Music Reviews



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Artist: Concise feat. Flaque (@)
Title: Ingénue
Format: CD
Label: Wycombe Music (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Another goody I received several months before and which was well hidden under my huge heap of still-not-reviewed releases ' again, I am very sorry for these awful delays. This full-length album is sort of a surprise, as I was eagerly awaiting new stuff to listen from Flaque. This modern-IDM/Electronica-project has been quite too long in hiatus after the excellent debut 'Mindscapes' (also released by Wycombe Music...), which has been one out of three parts of the last Concise box-set release 'Revive'.
Also Concise, featuring the compelling vocal performance by the Austrian female singer Katrin Segert, stands for subtle Electronica music with demanding arrangements and abstract sound designs. Both projects, Flaque and Concise, have additionally collaborated in the past, not only with the 'Revice' ' CD box-set. The mutual course started somewhere in 2006, when Concise released their 'The Power Of Love'-MCD, which included a remix of Flaque of this remarkable Frankie Goes To Hollywood classic hit song.
Now both projects have united again, but there is a strictly separation of the track listing on this new album available. Concise, meanwhile grown to 4 official band members in its formation, are starting here with the first seven tracks providing us an attractive form of Synthpop-Electronica, which picks up here and there glimpses of different influences like House, Jazz and Experimental. The Electronica elements installed here draw intentionally relations to the kind, which can be discovered with the label comrade High Wycombe. That shouldn't wonder you, since the High Wycombe-mastermind Christian Grass is next to Katrin Segert the founding member of Concise and responsible for the Electronica components. Christian's sounds are as expected very mechanical, cold-sounding, but crystal-clear mixed and tasteful installed, so it is quite enjoyable to listen him creating and placing one or another yet unheard sound idea.
Katrin's warm-sounding vocals are of course out of any doubts or discussions; she offers the 'human' factor and provides the optimal contrast in the sound environment of Concise. Best track, because the most accessible, is 'Voyager', which follows a clear song structure and catchy elements to remain into the ear-channel of their audience already after the first listen.
Flaque invades the scenario starting track 8, 'Reflections', and the influence of Florian Ziller is recognizable from the very tone. Flaque's talent fits pretty much to those high prolific artists of the Tympanik Audio label, who are capable to produce compare IDM/Ambient/Electronica-music, such as Geomatic, Candle Nine, or the Swiss Stendeck. Opulent and moody synth-layers, experimental rhythms and subtle environmental/field recordings thrown into the mix are the trademarks of Florian's music. The layered programming of Florian then turns out to be the leading element of the 7 minutes clocking masterpiece 'Reflections', which turns out to be the purest audio entertainment. Florian continues to add his skilful arrangements on the following tracks, maybe a bit lesser accessible than on 'Reflections', but still intensely enough to amaze and satisfy the listener.
If it sounded initially like a contrast, to let these talented musicians unite their shills, works out to be a matured, quality Electronica album. I don't know, if it's allowed to ask for, but: when will they unite again to produce the follow-up album to 'Ingénue'?

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Artist: Edgey
Title: Misfire
Format: CD
Label: Hands Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Although the New York-based IDM/Breakcore-musician Stephen Knight is a relative known person in the international Industrial-scene, I must confess, that I have passed almost all of his earlier works, which includes his both previous albums on Hands, 'Square Form Annihilations' and 'Flawed'. After checking the content of 'Misfire', I should fairly admit, that this could have been a mistake.
'Misfire' blows me away with its tough and uncompromising kind to install multiple Drum'n'Bass/Breakcore-patterns in every thinkable free slot of a part. It starts dark and layered with 'Before The Storm', but the inferno-like percussion-storm, which features a constant Powernoise-influence, presented in those pummelling tracks like 'Terminal Accretion', 'Stress Failure' or most of all 'Drown' can cause damages to the nervous-system of an unprepared listener. Pain is only for the weak and Edgey takes no prisoners.
Stephen composes his very own highlight with the following track 'Chaosbane', which reduces a bit the overwhelming Breakcore-injection and rather progresses with Dark Electro-like synth-pads and mysterious voice-samples thrown in. The raw and noisy treatment returns and continues with the following tracks, until the last one, 'Floor Crank', allows in between some rest.
