Music Reviews



Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Breaks Series: Issue 2
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Vermin Street
Rated: *****
Vermin Street's second Issue of Breaks Series sees again Petr Passive at the desk bringing on the virtual side A of this digital download single a new tune titled "Hardtmuth1500". The track starts with vocals filtered with a vocoder and 8 bit sounds that will make you think about a retro electro song. Soon after hard distorted 140 bpm kick and 808 snare are added turning the track into a dancey electro acid Amiga game soundtrack gone wild. Next track is titled "There Is No Enemy" and it's brought to you by Vinyl Blight. It sounds like a blend of dubstep and breakbeat with a nice piano lead melody that make it good for a mystery movie soundtrack. Available the 8th of December through the usual digital marketplaces.
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Artist: LAZY LATE KIDZ
Title: 15h01
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk
Rated: *****
For their debut E.P. the French guys of Lazy Late Kidz prepared four new tunes that will please the lovers of electro music. The E.P., which is available only as digital download, opens with "15h01", a nice introduction to the world of the band where bouncing rhythms and distorted bass lines duet with synths. The following "Desert of Paran" and "Leit anthem" mix funky bass lines, syncopated synth distortions and a bit of melody. The closing "Steeve anthem" is a driving electro tune with filtered vocal samples that could work well on the dancefloors. Even if all the tracks are instrumentals I didn't feel they need any vocals, maybe a little more melody like the synth trumpet on "15h01" would help. Not bad as a debut E.P.
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Artist: STELLAMARA
Title: The Golden Thread
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie
Rated: *****
THE GOLDEN THREAD is the newest and third album for Stellamara. Released after four years from their previous album "The Seven Valleys" the new CD sees Stellamara detaching a bit from their previous Dead Can Dance like style to develop an intriguing set made of nine new tracks which take inspiration from ethnic music coming from Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia. The band used traditional songs' music and lyrics (or only one of the two) of the countries I mentioned and created a charming album developed on the concept of the thread that Ariadne gave to Theseus, assisting him in his heroic journey into and out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. As the band explains: "The golden thread is a symbol of the inspiration, intuition, and guiding light that graces us throughout our lives. It is that which we follow, knowing that it will, in some mysterious way, guide us on our true paths in life. As we travel through literal and figurative labyrinths in our lives, the golden thread may easily go unnoticed, yet when it is recognized and followed, we may find that this archetypal strand of gold connects us to our true selves, to our beloveds, and to that which we discover to be home". Take a deep breath and follow the beautiful voice of Sonja Drakulich leading you through mysterious Eastern melodies.
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Artist: DIEB
Title: Modules Ep
Format: 12"
Label: False Industrie
Distributor: What People Play
Rated: *****
Dieb is the musical project of Berliner Til Kerlin. Since 2002 he is cooperating with performers and visual artists like Tomi Paasonen and Tom Neubauer. In 2004 he released his first release on the Italian label Citymorb. Five years later here is the MODULES E.P. The release contains two new tracks "Module 0" and "Module 4" plus two remixes of the same tracks reworked by Maps & Diagram (Tim Martin) and Israeli producer, Yair Etziony. The two original tunes are hypnotic minimal multi layered deep techno tunes where Til plays with rhythms and ambient atmospheres succeeding into diversifying the elements avoiding the "it seems always the same loop" effect. The two remixers are quite different from the original versions as Maps & Diagram created a digital experimental quiet tune a la Fennesz while Yair Etziony gave to "Module 4" a rarefied ambient dub touch. Personally I preferred the original ones but I appreciated the will to experiment of the two guests.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Dark Past 02 – The Politics of Detroit
Format: CD
Label: Dark Past (@)
Rated: *****
A quite surprising comeback for this Chicago-based small label now releasing their second compilation. Dark Past stands mostly for the lighter side of Electro/Industrial music and offers in the first instance space for Future- and Electropop-genres. The line-up of this new CD compilation includes already discovered names like PULSE STATE, the label head himself, active under his very own name, TED CIKOWSKI, or the raw SOFTCORE, this time side by side with the COP-recording female artist CHIASM ("Soulprint"). PULSE STATE opens this compilation with the track "Escaping The Unknown" in a known kind with clear arrangements, easy-to-follow synth and drum patterns and a satisfying vocal performance. This act still counts to be an insider tip, but maybe with more satisfying tracks like this one, and especially with the winning remix for INFORMATIK, this project will start now into a brighter future? Label chief TED CIKOWSKI has received two free slots on this new compilation, his music is more raw compared with PULSE STATE, but to me it still lacks of a clearer production, especially on the vocals. Better constituted seems to be the second track "Pegasys" with a better synth play. I also would like to spend applause to D:KONSTRUCT for their track "Calling Out Your Name" for being a quite satisfying Futurepop-track in vein of PRIDE AND FALL, but the second track "This Regret" alters the first good impression, since the support of guitar riff sounds rather disturbing here. SOFTCORE don’t offer anything for the laughs, they rather try to reach a slot in the Guinness Book of records, because of their multiple usage of the evil "F..."-word in their track "Kick In The Face". The music is an angry bawling and filled with guitars, just like the lyrics performance would require it. Good to see/hear, that they’ve decided to include an instrumental tune for their second slot. Finally I would praise the marvelous done track "Pray" by FIREWERK, which reanimates the old Coldwave tradition of acts like the early 16 VOLT or SISTER MACHINE GUN. All bands are hailing out of the Chicago area, so to collect them and to offer them a CD compilation especially to reach the local scene makes sense. I have doubts that the content of this compilation has seriously anything to do with the local politics, but however, this second issue generally rivals with the quality and content of the first compilation.

Tracklist -

1 Pulse State - Escaping the Unknown
2 Ted Cikowski - Equestriani
3 d:Konstruct - Calling Out Your Name
4 Chiasm - Soulprint
5 Softcore - Kick in the Face
6 Der Nistler - Star Trippin
7 d:Konstrukt - This Regret
8 Ted Cikowski - Pegasys
9 Softcore - Dying Trying
10 Firewerk - Pray
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