Music Reviews



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Artist: R.Stevie Moore (@)
Title: Personal Appeal
Format: CD
Label: Care in the Community (@)
Rated: *****
According to the plenty of definitions which tried to describe the majesty of Robert Stevie Moore, this living legend could be considered as a standard bearer of DIY ethics, a craftsman, a weird stylistical blender of pop inputs, an incontinent melodic juggler, the provider of "the template for the entire movement currently known as Hypnagogic Pop", the "godfather of the home recording movement with the same uneasy appreciation that Neil Young brought to acknowledging his title as the godfather of grunge" and so on. I personally trust more his own explanation which describes his fervid flair (more than 400 hundreds homemade albums on tape and 30 songs a week on the average before senility by his own admission) as a sort of stream of consciousness and his music as a weird mixture between commercial pop and avant-garde. If you're asking the reason why such a vulcanic music mind and chamaleontic artist, who inspired an embarassing number of musicians including Sonic Youth's Thruston Moore or King Ariel Pink, just recently drew the attention of part of the so-called mainstream (his nice round face which could resemble a mixture between an imaginary Santa Claus, who decided to breed American buffaloes after retirement, and the reigning champion of whisky drinking competition appeared on the cover of Wire, he recorded an astonishing session for BBC and toured Europe), you'll find a possible answer in the lyrics of the first song "Why Can't I Write A Hit?" of this selection where the voice of a possible decrepit vampire, the perfect avatar of some so-called art director of a major label, repeats "the songs are too weird" and the following "Make Up Shake Up" whose arrangement is Mozart's Divertimento No.17 in D Major, k.334, no less, could adduce further evidence, but the 15 tracks of this great selection, taken from a period between 1973 and 2001, during which he developed a strong connection with New Jersey after he moved there from his native Nashville, Tennessee, where he came back in 2010, show his impressive stylistical versatility as he manages to juggle with surf rock, Californian music, freak folk, bluegrass, country and much more and spice his juicy musical potages by a distinguishable mixture of cheeky humour, melancholy and humanity. While listening this record, you'll fully understand Stevie's a genius and there's nothing he can do about it!
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Artist: Hydra Division V
Title: Ostracized
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Sun (@)
Rated: *****
The roster of the Russian Artificial Sun label grows and grows and presents us for the first time a music project which doesn't hail out of the Ex-Sowjet-/Russian-territorities. Hydra Division V is the Harsh EBM/Hellectro outfit of Vincent Andelmoth and he established this project 6 years ago in his home-country Greece. Greece is surely a well-known place for this special music-genre and has already brought out several leading projects like Pre-Emptive Strike 0.1, Iambia, Cygnosic, Inline.Sex.Terror or Nano Infect. After a debut release with a 4-track EP in 2010 under the assistance of George of Cygnosic Vincent presents us his first full-length album. Already that bloody cover artwork provides suggestion in which kind Mr Andelmoth would like to express himself artistically. It is the raw, repetitive and often blamed sort of Hellectro/Harsh-EBM-procedure with its usual Vanguard-like lead-synth-sounds, the Techno-inspired deep kick-and-snare-works and the overall pseudo-aggressive, cookie-monster-like vocal performance. 'Ostacized' offers all of these ingredients in a more or lesser perfectly arranged manner. Vincent has surely extracted a lot of content of the well-sounding studio works of his famous countrymen mentioned above, but what counts for thousands of other projects out of this genre, counts also for him: his music isn't new or in any matter to be called authentic. It's rather more difficult with the danger to end in a musically dead valley. Just in times when leading projects Suicide Commando are obviously re-thinking their musically course through the last years, his debut may tries too obviously to jump on the train of time, which has already left the station. 'Ostracized' is without doubt crafty and driving enough produced to impress especially the dancefloor addicts of the dark clubs, while it becomes a bit strenuous to consume it on the whole length on your home entertainment. In addition to the main part of the album you'll get two remixes of Larva and Acylum, which both add their view of musically expression to Vincent's tunes. All in all consumable like a daily burger, but nothing which could transform this effort into a first class meal.
