Music Reviews



Artist: Intra-Venus (@)
Title: Irreverence
Format: CD
Label: Nightbreed (@)
Distributor: EFA
This is quite old but I wanna give it a quick review anyway, so bare with me. Ex-Suspiria member Mark Tansley and his pal Apollo, have released their new CD called "Irreverence", a powerful 12-track dancefloor-friendly electro-goth album with pounding industrial-dance hammerings, techno/trance beatz, well-done synth lines and background textures, treated vocals and more in that direction...
If you like to dance your ass of to strong goth/indus peaking on german ebm then give this a try...
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Artist: Tagismar (@)
Title: ...oder der (alp-) Traum, einmal anders zu sein
Format: CD
Label: Sounds of Delight (@)
Distributor: Triton
German Sounds of Delight (branch of KM Sounds) continue with their tradition to release goth music, and this time its mixed with fast industrial/ebm beats with nice bass drums, bombastic goth sounds and sharp electric guitar playing power-chords with a cheap distortion pedal. Violins (traditional playing and pizzicato) are also to be found. The particular thing about this record I think are the male vocals, that range from low gothic and theatrical vocals to distorted ebm-style parts to almost black-metal screams that remind of Funeral Oration's vocalist Nick Curri. Obviously there are a lot of choruses, both male and female playing nice harmonies together. Lyrics are in german and english.
If you ask me this band has potential but should renew their sound library and detach from certain schemes...
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Artist: Lambert (@)
Title: Essential
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
German Spheric Music recording label creator Lambert Ringlage is a dedicated executive producer and musician who's been devoted to certain types of space music for a long time. His interest, passion and business is not only about other people's music, in fact he also plays under the moniker of Lambert and has been around for ages. "Essential" seems to be a collection of old "essential" material by him (I wish he'd send some additional info/bio when he mails promos!) spanning between 1991 and 2000, but I don't know much more... Two previously unreleased tracks are also included. When listening initially (before reading the booklet's notes) I thought the music was quite "retro'" at times... I thought I was getting sick of too many old fashioned bands still playing the same kind of music after decades. But then fortunately I realized that this was indeed older material and I started listening under a different light, from a different perspective. Respect for pioneers like Lambert who have been making space-music is always great. While ordered chronologically, I must also admit that not all the stuff sounds old, actually some older things sound more modern than younger tracks, but it might be just an impression. Synthetic soundscapes with melodies, sweeps and sweeping analog sounds, bit textures and rhythmical patterns often based more on digital sounds rather than drum(beat) sounds. All this building up and holding suspense in the background of long chords that give it that particular floating, calm and wave-like vibe. The front cover is a picture of a night-sky with stars and a really huge ball reflecting a green daylight environment. It's a nice contrast between day and night and it fits with the label's name and the whole attitude. Good choice (looks like Bruxelles' museum or some other Disney World-like tourist attraction glass sphere).
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Artist: Palantir (@)
Title: Empire of Illusions
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
German label Spheric Music continues its journey through space electronica, circular ambient, spheric experimentalism; and this cd even adds the term "cosmopolitan" to the categories you can file it under. Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and that kind of stuff is probably among the inspirations that drive a person like Christian Shimmoeller (composer/musician/engineer) to create "Empire of Illusions", a well-done, nice sounding and really interesting concept album about dreaming, subconscious, fantasy, meditation, different realms and new worlds. The Palantir (name taken from novelist J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" scenario, where a crystal ball called like that gives people telepathy and other special powers) is one of the first bands ever that I receive a binaural recording of. Even though the booklet of this CD describes it as a new recording technique, Binaural recording has been around for many years but has never really been pushed in terms of marketing and only recently big microphone manufactures such as Neumann are starting to market reasonably-priced binaural microphones (usually based around a Jacklin disc or even better shaped like a human head, in whose ears there are two microphones picking up the sound, thus recreating the same delay with which our mind perceives and elaborates acoustical stimuli coming from around us). Given this, "Empire of Illusions" MUST be listened to with headphones (possibly hi quality such as Grado RS-1, or at least cheaper AKG K141 I would say) and you will discover a whole new world made of sounds placed in a three-dimensional environment recreating an acoustic hologram. Binaural recording is most effective when trying to recreate a definite acoustical space people can relate to, but even on an electronic record like this it lets people sink in a quasi-trance like state of mind where new discoveries and surprises are behind every corner and all around you. "Empire of Illusions" is a beautiful and worthful project where soundscapes, layered ethereal backgrounds, various noises such as doors etc, many voices and field recordings and other stuff really create a fantasy land you can only dream or read of. It might be ideal for movies too. The production is achieved with no use of loops, analog and tube instruments, obviously MIDI, mono- and poly-phonic synths, psychoacoustic processors, breath-controllers etc. This record (all texts printed in german and english) came out almost a year ago but since during the last year we were late with all the reviews while preparing the new Chain D.L.K. web portal I wanted to give it a fair shot anyway. You can order this CD online (there might be a special loudspekaer version too) at Spheric Music's website. But now please sit back, relax, dim the lights and start your journey...
PS When you turn the light back on you will notice that Plantir's digipack CD is extremely charming with cool dark blue graphics and no plastic involved at all (it's all smart cardboard).
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Artist: Banabila (@)
Title: VoizNoiz II: Urban Sound Scapes
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
I really dig the description of "mesmerizing trip hop listening experience", used by the label in an attempt to define what is just that what those words say, but yet so much more: Michael Banabila's second CD "VoizNoiz - part II", part of the Urban Sound Scapes series is a mind-altering thing... Rotterdam-based sound-manipulator Banabila has collected a bunch of voices and other sounds and turned it into this swirling electronic voyage that peeks into experimental musique concrete (never getting annoying though), lets you vanish within clouds of soundscapes and patterns of beats and doesn't ever forget the time-frame it is coming out in. Pulsing beats, freezing german-like Kraftwerk robot voices, beautiful patterns of changing rhythmical structures, skillfully arranged into a nice album where sounds and voices have never been used so magically together before, treated as one single thing, one entity. What I also really loved in this album is the use of almost jazz-line-up instruments (i.e. the soooo english and soooo cool song "Dinoh Dinoh", with an uprigth bass sample, funky brass instruments and hammond sounds) and other traditional instruments such as guitars, drums, bass clarinet... You got to check this one out!
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