Music Reviews



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Artist: MIRASPINOSA
Title: E-motion
Format: CD
Label: Redled Records
Distributor: Audioglobe
If I want be totally honest with you readers and with the band I must admit that I don't like Miraspinosa's sound and music at all. I'm sorry but the sound is too polished and the atmospheres are too rafined and flat to get my attention. I don't know why but even the vocals don't catch me. It's a matter of tastes and I can't help. Rhodes piano sounds along with clean guitars with a sound that remember me a mixture between Bjork and Sade after ten minutes makes me push the eject button of my cd player. Miraspinosa's music isn't rubbish but it isn't my cup of tea definitively and the sad thing is that I didn't find a song to dig in its entirety. I don't doubt that the band did this record with all his best efforts, but...
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Artist: CONVERTER (@)
Title: Expansion 1.3
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Ant Zen (@)


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Gee, this new Converter double MCD (and available also on double 10" format) is a blast. It's almost three years ago that I reviewed their second CD "Blast Furnace" and at that time I was amazed by the sense of symphonic weirdness built with distorted rhythms and vocal samples. This new EXPANSION contains nine new tracks recorded between 1998 and 2002 and one of them ("Unreal") it's a live mix. What catched me immediately about Converter's music and about this latest in particular is that each track has got new ideas and new solutions to the granitic sound they play and this is a good thing if you think that there's no melody involved. On the label's website is reported that this new work is a link between "Blast Furnace" and the next one that will be released at the end of the year. Well, I can't wait to listen to it as this sound is taking me over...
Artist: Aenima
Title: Sentient
Format: CD
Label: Middle Pillar
Distributor: Middle Pillar
Putting the CD in and hearing the opening vocals of "Lilith", all I can do is simply stand back with my jaw hung open, knowing I’ve seen something that has passed my musical comprehension and imagination. Carmen’s vocals are that dream blend of Portuguese folk singing meets ethereal atmosphere. Think of Portuguese folk great Tonicha meets Dru from This Ascension, all over top of very controlled and meticulous guitar lines and drum lines. The drum lines pave on with a patter, like an artist painting in full detail with one bristle on a brush head. And the guitars strum along softly in an never overbearing way, bringing to mind some of Opeth’s best moments. All of this makes for a very entrancing mix and every song just rolls along like a lullaby, with Carmen’s angelic vocals stealing the show. Her vocals are some of the finest ever heard in my life, and all I can think of upon hearing them is that feeling I got hearing the Cocteau Twins for the first time ever. That exact same feeling where all you can do is just stand back and at the end say "D-A-Y-A-M!" as you hit that repeat button. This girl could sing about folding towels and I’d sit and listen attentively to it! The atmosphere of the whole CD shifts between a thin gossamer of melancholy and rises up to a skillfully controlled level of joy, not to surpass a certain point to becoming too epic and ruining the flow. Everything about this CD oozes constraint and thoroughness, like they spent days just making sure one note was perfect before moving on to the next.Extremely skilled and powerful work from this new group, a very rare accomplishment even from veterans decades their seniors. This is one of those few bands that is music not for the sake of music, but music that simply transcends music itself! Easily the best CD I’ve heard so far this year, and very well might remain so at the end of the year, unless they put out another one! Rating: 10.
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Artist: Sonar (@)
Title: - Volt Control +
Format: CD
Label: Daft (@)
Distributor: Tristol / EFA
Everytime I write a review about Sonar I feel obliged to let those who have been living under a rock know that Sonar is Dirk Ivens (of Dive, Absolute Body Control as well as ex-Klinik and ex-Blok 57 fame) and Eric Van Wonterghem (of Monolith, Absolute Body Control as well as ex-Insekt and ex-Klinik fame) and for the sake of information I will (just did) repeat myself. While still «looking for a definition of danceable industrial», Sonar very knowledgeably master the art of meshing together power electronics, industrial, noise and, in some weird way, trance (it's the repetitiveness of the hypnotic beats). As in Daft's and Sonar's tradition this all-Belgian "- Volt Control +" release also comes with a stunning hi-tech art work. And this time, there even is a ROM-track with a video of Sonar live at Infest '03 (in Bradford, UK), just one of the many stages Sonar have proven their potential (US and European tours with Noisex, Holocaust Theory, Converter, Black Lung, Electronicat, just to mention some of their live activity). Unfortunately the press CD-R Daft has sent us (besides not wanting to play in a regular CD player) does not include the video track so I can't comment any further on that. Great power-industrial record by the way.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Richard Dorfmeister presents a Different Drummer selection - A Decade in Dub '92-'02
Format: CD
Label: Different Drummer (@)
Distributor: Caroline (US) / EFA (Europe)
Lately, since I have gotten in touch with the fine people at Rooftop promotions in Los Angeles and have been living in one of New York City's Jamaican neighborhoods, I could swear I am unconsciously growing dreads with all these releases from Select Cuts and other masters of the dub verb. Certainly to be acknowledged among the masters is Richard Dorfmeister (of Kruder & Dorfmeister and Tosca fame) as well as Birmingham's label Different Drummer (which, just to clarify, doesn't have anything to do with the synth-pop label A Different Drum, also covered on these pages). Different Drummer celebrates 10 years with their "A Decade in Dub '92-'02" selection of cuts skillfully worked and shaped by Dorfmeister, who presents a tracklist featuring Frankey Valley, Noiseshaper, G-Corp, Overproof Soundsystem, International Observer, Painted Van, Phase 5, Rockers Hi Fi and Cakemaker & Dubfeathers. The CD opens with my favourite type of dub (the one that is much more electronic music than reggae and just uses the long delays and such) and proceeds to become a fairly well-balanced offering of both type of dubs, unfortunately (for my personal taste) leaning towards the latter more than the former. Farda P also contributes vocals on occasion.
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