Music Reviews



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Artist: Earth Leakage Trip (@)
Title: Authorised Leakage
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: NexGen
Rated: *****
I could introduce "Time For Disclosure", the introductive track of this new release by EDM pioneers and Downbeat surfers Earth Leakage Trip by means of the words of a notorious vocal sample they grabbed from "Happy Monsters - An Adventure in the Land of Ooog" childplay and inserted in their famous track "No Idea", released by legendary Moving Shadow in 1991: the doors are where the windows should be. You can believe what the supposed revelations about extra-terrestrial beings and related matters Dreddmarc toasts about or you can ignore them so that you can quietly enjoy your refreshing toothpaste or bottled water without caring about fluorides and their effect on neural system or follow your favorite newscast and believe that smiling news anchor is telling you the truth, but the conceptual framework ELT which embraces the omnium-gatherum many followers of conspiracy theories and some possible variations of the theme daily chews feeds an interesting stylistical upgrade, which sounds quite far from some chilling and somewhat easylistening downbeat Tony Lobue and Neil Sanford made. On this EP, they melt what "humans called Dubstep" and sci-fi accurate sonorities, which cannot but sound somehow disquieting, dusky and intriguing due to the above-mentioned premises: they combined unearthly exhalations with skyrocketing dubstep devices on "Space People", gargles and dim adumbrations on "Reptile" - evoking old and new hearsay about reptialians or maybe their supposed noisy digestion -, overstretched sinister frequencies, heavy clunks and other sonic gashes on "Hyperdimension", which got inspired by the reports of strange loud eerie siren-like noises being heard all over the world (alien invasion or just tinnitus?). This bunch of amazing stylistical variations could let you surmise the most persuading secret file ELT disclosed lies in the "augmented dubstep" they roll on this good release. If they managed to awake or soothe your consciousness in the bargain, that's a far cry from a listening experience, but...beware of my presumed skepticism! I could be a reptilian!
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Artist: Evestus (@)
Title: No God
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Apparently no stranger to Chain D. L. K., Estonian Electro-Industrial rock group Evestus (named after leader, singer, composer Ott Evestus) explodes into 2013 with their 'No God' EP released at the tail-end of 2012. (The wheels turn slowly here at Chain D.L.K.) On this release Evestrus (besides Ott) is HK on keyboards, Jan on Guitar and Tanya on drums, surely the live lineup. In the photo on the inside of the CD digipak the guys look suitably menacing and Tanya in her mini-skirted sailor outfit looks beautiful but deadly. The EP is 5 tracks ' 'Dirty,' 'Voices,' 'The Fall,' 'No God,' and 'Sleep Forever.' (Actually on my copy I got additional radio edits for all of the above tracks, but they didn't sound a whole lot different to me'¦some of the 'fucks' removed, whatever.)

Evestus has been described as sounding like a combination of Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy, (or a fight between Marilyn Manson and The Prodigy) and while that isn't too far off base I wouldn't say that sums up their music. 'Dirty' is well, pretty dirty in terms of synth sound, overdriven guitar and processing on the vocals. It's a very catchy track, with just the right amount of everything- squinky synth, ballsy guitar, good drum programming, punchy bass and nasty vocals. Straight and to the point. In short, a minor hit. 'Voices' is where the Nine Inch Nails comparisons may come in, but that's vintage NIN, not Reznor's latest, where he seems less angry and more spooked. Money can do that to you. It's more of a stylistic thing in the arrangement. It's really a great track; probably the best on the EP, and very memorable. With a few exceptions (the drum programming, string arrangement, some of the synth work) I didn't care much for 'The Fall'. Rap, even industrial rap doesn't do it for me. Title track 'No God' may actually have you believing 'THERE IS NO GODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!' when Evestus screams it in your ears. The verse is kind of spoken meandering in the beginning backed by a mystery piano riff, but when it's chorus time Evestus belts it out. Nice rock-out section too. I'm sure that goes over well live. More mystery piano in 'Sleep Forever,' a kind of down and brooding track with Reznor-style whispered vocals and gated snare drum pushed back in the mix until ¾ the way through when the chorus (also the outro) jumps to life, albeit briefly. It was okay.

