Music Reviews



Artist: Dope Stars Inc.
Title: 21st Century Slave
Format: CD
Label: Trisol Music Group GmbH
Rated: *****
The Italian stallions launch their third full-scale attack on the system, which they strike with its own weapons. After their double feature EP Criminal Intents/Morning Star" (also to be found on this site), performances in mega-metropolis like London and Moscow the digital warriors release a new album full of sharp guitars, defiant attitude and juicy synths. The trio lead by Victor Amore, better known as Victor Love, play Cyber Punk the way it has to be in the 21st century with which they impress fans throughout Europe and way further.
DSI draw their inspiration from authors such as William Gibson and Neal Stephenson who write about distopic, futuristic forms of human co-existence and the role of the media, especially the internet, in those brave new worlds. With DSI you get a whole package: the music, the lyrics and the look are thought through and complete the picture tastefully.
One can claim that this unit hits the nerve of the zeitgeist better than most. DSI are loud, and loud they shout their message, party-oriented and as they would put it themselves, fast and beautiful. DJs really should embrace this act and include their songs to every playlist, as long as they don’t want to gain a reputation of obsolete.
The title song is somewhat of a cyber punk version of Placebo’s "Slave to Wage" lyrics-wise. With all the party bangers the boys don’t forget to show their emotional side with some ballads, "When I See You Smile" being perhaps the best, whereas "It’s for You" could hit a sentimental cord even in Dark Vader’s heart. DSI blend Nu-Metal, Electro, Industrial and Rock, while it all sounds just great and was skillfully produced. The CD comes in a pimped-up 6-page digipack the artwork of which is there to prepare the listener for the musical experience.
The 21st century remains rebellious. This is one of the most ass-kicking productions of 2009 up to now.
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Artist: TRANSISTOR6 (@)
Title: Virgin Venom
Format: CD
Label: The Black Lodge
Rated: *****
Two years after the demo MCD Claus Collstrup and Kira Li a.k.a. Transistor6 are back with their first full length album titled VIRGIN VENOM. The 13 new tracks (none of them available on the previous demo CD) give to the audience the chance to experience at full the cinematic ambient e.b.m. music produced by the duo. Despite the rare use of vocals (we find few samples and few phrases here and there plus "Get My", the only song that actually has lyrics and has been sung) Transistor6 is able to produce a rich and balanced mixture of rhythms and multi layered synth sounds. Dancey rhythms are alternated to calm atmospheres that slowly turn into 4/4 tempos where cosmic atmospheres duet with soundtracks for cyborgs. Few times I felt that something was missing (maybe a bit more of vocal samples) but generally the music and the sounds proposed by Transistor6 works fine. You can check a couple of tracks at their myspace www.myspace.com/transistor6net.
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Artist: Crista Galli (@)
Title: Hayaku
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Rated: *****
Tout est vibration... Everything is vibe! That's the hieratical preface adopted by the French duo of music therapists Crista Galli to explain their thaumaturgical audio-prescriptions based on natural sounds' constant stimulation aiming at the harmonization of the human body's parts with earth frequencies and we find a nice trick the contrast between the quiet audio-settings '“ proposing a fascinating cross between Celtic sonorities and Asian scents, sacred music and perfumes of pagan rites, the deep and shamanic male voice by Jean Paul Trutet and the angelic and crystalline one by Sarah Trutet aka Shayna - and the title of the album, Hayaku, a Japanese expression meaning "hurry up!" or "faster!" as well as the name of a little poem inviting to a sort of return to life throughout a "new-age"-like elemental evocation (the translation of the lyrics says "Hurry up! The heart waits no more..Hurry up! The earth cannot wait longer... Hurry up! The light cannot wait... Hurry up! Humanity cannot wait... [... ] Where is my dream? Where is my love?[... ] The sea is beautiful" and so on... ). Filed in the Mandala series '“ the ethnic-meditative one -by the French label Prikosnovenie, Hayaku is introduced by the band itself as the portrait of a long spiritual journey towards the realm of earth and light '“ beware!!! there're a plenty of references to Aquarian cultures... but we argue that you're going to appreciate their music even if you consider oddities such cromotherapy, mesmerian pools or crystal therapy (as well as cds filled with seagulls, bird choirs, sirens, waves and so on normally sold at newsagents... ) a plenty of bullshits invented just to grab money from depressed or stressed people... - . departing from luminous tracks such as Armor Mirror '“ how many seagulls!!! '“ and Procession '“ really intriguing track evoking ancestral Tibetan monks' choirs introduced by the siren-like "ohhhhhhh" by Shayna... even it seems that the lyrics are taken directly from the mysterious words written in an archaic partially deriving from Latin and partially from Celtic language on a 2000yrs old stele, which seems to be a dedication to Caticatona, an unknown Goddess related to Earth and natural forces... - to more obscure and mysterious ones '“ we love the bell chiming and the Tibetan howling bow in the lovely Ambre et violet as well as the first gurgling chant by Shayna (Alleluyah!)in Joies et mysteries, a delightful hymn with a minimalistic piano session -, from intriguing natural snapshots '“ such as the enchanting Messager de la pluie (Messenger of the rain) featuring an hypnotic zither session, a string instrument belonging to the same family of koto, harpsichord, dulcimer and guzheng (the Chinese zither) as well as the dreamy state of the heart-catching Clair de la lune, one of my favorite track of the whole album... . - to ancient cultures quotes '“ have a listen to the hypnotic mantra in Pakawa Shaman!!! '“ and sacred music gems '“ such as the above-mentioned Joies and mysteries and Seacht ndòlàs nà Maighdine Muire (Gaelic expression meaning "The Seven Sorrows of Virgin Mary"), which are two intriguing and mysterious songs belonging to the Gaelic tradition, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, two wonderful historical pieces telling how the Gaelic culture absorbed the Catholic one... -. Hayaku is not only a rendez-vous of different cultures and natural elements, but even a rendez-vous between sounds as some ethic instruments (such as Celtic harp, Balkan zither, Jew's harp, the ancestral sound of didjeridoo, the Japanese koto and a plenty of percussions belonging to different musical traditions) meet the canonic cello and piano! We could easily confirm that this album is a lovely spiritual voyage even if you dislike new age oddities and DIY devotional cults! And you'll agree with me after listening to this graceful work...
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Artist: Hyperdriver
Title: Naked Aggression
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: D-Trash Records (@)
Rated: *****

