Music Reviews



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Artist: The Synthetic Dream Foundation (@)
Title: Mechanical Serpent
Format: CD
Label: Mythical Records (@)
Rated: *****
If there has been a name causing so much attention with a few remix contributions as well as with compilation appearances, then this fits with THE SYNTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION. Worldwide renowned compilation series like BLC’s "Interbreeding", Alfa Matrix’ "Endzeit Bunkertracks" or Dependent’s "Septic" have all seen tracks of this project or at least a remix work. Mastermind behind TSDF is Brett Branning, who started his musically activities in the year 2003. Based in Tampa, FL, he can look back on two previous releases, all brought out under the label Mythical Records. The music of TSDF can be called as colorful mutation out of diverse styles of Electronica music. You will discover slightly distorted drum patterns and dramatic synth arrangements resulting in a state-of-art Dark Electro sound. Additionally elements out of genres like Neo Classic, Ambient and IDM can be recognized too and got implemented to provide a tasteful worked-out sound environment. Brett seems to be familiar in diverse styles and has picked out the finest ingredients out of them. For the lead vocals on this new album he has hired four different female vocalists, which offer their talent somewhere between a smooth Heavenly Voices-like to a raw and energetic performance. Not a worse idea, since the mostly smooth female vocals are standing in the opposite of the layered synth-arrangements – not to forget the diverse and often slightly distorted rhythm section, which at least offers the biggest contrast. As to pick up a favorite, the German sung "Auf dem See (Serpentine Mix)" convinces, although I don’t think, that the female singer Summer Bowman has any knowledge about the German pronunciation. To sing after a phonetic transcription doesn’t result in the best possible performance. As for a harder tune, the last one "A Silvered Freeze" with raw vocals seemingly by Brett himself gets a "thumbs up", when it comes to satisfy the needs of the dancefloor-addicts. Also the layered and nearly FLA-reminding instrumental tune "On Whom The Dreadful Claw" offers a striking listen experience, the best consumed under a good pair of headphones. While I think, there’s no need to be a trained musician, Brett is able to prove, that a degree in music composition can be quite helpful – to reach massive better and worldwide ranging attention can be only a question of time and patience, since the talent behind TSDF is tremendous.

Mekanik Disorder: Cold & Strong

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (5667)
Apr 07 2010
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Artist: Mekanik Disorder
Title: Cold & Strong
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut / Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
A newcomer out of the Spanish Electro/Industrial underground scene newly signed to Spain’s Industrial label Numero Uno, Caustic Records. MEKANIK DISORDER is a new solo effort lead by César Cruz, who’s responsible for all music- and production-related things, though he gets some help by two additional band members, when it comes to perform on stage. Musically MEKANIK DISORDER represents the rather old school EBM-vibe, which gets lately more and more recognized, since people got fed up with the ongoing, repetitive Hellectro-virus. So we don’t get to hear another distorted, lousy Techno-/Trance-inspired bawling, but rather a hand-made sequencing and a solid kick and snare work. The info sheet throws in the obvious prominent names, on which I only agree with á;GRUHM..., and almost the DAF/NEP-fraction, as possible quells of inspiration. "Cold & Strong" is an aptly chosen album title, which perfectly describes the music style of this project in two headlining words. I adore the courage, not to copy too obviously the lately often recognized Anhalt-EBM troops, although the efforts of that minimal old-school EBM-lecture got heavily inhaled. MEKANIK DISORDER stands rather for the cold, and more Belgian-inspired form of EBM, bands like early INSEKT and "Critical Stage"-like SUICIDE COMMANDO need to be mentioned too, when it comes to find additional comparisons. A unique ingredient is surely the ability of César, to express his rather depressive lyrical content in four different languages, asides Spanish and English, you’ll get also Dutch and German lyrics performed. What needs to be criticized is the fact, that bands like the above mentioned Belgian veterans like INSEKT or especially à;GRUHM... have been capable to integrate a tougher, and a at times unintentional invading Punk-driven outfit to their recordings. Quite too seldom offer César’s tracks the ability, to kick in some lazy asses, while performing a wild pogo-action on the dancefloors. A bit more sweat and a bit more of a sensitive feeling, that when a bass-line sequence starts draw a nice hook, to let it go with a fitting and steady drum pattern programming, that’s maybe that sort of development to reach with newer recordings. But generally César earns an agreeing nod for his first album, which of course should find its listeners with the fans of the above mentioned projects.
Apr 07 2010
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Artist: PSYBORG CORP
Title: The Mechanical Renaissance
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Rated: *****
Is my personal opinion that industrial e.b.m., as well as all the genres that have any sort of stereotypes, is a difficult kind of music because you have to undress yourself from all the typical characterizations of the bands that previously played that genre to sound someway original. Psyborg Corp tricked the process by adding elements that are able to personalize their music so I have to admit that they succeeded into catching my attention. Presenting themselves like cyber-warriors, the Colombian trio is delivering twelve tracks that have catchy melodies, distorted bouncing sounds and filtered vocals. Danceability and distortion are the key elements that they use and that make of Psyborg Corp a nice combo to listen to but when they mix electro to industrial e.b.m. they show their true potential. Just check "Technocracy" or the following "My mechatronics" and you'll understand what I mean...

