Music Reviews



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Artist: MIRIAM
Title: Scents
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records
Distributor: Decadance Records
Hehe I always love data tracks, esp. when they have videos on them, as is the case with this one (do download a Quicktime Player if you don’t have one though). Add to that it being a video with yet another deadly gorgeous Italian lead singer (they’re everywhere around me nowadays. I’m not one to complain though ;-) ! ), all set to a gorgeous black and white Euro style video, and I am a happy man. Their sound to me is akin to La Floa Maldita, which is no small compliment considering that LFM is one of my fave groups. The classical style of playing though in this is just as apparent, if not totally by sound. And the lead singer’s voice has a cool, relaxed tone to it, not trying the harpy call of a lot off ethereal style singers. Track 4,"Space White Roses" is my favorite on the CD, with a laid back ambient feel to it, ala Chandeen, and it’s whispered and reverbed vocals. Even some sax in this already healthy mix. Track 5, "Daphne" has more of the same cool night ambience, with some sax and sensual vocals layered on top of it. Pretty good CD,overall. Rating:8.
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Artist: PULCHER FEMINA
Title: Shadows Of The Lovers
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records
Distributor: decadance records
This artist does the perfect to me, combining the pop elegance of the new styles of modern synthpop, and combining it with the ambient qualities of the synth at the same time. My roomie and I played this in the car, since she has a thing now for synthpop (esp. Spock), and she was saying the voice of the singer was too low for the songs. She would have preferred Marian Gold, but I say the guy’s vocals do a great job of making the music much more emotional. This is a more emotional version of synthpop, not a floorfiller CD though it could do a great job at that. The synthlines on this CD remind me of sound effects on the old videogame "Guardian Legend" (my fave game!), very simple, monologue yet very trancy. The synthlines on my favorite song on here, "Take Me’ are ones I had to hit the rewind buttons on again and again walking down the street. This group is to me par excellence of when the modern synthpop style is done right, not to mention being produced by Volker Lutz, who is in another fine example of futuristic synthpop, T.O.Y (formerly Evil’s Toy). No boom chukka, no whining about tenderness, and just pure trancey melancholy done via synth. I cannot sing this CD’s praises enough, even with my reservations about some of the new synthpop out there like Beborn Beton (grossly overrated outside of their live shows). But I’ll let the proof be in the pudding on this one. This is definitely one of the finer releases of the year so far, and I think this man may well take the now experimental futuristic synthpop’ sound to it’s realized state. Rating: 10. Also recommended is the latest T.O.Y. CD, "Space Radio" and Evil Toy’s "Silvertears". For more synthpop info ask our resident synthpop expert, Mauri. I’m gonna have to pass this one to him, he’ll flip! PS, don’t forget the gorgeous Italian women on the lyric sheet (never underestimate the power of Italian women!).
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Chamber
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records
Distributor: Cold Spring Records
After hearing the name of the record company, I started to think of Cold Springs, the section of Cincinnati where I stayed for a good while. Thankfully it has nothing to do with that place!Anyhow the first track, done by Ignis Fatuus (is that the guys name, b/c that does mean "absorbing fire" in Latin?), has an epic march rhythm to it, kinda of reminding me of the beginning track to the new Arcana CD (I only got to track 3 on that CD b/c it got cracked in the mail, but damn do I ever recommend it from the tracks I’ve heard so far!). Kind of reminds me of the Braveheart soundtrack just a little bit, except a bit more rhythmic. Folkstorm I have heard of before, but I always thought by the name they were a death folk group. But the track on here sounds very quiet and slow, done by electronic reverb, and no signs of death folk here. Track 3,"Cortege", done by Mark Snow sounds like it could have easily came from a Cold Meat Industries sampler, which in my terms is a compliment. It is the kind of music where I start to think of cryptic monasteries at night, with moss guiding the raindrops down the pillars at night. Slow, operatic, just how I like my classical tracks. And to all our surprise afterwards is the appearance of our Croatian friends, Laibach, with a new working of the classic "Die Liebe" ("Love" auf Deutsch), their most famous tune. And perhaps their most chaotic, much to the surprise of lyrics that chant angrily in German "Love is the greatest inspiration, the all-sleeping". The mood of this CD, and perhaps the sound of the label, is akin to Cold Meat Industries. Very dark, classical music done with godloads of atmosphere, all very skillfully done. This is music you have to wait until nighttime to listen to, though, not the type to listen to on a sunny day searching for bunnies to take pics of. Well, maybe for those autumn days out on the countryside and dusk has set. But on the same hand the sound has that Cold Meat Industries ambience of evil sound about it in some artists (Megaptera is a great example), exemplified in tracks like Band Of Pain’s "November 1970" (yeah I know the name is kind of corny) and it’s nether worldly musical limbo. But after that Benedikt Middler (any relation to Bette?) and his gentle Baroque rhythms soon bring you back to the surface. My fave would have to be Von Thronstahl’s "Mitternachtsberg" ("Midnight City") and it’s dense-as-lead Das Ich-type sound. Overall a pretty solid buy and something great for gothic and opera fans alike... ... ... .Rating: 10. Also this is free when you buy two Cd's from the Cold Spring folks. :)
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Artist: Mimetic
Title: Data Sensitive/Be-At Sound A
Format: CD
Label: Parametric
