Music Reviews



Mind.Area: Long-Distance Side Trip

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (6044)
Oct 23 2010
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Artist: Mind.Area
Title: Long-Distance Side Trip
Format: CD
Label: Ionium Records (@)
Distributor: TS Musix
Rated: *****
This one lays already for some months available on my table, but I unfortunately didn't find the right time to check more detailed with this new, first album of Maikko A. (member of HUMAN DECAY). Thumbs up also to Ionium Records/AF Music to remind me two times to concentrate on this remarkable album. This isn't that sort of a time-stealing procedure to review the deeds of a red-headed step-child, this is rather a review done with pleasure, as Maikko has already gained higher recognition with the previously released downloadable EP 'Thenceforward', as this one is still the biggest pearl in the roster of the Russian X-Line label. 'Long-Distance Side Trip' continues to catch its listeners through dense, but also haunting and ominous moods, combined with an extravagant kind of rhythm programming. Where comparable Dark Electro artists may here and there try to re-animate the dusty PUPPYan-ghost, Maikko manages hard to figure out alternative paths. A tiny Break-Beat, a bit Dub, or Trip-Hop beats here and there mixed under his matured synth arrangements offer a delicious meal for the ears. Tracks which feature his remarkable synth programming skills as its best, like 'Assimilate' (No PUPPYan influence at all here!), 'Fanatic Romance', or 'New World' are fine tunes not to be missed ' in that case, you prefer some 'real' compositional efforts over the still rushing, pseudo-aggressive Hellectro-repetitions. Three remixes by such musically valuable and well-chosen artists like the too seldom re-discovered Serbia/German project BLAME (too much gaming, Boris!), Slovakia's Dark Electro-/IDM-/Ambient-institution DISHARMONY (well done and surprisingly straight, Ryby'¦), and of course of Maikko's alter ego-comrades HUMAN DECAY offer all their best, to bring in diversity to Maikko's sound environment. A modern sounding and fine worked-out Dark-Electro opus full of intelligence ' stuff, which suits at best with fans of older FLA, PUPPY, DISMANTLED, but too with the new kids of the block like OBJECT, NCE, or Australia's EMPTY. Good one, keep it on.

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Artist: Purple Fog Side
Title: Project:Rentgen
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Synthematik (@)
Rated: *****
If one of the oldest and best known Russian Goth-/Dark Wave-bands like PURPLE SIDE FOG (2 albums available on Shadowplay Records) decides to collaborate with Synthematik ' in no negative meaning a pure net-label ' then there must be growing a kind of sensible sensation in the minds of the responsible band-members. The certainty, that the days of the physical product, the CD, are counted, may can be taken as a reference, that this formation has documented the will to collaborate. On the other hand, Synthematik has made themselves a good name during the last half year, to be an excellent promoter by using multiple kinds of online resources to gain a maximum of attention, so why not to give it a try? This freely downloadable album consist of an experiment of PFS ' they have recorded all featured tracks in kind of a real-time mode, which means, that they have produced song by song in a strictly declared time window of 1 ½ months, starting all compositions completely from scratch. The band has used online communities and has uploaded any raw demo version of these tracks for their fans and listeners to start a mutual interaction. Completely remixed and mastered after this experimental phase, this 10 all new tracks (plus 3 remix contributions by ALPHA POINT, X-TI, and ELEKTRONNOE OBLAKO, plus an alternative radio version in Russian language on 'My Secret friend') are far away from being demos or uninspired stuff established out of a short expiration time. I am unable to draw comparisons to their Shadowplay recordings, as I am unfamiliar with them, but especially tracks like the already mentioned 'My Secret Friend', or 'Crystal Castle' offer enough potential to impress Goth-, Wave, and Electro-minded listeners completely. Especially the intended contrast between the raw- and dark-sounding male vocalist to the compelling, nearly angelic vocals of the female counterpart can be called exceptionally well-done. This album may needs 2 ' 3 spins more to disclose all good elements, but it is definitely worth to invest it. So there's only one thing I would like to know from the band: what is a 'PVC Slut'?

