Music Reviews

C.H. District: Conclusion

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (6197)
Jan 10 2011
Artist: C.H. District (@)
Title: Conclusion
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Tympanik Audio
Rated: *****
C. H. District is the one man project of Polish electronic musician Miroslaw Matyasik. He started out in 1996 and has about a half-dozen releases or more to his credit. This is the first one I've ever heard, so I have no basis of comparison with the artist's other material. The best way to describe it is instrumental (for the most part) beat-oriented electronica. For the most part, the electronics are on the minimal and simplistic side, and the beat-work is pushed to the forefront. In my first listening run-though, I found the album too repetitive and lacking in changes. But first listens are usually filled with prejudices, musical and otherwise, so I never review an album until after I've heard it a few times at least.

My opinion now is that 'Conclusion' is fairly enjoyable and engaging beat-core electronica, if you're not expecting anything earth-shattering, and don't mind the rhythmic repetition. That aspect is certainly conducive to dancing, or at least some form of body-motion experience. In fact, as I sit here typing this review, I'm kind of grooving on the keyboard in time to the rhythm of the music. I'm sure a number of the tracks on this CD would work well in a live club environment where you can really feel the beat and let it just move you.

One thing I didn't care for though ' the vocal sample on the 'Conclusion' title track. Although it fit right in the rhythm, to me it came across as too 'clubby'. But that's a small quibble. C. H. District's rhythm programming doesn't hit you over the head with bombastic sonics or ultra-tricky programming; it is a bit more subtle than that. It will take a few listenings to really appreciate, and may be the kind of music you might want to play while you're doing something else. I found that when I wasn't paying a lot of attention to it, it seemed to permeate my psyche more than when I listened intently for analysis.

There is one track with a vocal on 'Conclusion' ' 'Like A Human,' courtesy of Tomtylor with lyrics by Alina. It's a nice change for the album, simple but very well sung and constructed. It would have been cool to have more tracks like that, but I know it wasn't the artist's intention. Still, for me, it was one of the highlights. One other aspect of 'Conclusion' that deserves mention is that the album has a nice flow to it as from track-to-track there is a sonic meshing that gives the impression of a complete work rather than just a disparate collection of pieces. The album is only a little over 42 minutes, and it will probably not even seem that long after a few listenings.

For some odd reason I couldn't find anything off of 'Conclusion' to check out on the C. H. District website, but Tympanik has a track off of it you can download for free if you go do their Downloads section. I would advise checking it out first to make sure it's your cup 'o tea, but there are also YouTube videos available. Worth a listen if you're hungering for something new in beat-oriented electronica.
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Title: final archives
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
This release has come out almost simultaneously with the split release with Pylone we've reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Differently from the split cd, this work is a collection of old materials came out on cdr and an old net releases and despite the fact not all of the tracks have been composed during the same period of time this slab of plastic offers a homogeneous listening. If you ever had the chance to taste Beccuzzi' solo releases you know we mostly deal with cold electronic post-industrial avant-garde music..are in you in need of some references to file the music here contained? Let's say it's mostly post-cotemporary classic music with references to Thomas Koner, Richard Cartier, Pan Sonic and their related projects in general, Zoviet France, and anything following this route. Final archives offers a full range of high and low frequencies, sharp sounds, raw materials, squared low beats, concrete sounds, electronic versus music concrete, soft-crescendos and sudden peaks of noise and silence, just to show Becuzzi knowledge of electronic/installation music has matured along the way. I can grant you both the minimal compositions and the sound installation materials have that common heavy, post-industrial feel that characterizes the majority of Kinetix solo works but overall this cd is on Silentes and obviously if you know the label I doubt you won't like its sound. To emphasize this last conclusion I should add beside minimalism sometimes Becuzzi has this quasi-isolationist post-ambient feel that many fans of the genre will surely appreciate. Honestly it took me more than one listening to get how much I was into the work, but after several listening I'm convinced this collection of recordings puts together some interesting compositions, maybe one of the best work of Kinetix so far.
Artist: [de:ad:cibel] (@)
Title: Klondike
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
One of the strongest point of the debut album by the German bouldering duo [de:ad:cibel], hiding the musical ids of Daniel Galda and Armin Kuester, could lie in the power of amusing different kind of listeners by preserving a certain stylistical unoiformity: amalgamated by appreciable EBM structures and deafening bass lines for the likes of Front Line Assembly or Funkervogt fan-base and considerably insisting on topics such as depression, religion and faith (I enjoyed some "marxist" remembrance in the lyrics of the song Jerusalem Syndrom whereas any builder of make-believe system on the basis of revealed religion acts like a pusher/seller: "...Verkauf ich euch mein Opium./Ein Konstruct aus Angst und Regeln/Die Warheit wind indoktriniert/Mit Richtig- oder Falsch-Befehlen/Die Herde grundlich selektiert" as well as the invitations on reflection on the real final aim of some religious doctrines in the song Human Product - "These lies are corridors of mundane power/to hold the might they built a watchtower/superstition was the fundament/they used it as an instrument"), ironic critics on consumerism (it's somehow funny the ideal breaking of the sacred trinity of the socio-economical system - buy, consume, die - hinting at the words of the humorous song Too tired to consume, making a long list on an enjoyable danceable psychotic electro movement of "prescribed" quinine for keep someone's finance healthy or for celebrating the scene...allelujah!) and its consequences on human relations (songs such as Architecture or B.I.I.D. arguably insists on the refusal of distorted way of considering feelings, mixed up with low-grade bodily functions) and even some conceptual statements (I enjoyed the neural connections activated by songs such as Heteronomy or One Of 47 - maybe the best song of this album -, forcing thoughts while moving dancin steps...), these lads could be even appreciated by a large range of listeners as they're able to satisfy classical dark-electro fans (One of 47, Architecture), cyber-goth or mindful techno addicts (Monster Train's ferocious march or the less rough grip of Selektionsfunktion and Geteert und gefedert should switch their hungry neurons on...), synth-pop or future-pop lovers (tracks such as the above-mentioned Heteronomy or Between My Headphones and even more "romantic" songs such as Nobody hurts like I do could be injected in their lower abdomen...), but I won't be surprised to see some reviews of Klondike on metal mags as well. Concerning the quality, Klondike ideally traces a reversed Gaussian route as I listened to more well-crafted works in the beginning and in the end of the record, being the highest peaks Jerusalm Syndrome (featuring some icy treatments on the harsch Daniel Galda's voice...) One of 47 and Geteert und gefedert. It's nice the idea of showing the dynamic range of each track! Even if they're not really newcomers of the scene if you just consider for instance that Daniel was keyboardist for Das Ich's live stages (...and it's not casual that sometimes you'll have the impression of listening an electrified version of Das Ich as well...), I could say it's really a brilliant debut!

