Music Reviews



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Artist: END: the DJ (@)
Title: Fires On The Shore
Format: CD EP
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Distributor: Nilaihah Records
Rated: *****
This isn't exactly new, but I don't seem to get stuff to review until well past the release date. It's like I'm living on some kind of remote island'¦in upstate New York!! Okay so I've never heard of END: the DJ before. Apparently on the Goth-Industrial dance club scene he's a pretty well-known guy. Then again there are hundreds of Goth-Industrial DJs I've never hard of. Having only hit the scene in 2008, END: the DJ has apparently made his mark opening for such acts as Panzer AG, Assemblage 23, FGFC820, Slick Idiot, Angels On Acid, Man + Machines and a host of others. END is also a part of Komor Kommando with Sebastian Komor, and Northborne with Christian Lund, both of Icon of Coil fame, some pretty impressive Goth-Industrial credentials.

Anyway, credentials aside, 'Fires On The Shore' is a collaborative effort of END, Tom Shear (Assemblage 23), Richard 'Uberman' Pine (Uberbyte), Clint Carney (System Syn), and Miss FD, along with a bunch of others but we'll just keep it simple for now. The song is an indictment of not only the BP oil spill, but of all corporate heedless destruction of the environment for the sake of profit. On this EP (really a maxi-single, in my opinion) you get six versions of the track.

Within the song itself there are four vocalists on duty trading verses and choruses- first Tom Shear, then Miss FD, Uberman, and finally Clint Carney. Uberman is the raspy-voiced guy, in case you didn't know. It makes for interesting stylistic variety, and works well within the framework of the song's lyrics. Although the original version of 'Fires On The Shore' is attributed to the band Souless Affection, it sounds a lot more like an Assemblage 23 composition than anyone else with straight ahead four-on-the floor club beat, throbbing bass and wall 'o sequenced synths orchestration. The Northborne Version (longest of the bunch) has an early (but not too early) Front Line Assembly feel to it with sparser orchestration and a definitive sequenced synth line. Miss FD opens with melodic wordless vocals then a verse. Then it's Toms turn, followed by Clint. I like it that Shear Carney and Miss FD share the chorus vocals. There is no Uberman in this mix.

The Erektor Version picks up the pace and adds crunchy percussion and electro-distortion. It's my least favorite version on the CD; it sounds rushed and abrasive. Takes the humanity right out of the mix, which was probably the intention. Uberman's treated vocals sounds like he's drowning in Correxit fluid. Somebody is going to love this warped version though; just not me. The Touched by Stahlnebel & Black Selket remix seems to stripped-down version of the original. For some reason, Uberman's vocals work best in this one. It's a good beat-forward club mix.

The Angels on Acid Version introduces different synth lines and mixes up the vocals in a cool creative way. It's moodier, more dramatic, and even drops the beat to allow some breathing space. It may not be the best version for the dancefloor but still has a lot of merit. The Shiv_R Version begins with throbbing bass and Miss FD's wordless vocals, followed with only kick drum and eerie synth on the verse she takes. Uberman takes the choruses. Things pick up as the song progresses. It's a strange version you'll just have to hear. My personal favorite was the Angels on Acid remix, but there is something here for everybody. By the way, it's a really good song too; it will stick in your head after only a couple of listens and should be excellent for the dance club as well.

