Music Reviews



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Artist: Motoomi Doi
Title: The Illuminated Nightingale
Format: CD
Label: Noble (@)
Rated: *****
The very first tracks of the first official album, following a couple of indipendent albums (including his appreciated "N-N-N", promoted by means of the so-called "free-distribution" way, where users who sent requests by email from Doi's website received it by post...his talent and word-of-mouth on Internet disseminated his sound), by talented Osaka-based song writer Motoomi Doi could prove the firm belief about the strong liking for stylistical forgery by many Japanese musicians (even if they often makes very good "imitations") as songs like "Dark Night", "The Eye of Night has Opened" and "Oscar" could immediately resemble the childishly dreamy atmospheres by the notorious Icelandic band Mum, but this musical portray of the concept of "night" from dusk to dawn turns on a dime by means of elegant insertions of caster sugar melodies, whose harmonic motions gradually expand by means of jazzy drum sets, good electronic chiselling, zesty techno-pop sprinkling, swingy tunes, pretty J-pop marches and above all an emotionally mottled poetry whose intensity and seesawing between joy and anxiety, peace and sorrow, solitude and grace which got rendered and easily fathomed by Doi's piercing, delicate and somehow ephebic vocal interpretations, whose singular timbre could be imagined as a male and childish version of an hybrid between Pinkie Maclure (Pumajaw) and Tujiko Noriko, could tell you something even if you don't relly understand any Japanese words. Tested and approved by my one-year old worshipped nephew!
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Artist: Kuantum (@)
Title: Wasteland
Format: 12"
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
The new discovery by French label IM:Ltd, Kuantum, musically grew in the underground parties of Montpellier scene. If I could profile his musical purpose, I'd say he could reasonably carry the torch of a new generation of dubstep craftsmen, which would like to rediscover the roots of th genre without becoming the camouflage or the clone of the styles by producers who gain so much notoriety in the scene that their names (I could mention Skrillex, Benga or Skream, whose releases ride the wave of the shining moment of a genre, which exists since long time) tightly acquired the synonymy with the word "dubstep". The sonic strategy by this talented lad is quite clear since the initial "Wasteland", an engaging track named after the legendary vintage videogame by Electronic Arts, set in a post-apocalyptic world: the sound is definitively more dub-oriented and exquisitely wild as it seems to sink listeners into a world crowded by humongous wild beasts and landfill-generated monsters where life-and-death struggle and feral instinct don't look tempered by education or civilization. In spite of the presence of that rumbling wub which resembles peristaltic noises, one of the main characteristic of dubstep, on the following "Innervision", dub struts prevail and such a preponderance have been clearly shown on "Distracted", the collaborative track with Mateba, where the general sound fluctuates between contemporary dubstep gargles and those spatial puffs which marked some past electronic dub releases, and the enchanting melancholic coil angd gloomier fumigation of the final "Majora". Very promising debut release.
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Artist: Near Paris
Title: Near Paris
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Near Paris was a duo from Columbus, Ohio and was composed by Gerald F. Nelson and Dana Riashi. Originally they were in Post Industrial Noise along with Robert Crise, band that born in 1980 and disbanded in 1983 after producing a 8" flexy disc for their songs "Symphony Of A Mind"/"COTA City Salsa" and participating to a tape compilation. In 1985 the duo reunited as Near Paris and started to gather attention and popularity in the Columbus music scene and had opened for such bands as Section 25. They often played in art galleries as well as worked on original scores for local dance troupes and other art-related endeavors. They also had booked a gig in London and were ready to leave but suddenly they decided otherwise and parted ways. On their musical career they released only a four tracks 12' EP which surfaced online in 2010 on the Crispy Nuggets blog. Thanks the Crispy Nuggets/Medical Records collaboration, we have the possibility to check that EP plus seven unreleased tracks the band recorded at the same time. "Visions","Shattered Glass", "Ceiling" and "Believe Me" were the tracks originally on the 12" and they were a mix of upbeat new wave with synthpop inserts where the guitar arpeggios, Dana melodic voice and synth catchy lines were the main elements. Also the unreleased tracks follow a similar path and it's a fortune that songs like the sensual "Why Baby", the minimal synth melodic "Nine-7-9" and "Like A Man" (lovers of Kas Product don't have to miss these tunes) and the mysterious "Hey You" won't stay in a dusty closet no more. Sadly, in October of 2012, just prior to completion of this project, Gerald passed away, so this reissue is a tribute to his art. This reissued is presented on 180gram oxblood opaque high-quality vinyl in a limited edition of 650 copies and you can check the tracks here http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/near-paris-mr-019