LPF 12: Inhibition Level

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (6039)
Oct 21 2010
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Artist: LPF 12
Title: Inhibition Level
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Abstrakt Reflections (@)
Rated: *****
I don't know, how often I wrote this phrase, but: it is the year of comebacks! LPF 12 is a Northern-Germany-based one-man-project which has been highly active with its musically assaulting efforts somewhere between DIVE and harsher MENTALLO & THE FIXER in the years between 1993 to 1995. Those have been the days, where bands had to record demo tapes as being the most affordable medium, and LPF 12 has entered a lot of stock lists of tapes labels like Obscura Records, Side-Line, Catkiller, Crewzine, or Crippled Abortion Tapes. Also a few CD compilation appearances became reality and Sascha could enter a free slot on such highly recognized releases like 'An Ideal For Living (Gothic Arts Records)', 'Neues Elektro Blut Vol. 1 (Khazad-Dum/Side-Line)', or the 'Vertigo Compilation Vol. 1/1996 (magazine + CD comp./Celtic Circle Prod.)'. In 1996 Sascha stopped abruptly his musically path and he set LPF 12 in hiatus. It has at least taken 14 years, until he decided to re-animate his beloved project with a bang. He's seemingly a hyperactive musician, who isn't able to take off his nervous fingers away from his equipment to relax for a while, because since early 2010 he has now produced music to fill 5 (!!!) different releases available on different labels. After an own released downloadable EP entitled 'Vicious Circle' via his bandcamp website, he presents his album 'Inhibition Level' signed to the Abstrakt Reflections netlabel, and so his official second release during this year. Compared to his previously discovered label colleagues like APPARENT SYMMETRY and IN A MINDSET, Sascha's LPF 12 acts a bit like a bird of paradise. His rather classic Electro-/EBM-related background can be easily recognized, because Sascha's tracks are focusing for the most part on abstract produced rhythm patterns, while his above named colleagues are stronger in producing luscious and haunting Ambient-like moods. Another obvious ability contrary to his label colleagues is his usage of vocals with real composed lyrics. Sascha's tracks are straight and rhythmic-oriented arranged, although his stuff isn't compatible to any Harsh-EBM/Hellectro dancefloor attitudes ' he rather offers stuff which creeps over the eardrums into the brain. I tend to point out 'Break My Core' as being an awesome example, how to install experimental rhythm pattern with a handy composition line and raspy vocals ' a tiny masterpiece, which balances well on the thin line between Dark Electro and Noise. With the haunting 'The White Room' he also proves a good sense to produce a different sounding, rather Dark Ambient-related tune ' while he still can develop in some things in this playing field. Some remixes and collaborations with MISSRATENER SOHN, MC1R (Hey Nick!), MENSCHLICHE ENERGIE, or DECI?HER are featured too on this album, and especially the remix of the German fellow IN A MINDSET on 'Towards Nowhere' charms the ear-channel with intensely produced synth sweep sounds. 13 tracks in all and a lot of good things to report from ' LPF 12 hasn't reached any end of rope and will continue highly productive path.

Blastromen: Human Beyond

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (6037)
Oct 21 2010
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Artist: Blastromen
Title: Human Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Opened by the upbeat epic main track, HUMAN BEYOND is the debut album by a Finnish duo called Blastromen. With a past as techno music producers, the two mysterious men behind this project, started they adventure into electro music in 2004 with their first EP "Robot Aggression" released by the Finnish label X0X Records. The EP, which now is out of print, presented four tracks which already alerted the lovers of the genre (the CD edition has from this release, as bonus tracks, "Space Trader" and "Le Nucleaire Civile"). "Blasteroids EP" released two years ago created a certain hype thanks to the main track which was been included into the first volume of the Street Sounds "Nu Electro" series the year after. Everyone was waiting for their debut album but the moment was never arriving. The wait ended in September 2010 when Dominance Electricity (the most renowned label of the genre) delivered HUMAN BEYOND, making it available in CD (along with the aforementioned bonus tracks you can also find "Blasteroids" from their second EP) and double vinyl album (available in black and blue transparent vinyl) with an extra poster. The characteristic of Blastromen is to write catchy futuristic electro tunes with fast electro funk rhythms, spatial atmospheres and a bit of dark flavor (the same feeling you have when you are watching a spy story from the future). On tracks like "Computer simulator" the influences of the fathers of modern electronic music (a.k.a. Kraftwerk) are evident but there's so much more to notice that the blasting sounds, the vocoders and the intricate rhythm pattern (bass lines, leads, arpeggiators and drum sounds) aren't only special effects but are part of a special formula that make of Blastromen a great news for electro scene. It is impossible to keep your feet still while listening to "Space Trader" or "Battlenet" (you already had the chance to check this one on the second volume of the "Nu Electro" series) and with an imaginary of world wide wars of the future, scientific experiments, robotic humanity where we can uploading consciousness, enhancing capabilities, reconstructing entities and exceeding possibilities, Blastromen are there for your sci-fi parties.

