Music Reviews



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Artist: o9
Title: Church of the Ghetto P.C.
Format: CD
Label: Schematic / Asphodel (@)
Rated: *****
Miami, FL based label Schematic (the same label of Shapeshifter and The Hearts Of Darknesses, who we have interviewed and proudly discovered before he got signed) has scouted another new gemm in the world of electro-breakcore, and to know where they found this laptop artist seems to be top secret. o9's "Church of the Ghetto P.C." fires off his debut with an exhilarating kick ass breakcore blast and keeps up the good work (and the pace) with most of the following tracks. The dude has learned the lesson from the British masters (mostly those signed to Warp), that's for sure, but has also made a point in echoing the sound of labels such as Mego, Hive, Raster-Noton, Unschooled etc. Altough I am afraid the intensity of the album sort of spirals downward as the listening continues, the quality is maintained and the impact curve probably suits an immersive experience that can go from dancing to listening and chilling.
Artist: Ashtool (@)
Title: Electrosoundphrasesinth(ou)gh(t)s
Format: CD
Label: Into My Bed recordings
Rated: *****
Ashtool is musician Mirco Rizzi, a Turin, Italy based artist whose music is a cross road of experimental, industrial, dark, ambient and noise.The album also features guest collaborations by Daniele Brusaschetto (pretty much the godfather of that local scene), Oscar Mucci, Paul Beauchamp, Micaela Michetti and the saavy engineering skills of the ubiquitous Marco Milanesio.From underneath his loft bed, Mirco's been fishing around his pool of influences and ends up gently plucking the strings of all the above mentioned genres, with leftfield humble minimalistic excursions and louder sonic ministrations. His combination of electric and acoustic sounds generates tension and relaxation, at the same time. Guitar improvisations are blended in with all sort of types of noises, occasionally industrial rhythms (in classical Brusa-style), voices (mostly spoken) and other sounds, resulting in a dynamic and multifaceted album that ranges from beautiful atmospheric tracks ("Meeting a Friend", "Passegiata", or "Sexes3" and "Ridolini/th(ou)gh(t)s" and their gorgeous jazzy treated guitars) to loud attacks on eardrums ("Mu", "Nulla Mi E' Dovuto" or "Cerchireprise", with its interesting quasi orchestral samples), and everything in between (like the sweet Warp-ish sounding "Saleccia5").It is definitely one of those albums you'd have to listen to at an appropriate volume and with the right state of mind, in order to appreciate its nice and hidden subtleties.
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Artist: Technova (@)
Title: Electrosexual
Format: CD
Label: Hydrogen Dukebox (@)
Distributor: Studio Distribution (US)
Rated: *****
David Harrow (a.k.a. Technova/James Hardway) worked with everybody who's somebody in the electronic industry, including among others Psychic TV, The Orb, Atari Teenage Riot, On-U Sound System, Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart, Anna Clark, Depoche Mode, Andrew Waterhall, Sabres of Paradise, Peter Hope, Magnetic etc.After his 2002 underground synth-club scene smasher "Dirty Secrets", David is back with "Electrosexual", a provocative slo-mo leftfield electroclash record featuring 11 tracks of minimal '80es-Casio-keyboard-style techno pop with Kraftwerk influences (and a cover of Joy Division's "Atmosphere") as well as the oral ministrations of Ghetto Priest (one one track) and of Vaginal Davis (on five tracks), who's this six foot tall transvestite from the LA club scene. The italo-UK label Hydrogen Dukebox picked up this sexy mesh of trend-setting synth-electro club music just in time for people to realize the unearthy simplicity and outspoken sexuality glamour of potential hits such as "I Could Have Sex", "My Pussy Is a Cactus" etc... Now get down and dirty.
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Artist: TRISTRAUM (@)
Title: Shiver
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Intrapop
Rated: *****

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Tristraum is a band formed by two guys (Randall Erkelens and Pierre Norman) deeply involved into the nightclub scene and really active into the remixing activity and by Krystina Eller on vocals. The CD I received is their first effort and present three original tracks ("Shiver", the instrumental "Brilliant" and the melancholic "I'm Under No One") plus nine remixes of the main track. The sound of the band find its roots into the alternative / synthpop / industrial music. The tracks are danceable, bleepy with dreamy almost whispered female vocal parts (the ones I don't appreciate as they tend to make the songs sound all the same). The remixes reflect the characteristics of the remixers and for this reason we can find e.b.m. versions of the track thanks to Assemblage 23 and Lime'n Dale, modern synthpop versions remixed by Echo Image, Empire State Human and Equatronic, almost tehcno tunes produced by Infam, Invisible Asps, Saxxonpike. I think this release could be appreciated by remixes addicted who also love female goth vocals and industrial pop tunes.
May 26 2004
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Artist: CTRL (@)
Title: Lose The Image
Format: CD
Label: Diffusion Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis
Rated: *****
After releasing their first two albums, Ctrl's singer decided to leave so their fans had to wait other three years for this new LOSE THE IMAGE. During the break, Brad MacAllister focused his efforts on his side project, Low Technicians, just to decide soon after that it was time to give a new form to Ctrl. He recruited a new member Alex Virlios (formerly of Provision) and with Jason Fenimore (already on guitars on the previous band incarnation) started to work hard to give a form to their third album. LOSE THE IMAGE is a real good album which has got hard 80's influences (melody of tracks like "Left To Find" make me think about A Flock Of Seagulls) but keeping opened the door to let e.b.m. and electro sound/structure come in. Even if the short "Transition Three" made me think about "Carnage Visors" (the long The Cure's track/soundtrack which was present into the tape version of "Faith") and the bass sound is really new wave oriented, the general feeling isn't of a musical revival. Power and melody are for sure elements the band is taking care of and the fifteen tracks are the evidence. Good one!
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