Music Reviews

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.

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 (
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.
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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Title: Change Of Skin
Format: CD
Label: Society Records
Rated: *****
For sure you already read it on the internet. The Danse Society have reformed. If you have a Facebook account and you are a fan of the band's Reformation Plot page, you know that at first they (guitarist Paul Nash who on this album takes care also of the bass parts, keyboard player Dave Whitaker and drummer Paul Gilmartin) contacted the old singer Steve Rawlings who now lives in California and he seemed interested into working on new tracks. Unfortunately after a first enthusiasm they lost the contacts again. At that point, Maethelyiah, already singer and front woman of Blooding Mask proposed herself for that spot. On Facebook the old fans were mainly disappointed to have a female singer replacing Steve but they went straight to the studio and recorded thirteen new tracks. First of all let's make clear that The Danse Society split happened twenty five years ago, so even with Steve it's quite sure they should have been sounded different. On the contrary the reunion could have suffered the risk to sound fake and empty if Steve wasn't that sure of his commitment. The new album CHANGE OF SKIN has some classic The Danse Society characteristics: Paul's guitar riffs are still based on arpeggios which are of great sustain of the overall atmosphere, Dave's synths are still creating a cool ambient background with nice melodies and pads (even if unfortunately the sounds are of digital synths, to my ears) and Paul's drumming is still tribal and powerful. At this point you could think that the old band is back, well... nope. Maethelyiah's contribution is too personal to make them sound a copy of themselves and they didn't look for such a thing. Her vocals are powerful and her choruses will make you think she has three lungs. Musically try to imagine that the new Danse Society did the great record that the Siouxsie And The Banshees never did in they last period and add the characteristics I mentioned before and you'll have pretty much the idea of how they sound. Another thing that would haven't been possible to have without Maethelyiah, are those lyrics: she wrote about her thoughts on nowadays world, religion ("Vatican" is an anti clerical song in Italian, Latin and English) and visions which seems to be influenced by occultism or a spiritualistic way of living. Another peculiarity of this album are two long tracks: "Slowfire" and "End Of Days". The first one has some atmospheres that could remember their old cover of "2000 Light Years From Home", while the latter is a ballad based on piano/vocals duet which on the second part turns into a roaring semi metal tune because of Paul's riffs just to change again into its final part with a piano acoustic guitar switch. This is the tune that convinced me less but I'm convinced that the new The Danse Society have so much to give to their new and old audience.
Oct 13 2011
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Artist: IMPAKT
Title: Resonant Escape
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is the sister E.P. to the "Resonant Escape" CD album that has been released on June always by Solar One Music. Containing six tracks of which four new ("Dance The Pain Away" and "At The End" were already present into the CD), RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is containing tracks which I think didn't find place on the CD but that aren't rip offs. The E.P. opens with "Computer Boogie", a robotic 4/4 bouncing dance tune with a touch of histerya. "Dance The Pain Away" is a nice instrumental retro electro upbeat track which sounds like a soundtrack of a travel as gathers melancholic melodies and syncopated rhythms. "Resonant Escape" was already released into Impakt's first digital album "Brb, Writing Some Tunes On My Computer". It's a short two minutes and half mix of i.d.m. rhythms and slow melancholic arpeggios. B-side opens with an ironic track titled "Sodomacid" which mixes porn samples and acid music. It has nice stop and go and electronic lashes. "Come On, Ah Yeah" mixes acid bass sounds, fast obsessive rhytms and tiny monophonic leads which play nice melodies. "At The End" closes the E.P. with an atmosphere similar to "Dance The Pain Away" but sounding a little faster: electro synth leads and pads form a web of intricated melodies that come and go which make me think of a man running toward a distant point who sometimes stops to breath a little just to start his run. Nice release which is available in only 200 copies.
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