Music Reviews



Mar 20 2003
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Artist: Displacer (@)
Title: Moon_Phase
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
M-Tronic is know for the quality of their releases and with Mlada Fronta and Mimetic it accustomed us to a certain signature sound made of great electro-industrial music. That signature can be found in this record as well but along with a new element and powerful that I had never before heard in a M-Tronic release and that I warmly welcome as a great addition to the roster of sonorities the label deals with. Basically there is a whole lotta more ambient to it, pumping with a definite UK heartbeat. If you like Warp stuff in the vein of great artists such as Autechre or Aphex Twin you'll be very pleased with this, I know I am, and it won't come as no surprise to know that Mute actually licensed one of their titles. Therefore expect dense atmospheres made of harsh ambient-electro rhythmical patterns, layers of dark-industrial soundscapes, fast pace sequences of hi tech sounds, fast and slow beats. It's a real shame that my CD was fucked half way through and I couldn't really enjoy it all because it is a stunning work."Moon_Phase" was mastered (and in part even re-mixed) by Mike Wells (Gridlock) in San Fran and also contains remixes of Beefcake and Polish Ch District.Displacer is yet another Canadian project (these Canadians!!! ...not only do they have politicians who are not afraid to speak up, which is great, but they also have plenty of electronic musicians, mostly in the cities of Montreal and Toronto, where this guy's from), by young web-designer, visual artist and musician Mike Morton. Definitely keep an eye on him because his first steps in the musical world sure are very promising.
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anymore
Artist: VEHEMENCE 6.2 (@)
Title: Skleros (fourth edition)
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Vehemence 6.2 is a particular project. If you visit their website you won't find news about the guy behind that name, maybe the music is the most important thing. Words are useless and listening to SKLEROS 4th edition you can feel different sensations. Most of the tracks are short and by the way they are composed you don't have time to understand them and at the same time you're fashinated by them all. It's like is a living sequence that grows constantly and changes every minute. Here industrial music meets experimentation alternating noises, hisses, piano, slowed samples and various rhythms. All the tracks play with rough sounds being capable of finding their warmth. Another peculiar thing is that tracks from eighteen to sixty six are composed by ten seconds of silence, tracks sixty six is a minute and half obscure track and angain, silence, until the last track numbered eighty three. While listening to this "empty" tracks, you'll release that silence ins't meaningless. Vehemence 6.2 is the personal project of Kevin Schlueter a guy coming from O' Fallon, Mo, USA I haven't got any other news about him, I only know that he formed his own label called Leukos Industries and if you are curious enough to listen his music, he's sending out his CD for free. Write him to know how. P.s. Kevin also sent me a demo with five new tracks and I assure you that if you love any type of dark sound, he's the man for you. The tracks are different from his previous ones, there's a different approach to sound or maybe he used only different sounds and rhythms but the result is always good... :)
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anymore
Artist: Sing Sing
Title: Joy Of Sing Sing
Format: CD
Label: Manifesto Records
Distributor: Manifesto Records
Ok forget about Lush... .ummmmmm ok don’t forget about Lush, as they were the first ethereal band for me, and their music still wraps spells on me. But just keep it out of mind when listening to this. Never mind the ads and big neon signs in the store pointing at the CD "This has Emma Anderson From Lush!!", as this is something a good deal different, carrying Emma’s vision to somewhere completely different and divine. For one, Emma is on the sidelines on this one, orchestrating the music more instead of singing, leaving that to the sweet vocals of Lisa O’Niel, whose vocals remind me a bit of a better produced and versed Cranes or even the long missed and underrated Shallow. Even hardened non-pop fans will find her vocals as guiltily pleasurable as fat free feta cheese! And both work together divinely. Rather than the often driven music of Lush, this one is far more structured, offering Moog lines and even trumpets on the track "Far Away From Love". This CD also dabbles in hip hop beats on "I’ll Be" and back to pure ethereal pop goodness of yore with "Feels Like Summer". The video for it included with the domestic CD is quite nice, showing a myriad of scenes from what would seem like Cadeques, Spain or something like that. Also, on a side note, from the video Emma has gotten both more talented and beautiful with age, showing a torch in the world of often fading ethereal pop artists who come and go. And Lisa is quite beautiful herself, as well as very, very talented at the same time. Definitely recommended for fans of The Cranes, Chandeen and ethereal pop altogether, and for just sheerly gorgeous music in general. If you buy it expecting another Lush, you may just find that you’ve bumped into something different and in ways better. Away from Emma’s more bouncy energy with Lush comes a project that shows the even more mature side from one of music’s finest talents, as well as a welcome newcomer who is sure to grow and glow as time goes on. Rating: 10
