Music Reviews



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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Artist: hospital NEON (@)
Title: numbers on my skin
Format: CD EP
Label: Bearsuit (@)
Rated: *****
Many mental images and associations of ideas could whirl while listening this ep moulded by the Greek musician Athanassios Vavaroutas aka Housework and his partner-in-art Predrag Nedic aka PNDC from Belgrade, whose collaboration, after some interesting electronic falsies to push some post-punk trickling bulges up, has finally a designation, Hospital Neon, and this time it seems that these coxes are tacking closer to the indie-rock coastline. They looks like following the anti-heroic model of some fallen angel, hecticly transfigured and contextualized in our time. Or maybe it's just a sort of biography as the first song, "No Sound", could suggest, as it speaks about childhood, an age when reason and mindful thoughts traumatically rise following the metronomic ticking of the drum machines as well as the unripe melodic bassline, broken by a melancholic appearance of a melodica and a sort of emotional apheresis added by noise guitars. A vague sense of temporary bliss and unconcern for the world (represented by some noisy cars running after the singer sibilates "Hey Jude/Tomorrow never knows" interfering with the spacial and airy guitar melodies, close to the ethereal reverie soundclips some new wave/pop musicians usually insert) pervades the following track, "Here in heaven we are",while the sound on Rants begins to get dirtier as the angel, who has been portrayed before, starts his dramatic landing: guitar riffs in Rants become more rutilant, nervous and scratching on lyrics saying "All hippy and clappy and happy and trippy, man/Life's just a party on your wall/[...]/Your rants come from the heaven above/Over your friends and everyone you know"...the humanization of a celestial being or maybe it could be just the description of our educational system, constantly preparing pupils for a sort of impending danger or imminent war. The final chapter of this existential drama, "The accountant", tastes of black humour whereas all heavenly dreams look definitively buried in the tragical sense of life an accountant in plight could experience and some words ("Burned the maps, shot at the guides/My coma was complete/Now the night's too bright and black feels white/This light is killing me") are very closer to the anti-hero sung by Ian Astbury and played by Unle in Burn My Shadow. Their style is quite skeletal, but it perfectly fits the "dramtic" stage evoked by the themes, lighted by a buzzing Hospital Neon!
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Artist: DATO
Title: Hard To Find EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Danimark, Thomas Erichsen and David Kosteljanetz are DATO, a duo which is capable to mix funk, electro and synthpop in a catchy blend. HARD TO FIND is their first EP and contains three tracks and two "Extended club mix" of the main track and of "My life is perfect now". "Hard to find" is a 4/4 dancey song with in levare bass lines, funky guitars and catchy vocoder filtered vocals. "My life is perfect now" is a great 80s electro pop mid tempo tune with the nice Jannie Linnebaek vocals and dance attitude. Check the slap bass lines, the lush synths and the funky clean guitar riffs. This is a really catchy tune that won't make you looking into your record collection to check that Missing Persons song you wanted to listen to again. "Got to get out" closes the EP with rhodes chords, mid tempo dance rhythms, funk bass lines and female / male duet. This music is sensual nu-disco that you'll love to dance with. Check them at their Soundcloud page at www.soundcloud.com/dato
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