Music Reviews



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Artist: C-Drone Defect (@)
Title: Dystopia
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk / COP International (@)
Distributor: COP International/DDT
Rated: *****
It has taken 5 years, until the German fellow Marc Horstmeier could release a new album under his famous moniker C-DRONE DEFECT. "Dystopia" is his third album and without any doubt his best work so far! Released by the renowned NoiTekk-label and provided with a distribution deal for the North-American market under the wings of COP International, this album can be rated as being one of the outstanding productions, which came out during the last half year. Especially the fact, that this album sounds completely different to many other colleagues out of the famous NoiTekk-roster, should already surprise the audience. "Dystopia" is a fine worked out and multiple layered Dark Electro-album, which balances well between ominous and cinematic sounding introductions and aggressive and pummeling harsh Electro tunes. That hatred description "Hellectro" doesn’t work on this album (some minor exceptions approving this rule, just check "Mundus vult decipi"), since this album is so much better and more detailed produced, that it completely impresses through its mood. Double-plus-good also, that the end mastering has been integrated wisely – no hunt to reach the highest thinkable peaks on here. May the permanent club visitors will argue because of a lesser floor-compatibility, although some tunes do allow ecstatic body movements ("Morituri te salutant", "Orpheus", "Mundus vult decipi", and almost "Mente videbor"). The pure listeners instead, will discover lots of ear candy , as the rich and in-depth fx-arrangements available on "Rebellis" or "Aegri somnia" draw relations to the moods of classic works offered by FLA, early DISMANTLED, or the French REMAIN SILENT. I tend to call this album with its Latin title names as being a tiny masterpiece and state-of-art work of hard and Dark Electro music. Marc Horstmeier (what a cool fore name... ) has to be named in one traditional breath with well-known German names like X-FUSION, PAINBASTARD or earlier :WUMPSCUT:. He also proves, that there’s a way out of an imaginary death valley called Techno-/trance-driven Hellectro-sounds – "Dystopia" offers perfect object lesson.
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Artist: First Aid 4 Souls
Title: Brutpop
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Finetunes
Rated: *****
May this album title gives already out a hint, what kind of music hides behind this Hungarian-based project. FIRST AID 4 SOULS is five-persons collective, consisting of István Gazdag (lead synths, vocals), Katalin Helfenbein (e-drums, vocals)., Eszter Agiston (vocals), Zoltan Havasi (live sampling/VJ), and Attila Palvaly (drums). They too have hired several guest vocalists to help them out on this album, names like Linda Deamon of the Hungarian Metal-act DRUGZONE, or Aaron Russel of the US-based Electro-project IMPURFEKT coming up here. Musically this album is a bit a victim of different music interests of the single members. You’ll a colorful mixture out of Synth-/Futurepop-related tunes ("Before The Light"), some rather harmless Hellectro-related tracks ("Painkiller"), while you’ll also in between get a sort of Neo-Classic inspired work like "First Aid". They offer diversity to fight against that typical stereotyped thinking – everything seems to be musically allowed, as long as it is difficult enough for us fucking reviewers to sort them stylistically clear in. Personally impressed I felt with that energetic tune "Powa", although some heavy guitar-like inserts can be noticed. These Hungarians seem to feel familiar with multiple styles, although that album looses a bit intensity with the latter tracks. But to tip on some unnecessary lengths and avoidable repetitions may wouldn’t be fair for a quite good and entertaining debut release, although I fear that a versatile style-listener still needs to be born at first. As for a fine passing mention, FIRST AID 4 SOULS is the first music-project directly signed by the German Electro-Arc label and its mastermind Michael "Intrendent" Maier. Under this label moniker he has previously released some well recognized underground compilations featuring new talents completed with a few known band names, so this release means a new challenge for him.

