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Artist: AD:KEY (@)
Title: Thema Nummer Eins
Format: CD
Label: Electric Tremor (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
AD:KEY is a quite logically abbreviation, which describes, that Agro, keyboarder of the German cult-EBM act ARMAGEDDON DILDOS starts a comeback. Synthpop or a more into Alternative-Pop music related orientation ain’t no fun at all, so Agro rather concentrates to come out under AD:KEY with a back to the roots oriented EBM sound. This album got packaged in a fine looking digipak and since it has been published by the notorious German Electric Tremor label, you can be assured, that "Thema Nummer Eins" services well the growing old-school EBM maniacs. And indeed – this album is quite harder in that typical Body-Work-Hate – formula, than any DILDOS-release before. Strengthening Agro receives through his wife Andrea, so that AD:KEY can be seen as a family project. "Thema Nummer Eins", well, I guess I don’t need to translate it, deals with the multiple facets of sexual relations, desire, up to slavery – also this doesn’t surprise that much. This album is pretty much in that course, which ORANGE SECTOR demonstrated with their successful comeback. "Sex Ist Macht" can be named as one of the main and tracks, while that complete album hasn’t any filler. Surprising is the remix contribution of FINAL SELECTION, since this Eastern German act provides well done hook-lines in a music style, in which they aren’t familiar in. Well done so far, also nice to hear, that this EBM-sound isn’t too much reduced on a minimal bass line, kick and snare work – some ideas and sounds of the Zoth Ommog legend ARMAGEDDON DILDOS can be recognized on here too. Nostalgia is alive and kicking – so keep it on!
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Artist: EXT!ZE
Title: Hellectrostar
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Trisol Music Group GmbH
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
EXT!ZE (is that a real word?) must be a something like a Trance/Industrial version of Dope Stars Inc. The Title of the single is "Hellectrostar" and this is the kind of stardom CYB3ERELLA, CYB3RSLUT (is it a male or a female one?), IONIC MATRIX , CYB3ERCORE are aiming at. The band members seem to be totally into the clubbing lifestyle. Their image is totally techno-rave and their songs are totally made to dance to. Apart of the title track there is one more original song by EXT!ZE entitled "100% Pure Cocaine" plus three remixes of "Hellectrostar" or "100% Pure Cocaine" (Reaper, Studio-X RMX and Nachtmahr) and one more edited song by the band.
The music is rather minimalistic and to my taste monotonic, but many people dig this kind of music. It lacks the intense drive characteristic to EBM, but some EBM fans will probably like it. It is very industrial-party-compatible and according to the press release "Hellectrostars" is being played in French and German clubs successfully.
The image, as mentioned above, is very club-oriented: cyberlox, mesh, buggy pants with green applications etc. Everything in neon and black colors.
With Trisol the band has found its home and future will show what will come out of them.
Artist: Mesh
Title: Only Better
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Dependent
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
Three years passed since We Collide", the last album by Mesh was released. It’s the time for the duo to be back with a new output. "Only Better" is a single from the forthcoming album to be released this month (Oct. 2009). Just like the new long player, the single revolves around topics like relationships that have already passed its best days and have no real emotional basis anymore and are being lead further for the wrong reasons such as angst of being alone, uncertain future, a habit. Some listeners older than 11 may be familiar with the themes outlined.
Melodically electronic and very touching is how we know and like Mesh; this is still there. In his lyrics the author really exposes himself and reaches the listener with that very personal attitude. On "Only Better" the beats are very danceable, same as in the past, while the text is not "danceable" at all. This combination results in a seemingly grotesque effect.
Except for the title song there is another song from the new album featured on the single : "Shattered Glass" and three remixes for "Only Better" (Club mix, Alien 6 mix und one by KLOQ that seems to be more intense that the original version).
Mark is still one of the best singers of this genre. Very emotional like always.
If the single had a purpose to raise interest for the new album, it has certainly served it.
