Music Reviews



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Artist: Flexkiks (@)
Title: Freeland
Format: CD
Label: Lagunamuch Records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Sad, but true, this review can be seen as an official obituary for this three-men collective. FLEXKIKS, signed to the Russian Lagunamuch Record label, consists of Alex Matrosov (Alexandroid), Liam-Arthur Berent (yes, that multi-talented musician also responsible for ABSTRACT AVENUE) and Vladimir Muhlberg. Only a few days after I received this album, the sad news flash via the label website came in, that Alex Matrosov died under mysterious circumstances in Riga, Latvia. Our condolences to all involved, family, music colleagues and the label. Having this tragically event in mind, to review and describe the music style of this release seems to be the most unimportant thing someone can think of. On the other hand, "Freeland" is sort of a classic album, which balances extremely well out the boundaries between Electro/Industrial and IDM, that it would be a pity if you’d never heard of it. Tracks like "RedoBox" and "Find It" offer food to join the dancefloors, while both calm and melodic pieces "Portobello.Rd." and "Freeday 10AM" let the user sink into a spacey world. Thumbs up also for the hypnotic track "F1", while both German titled tunes "Zwischenraum" and "Lückenschluß" leave the most the discovered course of music by adding some acoustic guitar elements as well. "Freeland" is a well-done album, which offers the best elements out of those two styles and it has even more interesting stuff if it comes to talk on musically diversity. But I guess the initially mentioned tragic event destroys all hopes for an additional follow-up album.
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Artist: Final Selection (@)
Title: Clockworks
Format: CD
Label: Flashpop Media (@)
Rated: *****
Our readers watch carefully the review and interview activities on our site, so most of you out there surely know, that this German Electropop-duo has always been featured intensively here. In the last 3 years it has becoming a bit silent around Riccardo Schult and Mario Tews, just after the release of their second full-length album "Meridian" on the now closed Polish label Black Flames. "Meridian" was a top-notch album with an extremely valuable cover art design and also the taste- and skillful arranged Synthpop music of this duo stands every comparison and sets standards. It may has to do a lot, that "Meridian" came out to a time, where the end and bankrupt of the Black Flames label seemed to be unstoppable. However, "thanks" to an extremely limited promotion caused out of the labels’ end, "Meridian" went completely down under the radar of the fans, what a pity, if you watch and listen to this masterpiece. Now back and signed to the relatively new label FlashPop Media label, the band finds back to the old strength. "Clockworks" can easily be taken as a reference, how modern Synthpop music has to sound, which doesn’t fall into stupid plastic Popmusic redundancy. Already the opener "Clockworks" attracts the listener to keep on fully attention with its thick layer programming and the spacey ambience impact, which seems to be the trademark in all of the works of the band. Riccardo and Mario know pretty well that they have their best moments with rather mid-tempo tunes, even danceable constructed, "Nemo" and "My Life" are sort of their strongest compositions ever. Having entered successfully the GEWC-charts with a digital-only Single release "Red Line", also this masterpiece can’t be missed here. As for dancefloor-compatibility, "Two Islands" should work extremely well. Last, but not least, also some dreamy and sentimental moments are given with "Skindeep", which really lets the listener drift away. FINAL SELECTION provide the best moments Synthpop music is able to offer and impresses with intelligent sound design. A highly recommended album not to be missed!
