Music Reviews



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Artist: Mlada Fronta
Title: Oxydes
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Parametric (@)
It looks like French musician Remy Pelleschi is becoming more prolific as the days go by. Another MF double CD has hit the streets packed in an astonishing folding digipack with great graphics... I don't know whatever happened to M-Tronic, but "Oxydes" is coming out on his own outlet Parametric and seems to be overall more pushing... The first of the two CDs contains new and original material. Pulsing Dive-like saturated power electronic patterns reinforced by semi-distorted disturbed industrial beats collide with Young Gods-like floating ethereal sampled sounds and occasional pads. The peace is mostly slower and almost mysterious, but truly powerful indeed. It feels like the beast is hiding and observing, but rarely attacking in full blast. However when it does, it happens the right way: brutal force, true industrial strength... Finally an album of today with sounds of today that even the old "real" industrial pioneers wouldn't be ashamed of. The chemical elements are still used as song titles. The second CD contains remixes by himself, Gom (trancey), Tarmvred (noisier), Milligramme (more prodigy-techno-like), Dither (going ambient/experimental), the great Mimetic (power noise-ish/ebm-ish) and Data Raper (more epic and new-industrial type). And what do we have here? \Remy also presented us with unreleased video tracks... There are four concert clips here that you can enjoy only if you have Quick Time 5.02 or later installed. Recorded with the same long-sleeve shirt in Liege, Cannes, Bordeaux and Lyon, the performances stay pretty true to the record and would be a lot more exciting if supported by some kind of additional visual aids such as videos, projections, special lighting etc (from that point of view Lyon's performance is probably the best, thanks to pounding trance-inducing almost Detroit/Jeff Mills-like techno, lots of slowly changing and filter-sweeped sounds and cool red over-lights and blue/green laser-like stage lights... too bad it seems like he's playing in a big place with very few people)...
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Artist: ULTRA FUCKERS (@)
Title: Beyond the Fuckless
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Crazy shit I wasn't expecting to hear on Public Eyesore, except for the fact that this trio is Japanese. Ultra Fuckers start off as a garage-punk-hc band on speed recording in a basement with cheap equipment; cross Le Shock + any "Flex Your Head" band + The Boredoms + Teengenerate and you'll get close to the picture. Punk fuckin' rawk. From track 5, things get a bit weirder. Lots of raw (raw is the key-word here) psychedelia (ok, maybe that's why the cover says "we are psychedelic warrior... " - sic!), acid jams, some kraut rock too. Think of Can without any academic background recording in the same conditions mentioned above (minus the speed). Explicit titles like "German Rock Radio II" and "Let's go space beach". The last track, "D.A.F. (Kubitsukasan Mix)", reminded me of DEVO with its spastic electronic rhythm and grotesque vocals. This sounds like a joke, and I enjoyed listening. Super-cool layout.
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Artist: AAL (@)
Title: Disc 1 + Inherited and partially transmitted
Format: CD
Label: self-released
I review AAL's first and third work (see the review of "13" in the experimental section) together as they share similar sounds and atmospheres. Packed in nice DIY cardboard digipacks, "Disc 1" (2001, 5 tracks, 74') and "Inherited and partially transmitted" (2002, 3 tracks, 58') could well be played one after the other to prolong the magic of the listening experience. Deep, abstract synth waves lulling the listener to a dimension out of time and space as the patterns uncoil and some distant, melancholic melody is heard. I think Davide has quoted "Solaris" as an influence for one of the tracks, and the parallel with Tarkovskij's movie could be extended to both works, especially for their mesmerizing qualities. Definitely worth checking out if you love cosmic ambient. AAL's now working at a collaborative release with his label-mates Logoplasm, which should be more in the electroacoustic vein of "13"; I look forward to hearing that one...
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Artist: NOVALIS
Title: Last years calling
Format: CD
Label: Ars Musica Diffundere/Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Triton
God, I thought this was another electro duo but no, luckily Novalis play dark folk. Songs tend to be good, with effective arrangements and sober playing - acoustic guitar, keyboards, some percussions and trumpet, and two voices alternating from track to track; at best, the production's similar to Death In June's "Rose clouds of holocaust", like in the opening track "Human". Influences logically embrace the good ole days World Serpent rooster (a lot of DIJ, some Sol Invictus and Fire + Ice in the more epic moments -like "Of the golden future time"-, a bit of Current 93), Swans ("What if", my favourite one), and unfortunately some gothic/wave slips in a couple of tracks ("Hey God", "Bloody") which are, in my opinion, the weakest of the whole work. I'd say the first half of the cd is really quite good, while the second one presents not that memorable songs. It must be a matter of tastes, but I wish Novalis stuck to folk ballads increasing traditional arrangements ("Von Traum", for example, has a great atmosphere for that) and dropping the goth influences that stiffen their sound.
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