Music Reviews



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Artist: Empire State Human
Title: Futura
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: House Of Analogue
Rated: *****
Inspired, touching and cinematic... This is the best way to describe the new Empire State Human album "Futura". Released eight months after their previous album Soul Of The Machine, "Futura" is the newest band's effort and this time Aidan and Lar decided to take a challenge and to write an instrumental album. During their career they already wrote instrumental tracks but they composed "Futura" with a different spirit, because writing an album which could be seen as an imaginary soundtrack it's different than dropping few instrumentals here and there. The duo composed the album paying homage, as they say, to Sci-Fi soundtracks, art installation music, film scores, ambient and electronic layered bleep music, that the band has loved all their musical lives. The ten tracks of the album mix a sort liquid atmosphere to melodic moments and synth effects. We pass from the hard beats of the opening "Into Futura" to the digital ambient sampled vocals based "Wire Tired", passing from the robotic rhythms of "Drop Inside A Beat". Futura sounds like Empire State Human never sounded and, as Aidan Casserly states: "Working purely on music that was never intended to have a voice on it, really helped us throw away the perceptions of who we are as a band, to not only ourselves but also to how others see us too. Very refreshing experience. It was also a brilliant learning curve and a great journey to make so soon after the last album". While digging these tracks, prepare yourselves to the next band's album "The Dark", coming anytime soon. You can check the tracks at the label's Soundcloud page.
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Artist: Huminoida
Title: Intoxicating Spring
Format: 10"
Label: Out Of Range Records (@)
Rated: *****
After last year's "Mystic Summer EP", Huminoida a.k.a. Kimmo Karjalainen, is releasing a new 10"+CDr for his own Out Of Range Records. The new release brings us seven tracks: "The New Springs", "Aerial Demons" and "Half Light" are great new tracks where Kimmo is offering us strong synth wave sounds with a dark twist, "Electrocute" is a version of a song that Kimmo wrote with J.Kotkanen from the Finnish electropop band NYX which will be included on their first album, "Ruptures" and "Even Shorter Springs" are two two minutes short bridges that carry us to "Aerial Demons" and "Half Light". "Intoxicating Spring", this is the title of the new EP, convinced me at the first listening because it sounds direct and powerful. The opening "The New Springs" has an epic opening on the riff which is explored further on ""Even Shorter Springs", where thanks to orchestral synth sounds, Kimmo shows its dramatic side. "Ruptures" is experimental and trembling and prepare the listener to the "doomsday synth semi-metal with delightfully bleak lyrics", as Kimmo describe it, of "Aerial Demons", a dark synth wave tune with a furious riff. "Electrocute" is a catchy song which is sounding a bit 90s e.b.m. but with the use of 80s synth sounds. "Half Light" is a tune that musically I can describe as "arioso" thanks to the synth arrangement of sounds that interact by coming and going. The CDr contains the remix of "1000 Light Years", a track coming from "Whiter Album", remixed by J.Kotkanen. He gave to it a 90s e.b.m. dance treatment but he didn't change its soul. You can check and purchase the release here http://huminoida.bandcamp.com/album/intoxicating-spring-ep
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anymore
Artist: Lupi Gladius
Title: Veritas
Format: CD
Label: SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Lucania, Basilicata, Italy, Lupi Gladius born on early 00s and they could be considered the electronic wave band Hidden Place's side project as on the line-up we have Fabio Vitelli (synth), Pietro Burzo (vocals and bass guitar), Antonio Losenno (vocals, synth and percussion) e Giampiero Di Barbaro (vocals and acoustic guitar) and Hidden Place's singer Sara Lux guest vocals on "Gli Ultimi Bagliori" and "Nel Vento" (which is the acoustic reprise of the other track). Same line-up but music isn't, at all, as Lupi Gladius' music is neo-folk rooted on Italian early '20s iconography. After the 2003 demo reissued the last year by Castellum Stoufenburc, Lupi Gladius released their first proper album "Veritas" for SPQR. The album contains eight tracks (the opening "Sulle Rive Del Basento" is an instrumental traditional song played with an accordion) which are coming from the heart and this is the first thing that you realize by listening to the album but the real surprise for me was to read that there was another guest on the album, besides Sara, but he isn't playing any instrument as Diego Banchero (Egida Aurea, Il Segno Del Comando, etc) wrote all the lyrics. As for Egida Aurea's lyrics, on "Veritas", Diego underlines the modern world's contradictions and he does it with honesty. Lupi Gladius honored this participation creating an album which is powerful, melodic and melancholic at the same time. "Veritas" is a good album which has also a bit of new wave influences on it: check the synth arrangements on "Agone", "Gli Ultimi Bagliori" or the cinematic atmospheres of the closing "I Figli Del Tramonto".
