Music Reviews



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Artist: [Electric Resistance] (@)
Title: Brave New Day
Format: CD EP
Label: Insane Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
New Russian Electro-/Industrial label Insane Records has been seemingly founded out of the ruins of the Artificial Sun-label. But differently to Artificial Sun focusing mostly on Industrial- / Metal-Crossover music, this new label is rather more dedicated to the Electronica side of life. [Electric Resistance] has been already active under Artificial Sun and this Moscow-based project can look back on a first EP-release. To start off with Insane Records, label and band have decided to give this new 6-track-EP away to a "pay-what-you-want-procedure' as a download via Bandcamp, but there is also available a 9-track physical CD-version which offers 3 additional remix contributions by such prominent Russian scene-marauders like Cutoff:Sky, the Kaliningrad-based Industrial-Chaostronica-brothers of Type V Blood, and Deviant Haze. The music of [Electric Resistance] is a raw and straight driving form of Electro/EBM/Industrial music, at times supported by some raging guitar riffs. Although all song-titles are in English, the lyrics are nearly completely provided in Russian language by the mastermind behind, Alexander Dmitriev. For the most part in the music of [Electric Resistance], Alexander avoids it to fall into the repetitive Harsh EBM/Hellectro rush; he can be rather sorted to be a classic-inspired Electronica musician, who has rather taken his lessons out of EBM and Rock/Metal-music styles. To point out the best track out of the 6 original tunes is a bit difficult, because they all have preferences. The energetic screamo-vocals of 'Remember' and 'City' are worth a mention for instance, while 'Electric Trash' could be pointed out as being the most accessible track and it doesn't wonder, that Cutoff:Sky and Type V Blood have taken this one to produce their remixes on it. I see this second release of this project as the much better conceived one compared to the debut, it mainly introduces much better the sound outfit of this up- and coming Moscow-based project. Good and well produced EBM stuff so let's keep the finger crossed that this project continues to produce a full-length album.
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Artist: Control (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Maybe the clocks in Fairfield, Iowa, are ticking differently to any other thinkable place in States, but c'mon guys, wasn't it possible to find any other more original band-name than a simple 'Control', which is already in use by some other Electronica music-projects? Although 'different' is a good paraphrase which could be often used when it comes to talk on the content this self-titled debut album. Control is a three-man outfit consisting of Joseph Mayfield (vocals), Joey Del Re (guitars, programming) and Dominic Rabalais (synths, programming). Being pretty much inspired by the Synthpop-driven Pop- / New Wave -music culture of the 80s (darkest Depeche Mode, Ultravox, New Order, The Cure to name the idols'¦), they create a post-modern sound-outfit filled additionally with their own area-based cultural background. And so this 13-track album swims in inspiration and into stylistically diversity which surprises here and there. The listing of additional, mostly unusual instruments in their Electronica music outfit is a long one (for example mandolin in 'Tonight' / saxophone on 'Condemned To Feel' and 'Corpse') and absolutely proofs their diversity. A lot of different moods and impressions mostly provided through the at times quite sarcastic lyrics have been tested and at least installed. Lyricist/vocalist Joseph Mayfield offers a lot of blood and sweat with his timbre and the lyrical content dealing of one's inner pain to keep control over the musically course both his band-mates manage to produce. The 'Personal Jesus'-like guitar-riff of 'Hardwired' gets soon vanished by the bubbling synth bass-lines and a catchy chorus-passage, which a kid is able to sing along. 'Corpse', a track which has been specially supported with a video clip-production, impresses with its scratching bass-line sequences and the upbeat tempo. In between 'Tonight' slows down the speed and offers nearly romantic lyrics dealing with endless yearning. 'No One Knows' is another favorite worth to check out because of its quite accessible composition full of Pop-aesthetics. 'Condemned To Feel' and especially Joseph's emotional kind to sing on this track brings back reminiscences of the better DM-days and he could win the imaginary 'let's-sing-like-Gahan' song contest. The row of highlights could be continued as all of these featured 13 tracks are sort of favorites and have their very own preferences. No doubt, this Iowa-based Control music-project has already found an ideal niche to play with Wave-/Pop music-accessibility, while they never fall the same time into redundancy or mediocrity. That's nice entertainment which deserves the few more spins until the whole meaning behind takes effect.
