Music Reviews



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Artist: Dope Stars Inc. (@)
Title: 10'000 Watts of Artificial Pleasure
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Thanks to Jett Black at Nocturnal Movements, we get a piece of the hot action too: Dope Stars Inc.. A brand new four piece group from Italy whose attempts at merging electronics, industrial, glam rock, goth and punk are definitely successful. Taking into account that this is their first try as a band (even though the line up includes members of other projects, including My Sixth Shadow and Chaos Zero), their artistical maturity and attitude is surprising and they seem to be ready to blow up, straight in your face, with a big record deal (where is Wax Trax when we need them?). They have everything you might ask for: the glam/goth fashion and looks, the quality in their music, the raw attitude, the aggressive impact. We'll see... The five tracks of their debut MCD feel like a raging and explosive mixture of Rammstein, Marylin Manson, Skinny Puppy, Pigface, Orgy, KMFDM, where furious guitars and bass, hammering drum machines and excited vocals spit fire at every turn. What is amazing is the intensity and the driving force. You can feel the power and the sonic impact coming right at you. I wonder what they must be like on a show. The band also has an impressive following of people (fans, supporters, street teams, publicists, promoters etc) so they they're pretty much ready to rock'n'roll the (not so) free world. Stand aside, you've been warned!
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Artist: Radboud Mens (@)
Title: Pulse
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
Amsterdam-based artist Radboud Mens (ex Hyware) is back after four years with the follow up to his 2000 "~Sine" (not to mention a couple of collaborations with Jaap Blonk, Janek Schaeffer, Stephan Matthieu and Chris Sattinger of Timeblind). "Pulse" was entirely written and produced 'in the box', using a process referred to as "convolution" (which means that one sound is used as a filter to filter another sound). His deep, cold and spheric music constantly redefines itself and is represented as a magnification of microscopic sonics. The CD definitely has to be listened to at a decent volume or you will miss the greater picture: an incredibly dynamic palette of sounds where deep low-end builds tension underneath high-pitched glitch electronics. Altough you may still be able to trace back to some minimal techno influences that the artist displayed on other releases of his, it is merely a foggy reminiscence on "Pulse". Psychedelic and entranncing atmospheres made of minimal rhythmical structures which interface and interact with everything else built around them and above them, as if the entire work is born and lives as one entity where the line between beat and music can hardly be drawn, if at all. Equally interactive with the music, is the art work, a no-booklet printed jewel case with radial lines and circles printed on the inlay card and the CD itself.
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Artist: Muslimgauze
Title: Sandtrafikar
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
The fourth installment in the series of Staalplaat re-editions of older Muslimgauze recordings, is an 800 copies limited edition of a 1997 production entitled "Sandtrafikar". Its seven tracks further explore the realms of murkier percussive suites and introduce the spoken language element (middle eastern languages) as a narration that accompanys part of the record. Another recurring element in this album (and in many others) are the bells. Electronics moves from the back to the front in several parts, and ranges from simple noise floor to predominant rhythmical part, while maintaining a pretty minimal approach. In fact, "Sandtrafikar" is a nice effort in combining ethnic ambience and flavors with electronic layers and patterns as it sneaks from percussive parts with udu, darbuka and the like to electronic suites, like the second track, where real (and saturated) percussions are only used as embellishments on top of a pulsing minimal electro-beat.
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Artist: Muslimgauze
Title: Zuriff Moussa
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
These 1997 recordings re-released this year in 800 copies, sort of give you an idea of the transition from Bryn Jones' atmospheric ambience electronic period into the distorted percussion loops period. The signature sound of his later production starts emerging among the 24 tracks of "Zuriff Moussa", which maintain some of the characteristics of his older music, in terms of underlaying sound floors and real life samples spread across drones and other layers of disquieting sonics. Definitely a good purchase for those who would like to get a general and overall idea of what Muslimgauze sounded like throughout the years.
Artist: VENETIAN SNARES
Title: Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
It's difficult to describe Venetian's Snare music and if you want to make it simple you could only name his bleeping sound with thousands light rhythms and melodies. Maybe the right way to approach HUGE CHROME CYLINDER BOX UNFOLDING is to stop questioning and to open the three panel cover in front of us (it represents a 3d futuristic digital paint) and let us slide within the slight melodies built by Aaron Funk. The construction of the fourteen tracks is based on wild rhythms which apparently seems to go nowhere and on long chords which like melodic seeds, leave their trace here and there. If you focus your attention on the tracks' structure you'll notice hundreds of micro sounds/rhythms which create an interesting web which at a first listening could provoke chaotic emotions into a superficial listener. This album desn't needs an altered state of mind to be appreciated and if you let yourself lose your senses, you'll discover a new world made of hidden melodies. Try it!
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