Oct 16 2009
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Artist: FIX8:SED8 (@)
Title: Dormicum
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
One of the very albums released during the last half year, which has often been with me, but which I haven’t reviewed so far. We’re writing a new chapter in the authentic Dark Electro music genre – one of my preferred styles. And again to all, who tend to mistake in genres: Authentic Dark Electro has nothing to do with Hellectro and related Trancewhackedgoregalore styles (copyrighted by Mr. Electrofreak)! We are talking on the one and only Dark Electro/EBM-related music with real dark moods, layered production and high-skilled programming abilities – take classics like older PUPPY, LEAETHER STRIP, MENTALLO & THE FIXER, PULSE LEGION or newer participants like OBJECT, NORDSCHLACHT, NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT or BRAIN LEISURE as a reference into this special league of talented music projects and start to consider, who’s inspired by whom. Germany’s newcomer of the year 2007 with "Humanophobia" also releases 2009 a new album, which got completely published on his very own mastermind, Mr. Martin Sane and it is available via his above linked MySpace account. For the recording and parts of the production process he has hired some established forces with DJ Barmherziger and Boris Posavic of BLAME. They did a great job and pushed the audio stuff to satisfy the highest needs – this counts especially for the mastering, which got subtle added to the audio material, instead to follow that dump and genre-related "reach-the-highest-possible-peaks"-game.
"Dormicum", a quite religious sounding title, was initially planned to get released via the German Klangdynamik label. However, and very sad to say that – this quite promising label (FEKTION FEKLER, NORDSCHLACHT, BLAME, NEON COIL, and more... ) went down too early from all business activities, so all of these plans had to be cancelled. There have been several other offers and options for Martin to move to a different label, but at least he has decided again to rely completely on his own abilities. His popularity is still unbroken, as several interviews in those expensive glossy magazines like Zillo or Sonic Seducer are proving this. And his music is popular too, with its intention, always to provide eerie and ominous atmospheres through opulent synth layers and arrangements, and diverse drum pattern programs. The hunt for that one favorite hit smasher available on "Dormicum" is in opposition to most of the current Hellectro-related productions quite unnecessary, too much good things could be reported out of every track. So, would it be rather easier to talk on weaknesses or faults available here? Well, too many Hellectro-junkies would tend to argue, that there aren’t real floor-fillers (yeah, again that one and only argument... ). Really? If I have to pick out "Blood Delta" and "The Needle" as being the most pummeling tunes, I’d tend to say, that these tracks are harsh enough to satisfy those needs – always with having in mind, that Martin’s best moments are the rather slow and creepy tunes ("Insomaniac", "Methadone"). Or let’s take the melodic and nearly fragile constructed, but damned effective produced track "Hiob" as a reference. Authentic Dark Electro has seldom sounded that intensive produced before. Fans of the above named projects won’t do anything wrong by purchasing this goody, which can be bought in two different formats. Check back Martin’s website for good and try to get it!
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Artist: Synapscape
Title: Again
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
SYNAPSCAPE releases are still a welcomed and beautiful regularity – and "Again" is no exception. The dynamic duo from Bielefeld keeps on their long-year career with a new smashing album, but compared with the predecessor "Now!", I tend to rate this new effort as being lesser accessible. Their ability, to fascinate the listener with their extravagant poly-rhythm programming accomplished with Tim Kniep’s heavily distorted vocal performance, is still unbroken. But the more they tend allow rather IDM-related rhythm works to take a seat in their Cadillac, the more experimental-minded they come out. It’s nice to see, that they still have the ability to develop, but I found "Now" generally more hitting the nail. Good stuff on here too, the rather straight-oriented and with vocals supported tracks like "Who Painted My Cat Black" or "Stuck" are favorites, while some others may tend to like those sick Downbeat-tracks like "Ring The Bell" better. As for the instrumental tunes, I’ll give out applause to "Aftermath" with its pummeling kick and snare work. That rather like old DIVE-sounding tune "Alone" impresses too. SYNAPSCAPE once again completely convince, although some hints on a more detailed concentration on IDM-related structures seem to be integrated. Their long and more than 15 years long career hasn’t found a sudden end. Let’s see and listen, with which kind of evolution they’ll surprise us next year.
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