Music Reviews



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Artist: INDIANS IN MOSCOW
Title: Indians In Moscow Expanded
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
Formed in 1981 in Hull (UK) and disbanded in 1984 just before the release of their debut album, Indians In Moscow knew a major success after their participation to The Tube tv show, thanks to their performance which impressed the audience. During their activity they had three successes in the charts: "Naughty Miranda", "Jack Pelter And His Sex-Change Chicken" and the "Big Wheel". Despite the success they had thanks to their mix of pop melodies and oblique approach to new wave (mainly due to the vocal performance of Adele Nozedar who reminds me of a mix of Toyah and Slits' Ari-Up), the band frictions increased because of how the songs production of their album was going: Nigel Gray wanted to add some guitars and other overdubs to the original recordings, changing in that way, their distinctive sound. Their self titled album has been unavailable for decades until 2010, when Planet of Sound reissued it digitally. Now, Other Voices, decided to give to it a proper re-release by pressing an extended version of the album. On "Indians In Moscow Expanded" you can find the eleven tracks of the album plus the mix and 7" versions of their first success "Naughty Miranda", extended mix of "I Wish I Had" and "Jack Pelter", "Dies Irae" (a semi experimental wave track you can find on the "Big Wheel" EP), "Slide" (the "I Wish I Had" B side) plus an unreleased song titled "Underneath The Tree". I can't say that Indians In Moscow reminded me other bands of that era and that's good, but they succeeded into writing nice pop songs with a less rock approach of bands of the likes of Martha & The Muffins or less pop compared to Bow Wow Wow.
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Artist: Hanetration (@)
Title: Tenth Oar EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hanetration's identity is shrouded in mistery and this circumstance - I'm pretty sure he/she/it contacted by email a number of selected reviewers all over the planet - jointly with that intriguing aura of mistery evoked by all tracks of the sonic titbits included in this ep (available for free) could be a nice self-promoting trick to rise interest on his/her/its stuff. Haughtiest reviewers could have thought so at least. It's even possible some listeners who pay attention to its name could think he/she/it could be someone terrified by a "chinesization" of the world where all purchasable arable lands will be cultivated with rice or soy or where "R" will be abolished from every dictionary and death penalty will be imposed for its usage as Hanetration could sound as a reference to the massive market and society penetration of descendants of Han dinasty, the biggest ethnic group in China and supposedly on Planet Earth! Such an interpretation could even be supported by some listenable signs and sounds, close to some Chinese musical instruments (for instance that sort of hypnotic drone "wrapping" the sonic space in the third track "Rufus" sounds similar to a processed erhu, a notorious kind of two-string violin as well as that disquieting babbling bubbling in an ocean of chings and muted rattle-drums in the initial Rex could be imagined as coming from some Chinese stammerer!). As I sometimes consider such an esoteric exegesis not so indispensable to appreciate electronic music, I say the most relevant aspect is the musical one as Tenth Oar demostrates its author knows quite well some ambient tricks so that he manages to tickle listener's mind with reversed loops, subtones, processed sounds, bunch of hypnotic frequencies and muffled rhythmical syncope, being my favorite moment of the release the second track "Alarm" where he/she/it floods the sonic space with amniotic fluid so that listeners will easily be grabbed by the lulling tension of this suspensive drone.
Feb 22 2012
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Artist: POPSIMONOVA
Title: Yellow Lamps
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Romance Moderne
Rated: *****
"Yellow Lamps" is a one track single which functions as appetizer for a next imminent release. Popsimonova was one of the founding members of the Croatian electro band Dekolaz which were active around the year 2006. After leaving the band in 2008, she started her new solo project Popsimonova and participated the year after to the Enfant Terrible compilation "Radio Resistencia" with the track "Obrisi". "Yellow Lamps" is an obsessive tune with cool synth sounds, cold vocals, retro ebm rhythms and atmospheres. Popsimonova is able to alternate interesting sounds keeping the melodies to the essential but giving to the track a good sound palette. She already performed live on one of the Romance Moderne nights in Bruxelles. Follow her...
Feb 22 2012
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Artist: ECHO
Title: Daydream
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Romance Moderne
Rated: *****
Describing themselves as naive synthpop, Echo signed recently for Romance Moderne for the release of their first E.P. "Daydream". Formed in Barcelona in October 2011 by the Catalan composer Alexandre Portils Torner and French singer Mickaël Valli, Echo will release soon their debut album on Disaro Records. Already available at the main digital outlets and at the bandcamp label page (romancemoderne.bandcamp.com), the release is opened by "Touch Me Not", a track that has an intense syth ambient start just to follow, after about a minute and half, with upbeat drum machine rhythms and monotone vocals which duet with synth bass lines. The main track, "Daydream", is next and it is a minimal synth tune with cool analog sounds and nice vocoder inserts. "The Belladonna Ritual" has a cinematic atmosphere thanks to recitative vocals and synth sweeps and noises. "Fleur Fatal" sounds like a stripped to the bone r'n'r song with childish atmospheres. In balance from Suicide and synthpop, Echo did the right thing by describing themselves naive, as they succeed into keeping an innocent approach by composing melodic lines and rhythms which make them sound simple but not poor.
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Artist: The Micronaut (@)
Title: Friedfisch
Format: CD
Label: Acker Records (@)
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
If you dwell upon some details of debut release by German guitarist Stefan Streck, also known as Dj Sterngucker, the nice moniker he used for his appearances in German dnb scene, such as the way he titled tracks taken from freshwater inhabitants (daces, rudds, carps, tenches, gudgeons, minnows, crucians, barbels and so on), you could assume Micronaut's creator is a fanatic for aquariums or recreational fishing, but other marks, including that gudgeon (or at least it seems a gudgeon...) while swallows some unidentified fish on the cover artwork, might shake such an assumption, which could appear belittling or close to a reductive shot cut if you begin to discerning a metaphorical language, based on the "big fish eating little fish" vision of such a broken social scene, where economical impasse as well as some political decisions which are hitting welfare policies and competitional mechanism, basis of Capitalism, look like awakening primordial atavistic predatory instincts fostering a battle arena-like vision of society more than a cooperative one. If you try to solve such a dilemma by an auricular analysis of musical clues, ambiguity could remain (and be even increased if you try to find an association between tinches and Bulgarian folk choirs, suggested in the lovely entrancing track "Schleie"!): whereas there are tracks which evoke wondering in deep contemplation of river's or just pound's life through sonic splashes, spurting, darts, soft xylophone's trills, clappy rhythmical stepping and sweetly effected guitar arpeggios (I particularly enjoyed "Grundling", "Hasel" - featuring very nice vocal games - and "Karpfen") there's that feeling of dramatic urgency and underskin tension, that kind of electric defibrillation close to the one applied by Apparat to his songs, amalgamating such a bucolic musical poem with more pensive weighs in mind. Every track has been carefully assembled and performed anyway and the release includes two appetizers for clubbers and djs as well, two dubby/electropop remixes by Ronny Mollenhauer aka Mollono.Bass (I liked more the one of "Barbe" than the treatment he reserved to "Schleie", maybe cause original version of the track was good enough).
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