PORTION CONTROL: Violently Alive

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (5665)
Apr 07 2010
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Artist: PORTION CONTROL
Title: Violently Alive
Format: CD
Label: Sigmedia
Rated: *****
I left Portion Control in 2008 when I reviewed their latest album "Slug". In 2009 they found a label to release their albums, so on the same year they made a compilation of material recorded from 2004 onward, titled "Crop". Another year has passed and the duo formed by Dean Piavani and John Whybrew are ready to deliver VIOLENTLY ALIVE. The new album is a sort of surprise because most of the new thirteen tracks (plus the two bonus ones you can download from the band's website if you purchased the CD) see the Portion Control going back to the roots of their sound thanks to melodic e.b.m. tunes that are based on hard beats, pulsing bass lines and characteristic Piavani's vocals. Songs like the opening "Icons" or "Amnesia" will bring you back to the early eighties when they recorded "Chewed to bits" or "Rough justice" but with a new thicker compressed sound you can't ignore. If you loved the experimental electronic industrial tracks of their previous works, we have "Blood loss", "Stealth" and the closing "You hold me down". VIOLENTLY ALIVE is a sum of what Portion Control are and have been... I'm curious to see what's next!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: All My Monsters II
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Witchhammer Records
Rated: *****
Communities like MySpace grow in their meaning to be an ideal promotion tool for music projects and labels. And sometimes it gets me, to search for some goodies with the hope to find a real treasure. With the Siberian-based (!!!) label Witchhammer Records, I found a label offering free downloadable releases of their mostly local based bands. "Monsters My Monsters II" is the title of a compilation series, which collects all of them and offers a wide range of diverse music styles. The female artist INTROSLEEP offers retro-analogue Synth-Electronica with beautiful melodies, while ABSENT ONE convinces with detailed synth bass lines combined with deep-male vocals. There are of course also several Noise- and Experimental-minded acts available, from which have to pick out UNDUSK with their "Hypnotic Mutant Attacks". This ominous Experimental-Industrial related tune is may the most convincing track on here, by following pretty much the styles of some raw Tympanik Audio artists like ESA or PNEUMATIC DETACH. Also with its second track "Collapsing", this project offers deep drowning Ambient moods combined with abstract arranged percussion patterns. A real discovery to follow immediately! While I generally appreciate the efforts to collect multiple artists and to introduce them via the usage of the above named community, it cannot be hidden, that some artist do definitely some more practice. But however, what counts is the will and the chance to present local projects to a worldwide based audience. And who seriously expects Electronica music hailing out of Siberia? Let’s continue to keep an eye and ear on the activities of this label.

01. A Fake Mirror - One More Thing to Lose
02. Introsleep - Butterfly
03. Absent One - Stewardess
04. Belika - Сны
05. Edge Of Caress - Pictures
06. SEФIRET - ChangeOver
07. Tur Sphere - Perfect World
08. Undusk - Hypnotic Mutants Attack
09. Хаос-Модуль - Ритуал Воды
10. Edge Of Caress - Run Away
11. BLODEUWEDD - Дочь смерти
12. Tur Sphere - Machine Bang
13. Undusk - Collapsing
14. Apkx - Rest In Space
15. AVO - FaDeOut
16. A.Tchort - Cellular Nightmare
17. Absent One - Night
18. In Se - Остатки сна
19. SEФIRET - Glance of time


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