Music Reviews



Mike Ash/Fleck ESC: London Tokyo Connection EP

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 18 2011
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Artist: Mike Ash/Fleck ESC
Title: London Tokyo Connection EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Devine Disorder Records
Rated: *****
It's hard to be objective when you have to review a release by one of your favourite artists who also happens to be a good friend. Let alone a case like this one, ie a split EP by two of the most talented electro producers of our time, frequent collaborators of the signer and really great guys, UK's Mike Ash and France's (or should i write Japan, as he's based in Tokyo) Franck Collin (aka Fleck E.S.C.)! But i'll try to let aside the echoes of Mike's killer EPs on Binalog Productions, Mars Frequency and his own (short-lived) ElectroCat Records, those of Franck's incredible albums on Ghost Technology and BP, as well my relationship with the fellaz, and write like an impartial reviewer... (ok, you are not convinced, but i can't do nothing more to change that-lol). Oh, dare i say too that Devine Disorder is one of the freshest labels around and that i looove their releases?(!)
Anyway, what we have here is a 4-tracker based on the clever idea of "we're both doing a track each and then remixing each other's track". So, Mike delivers "Mindstate Liberate", a strong obsessive dark electro/acid tune, driven by dope beats and focused on distorted vocals that repeat: "Mindstate/liberate/activate/evacuate/concentrate/eliminate/activate/assassinate", while Franck unleashes his genuine electronics to come up with the minimal vocoded electro "Symptoms Shaping", yet another eccentric Fleck track in which what happens in the background is simply... indescribable! On his remix of "Mindstate Liberate", Franck slows down the tempo and builds an imposing track over a Kraftwerk-ish beat, while Mike transforms "Symptoms Shaping" into a dancefloor monster, destined to rock hard every mutant club over the galaxy!
I can't choose... Really! This is a KILLER EP by two electro masters and it's stuck on my ipod since i received the promo! A must-have, it will be available at your favourite digital stores by Wednesday, September 28, so keep an eye on it ;) (previews here: http://soundcloud.com/devinedisorderrecords/ddr030-mike-ash-fleck-esc)

Electric Breathing: Sounds Of Psychosis

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 17 2011
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Artist: Electric Breathing (@)
Title: Sounds Of Psychosis
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Twisted Flesh Recordings (@)
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
Another new coming German harsh EBM-project signed the Swedish Twisted Flesh Recordings label, Electric Breathing give a further addition out of the Hellectro army-camp to our attention. Consisting of Maik Grohs (Defcon-one) as being the one and only mastermind behind this project, I can attest him, that he is capable enough to satisfy all of your inner needs, if you look for a fast-paced, harsh and uncompromising sound-design for your next body-party. 'Sounds of Psychosis', already the 4th release after some own released demos of this project, is an action-driven 11-track digital-album in the typical and expected kind, but which leaves too seldom space to take a deep breath. Hard-hitting tracks like 'Killer Instinct' don't leave any wishes open for dancefloor-addicts, also the idea, to provide some drastic German lyrics in 'Zerfall' comes out pleasant. But generally this album lacks a bit of more maturity. Some tracks really appear to be rather inhibited, than being produced in a clear manner and it becomes a bit strenuous to listening this fast-paced Harsh-EBM onslaught at the full length. Maybe more tracks like 'Possession', which features more distinctive synth sweeps, would help out of this misery. With that in mind, it needs to be said, that all things around the production of this 11-track album are filled with professionalism. Fredrik Croona (Project Rotten, label-owner of Twisted Flesh Recording) acts as producer, while the notorious guys of the German Stahlblack Production are responsible for the mastering. Pixelbreed provides a stunning cover artwork, and this band project doesn't play hide and seek in their studio and storms from to time the stages. Good and useful stuff to let out inner aggressions, while still with enough space for musically development. Please note: this isn't a free download, it needs to be purchased by official downloading resources (Amazon, iTunes, and alike'¦).

In recent news we have to inform you, that Twisted Flesh Recordings as being the partner label for Electric Breathing, has seemingly closed its doors. The website is down, and this label acts in the future as being the home base for Project Rotten only.

