Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Compilation Vol.3
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
COMPILATION 3 is the new Solar One Music CDr compilation issued as usual in a 100 copies run. This time, Robert and Nico packed the new release with thirteen new tracks and three remixes (you can find them into the 3" CDr attached to the inner cover of the hand made digipack package). The compilation is opened by an electronic atmospheric great tune titled "R.F.I.D.", by Miami electro techno enthusiast AS1. Atmospheric electro continues with Komarken Electronics with a robotic tune with 8 bit like sounds, titled "Spaciousness". The same atmosphere is produced by Destral, that with "I love your fat ass" produce nice Miami bass driven sounds with bleeps and long pads. =UHU= is here with a remix of "Lyntas jazz", a track which mix minimal techno, house and electro. Aratkilo with "Blood-feud" changes the atmosphere adding darkness (check the menacing vocals) and obsessive synth lines to bouncing bass lines and hard 4/4 beats. Kan3da with "Gbg" ease the atmosphere thanks to robotic sounds and pads arpeggios. Alek Stark with "Am I wrong" is here with an obsessive tune of dark electro with vocoder filtered vocals and techno intuitions. "Planet 3" by Planetwalker is an electronic tune with synth alternating sound, electro funk bass lines and robotic atmospheres. SLF's "Aurora Borealis" is based on a circular melodic mechanical structure almost dreamy. Vagon Brei with "Ascension" present a cinematic electronic mid-tempo with nice melodies. The Exaltics with "Second choice" break the delicate atmosphere of the track before with techno industrial rhythms and epic/dreamy syth lines. Zyntax with "Sunset walk" mix ambient cold atmospheres, techno experimentalism and hypnotic melodies. Crotaphytus with "Bite 6" close the first CD with dreamy atmospheres, grinding rhythmical samples and icy ambient sounds. The MCD is opened by Clatterbox's remix of "Science of the naked men", a dark mid tempo track with early electronic industrial atmospheres (do you remind Portion Control?). Crotaphytus remix "Plug", a track originally by Katelectro Vs. Jauzas The Shining. They made of it a mix of techno industrial and dry electronic music with orchestral inserts. The whole compilation closes with The Exaltics remix of David Rottemeyer's "Logo 81", a nice electro upbeat tempo track with catchy obsessive melodic lines, cold pads and rich rhythmic parts. Make your purchase... quality is here!

Mirage: ElectroMech

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 25 2010
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Artist: Mirage
Title: ElectroMech
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Rated: *****
ELECTROMECH by Mirage is one of the most epic tunes you can find into the first Binalog Productions' vinyl release (I remember you that its digital edition has five bonus tracks/bands). On this EP you can check four remixes of that track (reworked by Diplomat, R21, George Tsakiris and Binalog Freq) along with a new version (the "EMP remix") made by Mirage. Diplomat's remix is giving to the tune a cool electrofunk flavor with melodic synth leads and robotic rhythms. R21 focused their remix on the epic atmospheres with punching 4/4, gated synth lines and fat bass lines (take a look to the EP's cover and you'll have the right idea of what I mean telling you that this is epic). George Tsakiris made a remix which is a balanced blend of breakbeat rhythms, fast arpeggios, samples and obsessive melodies. Binalog Freq's "Dark Funk" version has moments with fat distorted leads and others with bouncing bass lines (the "dark" and the "funk" elements). Mirage's "EMP mix" version is sounding saturated and epic with robotic rhythm patters and has also a sort of stop and go effect where you have only rhythms, samples and a synth line, just to explode soon after. You can purchase this cool EP directly here http://www.junodownload.com/products/electromech-remixes/1645729-02/?ref=dlk

VV.AA.: Electronic Overseas Vol. 1

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 25 2010
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electronic Overseas Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Tacuara Records (@)
Rated: *****
Argentina's Tacuara Records (in conjunction with Germany's Fk Digital Records - www.fkdigitalrecords.com) releases this compilation of various goth-industrial artists from a number of different countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Estonia, France, Peru, Russia, Spain and Turkey. Of course, as on just about any compilation album, it's a mixed bag, and even moreso here with the diversity of nationalities. The opener by Division of Blue (Spain) has intelligibly spoken-sung lyrics in English over typical EBM style music. Not a lot of substance, but okay club fodder. Definitely reminds me of some late 80's or early 80's synth band, but I can't think of who offhand. LAP (Argentina) employ scary pterodactyl synth and morphing, ripping saw-bass over relentless breakcore beats'¦and that's about it. Unnerving, but not utterly convincing. Sadiztik Injection (Turkey) sound more conventionally dark-electro/EMB with 'Realize the Suicide,' a good dancefloor pounder with the requisite raspy vocals. Gee, I didn't know they went for this kind of stuff in Turkey'¦no baglamas, tars or davuls? Not even a sampled muezzin wail. I'm shocked!

