Music Reviews



Dec 07 2010
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Artist: CRUISE [CTRL] (@)
Title: How's Annie?
Format: CD
Label: Divine Comedy
Rated: *****
Largely anticipated by the single "We've Met Before, Haven't We?" which I reviewed back in March 2009, HOW'S ANNIE?, the second album by the Belgian duo Cruise [CTRL], has just been released by Divine Comedy. If you already listened to the three tracks single, you already know what to expect, because those tracks are all into the nine tracks listing of the album. For whom didn't know what I'm talking about, you have to know that Cruise [CTRL] credo resides into the creation of tracks that follow these rules: all tracks at 120bpm, all tracks linked, only analogical sounds and textures, no melodies, no singers, no faces, no explanations, no rules. Being true to most of these "no rules", for HOW'S ANNIE?, they composed nine tracks where the minimal approach to melody (many times melody is only a looping two notes synth bass line) is the counterpart to rich intersecting rhythmic layers. Dry syncopated drum machine patterns beat their rhythm giving the time to clashing clanging synth noises, filtered guitars (which on tracks like "Henry's head" are reduced to a resonating feedback) and drones. The alternation and the quantity of the different elements are the key of the formula and Cruise [CTRL] are good at keeping everything in control. Besides the nine original tracks, on this album we have three bonus remixes: two of "Where's Alice? Alice who?" (Rorscharch Garden gave to the track a retro 80s flavor, turning it into an early e.b.m. tune, while Oil 10, true to their cinematic robotic rich synth sound, remixed it keeping alive also the light original industrial approach) and one of "Pomona road" (which remixed by No More, the famous band that composed "Suicide Commando", now sounds like an ambient e.b.m. tune).

Nordarr: Neues von Gestern

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 04 2010
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Artist: Nordarr
Title: Neues von Gestern
Format: CD
Label: Electric Tremor (@)
Rated: *****
New stuff for fans of the rising old-school EBM-sound, which follows the tradition of veterans like DAF, NITZER EBB, IONIC VISION, or early POUPPÃE FABRIKK-recordings. NORDARR, a German one-man-project consisting of André S. (PROCEED), is that sort of an Anhalt-EBM-project, for which the Electric Tremor label is known for: straight and marching kick-and-snare works, rotating synth bass-lines, minimal EBM-arrangements reduced to the most limited requirement and a raw male shouter behind the microphone. Lyrics got provided in both German and English mostly by André himself, but also with help of some guest singers. Produced by Pontus Stalberg (SPETSNAZ) stands for an experienced professional contributor behind the mixing desk, so if you're fan of this style of music, you can't go wrong with this release. As expected, true innovations you won't find, and you shouldn't expect it on such a release. As well and correctly stated in the booklet to this CD: 'Veränderungen sind nur sinnvoll, wenn sie Dinge besser machen', NORDARR follows traditions and lives the motto of this slogan. A bit rebellion to proclaim ('Ein Sturm', 'Untergang', 'Das Kollektiv'), a bit critical regarding religion ('Exkommuniziert' ' remixed by LEÃTHER STRIP a.k.a. Claus Larsen, who adds successfully with one of his typical played synth sweep sounds a wider musically value), well, also lyrically everything comes out as expected. NORDARR stands for another well-suited project in this special style and appeals to fans of PROCEED (of course!), SPETSNAZ, or SEQUENZ-E, if it needs further comparisons.

ROBERT COSMIC: Rare Objects

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 03 2010
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Artist: ROBERT COSMIC
Title: Rare Objects
Format: 10"
Label: Shameless Toady (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from the north of Span, Roberto Perez, is delivering his second release under the Robert Cosmic moniker after the "Restarting My Robot EP" released by Battery Park Studio this year. Available on 10" and on digital format thanks to Shameless Toady, RARE OBJECTS contains only two tracks: "Rare objects" and "Visita al espacio" (translated is "Visit to the space"). The main song is a great nu-electro tune with 808 upbeat syncopated rhythms, vocoder filtered vocals, different layers of melodic synth leads plus catchy synth pads. The whole result is a robotic dark tune with space here and there. The B-side is a nice instrumental which recalls a little the first one because of its sounds and bpm but it's more focused on the bass line and on the spacey pads with the leads enriching the atmosphere on key moments. It's a short single but for sure you'll find yourself playing it several times in a row.

DVS NME: Sentience

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 02 2010
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Artist: DVS NME (@)
Title: Sentience
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
Johan Sebastian Bot is coming from Colorado. At his active he has a lot of tracks he posted on his Soundcloud page but, as far as I know, SENTIENCE is his first release with the DVS NME monicker. The EP contains two original tunes and three remixes (two of "Sentience" and one of "Norse funeral"). The peculiarity of the main tracks is that they have no drums. I know that talking about electronic music without drums could make you think about ambient music but "Sentience" and "Norse funeral", could not be filed under that genre, because the rhythm is present and it is generated by synth arpeggios. In balance from dreamy atmospheres, ("Norse funeral" has nice warm synth pads along with soft leads) and cinematic sci-fi atmospheres ("Sentience" melodic progression is catchy and evocative) DVS NME did two cool songs I'm sure you'll dig. About the remixers: they all added rhythm lines to the tracks, keeping the bass line and the main synth leads and added syncopated percussive drum lines with a bit of Mediterranean flavor (Binalog Freq on "Sentience" used bongo sounds and a lot of "stop and go", just to exalt the cinematic essence of the original tune), retro sounds with several new melodic arpeggiator lines (Pip Williams remixed "Sentience" and he kept the main melody but used different synth sounds) and electro robotic atmospheres that substituted the original dreamy ones (Rawtary on "Norse funeral"). This is a nice release and you'll find it on sale from Junodowload starting from December the 13th.

NARSTI: Stereo Nazi

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Dec 01 2010
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Artist: NARSTI
Title: Stereo Nazi
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
Influenced by the latest Prodigy, Narsti, from UK, landed on Basserk on the fourth volume of the Some Tunes CD compilation series and now they are ready to deliver their first EP titled STEREONAZI. Two out of four tracks are new ones as "Not as strong as the machines" was already on the fore mentioned compilation and the closing track is a remix of the main track (which now sounds like a dance tune for nuclear bombing). On this EP Narsti followed the rule "if you have to do it hard, do it harder" and brought hard beats, syncopated distortions and many layers of rhythm plus balanced doses of synth arpeggios. Their formula isn't new but work well and Nasti know where to hit!


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