Music Reviews



image not
available
anymore
Artist: Andreas Gehm
Title: Black Pukee
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Coming from Cologne, Andreas Gehm is better known as Elec Pt.1 and few months ago I already wrote about him into my The Exaltics Meets Elec Pt.1 review. As I wrote, he has releases out on Bunker, Creme Org., Mathematics, to name a few. The next month he will release on Solar One Music his first album, "Black Pukee", under his own name. Available on double 12", CD and digital, it contains twelve tracks influenced by acid, Chicago house and underground techno. TB 303 bass lines, TR 808 drum sounds, vocal samples and pads are the main elements used to compose the tracks which could fit and ideal undergound dance hall thanks to their dark atmosphere. The album opens with the almost Kraftwerkish, "Gehm Technique": a sort of manifesto having a robotic arpeggio opens the dances. "1000 miles", the first track to let the listeners understand how part of the album sounds like: dark, with acid bass lines and raw. Tracks like "Shake Your Acid", "Xpress URself" or "It Feels So" (this one has been released also on the label compilation "SOM Compilation 5" as Elec Pt.1), sounds haunting, rhythmically obsessive (there's the sum/alternance of different drum lines that create an hypnotic effect). "I Don't Dare" or "The Road Not Taken" are sounding more Chicago house with exotic melodies mixed with ambient pads. "Acid House Music", as the title suggests, is pure acid and despite the fact that I'm not into that genre, it convinced me thanks to its raw energy and its crazy resonance filter. The overall mix of genres makes of this release a winner, because the track list sounds well balanced, powerful and inspired. Check some excerpts at this page (http://www.solaronemusic.com/94-0-Gehm-Black-Pukee.html) and reserve your copy!
cover
Artist: Dreissk (@)
Title: Edge Horizon
Format: CD
Label: n5MD (@)
Rated: *****
Dreissk (Kevin Patzelt) is back again with 'Edge Horizon,' his second full-length album on n5MD. It's quite a change from 'The Finding'. Gone are many of the overtly shoegazey aspects of Dreissk's previous work, and what remains is woven into a spacey Tangerine Dream-like foray into the outer reaches of the cosmos. It's not all smooth sailing on a blissful trip though as Dreissk injects noisy and somewhat distorted percussion to propel his star engine. You still get quite a bit of long, sustained, echoed guitar notes riding over the music, one thing that certainly makes Dreissk's music different from other electronic music artists. Synth chords swathed in reverb and echo with some melodic piano give one track an ambient edge (that particular track, 'Through' features Anklebiter, aka Tanner Volz, from Tympanik) but it isn't long before crunchy percussion makes its way into the mix.

An interesting thing about 'Edge Horizon' is how well tracks seem to blend into each other. This is certainly a voyage; there is a strong sense of motion throughout, even when the percussion is absent. One bit of criticism ' the tracks are nearly overloaded at many points with sound, and that make headphone listening tough at loud volumes. Sometimes less can be more effective. 'Edge Horizon' mellows considerably towards the end on the last few tracks (maybe the bliss you've been waiting for) dispensing with the percussion until the reprise of 'The Rising Tide' (radio edit) and I suppose that's nice way to go out after all.

While 'Edge Horizon' may be less challenging listening than 'The Finding,' it is also more accessible, and that's sure to garner Dreissk more fans and likely more airplay. If you're hungering for something new in the space music genre, you really should give this a try. You probably won't be disappointed.
Jul 15 2013
image not
available
anymore
Artist: 00tz 00tz (@)
Title: Alter Eden
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Rated: *****
Well, well, well, what have we here - A dark-electro EBM project with a stylish Goth-Industrial couple from da Bronx (of all places) by the name of Nicky Phoenix and Krysta Veronica Button. Style aside, the music is heavy, driving, forceful and ideally suited to the dancefloor. I guess that's the reason for the 00tz 00tz name. Funny, when I used to go to Goth clubs, the sarcastic crowd I ran with always spoke disparagingly of '00ntz 00ntz music' as the stereotypical electronic dancefloor fodder that permeated DJ sets with not much more than sequenced synths and that kick 'n' hat beat. Fortunately, there's a good deal more going on than that here. I can't say that I'm knocked out by all of it but 'Alter Eden' sure does begin with a bang. Nicky's synth and rhythm programming is slick throughout, proving lessons from big-name EBM forerunners well learned. His vocals are of the harsh & raspy, somewhat distorted variety common to this genre; alternating sinister with rage when the music calls for it. Krysta's vocals are mostly electronically processed, usually done in speak-sing style. This works fine for the first few tracks as the duo trade off vocals, but by the 5th track, 'Reality,' which features Krysta's vocals, the chinks in the armor begin to show. It has a melodically simple but strong vocal chorus, and although she gets by, it could have been a lot more potent with a stronger voice. A little later on the 8th track, 'Ignorance is Bliss,' Krysta sings ''ÃæI'm drowned in your reflection'Ãæ' but she's really drowned in the vocal processing. There's an Ophelia-like symbolism to this, and to be perfectly honest, Krysta's vocals remind me a lot of Hamlet's Ophelia in a meandering sort of way. They're an acquired taste, to be sure. On track 11, 'Star,' Krysta dispenses with much of the electronic vocal processing (at least in the beginning) and I actually liked that a bit better.