Cylix: Alpha

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 17 2011
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Artist: Cylix (@)
Title: Alpha
Format: CD
Label: Life Is Painful Records (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
Greece gets featured negative in our daily news flash regarding its economic and financial problems. Unfortunately this may alters a bit the concentration on the positive, artistically precious elements out of this country. Also Synth-/Futurepop music made in Greece is a seldom discovered music style ' international recognition are rather gaining the harder Electro/Industrial projects like Iambia, Inline.Sex.Terror, or Siva Six. So the debut release of Cylix is sort of a premiere, and I was about to listen carefully for a special unique trademark behind the music of the duo. Let's say it friendly, because it is hardly possible to discover a glimpse of undiscovered ingredients: Cylix are walking musically on known paths and are still in a developing process to find an own, unique niche. 'Alpha' focuses to install danceable Futurepop-elements in a comparable direction to bands like Culture Kultür or the Swedish Electropop-institution Elegant Machinery. Some of their tracks are moving near to the EBM genre ('Miles Divide', or 'Deepest Fear'), while other tracks like 'Heal Me' and 'Keine Zeit' are rather calm, presenting clear the melodic Synthpop-driven style. Their smooth side offered through these both tracks is the better one. Also important for a debut is the invitation to some better known projects asking for remix contributions. On 'Alpha' you'll get a remix of Germany's Lights Of Euphoria (fair, but unobtrusive remix on 'So Much For Love''¦), and from Psyche ' sometimes a good idea for a well-done remix can be, to reduce a track only on vocals and synthesizer sounds ' congratulations to Darrin Huss for removing the rhythm section of 'Heal Me', which finally proofs, how much depth hides behind this song. 'Alpha' is a good debut, well suited for Synth-/Futurepop-fans, although it leaves space for development. I guess, an imaginary entitled 'Beta' album will already show a step forward for this duo.

Dagobert: S/T

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 17 2011
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Artist: Dagobert
Title: S/T
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Celebrating the return of Dagobert (with "Astronauten", a split EP with serbian producer Kalson-see Maurizio's review here: http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=6555 ), Dominance Electricity re-releases their resident artist's self-titled debut album for the first time in digital format. Original LP came out in 1997, on Harzfein Records (a hip-hop/electro label based in Dessau, Germany, also the hometown of Dominance Records, which was apparently the parent company) and it is considered as one of the classic 90s electro records.
An obvious question would be if this album stands the test of time. It took me only a couple of listens to answer: yes, definitely! After 14 years every single track included in the original version still sounds fresh, like it was released sometime during the last couple of years, time in which the electrofunk scene seems to be more active than ever. From the imposing intro track "Jam-Duction (Let's Jam)" to the bouncy closing one "Boomdrummer" (both characterised by mr. Howe's dope vocoder skills), through the pure electrofunk jam "For The Sure Shock Rockers", the speedy dark number "Dark Power", the dreamy "Sliproad To Feel" (love this track!), the laidback beauty of "Bonus Chill" (a nice surprise the inclusion of a chill-out track in this kind of album!), the epic "Bass Invasion" (really great synth work here) and the perfect blending of acid and space electro vibes on "Inharmonic Whispers" (track featured in the german tv series "Space Night - New Frontiers", back in '98), it's all here: 808 beats, breakbeats, synth melodies, vocoded rhymes and, of course, the (((BASS))), blended unmistakably to create one of the very first examples of the (common today, but quite a novelty back then) oldschool/breaks fusion aka nu electro.
Even if you have the original wax you might still want to buy this edition, as all the tracks are remastered and it also contains 3 bonus Dagobert jams ("It's Time", "Get On It" and "Untitled", the first 2 taken from Dagobert & Dj Magic Mayer's 1997 12" "Harzfein Presentz Kingz Of Electro" and the last one taken from the 1996 compilation "DAP (Dessau Action Pack)"-both releases on Harzfein).
Available at all digital stores, this is highly recommended stuff so save your money for a copy ;)