Music Reviews



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Artist: The Evolutionaries (@)
Title: Normalized
Format: CD
Rated: *****

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The Evolutionaries are a new collective from the tri-state area who pour all their love for industrial, ebm, rock and pop into their own blend of these genres. Right from the opening track you can unmistakably tell that one of their major influences is Trent Reznor (probably the era of "Broken" and "Pretty Hate Machine" mostly) but as soons as the singing starts you'll know that they are really heavily into the entire Nothing records roster. You do the math: you have a singer that sounds just like Marylin Manson and a tasteful and aggressive production that flirts with saturation just like NIN's sound does, add to that some ebm influences here and there and the obvious yet vaguely hidden influence of rock and pop (they mention Waits, Fripp and Bowie as some of their mentors) and you'll have an exploding mixture of sounds that will certainly please many of our readers. I personally dig this a lot because I grew up with NIN, but I can see how some might argue that The Evolutionaries might be a touch derivative. On the other hand, who isn't nowadays anyway... plus they say it themselves: "we are evolving"... Let's see what time brings us, I am sure as their evolution continues they'll hook us with more blazing industrial-rock.
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Artist: Sasha & John Digweed
Title: Renaissance: the Mix Collection
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Rated: *****
Those who were in the market for dance music in the mid ninetees will most certainly remember the tremendous impact that the release of this record had on the masses in 1994, almost single-handedly establishing the controversial new Mix CD culture and setting the blueprint and at the same time the cornerstone for the dance DJ/club scene. "Renaissance" went gold in the UK and after ten years still sells. To celebrate its anniversary Renaissance recordings re-releases the masterpiece as a limited edition triple CD luxury 7-panel folding digipack with revamped artwork by NY artist Vault49 (www.vault49.com). The 44 track historic masterpiece has been remastered by the author themselves with newly available technology and even though at times it does sound a little bit dated or maybe too commercial, it still sounds incredibly contemporary even 10 years later. Think of it as the "Appetite for Destruction" album of dance music, or something like that.
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Artist: Hexentanz (The Soil Bleeds Black & Psychonaut 75)
Title: Nekrocrafte
Format: CD
Label: The Fossile Dungeon
Rated: *****
Hexentanz is the collaboration project of the members of The Soild Bleeds Black and Psychonaut 75. Hexentanz is german for 'the dance of the witches', and that's basically what it is: ritualistic, tribal and dark exploration of the witches sabbat performed with actual period instruments as well as synthetic sounds and allegedly even human bones. This collection of authentic medieval chants of witch cult practice will deilight you with nine tracks of necromantic chants and archaic darkness that will certainly appeal to fans of dark-ritual music or unique artists such as Diamanda Galas.
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Artist: High Blue Star
Title: High Blue Star
Format: CD
Label: Mutant Reasearch Technology
Rated: *****
High Blue Star is a duo from Minnesota consisting of the vocals of Laura Reade and the music of Brian Green. Their debut release titled "High Blue Star" is a mix of both old school sensibility and new school technology. Drawing on such sources as Massive Attack, X-Mal Deutschland, and Brian Eno their sound is a collision of industrial gothic walls of substructure and experimental tactfulness that works its way into your soul. Having had the pleasure of seeing them live I can tell you that they reproduce all of the nuances here. Laura Reade may be one of the best singers I have ever seen. She is powerful and charismatic and in control of some very unique pipes. I hear references to Siouxsie, Danielle Dax, and even Joy Division in the sound. Yet they are in no way an 80’s tribute sort of act. The music is very current and frankly is some of the best gothic electronics I have heard in the last five years. Brian Green works his instruments in synchronized layers of color waves that rush through the body making this a physical as well as psychological journey. Songs like "Serotonin" and "Dragonsaw" will claw their way into your mind and you will find yourself unable to escape these dark melodies. Highly Recommended!
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Soundwave Assassins 2
Format: CD
Label: Backscatter (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Second volume of a CD compilation series which is designed for promotional use only and cost-free but hard to get for a normal consumer. Released again as co-operation between both labels Dungeon-Recordings and Backscatter with the distribution help of the infamous DSBP label this new comp brings us the newest efforts and appetizers directly taken from the upcoming new full-length releases by DIVERJE, LEXINCRYPT, BOUNDLESS, LITTLE SAP DUNGEON or P.C.P. to name a few. The skill and diversity is richly present here and I personally can’t await the release of the newest pieces. This remarkable comp starts with a dark gloomy co-operation project between P.C.P. and the new Dungeon signing IN’VEKTIV. Musically almost based on some dark and spooky LITTLE SAP DUNGEON efforts this track has still enough own identity to give fully satisfaction. Comes next a more traditional dark Electro smasher by LEXINCRYPT. Harsh distorted vocals, pounding rhythms, wide melodic layers – so are the trademarks of this solo project of Wrythe (SYMBIONT) – maybe a bit influenced by some harsh SUICIDE COMMANDO classics, but still with a stand-out in quality. BOUNDLESS is of course also present here and give us a new "Mechanos Failed" pretty much in their already known lighter Electro style. Xon offers with this track some nice varied vocal progression and the sequences sound more trendy than ever before. Follows then one of the main DSBP acts, DIVERJE, leaded by the very own label chief Tommy T. I have never heard and expected such a great evolution in complexity and production by this project with this track "Your Pleasure (Harsh)". It sounds and reminds me a bit on some works done by the great French act E.S.R. and maybe Vince Pujol of this band has put a helping hand on this track. But again – DIVERJE has never been so strong, so rich in composition and sequencing like on this marvelous dark Electro track. A must! Then I must admit that I have never heard a full length CD by CARPHAX FILES, a band recording for COP International. Uuuhm, big mistake, shame on me – they offer a decent and danceable Electro track with some angry vocals. Strong enough done to grab your attention, go and check it out. ROSES AND EXILE offer us a dark and weird piece with a harsh edge. Vocals are here destroyed through the use of some guitar effect machines and the globally structure of their piece is a bit chaotic. Follows then a marvelous and gloomy Electro dark piece by CIRCUIT SURGEON which offers here one of the biggest surprises with well worked out synth layers and Alien-like vocals. LITTLE SAP DUNGEON finally give us here the revamped version of their classic "Ask Alice (Acidland 25 Mix)" which I could already check out on their split-CD with BOUNDLESS, "Geist". It sounds almost like a new track and nothing remembers on the original version. Lately after this track this comp turned into some more or less weird and experimental music stuff which do not fit my personal preferences. Take some Rap (!!!) from FIXX & THE INSUFFERABLE NOISE MACHINE, some abstract experiments with strange sounds by SAVANT GARDE, Powernoise-efforts by SONIC DISORDER, TWILLIGHT TRANSMISSION's Dark Techno experiments and finally SCAPEGOAT’s dark Ambient-like piece you have an idea how diverse and mixed this comp went. Backscatter and Dungeon-Recordings in collaboration offer again a fine compilation which is worth to be a regular release. Highly recommend, try to get it!
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