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Artist: Distorted World (@)
Title: Between The Strophes
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Sun (@)
Rated: *****
What a nice surprise provided by the Russian Artificial Sun label: after having started with two rather more Metal-inspired projects (Type V Blood / Bog ~ Morok), they now provide us a real, Moscow-based Dark Electro music-project called Distorted World. It is a solo project by Ivan 'Unbekannter', who is known for his involvement in Anthracitic Moths, a Dark Electro-project signed to Gravitator Records. Distorted World as being his solo effort shows here and there some comparable sound-ideas, but generally it sounds quite different to Anthracitic Moth. Musically Ivan reanimates several ideas and influences of some veteran and international renowned projects like Calva Y Nada, yelworC, and/or Splatter Squall. 'Between The Strophes' comes out as the debut release of this project and it leaves an impressive impact, that this band is easily capable not to fall too deep into the repetitive phrases of the young Harsh-EBM generation. This album balances well between newest studio techniques - the end mastering of Jan L. (X-Fusion) rather stands for the idea to join the path of current times ' and the omni-present influences by above mentioned idols being mostly active in the second half of the 90s. After an ominous, nightmarish-sounding 'Intro' tune, the rough and pummelling 'Mysterious World' storms mighty in your stomach and your legs. The mood of this track is pretty much related to some earlier yelworC works ('Blood In Face'-like) and it is one of the most appealing tracks to storm the dancefloors. 'Dream' differs in its mood and allows a slight Dark Wave-/Goth-influence to take part. It could be also related to the movie 'The Beauty and The Beast', because Angelina L., the second official band-member of Distorted World, picks up the microphone for her vocal part to be the smooth and sweet companion to Ivan's mostly rough growling. Next comes the pounding tune 'Hexentanz', surprisingly provided in German lyrics, plus it features some raging Metal-guitar riffs. You see this band-project is able to deal with different music styles and it all sounds still quite well mixed together. 'Devil Worship' then stands for another highlight, pretty much as strong as 'Mysterious World' and in a comparable vein. With another instrumental 'Outro ' Birth Of Chaos', this album then switches over after 11 tracks into the remix section. 5 different remix contributions by Type V Blood, Freaky Mind, Bleak Freak, Desmodus and Kos Klimenko are rounding up this promising debut release of this talented Russian music-projct. While especially Russia's Dark Electro/EBM/Industrial scene is pretty much influenced by the Harsh EBM / Hellectro-youth, it does so good to get the chance for checking out here and there more valuable artists ' and Distorted World are surely counting to be one of the revelations. A good and crafty produced debut, more of this please!
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Artist: The Exaltics
Title: The Rise And Fall
Format: 12"
Label: Creme Organization
Rated: *****
June 2013 will be the month of The Exaltics and of their invasion that, instead of being the one of the aliens they have as key theme of their releases, it will be the invasion to the records stores, as this month they have three releases out! Yes, indeed! The project of Robert Witschakowski will have its new album "Das Heise Experiment" out on Abstract Acid, the EP "The Great Escape" on Bunker's sub label Panzerkreuz and this one I'm about to review, "The Rise And Fall", on Creme Organization. Containing four new tracks, "The Rise And Fall" EP, is a one side 12" which on the other side has a beautiful laser etched image. It opens with the intro track "Thought Buzz", a one minute menacing one based on one arpeggio, pads and bombastic drums. It prepares the ground for "The Place To Be", a track which mixes acid drums and bass lines with fluctuating pads. With the time it slowly grows and Robert alternates sounds, creating in that way, an evolution of the track keeping it smooth at the same time. The main track follows and it starts with a dark fluctuating atmosphere just to turn into a grinding track that sounds like Godzilla coming to town. "Downer" closes the 12" sounding like a monster ready to catch its prey: it mixes different powerful bass lines with pounding kicks and effected arpeggios and pads. Great release!
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