Music Reviews



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Artist: Lowy/Javelin
Title: Broken Surface
Format: CD
Label: Kalinkaland
Distributor: Projekt Records
Löwy/Javelin-Broken Surface

Yet another brilliant project from Harald Löwy, mastermind behind Chandeen, quite possibly the only contender’s to La Floa Maldita’s dream-pop throne. This CD also features the ex-singer of Moskwa TV (I dunno who that it though so your guess is as good as mine), painting out an image of a man from Europe and his maiden trip through the super city we call New York City. The CD mixes very gentle piano, trip hop, and a quiet, rainy day sense of pop, with a very Kerouac style of lyric writing and observation. This is the best CD for walking through the city streets on a rainy day, the kind of music I picture in a city film at parts where the characters realize the pivotal point of the film... ... ... or "Great Expectations" (more the modern film than the Dicken’s novel itself). Gentle, never the least bit overpowering, and with that controlled, melancholy atmosphere that seemingly only Harald can bring to the table. And with Javelin’s tongue in cheek lyrics and charismatic singing, it all brings a very unique atmosphere, painting at last a portrait of the city that never sleeps if one takes 9-11 out of the picture and looks at it from it’s whole view. And even a couple of gorgeous dance tracks in the end for the clubbers out there, but done with the same exact emotion that is Harald’s stamp of approval, bringing to mind Cleen’s "Second Path" (we can only hope that he’ll join forces with Daniel Myer one day!).
Rating:10. Also recommended are Chandeen, of course, and Massive Attack, whose work is a bit similar to this. Not to mention brilliant.
Artist: Old Man's Child
Title: In Defiance Of Existence
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
OLD MAN"S CHILDMost black metal bores the living shit out of me, hindered by the same things that bring death metal down: poor production, horrible grunts, players playing faster than they can keep up with and overall a Manowar sense of cheesiness. But every now and then comes ones that do get it right and pack some real musicianship with them. Tossing on the table cards like folk, industrial-gothic and some nicely laced classical, this is one of the few that does it right. They are one equal part metal and equal part all of those, much like their Portuguese pals to the west, Moonspell (though no body beats Moonspell’s daring in the metal scene in my book!). Even at the most brutal the elements of a very Das Ich type sound carry along side it, bringing to mind Das Ich’s run with Atrocity. And the presence of robotic vocals helps too as well. Brutality and divine classical dance together once again, bringing a sense of variety most black and death metal bands just talk about for ads. A band that will both stomp your ass while conducting symphonies at the same time! Rating:10Also recommended of course is anything from Emperor, Samael and Nile, who all three brought black metal from it’s grave so to speak and added something beyond the corny ass Mayhem formula. Not to mention the super genius of Arcturus, who takes the classical, ambient and gothic orchestral element to the extreme.
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Artist: Hanin Elias
Title: No Games No Fun
Format: CD
Label: Fatal Recordings (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Even though many might think that new album by Atari Teenage Riot founding member and singer Hanin Elias is one of those crossing the fine line that we try to keep drawing around the bunch of genres we deal with at Chain D.L.K., "No Games No Fun" manages to keep a foot on our side of the line all the way from the first to the last of these 13 tracks... What it is, it's a songwriting built with Brit noise-pop in mind but played on electronic instrumentation and with musicians that are most definitely not unfamiliar to our "gray area". Hanin Elias shares the writing and production desk with Alex Hacke of the Neubauten (whose influence you can hear quite remarkably in the song he plays in), Merzbow (another unmistakable contribution), J. Mascis of the Dinosaur Jr, Can "Khan" Oral, Mario Mentrup, Philip Virus, C.H.I.F.F.R.E. and of course with her Atari-fellow musician Alec Empire. The eclectic feminist singer screams, sings and speaks her direct, straight-in-your-face and political lyrics on top of the tracks, most of whom are in collaboration with the german collective C.H.I.F.F.R.E.. Energic and electrified womanliness «beyond shewolf romanticis, girlie super-numerarism and business battle dress». Her second album will be released on Fatal Recordings, initially a sub-label of London's Digital Hardcore Recordings, now indiependently relaunched in Berlin by Hanin. Fatal's anti-male-domination attitude go well along with Hanin's anthems such us "You Suck", "Rockets Against Stones", "No Games No Fun". If you are into women kicking ass, if you are into Teenage Riot, if you are into experimental distorted space-core, if you are into brutal brit-tronica or new millennium rrriot-grrl underground post-punk, check this out cause you might just have a blast! Hanin Elias' super-dope she-rock-electronik-distort-experimental-core second album will hit the street on March 11th!
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Artist: Negative Format (@)
Title: Cipher Method
Format: CD
Label: Sector 9 Studios (@)
Negative Format are ready for us with a new eleven tracker that once more shows their great ability in creating electronic techno music. Personally I find "Cipher Method" to be superior to its predecessor. It's like if it kinda steps back to observe, it's a little more laid back but in a floating way. It is still pounding like a motherfuckin' Love Parade! It delivers well done electro-dance with a mittle-european flavor to it. The voices are treated, as we are used to, mainly through vocoding, distortion, phasing. The tracks have rich and consistent beats between 129 and a whopping 170 bpm ("Algorythm" introduces a great variation on NF's usual rhythmical material with a deep dubby bass line and almost true drum'n'bass grooves!) and the song structures are solid and coherent. There are several samples to be found (for example from Kevin Costner's latest movie "Dragonfly" in the song "Schema", as well as other Hollywood material) too. This record proves once more that they know how to evolve, they don't get stuck, they work on new sounds and are creative. Without such a rich palette and such a knowledgeable use of these sonorities they wouldn't stand the competition, instead they do. There's not much else to say, Negative Format always come through as a skilled techno-tronic act that has a lot to bring to the table and knows how to play its cards. You can bet they'll take the house if you give them a chance.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electroacoustic Music Vol. VIII
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Eurock
What better way to close the batch of new releases from Electroshock than with one of their "Electroacoustic Music" series compilation? It's time for the eight volume and it gets quite freaky and experimental on this one. The songs are mostly from the last couple of years by artists such as: Lisa Walker [Canada] and her underwater violin performance with whale sounds; Claire Laronde [France] and her crazy pitched and improvised chaotic piano playing; NY-based Milica Paranosic [Yugoslavia] (also member of D'Divaz) and her short four-compositions suite "Lulla" that portrays jazzy and vanguardish experimental work with a vivid folk heritage; Vivian Adelberg Rudow [US] and the circus-ish sounds of e-space-ri-mental galactic nowave; Jukka Ruohomaki [Finland] and the escalating four-part airy and windy ambient-trance "Necromancer Suite"; Robin Julian Heifetz [US] and the political improvisational experimental piece that symbolizes the tragic oppression brought upon the American Indians by the US government; Christopher Andrew Arrell [US] and his voice-only experiment based on triggered sampled parts of speech in different languages including Italian, German, French, English, Spanish and maybe more I didn't recognize; Diego Minciacchi [Italy] and his twelve and a half minutes long sophisticated sonic mosaic of found sounds, field recordings, modulating waveforms, voices and synthesized sounds; Gary Di Benedetto [US] and his experiment entitled "A Drop in the Bucket" uniquely based on the sound of a water drop repeatedly falling in a bucket for more than twelve minutes dynamically inserting differently pitched or different kind of drops samples and underlaying ambience noises; and Chaos As Shelter [Israel] (aka Vadim Gusin) and his "Death of Bellflower" song with prominent bell-sounding metallic sounds, oniric floor noises, low screeching disturbances etc. Another open window on the international variety of how electro-acoustic music is perceived and interpreted.
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