Music Reviews



Artist: Gottesfinsternis (@)
Title: Angstschrei
Format: CD
Label: PANDAILECTRIC (@)
Rated: *****
Seemingly owing as much of their sonic heritage to Dead Can Dance as Front 242 surprisingly works for German duo Gottesfinsternis on their first full length release "Angstschrei". Although the jaggurnaut of more 'traditional' agrit-techno-dustrial rears it's powerful head throughout the album as a whole, it's moments where the band allows more subtle sounds to creep in that the disc truly shines. The mysterious beckoning of "Enleitung", the first track, starts things off right with a far off chanting that swirls around periodic heartbeats of dissonent clangs. After a couple of tracks of more straightforward
ebm, the gorgeous "Nur Macht", opening with a haunting, reverb laden piano that bubbles to the surface occasionally throughout the song (providing not only a perfect counterpoint to the driving beat that eventually arrives), but also proves Gottesfinsternis has a better ear for melody than most of their 'Tragedy For You" influenced peers ever will. Instrumentation-wise, the band seems to favor the cold edge of
digital synthesizers for most of their work, which suits the agressive drive behind the majority of their songs perfectly. Overall the appregiations and razor sharp melodic leads scream 'mainstream goth club potential', although to be fair, the German singing may prove problematic in this pursuit, at least stateside. For this reason I hope that subsequent Gottesfinsternis releases consider going the route of the English penned 'thank you's' in the linear notes here; As most self deprecating, black mascara wearing boys on the dancefloor will tell you, lyrics come first. -Joe Pazo

Apr 04 2005
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Artist: OBSERVE & CONTROL (@)
Title: Utopia
Format: CD
Label: Archetype Multimedia (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by an Israeli guy called Tom Cohen, Observe & Control has been the first e.b.m. band formed in that land. I don't know if this could mean something talking about the quality of the music that Tom is playing but after listening to his first official album I could only say: wow! UTOPIA is a blast! Observe & Control is able to mix clean, catchy and melodic vocals with energetic and well produced electro tunes. Danceable but not sell out, the music that Tom produce take the highlights of bands like Wumpscut, Hocico, Apoptygma Berzerk and personalize i,t giving to it a bright new life. Each track is a hypothetic single but the album isn't like a best of, because the different atmospheres (darkness alternated with more danceable tunes) make of UTOPIA a varied album that is able to give new life to the genre that something is lacking of new ideas. Fourteen tracks for fifty five minutes of good music will make you forget the last compilation made out of remixes you bought and that you listened to only once!
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anymore
Artist: JAKUTA AND CARL
Title: I
Format: CD
Label: Little Joe Peep (@)
Rated: *****
- BEWARE: Before reading the following review you need to find your irony (you should have some!) and reading between the lines. C'mon, I know you could do it! -

It's nice to see that drunk people are able to play even if they are flying somewhere. During their flight they met the genuinity of punk, the innovation of electronic music and the impetuosity of improvisation. During their flight Jakuta and Carl made eleven stops just to cheer them up and to listen to some good music. They met the K label bands, the Chicks On Speed and I think they saw also Virgin Prunes (maybe they had a drink with Dave Id Busarus) just to take a walk down the memory lane. Jakuta and Carl on their first album did a long trip (ten minutes long) and they met Sid Barret. He joined them and inspired them for "Part two of a three act whether play". After the noisy pop of "Love and play" the duo decided it was time for "The sun is laughing". The sun was really shine and sometimes its brightness was too much. It was losing its shape by blurring into a thousand of different colors. With pop and electronic experiments Jakuta and Carl found their alchemy but sometimes they lost the point by looking straight at the sun. If you want to join them, you shouldn't care about lo-fi sounds/productions, emotions and dissonant songs. In this case you could find your lost friends and take a fly together.
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anymore
Artist: Black Tape for a Blue Girl
Title: Halo Star
Format: CD
Label: Projekt (@)
Distributor: Ryko Disribution (US), Iris, Audioglobe (Europe), Nova Media Distribution (Germany)
Rated: *****
After 18 years of making music, one of the most well respected and deserving groups of the US darkwave scene is back with their 9th album Halo Star. Fans of the band will warmly welcome this return and will be surprised by the changes. The album is described as a return and a departure at the same time. Some of the original sonorities have been recovered and integrated with BTFABG's more recent ones but, as many bands do (maybe mimicking this one...) the balance between the male and female vocals have been maintained and taken further with an additional female vocalist as well as percussions, guitars, bass, dulcimer, flute, violin and all the other good old analog and digital electronics. People looking for beautiful, relaxing, rapturing dark melodic wave music with medieval influences will love this, so will people into labels such as 4AD, Fossil Dungeon, Middle Pillar and of course Projekt, one of the most hard working, long lasting record labels in the US dark scene history, run by the very Sam Rosenthal who also started Black Tape for a Blue Girl in the eighties. You can buy this CD from Projekt for less than 12 bucks (and it even comes with a beautiful full colour booklet).
Artist: Sophia (@)
Title: Deconstruction of the World
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
The only other disc by this band that I have is Spite. On Deconstruction of the World, the bombastic military orchestrations are present and accounted for. However, this seems a bit less noisy than Spite and a bit darker. What’s it sound like? Sort of like Bjärgö and Eriksson’s other project, Arcana (although much more aggressive) as well as bands like In Slaughter Natives. One of the things that I liked about this album was the fact that it is not just straight military percussion and orchestration all the way through. For example, track 7 (Severed) is really nice drone and ambience and track 4 (Condescension) is a track of pulsing bass and barely understandable voices. In an interview, Heathen Harvest (http://www.heathenharvest.com/article.php?story=20050123135619212) asked Bjärgö what inspired this album. He responded that "When you look at the TV or read the newspaper, you see only war, greed, hate, and destruction. I get very depressed and feel that maybe it is time to "deconstruct" the world and start fresh again. And yes, absolutely! I see it is as self destructing, just watch the environmental destruction, people know it is there, and people know that the world will not survive it, and still we do nothing about it." This is some dark, yet beautiful, music. Fans of neoclassical militaristic music probably already have this, but if you don’t, you should get this.

As an added bonus, there is a video for the song Depravity. It consists mainly of archival footage of range of motion tests and people wearing weird eyewear/blindfolds interspersed with what appears to be images of a side of beef interspersed. The music is good, but the video is a bit boring.
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