Music Reviews

Artist: Matt Elliott (@)
Title: The Broken Man
Format: CD
Label: Ici D'Ailleurs (@)
Rated: *****
Don't be taken in by appearances of these seemingly drunken ballads as the portrait of such a broken man, whose painful awareness led nearby the steep cliffs of self-annihilation and disenchanted cynicism, proposed by Bristol-based songwriter Matt Elliott, head of The Third Eye Foundation and notable musician of Stephane Gregoire's label Ici D'Ailleurs (as well as member of the big ensemble This Immortal Coil, a cover project of Coil assembled by that wit label owner, together with other known musicians coming from that scene such as Yann Tiersen, Chapelier Fou, Sylvian Chauveau, Christine Ott and many others), sounds lucid, detailed and anything but confused (to be more precise, confusion seems just episodic, a sort of functional brushstroke of the finishing touches of the above-mentioned portrait, not really a permanent coat...), so that it could give the impression that some lyrics could bump against some topoi particularly when inmost spleens look like shadin off into collective imagination and memory. That's a finicking emotional chisel, whose pedigree conceptually could be recognized in his Songs, but it sounds more concise and austere from the musical viewpoint, whose most touching peaks have been climbed when Matt leaves some Andalusian declensions appearing in the first songs "Oh How We Fell" and "Please Please Please" aside and twists the knife in the broken man's wounds with some delicate musical gems such the gloomy demure and seemingly ironic symphony of "If Anyone Ever Tells Me That it is Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Have Never Loved At All I Will Stab Them in the Face", whereas emotional rifts deriving from the struggle between an agonizing feeling and its inescapable obfuscation sounds emphasized by the contribution by Katia Labeque's piano improvisation, the sense of oppression and frustration coming from the catchy emotional pallor of "Dust, Flesh and Bones" where Matt's voice looks like getting out from some baritone's ashes in order to hover fow a while when repeating "This is how it feels to be alone", just before the final insert which evokes traditional western movies'desolate deserts as well as a gothic-tinged sense of relentless tragedy, the lukewarm psychedelic jack'p-lanterns of sad auguries in gipsy dark-fork song "The Pain That's Yet To Come" and "This Is For". It's going to sound infectious like a whispered voice surfacing from the obscure depths of unconscious to many listeners.
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Title: Symphonie Neuronale
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
La Mort De L'Hippocampe was the next Jerome Fontan's project after he wrote the music for a silent film (El Sexto Sentido, Spain 1928), after he stopped playing under the Porn.Darsteller moniker. Sadly, Jerome passed away the last year. "Symphonie Neuronale" will be released posthumous by Enfant Terrible and a second release will be released in conjunction with Verbascripta, the new label founded by Jerome and now continued by the other La Mort De L'Hippocampe band members. This album, released on a limited of 250 copies, will be on white vinyl with a deluxe printed artwork and contains two suites which are quite different from what we were used to listen from Porn.Darsteller. "Die Sonne" and "Der Mond" are quite experimental and mix minimal synth melodies/noises with creepy atmospheres and acoustic sounds (it could be a piano line as well as a treated trumpet or a picked viola). Improvisation and theatrical approach seem to be the key of the project, as we have a very interesting mix of recitative/lyrical German vocals, synth sweeps, piano improvisations and modern classical influences. On their blog we can read that: "Combining philosophy and science, this music goes directly to the part of the brain known as the "hippocampus". Related to the memories, memory loss in Alzheimer's patients, it is also the place of receipt of dissonant frequencies". For that reason they called their music "neuronal" and by listening to the nine movements or, as they call them, chants of the album, you can realize that they are right. Really interesting release.