'Misfire' is a hell of a noisy Breakcore-album, somehow comparable, if Lucidstatic and Famine would celebrate a studio session under the influence of LSD. Harsh, pounding and not at all suitable, if you plan to sit still while listening to it ' but fucking awesome, if you search for stuff to terrorize your neighbourhood.
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Artist: Simon Balestrazzi (@)
Title: A Rainbow In My Mirror
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Magick With Tears (@)
Rated: *****
The sketch of the skeleton belonging to some Siamese twins is a becoming dress for the first tangible self-titled release by Simon Balestrazzi, one of the most prolific sound forger, mainly known as the only enduring member of the notorious exmperimental and industrial Italian cult band T.A.C. (acronym of Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata, i.e. what is known in English speaking countries as "computerized axial tomography", a notorious diagnostic test, a bizarre name marking some of the most interesting combination between progressive-rock and industrial gothic) and former member of Kirlian Camera. Such a pertinence hangs on the circumstance A Rainbow In My Mirror has been completely recorded in two "twin" but mirrored moments - autumnal equinox in 2009 and vernal equinox in 2010 -, surgically joined together in one 21 minutes-lasting trance inducing track, whereas the whirligig of sounds departing from a sort of drone built on piercing and almost cacophonic sounds interrupted by a panting breath and flowing into a sort of cloudy organ - including one prepared toy psaltery (!), the glorious MS-20, many field recording (really disquieting some vocal childish ones appearing in the middle of the sound storm), arguably processed through Bidule, a funny modular music software, developed by Plogue - becomes gradually more vortical even if it seems possible to recognize the transition from an equinotial day to the following one when some natural sounds burst into the sonorous space previously crossed by metallic rushes, clanging hums and other sinister presences. Simon shows a considerable talent as sound-weaver and although many moments could sound quite abrasive, the bountiful way by which he fasten together the manifest esoteric aspect of this product and the stylistical exploration into one creature is somewhat interesting.
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Artist: DAYBEHAVIOR (@)
Title: Silent Dawn
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
SILENT DAWN is the newest Daybehavior digital single which works as an appetizer to their third album titled "Follow that car!", which will be released soon. The single contains the excellent original version of "Silent dawn", a mid tempo synthpop song with a bit of melancholy and seductive elements where powerful synth pads coupled to epic leads melodies create a great background for Paulinda's vocals. The first mix is by Parallox and they turned the song into an upbeat dancey synth tune with house intuitions. Paramaterial on their version enhanced the dramatic atmospheres thanks to strings and piano, then they added nice 4/4 drum beats and bass arpeggios. People Theatre mix sounds retro and catchy with bass arpeggios, piano arrangements, synth strings and upbeat tempos. It's the fourth time I listen to this release in a row and I'm not tired of it yet. A sure hit!
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Artist: Saints of Ruin (@)
Title: Glampyre
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Even if vampires are not my favorite monsters at all as I think zombies are remarkably nicer and widespread in contemporary society - just try taking underground in the morning time and you'll meet some of them, mostly wearing elegant suites holding briefcase and showing stinking breath off especially when they forgot brushing their teeth after they overate garlic bread the night before! -, I have to admit these fearful creatures are sometimes quite good rockers besides being more thorough in the choice of garment and arguably cosmetic as well. I'm not sure the American gothic band Saints Of Ruin tried to introduce a new entry in the Bestiary (maybe themselves?) even if songs like Love Dies or Slow Poison looks like some possible explanations of what could give birth to such a dreadful species and a song like Fire (the one I like most) could act as a comprehensive glossary of this clan, collecting words and concepts ("Religion/in the midst of the night/Incision/cuts the party on the right/Decisions/made profiting on high/Collision/pushes masses to a fight"...and so on...), but I do appreciate their plain way to rock the gothic scene. Their music sounds suitable, glamour(vampyr)esque - an important role has been played by the great "nordic" voice by Ruby Ruin in the musical cauldron - and austere at the same time without wanderings from the point. It shows a fancy for tidy rock structures and you can say everything except scolding for some technical mistake - maybe just guitar sometimes looks like getting bogged down -. You could consider it a merit, but also a sort of want, if you're seeking more experimental hooks in the scene. Every elements look in the right place to me, but I'm pretty sure they'll dare more in the forthcoming future. It's better not to be too draconian. Be patient and give them the time to suck more delicious blood to make up their sound!
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