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro Bosom.Buddies Music
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Finetunes
Rated: *****
This, one of the latest compilations collected by Germany’s grandfather of the rivethead-culture, Michael "Intrendent" Maier, is dedicated completely to the classic form of old-school EBM. All 19 participants of this compilation are strictly based to this musically ideal, quite comparable to the audio results of such veteran acts like NITZER EBB, DAF, POUPPÉE FABRIKK, or PARANOID. Outstanding is once again the talent of Mr. Intrendent to compile already discovered projects with bloody newcomers, without loosing an intensive floating of the compilation. Of course, some of the featured acts can rely on better studio equipment and recording possibilities, so it shouldn’t wonder, that the tracks of AD:KEY, the new Belgian force DARKMEN, DUPONT, IONIC VISION or DIGITAL FACTOR are coming out in a crystal-clear quality. The mostly reduced compositional efforts, the obvious macho-imaginary, combined with the minimal evident power of all compositions are may stuff to argue against those collections – but isn’t this exactly that stuff, which has caused a true revival of this special music genre? This compilation works excellent as being the right kick in some asses and offers the certainty, that this often dead-written music style still survives and promises to be more successful and recognized than ever before. Lately a lot of people got fed up with the still continuing Hellectro rush, so those acts with the right sense to fill in nostalgia may can take their profit out of this – how else can someone explain, that currently more and more labels hire projects out of the old-school league? But back to this compilation, on which I tend to point out 3 participants asides the above mentioned, which left a smile on me. Both, A.D.A.C. 8286 and KRAFT, may have heard quite often the early DAF-works, since their German lyrical efforts turning into their direction. Also that funny NORDSCHLACHT-side-project UGH...! with their track "Hauptsache Laut" offer a lot of entertainment asides the often, grim discovered "get-hard-be-strong"-attitude. Good and useful stuff for your next body party!

Track list

1. Agro's Baby - AD:key
2. What Are You - Guerrilla
3. Accept The Pain (Cachin Mix) - Darkmen
4. Run For Protection (Electro Arc Edit) - Dupont
5. Lost (Electro Arc Mix) - Severe Illusion
6. Sport Frei (Gymnastik Version) - A.D.A.C. 8286
7. Stampfe - Kraft
8. She Is (Masturbation Mix) - Ionic Vision
9. Mein Maedchen - Elite!
10. Angst - Hagen's Brut
11. Boots - Spark!
12. Dictatorship - Body Pleasure
13. Koerperwaerme – Equitant
14. Hauptsache Laut - UGH...!
15. Dopamin - Digital Factor
16. Gunmaster - Struck 9
17. Wrong Respect (Slow Mix) - Judge:Dred
18. Totalitaer - Standgericht
19. Aus Und Vorbei - Frontal
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Artist: THE HUTCHINSON
Title: clan
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
"Rock'n'roll!!!!"...hey do I sound like Lester Bangs?!...no way, and by the way this' not exactly wishy washy seventies revivalism even if the influence comes from there. The rock elements is definitely part of the lot when dealing with The Hitchinson, let's say their music is somewhere located between math-rock and noise-garage rock'n'roll. Highly melodic and never too cerebral the band works on mid tempos and strong epic passages without sounding cheesy while incorporating those "historical" riffs all the rockers out there wonna bang their head while listening to. A good recording and a good technical skill save them from getting boring like many instrumental bands dealing with this kind of shit. I'm sure the best possible fan of a record like this should be a classic strong melodic rock listener or a mid-late nineties independent rock (not indie rock) fan and it has to do with the fact they're not soft arty of pseudo-intellectual but they are there to make you move your ass and sweat to the rhythm of the drum. Even though they tend to be a bit vintage math-rock-n-rolla I dig their sound and if you were the "cocain on tits motherfucker" you claimed to be last night at the pub, well...I think you should let this record its say!.
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Artist: SIX MINUTES WAR MADNESS
Title: full fathom six
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
This' a new redux edition of this long time unavailable??? cd from this Milan based band. I'm glad I've had the chance to review the re-editions like this since it give me the opportunity to speak about cds that have been already part of my personal collection (yes, I bought it when it came out back in the days...). This double cd contains all of the material of this band featuring some future and ex members of bands such as like Afterhours, A Short Apnea, Uncode Duello and many other projects which are quite well known here in Italy. The original record itself, I mean the one that corresponded to the title of this release, was a good mix of guitar-driven rock influenced by the post grunge era, post-rock, Sonic Youth, Touch and Go and U. S. based post-punk, indie-rock. Three of the members of the band went on forming A Short Apnea, equals the kraut-experimental element is there even if hidden between the lines. The lyrics go from ok to well written and are partially sung and partially spoken in italian a la Massimo Volume that by some means remain a strong influence above all for the "intellectual" avant rock approach of Six Minutes War Madness. Differently from many contemporaries they managed to have an identity and according to my personal opinion it has to do with the music solutions. The second cd collects the material previous to the album and it's funny to see how the band has gradually evolved from a generic indie-rock-punky-grunge band into something softer and more mature above all in terms of solutions. Another interesting aspect of the band evolution can be found in the fact while during their early days there were still some sorts of affinities with the sound of Afterhours later it all took a different direction. While during the early days they were still an italian band imitating naively the average U. S. sound, later, while passing from singing in english to italian language, they also found an identity and a maturity the concretization of which has been "Full fathom six". Still much better than many bands trying to imitate this sound nowadays.
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