Music Reviews



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Artist: LUSINE
Title: A Certain Distance
Format: CD
Label: Ghostly
Rated: *****
As reported by his bio: "Jeff McIlwain has been producing his visceral, melodic strain of abstract electronic music as Lusine for 10 years now". During these years he recorded for different labels (Hymen, Isophlux, U-Cover) before "landing" on Ghostly and he created different kind of electronic landscapes where rhythm and ambience were the main element. With his newest album A CERTAIN DISTANCE he moves his music a step ahead by adding to his fluffy rhythmical complicated texture beautiful melodies and vocals. Helped on "Two dots" and "Twilight" by Vilja Larjosto and by Caitlin SHerman on "Gravity" on vocals and lyrics, Lusine enriched its music widening the musical spectrum. If tracks like "Thick of it" or "Baffle" are already able to burst many feelings thanks to multi layered sounds and rhythms (loops and synths create an ever changing flow of different sounds), the tracks with vocals add that touch of soul that you wouldn't expect. It's so relaxing... it welcomes you into a comfortable place like you're laying on a fluffy cloud watching to a beautiful starry night.
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Artist: Voide (@)
Title: Lazy
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
The sun is high, the beaches are filled and mostly people have better things to do than to work. But David Almgren alias VOIDE likes to interrupt those sedating summer impressions with a new release entitled "Lazy", a 3-track Si-CD, which collects all of his earlier this year released "sample tunes". It’s because David has decided to test some new possibilities of his self-marketing of VOIDE and has given out a few free downloadable tracks via his Bandcamp profile. And he has still a heart for the silver disc addicts out there, I got the pleasure to receive a copy of this physically product. 3 tracks are on here and the things are starting with the title track, which – to everyone’s surprise – features a natural sounding vocal performance of David. Well, if lyrically recommendations of how to spend the whole summer day (..."always remember: be lazy!") performed in a related kind to a news moderator are of your preference, seems to be doubtful – on the other hand I can’t imagine to discover such lyrically content with his known sci-fi and futuristic manipulated voice. "Into The Sun" is the second tune and to me the highlight of this release. It can be named as being the missing link to David’s top-notch tunes "Electrolyte" and/or "Toxic", both available on his last studio album "Humachine", and the sweet Electropop-tune "Love" featuring the German female singer Suzi Electric. Because "Into The Sun" introduces us another female collaborator with the Australian-based Pixieguts (check out: www.pixieguts.com), who adds some warmth to the high-skilled sci-fi-related Synth-Electronica – a great vocal performance fits well to a great synth programming. Third, last, but not least track is "Traffic", which once again proves David’s favor, to use vocoderized vocals as well as to prove again his talent to create tasteful synth arrangements. Too bad, that this all finds an end after only 3 tracks – but you can be assured, that David hasn’t released any filler stuff to shorten the waiting time to his next full-length album. Moreover, his well-done collaboration with Pixieguts requires a continuation.
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Artist: Riverz End (@)
Title: Possible
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Lagunamuch Records (@)
Rated: *****
A free download-only item available from the website of the Russian label Lagunamuch and even if the label warns the listener, not to try to understand the sense of this nickname, I am highly interested to know who stands behind this mysterious act. And regarding the nick-name: well, what’s wrong to name a band project after a title of the SKINNY PUPPY-album "Last Rites" (is that a fair interpretation, Mr. Daut?)? This project is a very well-done surprise – what do I say? – maybe the best free downloadable surprise since years! Cinematic and dark sounding Electronica in some way comparable to FLAGUE or ZENTRIERT INS ANTLITZ unites with a rhythmically outfit, which often draws relations to THE KLINIK – this marvelous soundtrack drives most of the latest Tympanik, Hands, Hymen/Ant-Zen – releases against the wall! Too bad, that this epic trip ends after only 35 minutes, but I’ve lately seldom heard anything else addictive. As for the highlights well-balanced through this available 9 tracks, there’s in the first instance to name the title track, since "Possible" is a pearl of an authentic Dark-Electro-tune with programming abilities very near to FIX8:SED8 or OBJECT. "Fresh Wound" or "Magenta Violence" impress with complex rhythm- and percussion-programming abilities by using multiple Hi-Q – constructions. Rather more scary and ominous sounding are tracks like "Huge Face" or "Other Dreams", which both concentrate to leave the listener breathless with its thrilling atmospheres. Last, but not least, the ultra-wide reverberating effects used on "To Forget World To Remember World" have something special, too. Well, what finally can go wrong, if also Athur Berent of ABSTRACT AVENUE is aboard by offering a decent cover art for this new Russian talent? Have I mentioned above, that this item is freely available? – this is a must-have download, get it!