FLECK E.S.C: Bruxia

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 02 2011
Artist: FLECK E.S.C
Title: Bruxia
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ghost Technology
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
Franck Collin also known as fleck E.S.C is a French producer based in tokyo and BRUXIA is his newest release under this moniker. Released digitally by the Croatian label Ghost Technology, BRUXIA's nine tracks will make you start 2011 with a blast. Catchy melodies, rich rhythm section, fat sounds, vocoder, electro and electronic influences make of this release a great one. The album whose title refers to the habitual involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth (usually it happens at night when you're asleep), opens with "Function 1", an electronic mid-tempo which mix suspended atmospheres, funky leads, syncopated rhythms and vocoder inserts. "Conspiracy" opens the dances with a truly rich intricate robotic rhythmical web of sounds, like it was a mix of Dopplereffekt, Kraftwerk and Drexcyia. "Alternatives" it's an amazing tune that will convince you in no time thanks to its cool synth sounds that being alternated and enriched with samples and catchy melodic lines. Franck's ability to pick up cool crisp analog synth sounds and to build a very well balanced mix will pop up immediately during your listening of this album. "Dr Spook" (a great robotic electro techno number with classic electro drum sounds, fat bass lines and bleeping noises), "Videodrome" (an electro mid tempo tune sounding mysterious and menacing) and "Dizzy flow" (a track that sounds like an ambient electro tune influenced by Detroit techno) are the evidence that this genre has so much to offer if you know where to look at. Thanks to Ghost Technology 2011 looks promising and BRUXIA will shine during all the year. You can check the preview here:
Artist: Driver & Driver (@)
Title: We Are The World
Format: CD
Label: Staatsakt (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Nitro's been filled in the engines of this German music drivers and they look not so interested in directions...they look more interested in being on their way in top gear running over any possible stylistical path, which they cross without caring about pedestrians and pursuers possibility to eat their dust. They just grind eternal stones under their caterpillar musical wheels leaving behind their shoulders a world sinking like a torpedoed merchant vessel by retracing those uneven road surfaces, partially paved by other memorable German musicians such as T.Raumschmiere, rich of junctions and ramps going towards hip hop, industrial, punk, noise, funpunk, techno, rockabilly and many more musical languages, wisely mashed up in a somewhat brutal way. It has alreaby been emphasized by my collegue Maurizio in his previous review of this issue both the impressive way of playing live drum by Chris Imler (one of these two drivers!) being a recipe able to add a roughly guessed grip to D&D formula and their connection with other past notorious duos like Suicide and DAF (...and tracks like the unruly Back to L.A. or Wohin whose playful melody reminded to me the intrusive jingle scored in a Coke tv adverts, glueing - somewhat ironically - the ideal friendship between German and American, a stylistical alliance highlighted by the use of both English and German even in the witty lyrics). So that it's not my intention to be repetitive or make a track-by-track commentary of it, but I cannot avoid in reccomending this energetic pill to you... don't miss it out!

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