, oboe, and textured keyboards. "Hands Across The Sea" became their first single off "Ricochet Days" album, which stalled outside the charts. It didn't do well like their second release.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN producer, Hugh Jones gets credit from Modern English who showed them his emphasis on songwriting structures as opposed to weird, improvised textures, for the change in style-that's showcase in "After The Snow." The band have released a couple more albums in the 1990's on two independent labels, but neither wasn't successful like their previous releases in the 80's. If you don't have any Modern English albums, this compilation of their songs mark their best finest work they ever done in history. Whether you're into punk, goth, new wave, new romantic, or synth-pop, I suggest you pick this up at your nearby record store. Modern English music comes across inbetween ALL genders.
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