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Artist: Fennesz
Title: Bécs
Format: CD
Label: Editions Mego
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure that many lovers of Fennesz sound bought this record, which is the conceptual follow-up of "Endless Summer" after 13 years on renowned Austrian label Editions Mego, for sight unseen and many of them are delighting their eardrums and their brains by continuous listening. The sonic strategies to throw the sound of guitar towards computational and sideral heavens by means of heavy sound processing and thunderous drone-like electronic scraping are so guessed that even the noisier moments of the album such as "The Liar" and "Liminality", unpredictable and quicksilver entities after the opening jazzy drumming and the lukewarm psychedelia of strummed acoustic guitars of the opening "Static Kings", are really blissful. The warm embrace of infinite space looks like a thrilling bear hug while listening the hypnotic deep organ and the skylarking bleeps of "Pallas Athene", whose rising effulgence could let you imagine that Christian Fennesz experieenced a close encounter of the third kind with some Greek God (or Goddess). The distortions of the blissful guitar strumming on the title-track, the Hungarian name of Wien, sounds like the removal of coronary occlusions which blocked that feeling of infinite love and compassion that soaked some previous stuff by this talented sound-poet. After "Sav", the collaborative track with Cedric Stevens and maybe the haziest parenthesis of the album with its impenetrable layers of microsopunds and gurgles, the final "Paroles" goes out in style by means of a mainly acoustic track, where electronic residual clinkers are just trifling interferences which got fully absorbed by the delicate beauty of an immaculate guitar plucking.
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Artist: Occupanther (@)
Title: Talea EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
According to his own words, Munich-based producer and double bass student Martin brugger aka Occupanther digged many musical stuff he likes up - or I'd rather say took his stems for plant striking (Talea is the Italian name of the plant cutting technique) for this graceful release such as Mogwai, Broken Social Scene, Moderat and Jon Hopkins, but listeners could find many possible influences out such as Caribou/Manitoba, Magic Panda or Tycho. All tracks smells like that abstract melancholia for post-pubertal timing, but the fluffy melodies that he insufflate into listener's eardrums, the mellow pads, some nice sonic inserts - I particularly enjoyed a sound that he used in "Color" which is similar to the sound of a baby who takes a cract at whistling in vain - and well-forged rhythmical patterns - the one on "Hannah", my favorite track of this EP as well as the track where Moderat influences are more recognisable, with its captivating hitting on empty trash cans or possibly metal shutters are really good - makes this release a palatable listening experience.
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Artist: Richard Glover (@)
Title: Logical Harmonies
Format: CD
Label: Another Timbre (@)
Rated: *****
Even if it got delivered by CeReNeM - acronym of Centre for Research in New Music,an international group of academics, sound artists, postgraduate students as well as some funded research and honorary fellows of University of Huddersfield - some months after its official release date in November 2013, this collection of seven pieces by UK young composer Richard Glover is an interesting assay of so-called process music, whose illusory simplicity and instrumental naivete' fed the synonymy with minimalism. Most "algorithms" inspect the alterations of harmony by focusing on a few variable elements and just one constant element of the composition, where listeners could vividly perceive a strange encountering between catharsis and decay besides correlation coefficients and logical-mathematical sets: for instance, harmony itself seems to wither over the six minutes of "Beatings In A Linear Process", where the consonance of clarinet, cello and violin is just an illusion as when two of the three instruments seem to reach the same pitch, one of them fades out; the variable proportionality between silent breaks and single tonal trails from cello, clarinet and piano on "Cello With Clarinet and Piano" could let you imagine the signals from an invisible ship in the middle of a nocturnal ocean; the slight tonal variations on Philip Thomas' piano-driven opening first part and final final part of "Logical Harmonies" could be the perfect soundtrack of time lapse photographic selfies which renders the process of ageing, while "Imperfect Harmony" which features Dominic Lash on double bass sounds like the iconic piece of the specific idea of harmony by Richard, where the somehow frigid implementation of logical processes to composition doesn't taint its capability of speaking to other spheres of human perception.
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