Music Reviews



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Artist: Miss FD
Title: Comfort For The Desolate
Format: CD
Label: Quantum Release
Rated: *****
Miss FD is back and two years after "Love Never Dies", "Comfort For The Desolate" seems to be lyrically the natural continuation to that album. This new CD always produced for her own Quantum Release Records, contains seven new tracks which spans from dark electronic ballads (check the opening "Never Felt Better", "Incompleteness" or the closing "The Grand Version" where piano and strings give the right atmosphere to the sense of loss and suspension) and electro pop songs where 4/4 powerful beats meets digital synth leads and pads and bouncing synth bass lines. On tracks like "Wanting Is Not Enough" or "Lover Of Fate" I imagine her like a sort of dark Kylie Minogue because of her sensual way of singing and because of her way to use the choruses. The tracks that remember me the most the old albums are "Dissolve" (a mid tempo with catchy melodies but with an overall dark atmosphere) and "Consciousness Of Awe" (a song which changes its skin as at first it's a sort of electro goth ballad and then it turns into something more dancey thanks to the introduction of upbeat rhythms). In my opinion, with this album, Miss FD wanted to redefine her style and at a first listening everything isn't falling into the right place. Only after some other spin, the album starts to show its potential. Anyway, you can make your own idea by checking all the songs here http://missfd.bandcamp.com/album/comfort-for-the-desolate
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Artist: Dr Guilty
Title: Caged Panoramas
Format: Tape
Label: Elephant Recordings
Rated: *****
Personal project of Gabriele Quartero, Dr Guilty, deliver their first release "Caged Panoramas" through Paul Mitchell's tape label Elephant Recordings. The label's aim is to alter the listener's emotion thanks to the merging any form of art: photography, film, installation and, of course, music. In Hindu religion, followers pray to the Elephant God at the start of a journey. They pray in order to help remove any obstacles and clear a pathway to enlightenment, prosperity and knowledge. For this reason, the elephant has been chosen as label's icon. Dr Guilty's album is the fourth release of the label and brings to the attention of ambient music lovers four tracks composed by layers of guitar reverb where the sound is a constant wave of pulsing drones. If "Everything's So Quiet" is a quiet fourteen minutes suite where slow guitar arpeggios fluctuate clashing into small melodies and humming sounds, the following "Mesa" and "Live Waves In An Old Movie" are an eight and an eleven minutes dark suites where hypnotic echoes slowly increase and find their zenith into small distortions. The release sounds nice for the lovers of the genre but, at times, slight variations into sound would help defining better the tracks.
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Artist: Trek With Quintronic
Title: Landing Plus
Format: CD
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Trek With Quintronic was the brainchild of two American guys called David Kane (Trek) and Paul Wilcox (Quintronic). They self released for their own label Bi Plane Records in 1980 and 1981 two albums: "Landing" and "Trek W/ Quintronic". Equipped with a Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 drum machine, guitars and several analog synths (Moog Taurus pedals, etc), the duo wrote nineteen tracks where a bit of glam (they where influenced by Bowie), psychedelia (really good their acid synth version of Eric Burdon and The Animals' "When I Was Young") and electronic rock (sometimes I thought about Sparks even if Trek With Quintronic were sounding less dramatic and pompous). The first album was sounding a bit more introspective and minimal, like the tracks have been written with guitar and then enriched with synth lines. The tracks of the second album were a bit more "wild", if you pass me the term: Paul's voice is more histrionic (like on "Be There Later On") and generally the songs are upbeat and dissonant, like they were a bit more punk. Here and there you can find choruses while distorted guitar duel with synth leads. Sounding dark and a bit crazy, "Trek W/ Quintronic" contains great songs with nice melodies and arrangements. Despite the fact that they recorded and mastered them relatively quick, the final result hasn't been affected. In this Anna Logue CD reissue, you can find both the albums plus two previously unreleased versions of 'Twin Forces' and 'When We Were Young - live' (both on the second album), remixed by Tejo Bolten of MECANO fame. These two sounds a lot more powerful and wild with upfront live drums and the latter sounds like a dancefloor hit. Paul and Tejo are currently working together while David has been active ever since as a solo artist as well as in a couple of bands (The Celibates, Nullstadt, Electroman, Decay Of Western Civilization, Them Jezzbeards). Check them and be ready for something "different"...
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Artist: The Silicon Scientist
Title: Iselwinter
Format: CD
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Recently I enjoyed two new The Silicon Scientist tracks of the "Sinister Street" 7", but I have another of their releases to review. "Inselwinter" ("Island's winter") isn't a new Silicon Scientist album but it's their first album released back in 2003 which has been reissued by Anna Logue Records with seven bonus tracks. Recorded by Stefan Bornhorst at Studio Ruhrstrasse Hamburg in 2002/03, the original six tracks are an ideal mind travel through winter and are quite different from how the project sounds now. The six movements are quite minimal, melancholic but always with a good quantity of melody. Most tracks are quite long and grow slowly just like a flower which has to reach the air through the snow. Also rhythm is well balanced and never invasive. Take for example "Iselwinter 2", it is based on a pulsating CR-78 rhythm, arpeggio variations and there's a nice effect when the Cut Off filter is opened as the whole track gain brightness and light. If you want me to do a comparison, I thought to the some Vangelis tracks (the less cosmic ones) or to early Jean Michel Jarre (check "Iselwinter 3"). The CD version as bonus tracks has "Elektrum" (a nice track recorded at the same time of "Iselwinter") and demo versions of the first five tracks, while the digital edition, along with the original six tracks, has "Voices On The Wind", another instrumental track featuring field recordings, wind noises and a Mellotron 400 choir that's sounding like coming right off Popul Vuh's 'Nosferatu' soundtrack or Lucio Fulci's 'The Beyond'. You can find the digital edition here http://annaloguerecords.bandcamp.com/album/inselwinter
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Artist: Explosion Technology
Title: Manifestation
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Sun (@)
Rated: *****
Next newcomer project for our Western-based ears which hails out of the huge ex-Sowjet territories: This Ukrainian project out of Kharkov debuts on the Russian Artificial Sun label with a 9-track album. If it comes to describe their music, they are too based mainly in the Industrial-/Metal-Crossover genre with Russian lyrics throughout the album. What makes them standing out of the wide mass of mediocrity is surely their influence of Alternative- and Soundtrack-like anthems. The vocalist with his energetic and angry performance sounds very charismatic and natural-clear in his expression. He is surely one of the best Metal-shouters signed so far to the Artificial Sun roster. The straight, a bit on the likes of Ramstein reminding track 'Impuls Life' represents one of the best tunes here. Same counts for 'Na The Side', which starts calm and gently, until theMetal-driven rage storms in. The definitely best track is the cinematic driven, with some synthesizer bass-lines supported last instrumental track which approves their talent for thrilling Soundtrack-related scenarios. This one got fucking great produced! Maybe this album is a bit too short-timed produced, but it has some good potential and talent under its roof and since it is a debut, you can expect more intense produced stuff of this Ukrainian talent for the future. This strictly limited album (101 exemplars only) comes out including a multi-media section which features bio, photos and the MP3 version of this album.
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