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Artist: Behind The Scenes
Title: Homeless
Format: CD
Label: Bloodline


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Behind The Scenes' 2000 release Homeless is Gothic Rock like I haven't heard in quite some time. Upon first impression you get solid rock-n-roll riffs and bass line with just enough electronic ambience to give it body but not to overrun the overall rock feel of it. Deep and dark like Sisters of Mercy with 'spidery' lead vocal somewhat reminiscent of Peter Murphy but with a smoother and more melodious style befitting of genre mainstays Clan of Xymox. With that being said - what else is there?
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Russian laptop artist Coh (which means "sleep" in Ivan Pavlov's native language) became a name know to the scenes with his 1998 release on Carsten Nicolai's Raster Noton records. Throughout the years he did pretty much stick to Raster, to Austrian Mego records and to Idea records, plus a couple of detours, among which a collaboration with two Coil members that came out on Coil's label Eskaton. Sleepy is one thing Ivan and his electronic-noise music is not and makes you not. His laptop drives out warm, textured, wrapping and atmospheric electronics. Noise is pumping throughout the entire and only track of this almost fourty minutes long CD but it is not fiercely scratching your insides, like some noise records do, or unconsciously and caninely caressing the top shelf of your hearing capabilities, like other glitch music records do. In this "Mort Aux Vaches" (recorded in 1999 for his Paradiso, Amsterdam, live set and issued with a wood-looking plastic wrap-around cover) Ivan sets noise in motion and keeps it rolling under the surface serving as a floor of wilderness, above the surface as a reminder of the power that lies beneath or in the middle of it all as the natural origin of all sonic creations and of all throbbing rhythmics. Overall murky but raw and Sevenish I highly recommend this record for those who enjoy creative laptop artists and can appreciate the departure from the usual improvised buzzing, hissing, glitching material and the approach of rather well thought out and designed musical structures where electronics teams up with all of the above to reach for a higher level...
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Morvern Callar
Format: CD
Label: Warp
This is not your average Warp release, so don't expect complex futuristic electronic textures or stuff like that, and that's mainly because it is a soundtrack to the new film from independent director Lynne Ramsay (Cannes' aficionados might remember Prix du Jury winners "Small Deaths" and "Gasman" or internationally acclaimed "Ratcatcher"). It's a little awkward to dive into a movie soundtrack when you haven't seen the movie, especially when, like in this very case, the music is complementary to the visuals. Every song is an integral part of the film that enhances the sensory experience of the scene you are currently looking at. The movie (from an adaption of an Alan Warner novel) tells the story of Morvern Callar (interpreted by Samantha Morton), a woman who looks for life and excitement in the club scene but then drifts away from that in search for more and in doing so travels from Scotland to Spain. Trips and traps are accompanied by music from mainly the seventies and the nineties (with a couple of pieces from the decade in between). Experimental, introspective, surreal, flowery and dark at the same times, the fourteen compositions give you an idea of the variety of emotions the film carries with it... As I said earlier, expect less electronics and more experimental wave approach, with a line up that includes Can, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Stereolab, The Velvet Underground, Broadcast, Gamelan Drumming, Holger Czukay, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood and Ween.The musical voyage is appealing and what I read about it sounds interesting, so be on the lookout for this film (let's hope that the IFC Independent Movie Channel will soon show this fine European production on the other side of the ocean). The movie was released two days ago, on the 1st of November, and Warp's soundtrack CD will be released tomorrow, November, the 4th. For more info about the movie go to www.allianceatlantisfilms.com
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Artist: CROWHEAD (@)
Title: Frozen
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Dist.
Crowhead's Jo-I Slangvold and Rym after a couple of years of work and after releasing some tracks on the Tatra compilation "Sex Goth & Electronics" and on their "Love Letter" demo CD, are releasing their debut album FROZEN conquering all the dark hearts with their melancholic but powerful tunes.The duo worked together also in Shadow Dancers, a goth metal band active in the '90s and the eleven tracks of this album for sure recall goth and metal atmospheres but the album remain a sort of hybrid which is capable to create something really cool. What I mean is that Crowhead took all the good and energetic aspects of their loved genres just to create a special blend really powerful and catchy. It could be enough to listen to the second album's track titled "Mad Man" to fall in love with this sound. Another thing which makes of this a special album is the use of the vocals, because the voice is melodic, clear and evocative without being pathetic. Another good thing is how they use electronic instruments: even if guitars and drums are the main thing the band's sound is focusing on, synths are used to underline melodic moments. Special guests of this album are: Rico Darum (ex-APOPTYGMA BERZERK), Ted "Superdead" Skogmann (ex-APOPTYGMA BERZERK) which helped producing the album and remixing the opening track along with Sebastian of ICON OF COIL who remixed "The Soul Is In The Dark Side".
Artist: Chiasm (@)
Title: Disorder
Format: CD
Label: COP International
There's an intangible quality, a certain sense of coherence,that usually accompanies a true solo album. Chiasm's debut album "Disorder" is a solo work in the strictest sense of the term, and it shows. The ghost haunting a machine vibe of this album make for a unique and darkly enjoyable experience.With vocals alternately floating, crooning or hissing alongside the distinctly mechanical mixture of electronic drums, pulsing synths and occasional dialogue sample this is one of those banshee albums that sucks you in and won't let go until it ends."Cold" adds a touch of piano to the mix and manages to stalk, entrance and sadden all in the same five minutes.The more drum intensive "Fight" takes up the bpm count a bit and the sense of urgency with it."Chiasm 5.0 " and "Isolated" both have menacing enough rhythms to appropriately augment their snarled tales of abandonment.Distance and separation, be it her trying to distance herself (I will remain alone this time/until I know for sure what's mine), or her being distanced from others (have no choice but be isolated/struggling/left alone/apart/pushed aside/made segregated/struggling/left alone/apart), is very much a reoccurring theme here.It does work very well with the disorienting nature of the music though.The album closing "Someone" stands apart from the rest and is a very effective piece in spite of itself seeing as singing over seven minutes of the same glitchy beat doesn't sound too great in theory.The bold nakedness of it all pulls it off in spades though.Ms. Rohn's top flight set of pipes doesn't exactly hurt things either, in fact a lot of this material really couldn't be pulled off by someone with a lesser vocal range.Might as well write to your strengths I suppose.Not much really to nit-pick here,it's actually kind of scary when you consider that this is self-produced and only her first,what may come with experience and more toys to play with.
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