Music Reviews



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Artist: IN MY ROSARY
Title: The Shades Of Cats
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Active since fall 1990 In My Rosary just released their fifth album. THE SHADES OF CATS reveal a band with an high melancholic-melodious character which is expressed with guitar based ballads as well as electro based uptempo songs. Their music isn't strictly gothic (even if in this CD they did a version of Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Red Light") neither electronic, I can say that electro new wave could fit as a definition. In any case the band seems to concentrate mostly on the atmosphere they create rather than fit into a particular genre. The songs aren't remarkable but the importance they give to the sum of lyrics (which aren't included on the booklet but which are on their website),melody and feelings makes the difference. In My Rosary aren't a mainstream band and I don't love them particularly but for sure they are a genuine band which deserve respect and the attention of you melancholic readers...
May 15 2002
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Artist: RUN LEVEL ZERO
Title: In Between
Format: CD
Label: Prototyp (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
This CD is not the follow up to the successful Run Level Zero's debut CD "Symbol of Submission": IN BETWEEN is a classic remixes project with two new good tracks as bonus (or is a MCD with two new tracks with seven remixes as an add on ;) ). In any case the forty minutes of this CD contain good electro tracks and also the remixed versions are worth the purchasing because Sanctum, Pouppee Fabrikk (really energetic their version of "Feedback Birds"), Dupont (he did a e.b.m./techno version of "Black Limbs"), Psyche, Project-X (really distorted and dancey their version of "Eating The Misery), E-Craft and C.A.P. did a good work giving new life to the band's tracks, creating new classics that will for sure satisfy every e.b.m. lover.
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Pop Robot
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Geez, I don't know, it's almost embarassing but I don't really know what to do about it but the fact is that I love every CD Ninthwave release! This time I'm talking about an Irish band called Empire State Human and about their CD titled POP ROBOT. This isn't properly their new album because Ninthwave released an extended version of it which has been previously released in 2000 by People Sound. This extended version has got seven extra tracks coming from the first band's album titled "Martian Anthems". Even if the name comes from an Human League song the band's influences goes from the Kraftwerk to the english 80's electro pop passing through an unique process: originality. The band is capable to combine robotic sounds with catchy vocals using also tiny moments of ambient arrangements. Even if almost all the tracks are mid tempos and some are ballads the CD is very energetic and believe me, if you dig synthpop this is your CD, so...act now!
Artist: Barry Adamson + Panasonic (Pan sonic)
Title: S/T (Motorlab #3)
Format: CD
Label: Kitchen Motors (@)
Distributor: Kitchen Motors
A match made in a frozen hell, Barry Adamson and the Finnish duo Panasonic (now known as Pan sonic) release another difficult release on the Kitchen Motors label, notorious for its highly experimental and non-user-friendly releases.

This odd release is built around the concept of having the Kitchen Motors crew perform a brain scan on the Icelandic electronic pioneer composer Magnùs Blöndal Jòhannsson. While drifting betwwen slumber and in-between conciousness, Kitchen Motors had Jòhannsson listen to the so-called "music" on this CD. Whether the brain scan was later added as an audio track to any piece on this CD is unknown, but an interesting idea to juggle.

The first piece is the lengthy "The Hymn Of The 7th Illusion", written and performed by Adamson and Panasonic. The choir arrangements and manipulation by Adamson is oddly disconcerning at first, especially when cut back and forth with Panasonic minimal low-end electronics. As the piece slowly proggresses (impatient people be warned!), the mix become more homogenious; the choir is manipulated to effortlessly mix into the electronic components. Very dark, somewhat scary, and strangely subversive.

The second track is a 20 second intermission simply called "". It is mainly a 15 second sniplet of analogue silence (you can hear the hum of recorded silent machine), with a deep breath at the very last few moments.

The third piece is an incredibly long, crazy, schidzophrenic and deffinatly not radio-friendly Halfler Trio remix entitled "The Illusion Of The 7th Hymn". Some will argue that the piece is not a remix per se but a re-interpretation of the first track, completelly re-recorded by The Halfler Trio. Others will sustain that the piece is but a remix, and therefore shouldn't be considered a stand-alone track per se. Others who are less concerned with such matters will be immersed in a world beyond normal electronic listening. The choir elements from the first track are greatly manipulated and re-worked, transforming the human/organic sounding element into a machine trying to imitate a human element. More whacky and unclassifyable electronic elements are thrown in, with ambient-like segways that seperate more sequence/rhythmic-oriented portions of this piece. At a later point (15 minutes or so into the song itself), fans of Panasonic will get a short but memorable glimpse of more typical Panasonic-esque movements, with added dystopian elements which will make the volume control very handy.

Although deffinatly not everyone's cup of tea, this CD is a must for fans of very difficult and nerve-wrenching electronic manipulations, without ever falling into the realm of pure harsh noise. The only drawback is the CD's short running time: 35 minutes.

Packaged in a beautiful "digipak" with photographic inserts contained within.
Artist: VROMB
Title: Épisodes
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
The long overdue and highly anticipated new full-length album by Montréal's very Vromb is finally available. Once again released by Ant-Zen Records, "Épisodes" takes the good Doctor Heurel "Glugloïde" Gaudot's scientific experiments one step further.

"Épisodes"'s theme is somewhat blurred to those not yet familiar with Vromb's natural proggression and evolution. While Hugo Girard provides all sonic and audio excursions, his mechanical and electronic renderings are also based on and using recorded voice tapes by Dr. Gaudot. Seperated into four main episodes (each including four pieces), and sandwitched between a prologue ("Le Thème") and an epilogue ("Générique"), the format prooves to be quite the sonic journey.

Once the album begins with "Le Thème", we are off into an introspective audio excursion which comes to and fro the background of audible/unaudible sound. The first episode is called "Vision Stoboscopique" and quickly puts the listener into the right frame of mind. An introductory segment by Dr. Gaudot is followed by static intermissions and rhythm-heavy experimentalism. Episode two is "Le Temps À Vitèsse Variable" and features a difficult yet precisely executed mixture between a slow-moving synthscape and frantic speeded sequencing compositions. Only Vromb can try and succeed at this! Next comes "L'objet Synchronisateur", the third episode. By this time, both the listener and Dr. Gausot are getting into deep sounds, each wave segways into another electronic movement. The fourth and final episode, "Mouvement Multiplicatif" prooves to be the most experimental of them all, with sounds multiplying themsleves (as the title of the episode suggests) to a mass of deep, dense electronic drones and rhythms.

We close off the episodes with "Générique", which basically serves as the end titles sections, if this CD was in fact a motion picture.

While a few other Vromb fans have told me they were left unsatisfied with "Épisodes", I find the CD to be enjoyable for the most part. As always, Vromb's sound is constantly evolving, so perhaps the subtle changes from release to release isn't as tantalising to certain fans as it may be to Vromb himself. As for myself, I found "Épisodes" to be as good, if not superior to some of his previous work.

Released in three formats:
a) Generic jewel plastic case/regular packaging
b) Metal sliver box, which a bonus 5" vinyl record which includes two unreleased pieces ("Cercle" and "Cylindre"). This specially-sized vinyl record will not play on automatic turn tables.
c) Deluxe full-sized triple vinyl LP in heavy-duty carboard box packaging. The four main episode segments are featured on the two 12" records, while the intro ("Le Thème") and prologue ("Générique") are seperated onto a third, 7" record.

Again, the artwork and visual graphic design was perfectly executed by Bio-Z, mixing the tones of grey, silver, and black in perfect unison.
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