There is a little something here for everybody on this max (or EP if you prefer), and here's the best part- the money spent by you on this CD is going to benefit the Gulf Waterkeepers. In case you didn't know, they were the first line of defense against the BP oil disaster, and they're still working hard to salvage what they can from this terrible mess, but they need your help. Just because the media seems to have forgotten the debacle at the Deeepwater Horizon oil rig, that doesn't mean it's gone, or problem solved. It will continue to impact the environment for a long time to come, and if you think that BP or the government is going to make it all better, guess again Batman. This is a fine effort of the Goth-Industrial community pulling together and I commend END for spearheading the project, assembling the talent for this collaborative effort, and Nilaihah for putting it out, along with everyone else involved. I'm awarding 5 stars (a rarity for me) not only because it is great, but also because it was done for a really good cause. I think you should buy it; you will have some great music, and you can feel good that your money is going to a worthy cause.
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Artist: JUPIT3R
Title: Zipperumpazoo
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Vermin Street
Distributor: Additech
Rated: *****
Inspired by a 1970's children's book, ZIPPERUMPAZOO is the latest Jupit3r's release. The release contains five new tracks and four remixes of the main track reworked by Ruff Hauser (he did a powerful dubstep mix), Stephan Jacobs (dubstep and electro robotic leads are the main elements of his remix), Sugarpill (breakbeat and dubstep with fast arpeggios and some stop and go are his formula), and Quade syncopated breaks and dub bass lines are the core of this remix). The original tune is a great powerful robotic electro track with break vocal samples. "Point of you" is a electro dub tune with apocalyptic atmospheres. "Lumis on the moon" has a dubstep rhythmic section with the add of distorted monster syth samples. "Lazy" sounds like a distorted remix of an hip hop hit. "This is on" closes the EP with a mix of dubstep and cinematic robotic atmospheres. Nice one!
May 07 2011
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Artist: VISION TALK
Title: Unlike
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Conzoom
Rated: *****
Born in 2007 from an extemporary collaboration between Krister Pettersson (Chinese Theatre) and Richard Flow (Strangel), after the first recordings Vision Talk became something more that a fun project and in these years released two albums. Signed recently to Conzoom, the band is about to release their third album titled "Distance" but before that, here's as appetizer the digital single UNLIKE. The main track is a catchy syncopated synthpop song that confirm that Swedish people are able to write cool tunes. The single contains two versions of the main track (normal and extended) plus three remixes (Parralox, People Theatre and Lustobjekt reworked the song creating a retro version, an upbeat disco mix and seducing vocoder trained version). The single contains a second song titled "The loner", here remixed by F.P. and Arachnophobias. It is an upbeat ballad with catchy female vocal lines which into the Arachnophobias remix turns into a distorted melancholic mid tempo tune.
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Artist: ZYNIC
Title: Fire Walk With Me
Format: CD
Label: Conzoom
Rated: *****
Zynic is the personal synthpop project of H.P Siem Andel and FIRE WALK WITH ME is his debut album. Formed around 2008, Zynic started to work to his sound taking as reference 80s synthpop of the likes of Yazoo, Depeche Mode, O.M.D. and I could say also Howard Jones by listening to the song "Shadow framed memories". Mixing those influences with 90s Sweden synthpop sound, Zynic recorded ten original tunes which alternate dark and lighter atmospheres. Songs like "My personal cryptonite" or "Who's to blame" will please the lovers of what used to be the reference for Swedish synthpop music: the label October Records. If you are more into pop you'll appreciate the upbeat rhythms of "Soul 4 sale". Old farts like me will appreciate the cover of Depeche Mode's "Any second now" which now has retro atmosphere and a 4/4 hard beat rhythm section. Lovers of love ballads will dream with "Almost silence". FIRE WALK WITH ME is a good debut and on the CD version you will find also four remixes by Iris, Assemblage 23, People Theatre and Parralox.
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Artist: Igor Bardo (@)
Title: My Sweet Nightmare
Format: CD
Label: Some Place Else (@)
Rated: *****
Well, sweet dreams could consist of travelling the world and the seven seas, but what what are sweet nightmares made up? The talented Russian musician and sound artist Igor Potsukaylo, known for being one leg of the quite renowned project Bardoseneticcube together with Vladimir Manevtsov, whose style embraces both shamanic techno and the harshest lung of electro-industrial body, introduces to his ones.

His butterfly net to catch possible sonorous translation of his nightmarish overturned hyperuranium as well as listener's consideration has threads, that sound electrically excited by an appreciable collagist work of effected vocal samples, unnatural sci-fi sounds, field recordings (it's nice the whirling sound experience entitled Nightmare ending with the sound of a wake up alarm and the noises a frightened person just awaken with a sense of confusion), instrumental sketches, cryptic choirs or obscure mantras (such as in the scaring crescendo of Religion or the impressive The Gnostic Mass, featuring Aleister Crowley), reflections on history (you'll be really scared by that sort of march Igor manages to assemble by combining heavy thuds and the recording of one Hitler's speech - ...and the extolling fomentation of his brainwashed supporters as well...-, who gradually turns into something ghastly, able to induce a baby into a desperate cry, in a track which cannot be entitled but "The end of the end"...and definitively a nightmare disturbing many wise people's sleep...), metallic tumbles and water plops, explosions, jazzy breaks (the one of the track "Expirience"- what a tragically whimsical title! - could remind some obscure breaks by Amon Tobin, played in a brothel patronized by many opium smokers!) and emotionally powerful stage mutations, mixed together with a devilish taste for visionary humour, just sometimes buttoned inside an hallucinated bundle of esoterical references, ritual dim lights, crepuscolar sets so that the listening experience of this album could result in some good air-conditioned astral trip, which could dive your mind into the surrealist scene of a movie by Maya Deren or Jean Cocteau.

Don't be scared: you're not going to become mad after listening to Igor's sweet nightmares. Igor could arguably introduce himself as "Your best friend" (the title of the last track), but I cannot rule out the possibility such an occurance could be considered a nightmare as well! It made me laugh the play on words the Finnish record label Some Place Else made on the typical caption "All rights reserved", meaningfully transfigured into "All rites reversed"!
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