Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: FUTURA electronica downtempo vol.1
Format: CD
Label: Abysoma (@)
Distributor: Ibiza Music & Clothes (company of Cafe del Mar)
Rated: *****
"Futura, the other sounds of the electronic music" is a radio show hosted by Luis Junior in Spain and this sampler is basically a best of whatever Junior plays during his shows. This CD brings you fourteen tracks of relaxed, chill out lounge electronica, downtempo, minimal ambient with different shades of jazzy, funky, avant-garde nature by mostly Spanish artists including Luis Junior himself, Funkana, Nuits de Songs, Fluflo, Mantrox, B-Flow, The Other Room, Nanotek and Croma Lite. The CD comes in a nice digi-pack. The Futura radio show is aired every Sunday on Dance FM from 10pm to 1am CET in various cities in the Madrid area and can also be streamed online at www.ondacero.es.
Artist: Lucid Dementia
Title: The List
Format: CD
Label: Buried Records
Rated: *****
Poised, in my opinion, to be one of the top CD releases of 2004 (even
if the mainstream world, addled as it is by too much normalcy, remains ignorant) is Lucid Dementia's "The List." Couple of things you need to know about Lucid Dementia: Their music is both cuttingly satirical (you might say left of Michael Moore) and uproariously funny and their lead singer is a six foot puppet named Lucid Dementia ... Luci for short. This is one of those bands that definitely deserves the term "aptly named." LD is certainly demented, employing such an over the top concept and stage show and the band is hilariously demented but there is an incredible amount of philosophical
lucidity permeating their music. In terms of socio-political
significance, they can stand up to KMFDM any day of the week. Another way they are similar to that band is in the fairly equal employment of guitar and electronica. Indeed, an argument could be made that this middle balance is the perfect dwelling zone for industrial as the metally side tends toward monotonous
(think older Ministry) and the electro side seems sort of like weak
trance with vocals much of the time. Anyway, LD will certainly shred the sensibilities of anybody remotely conservative that has the misfortune to wander into their sphere of influence. In the song, "The Lucid Dementia Show," for example, Luci sings of how the more of something there is the less it is worth and then goes on to point out just how many humans there are ... But to hear such harsh social commentary uttered by a high pitched (electronically altered to some degree, I think) puppety voice is startling and rip-snorting. And yet the voice fits so perfectly and, even in the midst of guffawing at Lucid Dementia's antics you realize how accepting of the voice you are. It does not detract from the industrial doings of this fine,
intelligent and creative act. LD is truly a gem and deserves to be
heard of beyond the underground. The rest of the industrial world could learn a few lessons from this group.
Jun 26 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Urban Woman .01
Format: CD
Label: Abysoma (@)
Distributor: Ibiza Music & Clothes (Cafe del Mar company)
Rated: *****
Abysoma is quickly becoming one of my favourite outlets for downtempo/chillout/lounge music. Based in Madrid, they keep an eye out for beautiful electronica discovering and promoting new artists otherwise mostly unknown (especially here in the States) and put together great compilations such as this very one: "Urban Woman .01". As the title suggests, this compilation CD features female fronted artists or songs with a female voice. Mostly spanish artists including Luis Junior (check out his great solo CD on Abysoma - reviewed elsewhere on these pages), Mantrox, Luis Junior, Nuits de Songs, The Other Room, Nacho Sotomayor, Funkana, Luis Vaquero, Croma Lite; all contribute one or two songs each (including chill version remakes of the Twin Peaks and the Gladiator movies' themes) and together bring this compilation to the highest levels in quality, making a dual statement about the female presence in the scene and about the quality of work originating in such an overlooked and underestimated musical underground scene as that of Spain is. I might have wished for a little more of the female vocals (don't expect so much lyrics and singing, it all mostly focuses around layers of smooth ad libs and sampled hookes) but I am just being plain picky here. I wholeheartedly recommend this gorgeous CD to all you loungy bastards out there! ;-)
Artist: PTSMC (Pine Tree State Mind Control) (@)
Title: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Format: CD
Label: Voidstar Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Pine Tree State Mind Control is obviously a pretty outspoken and political band, or as they call themselves, part cult, part corporation, part social experiment. Fifth in the "Transmission" series, PTSMC are back with their sixth CD of experimental industrial noise. Recorded partly in Sweden and partly in the US (Rhode Island), "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" is a collection of twelve tunes aimed at criticizing the concept of individuality (more about this in the booklet's notes). Repetitive, harsh, rhythmical and less rhythmically-oriented material will make your ear bleed and your mind wander off, getting ready to absorb all the hidden (but openly stated) messages that every track carries with it (buy their merchandise, get a job -that's sort of unexpected for a band like this, probably more on the irony/oxymoron side of things-, stop dressing goth-style, don't be rude, be happy and other messages along those lines). The band will again be participating in the three-day Providence noise Fest (www.darkambient.net/noisefest). Out July 9th.
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Artist: Muslimgauze
Title: No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel
Format: CD
Label: Vivo / The Label
Rated: *****
Lots of records by Muslimgauze have been coming out lately, and many of them portray the most electronic side of his production, which to me is a pleasant re-discovery. With this frame of mind, polish label Vivo released a 550 copies limited edition of "No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel", a six tracks CD mostly based around electronic beats with vague hints to percussions and other sounds. Included are the title track, two versions of "Teargas" and three versions of "Refugee", one of which, along with the title-track, were originally released on a 10" out on Staalplaat, who by the way licensed this material and did the art-work for this CD. Also two of these versions are actually different versions of the songs "Wabi Araba" and "Herzliyya". As always the sound is mostly if not completely focused on its rhythmical side. There are less interruptions in the flow of the beat than in other records. This CD was released in a multi-fold ecopack, according to Vivo records' use (www.vivo.pl) and was co-released by the Muslimgauze's official webmaster's own label The Label & XZF (www.the-label-xzf.net).
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