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Artist: PENITENT
Title: Songs Of Despair
Format: CD
Label: Beyond Prod (@)
Distributor: Master Distribution


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The story of Penitent started in 1994 when Karsten Hamre decided to give shape to his poems which dealt with pain, sorrow and depression. With this aim in his heart he produced six albums for different labels, such as Cold Meat Industry, ("Melancholia"), Draenor Productions ("The Beauty Of Pain" and "As Life Fades Away"), Memento Mori ("Roses By Chaos Spawned" and "Maestro Beethoven") and for Counter Attack (Reflections Of Past Memories"). After a couple of years of hiatus Karsten decided to team up with Bernt Sunde and then he started to produce this SONGS OF DESPAIR. THe music of all the songs this time has been written by the newcomer and they are totally different from what the fans were used to listen to. The eight new songs include harsh black metal, dark metal, dark wave and industrial influences (guitar and drums included) and represent a new step of the Penitent course. The tracks are always melancholic and dark as usual ("A Gate To Past Times" and "Ancient Wisdom Of The Forest" are the ones which remember mostly the old ones) but the vocals are influenced by black metal and are highly theatrical. If you loved only the orchestral tracks you were used to listen to, be aware of this because you may not like this CD. Check some mp3s at the band's website first. In any case the next album, which will be released always by Beyond Prod, may take a different direction as it seems that Karsten's and Bernt's cooperation ended at the end of the last year and a new member will join the band. Let's wait and we'll see...
Artist: Languis
Title: Untied
Format: CD
Label: Simball
Distributor: Integrale Muzique
Six-year transplants to LA from Buenos Aires, the Languis duo merge a sixties aura with a nineties experimental voyeurism made of abstract loops, improvisation, caressing lines and raw distortions, all in a wash of reverb. There is not much of a definite rhythmical idea, which is kind of a shame, but it is interesting to see how what is usually the floor of beat-focused releases is brought out in the open and enlightened by discording harmonies and solid balances. The presence of guitar (which is not necessarily the source of the distortion mentioned above) and vocals makes it a record that zooms in on the electronic music conceptualism with a different approach and an eclecticism that draws from various assorted places and genres. Contrary to many other bands similar in line up, these guys perform live a lot too, so why not challenge yourself with some genre-bending stereotype-untied new vintage electro'n'roll music?
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Artist: Deadbeat
Title: Wild Life Documentaries
Format: CD
Label: ~Scape (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Montreal, one of the new fastest growing electronic music capitals in the world, is home to Applied Acoustics employee Scott Monteith, the person behind Deadbeat's electronic sound textures and intensive delay patterns. He started releasing music in 1998 on Hautec, Revolver and Intr_version records but Berlin label ~Scape picked him up coincidentally with their renewal of vows to the electro-dub genres and its closest derivatives. "Wild Life Documentaries" is a journey through the deconstruction of classical dub and its reinvention through new sonic concepts and applied emotional states. Deep bass lines are obviously included in the package, but it is rather pleasing to notice how much effort has been put in the soft synthetic surface as opposed to only in the carrying bass. I couldn't help noticing how sounds like the ones in "For Palestine" are reminiscent of Young Gods most ethereal mixes and remixes, although the warm digital structures are enriched by nice sampling patch-work and countless yet well dosed repetitions that give it that timeless aura of some British productions by Sherwood or Alpha & Omega or by German field players such as Hoester Sound System, Groove Galaxi. Personally I prefer dub when it is associated with electronic music, rather than reggae, so this is a winner in my book! Great job! If you love dub, definitely go for it... Available on CD and double LP set.
Nov 12 2002
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Artist: Mimetic (@)
Title: Data Sensitive
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Parametric (@)
Apparently Parametric is getting a real kick out of releasing double CDs with Mlada Fronta (whose mastermind Remy Pelleschi mastered this very 2CD) and Von Magnet drummer's band Mimetic. The formula is the same: great art-work, great electro-industrial-experimental music, great line up of musicians. Particularly in the all new "Data Sensitive" prolific Mimetic's main body is Alma Munteanu, Lais Foulc, Nikkho, Def, Dirk Ivens & Sonar, Somantic Responses, Roger Rotor, Fast Forward... Besides my surprise in learning that Dive mastermind was involved too, the line-up is getting better with every record! I am not even gonna mention all the people who participated in this record 'cause that would take up this entire page (just to mention a few: Von Magnet, Remy & Stella, the Methods, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Frederic Chaplain & Prikosnovenie, Ralf.E.Friel & Moloko+, Ras al Ghul, Phil Von, Frederic Lacomte, Benny Braaten & Origami Galaktika, Norscq, Jolanda Kempers and many many many more). I really feel for Mimetic because they are doing what we have been trying to do with Chain D.L.K.: joining efforts to achieve greater results!Anyway, back to the music: Mimetic's new baby is a little more ambient-experimental in nature than the previous work and overall tends into a more noisy and and more eclectic direction. There is a lot more sample work going on (movies and stuff, I could recognize several sources) and more non square beats in favor of a rougher but more challenging approach. The whole picture is that of a mature collective of sound magicians who know what they are doing and offer us a valuable intersection of their experiences and their influences. The heterogeneous material contained in the new album simply mirrors the true nature of the group, one that is quickly becoming a major player in the field and one whose sound is pretty much unique and so original it is almost unequivocally recognizable. "Data Sensitive"'s first CD contains 14 tracks of which the last four are remixes by Swiss Roger Rotor, UK Somatic Responses, Belgian Sonar and French Fast Forward while the second CD (called "be-at_sound_a") contains songs of a more experimental nature and a hidden track recorded live in San Francisco. Mimetic is part of The Methods of Survive Network System and supports MACOS (Musicians Against Copyright Of Sounds) which is great (I haven't seen many bands supporting MACOS in a long time).
Artist: Staalplaat SoundSystem (@)
Title: Sweet Sissy & the Ballroom Hiss
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Coincidentally with Staalplaat headquarters' big move from Amsterdam to Berlin, Staalplaat founder and master of ceremonies Geert-Jan Hobijn releases his very own music after releasing, co-producing or otherwise influencing the work of hundred of artists that appeared on his challenging record factory in the past twenty years. Inspired by the big concert hall of the Centre Vooruit, Staalplaat Soundsystem created a surreal choreographed scenario of dancing and noise-making machines including 12 industrial floor polishers in the middle of the hall and a stage hosting various assorted machinery such as coffee machines, kitchen mixers, matrix printers, saws, four arm turntables, washing machines, refrigerators whose inside are transformed into light and sound installations, the VW bus-shaped toy record players and fm tuner called Vinyl Killers etc.... You can probably think of it as sort of a down-scaled version of a Survival Research Laboratory performance using every day appliances instead. The interesting part here is that all the above mentioned tools and utensils are not only used to create sound but they are also controlled by sound itself. If you can't quite understand how all this is possible it might help to watch the short Quick Time movie prepared by Carlo Crovato included in the cute little 3". The CD opens with an out take that doesn't have the machine sounds and instead has a very soft Dive-like electro-industrial texture, submarine-like sonar/morse sounds, classical music from some movie in the background and speeches of German leaders (mostly in German) about the city of Berlin, the pride of being a Berliner in West Berlin, freedom and the like. The other three tracks deliver the sound of the actual Vooruit installation/performance, backed by orchestral tunes and lots of other bells & whistles.
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