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Artist: Meridian Brothers (@)
Title: Devoción (Works 2005 - 2011)
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
The Three Wise Men in the guise of outlawed thieves ("Los Falsos Reyes Magos"), old-fashioned spectral dames and her tempting suitors ("El Enamorado"), Catullian pot-bellied matron with gold teeth and her retinue of desperate pretenders ("Te Odio, Te Amo"), the disguised colonial dances of mere devilish mortals, who got masqued as a fake angel-like saviour ("Sostengan Al Angel Entusiasta"), seemingly candid bloodthirsty templars who makes waves of his special divine license to kill by singing ("Cancion Del Moderno Templario"), the misleading elegance of ocillas which become hypnotical and loyal comrade-in-arms ("Escuchen El Grito Del Tigrillo") and a carnival caravan of highwaymen, guzzler, singing serial vampires ("El Jazz del Chupasangres"), everybody's fools, old and young exotic hens, bovine storyteller ("El Ganadero Del Futuro"), tokens of God's mistakes in his legendary parthenogenesis, wonky miners ("Sigan Al Minero Hasta La Escala Amirbar"), penniless abandoned hubbies ("Coplas Para Cantar Al Atardecer") populates the lyrics and the cameos of this funny Colombian live band, which whisks Colombian and Peruvian cumbia, Ethiopian music, surf music, salsa, jazz, morsels of American rock, tropical and obscure cinematic atmospheres as well as distorted sounds and electronic vocal variations in a gorgeously picaresque manner. German label Staubgold decided to offer a cross section from Meridian Brothers' releases between 2005 and 2011, which is going to tickle the interest of a wider audience around their melting style, where evil seems to dress up as good and vice versa and the bitter sweet whirlgig of life permanently gyrates.
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Artist: Fields
Title: Colours/On Your Own
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
It's the third time that one of Wilson brothers, Ben aka Fields, hoses Utopia's big flying tree down by a couple of tracks on vinyl, which shows again that this Bristol-based young producer, whose passion for drum'n'bass gushed from the listening of Roni Size Reprazent, prefers to focus on quality than quantity, a winning strategy which drew the attention and the support by legendary producers of the scene such as Break, Andy C, Teebee, Goldie, Calyx, DLR, Doc Scott and Utopia's label manager and owner Stephen Mako, who made the launch pad of Utopia available for his good stuff, together with larger and larger appreciation by dnb lovers. The epic and vaguely sci-fi-scented introduction of "On Your Own" could let you imagine the breaking of an eggshell which precedes the birth of a cruel monster at the service of repression, foreasmuch as the menacing repeated sentence and the following bumping percussive machine-gun whose dodging could mean dancing (!), while on the flipside-placed "Colours", Fields seems to suit his dark neurotech-oriented entries (think about the previous entry BTC or Behind The Curtain on Mako's catalogue) to the jerkiest movements of 2-steppers by means of an amazing plashing of bass and mid tones. Fields hit the triple and mouthwatered listeners for an upcoming poker by this forthcoming release.
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Artist: L.A.S.'S Crime
Title: Mutatio (Modified)
Format: 12"
Label: J.A.M. Traxx
Rated: *****
Formed by Sandro Marchetti and Maria Elena Brogi and active during the second half of the 80s, L.A.S.'s Crime are named after Oscar Wilde's tale "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime",a short semi-comic mystery story that was published in 1891 along with "The Canterville Ghost", "The Sphinx Without a Secret" and "The Model Millionaire". This particular name reflected Sandro's way of conceiving the lyrics. Take, for example tracks like "Land Of Nothing" "Silent Words" or "Infect Dawn" coming from the "Inanitas" tape, they are written in a style that remembers poems or late nineteenth literature. Check this excerpt from "Silent Words": "Gelsomina wants to right her life and she dreams of fables every night and she sees herself as fresh as rain". They produced six demo tapes during those years ("Five Lies", "Anomaly", "Inanitas", "Electa" and "Korobi") plus "Abyss 43", an unreleased album, and during the last twenty years they music was hard to find. The last year the label Mannequin released the track "Ill Merry Go Round" on the second volume of "Danza Meccanica" compilation and after few months issued a band compilation containing thirteen tracks coming from their 1985/89 demos. This releases revamped the audience's interest into the band and convinced Sandro to remaster most of their demos (you can purchase them at their Bandcamp page http://lasscrime.bandcamp.com), to play a concert in Venice the last April on the Reality Manipulation event created by Gabriele Longega and Ilaria Zanella. After that experience it was time to try something new and Sandro started to work on the old tracks just to give them a new life. Thanks to J.A.M. Traxx we have "Mutatio (Modified)", a limited to 300 copies vinyl album containing seven reworked versions of old songs remixed by L.A.S.'s Crime themselves, FerDJ Dms (Ferdinando Maggio remixed "Epode" along with the band) and DMKD (Canadian band formed by David Kristian and Mary Davidson that remixed "Flax Girl Room"). Using always the original synthesizers (if you check the details of the releases you can see that he has a huge number of Roland, Korg, Yamaha stuff), Sandro added and substituted some sounds succeeding into giving to the songs more strength and energy keeping also the original atmosphere. If with the compilation "Disphoria 1985-1989" you discovered the music of a good electronic cold wave band, on "Mutatio (Modified)", you'll be carried away by the final result, as they sound powerful compared to some of the nowadays bands that are in love with those sounds but they are part of the original scene... You can check all the tracks on the band's and the label's Bandcamp pages. Ah, I was almost forgetting... check out the beautiful painting titled "Death Of A Cyborg" made by Shorra Digital Arts. It's just beautiful!
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