Music Reviews



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Artist: DEISON, KK NULL (@)
Title: into
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
I'm sure many of you have already both the musicians but for those lucky (or unlucky) readers under thirty, we must remember that Cristiano Deison beside being involved directly with Final Muzik and after having put out a good amount of interesting releases during his solo career, has also been a member of those Meathead where one of his band mates was mighty Mauro Theo Teardo. KK Null for those who don't know him is one of the three Zenigeva heroes: noise masters, industrial rockers and famous for having records out on Neurot, Alternative Tentacles and with Steve Albini. This is a freak power work, you can get it right from the cover, I was sure it would have been an interesting collaboration but it really blew me away. I'm sure many of you could have expected both of them would have gone along with the peculiarities of each other. If you add their characteristics are quite complementary you can imagine the result could have been easily guessed, infact if the japanese musician was more oriented toward cold electronic sounds, the italian was more drone oriented. This collaborative recording gave us a dense blend of music that instead of following the noise route like everyone else is doing drifts voluntarily toward electronic music. Cold electronic music, sure, but at the same time really expressive, I'm tented to mention Panasonic above all for their audio profile and not exactly for the music they play, heavy and dense electronic shapes that you usually expect on labels like Touch. An high profile release, listen carefully to the production and to the recording where every frequency doesn't cross the scene with leaving a sign. Every track is meant with the clear idea to put out something that sounds differently if compared to the plethora of releases overwhelming the experimental musical scene. This all happens without becoming one of those self-indulging work searching for "originality" at every cost, every song has its own identity both individually that as a whole. The title track itself is the epitome of this cd, but the sharp sounds, the digital layers and the crepuscular drones leave room to some quasi melodic solutions there to alleviate the listening difficulties. A real orgy of good taste that moves linearly in suspension between the finnish forests and the twilight zone and at the same time able to be "warm": amazing release!.

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Artist: The Synthetic Dream Foundation (@)
Title: Mechanical Serpent
Format: CD
Label: Mythical Records (@)
Rated: *****
If there has been a name causing so much attention with a few remix contributions as well as with compilation appearances, then this fits with THE SYNTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION. Worldwide renowned compilation series like BLC’s "Interbreeding", Alfa Matrix’ "Endzeit Bunkertracks" or Dependent’s "Septic" have all seen tracks of this project or at least a remix work. Mastermind behind TSDF is Brett Branning, who started his musically activities in the year 2003. Based in Tampa, FL, he can look back on two previous releases, all brought out under the label Mythical Records. The music of TSDF can be called as colorful mutation out of diverse styles of Electronica music. You will discover slightly distorted drum patterns and dramatic synth arrangements resulting in a state-of-art Dark Electro sound. Additionally elements out of genres like Neo Classic, Ambient and IDM can be recognized too and got implemented to provide a tasteful worked-out sound environment. Brett seems to be familiar in diverse styles and has picked out the finest ingredients out of them. For the lead vocals on this new album he has hired four different female vocalists, which offer their talent somewhere between a smooth Heavenly Voices-like to a raw and energetic performance. Not a worse idea, since the mostly smooth female vocals are standing in the opposite of the layered synth-arrangements – not to forget the diverse and often slightly distorted rhythm section, which at least offers the biggest contrast. As to pick up a favorite, the German sung "Auf dem See (Serpentine Mix)" convinces, although I don’t think, that the female singer Summer Bowman has any knowledge about the German pronunciation. To sing after a phonetic transcription doesn’t result in the best possible performance. As for a harder tune, the last one "A Silvered Freeze" with raw vocals seemingly by Brett himself gets a "thumbs up", when it comes to satisfy the needs of the dancefloor-addicts. Also the layered and nearly FLA-reminding instrumental tune "On Whom The Dreadful Claw" offers a striking listen experience, the best consumed under a good pair of headphones. While I think, there’s no need to be a trained musician, Brett is able to prove, that a degree in music composition can be quite helpful – to reach massive better and worldwide ranging attention can be only a question of time and patience, since the talent behind TSDF is tremendous.
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Artist: W.A.S.T.E.
