Music Reviews



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Artist: Orphx (@)
Title: Radiotherapy
Format: CD
Label: Hands Productions (@)
Rated: *****
A new Orphx release is always, and has always been a feast for Hands and the fans out in the wilderness of the IDM/Electronica scene. 'Radiotherapy' isn't an exception and offers all the good ingredients, which made Christina Sealey and Richard Oddie that famous. Now active producing music for longer than nearly two decades, they provide us another opulent album their hypnotic Electronica sound design unites elements out of Techno, Dub, Industrial, Noise in a special manner. 'An Orphx track is always unmistakably Orphx', I agree completely, although I quote quite seldom the content out of label info sheets. 'Radiotherapy' continues the musically course of Oddie and Sealey and offers us another 9 outstanding tunes, which let the listener astonished and full of amazement sitting in front of his/her home entertainment. Their unique hypnotic sound explores on this album repetitive Electro-like percussion elements ('Tensile'), or it focuses to spin a balance between dark, synthesized atmospheres with the rhythmically efforts of such cult projects like The Klinik/Dive (outstanding tunes: 'Future Past', 'Dead Zone'). At short moments, you'll get the impression, to be able to foresee the next part in an Orphx-track, but at the very next moment, Oddie/Sealey have meanwhile installed a completely different sound or fx-element and nothing sounds like before. 'Radiotherapy' is your ideal therapy, to fire all pseudo-aggressive EBM or Powernoise impressions out of your mind, and I would recommend listening to this marvelous release under a good pair of headphones. Although they are already veterans in the scene, they are proving once again technical superiority to many, often overestimated colleagues.

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Artist: Souless Affection (@)
Title: Epidemic (EP)
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Twisted Flesh Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Settled down in San Antonio, TX, the trio of Souless Affection can be called as being one of the most promising newcomer-projects out of the Harsh-EBM genre. That's the result one can come after consuming this freely available 5 track-debut, which has been unfortunately the last release of the new defunct Twisted Flesh Recordings label. Twisted Flesh nowadays works only for promotional purposes of the own Project Rotten, but this well produced 5-tracker of this US-project shall not remain unrecognized. Souless Affection presenting us a far developed kind of Harsh EBM/Hellectro, which also leaves enough space and musically depth, to impress the 'listening-only' buddies. Although their lyrics present often tragically happenings of some lifetime episodes from the vocalist Wraith to his father ' which is far away from being a friendly content ' I recommend to check with their in-depth, melodious sweep programming, most outstanding available in 'Blue Prints 4 Death'. Comparable in quality, but featuring a bit faster beat-work can be picked-up with 'Never Again'. Too bad, that the dream of a new label-force for the Swedish Twisted Flesh Recordings haven't worked out right before the already announced upcoming full-length release of this US-trio, I highly recommend this release and the project generally to all interested listeners.
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Artist: Nightech
Title: Reverse Flow
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Lagunamuch (@)
Rated: *****
Another project signed to the Russian IDM/Electronica-label community Lagunamuch, but, as I had to learn, a quite experienced and long-year-active artist. Nightech, aka Ed Sherbakoff works for more than a decade to create deep and ominous Dark Ambient efforts under his Nightech moniker. He has brought out several releases via more or lesser prominent net-labels like the Portuguese Enough Records, or Germany's TonAtom throughout the years. First release for Lagunamuch has been the CD album 'Deviation', out in 2007 through this Russian label. This four-track download-only EP offers 4 tracks out of Ed's sound style , which all balancing well on the thin wire between darkest Ambient excellence, while not at all falling into harsh, Powernoise-like efforts. It's a binding and static musically trip, comparable with a thinkable session between projects like the defunct Objekt 4, Dahlia's Tear mixed with darkest Holocaust Theory ('¦somebody remember them'¦?), if you're on the hunt for comparisons. Of course, this stuff isn't that easy to pick-up and it rather suits with experienced Ambient-listeners. The info sheet of the Lagunamuch label describes this music as being 'a sound message from the restless territory of annihilation', and that fits very well. The grey artwork of a desolated and polluted landscape also supports this impression extracted out of this release. Stuff, which is a bit demanding to be checked out, but if you liked Nightech's contribution on the marvelous 'Main Control Board' compilation, you'll gonna dig with these 4 tunes, as they have been produced in a same time-window.

