Music Reviews



Artist: Echoes In The Dark
Title: Finally
Format: Tape
Label: Electronique Music Factory REcords
Distributor: Electronique Music Factory REcords
This is a project from ChainDLK member Donovan Tate, who was nice enough to send me a copy of his two tapes. The toting of combining Depeche Mode and Anything Box makes sense but to me the first track "Drive" reminds me of some of Clan Of Xymox’s older stuff, with the bassy reverb and slow drumline and synth following behind. As in other words, kinda dark but not overpowering the dreamy side of it. The second track, "Everything’s Blue" has a kind of trip hop side to the drums and a dreamy as hell vocalist (Demetra Tate), sounding half like Sade and half like the girl from Portishead a bit. I also like the woodwind effects put in the middle of the track as well (I may be wrong but I think it’s a synthesized recorder flute). Track 3," Echoes In The Dark Theme" (oh how I fucking hate band themes! KMFDM drove me nuts with that shit of yelling out their name again and again) is actually pretty good, kind of along the lines of older Xymox again, and that dreamy vocalist again at work. "Technology" brings up the Kraftwerkian vibe up with a touch of abstract elecro-trance, and the simple verse of "technology" looping. Then near the end breaks into a darker ambient piece, with the added atmosphere of echoed vocals looming overhead. "Feel" does bring that Anything Box feel that Donovan was telling me about too! Minus the sugary part of AB, though. That was AB’s charm but also it’s curse, it made me wonder if they had testicles or not! I love that group though and this comes very close to them. Only thing harming this tape is underproduction , but since they are an up and coming band, this is understandable. Given time and a better production slate their sound can reach a whole new potential. And their diversity is quite healthy too. And Demetra’s vocals are great too, just needs more songs that show off more vocal range, which will come. Rating:10
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Artist: Sky City (Jamie Myerson) (@)
Title: Going... Gone
Format: CD
Label: Sound Gizmo Audio (@)
Distributor: Rykodisc
God, I have listened to this CD at least 5 times already and I still haven't crunched out a review... I like this CD so much that I keep listening to it with pleasure forgetting about what I should be doing, so here I am, playing it for the sixth time trying to get my thoughts together to make sure you understand the reason why you should let yourself be transported by this CD too. Originally from New Jersey, Jamie Myerson was a drummer and exported his knowledge to (or should I say imported into?) the computer to apply it to the practice of slicing and dicing and re-arranging his killer beats. After several 12"es on UK d'n'b 4 Hero member Dego's label Reinforced Records (whom he met ten years earlier in Philadelphia at 611 Records) and several records on Belgian Crammed Discs and New York City's Sm:)e, Jamie Myerson went back to Philadelphia, where it all started, to sign a deal with Ovum and record his ambitious and multi-style "The Listen Project". Eventually he went back to the big capital of groovy electronic lounge music, New York City (Brooklyn/Queens to be precise), where Sound Gizmo Audio picked him up to release their last but one "Lift Me Up" and of course "Going... Gone", which is an inspired and, according to Sound Gizmo, «moodier, more sweeping and deeper in sound» record. Personally I am quite in love with "Going... Gone" precisely because it keeps some of the multi-faceted and cross-style dynamism of "The Listen Project" as well as some of the more uncompromising rhythmical drives of "Lift Me Up". You'll get to hear the "classical" drum'n'bass sound of NYC's club sound (think Prohibited Beatz at Shine) on songs like "Nowhere to be Found" or more Portishead trip-hop ballads on songs like "That's How Much I Love You" and "Walk Alone" (including the characteristic chill out lounge female vocals by Ebba Forsberg) or "Love Can't Fail" and "Falling Down Again" (whose male vocals are by David Poe) or even a more ambient-trance electronica sound on songs like the title track, "Crater" or "See the Lights". Among other cool things about this record, Jamie also took the photo which makes the front cover, a beautiful night picture of a sun dawn and a gorgeous sky going from dark/bright blue to yellow/orange.Album will be in stores March 1st so you have to time make sure nobody gets there before you do!
