Music Reviews



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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Artist: Steve Roach & Jeffrey Fayman
Title: Trance Spirits
Format: CD
Label: Projekt Records
Distributor: Projekt Records
In some odd way, think of Juno Reactor's "Shango" without the techno dancehall beats,and more emphasis on the trance elements and organic drumming, conjuring images of jungles and gliding across shadowy night cliffs. Or dancing with the Indians in some ancient nocturnal rite now forgotten in these times of technology and strip malls. While not totally revolutionary as the promos might say, as it is goa-trance and not a new genre, it is quite a feast for those into organic drumming. The beats are danceable but for some reason I don't feel like dancing to them so much as I do absorbing them into my mind. And the atmospheres to boot definitely give it that cryptic atmosphere aforementioned above. I'm not quite sure but I wouldn't be surprised if they did a Sepultura and got real tribal drummer(s) in here, which may be the case with our friend Momodou Kah,who provides the driving rhythms therein. And also the ubiquitous Robert Fripp of King Crimson fame is on here, providing his always interesting guitar lines. The guy seems alot more active in his older days than in King Crimson's prime, ever notice? I never heard all too much of their work, but I think it's on my list now...The title track is one of my favorites on here with it's sparse ambient sounds, and "Taking Flight" as well. "Offspring" also has a nice little way of linking together sounds into a nice little symphony, as Roach is known to do. I love the noise effect when it rises up! So I reccomend this for fans more into organic music,goa and African percusion, and ambient styles. It may not be so much for the dancefloor as it is for the mind, but hey give it a shot, I'm sure alot could dance to this given the right mood. I'll try to sometime, and look goofy with my little rave dancing to it. You watch some basement DJ is garaunteed to make a club remix of this stuff! Rating: 9. Also recommended is Juno Reactor's "Shango" and anything of their's for that matter!
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Artist: KABAL (@)
Title: Alone
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records
Co-released by Amon/Never Known's AFE and Leeza's Moonfear (web.tiscali.it/leeza), Kabal's cd-r is a very interesting work which manages to keep your attention focused despite being very long (13 tracks, 70 minutes). Actually, all tracks - even the apparently more minimal and repetitive ones - show great taste in assembling layers of rhythms and melodies and subtly varying the patterns before they become redundant. Kabal seems to prefer nocturnal, slightly obsessive atmospheres, in a classy electronica/IDM which reminded me of Autechre, Future Sound of London and A034 The Insider, another Milanese musician contiguous to Kabal's genre... while never stepping in paranoid fields, and often taking a breath with more relaxed tracks like "Atrial 222" or "Free Bong - Cyhexatin mix", which even reminded me of Kraftwerk due to its nostalgic synth melodies... Excellent layout based on almost abstract photos of crashed cars and metal rubbish.
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