Title: A Silent Mantra Of Rage
Format: CD
Label: Vendetta Music (@)
Distributor: KGD Media
Rated: *****
It seems, that the Sistinas collective has stopped all further activities, since the best known acts did meanwhile hire to other labels (ALTER DER RUINE - > Crunch Pod, TO MEGA THERION - > Vendetta Music). Also W.A.S.T.E., the project of Shane Englefield, has found now a new home in Vendetta Music, and releases now a new album, the third already after the two releases on Sistinas. And since W.A.S.T.E. is surely one of a higher recognized US-based acts providing a harsh and rhythmical Powernoise-driven sound outfit, this release offers besides the usual album with 12 all new tracks, a bonus CD featuring diverse remix contributions as well as unreleased own compositions. Not, that W.A.S.T.E. needs to hunt for remix contributions by some highly acclaimed names like C/A/T, MONO NO AWARE, XOTOX or the already mentioned ALTER DER RUINE, the own compositions of Shane are drastically and floor-compatible enough to set fire under the boots of the pogo-addicted masses. Original tracks like "The Beast", "Gun To The Head", "Marked For Extinction" or "The Death March" are some fine examples for merciless violence pressed onto a silver circle of this harsh Powernoise project. Other favorites have to be named with the ominous and cold sounding tunes like the spooky "That Moment Of Terror", or "Kill Your Own", which both offer some scary moments through their layered Industrial ambience. As for pointing out the favorites of the second CD, the works of XOTOX, ALTER DER RUINE and C/A/T offer the best moments – rather the expected names. In case you’re planning to do a Powernoise party, please make sure to give this DCD set a spin – You could save the costs for a DJ, since this massive and harsh sonic assault offers floor-burners as well as merciless soundscapes to keep not only this release and this project attractive. As a complete set, it defines nothing else than the standard of modern produced rhythmically Powernoise, and lets higher recognized projects like TERRORFAKT or MANUFACTURA look like toothless dogs.
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Artist: Mekanik Disorder
Title: Cold & Strong
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut / Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
A newcomer out of the Spanish Electro/Industrial underground scene newly signed to Spain’s Industrial label Numero Uno, Caustic Records. MEKANIK DISORDER is a new solo effort lead by César Cruz, who’s responsible for all music- and production-related things, though he gets some help by two additional band members, when it comes to perform on stage. Musically MEKANIK DISORDER represents the rather old school EBM-vibe, which gets lately more and more recognized, since people got fed up with the ongoing, repetitive Hellectro-virus. So we don’t get to hear another distorted, lousy Techno-/Trance-inspired bawling, but rather a hand-made sequencing and a solid kick and snare work. The info sheet throws in the obvious prominent names, on which I only agree with á;GRUHM..., and almost the DAF/NEP-fraction, as possible quells of inspiration. "Cold & Strong" is an aptly chosen album title, which perfectly describes the music style of this project in two headlining words. I adore the courage, not to copy too obviously the lately often recognized Anhalt-EBM troops, although the efforts of that minimal old-school EBM-lecture got heavily inhaled. MEKANIK DISORDER stands rather for the cold, and more Belgian-inspired form of EBM, bands like early INSEKT and "Critical Stage"-like SUICIDE COMMANDO need to be mentioned too, when it comes to find additional comparisons. A unique ingredient is surely the ability of César, to express his rather depressive lyrical content in four different languages, asides Spanish and English, you’ll get also Dutch and German lyrics performed. What needs to be criticized is the fact, that bands like the above mentioned Belgian veterans like INSEKT or especially à;GRUHM... have been capable to integrate a tougher, and a at times unintentional invading Punk-driven outfit to their recordings. Quite too seldom offer César’s tracks the ability, to kick in some lazy asses, while performing a wild pogo-action on the dancefloors. A bit more sweat and a bit more of a sensitive feeling, that when a bass-line sequence starts draw a nice hook, to let it go with a fitting and steady drum pattern programming, that’s maybe that sort of development to reach with newer recordings. But generally César earns an agreeing nod for his first album, which of course should find its listeners with the fans of the above mentioned projects.
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Artist: PSYBORG CORP
Title: The Mechanical Renaissance
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Rated: *****
Is my personal opinion that industrial e.b.m., as well as all the genres that have any sort of stereotypes, is a difficult kind of music because you have to undress yourself from all the typical characterizations of the bands that previously played that genre to sound someway original. Psyborg Corp tricked the process by adding elements that are able to personalize their music so I have to admit that they succeeded into catching my attention. Presenting themselves like cyber-warriors, the Colombian trio is delivering twelve tracks that have catchy melodies, distorted bouncing sounds and filtered vocals. Danceability and distortion are the key elements that they use and that make of Psyborg Corp a nice combo to listen to but when they mix electro to industrial e.b.m. they show their true potential. Just check "Technocracy" or the following "My mechatronics" and you'll understand what I mean...
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