Mimetic is the solo project from Jerome Soudan (drummer of Von Magnet). This project is a rather ambient-trance project heavy on electronic and purcussive rhythms which utilizes many spoken word samples throughout. Catagorically it is somewhat in the vein of Autechre, Sven Väth, Kreidler, and others in the more experimental electronic techno and ambient influenced genres. Like the other Parametric artist Mlada Fronta, Mimetic is very eclectic and experimental electronica that is also very beat heavy and subterranean. Some tracks are very dance driven and others are created with more of an ambient and spoken word structure. Mostly disc one is a combination of late night dance tracks which utilize extremely non-standard sound structures and create a sort of danceable architecture of sound. Heavily industrial and noise influenced there are lots of gritty sounds but not the raw structure of early industrial but instead the heavily self-designed styles of artists like Kreidler and Converter if you can imagine the two combined you 'might' get a mild idea of what this is like. Imagine if Digweed was into Noise as well except that even the 'gritty' sounds maintain a heavily electronic and 'clean' feel to them, nothing too harsh - similar sound structures and ambient electro textures but with more of a trance and dance percussion beat to the tracks. I personally love the 'subterranean' feel many of these tracks tend to evoke. This album is definitely who like unpredictability, heavy creativity in audio structures and sounds, and grooving to some really funky grindy beats. There's also a bit of Kraftwerkian influence to parts of this which are mostly evident in the 'hidden' track at the end of the disc. "Man's attitude goes some ways, the ways life will be. Is that something you might agree with? ..." This is the question posed at the beginning of the second CD. This is followed by heavy throbbing noise rhythms. Amazingly this is also the theme of a book I'm currently reading which was written by the founder of the Science of Mind institutes and churches by the same name. The concept is that what you think becomes your reality. The statement above is almost the antithesis of this stating that your thoughts are drawn from your surroundings toward what the inevitable future holds. Just food for thought when you hear the entire sample which continues with, "Now did you answer because that's what you thought I wanted to hear or did you think about what I said and answer because you truly believe that to be right? What'd I say? So since you agree you must be a person who does not care about the good life. Well stop for a little second, think about it." [this is where track two comes in with heavy beats] Disc two is more of beat heavy Noise-based rhythm and percussion tracks. The first CD being more techno and experimental the second stands out like a separate album based on noise and rhythm. Somehow there manages to still be quite a bit of a Kraftwerkian affair, compare track 3 to Kraftwerk's "Computer World" and "Trans-Europe Express". Maybe it's just the analog bleep tones but that's what it reminds me of anyway. The fourth track does include some vocal sampling and more of an EBM feel to it, sort of similar to Cage Decay's "Radio Penetration". Track 6 just plain bumps, grinds and drives it home! Some of the tracks are droning rhythms but damn if it don't get under your skin and into your psyche', very Converter-like. This disc also has a hidden track at the end of which is composed of almost pure noise and a 'flobby' rhythm that at first seems barely able to function properly. This builds to become noiser, harsher, and more 'cluttered'. This disc is more for the fans of bands like Scorn, Converter, Winterkalte, etc..
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Artist: Mlada Fronta
Title: Oxydes
Format: CD
Label: Parametric
Beginning with very sensual yet heavily electronic ambient "CO" quickly adds heavy Power Noise rhythms. Mlada Fronta combine an extremely intelligent mixture of ambient, illbient, and digital experimentation with harsh metallic power driven industrial noise rhythms. Imagine Converter meets Beefcake with maybe a touch of Robert Rich for good measure and some Orb-like experimentation. Gritty, grinding, thumping, buzzing, harmonic, textural, mechanical, and emotional all accurately describe this project. Mlada Fronta's unique combination of noise driven harmonic simulation can only accurately be catagorized as 'noisescapes'. Like eclectic electronic ambient artist Robert Rich, Mlada Fronta combines various harmonic and nearly ethereal textures to create dark and moody pieces with an horrific beauty of it's own. At the same time power driven rhythms similar to those used by bands like Converter keep the tempo steady and oftentimes creates a nearly trancelike pulsating throb. Beginning slowly but building tempo rapidly this album quickly takes you into rather uncharted musical territories, like exploring a dark cave for the first time not knowing what dangers or wonders may lurk inside this album is an adventure of it's own. The album title sets the theme as all the tracks (as you can see) are titled after various Oxide 'chemicals' maintaining this abstract theme the inlay and cover artwork is compiled of various very well produced photographs of magnified depictions of corroded metals which normally may seem base, harsh, or even ugly instead have been transformed into visions of beauty and wonder themselves. This album is best listened to from start to finish as the tracks are artfully constructed to neatly lay next to each other in perfect compliment. When taken 'out of context' some tracks may seem simply too harsh or difficult to listen to as a standalone piece but when melded with it's companions it all fits comfortably. The second disc is combrised of remixes and videos. The remixes tend to be more beat driven, ambient, and less noise oriented and in all honesty I'd have to listen to both discs much more to even recognize which mixes belong to which songs. The videos mostly give you a chance to check out what Mlada Fronta is like live - simply put this is basically like Industrial-PowerNoize-RaveCulture.
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