Music Reviews



Jan 20 2003
Artist: Codec
Title: Tension
Format: CD
Label: Component Records
Distributor: Component Records
Old school ambient electro... .. a mix of Autechre atmospheres, Gary Numan circa "Berserker", a bit of Headscan, and Download’s "Effector". Old school synthlines merge over top of minimally placed and constrained beats, with those charming analog synthlines. Sounds at times like the perfect IDM, at others great videogame music for something like Megaman 2 or Guardian Legend. The CD has no particular strong points as this is another one of those CD’s where the flow is in song to song, though I do happen to love "Like Machines". Great for those who love an old school, analog feel to their electro, and it’s hypnotizing qualities. Rating: 9. Also recommended are the above mentioned bands and CD’s, as well as Lassigue Bendthaus.
Jan 19 2003
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Artist: Suzuki Kid (@)
Title: 2002 AC/DC CD
Format: CD
Label: Total Zero (@)
Yo yo motherfuckers, whassup!!! Suzuki Kid's latest "AC/DC" CD on Total Zero blasts Dive-like distorted power-electronics/industrial beatz, sometimes even approaching drum'n'bass territories in a way that Aphex Twin would, but inserts an interesting new urban element to characterize the sound. Gangsta-electronics? Urban-industrial? Power-beatz? Whatever you wanna call it... It's basic rhythmical material with not much of a melody or of sounds to be found. You'll hear samples from movies (Putney Swope, Urban Menace) and lyrics by Rage Against the Machine singer Zack De La Rocha, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Sade, plus other layers of noises, distorted signals, mixed voices and disturbing stuff like that... All tracks are included twice, the second time around just the beatz so that you can come up with your own rhymes, in full street style! If we got your interest check out their re-released back-catalogue on mp3.com or on the label's website.
Artist: Strapping Young Lad
Title: Strapping Young Lad
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
Very simple and to the point, and I have known it for years: Strapping Young Lad is that perfect combo of both hardcore, aggressive Emperor-style metal and industrial, all with a man with enough rage to stop the wars in the Middle East dead in their tracks. And this CD does not disappoint, this has enough rage to rival even the mighty Hocico, and enough metal stylings to please even the most diehard metalhead and rivetheads. All I have to say on this one is simply: If you want pop, tame or mellow, stay away from these guys, this is extreme to the fucking core! Rating: 10. Aggro fans rally around one and all, and behold the power of unbridled rage! Also recommended are any SYL cd’s as well as Sielwolf. Enjoy!PS,also look for my interview with Devin at the Chicago show!
Artist: The Unireverse (@)
Title: Katron
Format: 12"
Label: Total Zero (@)
Distributor: GEMM
The always active Canadian ex-Phycus Brian "Mr. Zero" Damage has a new moniker to release records under. Together with two other Canadian fellows (members of Kubelka and Daydream Square and Beautifuzz) and with no use of sequencers the "Katron" 12" EP came to life. Sort of a psychedelic krautrock moog-based experimental music project with an outer space soul: they call it post-retro-futurism! As The Unireverse (what a cool name!) they've already released two CD-R's with cover versions of Giorgio Moroder, NY Dj and musician Donna Summer, JJ Cale and Human League songs. Their space-electronic mixture with comics-like title will be heaven (or should I say space?) for the lovers of vintage synth sounds such as Moog MG1, Univox Minikorg, the legendary Casio SK1 and other gadgets such as Roland MC202, Acetone Rhythm Ace, Theremin etc. Both sides are pretty up-tempo and rhythmical nonetheless, so they manage to be entertaining and interesting all the way through, which is always a plus! Side B is the one with the fastest beats (can you imagine an attempt of vintage-space-psyche-moog-drum'n'bass??) and it sure is a bonus that it's all played live too, like back in the days! Total Zero also has a large selection of unusual sounds on a number of different formats so drop them a line for a free catalogue. I've also got a chance to check them out live and they are a real trip! Speaking of checking out, Brian sent me a couple of tracks he put together with his girlfriend under the name of Deep Lounge and you should check that out as well!
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Artist: Vehemence 6.2 (@)
Title: Skleros (fourth edition)
Format: CD
Label: Leukos Industries
Not much information was given to us about this CD so I initially I was stumbling in the dark until I checked out the website. This fourth self released edition of "Skleros" by Kevin Schlueter (aka Vehemence 6.2) contains 83 tracks (65 are obviously silence) of really good experimental industrial music and is freely distributed as a simple CD-R in a paper pouch. Mostly industrial music with a dark edge and a power electronics approach that would fit on Cold Meat Industries or Ant Zen catalogues but with a deep intimate beauty that graces the music with this ancient and quasi mystical aura. Maybe it is the recurring first world war iconography, but even without gun shots, explosions or other military samples, it really sounds like the perfect soundtrack for distant scenarios of war in the cold European fields. The melancholic intermezzos of largely reverberated pianos with noisy backgrounds (#3); or the grand and deep moments of ambience scanned by pads and hints of rhythmical patterns (#4); the industrious factory machinery sounds disturbing the peace of sombre atmospheres like approaching troops would (#5 & #9); or even the detuned and ancient orchestral samples (#6 & #13); and of course the vocal samples of those who speak to large masses of gathered and cheering people (#9); it all really evokes the sadness, despair and sorrow of those who survived and crawled out of their bunkers to find nothing but a sea of dead bodies laying in the dust and covered by the clouds... but maybe I am letting it go to far, maybe I am on the wrong path here... I never really liked all those fancy and pretentious interpretative music reviews anyway. Music is subjective and everybody will interpret it differently. I was influenced by the colors and the style of the art work of the website and the sticker on the paper sleeve of this CD and thought of what I wrote, but after all, like Kevin points out in his website: "a man is but the sum of his memories". Anyway, it's a really nice CD and there should be nothing stopping you from requesting your very own copy of it, especially since it is absolutely free.I also got a preview release of what I think is or will be "Recollection, vol 1", Kevin's next release, which is kinda more rhythmical and electronic (like the super pounding and ripping Dive-like power industrial track #17 on this "Skleros"). Maybe next time he'll also send us a press kit or something...
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