Music Reviews



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Artist: Nuclear Combination
Title: Virus
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Morphic Field Resonance
Rated: *****
This is a relatively new release by the German Morphic Field Recordings organization, which is an Experimental-minded net-label and forum lead by the participating bands (among others AGGRESSIONLEVEL 4.0, LETZTE AUSFAHRT LEBEN or NARCOTICA-RUS). So also this very first release of NUCLEAR COMBINATION is free to download, released and licensed under the Creative Commons agreement. The project itself is rather a collaborative effort, since it consts of members of projects like LETZTE AUSFAHRT LEBEN, E.I.D., and TOURETTE/NERVENLAEHMUNG. The protagonists behind this project, Nina (LAL), Andre (E.I.D.) and Markus (NERNENLÄHMUNG) have joined their forces together, to produce a mostly beat-oriented Powernoise-album featuring – surprise, surprise – the female vocals of Nina. But even if this fact sounds promising, be assured that the people behind this project don’t have an interest to present a heart-felting and beautiful performance, as the female lead vocals are raw and for the most part infected with lousy lo-fi effect manipulations. Musically these 12 tracks show some talent into the Noise genre, names like FORMALIN or ARZT + PFUSCH mixed together come to mind, while they leave higher musically surprises out. A favorite is the rather dark-instead-of-noisy track "Prophecy", which offers a wider musically spectrum. As for floor-compatibility, the rhythmical Noise-tracks like "Seelenarbeiter" and/or "False Prophets" should be able to feed the addicts. Also conspicuous is their use of German, English and Russian (!) lyrics, often also changing in between a track, that’s quite a rarity. Production-wise and especially regarding the end mix this album could need some polishing or it should be given in some approved hands to add a bit more dynamic. Nevertheless this one comes out quite satisfying for a debut, which got rewarded with a high number of downloads from their label website above.
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anymore
Artist: Ffatso (@)
Title: Mano Nera
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale
Rated: *****
Mano Nera (�A Manu Niura in Sicilian idiom) was a particular method of extorsion, exported by some Italian immigrants in the United States in the end of 19th century, generally beginning with a letter addressed to the target threatening kidnapping, murder or harms if the victim didn't decide to satisfy black handers' request (normally consisting of requests of large amounts of money). The name "Mano Nera" (Blach Hand) derived from one of the most common ways of signing this love letters, i.e. an hand imprinted in black ink. We could argue that the Italian free-jazz and improv combo Ffatso has decided to entitle this record not only in order to give an appropriate name to a sort of musical score on Al Capone, the historical character widely considered the symbol of Italian-American gangsterism, but also to refer to their particular style, featuring a lot of references to the swirling tradition of jazz (as it was played and "felt" in the first urban Afro-American communities... have an eyebeam and a reading on the Wu Ming releases to have an idea... ). The three members of the band '“ the saxophonist Stefano Ferrian, the bass player Dominik Gawara and the drummer Stefano Colli '“ demonstrate to be very skilled in weaving slices of improvised jazz wires in order to evoke a gangster's scenario and the madness of Mafia wars for the control of territories which "blood-painted" the streets of the biggest American cities in the first half of the previous century. They offer a somewhat synesthetic music experience as you could easily "see" the smoggy Chicago and New York streets of the Prohibition period, the violent eruption of a merciless massacre '“ it's mentioned one of the most ferocious one in the title of a track 2122 North Clark Street, theatre of the so-called St.Valentine's Day Massacre -, the drumming explosions of gunshots, the suspicious characters in raincoats tilting their hats over their eyes while smoking cigars standing on the rear entrance of a distillery depot, the grime look of Al Capone and the Five Pointers, even their attitude and stereotyped movements as screened in a Godfather's sequence, the flash pasting of Old Cadillacs loaded with killers, the machine gun clattering, the expressional wrinkles of a typical resolute face of a Prohibition Agent (the notorious Eliot Ness is mentioned in one track, the famous leader of The Untouchables and the greatest enemy of Al Capone, which was defeated by the frightening weapon of tax evasion... Mister Ness should be charge by a large amount of work, if still in life today... ) and so on inside the frenzy drum sessions, the infective heavy bass plucking , the rushing fawning and the raving howl of the sax as well as inside the whole choral sound performed by this band and their tone-rolling a go-go which has nothing to share with more "polite" expressions normally associated with music scores for gangster movie on Mafia (you will not hear any remake of Piero Umiliani), but it's supposedly more able to evoke and highlight such a theme in an easily appreciable vivid and emotional way, a plot which has been carefully dissected by Ffatso in its own harsh aspect through a cascade of instrumental improvised pulsations! Tracks such as the cinematic 2122 North Clark Street, the most experimental 1945 Apoplectic and Leaving CDS are surely the highest remarks of this interesting opus!
