Music Reviews



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Artist: Moon.74 (@)
Title: Newborn
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****

When I firstly saw the cover artwork of Moon.74's Newborn, I supposed Echozone issued his first hip hop release of his catalogue or some kind of mixture of jumping beats with Celtic folk as suggested by the Celtic motifs of the cross printed on it, but as I pressed on play it was clear the different tenor of this album, the first one by this Depeche Mode music buff, whose style is prominently influenced by the first acts of the notorious band, in particular by the one which could be easily categorized as synth-pop. Even Dominic Hein's (the real name of this one-man-band) threatening look and his bad countenance with a gestural character on the shots typical of someone begging or praying for attention can be deceptive: you could expect a rough rumbling voice, but Hein's one sounds almost emasculated with his gentle and massaging notes, maybe a little bit monotonous, but what could seems an attempt of emulating his singing idol gets ahead especially in the nuances of songs such as Strange Convention, Gun (without barrel!), Dirty Mind or Moonlanding and even from the lyrical viewpoint the level is above mediocrity, even if nothing but a post-romantic reprise of the favorite themes by Gore & C. close to the literal substance of a teeny love letter or an interminable SMS message with self-indulgent winks (We Are - the best song of the album in my opinion -, Into My Arms, Oblivion, Stalking Horse). The most evident limits of this issue could be justified by the fact Dominic has done everything by himself as synth parts sound not so elaborated and layered and melodic structures are too terse. Moreoever he should try to broaden his vocal range, but it could be not so correct pretending too much: it's a newborn by the way!
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Artist: LE SINGE BLANC
Title: Babylon
Format: CD
Label: Bar La Muerte (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 2000 with different mini albums and four albums Le Singe Blanc arrive to their fifth one titled BABYLON. Co-produced by Bar La Muerte, La Face Cachee, Whosbrain Records and available in vinyl and CD format, the new album see the French combo bringing to their audience nine new tracks in balance from jazz, punk and noise. Since from the opening tune "Bombadilhom" they sounded like a mix of Primus and Zeni Geva to me and the during the whole album I didn't changed my mind. Having the same sonic power of the Japanese band headed by KK Null and the craziness of the Californian combo (check for example "Tapadi" with its drunk choirs and its funk'n'punk attitude). I really enjoyed the album and even if at a first listen Le Singe Blanc could sound like a bunch of Smurfs on acid, at end of the album you'll find out that all this is making sense and you'll appreciate the 90s noise influences and their improvisation attitude (which on tracks like "Sblaf" reminds me of Magma).
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Artist: Abney Park (@)
Title: Æther Shanties
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This highly interesting Seattle, US based act was founded in 1997 and performed Goth with Industrial touch. Yet what came upon the band later could not be foreseen even by its founding members. The band's plane collided in a freak storm with a time travelling zeppelin (or was it a dirigible?..) the Ophelia in 2006. The Ophelia was allegedly built by Dr. Leguminous Calgori probably called after a character from the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The band took the possession of the Ophelia and decided they would be better to become airship pirates. A wise decision indeed!
So much for the official story. Since then Abney Park has released three Steampunk albums and Ãther Shanties is the second f them. The majority of the songs on the album are rooted in the fictional story of Steampunk piracy. Building Steam is probably the most brilliant number on the album. I personally cannot stop listening to it. It has a nice melody and takes your imagination to the Steampunk world without computers and space shuttles. Until the Day I Die is full of musical elements from the 30s. My Life is about losing and re-finding yourself .
Throw them Overboard kicks off with the theme from a traditional Jewish song and has got nonce word formations like alcohology in its lyrics. The Derelict works with the classic piece of pirate musicianship Fifteen Men on the Deadman's Chest and interprets it in an Abney Park fashion followed by a heart break song Victoria that could cut into your muscle of love deeper than some HIM-ballads. The title song perfectly conveys the whole vibe of the uncertain but adventurous existence of an airship pirate with all its troubles and escapades.
All of the band's albums are available as downloads on the AB's official web-site along with a whole bunch of cool merchandising. Heard to believe these guys run the band by themselves with no label to promote them.
Ãther Shanties is a rather multi-facetted album that anybody with a descent taste in music and a little imagination and a yearning for an adventure in his heart would totally enjoy. A true masterpiece of Steampunk.
cover
Artist: Abney Park (@)
Title: Æther Shanties
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This highly interesting Seattle, US based act was founded in 1997 and performed Goth with Industrial touch. Yet what came upon the band later could not be foreseen even by its founding members. The band's plane collided in a freak storm with a time travelling zeppelin (or was it a dirigible?..) the Ophelia in 2006. The Ophelia was allegedly built by Dr. Leguminous Calgori probably called after a character from the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The band took the possession of the Ophelia and decided they would be better to become airship pirates. A wise decision indeed!
So much for the official story. Since then Abney Park has released three Steampunk albums and Ãther Shanties is the second f them. The majority of the songs on the album are rooted in the fictional story of Steampunk piracy. Building Steam is probably the most brilliant number on the album. I personally cannot stop listening to it. It has a nice melody and takes your imagination to the Steampunk world without computers and space shuttles. Until the Day I Die is full of musical elements from the 30s. My Life is about losing and re-finding yourself .
Throw them Overboard kicks off with the theme from a traditional Jewish song and has got nonce word formations like alcohology in its lyrics. The Derelict works with the classic piece of pirate musicianship Fifteen Men on the Deadman's Chest and interprets it in an Abney Park fashion followed by a heart break song Victoria that could cut into your muscle of love deeper than some HIM-ballads. The title song perfectly conveys the whole vibe of the uncertain but adventurous existence of an airship pirate with all its troubles and escapades.
All of the band's albums are available as downloads on the AB's official web-site along with a whole bunch of cool merchandising. Heard to believe these guys run the band by themselves with no label to promote them.
Ãther Shanties is a rather multi-facetted album that anybody with a descent taste in music and a little imagination and a yearning for an adventure in his heart would totally enjoy. A true masterpiece of Steampunk.
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anymore
Artist: CROTAPHYTUS (@)
Title: The Bite Of The Reptiles 2
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
One year after the Raw Mechanics / Crotaphytus split E.P., the duo formed by Robert and Nico (the Solar One Music's guys) is back with four new menacing tunes and a Mr Pauli remix of the opening "Cnemidophorus Sexlineatus". The A side of the EP makes the listener understand, as usual, that Crotaphytus is taking no prisoners and that its search for food can't be stopped by humans. Sounding raw and cinematic "Cnemidophorus Sexlineatus" opens with mid tempo rhythms where high frequency synth pads, like sirens, make the tension grow. "Plethodon Glutinosus" has a slow rhythm made out of metallic percussive sounds and a deep bass line that make your nerve tremble. "Don't Look Behind - Cycle Of Life" is a mid tempo based on alternation of percussive synth sounds and percussions with stops and go and filtered nightmarish vocal inserts. "Hydromantes Platycephalus" with its 4/4 distorted beats, sounds almost a retro experimental e.b.m. tune. Mr Pauli remix of "Cnemidophorus Sexlineatus" sounds like Robert Smith remixed it, because that flanger on the bass guitars makes it sound so 80s (but Pauli kept also the main synth lines). "Coleonyx Variegatus" is a short closing track that make the horror atmosphere revive after the Pauli's remix. Is to notice that on most of the EP, melodic lines enrich the atmosphere creating with all the other cool synth instruments a great soundtrack for the Crotaphytus' meal. Act fast, this is limited to 200 copies!
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