Music Reviews



Artist: Dark Star (@)
Title: Travelogue 2
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Wow, lots of things to say about this... I popped it in before even reading the info sheet and I immediately thought (I swear!) that these guys (or at least their vocalist) sound like the Legendary Pink Dots, but then of course I have learned that they sound like them 'cause the singer IS LPD's singer Edward Ka-Spel. In fact this is a collaboration project by Ka-Spel and Wolfgang Reffert (german musician and tour manager for Skinny Puppy and the Swiss trio Young Gods among others), who has been behind the Dark Star moniker for a decade or so. As a matter of fact this very record is a reworked re-issue of "Travelogue", originally recorded in the early nineties with the LPD, Italy's band Technogod and Gotz Adler (who also is on this re-edition). While omitting the last two songs of the original version, four new tracks have been added instead. The material is slow electronic wave music with a claustrophobic experimental vein and slow drum patterns. You can definitely still hear the echo of the eighties but also the ninetees are there. Songs like "Come To" (with the voice of Yorgos DK) might even sound a bit like Depoche Mode, but the rest of the album is less ebm/pop than that. There are more Joy Division/LPD-style beats with drum machines and industrial sounds and electronic synth-pads with a hard attack used to scan the beat and give it a musical entity (somehow Kirlian Camera style). When Ka-Spel sings it's obviously very hard to stop thinking about LPD... String pads and other layered sounds are used a lot too and even a distorted bass "Frantic Upstream" find place. Some lush distorted dark wave guitars are to be found too. There are also experimental pieces like "Solaris I" (which is one of the newer songs; '94-'97) with various sounds such as people playing pool in a bar, squeeking doors and pulsing electronic sounds. Electronic suites with more upbeat rhythmical structures and synthetic patterns ("Belvedere", also one of the four new ones). Of course all pieces feature special collaborations among which Volkmar Miedtke, Wolfgang Bear and the bass player from the german ironic-fun-punk outfit Die Artze (the doctors).
The front cover is by French illustrator Moebius (from the cult comic book "The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius").
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Artist: PETER MURPHY
Title: Dust
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
If you listened to Peter Murphy's previous release (the double live album titled "aLive Just For Love") you already are familiar with the atmosphere this new DUST spreads. Finally Murphy found a way to make his definitive record because this album is packed with intense emotions, deep involvement and a bright performance. The nine tracks performed here could be view as a sum of all the influences he had in all these years: Middle Eastern sounds (he lived in Turkey for a long time), little eletronic arrangements, magical and mysterious atmospheres and his deep voice. Composed between Montreal and Istanbul, from July to September 2001, this album born as a collaboration between Peter and Mercan Dede. He discovered Mercan Dede's work via a CD his wife had been reviewing for one of her acclaimed Modern Dance Turkey company pieces, and just as Peter had been wondering who and where this man was, the phone rang and it was Mercan himself, so there begun their cooperation. Just listen to songs like "No Home Without Its Sire" or "Girlchild Aglow" and you'll realize that this eighth album redefined everything that man is. For sure this is a meditative album and you'll have to listen to it with the right mood but you'll find the listening plenty of satisfaction.
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Artist: IN MY ROSARY
Title: The Shades Of Cats
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Active since fall 1990 In My Rosary just released their fifth album. THE SHADES OF CATS reveal a band with an high melancholic-melodious character which is expressed with guitar based ballads as well as electro based uptempo songs. Their music isn't strictly gothic (even if in this CD they did a version of Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Red Light") neither electronic, I can say that electro new wave could fit as a definition. In any case the band seems to concentrate mostly on the atmosphere they create rather than fit into a particular genre. The songs aren't remarkable but the importance they give to the sum of lyrics (which aren't included on the booklet but which are on their website),melody and feelings makes the difference. In My Rosary aren't a mainstream band and I don't love them particularly but for sure they are a genuine band which deserve respect and the attention of you melancholic readers...
May 15 2002
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Artist: RUN LEVEL ZERO
Title: In Between
Format: CD
Label: Prototyp (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
This CD is not the follow up to the successful Run Level Zero's debut CD "Symbol of Submission": IN BETWEEN is a classic remixes project with two new good tracks as bonus (or is a MCD with two new tracks with seven remixes as an add on ;) ). In any case the forty minutes of this CD contain good electro tracks and also the remixed versions are worth the purchasing because Sanctum, Pouppee Fabrikk (really energetic their version of "Feedback Birds"), Dupont (he did a e.b.m./techno version of "Black Limbs"), Psyche, Project-X (really distorted and dancey their version of "Eating The Misery), E-Craft and C.A.P. did a good work giving new life to the band's tracks, creating new classics that will for sure satisfy every e.b.m. lover.
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Pop Robot
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Geez, I don't know, it's almost embarassing but I don't really know what to do about it but the fact is that I love every CD Ninthwave release! This time I'm talking about an Irish band called Empire State Human and about their CD titled POP ROBOT. This isn't properly their new album because Ninthwave released an extended version of it which has been previously released in 2000 by People Sound. This extended version has got seven extra tracks coming from the first band's album titled "Martian Anthems". Even if the name comes from an Human League song the band's influences goes from the Kraftwerk to the english 80's electro pop passing through an unique process: originality. The band is capable to combine robotic sounds with catchy vocals using also tiny moments of ambient arrangements. Even if almost all the tracks are mid tempos and some are ballads the CD is very energetic and believe me, if you dig synthpop this is your CD, so...act now!
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