Music Reviews



Artist: Manufactura
Title: Precognitive Dissonance
Format: CD
Label: Hive
Rated: *****
This is Manufactura's second album, and its first on Hive. It is a split release with Manufactura's own label(along with Scott from Converter), Aurical media.

Featuring a Aghast Veiw remix, and additional work from both Daniel Myer(haujobb, cleen, ect), and Scott Sturgis( converter, Pain Station) This cd varies greatly over its length.

What it does seem to be is consistent on a heavy bass sound. Moving from heavy rythmic noise, to vocal driven moments of noisy ebm, and decent moments of synth driven ambient soundscapes. Musicaly well produced, my only gripe is the samples at the begining of some of the songs. seems like they are a little out of place, or even ruin certain songs. Listeing to a girl scream tends to turn me off, since it seems like an old hat, due to the prevelant amount of American Pe that uses it.
All in all though this cd is highley recomended, and I am looking forward to the next installment, and a live preformance.
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Artist: ALEXEI BORISOV
Title: Polished Surface of a Table
Format: CD
Label: Electro Shock (@)
Rated: *****
POLISHED SURFACE OF A TABLE is the latest release of a Russian artist called Alexei Borisov. The thirteen tracks of the CD paint different sound canvas that sometimes tend to destabilize the audience. Digital impulsive and treated noises duet with treated vocals just to create particular moments, sometimes with a melodic structure (like on "L.Y. Match") which function as background to sound experiments and sometimes with pure rhythmical structures which could have almost random rhythms as well as more structurised construction (like on "Zaraza - Volume 1" where different noise layers duet until they fade out just to include vocal samples). Concrete music and experimentation seems to be the main subject into Borisov's sound as well as the construction of alienating experimental suites. Like a sort of magmatic digital cut up, Alexei's music sweep away your thoughts creating a blank zone where you can only watch a polished surface of a table...
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Artist: EX NIHILO (@)
Title: Pentagone Explosion / Une Société De Tetes Mortes
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The new Ex Nihilo release is a double CD. The first one is titled "Pentagone Explosion" and has got eighteen new tracks while the second one has got fifteen tracks of remixes and covers. At a first listening the thing that pop up immediately is the fact that Ex Nihilo music is changing and unfortunately I still prefer the first two CDs Laine did. On the new tracks you can find simil techno rhythms with some synth pads. "Le leurs Mortes", for example, is a good one with a good atmosphere but suddenly the rhythm starts to increase until you listen only a tremble and vocals become a reverbered rant and I find this ruins everything. Also the following track, "Rien", is based on goth atmospheres and techno rhythms while "Orgasmatron" (the fifth track) has got the old good Ex Nihilo moments only that sometimes sounds doesn't match and the different rhythmical tracks are out of synch and this is too bad as Laine is good at creating sick and powerful atmospheres. Each track has got good moments: "Decharge (Radio Version)", for example, could be a good goth ebm track. It's highly probable that these tracks with a better production would be a blast, but right now they seem nothing but demos. Tracks like "Schizo" or "The Conjurer" are similar to the old Ex Nihilo and I think they work better: pumping rhythms, epical synthetic sounds and dark atmospheres. It seems that half of the tracks has got this "techno fever" and they went out of Laine's hands while the remaining ones have got a better structure. It seems that in this period he's listening to Hocico along with techno and he'd like to melt them together ("Penta" for example remember me the instrumental tracks of the Mexican duo). The second CD of remixes and covers revisit the old tracks under the new band's style and contains also tracks of Rauwolfia remixed by Ex Nihilo. Strangely enough it seems that Laine took more care releasing "Une Société De Tetes Mortes" than the CD containing the new tracks: the tracks sound better and they give to the listener a sense of finality even if they would need sometimes a better production as well and this is odd.
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anymore
Artist: Manufactura
Title: Recognitive Dissonance
Format: CD
Label: Hive (@)
Rated: *****