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Artist: B/B/S/
Title: Coltre/Manto
Format: 12"
Label: Midira (@)
Rated: *****
The "draft" of this great album by B/B/S, the awesome collaborative project by Aidan Baker, Andrea Belfi and Erik Skodvin, comes from an idea by Midira label-owner Dimitri, who organized a concert at Christuskirsche, Bochum, an evangelist historical church, whose specific acoustic features made it an imaginary part of the line up as well, and wisely asked to Christoph Scheidel a live recording of the concert, which provided the sonic material for later studio mastering by Martyn Heine in Berlin. The two long-lasting tracks of this astonishing record depart from ambient drones which gradually advance by turning into a crossbreed between primordial krautwave and improvised soundscapes, but whereas the sharpness of electronic fibers by Erik, guitar artifacts by Adrian and vivacious tribal-like augmented drumming by Andrea sound like moving and joining together like ethereal exhalations on "Coltre", they got fledged before getting warmly cathartic and somewhat mystical on the beautiful "Manto" on the flipside. The relaxed but intensely vibrant atmosphere that this record manages to render could let you envy the lucky people who spectated B/B/S concert, but it had been a good thing that someone had the idea to record it!
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anymore
Artist: Tri-State (@)
Title: Light the kHAOS within
Format: CD
Label: self-released in collaboration with Electro Aggression Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
A comeback of a German trio as well as the kick-off for Electro Aggression Records to start a spring offensive - here comes out a new, powerful and mystic device to conquer more and more the hearts and minds of the international-based EBM-/Dark Electro-audience! To make that clear: 'Light the kHAOS within' is kind of a self-released album by the band; E.A.R. collaborates and helps out with contacts, distribution, promotional efforts and such. So if Tri-State can be counted to be a real E.A.R.-signing artist lies in the eye of the beholder.
But no matter how the things have turned out internally, because what finally counts lays now in front of me in a well-designed black-colored digi-pack. I have to admit that the debut 'Synopsis' of this Eastern German project released more than 10 years before has been an episode I've never discovered. So I was quite unfamiliar with the works of this band-project as well as with their relevant data out of their biography.
They can look back on their highly praised debut released in 2000 by Pandaimonium and later licensed to the Russian Irond label. A breathtaking live performance at the 11th WGT in Leipzig brought them highly attention and their future seemed to be bright. German press has compared them in a row of prominent German idols like Placebo Effect, yelworC, Putrefy Factor 7, Kalte Farben, and/or Abscess. All promising names and of course comparisons, on which one can be proud of. But it all went down the drain because in 2002 they stopped all activities related to their musically career. Too bad, so they had to start with a slightly changing of the band formation from scratch again. As it often happens with the latest E.A.R. discoveries, also Tri-State had their slot on the old school Electro/Industrial-bible, the legendary 'Old School Electrology Vol.1' (4-CD box-set). Adding to this a promising contribution to the Sonic Seducer 'Battle of the Bands' contest in 2012 has increased the hopes for a possible comeback to take form.
But no matter how their career has taken course, because their presently provided music is a perfect soundtrack to delve into deepest, Dark-Electro-based scenarios, which will leave you highly impressed! What they call 'Symphonic Dark Electro' isn't their form to install orchestral Neo-Classic elements, but it is their vision of layered Dark Electro which often results in a comparable, bombastic manner! Of course the always influential Puppy-an factor celebrated in every second note takes a huge sponsorship to their sound outfit, also the vocals and its kind of processing could win any 'Let's-sing-like-Ogre'-contest. But it still matters a lot, if one decides simply to copy, or if one decides to rebuild structures and to install own ideas and modify the whole melange to form something with authenticity.
As this comeback has taken a long time in between, plus also the fact that the making of this album has lasted 5 years, you can be assured, that you won't get to hear the first bloody steps of a greenhorn switching on a synthesizer for the first time. 'Light the kHAOS within' is an epic, complex produced Dark Electro-masterpiece hardly to discover these days. The opener "rE-spawned" is kind of a revamped track originally released on their above mentioned debut and this one already set a quality standard. Nevertheless I have found the most promising pearls with the rather Downtempo-like, but extremely cold-melodic pieces like "ranDOM FAILures PreferRED" and/or "belle EpoQUE". These tracks are standing eye to eye with classics like "Worlock", "Testure", "Blood In Face" or "Slashed Open". A track like "geneLAW" also proves their ability to write sentimental, heart-touching lyrics (here: the horrific experience of a stillborn child).
As I am sure that almost all press colleagues have written highly praising reviews before, I too come to the conclusion, that this thrilling arranged Dark-Electro-album is a true masterpiece from the first to the last note. It is for sure another proof for E.A.R. to sign with the best horses of up-to-date artists based in this special music style. Get this awesome piece of Electro music as this is a must-have item!

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