Music Reviews



VV.AA.: The Tourament: Live At UK Futurefunk Festival 2020

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (6757)
Dec 15 2011
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: The Tourament: Live At UK Futurefunk Festival 2020
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Diamondback Recordings
Distributor: Junodownload
Rated: *****
"It's 2020 and popular music has descended into chaos with record companies reporting sales at an all time low. From this chaos has emerged a new underground, where electro artists are the new rockstars and where the UK Futurefunk Festival has become the new Glastonbury. This year, in 2020, the main event of the festival features 10 huge electro artists from the UK, Spain and Greece to the USA, battling live in front of a packed main stage crowd of 50,000. Step up Diamondback Kid, Dwellz, Pip Williams, Robert Cosmic, DVS NME, The Hidden Persuader, Mike Ash, Diplomat, Dr Blofeld and Binalog Frequency. Each artist has one minute to prove themselves or be committed to the annuls of history. Ladies and gentlemen....... recorded live from the future and released via Diamondback Recordings..................welcome to THE TOURNAMENT!"
Conceived by his funkiness, the Diamondback Kid, this 4-tracker is unique in every way: it gathers 10 well known and respected electrofunk producers from Europe and the USA and it mixes their (recorded specifically for this project) tunes to two 6-minute tracks, one running at 133bpm and the other at 115bpm. Each "megamix" is featured in two versions (two "rounds", as we're talking about a "tournament"), the "direct" one (see: something like a studio version) and the "live" one (in which Diamonback, with the help of a MC, ...enormous reverb and samples of live audience, creates a virtual stage where the artists are supposed to battle in front of a crowd of thousands of electro fans!). The results, especially the "live" rounds, are simply AMAZING; you get the feeling of a true electro/hip-hop concert, you can really imagine the artists on stage succeed one another while trying their best to win the crown of the best performer!!
I can't recall a release based in such a great idea like this one, i can't remember an electro release i enjoyed that much in 2011! Don't miss it for any reason!! (available on Junodownload by Monday, December 19 http://www.junodownload.com/products/the-tournament-live-at-uk-futurefunk-festival-2020/1878923-02/ and thereafter via Diamondback Bandcamp, iTunes etc.)

The Arctic Disco Machine: Supernova

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 07 2011
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Artist: The Arctic Disco Machine (@)
Title: Supernova
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
With so many crap releases around, this 3rd on his own Datarocket Records Junolainen offering stands out like an oasis in the desert. What we have here is an album full of electronic disco and funky tunes, perfectly crafted in its details and enjoyable from the first track to the (hidden ;)) 13th.
Although Kirill lives and works in the cold cities of St. Petersburg and Murmansk, his heart is definitely warm. And so it's his sound: disco grooves driven by funky basslines and clever space themes is an obvious description; but there's more: the beat is old-fashioned (in the good sense of the word), miles apart from the cold mechanical loops that "modern" (see: boring) disco is full of. Bass keys are also dated 80s, with that funkiness of groups like the Dazz Band or Dayton (for example listen to the awesome boogie tune "Apricot From The Lapland" or the phat funk of "Polar Night" and "Flash In The Dark"). Pads and sequences along with the themes refer directly to the 70s and artists like Space and Meco. However all the tracks (recorded between 2009 and 2011) sound fffresh! It would be really tough to pick one as a "desert island tune", but if i had to that would be "Moon And The Stars", electronic disco at its finest and a gem i'm pretty sure Marc Cerrone would have been proud of ;))
This is a 5-stars album, but i give it 4.5 just because i know damn well that Kirill Junolainen hasn't released his 5-star album yet ;) Grab your copy NOW!

