Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Strange Tales From The Future Vol.3
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Solar One Music is back with a new vinyl release and this time it's the the third volume of the "Strange Tales From The Future" series. It contains two songs each by Luke Eargoggle/Johan Inkinen (Stilleben, Lunar Disko), Kan3da (Stilleben, Transient Force), Oestral (SOM, Black Montanas) and Weltwirtschaft (Dominance Electricity, Kommando 6). Basically is like having four singles packed into a single release. Weltwirtschaft opens the dances with "Invention", a track with dark atmospheres and electro techno intuitions. Luke Eargoggle with Johan Inkinen (the same duo who is active as Faceless Mind) is next with "The Highest Height", a bleeping kinda mysterious tune which has their characteristic analog sound we already love. Oestral's first track is titled "Vade Retro" which is kinda obsessive 4/4 as it evolves around a looping melody where other synth short arpeggios are added. Side A is closed by Kan3da with "Mm", another bleeping track (that could be a consequence of being Swedish, maybe) which is halfway from the robotic and the acid sound. On Side B we have the band sequence messed up. It is opened by Eargoggle/Inkinen with "Empathy Window", a fast syncopated tune that gives me the idea that it could fit the closing titles of an 80s movie. "Robocop takes Miami" could be its title. Oestral is next with "Sarah Or Rahema" a track that sounds almost nightmarish thanks to its hissing background sounds. Weltwirtschaft on "Evighet" mixes again electro and a bit of techno using also stop and go and analog bleeping effects. Kan3da is the last one with "Stupid", a mix of robotic analog sounds and late 70s electronic music. This is another Solar One Music fine release. Check some samples at the label's website.
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Artist: THE MICRONAUT
Title: Friedfisch
Format: CD
Label: Acker Records
Rated: *****
Out on Acker Records at the end of January 2012, FRIEDFISCH is the first album for The Micronaut. Actually I don't know who's behind this moniker but the thirteen tracks of the album shows a different way to approaching electronic sounds as he, supposing that there's only one person behind these sounds, uses samples and synth sounds to create a moving/emotional music background that then it's enriched by acoustic sounds. Take, for example, "Karausche": it has a sort of dubstep midtempo rhythm core with acoustic guitar parts, piano inserts and synth samples. Everything is mixed to for a gentle atmosphere where the use of melody is well balanced. "Schleie", instead, mix ambient recordings with samples taken from the Misteres Des Voix Bulgares records, electro beats and acoustic guitar arpeggios. All the tracks tend to mix different elements that go from strings to concrete noises (like on "Asche") passing from deep synth bass sounds or glitches (like on "Mairenke"). The link between all the tracks is the overall atmospheres which is gentle and soft but including also upbeat rhythms.
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Artist: Unease (@)
Title: Mind The Gloom
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Seemingly a newcomer with a self-released 7-track EP, this Swedish duo consisting of Tommy Falk and Patrik Lark surprises with its smooth sound-outfit somewhere between Depeche Mode, Ultravox and/or New Order. These prominent global players are the idols for them, although it needs a bit more development and polishing, until Tommy and Patrik will be able to reach more recognition. Unease are producing a sound strongly dedicated to Alternative/Electronica music featuring a good, warm sounding vocalist, which gets mostly supported by acoustic guitar insertions. Not completely my cup of tea, plus not completely flawless, but the talent is like a raw diamond pressed onto a silver plastic circle, which spins some rounds in my home entertainment. What I generally miss is a bit more variation in their kind of composing and their choice of sound design. Their song structures, of course only presented on these 7 tracks, are a bit repetitive and mostly based in a slow, up to a mid-tempo ranging area. The lyrics are filled with melancholy, which fits to the music. These 7 tracks don't offer anything which could additionally work on the dancefloors - and here hides the problem. If Unease decide to start to write an everlasting club smash-hit, which additionally could be able to impress the more Pop-music based audience, then I tend to say, that they could start a well doing career. Thumb up though for their tasteful artwork, which looks surprisingly professional for a self-released product. This review ends with the short comment 'not poppy enough', but whoever knows what will be with their next release? This duo has definitely a good talent, so let's see and hear, which course they will take'¦
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Artist: Code 64 (@)
Title: Deviant
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Third release out of their smasher-album 'Trialogue', to me 'Deviant' is a much choice compared to the predecessor 'Masquerade'. 'Deviant' is a fine, dancefloor-oriented Synthpop-song with a catchy-as-hell chorus in a modern sound-design. Parralox and Spark! Are the both prominent guest providing the usual remix contribution, while both can not match with the original. More interesting is finally the 'cover' version of this track by the Greek Metal-project A Sorrowful Angels, which of course lefts the smooth, Synthpop-related sound-environment. But highlight of this 5-tracker is the Frequencer remix of the brilliant ballad 'Oblivion', which is for sure one of the most demanding Code 64 tracks to remix. Nice delay-effect, a rather post-modern IDM/Ambient rhythm section, plus the crystal-clear vocal performance of the new singer Bjørn Marius Borg, transforming this track to another valuable experience. An EP which follows business strategies can not at all replace the quality of their album, but it finally still holds a few good aspects to get consumed. For fans of these Swedish trio a must-have item.
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Artist: Fractured (@)
Title: Beneath The Ashes
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Industrial Music
Rated: *****
What have we waited for this? More than five years after the brilliant second album 'Only Human Remains' of this Canadian Electro/Industrial-project, Mastermind Nick Gorman starts his long awaited comeback with this all new album entitled 'Beneath The Ashes'. And it starts, where 'Only Human Remains' has stopped. The opening track 'Beneath The Ashes' represents Nick's sense for perfect inserted synthesizer-pads, searching for their mutual, smooth path with the integrated acoustic guitar loops. That the last five years haven't left Mr. Gorman unaffected, well, that I had to learn with the next tracks. Especially 'You Are (The Voice Inside My Head)' with Nick's natural sounding voice and a nearly singing-along-the-parts-like chorus are turning this track dangerously near to the Synthpop-genre ' but thumbs up for this 'experiment', which turns to be out quite assessable. Not to forget to mention, that Nick relies again on the talent of some long-years' comrades like the brilliant spoken-word-artist Squid a.k.a. It-Clings ('Transcendental Rage For The Fundamentals'), or M@ of Encephalon ('Anesthetic'). Haunting Industrial-Metal guitar-loops are nowadays also an 'allowed' weapon to express some his tracks, 'Save Me' starts it, 'We Bare These Scars' highlights it. Finally 'Disengage' is again a witness specially dedicated to the more classic Dark Electro-audience. 'Beneath The Ashes' is definitely the more matured work of Nick Gorman compared to the predecessor, although this means, that Nick has intentionally developed a bit away from that haunting, classic Dark Electro-stuff, with which he has grown up. That isn't a negative point, because Nick proves to write more personal songs with better compositional skills. If it then turns out with tracks like 'You Are (The Voice Inside My Head)' to enter the bastion Synth-/Electropop, then I agree, since this helps Nick to be better recognized. Not to forget, that he has started nearly from scratch again, because most of the younger listeners are hardly able to remember an album released in 2005 due to our stress-driven life-times. Thumb up for this good and well-produced Electro-/Industrial album.
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