Music Reviews



Sep 27 2010
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Artist: R21
Title: Robot Funk
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Musical project of a guy coming from Reading (UK) called David Mott, R21 is delivering his first release on Binalog Productions after releasing some EPs on Devine Disorder under the DJR21 moniker. This new digital release, exclusive to Juno Download, is titled ROBOT FUNK and contains three new tunes: "Robot funk", "PopBot" and "Groove 1". Listening to the lot different times is evident that R21 is in love with robotic upbeat tempo rhythms, fat bass lines and analog pads where melody paints a main theme and the alternation of the different elements enrich the formula. In balance from Kraftwerk, Drexciya and Dopplereffekt, Dave succeeds into creating good electronic tunes made of spacey sounds, squared rhythms and robotic dance atmospheres. Dig it!
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Artist: Lost in Desire (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Behind the emaciated appearance, the deathly pallor of his skinny face contrasting with spite of the deep bags under a pair of raven eyes of the talented Austrian musician and singer (luckily he's not another emulation of HIM way of singing, which seems to be almost an habit or a trend in the contemporary gothic and dark-wave scene'¦) Stephan Sutor, it's not hidden only a vampirish identity crisis or the teeny fancies of a rock-pop star wannabes, but above all a talented musician with a certain borderline poetical wit. According to the lyrics of the little spoken word track Picturesque and Beautiful ' which has been previously issued in a collection of poems entitled Borderline ' die andere Art zu fühlen (transl.Bordline, the other way of feeling), the poetical side of Stephan could be depicted by using his own words as '['¦] a wicked mind/a broken heart all that is mine/all picturesque, all beautiful/put on the mask'¦['¦] ', a clear-cut brush work which could explain the general mood between gothic imaginary and a dark emotive world between borderline feelings and decadent perceptions, seeping from the words of the eccentric entreaty of the very first song, Vampire. From the musical viewpoint the song which I just mentioned could be not the best way to start as it looks too anchored to something already heard, but the poor estivation is highly counterbalanced by the energy and the good song performance of Walking On Air and I Am You, the last of which being my personal favorite even if it seems to be a pop-tinged melting pot of Placebo, Rasmus (maybe for his kind of moaning-like rush on the distorted punkey guitar line) and Sonic Youth, a track which together to other ones such as the darkish lyrical and musical playset of Blow My Mind (a good vocal interpretation of lyrics with some nice rhetorical tricks such as the oxymora 'I wanna blow my mind in pieces/I wanna burn 'till it freezes' intertwines with an enjoyable electronic sliding solid gothic-rock structure) or the following one Losing Control (it's really moving the way Stephen interprets it by inserting some meows partially reminding the ones by Brian Molko) could be fitted to climb charts, an aim which could be arguably reached if he keeps on walking on this stylistic path enriching his discography and refining its style in order to obtain a more personal one by purifying it from the most recognizable influences. In the meanwhile, all gothic rock lovers are alerted: this Austrian ghostly entity is prowling through the scene and looking for bloody music lovers and lost souls in the thick wood of audiences.
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anymore
Artist: SemiOn
Title: Nuclear Attack
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Nuclear Attack is a concept album about the devastation of a Nuclear War. This album, in fact, seems heavily influenced by games like Fallout rather by the words of Oppenheimer and, probably, due to the young age of their author.
This story begins with "you cannot win" an intro to "Nuclear War" an almost dance songs with beats, samples and guitar. "The blast" is a noise track based on siren like sinewaves, "All that remains is..." is an ambient track that tied with "the unquiet place" create a long emotional desert based on radio waves and soundtrack like effects (think at the noise of neon), maybe a little too long but of undeniable effect. "The reawakening" moves on tribal-like territories and "The shapes of things to come" takes the same theme of "nuclear war" to close the album with some sort of happy end (?!?).
This album lacks a true direction, SemeiOn has done a good record but revealing all their influences, seeming more like a descriptive soundtrack. When they will be able to synthesize their own sound merging all the good bits of this records, they could be really a band.
Available through http://semi0n.bandcamp.com/
Sep 24 2010
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Artist: Collapse (@)
Title: In despair
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Amadou Sall can be considered a veteran already. In the early nineties he used to play in Treponem Pal, a band that through out a few albums pionereed the crossover of metal and electronics. Way more metal than Nine Inch Nails, more rock oriented than Young Gods, less claustrophobic that Godflesh, yet an original force, the first experiment of this kind coming from France, one of the first in Europe. Collapse formed in 1997, and evolved till this 6th release into something that can be easily filed under EBM in every record store. Their biography cites VNV Nation, and you can really feel a stronger concern on melody comparing with older releases, but still trying to indulge on some form of aggression. The mission is not perfectly executed indeed, the (up)beats are mostly very danceable, the arpeggiator works damn good, but feels like something is missing, and this is about power. Vocals are a bit too rough to be melodic, but yet not too angry. The many guitar samples fill in perfectly but a bit too much in the background, and the whole sound sometimes is a bit spoiled. It's about artistic choices that no one can criticize, but feels like the band is approaching the shores of catchiness and dancefloors with a strong heritage of aggressive approaches in both music and lyrics without knowing how to perfectly deal with it. I would call it a transition record and I'm definitely looking forward the following one because I believe that Collapse can really give its own definition of industrial rock.
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Artist: K11 (@)
Title: Metaphonic portrait 1230 A.D.
Format: CD
Label: Actual Noise
Rated: *****
Actual Noise is basically the twin label of 20 Buck Spin, a label more devoted to metalcrust, sludge and recently even flirting with drone. The more experimental counterpart now unleashes a new work by K11, a.k.a. Pietro Riparbelli, a talented artist coming from Tuscany region, Italy. As well as the previous 'Voice from Thelema', based on field recordings made in the Alesister Crowley's Thelema Abbey's in Cefalù, Sicily, this time Riparbelli worked in Assisi, Umbria region, in the Lower Basilica, mostly famous for keeping San Francis' spoils. The four compositions featured in the Cd are based on ambient recordings made using short-wave radios. The sounds and signals are enriched with some noises, organ parts and voices, the drones flow following each other embracing the listener in a sort of mystic aura. The nature of the recordings, the places where they come from, and the personal Riparbelli's reserach path related to esoterism, numerology, magic, give this cd a shape that is far from being just some sound manipulation just for music (or anti-music)'s sake. They rather create a charm that makes the listening interesting throughout all 40 minutes, even the ones not into esoteric will feel that there is 'something' more than sound here. The cd includes a video shoot in the Basilica, another way to get into that special environment. If you have the chance it's definitely worth also checking K11 live on stage.
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