Artist: ENVY IS BLIND (@)
Title: THE EYES OF TIME'S CONCEPTION
Format: CD
ENVY IS BLIND (aka Mike Poggenburg) has finally dropped its very first release, a six song ep called "The Eyes Of Time's Conception". EIB stands along side with Frontline Assembly, Skinny Puppy & other industrial acts, but have his own unique noise harsh-filled sound. The disc kicks off with "Synthetic Evolution", an aggressive hard-floor dance track with a dark ebm beat. This is the best song that stands the album out and could be the first single and be played at all the underground clubs and radio stations. "Requiem" follows next, which is dedicated to the event that happened after the September 11th incident. There's a remix of the song called "Requiem (Little Tin Box's Eyesore)", which you can hear and download on mp3.com. You'll hear samples of Bush, McCain & others discussing the issue on the track. Definitely, it have an industrial/EBM feel too. On "Co-Existence", a vocoder is used instead of a human voice and also have a sample of voice talking. ENVY IS BLIND brings out the cold and mean definition of sound from machines with soundtrack themes, atmospheric surroundings and mature club/dance feel. Buy the cd, you won't be disappointed or check out some mp3's at www.mp3.com/envyisblind
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Artist: ABORYM
Title: With no human intervention
Format: CD
Label: Code 666 (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Aborym are back with 13 tracks (+ intro) for 65' of sheer holocaust. This cd is crazy, really. "Fire walk with us" was a great work, but this goes far beyond that and almost makes it sound "normal" or "controlled". Kudos to Aborym because they've really pushed their sound to its limits. Every characteristic of their technology-soaked black metal has been, like, driven out of control - the result is an unholy beast of flesh and damaged circuits. You'll probably have to listen to the cd for a lot of times (and you'll do that with pleasure) to make out melodies, song structure, etc. and understand there are a lot of patterns, layers and nuances... because the first time you'll be just blown away by a storm of white noise! Aborym bring back the brutality of primitive black metal and the fury and hilarious violence of raw grindcore (listen to "U. V. Impaler") to mix them with heavy doses of digital mayhem: inhuman drum programmings evolving into techno or electro/EBM beats or even some breakbeat (listen to the frightening interlude "Does not compute", merging drum'n'bass and malfunctioning PC sounds... scary!), all fused with a magma of solemn metallic violence. I'm personally not keen on metal/electronic crossovers because normally they just don't work - not here, where the fusion is close to perfection. Tracks are complex, never boring or repetitive, but at the same time they never renounce aggressiveness and dementia. The satanism/technology concept is all over, from layout to titles like "Humechanics-virus", "Digital goat masque", "Automatik rave'olution Satan"... you get the picture. Crazy. I'll just mention quickly the theory of guest contributions from members of DiabolicuM, Anaal Nathrakh, Void/OCD, Thorns, Emperor, and Carpathian Forest, and the cd-rom tracks featuring bonus music and the video of the title track (which unfortunately I haven't been able to watch yet).
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Artist: CANAAN
Title: A calling to weakness
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
New work by the Italian masters of spleen, one of the really few dark acts I can really appreciate... "A calling to weakness" has been defined by Eibon itself as their heaviest work, but I actually think it's a bit (just a bit) "lighter" than "Brand New Babylon", and quite close to Weltschmerz's "Capitale de la Douleur" (which is not that strange since they share Mauro's guitar abilities). "Prayer for nothing", "Everything you say", "Un ultimo patetico addio" are an excellent documentation of the band's sound, a bastard son of romantic dark-wave ("Disintegration"-era Cure, Diaframma, Le Masque) and a harder driving power adding a solid backbone to their sad melodies - but miles away from gaudy goth-metal or such horrors. 17 tracks and more than 70' of music which I heartily recommend you if you're into 1st class dark music. Excellent layout based on abstract figures in blood-red on cold metallic grey - which is a perfect representation of Canaan's sound, indeed.
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