Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Capture & Tension

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 07 2008
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Capture & Tension
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Do you remember the Off Beat "O-Files", a release series of 4 EP’s offered by 4 different acts completed to a full-length album? Well, this new Rupal Records release picks up this idea and offers free space to their most prolific acts during the past months, DAVANTAGE, WYNARDTAGE, ANIMASSACRE and ACYLUM. These bands of course are taking advantage out of this offer and can provide some nice and additional content to their last not-that-old releases. Every band also has received enough space in the booklet to offer an own cover art, which documents another similarity to the mentioned Off Beat pendant.
DAVANTAGE are opening this MCD-marathon and they are also responsible for the main title "Capture & Tension". This one is a rather emotional Futurepop-tune, but with matured synth arrangements highly above the average. "Translate My Heart" comes out even straighter and more club-compatible, while the additional remix works by RUPALHEADS ("Capture & Tension") and DISMANTLED ("Is Mars Waiting?") can’t rival with the quality of the originals, especially the latter one comes out quite uninspired.
Comes then WYNARDTAGE alias Kai Arnold with the logically and often announced continuation of his train of success. "Peace Of Mind" is in all the second track he has produced with the female guest vocalist, Carola Müller, of the German Dark-Electro/Wave-act PROSPECTIVE. The first track he did compose with her was "When We Are Gone", originally released on his smasher-album "Praise The Fallen". The difference of Carola to so many other females in the dark and hard Electro/Industrial scene belongs on the fact, that she CAN REALLY sing. What a revelation compared to some singing chicks, which preferable take care on their look and style. The instrumentals of "Peace Of Mind" are following the known WYNARDTAGE-path without offering anything new or surprising, but they are also a bit shadowed by the glaring quality of Carola’s voice. An additional remix done by the Estonian act SUICIDAL ROMANCE is featured, but it can’t cause any attention. The mentioned "When We Are Gone" got featured here as well in remix by PAINBASTARD – and again, nothing beats the well-done original. Plus there’s to mention the special bonus track which is "Midnight Crucifixion", which an original composition by the Holland-based artist ROBRT DOPE. He has teamed up with Kai Arnold, so this composition got re-arranged featuring the typically WYNARDTAGE sounds and ROBERT’s distorted vocals.
After the elegant DAVANTAGE and the still dark and emotional WYNARDTAGE, the scenario turns more and more into aggression, because the Bulgarian vertical-starters ANIMASSACRE like to say "hello" with a new Hardcore-Techno/EBM tune named "Mecha Tremors". Still heavily inspired by several Japanese Cyberpunk comic-art (and so is their cover art...), they give an additional rather driving Dark Electro track entitled "The Great Collapse", plus the "I-still-need-to-discover-them" Ukrainian act GINGER SNAP5 offers a Hellectro-related remix on "Apathy" in a quality, which would give proud to some or another NoiTekk-recording artists.
Comes finally ACYLUM a.k.a. Pedro Engel and his bombastic Harsh EBM/Powernoise sound outfit. His multiple-layered and ominous sounding ambience still rawks my socks and even if he plays with some drastically samples and an overall menacing Powernoise-like rhythm construction, it means purest enjoyment to sink into this wall of sound. "Alone", available in 2 different versions, is the main track here and kind of a remake compared to the version on the last ACYLUM album "Mental Disorder". Complimented again with the drastically lyrics and vocals of the WYNARDTAGE-mastermind Kai Arnold, this one is and will be one of the more assessable tunes from Pedro, especially with the great string orchestra inserts for the second "Dead End"-version. 2 additional tracks to satisfy the longing fans, "Breaking The Chains" and a co-production with Robert Kulawik of SONIC VIOLENCE EXPERIENCE ("Beton Kopf", no :WUMPSCUT: available here...) got featured here. Last but not least, and still worth to mention is a special bonus track "E-Prisoners" provided by RUPALHEADS meets ACYLUM.
Of course, this "4-EP’s-pressed-on-1-full-length-CD" edition clocks with nearly 79 minutes and fulfills any demand of the fans. A highly recommended release, but also a kind of thorn for the responsible people behind Rupal Records. How can a possible second edition match with this one, if the best horses in the stable got already used here? Well, the future will tell us...

