Music Reviews



Artist: Piney Gir
Title: Piakahokahoo
Format: CD
Label: Grey Day Productions
Piney Gir's music on "Piakahokahoo" is a bit startling, to say the least. Mostly synth driven and quirkily perky, Piney Gir's songs blend moody, grrl-goth sensibilities and minimalist electro sensibilities ... along with whatever other influences happen along ... to create some awfully unique and surprisingly catchy melancholic meditations. On top of Piney Gir's ability to blend naive perk with subtley bitter observations is her ability to surprise with, for example, a remake - Piney Gir style - of "My Generation" and, get this, a country song - again, Piney Gir flavor all the way - called "Greetings, Salutations, Goodbye". To attempt any further to try and properly describe the original songcraft of Piney Gir's surprising talent would be futile. So take my word for it. No, don't do that. Go see for yourself. And bring an open mind.
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Artist: FORETASTE (@)
Title: Discordance
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Foretaste is a new electro pop band coming from France and composed by two guys(Sylvie and Pierre) who met on the net. Being fond on the 80's sound the duo decided to start from that point just to create their own style. DECADANCE is their first release and it brings to the attention of the listener four tracks: "Discordance (Radio edit)", "Victim's heart", "For your own good" and "Re-love (Apologies mix)". If you know me I don't like lyrical female vocals and fortunately Sylvie's style is personal enough to be catchy and far away from the style of her pretentious "colleagues". The tracks blend new wave, synthpop and electro pop focusing mostly on different melodical layers and on upbeat tempo. "For your own good" instead is a electronic ballad with good moments. Judging the band from these songs I can say that we have got a new band to keep an eye onto and soon we'll be able to listen and judge them a little better as their first album "Beautiful creatures" is on the way!
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Artist: JGRZINICH (@)
Title: Intimations
Format: CD
Label: CMR/Maaheli (@)
Rated: *****
Multimedia artist John Grzinich has a remarkable series of releases under his belt in collaboration with mnortham, Seth Nehil (who indeed helps with some recordings on one track of this cd) and the Frequency Curtain trio, but oddly enough this is his first solo album. Co-released by CMR (New Zealand) and Maaheli (USA/Estonia, where Grzinich currently lives and works), "Intimations" immediately stands out as one of the best 2004 releases. Grzinich reaches a synthesis of field recordings and electronics which is, simply put, trascendental beauty. This kind of delicate, yet extremely powerful "acoustic ecology" reminded me of Lionel Marchetti's "Portrait d'un glacier" - textured organic drones created with a perfect merging of concrete sounds (running water, cicadas, blowing branches...) and electronic processings. The mystical intensity of "Sun in hand, stone in water", based on resonating grand piano clusters, also brinds to mind Osso Exótico's equally moving "Church organ works". Grzinich's writings in the inner sheet also offer interesting insights and theoretical reflections about sound, composition and listening experience. A truly awesome release.
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE (@)
Title: Chants for the cold and dying sun
Format: CD
Label: God Is Myth (@)
Rated: *****
Very recent cdr from Stielh on God Is Myth, which mainly releases underground black metal. The packaging looks nice, with b/w digipack, pro-replicated cd and printed insert: good job. And after a few listens I guess a black metal-oriented label is quite appropriate for these "Chants". Jeez, this is so bleak and cold - NRT has lost the more emotional aspect he had in "Flowing ashes" (see archive) to embrace total darkness. Desolate dark ambient with a Nordic industrial feel (Nordvargr, Megaptera), based on chilling electronic wails, obsessive percussive loops ("Seeds"), pitch-altered vocal samples (the twin tracks "Prophet II" and "Rex verminorum")... NRT handles all the tools of the trade really well, and this is one more strong release under his belt. I just think it's a bit more repetitive and less memorable than the excellent "Flowing ashes", but on the other hand, its utter obscurity is fascinating.
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Artist: Last Influence of Brain
Title: Illusions And Reality
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames records / e-noxe / Alive (@)
Rated: *****
Slovakian duo Last Influence of Brain just released their first full length album "Illusions And Reality", which follows their 1998 debut demo-CD "Revolution Countries Evolution", from when they first got together. The duo added live drums on some tracks and guest vocals and guitars on the powerful and thoughful track "N.O.A.C.O.". Their creative EBM mixture will be appreciated by most fans of Leather Strip, FLA, :W:, Mentallo & the Fixer and such. The CD came out on the polish label Black Flame records (who also signed Mexican artist E.R.R.A. - cmp review elsewhere on these pages), sports 13 tracks, of which the last two are bonux remix tracks by E.S.R. and K.I.F.O.T.H. and, among other things, comes with a really beautiful artwork. The bright side of this album is definitely its decidedly powerful full frontal attack, its in your face attitude and its aggressive approach. Altough, in my opinion, EBM is slowly dying due to lack of oxygen, artists such as "Last Influence Of Brain" remind me and probably others what made the genre so great!
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