Music Reviews



Control.org: Degenerate

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 14 2011
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Artist: Control.org (@)
Title: Degenerate
Format: CD
Label: Control Freak Records (@)
Rated: *****
Well, it may has a lot to do with my own degeneration, that I nearly 'forgot' to put an ear on this release, which, to my surprise, arrived me several months before from a totally different part of the world, New Zealand. I somehow have them always counted to be US-based, especially when I think back on the both Control.org releases 'Radiation' and 'Manipulate', both out on the Albuquerque-based cult label DSBP. But maybe I am totally confusing some facts.
However, Control.org, C2 and all related projects behind the Control Freak label are celebrating their comeback with new and upcoming releases after a longer break. After listening this new Control.org-album multiple times, you may like to read, that this EBM/Electropop-music project hasn't generally changed its kind and sound outfit. 'Degenerate' is still inspired by crafty Electropop music out of the mid-90s, which allows classic EBM-like structures to take a free slot in the global concept. This album quite often varies in its style and ranges from smoother, more Synthpop-driven tracks to more classic EBM-related efforts. They seemingly put special attention on their bass-line programming skills, the title-track 'Degenerate', or 'Thought Control' let the head seesawing to the beat and vibration.
In between, and to me at quite unlucky chosen song-positions, they have included some instrumental, voice-sample-driven tunes ('Pending Hope', 'Greed Surplus'), which cannot defend the impression to have discovered filler stuff ' a bit more spectacular next time, please. The floating of this album gets completely interrupted, but luckily gets back on track with 'Degenerate' and/or 'Analogue Killer'. Finally a label-internal remix of the Powernoise-inspired side-project C2 end this album after 13 tracks.
Control.org albums offer always a remarkable amount of quality behind sound design and production. 'Degenerate' isn't an example, although it pauses at some moments.

Souless Affection: Epidemic (EP)

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 14 2011
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Artist: Souless Affection (@)
Title: Epidemic (EP)
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Twisted Flesh Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Settled down in San Antonio, TX, the trio of Souless Affection can be called as being one of the most promising newcomer-projects out of the Harsh-EBM genre. That's the result one can come after consuming this freely available 5 track-debut, which has been unfortunately the last release of the new defunct Twisted Flesh Recordings label. Twisted Flesh nowadays works only for promotional purposes of the own Project Rotten, but this well produced 5-tracker of this US-project shall not remain unrecognized. Souless Affection presenting us a far developed kind of Harsh EBM/Hellectro, which also leaves enough space and musically depth, to impress the 'listening-only' buddies. Although their lyrics present often tragically happenings of some lifetime episodes from the vocalist Wraith to his father ' which is far away from being a friendly content ' I recommend to check with their in-depth, melodious sweep programming, most outstanding available in 'Blue Prints 4 Death'. Comparable in quality, but featuring a bit faster beat-work can be picked-up with 'Never Again'. Too bad, that the dream of a new label-force for the Swedish Twisted Flesh Recordings haven't worked out right before the already announced upcoming full-length release of this US-trio, I highly recommend this release and the project generally to all interested listeners.

Project Rotten: Cinema Bizarre

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 13 2011
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Artist: Project Rotten (@)
Title: Cinema Bizarre
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
No time to shed any more tears after the demise of Twisted Flesh Recordings, Fredrik Croona and his partner 'X/209' (Yes, that is the guy behind Syndrome X/209 = Kettil Sundberg) have ready done their new and second album after their last years' official debut 'The Freakshow' of Project Rotten. 'Cinema Bizarre' has been recently released via the Hungarian Advoxya label and proves to be a logical development to the debut.
This album is an action-filled onslaught, which offers all good ingredients one expects from a modern produced Harsh EBM/Hellectro album. Razor-sharp synth bass-lines, a bone-hard rhythm work, and - surprise, surprise - a massive recognizable development in the quality of the vocal fx-processing. Already with the opener 'Soul Stripped (No Future)' this duo pushes the rotten bodies forward to storm the dancefloors. Be assured, that they don't take prisoners and that they won't stop with their straight, fast-forward pummeling attitude until they reach the very last track - which is a hidden, unnamed 12th track with rather minimal instrumentation - a fun track maybe?
'Cinema Bizarre' additionally offers some interesting collaborations. One of the best worked-out tracks, 'The Hunger', introduces the Spanish vocalist Javi Ssagittar from the lately highly recognized newcomer Terrorlokaust (signed to Infacted Recordings), who adds a rather melodious sounding performance to this track. Johan van Roy doesn't need an introduction; 'Club Death' features him for some co-vocals. Also the Greek duo of Pre-Emptive Strike has collaborated for the track 'Visions Of Death'.
When it comes to search for the hairs in the soup, well, and that counts for nearly 90 % of all releases out of this specific genre: the word 'unique' is a vocabulary, which can't be named in a same manner to describe this album. Project Rotten haven't definitely re-invented this genre, they rather play with already discovered properties this genre normally offers - but on a high level of quality. I also would like to hear here and there one or two tracks, which offer more musically depth provided through tempo changes or just a different style of composing. To break out of the musically one-dimensional course, which the Harsh EBM-genre inevitably falls under, is still that undiscovered piece of a puzzle, which Project Rotten need to add on their 'to solve'-list.
But the die-hard fans of this genre will slightly ignore this request, because the ongoing sharp-shooting stuff available on 'Cinema Bizarre' will completely satisfy their need for body movement. Project Rotten offer a professional produced follow-up album (mastered by Sander Kapper / Stahlblack Productions), which should be able to push this duo internationally to the forefront of the Harsh-EBM genre. Also Advoxya Records grows more and more to one of the leading bastions for this style of music.

IMPAKT: Resonant Escape

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 13 2011
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Artist: IMPAKT
Title: Resonant Escape
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is the sister E.P. to the "Resonant Escape" CD album that has been released on June always by Solar One Music. Containing six tracks of which four new ("Dance The Pain Away" and "At The End" were already present into the CD), RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is containing tracks which I think didn't find place on the CD but that aren't rip offs. The E.P. opens with "Computer Boogie", a robotic 4/4 bouncing dance tune with a touch of histerya. "Dance The Pain Away" is a nice instrumental retro electro upbeat track which sounds like a soundtrack of a travel as gathers melancholic melodies and syncopated rhythms. "Resonant Escape" was already released into Impakt's first digital album "Brb, Writing Some Tunes On My Computer". It's a short two minutes and half mix of i.d.m. rhythms and slow melancholic arpeggios. B-side opens with an ironic track titled "Sodomacid" which mixes porn samples and acid music. It has nice stop and go and electronic lashes. "Come On, Ah Yeah" mixes acid bass sounds, fast obsessive rhytms and tiny monophonic leads which play nice melodies. "At The End" closes the E.P. with an atmosphere similar to "Dance The Pain Away" but sounding a little faster: electro synth leads and pads form a web of intricated melodies that come and go which make me think of a man running toward a distant point who sometimes stops to breath a little just to start his run. Nice release which is available in only 200 copies.

OCTAVIUS: Laws

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 06 2011
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Artist: OCTAVIUS
Title: Laws
Format: 12"
Label: Mannequin (@)
Rated: *****
Released the last year on Octavius' Bandcamp page, his second album LAWS is now being reissued by Mannequin on vinyl. Produced, mixed and engineered by Barbeau and William Marshall (the real Octavius' name) in Los Angeles, with additional mix assistance by Justin Sullivan, LAWS contains nine tracks in balance from glacial vocal experimentalism (check the reversed vocals on "Of Masks And Money" or the alien whispers on the opening "Apartments"), echoes of early Tricky (like on "Liars & Thieves"), ambient intuitions (check "331 155") or Bowie references teared to their extremes into a noisy "Breaking Glass" (which it's impossible to understand if it is a Bowie cover or an original devastating song which has the same title of that song coming from "Low" and by the way, it substitutes "The Gun In White Silhouette (Warning)" which is only on the digital edition). Octavius' sound is minimal and textured at the same time and he seems to have found a meeting point between industrial wave and hip hop. The sounds are always treated, filtered and raped and they are there like naked, ready to meet Octavius' icy atmospheres which create an imaginary place made of fog, dreamy ambiences where reverbs filter clanging sounds or synth waves. Experimental, daring and someway cosy, LAWS is there with its force for you to check. Digital version includes one bonus track and three remixes.


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