Music Reviews



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Artist: SubSonic Symphonee (@)
Title: Images
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: KDP Music Group (@)
Distributor: Automatic Distribution
SubSonic Symphonee is an Australian 8-piece who give us a little teaser preview of their forthcoming album "eXtreme eVolution" with this "Images" single, featuring the title track in six versions plus a video clip."Images", the song itself, is a pretty good electronic piece, with nice editing and a fast pace. A little bit of rough and lead guitars giving it that heavy edge, nice sounds, strong hammering beats, melodic and untreated vocals (a refreshing change), parts with female vocals and loops or darker synth layers... The end result is a pleasing example of a well done blend of electronics, techno, dark, synthpop and goth-metal.After the original and the radio edit, there are four clubby remix versions by Robert Cross, Dj Acid Reign, Dj TonyC and Dj Killavirus. With the first three remix versions you can totally get it on in venues with busy dancefloors and folks that love pounding beats. The last remix version is more into a sort of minimal trip-hop/dub thing of its own.
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Artist: ZOAR (@)
Title: Clouds Without Water
Format: CD
Label: Middle Pillar (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe


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I have to admit that this is the first time I have the occasion of listening to a Zoar's album and it's a shame I did it only with their third album. Why? Because this CD is awesome and the atmosphere they are able to produce is really absorbing. Their use of cellos, noises and synth layers is catching and the construction of the songs is like a soundtrack which is capable to involve the listener totally. For this album the trio involved an incredible amount of inspired guests: Matt Johnson of The The on vocals of "Our Way Of Life" (a track inspired by In Blood Orchid author, Charles Bowden, who describes with Old Testament fury and twentieth-century anguish the state of the American spirit as the long, bloody century draws to a close), Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance on vocals for "Winter Wind" plus vocals, bass and sagat on "Wakeworld", Julie Comparini on vocals on most of the remainig tracks and Ker Rich with the masai people of lake Natron (Tanzania) on vocals on "The Coming Anarchy", "Ashes Falling". Other collaborators have been: Tony Levin, Charles Bowden and Paul Shipper. The tracks seem to function as a soundtrack to the text written on the booklet and they are absolutely functional, giving to the listener a wide range of emotions. If you, like me, never listened to this band don't go any further with this mistake and take your copy now. It's worth it!
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Artist: DAEMONIA NYMPHE, LOUISA JOHN-KROL, GOR & LYS
Title: Love Sessions
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe


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LOVE SESSIONS is a particular project / CD which remembered me what the 4AD created with its This Mortal Coil: different label's mate who meet and record together a bunch of songs, sharing thoughts and emotions. Obviously this album sounds different from This Mortal Coil, first because Prikosnovenie deals with another kind of music and then because these tracks have been recorded into a sort of session where each of the five people involved was composing a part of the final songs. Instead, if I'm not wrong, This Mortal Coil had a different approach and I don't really know if everyone was composing or else. Anyway... For LOVE SESSIONS we have got involved: Francesco Banchini (Gor & Ataraxia), Spyros Giasafakis (Daemonia Nymphe), Louisa John-Krol, Marléne Etrillard and Frédéric Chaplain (Lys) plus various guests on some songs. The first three people of the list (plus Frédéric Chaplain for "Sacrum II" and "Les Cloches De Clisson", where he worked with Spyros) wrote the music and played, with the other musicians involved, various kind of intruments such as: violin, percussions, table harp, guitar, flute cymbal, pandourida, etc. The recordings took place in the medieval city of Clisson on 2001 and 2002 and Fred Chaplain took care of the mixing, engineering and recordings. The songs respect the solo works of the people who wrote the songs (this is another main difference respect the 4AD project) and in this case we a balanced situation with twelve tracks emphasized by the voice of LOUISA, by Spyros' Greek ancient sounds enriched by the LYS' samples. Each track has got his own fascination and I appreciated half of them particularly: "Dante O' Doré", "Etheros" and "Over The Borders" to name few. For sure the lovers of fairy and folk sounds will appreciate this CD.
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Artist: HAnzel Und Gretyl
Title: Uber Alles (Above Everything)
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
This one frightened me in the beginning with "Overture", with the Nazi parade samples and Hitler speeches in the back. SKIP! The band is probably not fascist, but this one seems in some sense to push Nazism too far to the forefront. I doubt it, but still... ..Anywho, the CD as a whole seems very metal oriented, a far jump from their debut CD years back. I didn’t enjoy their debut all to much, but like many CDs from that time, if I listened to it now I’d probably enjoy it. Taste gathers over time you know! The Cd reminds me a good deal of "Herzeleicht" era Rammstein, a nice blast of industrial metal goodness, with some dance elements spruced in between. Their rage factor has also picked up, as well as the German songs. And no need to fear, non-Deutschsprechers, the German is kept very simple and anthemic, it’s not Das Ich’s complex German for sure. Good for fans of Rammstein and Oomph!, and for those just looking for a nice continuation to the German agro scene as of late. Rating: 9. Out May 20th by the way. I’m sure if you talk to the distributors nicely they may sell you copy sooner, or just talk to Music Nonstop about it.
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Artist: BETIKA
Title: Heads Smashed In By The Boy/Girl Thing
Format: CD
Label: Superglider (@)
When I was sixteen my brother used to listen to bands such as Pastels, Yeah Yeah Noh, Shop Assistants, Soup Dragons and there was an interesting compilation released by Cherry Red titled "Pillow And Prayers" which gathered bands like: Marine Girls (the first Tracey Thorn's band), Ben Watt (who at the same time teamed with Tracey to form Everything But The Girls), The Nightingales, etc. At that time there were labels like Subway or Creation that were exploring the ground of indie pop or pop wave. It seemed that new wave was dismissing his punk origins just to explore the pop fields, bringing his dark and intimistic vein to new sounds. The acoustic songs of Betika bring me back to those sounds being kinda sad and warm at the same time. At first the band sound included alternative rock textures, samples and other stuff, but due the difficulty of bringing all this on their live shows, they opted for a minimal approach and stripped the music down to a bare skeleton. After the debut as a duo, Dave Purse and Carolyn Evans, met on their path Matt Shaw of Tex La Homa and Chris Reed who shortly decided to join the band. With this line up they recorded the tracks of HEADS SMASHED IN BY THE BOY/GIRL THING, record that saw the light on 2001. Superglider decided to reissue it adding two new songs "Which Way Will I Go" and "Hunting With Dogs". For those of you that already own the six tracks MLP these songs are available to download from the labels website as mp3 files. For those of you who'd like to get the reissue, you won't wait that long, because it will be released at the end of April.
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