Music Reviews



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Artist: DJKEYONE
Title: bio.turn.mek device
Format: CD
Label: Green (@)
Rated: *****
This italian label is probably best known as one of the pillars italian hard core music during the nineties. Djkeyone comes from another planet and we'll use the label "dj culture" if it still make any sense. That's not such a weird surprise since the history of "hip hop" and the "Dj culture" in Italy passed also through the squats and from the same alternative culture of the late 80s/early 90s that nourished the punk movement. The real "aficionados" of Green records probably know Giulio (the label master) has always loved some of the early hip hop (one of the first release of the label was a demo by the hip hop duo Sacco e Vanzetti) and we can say this release is not that far from these cartesian coordinates. To get deeper into the real essence of this cd don't think of any b-boy thing with "rapping" overwhelming every single second of music, Djkeyone belongs to that breakbeat, dj background that has been the cradle of Dj Shadow, Dj Krush, Mo Wax or Cold Cut's Ninja Tune label. A pulsing rhythm and a squared beat follows the tradition, between the samples I've also heard Dj Gruff's "Questione di stile" (god bless that guy) that shows this turntablist is into the old school thing and sometimes that's plain evident in the shape of the cuts. Dj Shadow and Dj Krush could have mystified your ideas since this record is absolutely far from sounding "chillout" or even "jazzy", here you got stoned dark melodies and 4/4 beats where the dj shows his scratching-talent. People into this style of music should get it above all those who can appreciate the technical side of it all.
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Artist: A.SET (@)
Title: A Deadly Past Raises The Future
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Coming from Brazil A.Set ideally continue the tradition of Aghast View / Biopsy music by presenting a distorted e.b.m. based on linear bass lines and focused on a less distorted vocal which gives the rhythm by following the 4/4 drum beats. Hilton Seawright is the man behind the project and he started in 2002 with a black metal band called Diatribe which he produced two demos with. As the time passed he feeled too many differences with the black metal scene so he decided to focus his efforts on electronic music (he's following that kind of music since the '80s when it was impossible to get a synth in Brasil). A DEADLY PAST RISES THE FUTURE is the first self released album by A.Set and it already shows a good level of personality where industrial attitude meets e.b.m. rhythms creating a good mix of melodic anger. The twelve tracks have a simple but efficent structure and for sure Hilton will gather a good amount of people interested into his sound. You can check some tracks at his website www.a-set.com.
Artist: Vienna Skye (@)
Title: Who Am I
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Audio Assembley Productions (@)
Rated: *****
"Who Am I" is the first enhanced cd single release by the new sensational bright young cute little girl, Vienna Skye, who is best known for appearing in music videos. Produced by her dad, MBJ, who is famous for his multi-talent in directing music videos, djing in clubs, producing and recording and doing remixes for artists, and has released various of electronic band projects such as ISH and Velvet Vimoz.

The heavier synths and samples sound gives the track a fully synth-pop danceable that's refinement in this pumping mix structure. The single also features a trance remix for trance dance lovers and two video versions, which is directed by no other than the one and only, MBJ. This daughter and father collaboration sets a new voyage through their dance music universe. If you have any children at a young age from 5-14, reserve a copy for them. If my 5th graders in my music appreciation class enjoyed listening to Vienna Skye, then yours will too.
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Artist: DUBOST/MATTHEWS/RIVES/ZACH
Title: Dining Room Music
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
Featuring Quentin Dubost at electric guitar, Wade Matthews at bass clarinet and alto flute, Stéphane Rives at soprano saxophone and Ingar Zach at percussions, "Dining Room Music" features three remarkable improvised tracks, recorded in the dining room of the Maison Bustros in Beirut. The liner notes question the tradition according to which "the ideal recording [...] is the one in which the music exists in a sort of vacuum, insulated from all possible interference and so thoroughly manipulated that no trace remains of where it was actually recorded". The "where" is, in this case, is the "resonant marble-floored dining room of the Palais Bustros". What I ask myself is: would have I listened to the cd in the same way hadn't I been influenced by the gorgeous photos of the Maison, after reading that its "high windows welcome light conveniently filtered by garden foliage"? Autosuggestion can enhance a listening experience, but also be distracting sometimes. Anyway, this recording does convey an idea of spatiality. It's a warm performance full of restrained movements giving birth to fragile filaments of sound - but also powerful scrapings and hisses battling above the low-end drone generated by the percussions (or so I guess).
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Artist: THE-PULSAR (@)
Title: Awakening
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Electro/Industrial music awakes currently in East Europe and Advoxya Records is present at the frontline to service us with some not expected talented acts like they did with the Estonian band CYCLONE B. THE-PULSAR is a three men outlet from the heart of a growing Russian scene which has found its home in St. Petersburg. The band already exists since 10 years but their output is limited to only three demo with the last one released back in 1999. And now, 6 years and a lot of more experience later, this trio is now ready to release its debut called "Awakening" with 11 tracks and 63 minutes playing time. Their music is influenced by diverse EBM structures but they have also to offer some not expected programming surprises. I would tend to qualify their music in far away vein of acts like NOXIOUS EMOTION for example. Most steady EBM beats, some nice old school influenced EBM sequences and here and there some melodic ingredients as well. The vocals are dark, melodic but mostly without overwhelming distortions, sometimes they add some vocoder effects to it. Personal favorites I have found in "Huge Satisfaction", an excellent played EBM piece with hard ripping sequences and in the bombastic melodious piece "Father" with a very personal lyrical content. Another remarkable piece is the track "Stalker" with some cool sounding Russian voice samples and a globally dark atmospheric touch. THE-PULSAR have produced a nice and diverse debut album and they are acting well for a newcomer. There is still enough music to discover behind the iron curtain and THE-PULSAR give a decent release to follow this trend. Well done, guys.
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