VV.AA.: Advanced Funk Vol.1

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (6027)
Oct 15 2010
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Advanced Funk Vol.1
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Rated: *****
ADVANCED FUNK VOL.1 is the first vinyl release of Binalog Productions and it contains twelve tracks/international artists on the double vinyl edition and seventeen into its digital edition. Electro funk born in the 80s as genre, taking inspiration from the robotic electronic music of Kraftwerk and mixed it with hip-hop and dance. The first bands to be filed under this genre were Africa Bambaata, Cybotron and Newcleus (to name few). During the years the genre mutated (nowadays some acts sound darker paragoned to the electro funk originators) but some characteristics such as the syncopated rhythms, the use of vocoder and the analog synth sounds remain a must. ADVANCED FUNK VOL.1 gathers many new producers as well as people who have been involved into the scene since the 80s but never released tracks (Dj Mirage and DJ Xed are two of them) and others that released something during that decade (LekroiD). Coming from Spain, Eleztrik Body, open the compilation with "Future lo-fi", a classic dark sounding bouncing track. R21 from England (I already reviewed their new E.P.), with "Minimum", is a bit less dark but keep high the level of adrenalin with fast bass lines, filtered vocal samples and atmospheric laser like sounds. Hitachi II from Czech Republic, with "Tokio city", show his love for manga comics mixing happy melodic lines with hard beats and atmospheric long synth pads. Darxid is next with "Eternity", a track which mix electro and a bit of breakbeat. Dj Xed, helped by Dj K1, is here with a classic electro funk tune based on bass synth lines, freaky synth sounds and mysterious vocals. Morphogenetic from U.S.A. (headed by Santino Fernandez, one of the two people behind Fundamental Bass Intelligence) present "The secret war", a track based on dark melodies, stops and go and spacey sounds. Dj Mirage is in the house with "ElectroMech", a massive tune that sounds really powerful, robotic and epic. Paul Blackford's first release was on Dmx Krew's Breakin' Records and he's here with "Bacteria", an anxious mix of analog electro and Detroit techno. Alavux is Goran Alavuk from Serbia and "Natasha's funk" is a mix of acid, electro and techno which grows little by little adding melodies and rhythms step by step. Prototype from Germany allowed Binalog Freq to remix "Stimme der energie", which now sounds like a fresh mix of electro and techno. LekroiD, inspired by Kraftwerk, bring in "Parametric shift", a vocoder driven cool tune with catchy melodies (if you love Mandroid check this one). UKV are a duo from Croatia and "Mizar" is their track which mixes ambient techno intuitions with electro funk rhythms. From Poland, Robodrum is the first act to be only on the digital edition of AF1 with their "Army of droids", a robotic doped track with hypnotic sounds and powerful drum beats. Dwellz Rawkz is coming from Miami and it could be perfect for his city label Transient Force, thanks to electro distorted sounds and techno influences. The Boyz From Tronn with "The rock", bring some old school sounds into the compilation and if I were you, I'd check also their first album "Galaxy"! From Netherlands (just like The Boyz From Tronn), Ctrl.Alt.Del, with "Nightvision (GPS updated)", are here with an experimental robotic sci-fi tune which sounds like Dopplereffekt on drugs. George Tsakiris feat. Binalog close the compilation with "Afro spacecraft" an upbeat cool tune full of bouncing bass lines, spacey leads and crazy rhythmic lines. The compilation is officially out today and if you want to check it, Evangelos is giving away for free a megamix reworked by Spotta. Check it, now! P.s. For the digital edition, here's the link http://www.junodownload.com/products/advanced-funk-vol-1/1636234-02/?ref=dlk


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