Some may argue that the music is derivative but what's not derivative in some way or other? Overly derivative? No, just using some of the most effective techniques to make the music exciting and engaging. Hey, Evestus is a ROCK BAND. An electro-industrial-metal rock band, but a rock band nevertheless. Why not use every trick in the book (and a few that aren't) to make yourself stand out from the crowd. As proven on this EP, Evestus have already got a leg up on a lot of American outfits in their genre. There are a lot of people who are going to like this (exempting the Christian Right) once they hear it, but I feel Evestus's best work is yet to come.
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Artist: Andyskopes (@)
Title: True Chord Redux VIP
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
London-based drum and bass dj and producer Andrew Lawrence, better known as Andy Skopes, already showed his devotion to both old and new school of the genre on his releases, collaborations and recently at the popular Fizzy and Technicality nights, but what he made on "True Chord" was a surgical junction between the last phase of jungle, the one which many junglists rolled before the advent of drum'n'bass, and organic and melodic slopes of bass music (I could mention the seven volumes of the notorious series "Earth" by LTJ Bukem 's Good Looking Records) acording to well trained ears. Andy reprised that astonishing track on this very first jungle drop on Utopia sea and enhanced both the amazing juggles on typical amen break, vocal samples and sonic details, which are going to overlap the evergreen dreams of junglists, before giving cues to the listeners about how contemporary (or if you prefer, you can even call it "nu") jungle could sound like on the flipside by means of the striking "True Human Emotion".
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Artist: Homogenized Terrestrials (@)
Title: The Contaminist
Format: CD
Label: Intangible Cat (@)
Rated: *****
Homogenized Terrestrials is the name under which Phil Klampe creates his aural magic and from what I understand he has a sizable catalog of recordings since the early/mid-eighties. This is the first I'd ever heard of him but the one thing I love about reviewing for Chain D. L. K. is that I get to discover a great amount of interesting music and bring it to your attention. I don't believe Homogenized Terrestrials has ever been reviewed here before. Klampe (as Homogenized Terrestrials) has been involved with Hal McGee, Brian Noring (FDR tapes), Charles Rice Goff III, Headless Ballerinas Underwater, Rebekah's Tape, Dog Hallucination, and others. 'The Contaminist' release being my first exposure to H.T., I had no idea what to expect, except for a cryptic comparison to Robin Storey, Mark Spybey (D.V.O.A.), Coil, Brian Eno and Christian Fennesz on the one-sheet. Actually, from what I'm hearing it seems closer to Spybey's Dead Voice on Air than the others. I notice some similarity to the Russian Vetvie label artists ' Vresnit, Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, Hladna, etc.), although their works usually consist of longer pieces. If 'The Contaminist' could be construed as ambient, then this is full-on, not so minimal ambient. The sonic palette is chock-full of events ' loops, patterns, drones, atmospheres, percussion, samples, etc. Even when a piece may seem to be minimal, it really isn't. The 13 pieces vary widely in tone and temperament, sometimes even within the pieces themselves. An unfocused ear might construe them as semi-random sound collages, but I do believe there is a method to the madness of Homogenized Terrestrials. Speaking of that name, there isn't much that sounds homogenized or terrestrial on 'The Contamanist'; in fact the name may be the very antithesis of the music.

One of the most unsettling yet cohesive pieces is 'Two Ay Emm' with its robotic alarm chime loop, stringed instrument scraping, and ebb 'n' flow phased strings. Imagine waking up out of a sound sleep at 2am and hearing this! Whoa! Very surreal. And that's only a portion of what's going on. Some of the sounds created by Klampe are truly enigmatic. There is one in 'Spurk' that might be something backwards and is used only intermittently but it's quite intriguing. I have no idea how he came up with it. Klampe is also fond of voices, chorus or choir voices, both synthetic and sample-based. They crop up in a number of compositions. Although much of this is arrhythmic and non-melodic, there are spots where rhythm and melody do show up, not necessarily together, and sometimes disguised as something else. 'Shinth' is a good example where there's a kind of a bellish gamelan thing going on also with bowed strings; rhythmic and melodic, but not like you'd think. 'The Contaminist' is really a cornucopia of different soundscapes, and very likely there is much you'll enjoy to be found here. It's also beguiling enough to warrant repeated plays. Neat photo artwork by Phil Klampe on the CD wallet too.
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Artist: Moderat
Title: II
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Mute Records (@)
Rated: *****
Moderat, the brilliant combination of Berlin electronic artists Apparat (aka Sascha Ring) and Modeselektor (aka Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary), have teamed up for an incredibly atmospheric, well-polished, and aptly-titled second album, II.

Any stand-alone Apparat or Modeselektor release is a treat. As forerunners in the contemporary and eclectic electronic music scene in Berlin, as well as former mainstays signed to the influential label BPitch Control, the acts have run the gamut of genres from IDM, glitch, hip-hop, electro house, minimal techno, to everything in between.

Apparat's solo releases and approach to songwriting, most noteably 2011's stunning The Devil's Walk, have tended to fall into moody terrain, particularly with longing vocals and lyrics, minimalist off-beats, and atmospheric vibes, all of which are cleverly and clearly demonstrated throughout II. Modeselektor have tended to focus their experimental techno more in mirth and fun, particular on the early (and very exclamatory) releases Hello Mom! and Happy Birthday! The combination of the two creates a nearly inexplicable, complex, and headphones-recommended experience.

While vocals on Apparat releases have typically only been those of Sascha Ring's and vocals on Modeselektor's tunes, when present, are largely attributed to a slew of special guests including Otto von Schirach, TTC, Puppetmastaz, and even Radiohead's Thom York, II contains several tracks that are either instrumental or contain chopped up, sampled vocals, yet never lacking in melody and addictive hooks. The tracks in which Ring soulfully sings are just as appealing ('Bad Kingdom' and 'Gita'). 'Let In The Light' reminds us that dubstep, despite numerous criticisms and stigma in recent times, can still be done while sounding new and refreshing.

A hybrid of a large number of experimental techno subgenres, II is the newest wave of Berlin's ' and beyond ' electronic music scene.
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