Music Reviews



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Artist: THE MOURNING AFTER (@)
Title: Never The Same
Format: 7"
Label: Pulsewave Records (@)
Maybe you remember the review I did of Mourning After's MCD (they were a cool synthpop bands coming from Sweden). This release is a posthumous limited to four hundred 7" which contains two remixes of "Never The Same", a track coming from that MCD. The first one "Club Mix By Thomas Skyldeberg" is a melodic techno remix which contains all the elements of that genre (you know, the changing LFOs, the speeding up snare drum, and the 4/4 bass drum) and for this reason is nice but it isn't my cup of tea. The second version, "Never Remixed by Notch", is always club friendly but it's more intriguing with its distorted pauses which break the rhythm, creating in this way a crawling tension. This single seems to be the first one of a serie of The Mourning After's remixes. Strange operation for a band that did a good job but only a four tracks single...
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Artist: PRIMITIVE PAINTER/PULBY
Title: Split
Format: 7"
Label: Dead Digital (@)
Two charming songs and a new label coming from England and all these into a little 7": this is quite amazing, isn't it? Primitive Painter presents us "Self Reference Hour" which is an hypnotic/electronic tune that reminds me a little of Kraftwerk and Suicide. All the track is based on various rhythms generated by analogue devices and along with those there's a melodic structure made of distorted monophic synthesizers, analogue bells and various samples. The result is quite appealing and catchy. Pulby instead reminds me more of Moby because of the nostalgic mood of "Water From Different Falls" which mix electronic moments and a clean guitar with manipulated voices. Both tracks seems to be based on a cyclic structure and more you listen them, more they convince you about how cool they are. Get this single and check the bands' streamings at the label's website.
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Artist: I: WOUND (@)
Title: --
Format: CD
Label: Verato Project/Suggestion Records
This is a CD-R limited to 50 copies, issued in the Verato Project series (other cds by Ovum, Eeyow Karoom - see archives -, Bernd Spring etc.) in november 2001 - I'm partly guilty of the delay in reviewing, apologies. I: Wound is a German sound artist who has worked for previous releases with ethnic field recordings, mainly from India. This concept release couldn't be more different: a 75' "soundscape of footage news on the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks", that's it, 9-11 all the way. Recorded on the very same day and mixed two days later, the tracks are divided into two main sections, "The southern tower" and "The northern tower", and are basically overlayed recordings from live sounds, tv broadcasts, etc. If anything, it gives an idea of the confusion and the panic following the attacks, but also - and this is probably a fruit of the year which has passed - a portrait of the sickening media/political celebration of civilian death, the enormous quantity of words shed for a terrorist attack against the holy temple of democracy, while there are hundreds of un-filmed and "secondary" wars all over the world no one ever talks about (let alone asking justice or reparation for them). Slavoj Zizek writes in the liner notes: "the ultimate truth of the capitalist utilitarian de-spiritualized universe is the de-materialization of the 'real life' itself, its reversal into a spectral show". I think it sums it up quite well.
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Artist: AXONE (@)
Title: Casus Belli
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse (@)
Somnambulant Corpse/Death Aesthetics has been putting out some quality cd-r's and 3" cd-r's by newborn or more known projects, like Tugend, Bestia Centauri, Dead Reaven's Choir and Survival Unit, plus a good tribute compilation to H. P. Lovecraft. Axone's debut 3" ep (3 tracks, 19') is topped by this sentence: "Self-directed evolution is within our collective power. All that stands in our way is an obsolete ideology". "Manifest Destiny" is an ecstatic drone with manipulated vocal and instrumental (orchestral or hymn-like, I'd say) samples; quite ambient sounding and, much unlike the rest of the ep, even peaceful. "Psychogenetic Terror" changes the whole atmosphere with dark industrial thuds and clankings, a heavy distorted drone close to death industrial fields, sparse noises and even crickets (!) in the ending. "Casus Belli", my favourite track, merges a gloomy synth drone with death industrial rhythms, plus a menacing low-pitched voice; sort of a cross between Allerseelen and Brighter Dead Now. Good stuff for an ep, I'd like to hear him on a longer run.
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Artist: SCI-FI INDUSTRIES (@)
Title: Architectural Development
Format: CD
Label: This.co (@)
First full-length cd (12 tracks, 68') for Luis F. Seixas a.k.a. Sci-Fi Industries, after the CDep "Dead people on stylish chairs" issued by This.co some months ago. What immediately strikes while listening to "Architectural Development" is the incredible improvement in the musical proposal of this young Portugues electronic artist. His sound palette is richer, there's more variety within single tracks and in the whole work, and most of all the sound quality itself is so much better that in "Dead people...". It's like every single beat (which sounded quite minimal in the ep) has now a kind of depth or arrangement of his own, and a sense for layers composition prevents tracks from becoming repetitive or static. The final result is a mature and totally enjoyable mix of techno, breakbeat, electronica and IDM falling somewhere near Warp-like projects, with hypnotic rhythms and elegant, nocturnal melodic patterns. A great album which absolutely deserves recognition and distribution outside Portugal.
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