Music Reviews



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Artist: Sawf
Title: Masif
Format: 12"
Label: Prosthetic Pressings (@)
Distributor: DBH
Rated: *****
The sonic rendering of apocalypse according to Saint Sawf that portrayed the pale horse of Death on B side and picked some words from St.John's Revelations to introduce his release reminded a bizarre attempt of proselytism by a priest in Berlin during an edition - I don't remember which one - of Love Parade, who decided to play techno while saying mass in order to attract some young people and older youngsters. The deranged and somehow obsessive apocalyptic techno of the opening "Stepa", the blazing break of "Masifia", which combines a venomous loop to industrial sonorities, the reversed snare drum on the almost humdrum "Kaseta" and the seemingly flat grim drill on "Kekra"by this Greek producer could be an appropriate musical accompaniment for an overexcited priest during a sermon where he spouts some religious nonsense as long as that pale horse keeps on neighing in his realm of fancy! Anyway this is quite good assay of really dark and ominuous techno!
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Artist: Brighter Death Now
Title: With Promises of Death
Format: CD
Label: Familjegraven
Rated: *****
Time has finally come. Roger Karmanik is back. Many years have passed since the last fresh meat from Mister CMI. From Kamikaze Kabaret (2005) Brighter Death Now have published several releases but there were just unpublished tracks, live, or re-edition of historical records. Then last year CMI passed away, and we all thought that time for burying BDN too was arrived. We were wrong. The new album is called 'With Promises of Death' and it is produced by Roger's brand new label called Familjegraven. The album begins with a song ('With promises of death') that sounds more like a slogan: 'This is not over', with Roger keeps on singing this for the rest of the song, with reverberated and distorted voices, in the best death industrial tradition. Many years have passed since last Roger's composition, so our guy is a little bit rusty, but the result is nonetheless amazing. I hasten to add that this album reminds me somehow 'Necrose Evangelicum' although 'With Promises of Death' is a little bit more - how to say - 'agitated'. Rhythmic typical BDN bass are more prominent and invasive than 'Necrose Evangelicum', but the philosophies behind the atmospheres in my opinion are similar. Gross and slow bass, with a touch of rhythm, articulates Roger's lament. As usual, Roger Karmanik tugs the listener deep in the ground floor of human's soul, where conflicting feelings melt within each other. Here everything is allowed, and we pass from sarcasm to anger passing through sadness. A special mention goes to 'In The Shadows of Death', where a sort of cheap pipe organ draw a sinister melody, and Roger sings over it. I was waiting for this album since many years, and now that it is here, I can only say that this is a great album, and now we expect a lot of more from Mr Karmanik, reborn like a phoenix from the flames of hell.
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Artist: Alexander Weinstein (@)
Title: Just Stone'd
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Micro.fon (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this forthcoming output by Dj Emerson's Micro.fon imprint, which is going to get launched on 23rd January, is the debut release for this label by Alexander Weinstein, its author is not a rookie of Berlin techno scene as he won some reputation when Torsten Kanzler regularly invited him to ignite his nights at the legendary Tresor by means of stirring sets, whose dark and raw core got crammed into the two anthems of this release: Alexander begins to throw stones on "Just" where an obsessively mechanical kick and an increasingy hypnotic sequence of hitting elements got dissolved and merged into the typical synth-horn that features many gloomy Detroit techno tunes which could be the perfect soundtrack for machine-driven human extinction, while the following "Stone", whose title seems to be a sort of tribute to Weinstein's moniker on Strobed N'Stoned together with Rob Strobe, sounds even dirtier than "Just" by means of rustled pulsating sonic fumaroles which spit poison on a rising rhythmic storm.
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Artist: Skinny Puppy (@)
Title: Mythmaker (Deluxe) - remastered
Format: 12"
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Almost simultaneously to the remastered version of "Greater Wrong Of The Right", the first album that followed the reunion of cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the twin pillars of Skinny Puppy, Metropolis decided to re-release the second album astonishing album of that cycle. Fans of the anointed forerunners of industrial rock maybe knows the difficulties that Nivek experienced while working on it and the way they influenced the "simplified" sound of "Mythmaker", an epithet that Ogre himself described in order to highlight some changes of the archetypal Skinny Puppy sound by the integration of elements from modern electronic music and rock. Some critical voices in the press tried to resize the scale of these variations, but it seems that this matter didn't really concern their fierce fanbase as some occasional blinking to more cinematic stuff - some tracks of this album got included in the soundtrack of the fourth chapter of "Saw" - didn't really put dents in their creative energy and I'm pretty sure that some fans will acknowledge that tracks like "Jaher", "Politikil", "Ambiantz", "Lestiduz" or "Ugli" are some of the best songs that Skinny Puppy had ever made. Anyway here it is a window of opportunity to rooll this album up again...and again!
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Artist: Oelki
Title: Roadrunning
Format: CD
Label: Uncoiled Loops (@)
Rated: *****
Some weeks ago I received a selection of very good releases from Uncoiled Loops, a small label which gained some visibility for its wide stylistical range in electronic music on some specialised forums on Internet, and even if most of them date back to 2013, their quality deserves attention. I'm not a great fan of progressive house, psytrance or tech-house, but the sound that Munich-based producer Oelki leaks on this release is so fetching and heady that I can overlook my personal scale of preference. The opening "Silver Lane" is my least favorite track as the influence of hackneyed sonic strategies that featured techno-trance and comparable styles is too emphasised, while the unpredictable change on the following "Roadrunning", whose initial playful pops slips on a diluted synth-organ which adds an ethereal charm to the track, reroutes Oelki's craft towards more interesting shores. The concise micro-tech intro of "Experimental No.1" could let listener imagine the umpteenth derivation of Detroit micro-house before he wisely inoculates other sonic elements such a wrapping padded clap and an alien tweeting that makes it more attractive, while the lubricated grooves of "Phase 320 (V2)", the precise clip-marks of "Pluto (2nd Edit)" and the numb nimbleness of the final "Quantensprung" could be the perfect soundtrack for an extra stage of some racing videogame set in an imaginary planet. In spite of its title, Oelki suggests to not listen to "Roadrunning" while driving as its hypnotic sound could let you forget how you reached the destination you could be when cd-player stops.
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