Music Reviews



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Artist: TELEPHERIQUE + MAURIZIO BIANCHI
Title: Zehn Tage (Touka)
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
Rated: *****
The long-term friendship between Klaus Jochim/Telepherique and Maurizio Bianchi has led to this collaborative cd, the very first "regular" cd released by AFE Records alone. Telepherique has frequently collaborated with other artists over the years (see the brilliant cd-r with Ultra Milkmaids, just to pick in the AFE catalogue), but this is the very first "shared" work by Bianchi (whose importance in the fields of industrial and electronica I won't even mention... period). "Zehn Tage (Touka)" is a massive 74-minute, 10-track concept on the nature and perception of time, titled after the 10-day gap created by the shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, back in 1582. The metaphor serves as a reflection on man's attempts at artificially controlling time, and as a memento on the endless, senseless rat-race we force ourselves on. But this rather scary series of thoughts doesn't prevent the work from being fascinating and soothing rather than ominous. Pretty much like Telepherique's "Hoerspiele", it is very much based on looped sounds, but the hypnotizing rhythmical patterns have a kind of droning ambient quality. Actually, very few tracks (notably # 5 and 9) feature more recognizable (and, to my taste, less effective) technoid/electronic beats. The sound palette is rich, with some memorable mixes: guitars, synths, bagpipes, birds, water, metallic percussions, scarce vocal samples... the songs often become dizzying mantras, leaving your head light. A very personal and inspired work which embodies cosmic ambient, beat electronica, concrete music... I was often reminded of label mate Raffaele Serra, which also leads to my only query - I find it a tad too long to be listened to in a row. But hey, this probably has to do with time perception itself... and this is surely worth 74 minutes of your life.
Artist: Written in Ashes
Title: s/t
Format: CD
David Bowie meets Bauhaus with a heavy electronic element is what I wanted to say after sticking this disc in the machine. Essentially electronic goth rock with an obvious and heavy love of the indie artists of the genre's roots, Written in Ashes is a startling breath of fresh air in the electronic scene, which is riddled with boring soundalike acts, to be sure. The electronica aspect of the music is well handled andenhances the music's interest while the rock side of the songs are also executed nicely. The whole product is dark and truly gothic and with no more pretension than the genre typically boasts anyway. The beats are infectious, the melodies are emotional but not cloying and the vocals are so classic and archetypal, it's a bit surprising the band doesn't come off as any more self-conscious. In other words, here is a band that has managed to incorporate all the classic elements ofgoth rock and gothic industrial without sounding hackneyed. NO mean accomplishment.
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Artist: LEX DECIMATE (@)
Title: Seas of Endless
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Silencer Records (@)
Rated: *****
The common analogy of man fused with machine, metal and flesh, is best realized metaphorically through the artistic creations we bring. Lex Decimate (The destruction of all law) is a project that aptly pays tribute to this philosophy as it is the history of it's creation and the story through which it lives on. Lee Duis is a man with music in his veins and whose life was once shattered through loss and pain. Resurrected, he became his own salvation under the incarnation of Lex Decimate. Musically this project vears wherever the creative imagination of Lee brings it and does not set limits on genre, style, tempo, structure, or anything else. Lex Decimate sways dreamlike between varying degrees of intensity; ambient, dark, rhythmic. It's difficult to cram into a box of 'name' when someone is this heartfelt with thier art. Will have strong appeal to those into dark synthpop, darkwave, gothic, EBM, and industrial with experimental electronic elements. You will even find this project breaking it's bounds on tracks like "Light the Way" which seems more related to Ant-Zen and Hymen label sounds than anything typical of the Darkwave/EBM. Lex Decimate is definitely a unique fusion of a wide variety of elements. Like thier label Silencer Records they are definitely intending to push boundaries and test limits while bringing something unique to the underground music 'scene'. In their words; "We are ready to caputre your fears and emotions. Let go and find yourself in a place where there is no 'law'. Find your inner peace through resistance."
Jul 18 2004
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Artist: Punto Omega
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Integrating orchestral elements with EBM/Darkwave this Argentinian duo hits Metropolis Records and the ears of thier listeners full force. Vocally much like Hocico but musically unmatched stylistically, Punto Omega, also have very strong esoteric interests. This self-titled release seems to document the band's perspectives on the legends of the fallen angels and the human quest for enlightenment. Lots of heavy guitar-driven EBM, this release even features bagpipes and other celtic instrumentation. Versatility and artistic creation show through strongly with this project with tracks like "La Caida" being piano and choir based and electronic rhythms following up. However, the title track is a dancefloor pounder. "La Fusion" even sounds a bit reminiscient of Kurt Weill. An excellent release for anyone who likes agressive EBM and for those with mystical interests. Punto Omega describe themselves as "We are heading a final borderline, in which there will be no extintion, but the step into a new reality: Past and Future get merged, that is the Omega Point."
Artist: Lucid Dementia
Title: Twisted
Format: CD
Having heard and reviewed Lucid Dementia's newest CD, "The List", and having been quite impressed with it (one of the best electro-industrial releases I've heard in a long time), I was anxious to hear the band's previous LP and see where they came from. Well, LD was gracious enough to supply me with a copy of it so I could check out the band's roots. You can definitely see the evolution and the fact that the band wasn't content to stagnate. "Twisted" is, admittedly, not as polished or sleek as "The List", which is a little more complex; however, "Twisted" strikes me as a darker, more gothic, side of Lucid Dementia. Like Nitzer Ebb or Fixmer/McCarthy, much of "Twisted" is somewhat minimalist in flavor, and requires a little more patience on the part of the listener because it's more progressive in nature, in that you have to let the atmosphere of the music seep into your bones. Once you settle in with the mid-tempo industrial beats, the evil Muppet vocals (remember, Lucid Dementia, aka Lucy, a six foot puppet, is the lead singer), the deep gothic ambience, the edgy lyrics and the striking originality, you'll realize you've found a bit of a treat in the watered-down industrial genre. Here the underground has yielded up a jewel in the form of Lucid Dementia, the band whose existence justifies the existence of the electro-industrial genre. Dark, spartan and pulsing, aggressive AND playful (so beware), "Twisted" shows the shadowy, gothic beginnings of a band that would explode into the full form of its genius on "The List."
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