Music Reviews



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Artist: Flutter (@)
Title: Toys in Coin Machines
Format: CD
Label: Alphabasic records (@)
Rated: *****
Chicago-based female-fronted trio Flutter is riding the wave of popularity after the discreet success (both in their homeland and abroad) of their "Toys in Coin Machines". They cleverly call it «subversive candy-coated political electropop», which is pretty much as close as you can get to describe their sound. I can't get over how west-coasty it sounds, hype and hyper-active synthetic clash-pop with ethereal and naughty vocals, socio-political lyrics, queer/goth aesthetics and nightclub-friendly attitude.The tracks sport really well-produced synth-pop with hints of drum'n'bass breakbeats and a very admirable drive for sonic experimentation. Of course the key selling point here is the very sexy vocals (somewhere along the lines of Veronica Ciccone with a more ethereal approach, falsettos etc). You'll be instantly sold to her charm. The Chicago/Nebraska-run indie-label Alphabasic has made it their quest to introduce this trio to the world. The CD also contains a multimedia track with video clip and the user name and password that you will need to access the secret room of their website (which contains unreleased photos, lyrics and b-sides in mp3 format). Smart, sexy, happy, beautiful.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Collective Consiousness
Format: CD
Label: Thirdwave Collective (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
The Thirdwave Collective is a group of US artists (there are some exceptions to that) who have obviously understood the importance of joining forces to support each other and create a more suitable environment for artistic growth. The collective of Thirdwave Collective artists that released this, offer their various assorted blends of powerful rhythm noise, industrial, ebm, dark and noise and include Endif (one of the founders), PTI, Y-Luk-o, Detroit Electronic Coalition's founder CEOXiME, Infinity Interrupt, Cruciform Injection, Sealed in Silence, Negative Gain's label owner's project Cyrostate, ex-Necrophilia members' new project Thttp://www.industrial-music.com/product.php?prodnum=TW+002welve Stitches, Y-Luk-o's noise side-project Lukotyk and Compliant. Support the scene, support the Thirdwave Collective!
Artist: Xeno Volcano (@)
Title: Black Book
Format: CD
Label: Hardpresse (@)
Rated: *****
Xeno Volcano, aka Zurich-based Californian David Beltran, has been living and performing minimal ambient music in Switzerland, while occasionally touring the US (twice a year). He uses mostly a minimoog, toys, samplers, a laptop and a vibraphone or other percussions, but in his third album "Die Organik" (2002), a collaboration with Swiss poet Eletka Sturmschnell, he had a guitar in the line up. "Die Organik" is a trip into pure sonic isolationism and the only contact with the outside world is the poet's spoken word performances over the music (mostly in german). Stereo spreading and panning, volume sweeps and other techniques are used to make the minimal sound come at you in a wave-ish fashion. The CD has a beautiful art work, among other things. His last album "Black Book", on the other hand, does not relay on the presence of the female voice, but instead has a less minimalistic approach and generates gorgeous atmospheres with soft and dragging beats and, in one instance, even a violin. Zurich is fabulous, so if you ever go there, try to also catch David performing (shouldn't be too hard, I read). Allegedly his performances are intense and include visuals by chemical lighting artist Denis Wier (also with Zappa) and other graphic artists. I am curious to find out this artist's more rhythmic side, which I hear, is being explored as we speak and is more the focus when he gigs in the underground industrial-dance scene.
Artist: BATZZ in the belfry (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
It's nice to see that somebody actually reads and pays attention to our submission guidelines. BATZZ have provided us with their latest CD-R EP (whose songs are also available as MP3's on their site). They are shopping for a record deal for what basically is a sound made of dark facets, long reverbs, electronic layers, melodic atmospheres and mixed feelings of sadness, melancholy, happiness and fear. Their ethereal mixture of darkwave and electro is a good support for lyrics about evil and good, heaven and hell, politics, life and spirituality. The instrumentation used includes software drum machines, guitars and synths. I particularly like the episodes where the deep low voices create somber soundscapes. When these goth vocal parts are joined by martial drumming or grand neo-classical orchestrations, they sort of sound like a band that could be on Cold Meat or the Dungeon Fossil. They have a polished sound and good ideas but they're not quite evolved as much as other bands are. I do think, though, that in a few years or a few records, whichever comes first, they might be able to score a deal with, say, Projekt records.
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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This is just an update on a review that has already been published when Daniele Brusaschetto sent us an advance promo of this record. "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" has now finally come out.The CD comes with a nice color booklet with lyrics in italian and english that is an experiment of modern cut&paste art (the booklet consists of professionally printed pictures of pages that were cut and pasted with adhesive tape). The CD is co-released by Bosco (Daniele's outlet), DSK (http://space.virgilio.it/sandblaster@tin.it), Radon (www.radonstudio.com), Oggetti Volanti (www.oggettivolanti.it) and Bar La Muerte (www.barlamuerte.com).Here is the review that we had written and published:I wonder if I could get away with saying that the new Daniele Brusaschetto album has a more "squat-friendly sound", but if you know what the average offering of that scene is, I think it is really true, at least to some extent. Maybe he was sick of touring places all alone with his machines and seeing those looks in the faces of those who expected some other crappy hardcore trio (I've seen them myself when playing squats with my band) or maybe it's just a natural evolution for somebody who comes from the bands Whip and Mudcake, but it certainly isn't far off from his original sound and its actual soul. With "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" (Total Poetry of the Muscles) he is turning to his roots and taking a step back from his previous more industrial-loaded sound in order to approach a slightly more easily-listen-able blend of fierce and fiery garagey noise-driven combo playing. The result is strong and powerful. Solid crunchy bass picking, rumbling room-reverberated and heavily compressed live drums, multiple layers of very expressive guitar strumming and up-front deep, doubled and harmonized vocals. I am probably not the ideal person to attempt comparisons in this field, but if you listen to some garage, post-rock, noise-core you'll find plenty of, and considering the affinity with the industrial-electronic sphere you might consider starting from Pitch Shifter or Fudge Tunnel or stuff like that. Lots of the electronics is gone in favor of a more "standard" rock line-up that sometimes sounds Italian, sometimes British, sometimes American. For that matter I think I was more into the older sound but that certainly doesn't mean that the new material isn't worthy of attention, contrariwise I must say I find it quite likable and I appreciate the touch and the tone. Of course he retained his connection with the experimental arts and you can hear that in very ingenious and refreshing ideas sprinkled around the record (such as "Palla Bianca con Scritta Rossa" -White Ball with Red Lettering- where two identical signals feed the board and he occasionally mixes the twin signal in to have that otherwise annoying phasing artifact that is simply cool his way and which I had never heard being used creatively before or thought of using at all) or in the occasional passages of noisy dark ambience and sparkles of floor electronics and distorted sampled sequencing. To honor the past there are even a couple of mainly electronic-experimental pieces, like the last two "Se lo faccio morirei" (If I did it, I'd die) and "Il Bambino Tram" (The Tram Boy). The extended poetic lyricism, the fact that all the vocal parts are in Italian and the way they are singed can't escape from reminding me of C.S.I. (not the American TV show, the Italian band you moron!). It's almost like realizing that he has always possessed some of that specific style but now it really bleeds through and shows big time. If you like Daniele's music you should listen to this because you will find the core of what has always been his signature in terms of vocal style, lyrics and guitar noise-ness, strapped to bone and true in his essence. Minimal in structure, maximal in impact. Less is more. More is Daniele Brusaschetto.
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