Music Reviews



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Artist: Geistform
Title: Transistor Music
Format: CD
Label: Hands Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Already the fourth full-length album of the Spanish fellow Rafael M Espinosa, after his Hands-debut 'Pro Analogic' in 2008 and his earlier two releases on Dirk Ivens' Daft Records. 'Transistor Music' is generally a nice example taken out of the often ignored textbook 'How-to-produce-effective-music-with-the-most-minimal-effort'. The hypnotic impression squeezed out of Rafael's equipment mostly provided by repetitive and seldom changing drum patterns, relative 'warm' sounding distortion- and lo-fi FX-inserts, and 'Transistor'-like interferences searches hard for comparisons, but it doesn't wonder too much, if the usual notorious names like DIVE and ORPHX are coming up. Rafael definitely doesn't need to hide himself behind those global scene-players, as he grows and grows to one of the outstanding artists signed to Hands Productions. 'Emisor' is a nice example of a stand-out track, as this dark filtered snare drum charms the ear-channel. 'Antimatter' is the straightest and most-forward moving tune on here and would be able to fill uncountable dancefloors of world-wide based dark clubs. 'Bad Particle' is another remarkable track with its drum pattern-variation. Rafael's kind of composing, as well as his hypnotic kind to lead his arrangements, offers him a wide ranging array of recognition. Relatively minimal, but so damned effective produced Industrial-/Noise-Electronica, which you should call your own. Get it!
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Artist: Silent Auction (@)
Title: H On Earth
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
This album counts to the few, which you hear 1 or 2 times, but then you turn it away for a while (... so at least it happened to me...). Before it starts to collect dust, you'll pick up this seemingly uncomfortable album again to give it some more spins. A tiny wonder happens, because everything, you've found uninspired, plain and platitudinous before, now seems to have developed, yes, some of the tracks are now sounding clever arranged and offer the needed portion of emotion in the vocals. Signed to the US-based label Nilaihah Records, Mr. And Mrs. Barbero are hailing out of Rochester, NY. The album title 'H On Earth' surely doesn't mean a place called 'Hell', as the music of this duo rather touches Synth-/Futurepop-, Trance- Alternative- and EBM-genres. What has eventually disturbed a better impression after the first spins may belongs on the fact, that SILENT AUCTION aren't that kind of a sugar-sweet Synthpop-act with gay-ish vocals and a catchy Electronica sound-design. You definitely need to give them some more spins to let them grow on you. You will be rewarded for your patience with a diverse sounding album in the above described smoother styles, whose brilliance hides in the sarcastic, at times humorous nailing lyrics ('Good Girl' ' that one reminds me on my 9-years-old daughter in her 'best' phases...). With often changing the lead vocalist between Terri and Jason Barbero, they additionally include variations into their whole concept. 'Heart Attack' is musically the most catchiest tune, a brilliant expressed broken-heart story featuring rich synthesizer pads. The opener 'Beautiful Mess' balances well between a classic Synthpop- and Trance-influences. Also worth to mention are the two remix contributions by MIND.IN.A.BOX, who do an awesome job with their breathtaking programming abilities on 'Reverie', and COSMICITY, who rather add dancefloor-compatibility on 'Heart Attack' - which (of course) destroys the heart-felting mood of the original. SILENT AUCTION have hammered out a quality album not to underestimate, it stands for a variable alternative in the Synth-/Futurepop-genre.
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Artist: Schwarzes Fragment
Title: Seelenkiller
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ionium Records (@)
Rated: *****
I don't believe, that a successful story like a fairytale repeats in our current times, if the protagonists try too obviously to warm up already discovered ideas available on the market for longer than a decade. Too much of the musically ingredients in usage by SCHWARZES FRAGMENT are drawing relations to the same formula, which brought TERMINAL CHOICE 1995 ('Totes Fleisch') unexpected success. This EP offers fair produced Electro/EBM-like arrangements on all 8 tracks, which blend Goth- and Future-/Synthpop-genres here and there, plus you'll get plain and cliche-filled German lyrics mostly dealing with the usual and repetitive darker themes and feelings of someone's daily life. It cannot be said, that this fusion would not promise success, but - as stated above - I doubt, that this happens again. Sometimes the lyricist manages hard to find a useful rhyme provided by a male singer, whose usage of FX on the vocals draw another comparison to TC, okay, but more often the music itself comes out relative toothless compared to the early days of above named idol. How can anyone 'try' seriously to reflect a rather complex, psychological theme like a 'Borderline Syndrom' with a simple structured broken relationship framed by a cheesy Futurepop-like outfit? Well, TERMINAL CHOICE to me earned in 1995 a lot of success and recognition out of nothing, by chance, and purest luck. If SCHWARZES FRAGMENT would be able to score comparable, this would be another wonder of the world...
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Artist: Soufferance, Vision (@)
Title: Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The Mind
Format: CD
Label: Valse Sinistre (@)
Distributor: Aliens Production
Rated: *****
We are relative aware about the fact, that most music based out of the gray area rather represents niches asides the so-called Mainstream. But these niches seem to grow anywhere, as this label, Valse Sinistre, hails out of Romania, an Eastern-European country, which has been a white spot on my world map so far. Musically, as far as I can rate this after three discovered releases, they are about to present Experimental, Abstract and mostly Ambient-influenced styles of music. This Canadian artist named Peine isn't an exception and presents a pure Dark Ambient album, which musically quells can be named with dark and haunting drones full of experiments, quite often supported by psycho-acoustic inserts. This album rather acts like a soundtrack into far, far away discovered areas of a human mind, it is music to sink into. It therefore fits, that this album consists of only 1 track, which clocks 65 minutes. No pauses in between, special 'sections' with different instrumentation got faded in or out. The possible comparison to some Cold Meat Industrial projects, taken out of the info sheet provided by the label, isn't that far away to start a description of this project. A lot of praise also for the stunning artwork of this album, which offers a book-like design with a size of a DVD box, filled with drawings, texts and illustrations.
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Artist: GOLABEK
Title: Babe (Don't Feed The Wildlife)
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
Jonathan Kaye is a 17 year old guy who's living in L.A. and since he was 12 he's producing electronic music. Under the moniker of Golabek he just released his first single for Mullet Records. BABE (DON'T FEED THE WILDLIFE) is a disco song that starts with a soul incipit that seems coming from an old Stevie Wonder album. Soon after the song opens the dances thanks to its upbeat rich disco falsetto glamorous atmosphere. Mullet Records' boss Justin Winks when received this tune thought that Scissor Sisters sent him a demo. The second track is a remix of the first one which has been reworked by the 16 year old Zack Urman aka Zaku-Chan. Alway coming from L.A., he enhanced the 80s atmosphere of the track thanks to a bouncing fat bass line, wobbling synth pads and nice catchy synth arpeggios. Really nice single for two newcomers!
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