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Artist: STAR INDUSTRY (@)
Title: VELVET
Format: CD
Label: PURPLE MOON RECORDS (@)
"Velvet" is an album oriented on a gothic rock/darkwave style, with metal influences, in the vein of late Tiamat and Moonspell.Some good melodies created by the keyboards offer some pretty cues, but the hard guitar riffing is too much expected and in it's totality this belgian band unfortunately don't convince. The songs structure remains always bounded to old schemes, denoting a lack of personality and a poverty of ideas. Moreover, Star Industry spoil the Roxette's best hits "The look", with a terrible cover.
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Artist: Chandeen
Title: Bikes And Pyramids
Format: CD
Label: Kalinkaland Records
Distributor: Projekt Records
Another great little group brought to my attention by Sam Rosenthal of Projekt......... To me, ethereal and pop are strange bedfellows,given ethereal's moodiness and pop's liveliness. La Floa Maldita hit it with a rare perfection,and Rhea's French-tinged vocals are still a standard in all of ethereal (the language of love never sounded as good as when it came from her). This is a little different but just as good of a benchmark. Armed back to back with two amazing vocalists,Antje Schulz and Stephanie Harich, this CD is a tour de force of ethereal pop pure,simple,and elegant all at once. The first song and single "My World Depends On You" is perfect soundtrack material to some Euro romance film set in the summertime. Slow and driving,and doubled up with two vocal layers on the chorus, it is something to behold, even for staunch pop-doubters like me. "Pink" opens up with a kind of western guitar roll, of course played very slow before giving way to the atmosphere laying underneath and letting the German vocals roll out. And if you have a friend that says "Oh German isn't sexy at all" point them to Chandeen. This is the sexiest I have EVER heard it,and backs up my point that it is a gorgeous language to know (hehe alles wir weisse das)! "Days In Time" is another atmospheric guitar track, and the vocal work of Stephanie will melt your heart in her soft vocal trance. The breathy style of ethereal vocals never sounded better except for "Heute Nacht". "Walking" has a poppy,Portishead type rhythm drum line on top of pop-laden vocals and bounce. The contrast of the poppy Trip-hop drum line and the pop vocals play quite nicely, making it the highlight behind "Heute Nacht". "Heute Nacht", meaning Tonight for all the nonGerman speakers out there, is the highlight of the CD. Sensual as hell, German has never oozed such sexiness before (well,except for Franka Potente! But we're talking musically!) and this is the ultimate proof it can give even French a run for it's money! Just pop on this track and get ready to make some babies,garaunteed! Even if you don't understand what they are saying,the vocals and words are so sensual it won't even matter. It's the song R&B wish it could make. And if you do understand the German, you'll understand the mood of pure sensuality,just let it flow over you. "Apples and Oranges" is the pop hit that US radio would be too idiotic and cooperate to appreciate or allow to be a hit. It's a cover of an old Pink Floyd gem from the Syd Barrett era,given a whole new twist. I could bounce and skip along in the park on a sunny day to this little ditty. It's such a guilty pleasure!Overall, no filler in this whole CD at all. Each track compliments one another,and the vocals are simply some of the best in the business. This band is only rivaled by Machine In The Garden and La Floa Maldita (whatever happened to them?!?) in my mind. And plus some goodie bonus material I will let you see for yourself! Definitely give this band a try,and I garauntee you won't regret it. Even my Britpop-loving best friend was aching to get her hands on this CD. So pop it on and get ready to make some babies,as she says! Rating: Why even bother? Some things speak for themselves, so I'll let it talk for itself ;).PS: The two singers are also some of the best lookers in the business. Bist wir so schon damme!
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Artist: GOLDPEOPLE
Title: Music Don't Stop
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Jive Records
A perfect single composed by one electropop genius which in the past was into basilar bands such as Human League and Heaven 17. We're talking about Mr. Glenn Gregory which with Goldpeople composed this awesome hit! I've got no idea who the other members are or what they're going to do but the single contains seven versions of the track and everyone is awesome. This song had put a spell on me, I can't stop singing along with it! If you want to pass some quality time with your friends here are the lyrics. They should be right but I transcribed it while I was listening to it and I apologize if I did some mistakes, you know, I'm always a foreign... "Sometimes in my mind good times feel so far away but the sunrise in your eyes helps me make it through the day. Just when I think that I had enough love it comes taking me even higher. That's when I say I don't wanna stop. Let the music play this higher. Music don't stop". :)
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Artist: BIRKE / LEYKAM / PANASENKO
Title: Act On Impulse
Format: CD
Label: Frank Mark Arts (@)
ACT ON IMPULSE is the first common release by Martin Birke (Casualty Park), Daniel Panasenko (Sandbox Trio) and Roman Leykam. Soon after putting this CD into my CD player a couple of names and album titles came into my mind: Rain Tree Crow and their album and David Sylvian / Fripp album titled "The First Day". I know that thinking about these two albums the first thing you could remind is the deep voice of David Sylvian and in this is a different case because all the tracks are instrumentals (only "Uninvited Guest" has got some vocal parts) but what made me think about those musicians is the similar approach to sound and the particular way of playing instruments. ACT ON IMPULSE is a great CD full of pathos and great atmospheres. The thirteen tracks have been composed between 1999 and 2002 without pre-rehearsals and the tracks have been recorded by improvising (I think that this is the main explanation of why the musicians chose this album's title). Influences of Sandbox Trio merge with the unusual self-willed e-guitars by Roman Leykam, partly rhythmic, partly calm, hypnotic as well as bizarre ambient landscapes and the effect is something you won’t expect because there are no weak moments or meaningless arty experimentalism. If you love these sounds give a try to this album, you won’t be disappointed.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Morgan-Arrakis
Format: CD
Label: Lotek (@)
I'm kinda weird on this one,given it's techno-house. If it's on the dancefloor and it's reasonably good I'll dance,but given that I listen to this at home just relaxing it doesn't make too much sense to me. Straight,tried and true house music that bored me at home but walking home from the Madison Street Station in downtown Chicago,it was great. It's more energy music which I had to situate myself to. Not really at all into techno-house,but it's pretty nice regardless. It's not AK1200 but hey you can't ask for everything. Rating:6.
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