Music Reviews



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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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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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Artist: Butterfly Messiah (@)
Title: Eternal
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Rated: *****

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I continue to be intrigued as I watch the talents of Robert, Shannon, and friends. From the first time I heard Butterfly Messiah I knew they had a latent talent that would grow in time to be a force worth reckoning. While Priestess got them a bit of international acclaim, their new release Eternal positions them right alongside some of the top talents of today. Their new album combines Shannon's 'ethereal' vocals with Robert's new upscaled EBM-styled Darkwave. This is quite a jump from previous works but the likes of which was seen on the DJ Program.01 digipak released September of 2002 on their label The Fossil Dungeon. Fans of the band's more esoteric side will also NOT be let down either. This disc is full of mindful wisdom from the well of consciousness. Neo-pagans will take easy note of "The Circle" but I think one of my favorites has to be "Falling Stars". Butterfly creates an easy fusion of esoteric concepts with various music styles including EBM, Darkwave, Neo-Classical, Ethereal, Synthpop, Trip Hop, Wave, Medieval etc.. and are a band definitely worth a 'continued watchful eye'! Also, one can tell that Butterfly Messiah is a project that appreciates it's fans as the CD package is full of band photos, lyrics, etc., something too many artists skimp on these days. While it's understandable that we all have tight budgets Butterfly Messiah & The Fossil Dungeon always do their best to create merchandise packages well worth buying. This is what all those MP3 traders are missing out on - the true ART of the entire conceptual realization of 'the work' as opposed to just non-visual electronic media files. I've always been one to love holding the CD in my hand and reading the lyrics with the CD and/or viewing the inlay artwork, photos, and/or graphics. This is definitely one of the best releases I've seen this year so far!
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Artist: I:GOR (@)
Title: Barwy Kolorow
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Rated: *****
It might sound limitative to always compare all the ambient/drumn'n'bass/breakbeat (or breakcore, like I:GOR likes to define his music) to the british master of all masters of ambient music with the distorted face, but believe me, whether you like it or not, it is really due in this case. Yet we are not dealing with a derivative act that mimics the pioneers and has nothing personal to offer. Polish producer I:GOR stirs it up with glitchy industrial-noise and crazy drum'n'bass, so it's until he doesn't reach for those long vangelis-type aural synth-pads it's actually almost like listening to a Prohibited Beatz night with Jojo Mayer/Nerve. Departing from the drunken bedroom ambient-core and stepping into a clubly scenario of smoke and laser lights, I:GOR takes you all the way from low-key atmospheres to chemical nirvana. This is d'n'b/breakcore at its best! The CD comes in a 3 panel digipack with 17 tracks including remixes by Dj Kero (Shitkatapult/Low Res) and CDataKill (Ad Noiseam).
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Artist: Marspiter
Title: Vigila
Format: CD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Marspiter is pretty hard to classify, as it fluctuates in the wide imaginary gray area between ancient ritualistic droning dark-ambient and post-modern apocalyptic outerspace music. The distant reverberated gregorian chants, the timpanis and the roman iconography would make you think of the former, but the name of the project, their fascination with the enclosing planet of Mars, the pace, and the space odyssey evoking brass parts would make you go for the latter. Regardless of the choosen key of interpretation, Marspiter deliver a gloomy and sonic post-mortem scenario, a twilight zone of fear and peace, a path that leads from middle-age post battle atmospheres all the way to the surface of the red planet and visions of destruction. I am usually reviewing the music of a CD, rather than providing descriptive visuals, but this CD is so visionary and beautiful, in its warm and dark entirety and its last cold breath of life parting from the human soul to make space for death and emptiness, that I had to give you a piece of this.
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