Music Reviews



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Artist: Mr. Jones Machine (@)
Title: Monokrom
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
Again I'm a bit late with my 'to-do-reviews' ' list, because also this Swedish trio has released their new album much earlier. 'Monokrom' offers 10 pieces of finest Swedish Synthpop compositions, which are so typical like taken out of a lecture book. As earlier already discovered, also the tracks on 'Monokrom' are completely sung in Swedish ' a concept, which finally ended with success and high Chart entry positions in their home country. The catchy 'De Mänbleka Tingen', which has been released earlier as a 7 " - single got featured again, while I found 'Vitt Brus' as being the most outstanding of their tracks on this album. Music for fans of the genre, which have preferences to some Ultravox- / Pet Shop Boys-recordings, will find this release quite entertaining and themselves comfortable with this album. What this album may misses here and there is a bit more depth in the musically arrangements, it finally can't be confirmed, that Mr. Jones Machine offer any form of innovation. Fans of the Synthpop-genre will be satisfied, but can also agree, that Mr. Jones Machine isn't counting to the best horses in this genre-stable. Moreover their 'Swedish-lyrics-only' decision could obstacle a wider, more international based breakthrough of their career. But these are minor hairs in an all-in-all tasty Synthpop-soup.
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Artist: Overmamba (@)
Title: Crawl Out
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Keep Out (@)
Rated: *****
In the first song "Funny Life", the voice of this nice electro-pop band from Naples, Tizzy Caliendo, wishes to be crucified from some magazine while he hovers above the listener with a sort of personal hymn to joy. Well, even if I could drive some nail on the board to reproach them about some possible mistakes (particularly their decision to issue an album too late in a scene where other unpraiseworthy "musicians" have already gobbled down most of the cake by winking at the indie-rock followers and other fashion victims after careful marketing make-up), I'm going to disappoint his expectations. Tizzy's powerful voice, whose range is so wide that you could think to the style of many notorious 80ies male voices (Billy Idol and Tony Hadley are the most immediate musical memories Tizzy activated) meeting in his ugola, partially counterbalance a certain narrowness of sounds, which have melted together in a remarkable way by Bachy Del Prete's programming by the way, so that even if the mixed elements are more or less the same, Overmamba manages to change its sloughing very rapidly. From dada-flavoured songs, featuring simple melodies fitted for counting-out rhymes, such as "Funny Life" or "Celebration", to gothic-tinged stuff which looks inspired by dark scene weaponry ("You Know The End When You Feel It", "20th Century Monster" - inspired by the Abominable Dr.Phibes, a notorious fictional character, musically quoted by Overmamba in the melodic line, quite similar to the ones played by Dr.Phibes on his organ - or "Theatre Of Poison", my favorite track for his bizarre fusion of gloomy atmospheres with horror vintage videogames' sounds) and more engaging electro-pop technoid marches, such as the vampiric "Cold Dawn In Vienna" or "Betelgeuse". Overmamba sound can be enhanced, but it doesn't deserve nails yet.
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Artist: FIRST HUMAN FERRO FEAT. ALBIREON
Title: Prosa Profana
Format: CD
Label: Nitkie
Oneiric. This is the first adjective that comes to my mind thinking about PROSA PROFANA, the latest First Human Ferro CD which features on all the tracks the Italian project Albireon. Davide Borghi already collaborated with on his second Oda Relicta album and on this one took care of the vocals and the lyrics. Olegh made the music parts using old records (ex-Soviet recordings by Ariel, Tsvety, Sinyaya Ptitsa, V.Obodsinskiy) and improvising on Cl.Debaussy and M.Dietrich songs and ex-Soviet 'Autumnal Marathon' and 'The Star Boy' motion pictures. He prepared some sketches and Davide wrote the lyrics. Dedicated to Olegh's father who passed by three years ago, PROSA PROFANA deals with melancholy and nostalgia born also from difficult relationships. The human behavior is under the magnifying lens and what's evident is the feeling of loss and defeat. All the tracks sound like a reversed collage of old tunes where Davide sings giving the impression to be in trance. If you're looking for melody or songs with a classic structure with a refrain, you won't find much of that as they focused their efforts on the album's atmosphere. Try to imagine yourselves floating on the sea at night after something bad happened to you and think about the feelings you could have.
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Artist: New Risen Throne (@)
Title: Loneliness Of Hidden Structures
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
This album from Italy's New Risen Throne try to speak of rebirth. According to the press notes "within the caves and ruins left by the destruction, there begins to form the first foundations and structures of a reconstruction that is in turn in constant evolution." The result is an album that begins with a dark and oppressive mood and slowly change into a brighter mood, at least from a dark ambient perspective :).
"Lungs into declining structures" opens this release with an invocation hidden in the mix to create the atmosphere of some crowd hopelessly confined in structure, prison or even worse. "Echoes from the loss" is an intricate juxtaposition of filtered noises. "Loneliness" is a long atmospherical track based on a relatively high frequence drone an samples of swords and film voices. The titletrack of this album deals with a soundtrack line of synth posed above, probably, field recordings a loose martial beat. "Lands filles with silence and grief" is the longest track of this album and relies on a texture drone beneath filtered gregorian chants. "A vision from the hidden" is an evocative deep soundscape while "Breath of growing structures" close this album trying to lighten the dark mood depicted in this musical journey.
This album feature also two remix: "New Risen Throne (II)" is done by northunt and try to give some resonance and space to the oppressive soundscape while "New Risen Throne (III)", made by Nordvargr, add the notorious evil touch of MZ412's mastermind to the recipe. This two remix has the unusual quality to be a reconstruction that reveals hidden possibilities of the original.
This album is, perhaps, one of the best release of this year and reveal a focused production and clear writing. Recommanded.
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Artist: Z'Ev & Hati
Title: Heart of A Wolf
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This is the second collaborative album by the industrial legend the Polish duo from Torun, and is a sonic postcard from their 2011 tour in May 2011 and is composed of two, supposedly without overdub, livesets: "Live in Turin" is the first set, a long track, and is focused on the resonance of the cymabals and gong notoriously used by the players in the first part of the gig while the development is focused, in the second part, in african percussion that introduce in a meditative and silent third part that end in an oriental like percussion development. The final part of this gig is divided in two section: the first part use some strange flute sounds above the subtle Z'ev percussion and the second end this gig with the same evocative mood of the introduction. "Live in Gdansk" is a smaller, and more predictable, set based almost exclusively in ritual and meditative gong resonance periodically interrupted by atmospherical silence above subtle metallic percussion. The result has a good impact due of the undoubtable craft of the musician involved.
A fine release but only for fans of ritual ambient music.
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