Music Reviews



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Artist: PERSEPHONE
Title: Home
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Persephone for the ancient Greek's mythology was the death's goddess but in our case is the Lame Immortelle's Sonja Kraushofer side project. Aided by Martin Höfert (cello; live appearances with Janus and L''me Immortelle), Tobias Hahn (piano; music, arrangements, producing, programming; Janus), Dirk "RIG" Riegert (music, lyrics, arrangements; Janus), Wim Leydes (guitars; ex-Christian Death) to name few, Sonja creates something totally different compared to his main band's music, playing dark and melancholic acoustic ballads (which have, sometimes, some rare rhythmical distorted samples and electric guitar inserts, also). Of the twelve songs I prefer the first one "My Prayer", "Immersion", "Reflection" (which remember me the French "chansonnier" atmospheres), the main track "Home" and the final "Coming Home" which are someway personal and intense. The other seven tracks, in my opinon, tend to lose themselves into the forced research of a sad atmosphere instead of concentrating into the melodic structure and the vocal performance. This album could be paragoned to some Marc Almond ones (like "Jaques") but I'm sorry to say that Sonja fails into creating the atmospheres Marc is able to give to his performance. "Home" is not that bad but it hasn't exploited all its potential.
Apr 10 2002
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Evolution
Format: CD
Label: Cohaagen (@)
Distributor: Ninth Wave
This compilation is the first release of this brand new label called Cohaagen. This is the first time you're listening this name, that's for sure, but you are already familiar with the people involved into this project, because we're are talking about Ganymede's members Patrick Runkle and David Friede supported for distribution by David Richards' Ninthwave Records. You know how I appreciate their music and probably we've got also the same musical tastes. The fact that I've already interviewed or positively reviewed almost half of the bands presented here (bands like Ganymede, The Mourning After, Nukleon, Gary Flanagan, Blind Before Dawn and soon Empire State Human) prove it! The label's aims are quite clear, but let's hear it directly from the guys: "This compilation represents the "new breed" of electronic pop, featuring many of today's hottest rising synthpop stars from around the globe as well as some new bands that will be making their presence felt in the near future. The tracks here illustrate the great variety the synthpop genre has to offer, ranging from melancholy to uplifting in mood, laid-back to energetic in tempo, and retro to modern in sound. The common elements are that all of the songs selected for this release are exclusive, original, and of the highest quality". Well, one thing is for sure, you bet you can find into this CD some of the best and original synthpop bands of the globe and if you love 80's sounds it's impossible you won't fall in love with Soviet's "Bank Holiday", Nukleon's "Sometimes", Gary Flanagan's "Summertime", Raindancer's "I Believe In You" just to name few. I don't care if this review is sounding too supportive but believe me, I lived the 80's and I enjoyed every electronic and new wave band of that period and I think to know what's worth to listen to! ;-)
Apr 10 2002
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Artist: P.A.L.
Title: Live 2 A.M.
Format: CD
Label: Pflichtkauf
Distributor: Audioglobe
It's many years that P.A.L. represents one of the main industrial manipulators and this live CD prove it. The tracks are based on a sound increasing structure that could be functional for a soundtrack of a dreamy dark movie (also because of the way the various tracks merge into the others creating a sort of long mutating suite). "In The Now", the opening track, for example, contains vocal samples and various noises and creates a tense atmosphere built with rough sounds and it's amazing the way it's mixed with "Heiden Heiland", which is a sort of industrial mixture of classical sounds as well as "Creed" is. I assure you that the effect of treated cellos along with the various noises creates an unbelievable sense of "crawling tension": I don't know why but it recalled me the atmospheres of the German expressionist movies like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". The other tracks (starting from "Freising 0801"), instead, are based on vocal treatments and are basically more "industrial". An impressive release that will convince also occasional listeners of industrial sounds. Try to make it listen to your friends that love sci-fi's soundtrack recordings...
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Artist: Aphex Twin
Title: Drukqs
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Warp (@)
When my cousin played me Aphex Twin's newest double CD I was amazed... I didn't even know he had this new one out, I was still blasting "Come to Daddy" and yet I was so much into this already... It's been 5 years since his last album "Windowclicker" and here is a 2CD set with more than a 100 minutes of music. Maybe a step back in terms of "violence" but a step forward in terms of his musical evolution that has reached a new hi. Sound got more intricated, frantic, convulsed and amazing... One of the key elements here is the piano, from melodic to fonky, an instrument which takes an important role, played both in a very standard almost ballad-like fashion, as well as hammered (probably with something else that the piano's hammers) on its very strings to produce a quite disturbing and awfully cool fucked up honky tonky kinda sound. I loved it! This piano-concept is further stressed on the front cover as well as on the new amazing flash website (where piano hammers and string pictures make you feel inside a piano). The other tracks reminded me of his previous material as well as of Italian ambient musician Rodion, but we don't need no damn comparisons here, we are talking about the master himself! If there is a new school of ambient music, we owe it to Richard James, the man who, as far as my knowledge goes, has no rivals yet! Nobody beats him, nobody touches him, nobody equals him! He is just plain unique! On a bad note I have to warn you that unfortunately this CD is one of those stupid new copy-protected CDs which will prevent you from playing it on a computer's CD ROM drive: so if your music system is based around your computer, sorry, forget it!; or if you were ready to rip it to mp3 to cruise town on a sunny day with your bike and your Rio mp3 player (which by the way is perfectly LEGAL and sold by the same music industry that now came up with this stupid bullshit!) you are in bad luck too! So, it's your call, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to let Warp know that you did not appreciate, especially because the new copy-protection standard actually makes the sound of the CD worse!!!
PS: More info at the two websites above as well as at www.theaphextwin.com and www.drukqs.net
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Artist: Black Faction (@)
Title: Internal Dissident Part 1
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
After studying it in school I have always wondered what it'd be like if a band would put Dante Alighieri's wonderful poem "the Divine Comedy" in music, and now I have Black Faction's interpretation of that in my record collection. The sound designer behind this name is Manchester-based Andrew Diey, a british dude that makes music for Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's XBox and other PC titles. Besides making your gaming experience more interesting, creating sound collections and working for a couple of UK's main TV channels, he's been releasing CD's since 1998, under the monikers Foreign Terrain and Black Faction. "Internal Dissident Part I" works like a bridge between nations and stories. It travels from scenes of Florentine poet's visionary trip to hell (with mentor and guide Virgil) to Arabia, Afghanistan (a tribute to Muslimgauze), Persia... Audio goes from electronic beats, pizzicato cellos, electronica, noises, experimental etc. I would have preferred him to focus and exploit the ultimate poem's interpretation, but it's an interesting musical voyage even without sticking to that theme. I'll be looking forward to the limited edition LP "Internal Dissident Part II: live in Vienna" which will be the live version of this.
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