Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Analogous Indirect
Format: 12"
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Public Eyesore # 22, released in 2000 on a dear old 12" vinyl slab. Lots of veterans, a few well-known artists (Thurston Moore, The Flying Luttenbachers) and a number of interesting "minor" performers - which sums the Public Eyesore catalog and policy quite well, I'd say. Also music-wise, with a mix of harsh noise (New Port, Solmania, Jonas Lindgren, Automobile, Cornucopia and Sickness), improvisation, non-standard electronics and extreme free-jazz. Best moments in my humble opinion: Thurston Moore with a Fahey-esque strummed acoustic piece, the duet between Kazumoto Endo and Yoko Sato (experimental vocal collages with bursts of guitar feedback), and of course Cornucopia and Sickness. Boy, can these two acts deliver the noise. Brutal and in your face.
Dec 22 2002
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Delectronict2
Format: CD
Label: Detroit Electronica Coalition (@)
Second volume of Detroit Electronica Coalition samplers, devoted to the promotion of the Motor City electronic scene. 17 tracks, 72 minutes, and an inner sheet with information about single artists. Let's say the projects and bands cover most nuances of electro, techno and EBM, from melodic to noisy and obsessive - plus a few outsiders, like Silvercord (more dark-wave in a Projekt vein) or Smitty and Tek Meister (sort of d'n'b + noisy loops). Interesting to notice how Detroit electro-EBM acts sound very akin' to their European colleagues. I guess the compilation will work if you're into the genre, and tracks like Jealous of Frank's "Future folk" do have their appeal. But I just find most artists not that challenging, with some totally mainstream ones like Esion or Heterosonic which could suit MTV, but not my poor ears.
Artist: Gridlock
Title: Live.Traces
Format: CD
Label: Frozen Empire Media (?)
Distributor: unknown
This is my first taste of Gridlock’s new sound since their bone-crunching, dark masterpiece, "Further", which took the fine line between industrial and drumnbass and sledgehammered it into the psyche.
The first track, "Uh4.17" is a trancey effort with it’s subliminal keyboard lines and that classic Gridlock beat we all love slamming away in the back. And when the beats subside the beauty of the track is undeniable, leaving in it’s wake a very melancholy atmosphere. Then comes the title track "Further", which is just purely haunting, it’s lingering sounds in the back accompanying a bass beat from the darkest corner of the mind. This track and the whole "Further" CD is a trip through the mind of a machine suddenly ready to commit suicide at any second, like the ghost from Event Horizon’ if it could play music. Track 3, "Burn" is from their debut CD, "The Synthetic Form" which won them such acclaims as "the new heirs to the industrial throne" by Industrial Nation, and rightfully so. Another hauntingly beautiful track, ".0002" follows, with the same dreamy formula now incorporated into their new sound, though it is still quite unsettling as it is beautiful.
The entire CD is simply Gridlock, which is the highest compliment you can possibly give them, as they have truly through the years paved out their own sound and have mastered it thoroughly. They mastered industrial and now have moved onto to a unique mix of that and IDM, all with pure emotion and atmosphere. Pure fucking genius, what else can I really say about them?
Rating:10. This CD is limited to 250, so I highly advise getting your copy ASAP!
Artist: Illegal Teenage Bikini
Title: I Am Not Job
Format: CD
Label: Precipice Records
Distributor: WT2 Records
First outing by the mastermind behind Thanatos, Patrick Ogle. The CD is a very interesting mix of drones,accoustic guitar, and semi-industrial beats, all with a humorous tongue-in-cheek outlook. It's kinda what you get if you took the Swans (latter era),Snog, and Death in June (ala "She Said Destroy") and mixed them together. The highlight on htis one would have to be track 6, "Drop the Dime", with it's gentle guitar line flowing over a soft ambient soundscape, recalling to me the Swan's song "Song For Dead Time" minus the female vocals. A strong release overall, and something a little more humorous in my collection for a change. Rating: 9.
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Artist: Lacrimosa
Title: Durch Nacht Und Flut (Through Night and Flood)
Format: CD
Label: Hall of Sermon/Nuclear Blast
Distributor: Nuclear Blast (USA) Hall of Sermon (Europe)
Their Copycat" video I saw a while back took the word awful’ to new heights, with it’s big hair and high kicking about in a underground crypt, all over some very stereotypical metal schlock. With this one, they have grown a deal, but still have a ways to go. At least the clichéd metal and big hair are gone, though the singer still can’t really sing above an Oasis-like nasal whine (in German) and bang out a guitar line that I’ve heard in every teen comedy ever made. Track 4 is the only one that really has any redeeming value to it, with it’s violin lines, though it still harbors a quasi-dance rhythm and that ’Stefan-Ackerman with Down Syndrome" German drone on it. This CD may be progress for them from the pits of their past laughability, but goddamn do they still suck bad. They pretend to be metal and the metal element is not there at all. They pretend to be goth, and all the goth there is in this is their clothes. And their classical element they tote so much is in short spurts no longer than 20 seconds. I’m hoping their full length is better and that this is just a bad mistake for a song, but I’m kinda doubting it. I was wrong on the one part, Track 5, the remix of "Not Every Pain Hurts" is the only redeemable one, getting me safe away from that German whining, and is actually quite skillfully done. And it took Sabotage’s remix of that to save it! Well, we can only hope on the next one... ... ... ... Rating: 2. For metal/goth/classical stuff save your money and get My Dying Bride.
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