There are a couple of remixes (aren't there always?) ' the Sonik Foundry mix of 'Living Hell,' and the Blood Step mix of 'Bleeder'. Sonik Foundry adds a prominent distorto-synth riff to the 'Living Hell' making it less like old-school X-Marks the Pedwalk the original sounded like, and strips the electronic processing off Krysta's voice at one point (I liked that) but not really a radical alteration. The Blood Step mix of 'Bleeder' is by far the more radical alteration, turning the track from a total brain-basher to more of a creepy mind-fuck with unexpected dynamic shifts and electronic tricks.

For pure dancefloor stompin' fun, 00tz 00tz has a winner here with 'Alter Eden'. For regular listening though, there are issues. Although I haven't experienced the band live, I imagine they're pretty kick-ass in a club environment. Whether they can turn some of their weaknesses into strengths though remains to be seen on the next release.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Null White (@)
Title: The Birth (Special Edition)
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Aside from demos, this appears to be the initial release from U.K. (Stockton-on-Tees) industrial dance/synthpop outfit Null White. The main man behind the project is Lee Brown (softsynths, programming) and on 'The Birth' he mostly handles it all, except for vocals. This is a project that doesn't seem to have many vocals (except for dialogue samples), which is too bad because it really needs them. There are a couple of guest vocalists though on a few tracks ' Ruby Razer (formerly with a band called The Cage), and Scott 'Deathboy' Lamb who some of you may be familiar with. I don't think Deathboy has been up to much else lately and I think he only sings on one or two tracks ('Hellraiser,' cover of the Suicide Commando song, I'm pretty sure, and 'Mobius 3' + the Shadow System remix of the same, I think), credible job at that. Ruby sings on 3 tracks (4 if you count the 'Underground Revolution' remix) and in my opinion, she raises the bar on what would otherwise be another average dark-electro project. (Lee, you gotta get her to join the band; good for recording, good for live ' trust me on this.)

Most of what I'm hearing here straddles the fence between EMB and synthpop; nothing fancy, 4-on-the floor in the beat dept., fairly standard synth sounds, and simple melodies. Maybe too simple for the tracks without vocals. The thing is, today, anyone with decent computer softsynth, sequencing and recording programs, and a rudimentary skillset of beat and melody can crank this stuff out like nobody's business. It's all in the variation that makes it special. For most, the variation is in the vocal department, especially in an EBM/synthpop genre combo. There are other ways to do it purely instrumentally, but that gets complicated. Since Lee already has a very good singer in Ruby, why not make the best of a sure thing? The tracks she sings on 'Underground Revolution,' 'Purge,' and 'Burn' (cover of The Cure song by the same name) are the best on the album; very catchy and most memorable, especially on 'Underground Revolution'. Ruby's voice is well-suited to the material too; fits right in.

Besides the stompers (most of the tracks) there is one rather nice beatless, reflective instrumental track ' 'Endgame,' which displays the softer side of Null White. For a first outing, this isn't a bad CD, but it could have been better, and if Ruby teams up with Lee on a more permanent basis, I think Null White could be a band to watch, and of course, listen to.
cover
Artist: Break/Detail
Title: Steamtrain/Days Go By
Format: 12"
Label: Symmetry Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
In the wake of his acclaimed hits on his own label Symmetry Recordings, Mr.Charlie Bierman aka Break released another tidbit by implementing his sonic prosody and rhythmical engine on a steam train on this amazing track, where samples of choo-choo train and the relentless stream of biting sounds, ferocious chomping of metallic clicks, hitting refills, dull rolling scrap iron wedge in a double-jointed amazing tune, simply titled "Steamtrain" (what you read is what you listen), which could let you think about the tuning of a ramshackle train into a spaceship according to a bizarre declension of retrofuturism. On the flipside, young Ukrainian producer Daniil Marin aka Detail, whose recent track "Green Rain" dropped on Utopia Music imprint, harmonize with concerned but delicately haunting vocals by Russian singer Tiiu on "Days Go By", whose slightly portentous atmosphere got amplified by a sneaking low frequency that Detail lets play and expand by nourishment of dry hits, syncopated clips, precise cutting and oleaginous bassline.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681] [682] [683] [684] [685] [686] [687] [688] [689] [690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110] [2111...2120]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha