Music Reviews



Jan 19 2012
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Beat.Machine meets The NUV
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Beat.Machine (@)
Distributor: Believe Digital
Rated: *****
The newborn Milan-based Italian label Beat.Machine makes its first appearance in the overcrowded music scene with a musical brotherhood with the provoking alternative punk rock Italian band The NUV, acronym for New Ultraviolet Vanish, an expression which can summarize their ruffled plunging down a sonic slope influenced by recent evolutions of punkey bands, rewording New Ultra Violence (their previous baptismal name as well), a term used by their main conceptual source of inspiration, Anthony Burgess, author of the notorious "A Clockwork Orange" to describe brutal violent acts committed just for entertainment. Their release on Block Starz Music could strike some ears for the way they contaminate punk rock with glamour sonic hooks, lending itself to further treatment and it's what Beat.Machine made, a way to introduce some slices of its roster. To be honest, most of them look like they stick to some standards, in particular remixes by I Am Orkid and Boylerz sound quite influenced by some electro-industrial bands (Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, FLA) as well as the so-called nu disco proposed by Brioski in the attempt of refurbishing the track "Ultraviolence" sounds not so "nu". On the other side other remixers are far more interesting in flirtation/filtration of some NUV's songs such as M.E.S.P. who proposes a bizarre intertwining of dubstep and electro-rock shreds (both "Jennifer" and "Nobel" remixes are really nice), AC Prodz' versatility in reinterpreting "Lucha Libre" and "The Virgin" in a plain electronic way and The Honor's toytronic remix of "Nobel". Maybe it's better to wait some individual releases in order to have a clearer idea on the real stylistical range and quality of musical proposals by this new label, but this debut sounds tasty enough to sketch a rough idea on them.
Jan 18 2012
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Artist: NEUROBIT
Title: The War Of The Worlds
Format: Tape
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Neurobit is an improvisation project by Bas Welling. He already released stuff on Retinascan, R.O.N.F. Records and Enfant Terrible. The sound is based on minimal suites made using 8bit sounds. Sounding at times a bit experimental or ambient, Neurobit will release on February for Enfant Terrible a tape titled THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Originally, "The War of the Worlds" was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series, Mercury Theatre on the Air, broadcasted on the October 30, 1938 and directed and narrated by Orson Welles. The effect that this broadcast had on people is history, because it caused panic on the audience. On the 6th of April 2003 Bas Welling (then called himself Dj Rioteer) recorded his version of this radio drama on a local Dutch pirate radio. Some tapes were produced and distributed but it was a sort of memory of a performance. Enfant Terrible decided it was time to make it available again, so the next month you'll be able to purchase one of the 100 copies (11 have a Space Invader art object). Musically, you'll find the original recordings of the 1938 broadcast with a sort of experimental improvised soundtrack performed by Neurobit. Analog noises, tiny melodies, bleeps and low-fi electronic effects are the sounds added and even if they aren't catchy per se, the whole project is interesting.

IC 434: Anhedonia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 14 2012
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Artist: IC 434 (@)
Title: Anhedonia
Format: CD
Label: Infacted Recordings (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After having heard one of his latest tracks ('Skullwatch') on the 4-CD-compilation-beast 'Old-School Electrology Volume One', Geert de Wilde returns now with his 5th album of his long-going career under his moniker IC 434. Again signed to the German Infacted Recordings label, Geert presents us a new and crafty produced example, how to combine the ideals of a veteran act with new and updated composition skills. His music is as usual for the most part based and programmed on his beloved Korg M1 workstation synthesizer, but his tunes can not completely sort into the 'old-school' drawer. Even if one may thinks to have heard the one or another sound before, since the Korg M1 is an old, late 80s built machine, Geert's tasteful arrangements are still sounding fresh and can easily stand with the state-of-art. What has to be pointed out, is Geert's handmade-like bass-line sequencing, which follows in its technical kind some ideals like early Image Transmission ('Deportation') for instance. Together with his raspy vocal performance, which reminds a bit on a more EBM-related version of P. Spilles (Project Pitchfork) meets Denis Ostermann (In Strict Confidence), here shines through the typical old-school factor. But besides all of that 'we-journalists-need-permanently-search-for-comparisons' rambling, Geert impresses with his well-balanced album, which offers the one or another track worth to mention specially. 'Rats' with its dark and creepy synthesizer pad-programming is a haunting and moody tune, which dramatic slows down the tempo. The rather more danceable tunes like 'An Ideal World', the fast arranged 'Deportation', or 'Sangre De Toro' offer solid club food, while I personally still prefer the brilliant 'Skullwatch'. With 'The Waiting' and the last tune 'Barnard 33', Geert gives us some instrumental insight into one of his biggest hobbies, Astronomy. It finally doesn't wonder too much, that also the band moniker IC 434 is named after a galactic fog. 'Anhedonia' reaches finally hits a target, which can be seldom discovered: it balances well the ideals of the old school und unites tradition with the technical skills of our current days. Thumbs up for this album!

