Music Reviews



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Artist: Mlada Fronta
Title: Oxydes
Format: CD
Label: Parametric
Beginning with very sensual yet heavily electronic ambient "CO" quickly adds heavy Power Noise rhythms. Mlada Fronta combine an extremely intelligent mixture of ambient, illbient, and digital experimentation with harsh metallic power driven industrial noise rhythms. Imagine Converter meets Beefcake with maybe a touch of Robert Rich for good measure and some Orb-like experimentation. Gritty, grinding, thumping, buzzing, harmonic, textural, mechanical, and emotional all accurately describe this project. Mlada Fronta's unique combination of noise driven harmonic simulation can only accurately be catagorized as 'noisescapes'. Like eclectic electronic ambient artist Robert Rich, Mlada Fronta combines various harmonic and nearly ethereal textures to create dark and moody pieces with an horrific beauty of it's own. At the same time power driven rhythms similar to those used by bands like Converter keep the tempo steady and oftentimes creates a nearly trancelike pulsating throb. Beginning slowly but building tempo rapidly this album quickly takes you into rather uncharted musical territories, like exploring a dark cave for the first time not knowing what dangers or wonders may lurk inside this album is an adventure of it's own. The album title sets the theme as all the tracks (as you can see) are titled after various Oxide 'chemicals' maintaining this abstract theme the inlay and cover artwork is compiled of various very well produced photographs of magnified depictions of corroded metals which normally may seem base, harsh, or even ugly instead have been transformed into visions of beauty and wonder themselves. This album is best listened to from start to finish as the tracks are artfully constructed to neatly lay next to each other in perfect compliment. When taken 'out of context' some tracks may seem simply too harsh or difficult to listen to as a standalone piece but when melded with it's companions it all fits comfortably. The second disc is combrised of remixes and videos. The remixes tend to be more beat driven, ambient, and less noise oriented and in all honesty I'd have to listen to both discs much more to even recognize which mixes belong to which songs. The videos mostly give you a chance to check out what Mlada Fronta is like live - simply put this is basically like Industrial-PowerNoize-RaveCulture.
Dec 03 2002
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Artist: NEXUS 8 (@)
Title: Neurotransmisor
Format: CD
Label: Pur Zynth (@)
Nexus 8 is a band coming from Mexico, land that is showing good bands willing to get more exposure out of their country (think about Hocico or Cenobita, etc.). NEUROTRANSMISOR is the first album of this Mexican duo and the first Pur Zynth's release. The CD contains nine tracks for fortyfive minutes of music which is conceived like a sort of concept album: as stated on the inlay card all the album is inspired on the supposition of the existence of a mechanism which is trying to understand the trivial and twisted human behaviour. The lyrics are bilingual (English / Mexican), the vocals are whispered and kept at a lower volume respect the music which is a particular thing for this kind of music, because bands tend to show all their rage and desperation on the use of distorted vocals. On the tracks there's a sort of tension and they seems composed like a soundtrack. The sound could also remind of a mixture of 80's ebm and electro music and even if the production is a little rough Nexus 8 are capable to convince me.
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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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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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).
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