Music Reviews



cover
Artist: PASSION POLKA
Title: Obsessions EP
Format: 12"
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Liverpool and active in the very early years of the 80s, Passion Polka were a synthpop duo formed by Steve Cottier (also in Scope, Xionics, Kinetics, Peep Show) and Keith Leary (also in Peep Show). They self produced only a two track single "Obsession" / "Juliet" in 1982 for their label Kinetic Rekords. That single became a synthpop treasure and now, thanks to Anna Logue Records, we're able to check it along with two tracks the duo recorded in 1983 with Siobhan Maher (River City People, Kindred Spirit) on backing vocals. Using analog synth keyboards of the likes of Yamaha CS-5, Roland Juno 6, Arp Odissey, SH-101, to name few, gear that in the years became legendary (and Anna Logue being fan of those sounds ask to bands to write in the liner notes what they used), Passion Polka wrote nice songs that behind their upbeat rhythms and catchy melodies were talking about difficult love relationships. Stories of teenager fighting to find their place into the world, like on "Obsessions": "What is the point of fighting / When we all have but one life / What is the point of living / If you'd throw it away for the sake of politicians?". Stories of kids that find hard to live a normal life because they missed their mother's support, like on "Fighting Alone". Working class sons facing the hard life that Margaret Thatcher prepared for them. Musically, Passion Polka, recalled me a bit early O.M.D. but with a spicy touch that makes of tracks like "Fighting Alone" and "Lying Next To You" two gems that fortunately now have been reissued along with their single. They had catchy melodies, cool sounds and a songwriting capability which only fate was able to beat. Give them the attention they deserved, now. Beware, this is a deluxe reissue: it has 180gr vinyl and a nice DIN A2 poster!
cover
Artist: NEON ELECTRONICS
Title: Keylogger
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic
Rated: *****
Dirk Da Davo aka Neon Electronics, is one half of the famous Belgian band Neon Judgement. Active since early 80s with them, Dirk started his Neon Electronics project at the end of the 90s. His new album "Keylogger" is his fifth and it sounds his darker one to date. Inspired by the social world situation and by the consequences on our planet, the album contains ten new tracks, a cover of "The Fear In My Heart" (song originally written by Luc Van Acker), a Neon Electronics remix of "Prejudicial Silence" (originally by Millimetric), one remix of "Over And Over" plus three remixes of "Under The Worst Condition" performed by Action Nano (a label's mate), 9 Elma vs Lyynk and Dj Element. Three tracks ("Glimp", "Over And Over" and "Rhythm") see Dirk collaborating with Radical G and "This Thin Air" features JMX. Musically the album spans from powerful electro (like on "For A Second", "Rhythm" or the following "Prejudicial Silence" which has nice female cold vocals) to the semi electro techno of "Plastic World People", passing through electro r'n'r intuitions on "Greed" or e.b.m. ones on "Glimp". On much of the tracks you'll find also guitar riffs helping into the creation of the energetic sound you'll find overall the whole album. Catchy melodies, cools sounds and upbeat rhythms make of this an album you have to check. Definitively!
cover
Artist: Pinch (@)
Title: Fabriclive 61
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Fabric
Rated: *****
Writing a record review is sort of like trying to stop time, or at least slowing it down enough to watch it pass. There's the first time you hear a record: the thrill of discovery, delving, succumbing to its frequencies. Letting yrself be lost in thought and feeling. Then there's the next time, thinking, 'what is this thing? what am i going to write?' on and on, multiple evaluations and repeat listening, as the point becomes clear, and the review is written.

DJ mixes are like little slivers of time, like a radio program, as yr favorite selector build a soundtrack for you for an hour or six. Generally tossed up quickly on websites and pirate radio stations, there's something ephemeral to them, like listening to a bootleg, a recording of a moment.

Bristol Producer/Dj Pinch gives us a snapshot of the current scene of bass music. He's been exploring the bass frequency spectrum since 2003, when he started one of the first dubstep nights outside of London, Subloaded. Between running the Tectonic label, which has put out records by Skream, 2562, dub maverick Scientist, and his collaborations with Shackleton, Peverlist as well as his own productions under a slew of pseudonums, Pinch has been slinging dubstep since it was a new, exhilirating, bone-crushing comer on the scene. Since then, Dubstep has become watered down, cliche and forumalaic, with the bass junkies forced to go underground and reconsider.

On the 61st installment of the popular Fabriclive mix series, always a good place to turn to find the temperature of the musical waters, Pinch is not trying to make a definitive statement, a grand shaking opus defining all the various mutations of bass music, formerly known as dubstep. Instead, he's living in the hear and now, doing what DJ's know best, how to string songs together. How to make the pieces fit. Ranging from a whole slew of his own music, with tracks from his Deleted Scenes project, and collaborations with Quest, Loefah, Photek, he also begins and ends with the same track from Distal, venom part 2, on his Tectonic label. It has the raw, immediate quality of an old dancehall sound-system, quickly dashing off a dubplate to be spun that night, playing yr own music, yr friend's music. Rather than being restrained by restrictive genre or bpm barriers, instead Pinch looks at the breadth of Electronic music, and his own tastes, and makes it work. You get quiksilver slivers of d 'n b, and locked-groove romance, rave sirens 303s gothic strings. Its all mixed on vinyl, and you really get a sense of Rob Ellis' feather touch on the wheels, faders, and knobs. There's no substitue for experience.

This sort of impartial, unrestrained listening is essential to the forward motion of dubstep. Around the time Pinch was getting started, it was some of the most exciting music around, heavy body beats with a strong philosophy and refined aesthetics, those of us that always relished the dark side rejoiced. This music was mighty, and nocturnal. I was mildly disgusted, mildly amused, mostly confused, when it got taken over by bros, the world over, who responded only to its amphetamine sugar rush bass drops, pleasure button repeat, ad nauseam. The way Pinch moves in and out of different styles and moods is inspiring, and encouraging.
cover
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.
cover
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.
[ 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...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791] [792] [793] [794] [795] [796] [797] [798] [799] [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]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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