Music Reviews



Mar 02 2014
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Artist: öhm (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact Records (@)
Rated: *****
öhm is the project of Chris Peterson, who had worked with bands like Front Line Assembly, and Craig Joseph Huxtable and they craft that sort of electro-industrial sound that is as aggressive as danceable. Instead of proper EBM, this seems more pop oriented as the beats, even when fast, are not so martial and features more curated vocal lines and the synth is not forced to double the rhythmic structure.
So 'When Robots Fuck' opens this release showing the mastery of the producers: noises and melody collides with the underlying beats as a structural cage and the filtered vocals construct an almost pleasant mood. The rest of the album oscillates between more pop oriented tunes as 'Car Crash', 'Apparition' and 'Detroit', a dark-oriented track where the synth and beats create an evocative texture, and more dance one like 'Divinity' or '4am'. An atmospheric track like 'Aurora' reveals the desire to construct a musical journey rather than a non-stop throttle based on beats so it's not strange than, after aggressive track like 'Brute', 'My Kingdom' closes this release with his ambient-oriented soundscape.
This album would't probably end in any end of the year playlist but will stand more on the stereo as it will please fans of synth pop, EBM and electro and it's enjoyable and well produced. It's really worth a listen.
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Artist: Cooly G
Title: Hold Me
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
The sensuality of Brixton-based singer, rapper, producer and dj (and semi-professional footballer!) Merrisa Campbell aka Cooly G emanates from her external appearance, her voice, but above all (...and this is what really matters) her stylistical make-up. It exploded on her recent album "Playin' Me" and seems to gush from this tidbit as well: even if it sounds less vocal focused, "Hold Me" keeps Cooly G's followers hot by three amazing tracks, where her voice got agglutinated to very captivating sonic solutions. The smoky atmosphere of the title track rest on subcutaneous basslines, soft electronic scalding, elegant dubbed rhythmical patterns; the following "Oi Dirty", where Scratcha DVA's wonky imprint sounds quite clear, focuses on amazing smidgens of flexible basslines and minor percussive surgery on sizzling breaks, while "Molly" - the only one with no vocals at all - gradually browns a seemingly static house grid by rising saturations of acid-synths, swishing discharges and a one-note bass kick. Great bass-driven hocus-pocus!
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Artist: Blitzkrieg Baby
Title: Kids' World
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten (@)
Rated: *****
One year after their debut album on Neuropa, Blitzkrieg Baby are back with a new release titled "Kids' World" on Belaten. It contains four new tracks, a new edit of "Children In Uniform" (coming from "Porcus Norvegicus") and four tracks that have previously been released on compilations ("Half Pig Half Man", "Broken Child", "Incinerator Symphony No. I" and "Your Happy Place"). Kim Solve, Anders B., Bjeima and Mr. B. on "Kids' World" put on the plate all their hate toward this world's contradictions and miseries thanks to "Kids' World", "Loop", "The Swine Supremacy" and "Those They Could Not Fuck, They Killed". The opening track is a blasting industrial atmospherics tune (almost symphonic) with 4/4 beats, choruses, rhythmic noise loops and a powerful declaiming voice. "Loop" seems to be recorded in the gutters with its mix of low frequencies metallic reverbering noises, drones and filtered vocals that towards the end turns into a tribal war hymn. With "The Swine Supremacy", the atmosphere gets darker and rhythms and vocals are the main elements. "Those They Could Not Fuck, They Killed" is an atmospheric industrial tune based on hissing synth sounds and pounding beats. The new version of "Children In Uniform" has a new mix which enhance its power and the bass melodic lines. If you loved the first album, you won't miss this one where Blitzkrieg Baby give their vision of industrial with electronic pop and neo-classical influences. You can check it here http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/kids-world-ep
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Artist: Lagowski
Title: Redesine +
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This new album from Andrew Lagowski marks the return, after more ambient-oriented projects, to territories admittedly related to 90s IDM and techno. So the classic form related to well known warp artist like Autechre or LFO resonate in the tracks of this album. Esthetically speaking, it's not something new but, in this case, the important question is if the form is well constructed and enjoyable from the club perspective and the goal is achieved.
The album is divided in two parts: the first one is the proper 'Redesine' album where all tracks are constructed in an almost classical IDM mode: the juxtaposition of a complex dance beat, a bass line, a soundscape and a sort of loop in synch with the beat. From the lyric intro of 'Skylanes V.8' to the rhythm driven samples of 'Binary Wave Rider', from the warp-influenced tunes like 'Carpenter V.9' and 'Urxeye' to more techno oriented tracks like 'They Follow You Everywhere (Vanilla Mix)' or 'Vocal Impulse Test' this part is enjoyable as it's carefully produced and it escapes the cliches of the genre.
The second part '+' is the reissue bonus and is composed by four tracks: 'Carpenter V.1' constructed as a long synth introduction to a final part constructed upon a drum'n bass pattern. 'SL6' based upon a rhythmic synth line. 'From Without V.13' an almost synth pop track without vocals and 'Raj Deep (3rd Level)' revealing EBM influences.
Even if the first part is perhaps more catchy for the dance floor, the second is more courageous in search for a path untaken i.e, a personal musical form. Almost recommended for EAI fans and nice for everyone else.
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Artist: Atom™
Title: Ich Bin Meine Maschine
Format: 12"
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
If you try to break a block of diamond into small pieces, you cannot modify its intrinsic preciousness, and little sonic pearl could be considered as a brilliant, which has been cut by masterful chiseler from a giant diamond, the excellent album "HD", a (post-modern? retro-futuristic) magmatic flowe over modernity and a sort of bittersweet parody of mktg-pop logics that Uwe Schmidt aka Atom HD recently flung on an increasingly conforming music market. The sublty kraftwerkian tribute-track "Ich bin meine maschine", whose title is an adjustment of Kraftwerk's "Ich bin eine maschine" inspired by a statement of the cybernetician Heinz Von Foerster, is undoubtedly one of the most representative track of the underlying "policy" of "HD" as well as of the irriverent flair of its author. This little masterpiece got remixed by three talented techno chiseler: the remix coming from techno legend Dave Sumner aka Function is maybe the most mechanical one (it's not a chance that the original vocal line has been reduced to one obsessively repeated word, "maschine"...), even if he gradually phases in by means of mesmerizing smoots and frozen air particles, while the most "club-fitted" version is maybe the opening one from Hamburg dj and producer Alexander Rhida aka Boys Noize, who mostly overlaps the crescendo of the original version, but the most attractive for my eardrums (and maybe the one which is less "danceable") is the reinterpretation of Uwe himself in the guise of Linear (another camouflage!), who manages to mould a sinuous groove from a fistful of almost ethereal sonic murmurs!
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