Music Reviews



Nov 30 2002
Artist: Estrogenocide (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
A band that describes their style as synthpop-grind-core with influences of Depoche Mode and Napalm Death is quite an interesting concept, hard to imagine until you hear it. Musically speaking the Plainview, NY, duo Estrogenocide plays fast electro-core music that is quite minimal in structure. Think fast hard core or grind double kick drumming but with drum machine instead, guitars replaced by reso-like synth-lines and a semi-distorted vocal that would feel at home with any german ebm band from the nineties (or even earlier). What is disappointing to me is that the sound palette is extremely limited. The entire record is pretty much played with the same presents on the drum machine, the synth and the vocal processor and at the end it becomes quite repetitive (not boring, 'cause the songs are short and to the point). If you are not bothered by the uniformity of sounds, then you might find a bone to pick with them when it comes down to lyrics... I doubt that NYC has made me too politically correct or conservative, but these lyrics really sound sexist. The words you hear (also printed in the booklet, to their credit) are centered around sex and quite obsessed with the male-dominant thing: "kick that cunt in the cunt", "two black eyes and a broken jaw, now make me some dinner, pick yourself up the floor", "chew and swallow down your midnight snack", "rape is fun, rape is good, rape is so misunderstood", "I will cut your nipples off" are just some of the less explicit parts.
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anymore
Artist: David Lee Myers & Thomas Dimuzio
Title: Uncertain Simmetry
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De), Digital Narcis (Jp) and more...
San Fran's vintage experimental musician Thomas DiMuzio (read review of his "Mono::Poly" double CD on Asphodel records elsewhere on these pages) and NYC's Arcane Device member and audio/video artist David Lee Mayers, have engaged into the coast-to-coast mail collaboration, which eventually lead to "Uncertain Symmetry", after the two played together at the renowned Tonic club in NYC's Lower East Side. They actually started working together in 1991 for the Generations Unlimited record outlet and eleven years later they picked up the pieces of that collaboration and started all over again. They have been shipping each other CDs with feedbacks and both have been editing and re-arranging all of that into a blend of astral feedback-based music. Mayers is actually the inventor of a portable device he calls the "feeback machine", which he has been playing with since 1987. Obviously to recognize the differences in style between the contributions of one and the other, you'd have to have a throughout knowledge of their music, but even if you do, in this record it is almost impossible, considering the bicoastal ping-ponging has been going on for a long time. Considering the source of the material expect sonics that develop mostly in the mid to hi-range frequency spectrum. What I found interesting is that the result is not harsh material but has rather got a certain "cosmic" feel to it which is kinda pleasant and relaxing. Besides the two URLs provided for your convenience in the header of this review, you may also visit Dimuzio's Gench (www.gench.com) and Dimuzio's personal website (www.thomasdimuzio.com) as well as Myers' website (www.pulsewidth.com).
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anymore
Artist: Antenne (@)
Title: #2
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De), Digital Narcis (Jp) and more...
I was happy to learn that Antenne had a new record out. I am a fan of Danish musician Kim Guenther Hansen's project because they are the only band I know that is able to achieve a mixture of experimental music, noise ambience, jazzy textures, trip hop coolness... It's quite unlikely in words, but it works great in action. The knowledgeable balance of lush electronica pieces, the sporadic breathy sax parts, the occasional upright bass jazzy flavors, the smooth female voice of Marie-Louise Munck, the synth pads lounging the slow drum beats (brushes, rim shots and machine), the noizy background rush, the reverb wash wetting the instrument of choice, the delayed guitar enhancing the swirly effect, the piano donating grace to already beautiful songs, the warping electronics... All these elements interact with a savvy that is uttermost astonishing and establish an environment of melancholic smoothness and emotional expressiveness. "#2" is more minimal than their debut "#1" and I don't consider it to be superior than its predecessor, but if you like Staalplaat's experimental edge and you also enjoy Massive Attack, Portishead and bands like that, this could really be the best of both worlds in one record! Look out for a remix EP of the opening Nick Drake cover "Black Eyed Dog" with contributions from Opiate, Freiband, Monotonos, Manual and Dub Tractor later this year (or early next year).
Artist: TIAMAT
Title: Judas Christ
Format: CD
Label: century media
Distributor: century media
Tiamat’s second excursion into pop-goth, going away from the gloom of the masterpiece "A Deeper Kind Of Slumber" (described as one of my faves in the Lounge forum). A lot of people hated this move but I actually see Johan’s point on it being a move forward rather than trying each album to be more gloomy, as you can only stay that way for so long before life becomes pointless. And he proves he can do both dark poetry and the tricky edges of pop music. Pop writers tend not to be great poets and vise versa as we all have seen. "Vote For Love" is my fave on here, just a simple and direct song about getting up and rallying for peace in your own little way. It may not be "A Deeper... ." But hey you gotta move on sometime while the getting’s good and enjoy life you know ;)rating:9.
Artist: DEVENDRA BANHART
Title: "Oh Me Oh My... ... ... "
Format: CD
Label: young god records
Distributor: young god records
This one is kinda odd to me given I’m not a fan of T-Rex or anything like that, given that is Devenda’s major influence. With that in mind I was getting afraid of arena rock on this CD, but I was proven wrong thankfully. The CD seems very mellow, but the thing that caught me was his odd lyrics, which seem to bounce from one tangent to another (as if I’m one to judge given my poetry’s habit of this). His lyrics to me seem his ultimate strength and the music following behind, which is not a bad thing, since that seems his intention. The sound is very raw, just a guitar and drums, very primal (one of Gira’s loves). I oddly feel like he recorded this in a coffeehouse, since there seems to be the live atmosphere of a small club about. Rating: 8.
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