Music Reviews

Zero Degree: The Inner Realm

 Posted by eskaton   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4969)
Mar 03 2009
Artist: Zero Degree
Title: The Inner Realm
Format: CD
Label: audiophob (@)
Rated: *****
As usual, I had not heard of this band, but the label’s bio states that this is a side project of nihil, who also records under the name Painslut. According to the press release that came with the disc, "The Inner Realm’ offers tight electronic sounds between dark ambient worlds and noisy technoid rhythms." OK, guilty as charged. The usual comparisons (Squaremeter, etc.) apply. This is a good mixture of atmosphere and driving beats, but unlike some similar bands (Sonar, Imminent Starvation) the beats do not become overpowering. Luminary is one of the standout tracks for me, with an interesting beat and a lot of atmosphere that gives the track depth. Overall, this is a pleasant listen but isn’t terribly demanding of the listener – think of it as easy listening for the Ant-Zen set. If you want a starting point for someone who has never considered this kind of music, this is a good place to start. This disc weighs in at 70 minutes.

VV.AA: What's Next 2

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 01 2009
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: What's Next 2
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Eevo Next (@)
Rated: *****

After some E.P.s from the past/back catalog of the label and after some brand new band, Eevo Next decided it was time to do a little sum of the sounds proposed. Spanning from minimal techno to particular ambient electronic, WHAT'S NEXT 2 E.P. is bringing four digital/download only tracks/bands. Estroe, The Moderator, Terrace and Avigail are the projexts involved. Estroe's "Anybody" is a nice minimal techno tune where rhythms/sounds alternation create a varied pumping scenario which little by little become a little ambient thanks to synth pads and tiny melodies. Avigail's "Slipping" is the most particular track of the lot (I reviewed her E.P. months ago) and under a core of dub bass lines there's a little soundtrack full of strings, melody and passion with some i.d.m. rhythmical solutions here and there: it's like a particular mix of Cocteau Twins and ambient electronic. With Terrace, Stefan Robbers (the man behind REC, Con Man, Florence and Sierra Romeo), bring us "Lidl chronicle", a track suspended between techno, ambient and electro. The Moderator with "Bump!" closes the short compilation with a techno tune that mixes anxious melodic lines, ambient pads and bumping bass lines. Nice compilation but I'd have preferred a couple of track for each one, just to get the right mood from each artist.

Panic Lift: Witness to Our Collapse

 Posted by Michael Grillo   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4945)
Feb 18 2009
Artist: Panic Lift
Title: Witness to Our Collapse
Format: CD
Label: Hive Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Panic Lift’s sophomore release "Witness to Our Collapse" is almost the monumental collection of songs that its accompanying press kit claims. The high points of the album are many, as all of the songs are very well crafted, textured, and melodic, which has increasingly become a rarity in the EBM genre. In fact, Panic Lift’s strength lies in its ability to thoughtfully texture arpeggiated synth lines, melodic piano accompaniments, and orchestral ambience. That being said, all of these positive qualities are undermined by their use of vocal distortion which reduces the lyrics to unintelligible noise. What is even more annoying is that the distorted vocals overpower most of the mixes so that it dominates the songs. As a result, Panic Lift takes what could have been a great album and reduces it to triteness.

VV.AA.: Some Tunes II

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (4941)
Feb 17 2009
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Some Tunes II
Format: CD
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
Almost three years after the first Basserk CD compilation, we are ready to dig another one. Presenting bands coming from the label's roster as well as other new acts, SOME TUNES II brings to the attention of electronic dance/electro/punk music lovers sixteen new exciting tracks. Mixing the rough bass distortions of grime, the atmospheres of dub and the rhythms of dance we have the opening "Steeve anthem" by Lazy Late Kidz, "Wuble" by Gtronic, "Purple Cactus" by Nobody Beats the Drum, "Skampa" by Fantastadon and "Don't front" by $jammie The Money. Punk electro with a bit of funk is represented by Capachoca's "Follow me" (they recalled me LCD Sound System). The remaining artists are proud members of the electro club: we can find under this genre many currents that goes from the funk electro of The Moi Non Plus remixed by 3-1, the extravagant electro mixed with break beat of Nobody Beats The Drum, the pure electro dancey mysterious "Predator re-edit" by Quick & Brite, the punky distortions of Three Cheers for Dirty feat. Blondin, the dance samples of Transformer di Roboter remixed by Zingone (if you like Daft Punk check this out), the retro electro sounds of Plemo and Rampue, the beautiful "Caramel" by MilkMoneyMaffia (already released on their download only EP I reviewed months ago), the minimal funk lo-fi electro pop of Monkey Maer, the horror punk electro of Vince the Prince's "Durty" and the closing "Lowmowerman" by Bronstibock. Groovy!

MASSIV IN MENSCH: Meanwhile back in jungle

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4937)
Feb 15 2009
Title: Meanwhile back in jungle
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
I gotta say thank you to MASTERPICE distribution to bring to me this f....... masterpiece of EBM, there are enough star to rate this piece of PURE BASTARD EBM, ready to define a new meaning for the word "perfection". Only Angels vs. Animals by Front 242 given to me the same vibes and energy. MIM creates a wall of pure EMB sounds and they are ready to bring down the gods of heaven and hell to dance this. MIM has the culture, the energy and the force to blast EMB in this final millennium obviously destroying every PA system around EU. It's hard to point at one track: all of them are 5 star. The Term DARK RAVE is the only one possible to define the area of this incredible band that combined punk, techno, rave and even EU dance, not to mention Rammstein-like pressure! Daniel Logemann (vocals, programming, lyrics) and Mirco Osterthun co-programming, backing vocals) are following their path among chaos in the dudest way possible, his work fits perfectly the needs of the EBM new era.

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