Music Reviews



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Artist: May Roosevelt (@)
Title: Haunted
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
It really isn't too often that I get something to review that prominently features theremin. As usual, I had not heard of May Roosevelt, but I had to admit that when the press sheet busted out the work of Jacques Derrida, I had a suspicion that I was in for a pretentious album (at least it wasn't Lacan). Thankfully, it wasn't. Here's how the press sheet describes the album: 'May Roosevelt's new album "Haunted" opens doors to phantoms of the past. The work's eight musical compositions are supernatural entities of modern technology that hover in the air, bursting open the chest of rustic tradition only to be transformed into rhythms of Greek dances.' I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. I had expected some heavy electro-experimental knob twiddling with a lot of bleeps and bloops. This was quite well orchestrated work in which the theremin was simply another instrument in an ensemble of synthesizers, drum machines, and vocals - the main instrument, of course, but this wasn't just some person making science fiction sounds. Rather, she plays the theremin with skill. Nicely packaged in a foil embossed folder. This album weighs in at around 37 minutes.
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Artist: Arturas Bumšteinas (@)
Title: My Own Private Bayreuth
Format: CD
Label: HMK { HotelMariaKapel } (@)
This album has an interesting premise behind it. According to the label, 'In 2009, Bumšteinas ordered tickets for a well known Wagnerfestival that's held every year in Bayreuth, Germany. Upon his request for tickets, Bumšteinas was placed in a nine-year queue. He then decided that, every year he would spend on the waiting list, he would perform his own version of Wagner's 'Ring der Nibelungen.'' I saw that the album was mixed by Jos Smolders, so I was expecting a more experimental feel to it. Bumšteinas brings in a host of other musicians to create his own ensemble, complete with excellent vocals. The overall effect is quite nice, but it is mostly straightforward classical music with some minor elements of noise thrown in. Think of this as the remix of Wagner's Ring Cycle and a condensation of 15 hours of opera down to about an hour. This album weighs in at around 63 minutes
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anymore
Artist: Vigilante (@)
Title: The New Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
This fourth album from this outfit from Chile seems like some mainstream hip-hop album: a long list of features from well known bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Strapping Young Lad, Clawfinger, Public Enemy as son on. This could be a careful choice of collaborators in search of new sounds and approach but, more commonly, is a search of a commercial appeal using name of press appeal and this is the file for this album.
After a good intro, this album show his cards with "The New Order": filtered vocals, heavy beats, catchy synth, martial attitude and a pop melody. This album sounds really well: good sound balance, careful master but here relies his greatest flaw: all songs are constructed the same way, from "Prison Break" to "Gone", the true last track because the last four track are almost dancey remix, quite a bonus ep, all the tracks features the same musical format, the only variation is the presence of some heavy guitar to the whole mass. This is not an issue considering all tracks on his own, but, listening to this album as a whole, a sense of repetition or boredom arise because it seems longer than necessary.
This album could be a good choice for dj searching for a new track from their set, or for collector of industrial music, but everyone searching for something new could better search otherwise.
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anymore
Artist: KOMARKEN ELECTRONICS
Title: Granular Material
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
One year after the CD release on Unhoerbar (Solar One Music sublabel) and the release of "Breed For Perfection" digital self produced EP, Komarken Electronics is back with his first release on vinyl. GRANULAR MATERIAL contains five new Komarken Electronics tracks plus a remix by The Exaltics. The EP opens with a main track that instantly leads the listener through research lab corridors courtesy of obsessive rhythm patterns, fast monophonic bass lines, long synth pads and melodic lead parts. "Science Saved Us" is a perfect electro tune with mysterious atmospheres and catchy melodies. It has a cinematic approach and mixes well all the sound elements. The Exaltics remix of "Spaciousness" picks up the main Komarken Electronics elements (cinematic atmospheres, cool electro sounds, cured rich rhythm section and catchy minimal melodies) and enhances its anxious side. "Test Tube Funk" opens the B side with hard beats and upfront fat bass lines. Synth pads and melodic leads are added soon after to create a counterpart to the rhythm by creating a strong blend of melodic arpeggios and beats. The original version of "Spaciousness" (which was also on the label's latest compilation) creates a nice 'suspended in time' effect thanks to the alternation of melodic lines of bass, pads & leads. "Moonlight beat" closes this cool EP with an atmospheric electro mid-tempo tune which made me recall some Gosub instrumentals. Komarken Electronics is really good at mixing rhythmical and melodic elements finding a good balance between the hypnotic dance side and the home listener approach. If you'd like to purchase one of the 200 copies of this clear vinyl EP, act fast! If you are strapped for cash, you can purchase it directly from Solar One Music for 12 Euros p+p included.
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)
Apr 27 2011
Artist: SCAPE ONE
Title: Potent Mutagen
Format: 12"
Label: Cultivated Electronics (@)
Rated: *****
It's time for a new Cultivated Electronics vinyl release! For the first one of year 2011, Scape One has been selected. If you follow forums such as Electro Empire or Robots For Robots you should have noticed that Kurt Baggaley is reissuing (on his Bandcamp page) many old releases with tons of bonus tracks. POTENT MUTAGEN isn't a reissue and contains two new tracks (three if you purchase the digital download version) and two remixes. Side A opens with "Substorm", a tune featuring minimal fluctuating melodies filtered through cut off and different rhythm layers (using a 808 drum machine I think); It sounds like a space landing gone wrong. "Potent mutagen" is a mix of bass line arpeggio, spacey synth pads and upbeat syncopated beats. On this one Kurt adds and subtracts rhythm and bass lines giving to the tune a dizzying effect. The first remix is by Sync 24 and "Substorm" is the track they chose to undergo treatment. Philip Bolland, for this tune, used a solid upbeat rhythm pattern with an obsessive bass line. He used less melody and focused the remix on rhythm alternation and filters. It's different time that Dynarec don't have a release out. They released their latest album back in 2006 on the Italian label 'Nature Records' and now they are back with the remix of Scape One's "Time falls" (the digital bonus track). The track, which originally was a mid-tempo based on deep bass lines, has sparse synth chords and lead melodies and now it sounds like an electro hit. Dynarec used fast bass lines, frequencies noises, great rhythms and everything that is useful to make people dance and asking for more!
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)
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