HYPERDRIVER has been around for awhile, and they're one of those bands that have been in my peripheral vision since I started doing reviews way back 6 years ago or so. I believe that "Naked Aggression" is the first album of their's I've actually reviewed but I know I've heard at least bits of others. The title of the album is actually very succinct, as there is plenty of aggression on display throughout the 12 tracks here, yet unfortunately that's more or less all there is, so the naked part kind of applies as well.

Having said that, I want to state that this is not a bad record. It has a lot of energy, and each track has it's own sound. But the theme of super fast distorted beats with little else backing them gets a bit redundant after awhile. Halfway into the album, the bursts seem much less like catharsis and more like boredom. I love some of the spastic, high energy DHC style stuff D-trash has released in the past, but this just doesn't do it for me. Judging from the videos that came on a DVR with the disc, Hyperdriver seems like they'd be nice to see live, and I think this stuff would appeal to me more in that context. There just isn't enough variation to hold my attention. But hey, that's just my opinion. You can download it for free from the site and check it out for yourself.
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Artist: Caustic (@)
Title: This Is Jizzcore
Format: CD
Label: Crunch Pod Media (@)
Rated: *****
I really wasn't sure what to expect with this one. With a title like "This is Jizzcore", my first thoughts were that CAUSTIC were a grindcore band or something, or more likely a goofy gabber outfit. Both guesses were completely off, though there is definitely a strong sense of humor at play here, and maybe a little bit of the latter as well.

Musically the 17 tracks here are pretty damn diverse, from straight up powernoise to breakcore to 80's electro-industrial/ coldwave to IDM and beyond. The main ingredients throughout all of the tracks are powerful, aggressive beats, lots of distortion, great production and the aforementioned sense of humor displayed in both the occasional vocals and sample choices and track names. The vocals can be a little silly sounding due to the lyrical content, but otherwise are okay, and they never feel too out of place.

It's hard to pick out favorite tracks here, as each one has it's own sound and good qualities, but I'll try to pick some out. I particularly like the opener "The inmates have taken over", as it reminds me a little of Leæther Strip in it's blend of drama and industrial stomping. For sheer aggression alone, "The Bible, The Bottle, The Bomb" is rather cool, as is the awesomely titled "Redneck Pussyhouse", even if it does sample Natural Born Killers, which has been sampled WAAAAAAAAAY too much. Another one that stands out is the super amusing "Lady Business", which is a rather strange yet cool faux disco house style track. But generally speaking, all of the tracks on this album are solid and worth the listen for sure.

My prognosis? "This is Jizzcore" is a diverse, slickly produced piece of hard electronic candy that will quite possibly make you make a little jizz of your own. Which is a good thing. Check it out!
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