Music Reviews



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Artist: Meat Beat Manifesto
Title: Storm the Studio R.M.X.S.
Format: CD
Label: Tino Corp. (@)
Jack Dangers' Meat Beat Manifesto has been and is, for that matter, one of the most influential and seminal names in the electronic scene. While Lakeshore\:run recordings has announced the re-release of newly packaged and mastered versions of Dangers' 1989 debut "Storm the Studio" and "Armed Audio Warfare", San Francisco-based Tin Corp. (run by Ben Stokes) has come up with a remix-war CD that features some of the most respected names around. Antipop Consortium's High Priest, DJ Spooky, Merzbow, Scanner, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, Komet, The Opus, Jonah Sharp, DJ Swamp, Eight Frozen Modules, Norscq, The Mellowtrons and D.H.S. (alias Mr Stokes himself, who partnered up with Dangers on the opening track) did all lend a helping hand for the creation of this historic electronic reincarnation. The original mixture of hip hop, electronica, dub has pretty much been left unaltered except almost fifteen years have probably added a touch of drum and bass here and there. Even though I am quasi a fan, to be absolutely and fully honest, with a huge line up like this one I would have expected unforgettably cool moments of sensory climax, instead my socks got knocked off few times throughout this record. This doesn't mean it ain't good, because it is, but it just could have been better in my humble opinion. Besides that, Meat Beat Manifesto are one of the best acts around so my hat always goes off.
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Living On Video
Format: DVD
Label: Cohaagen (@)


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LIVING ON VIDEO is a real thrill as it's the first DVD of underground sythpop that's been ever produced and this is a fantastic news for all the fans of electronic music. The DVD presents twenty songs/bands with also different options for some of the tracks, such as: alternative sound track with band members comments or, in the case of Fr/action, you can see the video as a little indipendent short movie. Not all the videos are exciting but most of them are real entertaining, this is a list of the ones I appreciated most: Soviet, Freezepop (really cute their animation video of "Stakeout"), Nasa (astonishing their professional video of "Back To Square One"), Cosmicity (with a mix of 3d animation and live sequences of their hit "Technology"), NukleoN (again with a mix of 3d and video, Dan brings us "Homewrecker"), Ganymede, Neuroactive (3d animation seems to rule here... :), T.H.E.M. (the weirdest video of the lot opening with a sort "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" parody for their "Here We Go". The video has been released by the Laboratorio Diabolico just as for the Blow-Up. Laboratorio Diabolico is an Italian duo who moved to California and started to produce videos), Neuropa, Fr/action (with their fantastic indipendent movie version of "Vigilante" where a thief was unlucky enough to meet a professional criminal), Gary Flanagan (the most instimistic and romantic video of the dvd for his "Summertime"), Axoe and Blue Audio.[br]
In any case, here's the complete list:
1 Soviet - "Commute"*
2 Freezepop - "Stakeout"
3 Blow-Up - "Fly With Me"
4 Nasa - "Back to Square One"
5 Cosmicity - "Technology"*
6 ElectroSquad - "Envy"*
7 NukleoN - "Homewrecker"
8 Moulin Noir - "Maria Calling"
9 Ganymede - "Daylight"*
10 Neuroactive - "Space Divider"
11 T.H.E.M. - "Here We Go"
12 Neuropa - "Lifeline"
13 Fr/action - "Vigilante"*
14 B!Machine - "In Thrall"
15 Null Device - "The Sad Truth"
16 Gary Flanagan - "Summertime"*
17 Axoe - "Calling"
18 Blue Audio - "This Is the Way"
19 The Peoples - "Kaleidoscoping Eyes"
20 Brave New World - "Drug" (live)*[br]
I suggest you to look for this dvd: you won't be disappointed and you'll release that you're holding a piece of underground synth music history!
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Artist: SLYDE
Title: Emotion Overflow
Format: CD
Label: Equinoxe Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
It's quite simple to review this first Slyde album as in this period a lot of similar bands are facing the charts as well as your tv screens through MTV or the other various roch channels. Slyde formula is quite simple as they blend rock, metal, folk and a little bit of goth. Similar to Evanescence the band seems to have a more positive attitude as the rock ballads have got a lighter attitude. Perfect example (and best tracks, in my opinion) are "Take Away My Pain" and "Into The Light". In any case they are too polished for my tastes and maybe a little too rock to being rewieved here but just in case you're willing for something not too much demanding give them a try...
Sep 26 2003
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Artist: MORVA (@)
Title: O
Format: CD
Label: Anaemic Waves Factory/Timor Vacui (@)
A side-project of Audax Italiano (remember his cool cd on Nail Records?), Morva uses similar analogic sounds, but while A.I. is structured and rhythmical in a power-electronics way, Morva opts for a freer harsh-noise onslaught. I think that all tracks are improvised on a synthesizer + effects, so while this is definitely harsh it has some more droning and recognizable sounds than the usual effect pedals- (or digital-) harsh noise. Anyway, violent and nihilistic as one could expect: mostly sounds like glass being cut by a motorblade 3 inches from your ear. Pluses: crisp studio-recording, which adds clarity to the different frequencies, and excellent layout on grey cardboard as in the AWF tradition.
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Artist: CORDELL KLIER (@)
Title: Glass and various broken brushes
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip (@)
Kind of "hardest working man" of today's underground avant-electronics, Cordell Klier has been flooding the market with an incredible amount of records and projects (Vedisni, Monstrare, KreptKrept, UnderCrushingWings... from industrial to glitch to doom & black metal!). Only under his name, he has two full lenght cd's out on Ad Noiseam (the second one is forthcoming!) and last month he released, like, 10 new cdr's on his own DoctSect! The scary thing is that practically everything I've had the chance to check out is excellent, well thought-out, full of ideas and guts. This cdr, for example, features 1 long track (30:44) merging repetitive pulses (not exactly beats... more like bat calls, or machinery noises), glitches and distant drones. Probably manipulated field recordings, too. All is very cohesive, minimal and monotonous (in a positive sense) throughout the whole half-an-hour. The cdr starts and you're swallowed by the sound flood, which has a hypnotic and slightly obsessive feel. Sounds like amplified anxiety-overdose heartbeats, at times, but also has the soothing beauty of a recording like Steve Roden's "Crop Circles", only with the surgical coldness of Ikeda or Noto. Give mr. Klier the attention he deserves.
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