Music Reviews

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Artist: Type V Blood
Title: Penta
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Sun (@)
Rated: *****
A new label we like to welcome in front of the international dark scene, which actually tries hard to survive on the hard fought and rotten conceptual field of physically releases. This Artificial Sun shines bright in these days and it is a conspicuous fact that they are hailing out of Russia. With the noble mission to lead mainly Russian Industrial-/Metal-/Crossover-projects into a sonic war to reach attention internationally, they have indeed some nice horses added to their stable, like this Kaliningrad-based duo for example. Type V Blood aren't at all bloody newcomers and can already look back on a handful releases on different underground labels, but also the legendary Russian Metal-institution Irond. 'Penta' could be indeed a kind of break-through for them, because they balance pretty well Nu-Metal with Electro/Industrial plus a constant portion of angry Punk-like influences. Think of rawest Angelspit meets Biopsy meets Acumen Nation, and you'll get a hint, how their pounding onslaught may sounds. The good and remarkable content of their music is surely the fact, that the electronic ingredients are playing an important role of their whole aural concept. Tracks like the raw, fast forward marching 'Wild & Dirty' will surely leave you breathless in front of your home entertainment. Diversity can be also discovered in their kind to install their male vocals. Be it that Death-Metal-like growling, that angry screaming, or a calm, natural sounding, unprocessed kind ' they are capable to present all thinkable styles. And even if some of their compositions take a stumbling, at times chaotic sounding path ('Black Metal Cenotaph', 'Christorium'), they contrary are also able to provide more calm elements and linearity, sometimes with an easy-minded 'singing-along-the-lyric-line' factor ('All My Girls (feat. Andrey Zodchly)', 'Go-Go-Gothic (feat. Nataly Protasova)'). 'Penta' stands globally for entertainment in a musically relative raw environment ' not the easiest cake to bite for sure, but with a respectable content of authenticity. With 19 tracks, among others also including a cover version of the Metal-veterans Accept ('Fast As A Shark'), this album is opulently filled, although I have some doubts in the quality and seriousness of their chosen remix contributors. Some of them alter a bit the overall positive impression, while others can take this opportunity for well-working self-promotion (Bleak Freak's remix of 'Hi Tech / Low Life' RAWKS!). Artificial Sun couldn't find any better kick-starter for their label debut, so let's hope to be able to check out more quality Russian Hybrid-Metal-stuff.
Jun 16 2013
Artist: VV.AA.
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Electro Aggression Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
New edition of the mixtape series of the uprising Electro Aggression Records label! Released during the cold winter days, this was an ideal warm-up teaser for the spring activities of this label, which at least brought us 3 new releases so far. And just like the first edition of this mixtape edition, also this second part offers remarkable content which leaves the listener surprised and deeply satisfied in front of his home entertainment. This quality stuff is again freely available via the Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages of the label: 75 minutes of authentic Dark Electro music/old-school EBM, no doubts, this is another must-have download for fans and supporters of finest Electronica music asides the repetitive and still ruling Hellectro-/Terror-EBM formula. Technically again executed by Michael 'Soillodge' Renfield, who proves again his skills to mix every single track perfectly into each other. He actually leaves only the one question open: how long will it take until he himself takes part with an appearance under his R010R project?
This mixtape starts perfectly with the German female/male-duo Pyrolline and their track 'Decision'. This fine and melodic Dark Electro tune picks up the line which Mentallo & the Fixer have left after 'Revelations 23' and/or 'Where Angels Fear To Tread' and the track would ideally fit to find a slot on one of this classic masterpieces. To Avoid are one of those band projects, which are trying to find an ideal balance between old-school EBM and the Dark Electro hype of the early 90ies. With both appearances, one of them is their classic, 8 years old tune 'Last Resort Suicide' (this time remixed by Maschinensturm), they provide a satisfying result and prove activity in the underground. Besides of Pyrolline, also the German/Swiss duo tEaR!doWn is one of the new additions of the EAR label. Their sound outfit differs and rather reflects the Dark Electro movement of the second generation during the mid-90ies, mostly provided by labels like Celtic Circle Productions or Gothic Arts. Red+Test, already the winner of the first mixtape edition, receives another 2-track-appearance: 'Before The End Of Days' pushes the masses on the dancefloors and surprises with VAC-related sequencing works, while the second tune 'Unforgiving Landscapes' reanimates some of the harder moments of the obvious idol Mentallo & The Fixer ('Inhumanities', 'Disrupture', or 'Narcotic Calling' for example...). Object is of course represented too, but stands a bit in the shadow of Pyrolline and/or Red+Test. And if you're longing out for a more futuristic form of your beloved Puppy-an sound-design, you have to check out the appearances of One Eye Wanders. You actually need a lesson in effective insertion of vocal samples? Here you'll get a lecture! What else? Astma (expect a summer release by this Swedish project on E.A.R...) offers the straight, fast and adrenaline-pumping form of old school EBM with angry shouts, quite comparable to acts like Autodafeh or Spetsnaz. DRP, the Japanese EBM heroes of the early 90ies on Dirk Ivens' legendary Body Records label are sending out another kicking sign of life: Could they maybe an option for EAR and start a comeback after their legendary 'Electro Brain 586' in 1990? Instans, the side-project of Sweden's Severe Illusion seems to get a re-animation - both this Swedish projects got featured on here too.
The result of this second edition is nearly the same like after the first one: it's unbelievable that the listener gets rewarded with a free available 75 minutes long download-onslaught filled with so much quality. Again - no matter how often I repeat it - this isn't filler stuff and all projects provide their best abilities with heart and soul presented through their music.