Artist: Object (@)
Title: Mechanisms of Faith
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Electro Aggression Records / COP International (@)
Distributor: COP International / DDT
Rated: *****
Fourth official album of this German one-man project now released by Electro Aggression Records, so this label continues the fruitful cooperation with COP International after the spectacular 'Old School Electrology' quadruple-box-set-'beast'. Both, label and artist, have already collaborated with the release of the last Object-album 'The Ethane Asylum', which has been out in 2008 under the wings of the Denver-based Vendetta-Records label. This new album release leads the listener once again into the mysterious world of a quality Dark Electronica music-experience. The teachers of Andreas Malik come easily and quick to mind while spinning this nice looking DCD album over and over again: Mentallo & The Fixer, 'Too Dark Park'-like Puppy and affiliates have had their impact on Andreas. This won't surprise his experienced listeners as they could never-ever imagine, that Andreas would fall into a conflict to change anything drastically. This very special, layered form of Dark Electro music has always been Andreas' kind to express him artistically, any change would rather confuse. So you'll get the expected doze of a monumental produced Dark Electro album, on which Andreas' tricky synthesizer-programming skills receive the full amount of attention.
Where to start and where to end this review? That was a constant question with me, when it comes to name highlights out of this album. It is just too simple to name the opener 'Mescaline Crisis' as being the ultimate tune available here, as this one adds successfully vocals and lyrics of Martin Sane of Fix8:Sed8 - so yes, of course, this tune is awesome with its diverse rhythm programs. I personally have found preferences in the beautiful arranged title track as being one of the tunes in an ongoing row, on which Andreas could integrate the most successful his opulent, melodic synthesizer arrangements, treated with a constant produced kick-and-snare work and his mostly fx-manipulated vocals. By picking out further pearls of this generally epic sounding album, I tend to name 'Soul Seeking (feat. Sascha Lemon of LPF12)' and the 'Album Version' of his compilation-appearance for the German Electro Arc label ("Electro Arc Compilation Vol 2"), 'Empires in Peril', as being tracks worth to include on this highlight-list. To integrate a bit variation, Andreas has also decided to add some instrumental tunes, which can be discovered with nearly every fourth track. While 'Dream Collector' isn't to me a savior, I fall on my knees and praise the Lord for 'Distant Memories" and 'Density of Fear', as these both are masterpieces and give a lesson to any Electronic musician who is trying to produce thrilling, futuristic sounding instrumental tunes. More than 76 minutes of brilliant produced Electro/Industrial-music in this special Puppy-an style finally find an end after 15 tracks, but you still get the impression, that you have forgotten some valuable content hidden in between the tracks. Good to know and to hear, that this album offers enough treasures worth to discover also after the 20th + spinning. Which of the latter productions you can serious remember offers such a quality?
But this positive madness doesn't stop after this first CD - the second one has to be praised too. Under the working title 'Old School Conspiracy' it initially looks, that you'll get your usual remix contribution bonus-CD. The main content holds remixes, right, but the featured names are promising something special. Someone out there who can remember Robotiko Rejekto, a German cult-EBM-duo releasing on Technodrome/Zyx Records in the late 80s? They are back again, reanimated and vital with a hard stomping remix on 'Blood Patch', a track which has been originally released on Andreas' second album 'The Reflecting Skin'. Also the duo of Controlled Fusion returns with a remix on the second part of 'Blood Patch'. As for further remixes, which are taken from the original new album, you'll get a breathtaking remix on the instrumental tune 'Density of Fear' by the French genius Brain Leisure. 'Mescaline Crisis', the cooperation with Martin Sane (Fix8:Sed8), gets some revamped versions by Sleepwalk (fantastic layered and tastefully arranged - who has given the Ruch-brothers a Vitamin C-pill after the departure of O. Spring?), Germany's Second Disease and the US-newcomer C. Lewis, a.k.a. Red + Test (when comes out an official album, gentlemen?). Additional works can be discovered by amGod, One Eye Wanders, Jihad ('Morphine Desire'), as well as Pyrolline and Abscess, who have buried out another goody out of the Object archives, 'Existence on Trial', originally released of the predecessor 'The Ethane Asylum'.
And - reward, reward - you'll get two additional bonus demo tracks with 'Static Motion' and 'End of Line'. A quite fair, better said, good quality content and an ideal second CD to dive deep into the musical dimension of Object
While I highly recommend you, to purchase this awesome looking DCD set with its tasteful icy landscape well packaged in a digi-pack, I generally need to bring to your attention, to consume this album with enough free time. The richly included details and fx-gimmicks hidden in Andreas' arrangements are part of this album production well worth to discover - to listen to this album in a rush will offer you only a glimpse, but not the complete content. So take your time and explore this epic and monumental Dark Electro release.
