Music Reviews



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Artist: VVAA
Title: Nobody's Diary
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Let's start our story twenty one years ago, when a joung fellow named Vince Clarke decided to quit his previous band, Depeche Mode, to start a solo career. He read an ad on NME where a r'n'b singer named Alison Moyet was searchig for a blues band. He answered to that ad, which had nothing to do with his way of composing, but luckily enough the duo soon after did some smash hit singles like "Don't Go" or "Nobody's Diary" giving to the audience and to history two album "Upstairs At Eric's" and "You And Me Both" plus a bunch of singles. Twenty years after, the synthpop fame of the duo hasn't reduced. On this tribute compilation you can find nineteen versions of Yazoo songs. Every band gives its interpretation of the songs creating some gems. I liked a lot the Empire State Human, Ganymede, Vivid Suspance, The Agency, Cosmicity, Exhibition, Spray, Jimmy Harris versions and the particular Elevated Sins' "Winter Kills" which was sung like a '70s band. Do you remember the chorus Queen were used to do? Well, something like that. Really amazing for a synthpop track! Recommended also if you aren't a Yazoo's hard fan!
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Artist: Deine Lakaien
Title: White Lies
Format: CD
Label: Chrom Records (@)
Distributor: Public Propaganda
It's way too rare to hear a good experimental electronic/classical crossover, and I wish there were more of them out there. Alongside Das Ich, this is the fianl word that the two can perfectly mix together, and you can tell just by listening to anything of Deine Lakaien or Helium Vola (or in fact any of their projects) that the classicly trained Ernst Horn puts a lot of time and restraint into each of the songs, playing it note by note rather than just looping. And Alexander's vocals are tenor yet smooth,not becoming a cariacature like Pavoroti, and it's kinda sensual in a Barry White kinda way. You can tell he's also been put hard through the opera boot camp as well and it paid off well, not to mention almost 20 years in the business, and the poofiest and coolest hair in the business. I want hair like that for Christmas! "Wunderbar" is a nice slow number, laced with piano and Alexander's vocals smoothing them out even more. The weird twangs and organic drumming give the single "Generators" a weird dance vibe in a slow, warping way,showing they can definitely dance music with organization rather than 'boom chukka boom kick' like most do. "Kiss" is another great dance single choice, a little more upbeat this time around, and laced with a nice thick bass beat and classical piano and organ lines courtesy of Ernst Horn the mighty. "Lost" is nice and slow yet again, until the minimal,restrained chorus line bounces and pops about,flowing yet catching you by surprise nonetheless. And my favorite,and especially made for suckers of classical like me, "Fleeting", with it's gentle bass beats and violin solos,as teh title says,fleeting. Kind of reminds me of the last song on the movie "Iris" except with tenor vocals. The violin solo in the middle is worth the price of the CD alone,import or no, and should have been the single rather than "Generators". But the latter has more of a club feel, so I think that appropriates the choice. And for you into old school electro ala Chris and Cosey and Anything Box, we have "Hands White" and "Stupid". Whatever language that is on "Hands White" is I don't know.In short,if it weren't for the import prices, I would have damn well owned every Deine Lakaien under the sun. If you love classical,electro-pop,or tenor vocals (not to mention the poofy hair!), and have a few extra dollars for the import prices,then definitely put this on your list. Helium Vola is another great reccomendation as well, as well as Ernst Horn's solo projects. Hell any of their projects,actually. Rating: 10 :) Classical,baby! ooooohhhh yeah dig it!
Sep 18 2002
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Artist: CESIUM 137 (@)
Title: Regrets
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Tone Deaf (@)
This second Cesium 137's single has been released after their first album titled "Advance/Decay" and it represents a sort of celebration of what the band reached in such a short time. This new single contains four new versions of the main track, the album version and a beautiful new track titled "Bloodletter" which is a good example of energetic 80's ebm orientated track with catchy melodies and arrangements (the memorable riff and the synth bleeps will get you to dance without even noticing)... Of the remixed versions of "Regrets" I prefer the Yendri Mix (it's a shame I hadn't the opportunity to listen her new album yet!) because I like how her changed the melodic lines without twisting the song's structure. Instead the "Haujobb - The 1k Mix", "Kbn-Colony Of Zooids Mix" and the "Quiet Eye-Red Eye Mix" versions tend to dilate the track's structure basing themselves on the rhythmic impact: they are always interesting but you know how much I love good melodic and powerful songs. Along with the MCD you can also find a good video of the main track where you can see also the band playing in their own basement! ;)
Artist: Covenant
Title: Northern Light
Format: CD
Label: Ka2 Music/Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Public Propaganda
You hear it here first,the new Covenant almost a month before it even hits the streets here!Telling from this CD,I think Covenant got tired of the backlash it got from the constant clubplay,and people labeling them as a pop group,or even worse the dreaded "Future Pop" label. It seems they stripped away some of the danciness, and traded it for a more funky direction and more serious lyrics to go with the more minimal mood. There are only two kinds of Covenant fans: ones who've heard them on the dancefloor and those who've actually heard one of their CD's. The prior tend to label them as a dance group,just as they do VNV Nation,and forget their meaning completely. "Monochrome" kicks in with a slow ambient backdrop to set in Covenant's signature dance style slowed down significantly. The vocals style is kinda hip-hoppish a bit,firing rapid fire metaphors back and forth. "Calling all Ships to Port" is the club single,but again very slow and drizzled with more of a melancholy mode reminiscent of VNV Nation a bit. My favorite would have to be "Promethius", which has a nice minimal bass kick and very charismatic singing. "We Want Revolution" is like a trip back to the 70's funk era, with a Covenant tinge! Very interesting, kinda sounds a bit like an anthemic Outkast, a song that brings to my mind roller rinks and discos. Or call me weird, but remember Ci-Lo's "Closet Freak"? Yeah the resemblence is there!So in short this is alot closer to Kraftwerk than their "pop-star with dignity" image of "United States of Mind". You can dance to it, but I think alot of future poppers expecting another "United States...." will be disappointed. Those into their progress of sound and style go ahead and grab it October 8! Rating:9.
Sep 17 2002
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Artist: OverVoltage (@)
Title: Belaruzer
Format: CD
Label: DIS Productions (@)
Seven tracks for 50 minutes of beating industrial with harsh drum machine constructions. OverVoltage bet on songs built upon only rythmic compositons, sometimes entering on techno territories ("Transmitter"), but this means a limit for this cd.Often the song evolution is too much scholastic and little various, expecially in the first two tracks, "Kanci" and "Scheduling", where the drum march is so much fast as boring. Things get better with the syncopatic movements generated on the fifth track "Lodki", but the real top track of the album is "Belaruzer ver.b" with a interesting progress and an intelligent superimposition of sounds. With this track of eleven minutes OverVoltage show that they are able to create passages worthy of praise, but this is too much little to save this work from boredom.
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