The Pain Machinery: Auto Surveillance

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 06 2012
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Artist: The Pain Machinery (@)
Title: Auto Surveillance
Format: CD EP
Label: Complete Control Productions (@)
Rated: *****
BLC Productions lies down since two years and the being of The Pain Machinery on Hungary's Advoxya-label has only lasted for one EP and one album. This all has been an unsatisfying situation for TPM-mastermind Anders Karlsson, so he decided to build with his partner Mattias Anger a new label named Complete Control Productions. Not too much surprising, that the label debuts with a new TPM release. "Auto Surveillance" acts like a huge EP release giving us a taste of things to come with the upcoming album release 'Surveillance Culture'. 14 tracks got included, featuring different remix works with own and foreign-band interpretations, plus two exclusive b-side tracks ('Twilight', 'Exit Strategy') only available on this EP, this Swedish Powerhouse-project offers an opulent dinner for their hungry listeners. Musically though, I am surprised in the most cases. I have studied the last TPM-album "Urban Survival" quite well, better said I definitely needed to spin it several times again after receiving this new EP. Although I didn't find a chance to review "Urban Survival" months before, I was again blasted by the hard, fast-paced and merciless driven sound environment and the raw energy, which it featured. Not too much of this raw energy can be discovered on this teaser-EP, and I must admit, that this surprises not only positively. The new compositions of Karlsson and his vocalist Jonas Hedberg draw a more-than-ever-before discovered minimal approach. Also Hedberg's voice sounds lesser biting, because it seems they have completely avoided it to integrate the often hailed, often banished fx-processing for the vocals. TPM goes old-school EBM, to reduce this 'new' sound outfit in a simple formula, and Jonas Hedberg's natural voice sounds here there a bit like Douglas McCarthy (NEP). Three tracks ('Hard Cash', 'Grinder', and 'Armed!') are taken from the upcoming album and got featured in various different remixes and versions. Some prominent remix contributors got invited like Jouni Ollila, the old-school veterans of The Weathermen (remix for 'Armed!'), Severe Illusion (Lo-fi brilliance on 'Hard Cash'), Necro Facility (offering a quite modern sounding interpretation of 'Hard Cash'), Testarossa, or Sebastian Rivas. Best track got manipulated by the both TPM protagonists themselves, 'Armed'¦ to the Teeth!' comes out with nailing DAF-like bass-line sequences and features several gunshot-samples, which mutate this track to a real dancefloor-shooter. Although the diversity of the different remixes as well as the quantity featured on this EP is appealing, this more minimal sound outfit including the removal of the beloved Powernoise inclusions can be a hard cake for the long-year audience.
Let's wait and hear what the album brings'¦

Andro-Dioxin: Dioxin City

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 06 2012
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Artist: Andro-Dioxin (@)
Title: Dioxin City
Format: CD
Label: Engraved Ritual / DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Unbelievable but true: the debut release of this Mexican one-man project stands for the anniversary 100th release of the Albuquerque-based cult-label DSBP. It also confirms a partnership to the new underground label Engraved Ritual, which is dedicated to bring out the most talented Latin American Dark Electro-/Industrial projects to the spotlight. I congratulate all involved people in advance; to survive with such a high number of releases in the shark-tank music-business is an outstanding job!
Andro-Dioxin is a newcomer hailing from Tijuana, which offers a raw Harsh-EBM sound outfit throughout this 41 minutes long album. Behind this project stands Evergoth Dioxin, he is responsible for all parts of production. Musically you'll the expected doze of the still club-leading Hellectro stuff. Andro-Dioxin is sounding very similar to the sound outfit one would expect from a Latin America-based project in this genre. The ideals are to name with known global players, Hocico and/or Amduscia must have an unbelievable big impact on the scene with its followers in this area. Good and useable stuff for club-goers, but generally it turns out to be repetitive and it misses authenticity. Andro-Dioxin still do not reach the target to create an own sound environment, although copying of already discovered music-paths works excellent with tracks like 'Transition' and the title-track. Good remix contributors got invited too, Proyecto Alienoxir and the up and coming talent Electrovot do their best, although they can't leave the global level of this release behind. By remembering the golden past of the DSBP-label regarding quality of releases a decade ago, this one shudders me a bit ' I may would like to have one of the best horses of the label stable with a new release to hit the number 100. However, Andro-Dioxin hasn't reached the end of the rope, so let's agree to continue and return with a new and more developed piece of work.


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