Music Reviews



Jul 18 2004
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Artist: Punto Omega
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Integrating orchestral elements with EBM/Darkwave this Argentinian duo hits Metropolis Records and the ears of thier listeners full force. Vocally much like Hocico but musically unmatched stylistically, Punto Omega, also have very strong esoteric interests. This self-titled release seems to document the band's perspectives on the legends of the fallen angels and the human quest for enlightenment. Lots of heavy guitar-driven EBM, this release even features bagpipes and other celtic instrumentation. Versatility and artistic creation show through strongly with this project with tracks like "La Caida" being piano and choir based and electronic rhythms following up. However, the title track is a dancefloor pounder. "La Fusion" even sounds a bit reminiscient of Kurt Weill. An excellent release for anyone who likes agressive EBM and for those with mystical interests. Punto Omega describe themselves as "We are heading a final borderline, in which there will be no extintion, but the step into a new reality: Past and Future get merged, that is the Omega Point."
Artist: Lucid Dementia
Title: Twisted
Format: CD
Having heard and reviewed Lucid Dementia's newest CD, "The List", and having been quite impressed with it (one of the best electro-industrial releases I've heard in a long time), I was anxious to hear the band's previous LP and see where they came from. Well, LD was gracious enough to supply me with a copy of it so I could check out the band's roots. You can definitely see the evolution and the fact that the band wasn't content to stagnate. "Twisted" is, admittedly, not as polished or sleek as "The List", which is a little more complex; however, "Twisted" strikes me as a darker, more gothic, side of Lucid Dementia. Like Nitzer Ebb or Fixmer/McCarthy, much of "Twisted" is somewhat minimalist in flavor, and requires a little more patience on the part of the listener because it's more progressive in nature, in that you have to let the atmosphere of the music seep into your bones. Once you settle in with the mid-tempo industrial beats, the evil Muppet vocals (remember, Lucid Dementia, aka Lucy, a six foot puppet, is the lead singer), the deep gothic ambience, the edgy lyrics and the striking originality, you'll realize you've found a bit of a treat in the watered-down industrial genre. Here the underground has yielded up a jewel in the form of Lucid Dementia, the band whose existence justifies the existence of the electro-industrial genre. Dark, spartan and pulsing, aggressive AND playful (so beware), "Twisted" shows the shadowy, gothic beginnings of a band that would explode into the full form of its genius on "The List."
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Artist: TOYCHESTRA AND FRED FRITH (@)
Title: What leave behind
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: SK Records (@)
Rated: *****
TOYCHESTRA is an all women musical ensemble based in Oakland, CA. As you can deduce from their name, they don't play any conventional instrument as each one is a fake instrument, resized one or is an object you can't recognize from the sound. Their music is similar to a run of a one leg man as everything seems to be really unstable and unreal. They play with their instruments like an unborn child and the sensation you got from their music is the same. On this 25 minutes live recording, their "music" duet with the electric guitar improvisations of Fred Frith. The guitar sound helps extremizing the effect of instability of the whole process as Frith use it like a razor blade on some moments (like on "Fellini") or he plays it producing smooth sounds ("Grover rides a happy honker"). "3 elephants and a cow" is the track that impressed me most, because from the initial sequence of sampled voices (I think they used teddy bears which are capable of recording few seconds of sounds with a metallic quality) the track turn into a disturbing march where the guitar cries along with animal sounds (cows, elephants, mices, etc). The last song "When to rewind" is a sort of lullaby sung by all the girls and it closes in a good way this particular album. Sk is still searching for a distribution for this CD so you if you can help, please contact them!
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro-Age 1 (The Awakening)
Format: CD
Label: Latex Records
Electro-Age 1 (The Awakening) is the first release by Latex Records and is, I quote, "the beginning of a compilation series by RhythmUS Network which features electronic artistts of various genres whose music relates to a spirituality theme ... alternative music of ritual, magic, myth and transformation of consciousness." I must say, some of this industrial is thick and dark and bleongs on the shelf next to, say , Front Line Assembly. However, your ears will also be surprised by, for example, subdued tribal/ambient, thick but trancy EBM/synthpop, chilled beats over ambient melodies, dark and Spartan industrial vaguely reminiscent of NIN meets synthpop, tribal/world music industrial and more. While the collection is somewhat eclectic, it isn't so much so that an even flow is disrupted. Rather, the multi-faceted aspect of this compilation makes it a heady piece of electronic listening that covers a broad range of styles but within a certain sphere of musical intent. Well done selection of moody, shadowy electro-industrial.
Jul 15 2004
Artist: Asmodeus X
Title: Morning Star
Format: CD
Asmodeus X presents an interesting challenge to the reviewer's ears, because, on one hand, the music has a certain minimalist quality to it. It isn't as thick with gobs of layers or anything, but at the same time, there is an undeniable pull to the semi-spartan beats and electronic melodies of this EBM release. The vocals are somewhat flat, but in a good way, in that vocal approach very common to EBM and synthpop. It gives sort of a darker edge, sort of an implication of apathy, befitting the darkness of the proceedings. Because, you see, as pretty and absorbing as this music is in its own way, it's also got plenty of gothic sensibilities, not so much in an oh-wow-this-is-goth-music but just in the general shadowy quality of the music. This would be great music for nighttime driving through the streets of Europe. If that imagery makes any sense to you then maybe you should check this out.
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