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Artist: ANGELSPIT
Title: Hideous And Perfect
Format: CD
Label: Black Pill Red Pill
Distributor: Nova Media / Pater Noster / Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After moving to Germany for a year to promote their music at the best and after extensively touring with KMFDM, Frontline Assembly, Front 242, Angespit release, for the new label Black Pill Red Pill (available in the U.S. on Metropolis Records and on Darkest Labyrinth in Japan), their new album HIDEOUS AND PERFECT. Available in Europe and Australia as a luxurious three gate fold wallet with a 16 page booklet and a folded poster containing the lyrics on its rear, HIDEOUS AND PERFECT shows the band at their best bringing to their fans twelve new tracks. Listening to the album a couple of times I was amazed by how the duo balanced the distortions with the sampled handmade percussions (they recorded much of the album's pounding industrial percussion at an abandoned shipping yard in Sydney Harbour) and electronic instruments. The sound is powerful but always in control, there's no compression and the female/male vocals along with the granitic guitar riffs give to the sound a great effect. Angelspit industrial electronic sound is an intelligent blend of melody, rhythms and energy impossible to ignore. With this version of the album you'll be able also to enjoy their visual vision where DestroyX incarnate a cyberpunk Japanese doll and ZooG a "Clockwork orange" dandy...
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Artist: Attrition (@)
Title: A Tricky Business
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Rated: *****
Younger generations could just imagine the explosive ferment swirling in the crowded classrooms of 80s English arts' schools and what it happened in the Coventry's ones was something that would have some consequences on the way of music making. Coventry is not only one of the milestones of 2-Tone ska, but also of verified intersections between various musical genres with DIY punkish attitude and one of the founder of the most "evergreen" electronic music band coming from those music fields, Martin Bowes '“ originally giving a precious contribute to give a voice to the Coventry scene through his Xeroxed fanzine entitled Alternative Sounds '“ is conscious about that and we could easily say that he worked as a sort of magnetic stone grabbing different sources for inspiration of moods and musical ideas orbiting around Coventry's school backyards! We widely illustrated and gave support to this big work of reissues of some of their best albums as a consequence of the renewed interest in their rich repertoire. That's why we're proud of announcing the reissue of one of their most interesting release '“ a respectable enterprise by Two Gods recordings -, A Tricky Business, an album which was partially performed in the mentioned arts school, but release only in the beginning of the 90s by the Italian music label Contempo. You could wonder why the fashion hierarchy press didn't give any visibility to them, but nowadays time has changed and the overstanding interest in the roots of electronic music has given the possibility (better later than never!) to know the most unpredictable voices coming from the music produced in a past not so really remote... A potentially tricky business as well!!! By the way, you could easily notice that this album is not only an excellent mixture of dark-wave, industrial rock and steaming slices of Euro-pop, but also a melting pot of black humour, romantic lyrics (I particularly appreciate the general mood expressed in The Rising Tide... really tear-jerker!!!...as well as the erudite lyrics '“ and music as well... - of First Love... Mr.Bowes, if you're reading to this review, well... I have to admit we shared your second love... I hope you're not jealous!), gothic '“erotic fades (... the forerunners of philosophy standin' behind a potential suicide girl could be find by cruelest commentators in the lovely "Can I be you right hand man?" lovely sung by Julia Niblock, the second Attrition leg!!!), ghostly tinged eyes peering into the gloom (or better into some glooms!!!), the entrancing lyrical grip and the breathy voice of A Girl Called Harmony... We invite to discover by yourself other parenthesis of this interesting document from this great English band... I'm just noticing I repeated the word "Coventry" too many times... There's no 6 without 7... Our respect to Coventry's juiciest music fruits! ... and to Attrition's music of course!
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anymore
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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