Music Reviews



May 02 2004
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Artist: Monofader (@)
Title: Frost
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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An interesting new project from the Metropolis team combining various elements of original and modern Synthpop with that of the EBM sound is Monofader. Monofader is Sebastian Komor (Icon of Coil) and Richard Bjorklund (Spektralized). Promotions calls them a combination of Depeche Mode and Erasure gone EBM but in actuality it's much more than that however the main elements of those rather basic stereotypes do exist but are compiled in a manner which give Monofader it's on personalized 'sound'. Modern dance beats and melancholic melodies combine smoothly over a synthetic landscape from this great new project from Norway. Some of my favorites however are tracks that vear from the beaten path a bit more like "Stand Alone" (titled aptly) which reminds me just a touch of Chris & Cosey and "Solid Ground", the first track the duo recorded, which is closer to the EBM dancefloor sound but with the smoothed over vocals this project is known for. The overall sound is one that anyone who is a fan of the label A Different Drum would be proud of and I bet Todd wishes he had his hands on this one!
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Artist: DEATH BOY (@)
Title: Dust Fear Of Lover
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Never thought to find in Italy a band that mix My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & THe Mary Chain and Chrisma/Krisma? Well, it seems you just found one: Death Boy. Spin off of the band Psycho D-vein, Death Boy present a CD with twelve songs which are less dark respect the ones of his main band. Home recorded and with a certain verve DUST FEAR OF LOVER is capable of entertain the audience with fifty minutes of songs/tributes to Death Boy's heroes. The songs are like tributes (to tell the truth there are also a couple of covers of "Black Silk Stocking" and "Decades" by Chrisma and Joy Division) because the atmospheres created recall very well the original bands and the kind of recordings of the first Jesus & The Mary Chain 7" (see "Sonic Wave" or "Nazi Man"). The result is good even if this is only a demo. Sometimes keyboards seem to be out of tune and sometimes Death Boy seem to be overwhelmed by effects which seem to override his mixing capabilities but I think this is part of the "I don't care" attitude the Jesus & The Mary Chain had on their first recordings. The only thing I didn't like is the Joy Division cover but you know, when you play a classic is difficult to beat the original if you don't do something totally different...
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Artist: DEADBABES (@)
Title: The Drug E.P.
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Futurecords (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from North Europe, Deadbabes could be the next big thing just like The Rasmus have been on the last season. Mixing tunes dear to bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode, Deadbabes produced THE DRUG E.P. containing four catchy songs which aren't too much distorted or too much pop. The correct amount of melody and energy is difficult to reach but the band is able to pack an E.P. that can convince a wide range of audience. Goth as well as melodic metal fans could dig these recordings full of melody and charm. At this point the only thing is to wait to their full lenght album to check if they'll be able to reach the high position of the alternative charts. Alternative and mainstream but with a certain taste.
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Artist: PINKRUBY
Title: The Vast Astonishment
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Pointed out by the label as the actual incarnation of their spirit, Pinkruby present their new album and sound. Started initially in 1998 as a melodic dance project, Pinkruby decided it was time to move on and to experiment with mellow atmospheres and acoustic sounds. Formed by Slovene singer Mihaela Repina and English guitarist Paul Bradbury, Pinkruby packed THE VAST ASTONISHMENT with forty minutes and eleven tracks of dreamy music. As reference point they named Flëur and Cocteau Twins and in effect the fourth song, "Vast", sounds a little bit like Cocteau Twins of "Treasure" while into songs like "Return" and "Celebrate" I hear African and Brasilian influences with characteristic choirs of those countries, also. The particularity of the project is that the lyrics are all sung in Slovak and this gives a different flavour to their tracks. Even if the songs are all based on acoustic sounds (guitar is the main instrument), Pinkruby didn't forget the lesson learned with dance music and here and there they treat the sounds just to give to the tracks something more than a scarce arrangement. The tracks I prefer are the ones that sound less rarefied as I tend to lose my attention when atmospheres tend to be too relaxed.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Children Of Mu
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Started as a Virgin sublabel (they released the "Mealtime" compilation on Planet Mu/Hut Recordings back in 1995), Planet Mu soon after was judged too radical by the people who was used to sell pop and rock music and for this reason Mike Paradinas decided to took his "son" and to make of it one of the principal label dedicated to electronic experimentations. In its five years of activity the label released material which is covering a wide range of electronic musical genres. The most important thing is that each band is open to new experiences and for this reason on this second label compilation you'll find hip hop mixed with breakbeat, Ramones and bagpipes (like on Shitmat's "Shopliftin' Gabba"), experiments with pastoral choirs (The Gasman's opening track of the fist CD "Imodium"), classical IDM (Electronic Music Composer's "Suggested Surgery"), blues (like on the alternative version of Leafcutter John's "In A House Of Soul"), classic electronic mixed with techno (Nautilis' "J-3CVW" and Local's "They Are Local"), distorted electronic pop (Patrick Wolfe's "A Boy Like Me") and the guitar mellowness of WeaveR001 on "A Step Aside" just to name few. Only the Paradinas' projects aren't present on this double compilation but you've got the opportunity to check out twenty six tracks (unreleased and not) by twenty six Planet Mu artists and I assure you that it's worth it.
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