Music Reviews



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Artist: ASSEMBLAGE 23 (@)
Title: Compass
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis / Industrial Music
Rated: *****
The inventor of the Futurepop-genre is also one of the survivors of this often dead-written music style. Tom Shear did it again, and I guess almost all of our readers or listeners of Electronica music have discovered him and his famous work. "Compass" provides 10 tracks in its regular version, but also a limited edition featuring a bonus CD with remixes and additional new and unreleased tracks, can be purchased too. Tom’s compositional signature is still the outstanding part in his tasteful arranged sound environment, although an ongoing slight dedication to some acoustic instruments can be noticed too. Did I hear real guitars in "Leave This All Behind", for example? More than 2 years in the making it is may explainable, that Tom offers one or another tracks, which are lyrically still a settlement with ex-president George W. Bush ("How Can You Sleep", but what a great ballad of a track!). "Compass" generally seems a bit of a thoughtful album, subtle and filled with Tom’s own review of his personal episodes that can happen in life. "Spark", as being the teaser release to this album, stands for the rather danceable and highly catchy moments of this album, and to me, only "Impermanence", "Smoke" and "Alive" can follow this masterpiece and seem to be ideal invitations for additional CDS releases. I wouldn’t go that far, to call "Compass" as being his best work so far, but it is another constant good work of a matured musician. This album got also released as a limited edition, which features a second CD with 5 unrleased extra tracks. If an artist decides to offer own and unreleased works over that usual remix works collection, it seems to be quite logical, which of the both available versions you should try to purchase, shouldn’t it?
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Artist: IN[TOXIN] (@)
Title: UFO Rave
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line / Alter-X Promotion Group (@)
Rated: *****
The Alter-X Promotion group has buried out once again a promising newcomer act out the Russian Electronica underground. IN[TOXIN] is the name of this producing DJ working under his pseudonym ToxicRain, who hails out of the city Rostov on Don. Applause also and once again for the traditionally awesome cover artwork, which continues with the mysticism of some astronomical and/or Alien-related themes. "UFO Rave" is globally a hard-hitting and speedy forward-moving Electro/Industrial-album heavily inspired by works of acts like S.A.M. or the latest ANIMASSACRE-recordings. It is nearly impossible, to sit still to this kind of music, as this project forces its audience to some wild pogo-related movements with their crafty and pummeling rhythm work. Their multiple sequencing works I tend to rate as being a standout attitude, although I would recommend to shorten one or another tune. It simply becomes a bit strenuous, if too much tracks range over 6 minutes of a pure hammering beat inferno without a noticeable break. Also to rely too often on the hypnotic effect of their multiple sequencing work does seldom replace a constant and well-thought compositional effort. But however, the hyper-active Hellectro/TBM-infected masses will praise this act quite well and their work is additive. Quite good in its kind, quite surprising for X-Line, if you have discovered other acts earlier.
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Artist: Anhedonia (@)
Title: Ontology
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Rated: *****
Second release for this mysterious Czech one-man project, again brought to us by the small, but highly addictive and hard working Aliens label out of Slovakia. A lot of things in the sound of ANHEDONIA are reminding to the later works of their Slovakian label-mates DISHARMONY – too much indeed, that this happened by chance. Where DISHARMONY have started as a true authentic Dark Electro act inspired by early KLINIK/MORTAL CONSTRAINT works, ANHEDONIA has always been based in the modern IDM/Ambient-Electronica field. But since DISHARMONY opened themselves to a more different and IDM-related outfit, but projects nowadays are staying nearly side-by-side in a comparable sound outfit. Though this all doesn’t alter anything, ANHEDONIA deliver with a fine worked out album, which too impresses through several collaborations with friend artists like SOMBRA, UNICODE and of course DISHARMONY – especially the last mentioned mutual track marks a pearl of this fantastic IDM/Dark Electro-release. Other highlights I tend to name with the catchy, but also icy tunes "Emitter Junction" and "Empty Visions". Similar to any DISHARMONY-release, ANHEDONIA scores extremely well with a skillful synth play, dense moods, and a dark, but tasteful arranged sound outfit. It’s music to listen to under a pair of headphones, rather seldom to move to. Thumbs up also for the awesome cover art with its rotten maritime look.
Feb 15 2010
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Artist: CB (Cyclone B) (@)
Title: Evil
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
Maybe quite late, I nevertheless would like to reflect this last year latest album of Estonia’s leading Electro/Industrial act, since permanent readers of our site have surely discovered them on here. CB, as Igor and Rad have shortened their band name, have produced with "Evil" a quite complex and atmospheric more thicker outfit than expected. It has been taken nearly 3 years in the making after their last EP "Demolished", and this time was filled with some internal member problems too, to come back with this new album. "Evil" acts for the most part as a typical Dark Electro-minded album in the tradition of Canadian-based patterns like FLA or NUMB. Already the multiple layered intro tune "Sun" is a reflection of this tradition, which focuses lyrically and with the usage of voice-, noise- and environmental-samples on a drastically end time scenario. With "Place Of Nothingness" this duo also reanimates a tune already discovered on the above mentioned EP, here completely revamped. "Sect" may wins the imaginary contest of the most catchiest tune on here, while their beloved usage of vocoder effects on the lead vocals got reanimated with "Negative". No review without a word of criticism – quite often, and with "Restore Point" as being the negative highlight, their inserting of the lead vocals needs definitely some improvement and polishing work. The FX-driven music is that flawless and precise produced, but the vocals play a too important role in the whole mix, that this part seems to be the weakest of these Estonian duo. I would recommend them, not to allow their style of vocal performance alters the complete sound outfit. However the good moments win on this album, which is far away from any TBM- and Hellectro-attributes.
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Artist: Destroid
Title: Silent World
Format: CD EP
Label: Scanner
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Destroid are no newbies to the DAC; the duo has released two full-length albums ("Future Prophecies" & "Loudspeaker") and is well known among the electro fans in Germany and world-wide. Destroid toured USA, Russia and Australia among other countries.
On the new EP the act combines the old-school EBM attitude with club compatible synths and some fair portion of emotions. The new EP offers four tracks and five remixes to them including those by [: SITD:] and Assemblage 23. The fans of Zeraphine would be glad to hear that Sven Friedrich, who made himself a name as an electro-head with his new project in the last year, was a guest artist on this release.
There can be no doubt that the EP is very professionally recorded and mixed. The opener "I walk slow" is eeerrr... slow. And thoughtful. The absolutely best song on the EP is the cover for the undying hit by The Sisters of Mercy "Lucretia My Reflection". Destroid managed to combine the original rock song melody with their electronic sound. Well done! However, this material bears potential for a more energetic, kick-ass track than that plus Andrew’s voice has got some of that dashing touch which Daniel lacks.
The act has comprehended the contemporary sound well and conducted the EP according to it, but exactly that makes them sound slightly like a number of other bands today. The music is good, but I had an impression of listening to one of other electro albums I’ve listened to in the near past.
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