Music Reviews



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Artist: COMPEST (@)
Title: Kryptozoologie
Format: CD
Label: Einzeleinheit (@)
Rated: *****
Sometimes it happens you find some new musicians you never heard before that have something more than the rest, I think Compest fits perfectly in that category. Dark (sometimes not so dark but mystical for sure) electronica mainly based on samples, sounds, and sequncer which Martin Steinbach probably manages to use with a good mastery. The beat of the tracks is pretty squared, probably there's some post-industrial influence, martial beats even if it's not an apocalictic release, it's strange since here and there this german guy gets a bit mistycal...dark and mystical, and probably he prefers to keep the rhythm under a constant control. There's some personal interpretation of dark electronica, he fuse together some odd drones with some sad but relaxing melody. The quality of the sounds he uses is impressively good in comparison to many minimal artists but again what makes the difference is the cocktail he poured out of his shaker. His tracks create an evocative atmosphere that keeps marching maintaing a mid-slow tempo. I've had also the impression there's some middleage atmosphere sometimes, like some of the manimals he used for the layout, but probably that's just an impression.
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Artist: SOILED (@)
Title: Happy land
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Electronic music with an aftertaste of minimal techno. Soiled has been defined underground techno punk, some driving rhythms building a bridge under grey meloides, this ep could be a soft version (but not that softer) of the releases put out by Mick Harris' Possible label (for those of you who have a good memory). Industrial techno?..not really, but the clouded sensation is pretty similar. Teessides Marcus a.k.a. Soiled has a minimal lo-fi approach to his tunes but it doesn't mean this record is poor under the production profile, it just mean this guy probably loves the naivity of early techno. Many of the sound used probably are analog or at least he probably used some virtual synth cause that's the impression you get. I think "Happyland" is an ironic title, there's no doubt the most of the tracks are far from being happy and the front cover adds an odd atmosphere, but the music is not even claustrofobic techno or post-industrial dance. Clean production and at times some melodies are really well done. Something reminded me of the early M.A.R.R.S. or S-Express but this not really acid house.
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Artist: NOISUF-X (@)
Title: Antipode
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
If you read this strange band name backwards, you get it that this is a side-project by Jan of X-FUSION, a good known German Electro/Industrial project. This NOISUF-X project was created to share the more Powernoise-influenced side of the main project. And so you get here 15 noisy tracks with distorted beats, never-ending monotony and some harsh structures. The main difference to other bands out of the Powernoise genre could be the fact that all this stuff is produced by somebody who has found his home in the Electro/Industrial genre. It could surely be that real Powernoise supporters would rate this release as too danceable Electro-minded. Indeed, Jan can not forget his influences here, so this release should also be able to please the fans of harder EBM/Electro/Industrial music. The whole stuff is of course reduced to a minimal composition effort, the destroying beats rule this scenario. Adding to this some more or less well chosen voice samples ("Die Tam-Tams klopfen nicht mehr", here available in three different versions) with the outstanding work "Happy Birthday", a track with funny voice samples which can also be discovered on the Alfa Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". I have found also some outstanding pieces which provide several effected rhythm patterns to avoid too much monotony, for example "Apocalypse", "Das Ende der Welt" or "Axion". This release walks on the thin line between harsh EBM and Powernoise, so if you like this sound you should give this a try.
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Final Insurance
Format: CD
Label: Asano production (@)
Rated: *****
Believe it or not it's "Asano-time" again, the more I give a look at his discography the more I think he's probably one of the most prolific and eclectic artists coming from Japan nowadays. These sessions see Koji playing the protagonist role mainly behind his beloved laptop and I think that's his most congenial dimension, the range of the recording goes from 1992 to 1994 and the locations are/were London, Tokyo and Saitama. The final result is really good, but considering the fact most of this recordings are ten years old, honestly some of them are incredibly ahead if compared to many of his contemporaries then. The first couple of tracks based in London is laptop "pushing till it gets almost distorted" music (imagine those "ass kicking" Mego releases) while the rest of the british compositions is mainly oriented toward "experimental laptop rumorism" versus ghosts of melody underneath. The following "songs" located in Tokyo have own much more to "electro acoustic music" or to "concrete" music that vaguely reminded me the 3"mcd on Metamkine ("Corridor" could be a composition signed by Chion). The closing session of the cd is the one recorded in Saitama, the oldest one (1992) but the also best: it reminded me of the cd "Sanctuary" where Asano was manipulating one of his classical composition through a computer, the minimalist feeling is the same even when he's not working with a piano and what a good taste!. If you never heard anything by Asano maybe this could be a good way to introduce your ears to his polymorphous musical dimension.
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Artist: XOTOX (@)
Title: [PSI]
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
To produce rhythmic Powernoise with all included ingredients like endless monotony and redundancy in music and composition still drags the black-dressed masses to the dancefloors of all dark clubs. German one man act XOTOX consisting of Andreas Davids returns here after two not expected successfully releases to present the newest effort [PSI]. The success of the previous releases made it also possible that the label Pro Noize decided to release next to the normal jewel case edition of [PSI] a special and limited DCD in a digipack. The normal CD (and so the part of this review) contains 17 new rhythmic sound manipulations, mostly integrating with steady distorted, sometimes destroyed rhythm patterns. The mood is hard, rough and disturbing, a real feast for the noise junkies. Some pieces stand out here, the opener "[Xo]toxic" presents a not to often heard diversity in the rhythms programmings. "Winterblut" does surprisingly add "real" vocals, hard and cold performed by Jan Lehmkämper from the German Electro/Industrial act X-FUSION. "Bohrung 25" earns as well a good rating for not depending on the overrated distorted Tekkno-like bass kicks and can submit the real Powernoise feeling. On the other hand I have noticed some tracks here which cannot convince by using of too ridiculous samples ("Tote Bäume", "Lass Mich", "Roboterkrieg") or they do not offer anything interesting because of the lack of inspiration ("Fieber"). Anyhow, as long as the distortion goes there will be a public form and an interest in this stuff. XOTOX can and will not reach the throne of some highly acclaimed acts like CONVERTER or IMMINENT. But this project also doesn’t need to hide its talent. An acceptable release for this music genre.

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