Say Just Words (Chile) pull off a pretty intense and dramatic dark-electro number with 'The Perfect Killer,' raspy vocals and all, another track suitable for club play. Freakangel (Estonia) is up next with 'The Last White Dance,' typical Freakangel old-skool EBM. Freakangel is one of the (two) bands on this comp I've heard (and reviewed) previously, and they certainly belong on this compilation. Utero's (Spain) 'Sex Me' reminds me of Marilyn Manson for some reason, although they really don't sound like him. Maybe it's what you'd get if you combined Manson with Nitzer Ebb; it will surely keep those platform boots stomping at Club Dead. Good hook too. Lastrax (Argentina) actually seems to tell a story in 'Special Offer,' yet another old-skool dark electro number along the lines of Signal Aout 42. Nice track but lacks a potent hook. France's Ad Inferna sticks to French lyrically, and adds some ethereal wordless female backing vocals for their dark electro dance number, but I found the sub-bass overwhelming at times. DJ's - keep a ready finger on the EQ, depending on your system's requirements. Suicidal Romance (Estonia), the other of the two bands I reviewed previously, doesn't offer up one of their best tracks off 'Shattered Heart Reflections' for this comp, but 'Love Stays the Same' still isn't a bad song. It's dramatic enough and has Dimitry (Freakangel) on the verse vocals and Viktoria's vox on the chorus. It's Viktoria's voice that is the focal point of this band and she uses it to better effect on other songs off the album.

Matias Parisi (Argentina) offer a rather clubby bit of monotony with 'You can never stop me' with metered processed male & female vocal recitation. At least it has a good beat and groove. Slip it into a dance set and nobody will notice. Roppongi Inc Project (Russia) perform a 'Temporary Evacuation 27.04.86,' sort of an instrumental (except for the unintelligible Russkie PA warning vox) doomsday dance. Carlos Shaw (Argentina) begins 'Los Ninos Del Parque' with a groove that reminded me of Frontline Assembly. I was waiting for the vocoder to break in but all I got was the speak-sing of three amigos, and kind of low key at that. Except for some incidentals, the track didn't change much from its initial groove. Disappointing. Dj Quien (Bolivia) ups the BPM with 'Sudaca y parador,' spoken word over breakcore filled in by average synth and bass. Maybe if I understood Spanish it might have more impact, but it left me kind of flat. Back to Argentina with Plan Quinquenal and their chaotic offering 'Sudamerica Vanzaii'. Nearly relentless pounding beats and wildness until the 2 minute mark when it changes tempo and form into some type of doom metal pastiche. Code Name (Spain) must really think they're in an 'Arena' (yes, that's the title of the song), a jaw dropping supersonic high-energy disco song with 70's style male and female vocals! What the hell is this doing on this comp??? I'm flabbergasted. Maybe this is supposed to tongue-in-cheek, but I don't think so. Yikes! The comp concludes with Peru's Dj Lokuron & Chusma Crazy's 'Enterprise of Justice'. I'm not getting much justice out of this piece of insanity. It is pretty bizarre in its own headache-inducing way. It has a beat but you won't be dancing to it.

So as I said in the beginning, a mixed bag for sure but with enough worthies to check it out, if you can find it. If you're in the U.S. just go to the label website and they have a list of outlets. Better yet, just ask your local Goth-Industrial CD shop (if there even is one anymore by where you live) to order it for you.

ESC: Eight Thousand Square Feet

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 23 2010
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Artist: ESC
Title: Eight Thousand Square Feet
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Rated: *****
Portugal's most recognized Harsh-EBM quartet returns with another new full-length album, their third so far. And nearly out of tradition, also this one impresses with a comic-stripe as telling the story and meaning hiding behind. The graphical work is once again an outstanding form of expression by them, which receives additional support by their art to produce band photos ' the new ones, especially the one with body hanging lifeless out of a damaged bus, are very stylish and well fitting with the music. If they will reach their definite break-through also in middle-Europe, that ' to me ' has no longer anything to do with their quality of music. Fans of this special music genre, as well as the dancefloor-junkies, can't go wrong with them, since Hypecrash, Chainheart (both also active under HYSTAKMINE, lately signed to Hellektro Holocaust Records ' from which I lately haven't heard anything new..?), IDK (who helped out the country mate of IN[PERFEKTION] with some production efforts'¦) and the graphical mastermind Glamour Diesel do offers their most matured, but maybe also their calmest release so far. Yes, some socks-rocking tunes for the hard-stuff consumers are of course featured like 'Correcting God's Design', or the nailing 'Le Voyage D'Ivoire Sophisme', which features Jan L. of X-FUSION providing the lead vocals. But in all I have the impression, that this new album rather focuses more to present opulent arranged synth sweeps ('White Beast (Retribution', or some orchestral-like inserts ('Eight Thousand Square Feet') - stuff, which is nice to get consumed at your home entertainment too. And this gets a real crown with the track 'Leitbild', which offers German lyrics provided by Carsten Jacek of [:SITD:]. His voice as well as the rather [:SITD:]-related instrumentation results in the maybe most catchiest track ever by them. Coming back to their upcoming break-through: I think, this can be only reached, if they can decide to storm the stages in all thinkable dark clubs ' they suffer well under the circumstances to belong too far away from the bigger markets for this kind of music, Germany for instance. Musically here is nothing to complain with, ESC offer as usual the better and more comfortable form of Harsh-EBM/Hellectro music and are technically far above their average followers. Slight tendencies to repeat themselves a bit can be recognized too, but'¦ Let's agree, that this special genre of EBM/Electro/Industrial music is generally repetitive.

Mind.Area: Long-Distance Side Trip

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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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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