Pyrroline - Decision
To Avoid - Feel It [radio edit]
tEaR!doWn - Sign from Above [EAR mixtape Version]
Red+Test - Before the End of Days
One Eye Wanders Orchid Hunter
Object - Urban Claustrophobia [original instrumental version]
INSTANS - Carry My Name
B.A.M.N. - apart [edit]
Terminal State - The End
Astma - Dead End [remix 2012]
DRP - Fuck Off
tEaR!doWn - Nerve Conflict [Illness mix by Mc1r]
Severe Illusion - Lobotomobile [early version]
One Eye Wanders - Nervesending [edit]
To Avoid - Last Resort Suicide [RMX by Maschinensturm]
Red+Test - Unforgiving Landscapes
Artist: Matthew Shaw (@)
Title: Lamorna
Format: CD
Label: Fluid Audio (@)
Rated: *****
The gracefully statuesque droning ambient of billowing strings on the initial "Rosemerrynwood" introduces this new "enviro-mental" sonic translation of the fey town of Lamorna and its enchanting surroundings, a place on the south-western part of the lovely British region of Cornwall, by Matthew Shaw aka Tex La Homa, one of the most interesting musician of the UK underground ambient scene and founder of Apollolaan Recordings, who's not totally new to both this kind of releases where the musician seems to experience and translate into sounds an enraptured enthrallment by surrounding landscape or a specific location as well as by resulting inner frames of reference and sonic sanctification of Cornish places (he already dedicated a couple of CDrs to Lanreath and Metherell). The embedding of field recordings for such a release was almost compulsary, but Matthew skillfully kneads and amalgamates them with other sonic elements so that he manages to vividly render both the immediately perceivable manifestation of the places he visited (Lamorna valley, the beautiful cove, the peaceful woods and the mysterious historical site of Boleigh Fogou, an underground structure from the Iron Age) and the inner awesomeness they inspire by means of wisely played bowed guitars, acoustic guitars, Moog Prodigy and various effects. I'm pretty sure many listeners will experience synesthetic emotions as if they were surrounded by ferns, bluebeels, foxgloves, woodland, stones and all other elements of that Corbish corner of heaven.I hope there are still some available copies (just 100 numbered ones have been printed) as the package that Fluid Audio reserved for this sonic jewel mirrors its poetic soul by including a natural Larch wood slice, pressed Viola flower, a rare poem by British Surrealist painter and author Ithell Colquhoun, local scent and a download code as well.
Artist: I Signori Della Galassia
Title: Iceman
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Active between the end of 70s and the very beginning of the 80s in Italy, I Signori Della Galassia (The Lords Of The Galaxy) were a band coming from Savona, Liguria. Formed by six members Franco Delfino (keyboards, voice), Gigi Mosello (keyboards, voice), Manuel Gustavino (guitar), Bruno Govone (guitar), Sergio Babboni (bass) and Beppe Aleo (drum), recorded two albums: "Qualcosa Si Crea Nulla Si Distrugge" in 1978 and "Iceman" the year after. Their main hit was "Archeopterix", track released on single with "Vulcano" and released on their second album. This album, thanks to Medical Records, has been reissued after thirty-four years! Originally containing nine tracks, on this new version, the album has eleven tracks ("Luce" and "Eliane" have been released on single in 1980 and they were sounding a bit different from the album's songs as they were more pop like I Cugini Di Campagna). The music of I Signori Della Galassia is really multifaceted as it gathers elements of 70s space disco (check the opening "Proxyma Centauri", the particular gipsy melodies of "Oltre Il Cristallo", "Iceman", "Archeopterix" or "Tutankhamon") as well as 70s Italian prog rock (check the beautiful fluid atmospheres and the melodic arpeggios of "Sub") and 70s Italian pop (see Pooh or Latte E Miele for both). Initially they were seen as the Italian answer to Rockets (do you remember the silver space men coming from France that had different major hits like "On The Road Again", "Electric Delight" or "Galaxy"?) but their style was also referring to bands like Goblin (see the tracks "Puoi Sentirmi", "Fermate La Reazione" and "Vulcano" with their dark baroque atmosphere). Using only analog synths, guitars and drum the band created a unique sound which was kinda cinematic and powerful where catchy melodies, great space sounds and inspiration were the key elements. This is a great reissue!
Artist: Chris Abrahams
Title: Memory Night
Format: CD
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
The circumstance that New Zealander sound artist and pianist Chris Abrahams is one third of the avant-jazz band The Necks, one of the most innovative of contemporary scene, could be considered a biographical note or a certification of consolidated experience for this occasion, as this album sounds completely different from The Necks' stuff due to the musical register he explores on "Memory Night". He already carved out the most enterprising musical experiments by his solo works on the occasion of a couple of releases - "Thrown" (2005), where he built catching soundscapes by means of an acoustic piano and a Yamaha DX7, and the surprising "Play Scar" (2010) -, but both of them were more ambient-oriented. On "Memory Night", he succeeds in catching listener's attention by means of a totally and somehow challenging sonic strategy, based on the functional transfiguration of classical piano, which got turned into a generator of noises. Piano melodies distinctively resurface, as they sound somehow worn-out, and the moment when the melodic function comes out again from an agglutination of cryptic tolls, grave stretched ultra-low keys, fazing taps, oleaginous metallic rubbing, occurs in a track Chris wisely labelled "Strange Bright Fact" before that sudden doleful melody gets stifled by a noisy melee of animal calls to boot. It precedes "Stabilized Ruin", the moment when the mongrel, which derives from the melting of piano melodies, its visceral noises and electronic tumefactions, arise at last by means of glitch tangles of noises, bleeps, hiccups, soughs, regurgiutations and a sobbing intermittent piano melody. It demands a very attentive listening in order to catch the lightest shades of this engaging hybridization.
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