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Artist: Icarus (@)
Title: Sylt [remixes]
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Once upon a time there was an album called Sylt. Their creator and craftsmen, Ollie Brown and Sam Britton, could never imagine that, after they changed course from theme variations on drum'n'bass (... appreciated for their renowned ability in lavishing scraps of minimal techno, psychedelic rock, avant-garde classical music and free jazz on hyperkinetic dnb rhythms... ) to avantgarde experimental artifacts, this nice workouts would have been so acclaimed that the Danish label Rump Recordings could decide to issue a collection of remixes. But the most astonishing thing that this collection of remixes looks like a sort of musical ambigram: you can listen to a remix, but by the way each track well represents a slice of the contemporary state-of-art of electronic music's wide universe and we're almost sure that if you could listen it without knowing it's a collection of remixes, you could imagine this release is a standing-alone album from a mysterious eclectic musician!!! Or maybe Icarus simply have satisfied their wish consisting of borrowing their legendary wax wings in their deafening sonic appearance to other potential explorer eager to learn some secrets of their musical flight... You're not going to take no account of this detail after you'll listen the result. As a consequence of the running trend of dubstep spreading throughout the Old Continent, there's a vast assortment of dubby rhythmical movements among the mentioned explorations: we particularly appreciated the entrancing one proposed by the Throbbing Gristle collaborator Ivan Pavlov (ex Coil) aka oxy/CoH - his moniker doesn't inherit with organic chemistry, but it's a Cyrillic written Russian word meaning both sleep and dream... - as well as the powerful crescendo chosen by Karsten Pflum in order to give a new dress to the lovely anthem First Inf(E)Rænce. For an unknown reason, a lot of remixers have decided to re-assemble Keet mostly (there's also a remix or just to say better a sort of orchestral maquillage made up by Icarus itself... ), the track introducing to the listening of Sylt: maybe the most astonishing versions are the ones rebuilt by the abstracts trenches by Bjork-collaborator Opiate and the trickling drum patterns interweaving with flowy sounds by the esteemed Frank Bretschneider, but it could be easy to fall in love with the chinking rivulets tinged with a shoegaze-like vibe reminding the sunniest repertoire by Chemical Brothers instilled by Isan as well as the tonal dubbed-jazz insufflations by the label-mate Badun, which built an interesting and (a)melodic aggregate of noisy gears. But there's a plenty of highlights you will discover while listening to the album: the stretched frequencies having a tidy hip-hop hair of the inference in Zela's machine words, the 8-bit wood-shaving of Second Inf(E)Rænce exiting from the Swedish wizard Goto80's Commodore -!-, the dark dubstep (fitted to the tastes of Skull Disco's fans) got out from Ital Tek's laptop as well as the abstract distillate proposed by the refined improve-jazz duet of Isambard Khroustallov (just an alter ego for a solo project of Sam Britton, one of the two wings pushing Icarus nearby the sun... ) and the Swedish clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier... Last but not least a lovely trip-hop fuzzy lullaby as a remix of Jyske well-forged by Digitonal. The artwork '“ with those London parakeets featuring a psychedelically colored plumage - is just a shot taken from a clip created by Alice Scott to the track Keet, available as a download from Icarus website as an accompaniment to the album.
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Artist: SELL SYSTEM
Title: RedRoom
Format: CD
Label: Breakdown Records
Rated: *****
Formed in 2007 in Torino, Italy, Sell System started immediately to work on their sound/tracks mixing elements of synthpop, future pop and darkwave. Presented into their bio influenced by Depeche Mode and Frozen Plasma, the trio formed by Rikux, Simon and D@x fortunately didn't go on the cover band approach but decided to pick up the catchy elements and to rework them on their personal blender. Upbeat rhythms, good synth structures along with Rikux's vocal melodies are the key elements of most of the songs where a bit of melancholy and danceability help forgetting some minor vocal flaws. Songs like the opening "Silence of the double faces", the following "Save me", "Afternoon song" and "Time with me" show at best the band's potential and are able to catch the attention of the audience immediately. The album covers different atmospheres as its songs span from the 4/4 pumping tempo of "Easy life" to the mellowness of "Obscurity". This is also the first release of the Breakdown Records, a label also from Torino which is looking for different kind of bands (they will start different sub-labels that will cover many genres, from industrial to punk).
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