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Artist: Troum (@)
Title: Saiws
Format: 7"
Label: Equation Records (@)
Rated: *****
German ambient duo Troum's newst release called "Saiws" has been released as a picture disc 7" 33 1/3 rpm vinyl limited to 179 copies. As much as I am trying hard to remind myself and the readers that ultimately we are talking about music here, it is hard not to talk about the visual presentation of "Saiws", because it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful musical artifacts I've ever held in my hands. "Saiws" comes encased in a transparent water-proof plastic die-cut printed liquid gel pacck sleeve. The sleeve-bag is filled with a blue gel and some glitter to represent sand and the whole thing was designed by artist Alan McClelland a.k.a. eyel.lyft. It's hard to really describe how stunning this object is so I'd invite you to check out the great pictures at the label's website page for this release (http://www.chronoglide.com/Equation_mc27.html).
Water is obviously the main theme here. "Saiws" is an old german word for "sea", the primordial element from which we came from and to which we will return. Troum was inspired by sea, water and sand and created two fluid and ethereal tracks of beautiful guitar drones that sound quite solar and almost hopeful, rather than dark and somber. The diluted tones and chord changes depict an image of vastness and grandiosity, and if it wasn't for the sea gull evoking sounds of the title track I would almost say that it makes me think of a desolated and lonely aftermath, the sea to which we will return, in a way. The other side is entitled "Segeler" (german for sailor) and is a bit darker in tone, but nevertheless not murky. Troum calls it "a soundtrack for oceaning imaginations" and the soundscapes are of oceanic proportions, as if the line at the horizon is blurred and you can't see where the water ends and the sky begins.
As you might imagine this will set you back quite a bit financially (around 30 bucks I believe), however, should you decide to buy it, you'd be one of very few lucky ones. This is a rare and truly astonishing workd of art and Troum decided not to do any twitter, facebook, myspace, not even a digital download. The only way to have this music is to buy the vinyl and there are only 170 of them total, so you better hurry. Chain D.L.K. is honored to be deemed worthy of one.
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Artist: Project Rotten (@)
Title: Cinema Bizarre
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
No time to shed any more tears after the demise of Twisted Flesh Recordings, Fredrik Croona and his partner 'X/209' (Yes, that is the guy behind Syndrome X/209 = Kettil Sundberg) have ready done their new and second album after their last years' official debut 'The Freakshow' of Project Rotten. 'Cinema Bizarre' has been recently released via the Hungarian Advoxya label and proves to be a logical development to the debut.
This album is an action-filled onslaught, which offers all good ingredients one expects from a modern produced Harsh EBM/Hellectro album. Razor-sharp synth bass-lines, a bone-hard rhythm work, and - surprise, surprise - a massive recognizable development in the quality of the vocal fx-processing. Already with the opener 'Soul Stripped (No Future)' this duo pushes the rotten bodies forward to storm the dancefloors. Be assured, that they don't take prisoners and that they won't stop with their straight, fast-forward pummeling attitude until they reach the very last track - which is a hidden, unnamed 12th track with rather minimal instrumentation - a fun track maybe?
'Cinema Bizarre' additionally offers some interesting collaborations. One of the best worked-out tracks, 'The Hunger', introduces the Spanish vocalist Javi Ssagittar from the lately highly recognized newcomer Terrorlokaust (signed to Infacted Recordings), who adds a rather melodious sounding performance to this track. Johan van Roy doesn't need an introduction; 'Club Death' features him for some co-vocals. Also the Greek duo of Pre-Emptive Strike has collaborated for the track 'Visions Of Death'.
When it comes to search for the hairs in the soup, well, and that counts for nearly 90 % of all releases out of this specific genre: the word 'unique' is a vocabulary, which can't be named in a same manner to describe this album. Project Rotten haven't definitely re-invented this genre, they rather play with already discovered properties this genre normally offers - but on a high level of quality. I also would like to hear here and there one or two tracks, which offer more musically depth provided through tempo changes or just a different style of composing. To break out of the musically one-dimensional course, which the Harsh EBM-genre inevitably falls under, is still that undiscovered piece of a puzzle, which Project Rotten need to add on their 'to solve'-list.
But the die-hard fans of this genre will slightly ignore this request, because the ongoing sharp-shooting stuff available on 'Cinema Bizarre' will completely satisfy their need for body movement. Project Rotten offer a professional produced follow-up album (mastered by Sander Kapper / Stahlblack Productions), which should be able to push this duo internationally to the forefront of the Harsh-EBM genre. Also Advoxya Records grows more and more to one of the leading bastions for this style of music.

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