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anymore
Artist: Militia (@)
Title: Eco-Anarchic Manifesto
Format: CD
Label: Tactical Recordings + Malignant Records (@)
After the completion of "the Statement Trilogy" the statement wasn't actually been clearly made yet, so this release serves that purpose, also providing you with a live recording of the band's performance at Deadly Actions IV festival on November 3rd 2000 in Lille (France). The "Eco-Anarchic Manifesto" comes as a nice A5-sized book made of heavy paper with a black cardboard front and read cover. Like the band Militia and their relation to music, this release is more of a political one than a musical one. The CD is meant to accompany the reading of the eight chapters of the manifesto. In 50 pages Militia explains what eco-anarchism is, why the respect of nature and being in balance with the environment is so important, how its society can be structured, co-managed and defended and how it is designed to educate its peoples and provide for the community. The book itself is a very interesting reading. Not too long, not too short and straight to the point. While on stage Militia is banging and hammering their way through the set of tribal and post-war-like percussive mayhem, Militia's critical views of other anarchist movements reflect in the book and prove their point with a well thought-out plan and with intelligent arguments. It sports a more practical approach, which certainly makes it more appreciable, and does not oversee important aspects of the issue or let go to the usual tempting but unrealistic anarchic utopia. Of course, even though communes built in similar manners already exist around the world, we will never live to see the society envisioned by this manifesto to be a large scale one because too many variables are left up to the faith in people in the fact that they actually will care and will respect each other. On the other hand we cannot expect the manifesto to have all the answers. So, while disturbing and visuals-evoking background sounds, experimental electronic noise and words of change come out of my capitalist stereo system, in spite of the manifesto's more realistic and practicable ideas, plainly put, it is ambitious and a little out of touch with the reality at hands, but even more so, this is a very good example of people thinking globally and acting locally, and if only there were more people like Militia the world would be a better place (excuse the rhetorics) and we would be a lot closer to the common goal.
Artist: Militia (@)
Title: The Black Flag Hoisted
Format: CD
Label: Tactical Recordings (@)
If you are sick of all these bands that call themselves "industrial" without having a clue about where the term comes from, what the term stands for, what the true original industrial sound was and what message it carried along, then you wanna check out Militia (what a simply great name that is, by the way). The Belgian collective (5 players + audio engineer + visual crew) will let you go back to the roots of industrial with their politically-loaded thought-provoking blend of self-built percussive instruments, murky rumbling and droning electronics, screaming anarchist propaganda lyrics, revived historical audio documents, samples of rallies and court interviews and revolutions, didgeridoo improvisations, occasional standard drum set parts, electrical tension and other random noises. If you are still reading then I could probably avoid comparing Militia to any of the historical industrial bands, but since lots of people are confused about what industrial really is (or originally was) I should maybe mention that SPK, Throbbing Gristle, Test Dept, Einsturzende and maybe a little bit Laibach have probably all influenced Militia to some extent."The Black Flag Hoisted" is the third release in the Militia Statement Trilogy. Following their 3xLP set "New European Order" and a 2CD box called "Nature Revealed" (which was also a performance in some Belgium theaters/museums), this new release comes in a spectacular packaging, compliments of Militia's graphical crew and of German Tactical recordings, who's been taking care of business (a word I should probably not use in conjunction with Militia ;-)) since the early days. This amazing release comes to you in a big A4-shaped strictly black un-folding hard-paper package with pictures of anarchists and notes referring to the Animal Liberation Front (the A.L.F. group is an international network of animal activists that break into vivisection laboratories to free puppies, cats and other animals from cruel, un-human and un-scientific experiments made for the sake of money), the Extreme Left Party Rostock and the pictured anarchists and philosophers Bakunin, Durutti, Kropotkin and Proudhon. But that's not all! Besides the two CDs (in simple cardboard sleeves) there is also a poster with more texts and credits on the back and a real anarchic fabric flag! Just plain delicious!Another important thing to mention is that this double-CD also features guests and collaborations including Militia's close friend Mike R.Dando (aka Con-Dom) from the UK, Azure Mortal, Rudi Pinsaert, Nas Dom / Slomsek Choir (all from Belgium), Mark Kerkhofs and Cor Gout / Trespassers W (from the Netherlands), Bastard Noise and Wastematrix (from the US), IDPA (from Germany) and Robert Fic from the Tsjech Republic.
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