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Artist: Inure (@)
Title: This is the Life
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Industrial Music
Rated: *****
A new release of this talented US Industrial-music project, which is meant to present us an appetizer to an upcoming full-length album. After nearly 6 years without any new audio sign of life, the release of 'This Is The Life' also points out the step from Alfa Matrix to Metropolis Records. There are also changes in the band-formation, Adam Moore is the last 'survivor' of the original line-up, plus he could add Adam Vex (Imperative Reaction) for some guitar action. Imperative Reaction is the headword; also Ted Phelps is involved as being the producer for Inure. Especially the musically abandonment of Sam P (Ex-Pulse Legion) may stands the most for a musically different course compared to the last album 'Subversive', although this teaser EP doesn't offer too much details to finally rate on the new Inure-sound. 'This is The Life' is a straight produced track in a typical US-like Industrial-music environment, which suits well to perform some dancefloor-action with a solid kick and snare-work, pounding synth-bass lines and an angry, while not fx-processed vocal performance of Mr. Moore. What you can expect on this 7-track EP is the normal doze of remix contributions asides the original track. Vogel, Aesthetic Perfection, White Qube, and ' how surprising - Imperative Reaction have put their fingers onto the knobs of their equipment to produce alternative versions of the title track. The result is satisfying for A. P. and I. R., while they cannot match with the original. 16 Volt have remixed 'Le Petit Mort' with a nice Breakbeat-like rhythm construction, quite interesting to listen to after the ongoing straightness of the title track and its remixes. Also the Spanish project Terrolokaust has received a slot through a remix of the track 'This Death' ' here you'll find a bit more of the Coldwave-like guitar inserts. All in all a consumable EP, while I'm sure that the coming album will give a more detailed introduction into the new musically direction of Inure.

Artist: White Load
Title: Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV
Format: 12"
Label: Load Records
Distributor: Carrot Top Distribution
Rated: *****
White Load run the gamut from Black Flag to Big Black; Minor Threat to The Melvins - a event horizon of hardcore, condensed and delivered like a blow to the sternum. Listening to Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV is like having a load of gravel poured down yr ear canal; it is like remembering a blackout. Twelve inches, twenty minutes, twenty-five songs, this manic outburst from this Providence, RI trio will push all the right buttons for those that prefer the original Iggy Pop mix of Raw Power, to those that like to listen to chopped & screwed Cypress Hill remixes. For those that like their rock dirty, drug-addled and rude, this will make yr summer.
The two sides of Wayne's World III & Godfather IV are interchangeable - the guitars churn along like a piranha tank at feeding time, the vocals gibber unintelligbly, there's hardly even a break between songs, just a frantic '1234' click of the sticks, White Load stick to the Ramone's school of Blitzkrieg bop, the songs so fast and blaring they border on grindcore but sounds like classic Punk Rock or Hardcore, catchy rhythm guitar, powerful pounding percussion, chanting vocals that sneer and snarl. The classic formulae are smeared with a viscous layer of fuzz, distant-sounding and captured in a hurry; it sounds like it was recorded live, and if that be the case, this band must be a force of nature in concert. Beneath the dirt and grit and don't-give-a fuck -sarcasm, though, you can tell this band clearly DOES give a fuck; beneath the oil-slick swims a very tight and focused musical leviathan - there's enough drum breaks, guitar fills, build-ups and breakdowns to show that this band has practiced A LOT, and that kind of dedication is what makes or breaks a recording, even of dirty garage punk.
Its refreshing to come across a slab of authentic, demented rock 'n roll with the murky production style making Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV seem mysterious and intriguing, something to be re-visited and re-evaluated. It comes across like a legitimate lo-fi punk record from the mid '80s, the kind of thing you'd find at the flea market for .50 cents five years ago. It is unpretentious and the music speaks for itself, these 25 tracks become like a sugar dependency - once you've tasted a little, you'll keep coming back for more. This record makes me want to drive really, really fast - and possibly cook meat. It's a true work of art.
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