Manufactura's new album "Precognitive Dissonance" seems to be sort of an all star project, considering the talents Karloz. M recruited for it: collaborations with Scott Sturgis (as Notime, also member of Converter, Pain Station, DBS) and with Broken Fabiola (new signing by Auricle Media, who co-released this record), remix by Aghast View, production by Haujobb's very own Daniel Myer (cmp interview on these pages) and Databomb (Download), and mastering by J. Cameron of Symbiont/Lexincrypt (cmp interview on these pages). Altought it is a very impressive list of folks and a very good sounding record we all know credits are not all an album is made of, so let's talk a little bit about what the music is really like, shall we? I've listened to this record four times already and I appreciate it's heterogeneous form and its edgy shapes (at times even a slight touch too heterogeneous, to the extent that it lacks sort of a defined consistency, but that's really a minor imperfection here). Power-electronics blends or alternates with IDM and is enriched by illbient-core textures and EBM, resulting in a quite intense and pounding cocktail of violent electronic music. I'd be tempted to say that it could be a perfect Daft records release, or compare it to the style of the Ivens/Van Wonterghem family (Dive/Sonar/Monolith type of sound), but the less screaming/more intimate slightly (by comparison) filtered vocals and the extensive passages of darker atmospheres without one single drum head (mpc button, pad, trigger, whatever) being hit, or the spanish and english spoken movie samples and that sort of stuff, kind of exclude that comparison, don't they? If I were to exclusively consider some pieces (such as the collaboration with Notime and Broken Fabiola, for example) I could limit myself to mention the ever so inspirational Richard James for his signature sound made of distorted analog bubble kick drums, his broken drum'n'bass textures and his over-imposed dreamy lullaby belly soundscapes... Does it all come together and make sense yet? Of course other names could be mentioned, especially considering the variety of the material, but why would I keep doing that? It would be so much easier if you just picked up this record and got your own opinion, because it's definitely worth your money if you like what you've read so far and it's a prime example of bridging the world of distortion and aggro-beats with the realm of peaceful but disquieting soundscapes. Need I say more?
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anymore
Artist: Einsturzende Neubauten (@)
Title: Perpetuum Mobile
Format: CD
Label: Mute (@)
Distributor: Mute Bank
Rated: *****
It's impressive that after almost a quarter of a century Einsturzende Neubauten is still putting out music, music with a definite and mature character and a soul of its own. Capable of reinventing themselves at every turn without ever getting boring, derivative or nostalgic, consciously or unconsciously, subjectively or objectively, EN teach another seminal lesson in industrial "music" the way it should be, or if else fails, in my opinion, at its best: the art of adapting and employing scrap materials into "musical" compositions. After their 2000 "Silence is Sexy" and their 2001 "Strategies Against Architecture III" anthology, the 1996 "Ende Neu" line up consisting of Bargeld, Hacke, Unruh, Arbeit and Moser, has been busy in their Berlin studio rehearsing songs and ideas that were broadcasted over the internet (at neubauten.org) to their premium fans and supporters, who then were able to give feedback and suggestions to the laptop-equipped musicians and engineers. This entirely new creative process has lead the band to re-consider songs that wouldn't have made the record otherwise. "Perpetuum Mobile" is less intensive and noisy than, say, the violent industrial anthems of their trilogy/anthology, but this leaves more room for the Blixa's poetry (in german and english) and gorgeous intimate atmospheres of metallic percussive sounds, electronic sounds and beautifully assembled patterns of creative rhythmical structures. Sure, burst of primordial energy find their way into the tracks, and a feeling of calm anxiety lurks beneath the songs, underneath the surface and beyond the appearances, but where metal has parted there is more space for air, in the form of the sound of air compressors as well as lyrics about wind, storm and other adverse weather conditions. The CD comes out on Mute in a four-folding digipack with nice photography and an extensive booklet with bilingual lyrics. The "perpetual movement" and the continuous metamorphosis that EN has undergone throughout the years is now at a stage where inner and outer beauty as well as airiness and space map out the road ahead, at least until the next stage of their metamorphosis. The butterfly spreads its wings and flys, it is now en route, I am curious to see where to...
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