Zeit Modelle: Network Virus Killer

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 06 2011
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Artist: Zeit Modelle (@)
Title: Network Virus Killer
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Until recently (and after 30 years of listening and supporting electronic music) i was pretty sure that Richard Kirk holds the world record for both the most prolific electronic producer and the artist with the countless aliases (ok there's also Pete Namlook and a couple more to challenge him, but i'd definitely vote for Kirk if i had to ;)). I changed my mind when i met in cyberspace Kirill Junolainen, a half Russian/half Finnish (as his first and last name witness) electronic artist, based in St. Petersburg. He sent me a demo of only 4 tracks and he said that if i like them there's more stuff by his good self to share with me. Tunes were sooo great that i replied with enthusiasm and told him to send me all the tracks he had so i can listen to some more fine electronics. Kirill laughed and said that it was impossible to do so because he has written and produced more than... one thousand tracks! Christ! Of course i thought "the man's crazy or something" but he started sending material and the very next moment i had in my hard drive... 2 albums and 4 EPs by Junolainen, all under different aliases! Curious enough to see what this man was talking about i started to listen... I swear to God that until that day i had never listened to so many tracks in a row by one single artist without the need to skip at least one! Kirill told me he has been producing music since 1991 and once more i caught myself wondering how the hell such a great artist with 20 years of activity behind him wasn't already renowned outside the local scene of St. Petersburg and that of Murmansk (his native city, on the north-west of Russia, beyond the Arctic Circle).
I mean take a look at the man's discogs page (http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lazer+Kontinent): 34 albums, 21 Singles & EPs, and we're talking only about his main project, Lazer Kontinent (once a duo-Igor Stepovy left in 2004)! And it's not only the quantity that's impressive (respect to Kirk, but he also did many... crap tracks, in my opinion); til now that i'm writing this review i haven't heard a Junolainen production, either electro, techno, italo-disco or chill-out, of low quality, believe me!
This release, 2nd on Kir's newly founded label Datarocket Records, is no exception. It gathers material written and produced between 2004 and 2007 and it focuses on the man's electro/techno-pop side. Heavily influenced both by Kraftwerk and early Warp, Kirill delivers a compilation of ultimate beauty, filled with danceable brain electronics. Every track is ace, however if i had to choose only one as my fav, that would be the hypnotic opener "Megatron Mensch" ("Megatron Man" in english, like the Patrick Cowley classic). I should also mention the excellent retrofuturistic "Komputerische Modelle" and "Logick" and the trippy Warp-ish "Kvadrat" (but the rest of the tracks are top quality too ;))
If you haven't already experienced the Junolainen sound, do yourself a favour and visit Datarocket's Bandcamp (where this and another 2 releases are available for purchase) or/and check the man's 3 releases on Binalog Productions and the Raw EP on Russian Techno. More to come as his bunker is full of sounds and noises, so stay tuned. This artist deserves your attention!

Dagshenma: Zaumi

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 04 2011
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Artist: Dagshenma
Title: Zaumi
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Electroton (@)
Rated: *****
Although Kyoto sound-sculptor Higuchi Eitaro has been producing music under the Dagshenma name since 2002, 'Zaumi' is his first release for Electroton, and proves to be a good match for the label's glitch-electronics ethics. Dagshenma's brand of glitch 'n dub sounds like electronic toys gone wild over off-kilter funky beatz. It's a mix of cute and gritty that ranges from curious to annoying with repetitive elements abounding. Sometimes there is a playful musicality in some of the loops Dagshenma makes use of, as well as weirdness, incorporating manipulated vocals and songs of the Ainu, an indigenous group of people from the north of Japan. With only seven tracks (all of them under 4 minutes and most well-under) and a total of a little over 21 minutes, 'Zaumi' flies by very quickly. Only the most ardent of avant-IDM enthusiasts are likely to groove to this particular hodge-podge of ultra-quirky glitch electronics. It's not that it isn't friendly or overstays its welcome; it just seems to carry a built in itch that you're going to have a hard time finding to scratch. The usual Electroton package- 3' minidisk in a transparent poly case, release limited to 150.
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Artist: Type001 (@)
Title: Finished Business
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Glim Records (@)
Rated: *****
There are still some music projects existing completely under the radar, from which one could think, they've been gone into the happy hunting grounds of Manitou. Boston-based project Type001 can be called to them, during the last 5 years the web presence of mastermind Matt Ossen was more down than up. Lately discovered on Testube's remix EP 'Unintentional' with a remix, I thought to listen to one of the very last audio outputs of this highly talented artist. But now - and lesser surprising signed to Testube's label Glim Records - here comes an all new album. More than 7 years in the making, 'Finished Business' gives an overview of what has been produced by Matt in private, but still points out a quite important fact: Type001's sound outfit provides an own form of authenticity. A few tracks (the double-intro/-outro ''¦Made You Mine' / 'Made You Cry'¦') are picking up the mood of the marvelous debut 'Multi-Track Alignment', released by DSPB in 2004, as well as a few tracks have been released as alternative versions on the download-only follow-up EP 'Re-Aligned' (You need to know that this belongs on the "original version" of this download-able EP, which was available for a while from the Type001 website - Nowadays I guess there has been a reduction of the quantity of tracks for this freely download-able EP with the intention, not to obstacle the business activities for "Finished Business"...). But generally viewed, 'Finished Business' marks a step away from the rather Dark Electro-minded Industrial sound of the debut and moves towards by integrating more-than-ever-before musically different styles. There can be noticed a growing preference for IDM and post-modern Ambient styles, as Matt proves his abilities by installing slow and opulent sweeping synthesizer-sounds to execute moody and film scoring environments ('Alien World' with its slowly stalking rhythm components, or the oriental-sounding 'Residual Order'). "Who's Your Daddy Now?" is one of the very few, relative straight produced Dark Electro-minded tunes, which impresses through various fx manipulations on synth-sweeps - to me the favorite available on here. Matt's preference to integrate guest vocalists to help him out behind the microphone receives another episode with the versions of "Room For One" DJ Morgana), as well as with the track 'Put Yr Beats in Line ("You're Outta Line" mix)', a mutual track composed with his long-years' friend Matthew Skaves. This new album sounds more diverse, but also more introverted than before. Matt integrates a lot of different things mostly a bit away from the known path of his debut, which was to me more accessible to consume.


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