Music Reviews



BLUE VELVET: Rotation

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 17 2009
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Artist: BLUE VELVET
Title: Rotation
Format: CD
Label: Breakdown Records
Rated: *****
Formed in 1999 by Dough (electro voice , guitar and programming) and Andy Head (electro guitar), Blue Velvet started working on their music inspired by the sounds of N.I.N., Ministry and Einsturzende Neubauten. Few years later Malcom11 (bass and programming)and DarkendDawn (drum and electronic drum) joined in and the band started to work on their first full length "The third" which has been released by Koldfinger in 2006. The album showed the band's skill into creating good industrial electronic music where energy and melody blend. The new album ROTATION is a natural consequence of the previous one as it contains remixed version (I might say re-worked versions as the new tracks aren't composed looping few few parts of the old ones) of the old tracks which on this album find a new life. If tracks like "I wanna be like him" or "Manipulated soul"
on "The third" were sounding like good electro industrial tunes, now they seems have been filtered through a cyber industrial device that added more influences (a bit of techno, a bit of break beat). The nine tracks of ROTATION sound rich, distorted and futuristic without losing their primitive spark. Check some tracks at the band's myspace. They deserve it...

QUARTERSIZED: Samhain E.P.

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 13 2009
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Artist: QUARTERSIZED
Title: Samhain E.P.
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
SAMHAIN EP is the second released by Quartersized and it is available as digital download and CD-r. With the first E.P. Ian gave his version of electro funk music while this time he focused on electro but exploring themes usually covered by different musical genres. Esoteric and dark themes are the core of the four tracks you find on this release. For example the opening "This fog" is inspired by John Carpenter soundtrack while "Thine angel sings" is a tribute to William Blake. Musically "This Fog", "Sad Titan Way", "Phonecalls From The Dead" and "Thine Angel Sings" are based on electro sounds and solutions but Ian used an experimental approach that, in my opinion, enhance the experience. His way of dealing with melody, atmospheres and samples are unusual for standard electro acts (which are more influenced by 80s dance music) as I found more correlations with bands like Clock DVA. Anyway, I really enjoyed this release and I suggest you to check it!

Acylum: The Enemy

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 11 2009
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Artist: Acylum (@)
Title: The Enemy
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Rated: *****
The with a loud din fulfilled split with his long-year comrade and friend Kai Arnold of WYNARDTAGE has been the drama of the past year, especially if several hints and dissonances out of their private life have been buried out of own carelessness. To offer a too detailed look into a private life via the usage of blogs of a hugs community like MySpace does seldom good, although I tend to put this approach completely into Kai’s own responsibility. Instead to argue too much regarding that awful situation, Pedro Engel has taken his own consequences and has left Rupal Records to join a new contract with Belgian Label giant Alfa Matrix.
"The Enemy" now is the first fruit out of this new collaboration and it offers some surprises and some additional facets of the brutal sound of ACYLUM. At first there’s to mention the addition of the female band member, Nadine "Cooraz" Hagenbeck, who offers her voice for several tracks. As usual for ACYLUM, also the tracks on "The Enemy" convince with their raw and pummeling attitude and of course with the fat wall of cinematic instrumentals – a merciless x-times-kick-in-the-butt action is guaranteed! What’s new is Pedro’s braggart-like kind of self-presentation widely presented in the lyrically content of the title track, to name an example. I cannot remember, that I discovered any form of this from him before, and I’m not that sure, if that course of action is well-thought. But with a straight demanding "Raise Your Fist" he may proves that he’s ready for flogging, right? Well, I guess he overestimates himself a bit too much, but that’s a personal impression.
But what rather more polarizes is the merciless usage of "forbidden" themes – sexual child abuse is such a hot topic and the ruthless usage of dramatic voice sample in "Es" will shock the fainthearted audience and there are coming up doubts, if artists out of this special music genre have the right to abuse the cruelty behind this theme for self-presentation. Also Kai Arnold finally seems to get what he deserves out of the sight of ACYLUM, the track "Wynard" is more than obviously a personal deduction with the past things and the lyrical content presented by Nadine spits out the drama, which I mentioned initially.
What kind of result can end this review, if the hard content brings a neutral reviewer to think differently and feels offended on one or another theme presented here obviously without a sense to know boundaries of a good taste? Provocation as being the only one target to reach, is that still art which needed to get expressed? And has a label not the responsibility to hold its saving hands over an artist through a form of censorship or does that label follow a similar cheap motif by hiding under the "we don’t censor art" sentence?

HEZZEL: Magnets

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 11 2009
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Artist: HEZZEL
Title: Magnets
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Absetzer / Alter-X Promotion Project (@)
Rated: *****
That’s a rich album full of golden shining "Magnets", at least 16 tracks have found the way on this free download-able album, published under the Absetzer-label, part of the Russian Alter-X promotion project. HEZZEL hails out of Latvia and I tend to rate their musically efforts as being a precise mixture between their countrymen ROSEWATER meets DIVE. It’s a harsh Electro-/Industrial-driven foundation arranged in straight and pummeling conditions. Here and there they integrate some rare vocals as well as some obscure voice samples. "Noise Is More Than Just Noise", that title of one of the featured tunes here couldn’t it describe any better, this stuff is also interesting enough for the Electro-/EBM-only supporters, since it balances well between the styles. Another quality and must-download item from the Alter-X promotion project!
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Artist: Ad-Ver-Sary (@)
Title: A Bright Cut Across Velvet Sky
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
"Bone Music" was yesterday but is still in the ears and minds of the audience, since the last years’ debut of Mr. Jairus Khan has been one of the surprises of the Tympanik release schedule. This new album is something like the remix twin of "Bone Music", since Mr. Khan could hire a lot of comrades and label colleagues to contribute with different interpretations on the AD-VER-SARY compositions. Acts like CYANOTIC, the highly recognized ESA, ISZOLOSCOPE, DISPARITION, MONOCULTURE, CANDL NINE, STENDECK, SYNKRO, PHYLR, AUTOCLAV 1.1, and SALT are the names to offer the requested diversity. You’ll get additionally some new tracks of Jairus, on which "Dresden" for instance is one of his straight-oriented tunes, which could animate the audience to some dancefloor movement. "Darker" is a frozen sound-collage focusing on ominous sounding synth-layers. Last but not least, you’ll get a track originally composed by his friends of CYANOTIC, "Deface", which got revamped (AD-VER-SARY + DIRTYBUNNY = Industrial Strength Mix). As usual, and that seems to be the trademark for AD-VER-SARY, this integrated diversity discovered especially in the original compositions are the outstanding part in the music of this act. Be it Industrial, Noise, IDM or Ambient – an AD-VER-SARY album includes all of this. This remix album is limited to 1000 pieces and comes out in handmade unique packaging.


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