Music Reviews



May 23 2002
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Artist: IN THE NURSERY
Title: Cause And Effect
Format: CD
Label: ITN Corp
Distributor: Audioglobe
In all these years In The Nursery have been an unique band in the electronic/alternative scene and each project has been particular, for this I'm sorry to say that I don't really understand this CAUSE AND EFFECT. In my opinion a peculiar band like In The Nursery didn't need this remix project to get exposure and the remixers didn't do something really innovative because almost all of them used similar sounds the band is used to use only with the addition of a little more electronic instruments. Only Steve Bennet which did a sensual trip hop version of "Miracle Road", Assemblage 23 which gave an e.b.m. treatment to "Hym Noir", Attrition which by surprise build out of "To The Faithful" a techno ambient track, Haujobb which industrialized a little "L'Esprit" just like Electronium did with "Chronicle", did something a bit different respect the original versions even if some of them aren't really catchy. The most innovative has been Seize which did a industrial/goa version of "Caprice". Also the version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" played by the band itself isn't that catchy because is well played, well arranged but it lacks of energy. I'm sorry to say this but this CD isn't a must in the band's discography...
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Artist: the Frozen Autumn
Title: Emotional Screening Device
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Five years (wow, time goes by!) after their highly acclaimed "Fragments of Memories", one of the most important and well-known Italian dark-wave bands is back with a new record. It's hard to make comparisons after half a decade (I don't have their previous album here with me) but I think it's safe to say that "Emotional Screening Device" maintains the classical dark wave approach, slightly reshaping it in favour of a more danceable electronic formula that is strong on rhythms, patterns, synthpads and obviously beautiful melodic male and female vocals! A great deal of importance is left up to the female singer, whose haunting and entwining excursions well complement the softer, mysterious, slower and more ethereal compositions (representing a fair amount of the 11 tracks) while the male vocal does the more nostalgic dark wave tunes. Add up beautiful and nostalgic with danceable and electronic and with ethereal and bewildering, and you'll likely get an "Emotional Screening Device"... This is Frozen Autumn ladies and gentlemen, there shouldn't be need to add much more to that, you know what to do if you are into this type of music. You can't afford not to have this among your records.
Unfortunately I only got a plain promo CD without the original artwork so I can't tell you much about it, but I am told that the first 1000 hand numbered copies will come in a luxury black leather box with two full color booklets, which I am sure must be astonishing! The regular edition will be digisleeve + booklet.
Artist: Butterfly Messiah (@)
Title: Priestess
Format: CD
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
It's been quite a while since I last heard F242 being mentioned as an influence, but thanks to Butterfly Messiah some good old memories came back ;-). Anyway, they also throw in Dead Can Dance, New Order, Die Form, Miranda Sex Garden and Loreena McKennit, so from that you can gather that we are dealing with a quite unique mix of synthpop, dark, ebm and industrial. I am not too much into this, but I can tell you that "Priestess" is nine tracks made up of very old drum machine sounds and bass lines, orchestral synth pads, reso synth lines, traditional ebm male vocal parts (often treated) and melodious dark female vocals (often angelic falsettos). Couple in music and in life (a third member has recently joined), they started in 1998 (after individual experiences) and seem to have a quite impressive following (claimed figures such as mp3.com Top 5, 27'000 downloads, 10'000 monthly hits would be proof of that) and this is their first real debut CD (after an appearance on Cleopatra's "Unquiet Grave III" sampler and a couple of demos). Also worthy of mention are the symbolic and obscure lyrics, which allow for different interpretations. The CD comes with a never-seen-before mirror tray that looks like a heavy metallic surface (really really cool idea!!!) and a nice booklet.
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Artist: Dark Muse (@)
Title: Sounds from Beyond the Silver Wheel
Format: CD
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
The Dark Muse is an American female one-(wo)man-band project. Her name is Phyll Smith and she's been releasing many CD-R's through mp3.com for quite a long time. The Fossil Dungeon (a new label owned by members of the band The Soil Bleeds Black) has filled the gap by releasing her first "real" CD (a beautiful folding multi-panel digipack) so everybody can taste her graceful, enchanting and ethereal music. Voice is used as the primary instrument, in addition to guitar, russian piano, bells, coils, synths, drum machine and other found sounds. The seven pieces are hardly rhythmical though, most part of "Sounds from Beyond the Silver Wheel" are a wash of long and wide hall reverbs moving in slow motion from one verse to the next (whenever there is a vocal part at all), drawing circles of relaxing and rapturing soundscapes, reaching beyond the known into a whole new world of sounds... Cold Meet Industry, Vidna Obmana, Jeff Greinke, Roedelius... Oniric trance, ethereal alchemy, sounds for haunted spaces... call it whatever you please, but it sure is quite beautiful.
PS: She also has her own line of gothic/victorian jewelry (stones, crystals, steel, glass etc).
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Artist: Lecanoscope (@)
Title: Comparing Notes
Format: CD
Label: Metabolic Music
After many compilation appearances and several tapes released in the underground scene over the last decade, Californian Lecanoscope also have been hit by the new digital home-recording revolution and have finally given the entire world an opportunity to taste their beautiful, sophisticated and relaxing sound. Enchanting and bewildering, entrancing and capturing, their 5 tracks musical and meditative rapture entitled "Comparing Notes" is described by them as "ethereal ritual trance audio excursions through fields of pulsating luminescence"... now I don't need to tell you there is something more to this than just beautiful electronic-ethno-trance with tablas, distant vocal samples, transe-inducing repetitive patterns, dub grooves, layers of fluctuating synthetic pads and other stuff that might sporadically remind you of Bill Laswell, Asian Dub Foundation, Adrian Sherwood, Ustad Sultan Khan, Zakir Hussain, Psychic Warriors of Gaya, Karsh Kale, Talvin Singh, other indian music but also much more experimental, dark and electronic artists... Their metabolic music is «designed to open your third eye. "...you can let go"».
PS The CD came packaged in a standard jewel case contained in one of those CD-sized cardboard box used to ship CDs with their logo marked on it, which is a cool idea I thought...
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