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anymore
Artist: Final Selection (@)
Title: Clockworks
Format: CD
Label: Flashpop Media (@)
Rated: *****
Our readers watch carefully the review and interview activities on our site, so most of you out there surely know, that this German Electropop-duo has always been featured intensively here. In the last 3 years it has becoming a bit silent around Riccardo Schult and Mario Tews, just after the release of their second full-length album "Meridian" on the now closed Polish label Black Flames. "Meridian" was a top-notch album with an extremely valuable cover art design and also the taste- and skillful arranged Synthpop music of this duo stands every comparison and sets standards. It may has to do a lot, that "Meridian" came out to a time, where the end and bankrupt of the Black Flames label seemed to be unstoppable. However, "thanks" to an extremely limited promotion caused out of the labels’ end, "Meridian" went completely down under the radar of the fans, what a pity, if you watch and listen to this masterpiece. Now back and signed to the relatively new label FlashPop Media label, the band finds back to the old strength. "Clockworks" can easily be taken as a reference, how modern Synthpop music has to sound, which doesn’t fall into stupid plastic Popmusic redundancy. Already the opener "Clockworks" attracts the listener to keep on fully attention with its thick layer programming and the spacey ambience impact, which seems to be the trademark in all of the works of the band. Riccardo and Mario know pretty well that they have their best moments with rather mid-tempo tunes, even danceable constructed, "Nemo" and "My Life" are sort of their strongest compositions ever. Having entered successfully the GEWC-charts with a digital-only Single release "Red Line", also this masterpiece can’t be missed here. As for dancefloor-compatibility, "Two Islands" should work extremely well. Last, but not least, also some dreamy and sentimental moments are given with "Skindeep", which really lets the listener drift away. FINAL SELECTION provide the best moments Synthpop music is able to offer and impresses with intelligent sound design. A highly recommended album not to be missed!
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Artist: Trümmerfrau (@)
Title: Música Mottekki
Format: CD
Label: Flashpop Media (@)
Rated: *****
Actually this TRÜMMERFRAU is a man consisting of the young German Electro-/Industrial musician Jan Pawelczyk. I should admit that my expectations on the quality and the seriousness of his work got limited after checking his cover art. They seriously went down to below than zero, because I never heard of a musician giving out a self-reflection and a review of the things happened in the composition process describing the how, when and were of the creation of each song. Funny for the most part to read, but also witness of how simple the creation with laptop and sequencer program can be. Well, without any expectations on this release I must admit, that some or another FX programming seriously caught attention. Musically somehow comparable with a comedian version of STRAFTANZ, Jan shares a lot of the up-to-date available club sound with a similar composing formula. The try to imitate some old-school veterans with some "Wir sind die Deutschen" revolution-like lyrics in "Fidel Castro Its Nicht" are those better moments with a sense of humor in mind. Great idea also to integrate some chirping harp-like sounds in the well-constructed Synthpop-tune "Alone Against The Tide", another highlight to point out. On the hand, Jan seems too often "influenced" by his both better-looking cheerleaders responsible for some live support, or how can a tune like "Gimme All Ya Juice, Baby" any else rated? Also the creation of Frauke, the hammering woman on the front cover, documented with a dedication track "My Love Is Noisy" counts rather to his more weird ideas. To each one its own style, I can recommend this album for anyone interested in some good club fodder – but too many acts are overfilling this style already. The music generally lacks of more surprises, so let’s hope that Jan can score even more with his sense of humor.
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Artist: Aliftree
Title: Clockwork
Format: CD
Label: Compost records (@)
Rated: *****
Alif Tree is a seasoned and well established French composer, producer, engineer and sound designer. Based in Marseille but constantly traveling around the world he writes for film/TV, produces remixes, writes for classical dance ballets, plays gigs and at the same time magically finds the time to write great music, gets top musicians to record it in Nashville and then packages it into a beautiful and sophisticated melange of ambient, electronica, trip-hop, jazz, pop, blues and more. I don't think I heard his debut "The Observatory" back in 2000, but considering it took him 8 years to create the follow up to that you can imagine that this is indeed a great album, and he makes no qualms about proudly stating that himself. "Clockwork" is delicate and classy like french cusine but at the same time rough and live like some of the most well conceived and put together examples of live-music-based electronica. With male and female singers ranging in style from the Soprano-theme-ish deep blues tone to the chantouse-ish lounge/acid-jazz ethereal, "Clockwork" draws from influences and eras as disparate as every music lover's collection. Borrowing counter clock wise while attempting to look clockwise ahead, "Clockwork" is for the most part the result of live sessions with only minimal (if at all) sampling. Even so it manages to stand the test of time while challenging a unique temporal context. The album sounds fresh but rooted in the past, which is probably the best of both worlds today. Alif Tree draws a picture of depth and complexity that only the most eclectic and open-minded of producers can.
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