Music Reviews



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Artist: Faith And Disease
Title: Passport To Kunming
Format: CD
Label: Projekt Records
Distributor: Projekt Records
Call me behind the times or just balancing way too much band wise, but this is my first time hearing this established and accomplished group. The vocals Of Dara Rosenwasser are sheer genius, like a line somewhere between Jarboe circa The Swan’s "World Of Skin" and the vocalist of Mira (Gina I think her name is. Really tall and nice person in person by the way!). They emit that sense of cold atmosphere that seems to have an aura of warm and comfort inside of it as well, the true definition of melancholy. The guitar work of Eric Cooley gives it a soft gossamer to crawl on like a spider crawling across it’s web on a summer’s rainy day. The drumming reminds me a bit of Opeth’s jazz-style drumming, very controlled and never clattering at all. Everything on here perks with a certain sense of balance and grace, able to pull off many elements that others make look very corny indeed. To me, it’s hard to pick a highlight from such a CD, but if I would have to choose I’d have to say "Dyslexia", "In Between The Folds" and the dance remix of "She’s Got A Halo". Another brilliant CD in the Projekt roster, but his time a little more so than usual. Definitely recommended for fans of later era Slowdive, Mira or the classic sound of 4AD. Rating:10. BTW, I’m doing an interview with the group as we speak, so I’ll keep you posted in the meantime. :-)
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Artist: G-Nox
Title: Ventre
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
G-Nox's "Ventre" is the latest fatigue by French industrial veteran Gerome Nox (previously known as a band member of Nox with now members of Electronicat, Cape Fear, Zonk't and other solo projects). "Ventre" escapes the serial-killer themed concept of his previous "Blood-Red Poppies" dance/theater production and makes a decisive move toward a tense and intense blend of claustrophobic ambient-noise and throbbing power-electronics. You may think of it in terms of a cold-industrial album. I found it to be a very well done one, because of the new found balance between the right amount of noise and ambience. In other words you'll never be overwhelmed by too much and you'll always be on the verge and on the edge... Probably if you took Vidna Obmana's calm soundscapes and you processed them through the distortions of Vromb and Maurizio Bianchi and then you added some Dive/Sonar-like pulsing rhythmical structures you'd be close to the G-Nox sound.Unfortunately we didn't receive the artwork for it so we can't really say, but we hear it's nice too.
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Artist: Ch District vs Duuster
Title: Chemical Elements 1.0
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Any time you see an M-Tronic release you can confidently pick it up 'cause you know it's gonna be kick-ass damn good electro-industrial music. "Chemical Elements 1.0" by Polish CH District (aka Miroslaw Matyasik) and Dutch Duuster (aka Ton Driessens, also responsible for the sounds of Element 11) keeps up the tradition and defies gravity and expectations with what is the first in a series of split collaboration CDs. In 1.0 the two artists have 6 tracks each and then share one track to express their chemical visions and their fuming and stirring distilled soundscapes. The reactions produced by Ch District are in the field of hard-hitting saturated-bass drum techno-industrial with calm bell-y sounds and relaxing sequences of sleepy tunes. A thoughtful blend of tranquil, synthetic and harmonious sounds with and modern low-fi, raw and scratchy rhythmical structures. I think you can't help but to talk of Aphex Twin when you write about Ch District, but the point is there's just a great balance between the two opposite factors. Duuster seem to be more into ethereal ambientronics and they rarely really take off on beats the way their CD-mates do. Their obscure and liquid molecular electronica revolves around downtempo and airy ambience but when they get carried away with the beats they know how to keep it clean and exciting. The last song of the CD is the collaborative track and is a good example of how the two above described elements are mixed and blended together to clone the ultimate formula of industrial-ambient. Really great chemistry. The album comes in a nice black-matte cardboard digi-package with silver ink (limited to 500 copies).
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Artist: I/O (@)
Title: I/O
Format: CD
Label: Ebria Records (@)
Packaged in an austere b/w layout, and showing only cryptic tags as a tracklist, I/O's debut cd immediately and stubbornly asks you to focus on (and lose yourself into) sound. A young quartet of drums, guitar, voice and upright bass, I/O (Input/Output) fragment linear playing and rhythm in nerve-breaking sessions of free-form play (in the double sense of the word), recorded live without overdubs. Relying on quiet/loud dialectics, more physical parts emerge from subdued pluckings and sparse sounds, and guitar is then played like a percussion. Voice is no voice but a perfect fourth instrument, with emphasys on phonetic power rather than words or conventional singing - a glossolalia where language is stretched, compressed and finally mangled. Demanding and almost solipsistic in their alchemies, I/O reminded me of Starfuckers (especially those of "Infrantumi") or Storm & Stress, for their oblique but physical approach to improvisation and anti-melodic destructuring, but also of Artaud's and Beckett's experiences in language implosion and revitalization.
Artist: MISSIONARIES FROM THE OUTSIDE (@)
Title: The Bat Chronicle Of Flight
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Missionaries Form The Outside play a classic mixture of goth rock influenced by Sisters Of Mercy and Bauhaus but on some tracks you can hear influences of melodies carachteristic of their land: Russia. THE BAT CHRONICLE OF FLIGHT is a compilation which collects tracks from the 2000÷2003 period of the band. Most of the tracks, as far as I can understand, are in their mother language even if they have got English titles (it could be that they kindly translated them for me) and one of them curiously has got an Italian title "Un Pipistrello Nella Cappella" ("A Bat In The Chapel"). Musically they are based on a flangered buzzing guitar, a drum machine and a keyboard which is used as bassline and as strings background. To tell the truth the tracks aren't that exiting, even if they aren't that bad, but being all mid tempos and with a similar structure they are a little boring for my tastes, if listened all in a row. The best track of the lot is "Paradise Of Lies - Club Version": a classic sounding goth song with catchy electronic arrangements and English lyrics. I noticed that the singer when uses the English language uses more pauses and the track sounds better. Instead when he sings in his mother language, he tends to sing with no pauses and this effect is a little boring. Insteresting CDr for the curious ones...
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