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Artist: Worms Of The Earth
Title: The Angels Of Prostitution
Format: CD
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Good work finally pays of and it warms my heart, that there’s somebody out there, who gets rewarded with a deal to record a first debut album and to release it via the Canadian Experimental/Noise-label Bugs Crawling Out Of People. WORMS OF THE EARTH alias Dan Barrett works in multiple fields of the Electro/Industrial/Noise genres, be it with the issuing of an online magazine with the same name, or be it with the compiling of some download-able compilations, which can provide here and there some better known names. If somebody out there deserves a bit more attention and exposure, then Dan is the one for all of his efforts for and around the scene. This official debut album of WOTE offers a diverse mixture of styles, mostly and started with rhythmically Powernoise ("The Whore", "Famine Wears The Mask Of Prosperity"), but you’ll get also some calmer, more Electro-minded works too ("Dew Falling Over The Garden"). Generally the music of WOTE isn’t at all the new invention of the bulb, but this album comes out quite respectable. Several collaborations are presented on this album, too. We have at first a new word-core assault by the omnipresent Rock n’ Roll Supergod IT-CLINGS, king of the Jews, with the typical title "Big Fucking Titties Or A Fuckable Mouth (Of The Succubus)". Some remix contributions mostly done on the track "Whore" turning some parts of this album near to the Harsh EBM/Hellectro genre, no wonder, if names like the new NoiTekk-act DYM, DEAD MANS HILL, EMBODI, VICIOUS ALLIANCE or TO MEGA THERION have laid their filthy hands on the WOTE originals. An interesting and generally convincing debut for sure, while WOTE can’t bring up anything new to the genre. Please note that the first 50 copies of this album will be accomplished with a special bonus CD, which features 4 additional tracks, plus 5 remix contributions. Try to get it!

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Artist: Flint Glass (@)
Title: Circumsounds
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
French act FLINT GLASS releases a remix collection, which quite follows the idea of the past DISHARMONY album, both now out at Tympanik Audio. Also Gwenn Tremorin’s solo project has done through the years several remix works for foreign bands, from which a few remixes got released, while a few others have been collected dust buried in some archives. Therefore this is a highly recommended initiative to collect all of those remix works for a new FLINT GLASS album. And similar with DISHARMONY – there can’t be doubts on the music quality, since all music and re-programmings got done by FLINT GLASS. As expected, Gwenn offers his full-scale high quality Electronica music, which often integrates elements out of Dark Electro, Ambient, Industrial and Powernoise genres. Always complimented with the needed doze of intelligence behind the tasteful arrangements, FLINT GLASS offers a 72 minutes + assault filled with mystic soundscapes in a very unique outfit. You’ll get new interpretations of tracks of among others POLYGON, PROSPERO, H.I.V.+, OTX, the already mentioned DISHARMONY, EMPUSAE or SUICIDE INSIDE. It is hard to pick out a special favorite, since this would follow some personal preferences, but the remix on THERMIDOR’s "Plenum Aquae" with its layered synth ambience is sort of an outstanding work. "Circumsounds" is nothing else than a pure audio enjoyment, which allows the listener to sink into the deepest sound layers. A high recommendation to purchase it, while European-based listeners will be able to pick up this album via Gwenn’s own label Brume Records, which takes care on the availability. A must-have item!

ADOLF FILTER: The Other Hand On The Knob

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 06 2008
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Artist: ADOLF FILTER
Title: The Other Hand On The Knob
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Adolf Filter is a duo coming from Sweden. Active since late 80's in several bands Daniel Persson and Conny Klenze are playing under this moniker since 2004. They released a CD-r titled "Status Report" back in 2007 as well as different songs on various compilations ("Festival der Genialen Dissidenten" was one of them). THE OTHER HAND ON THE KNOB E.P. is their first official release for a label and it contains four tracks in balance from dark wave and early e.b.m. (see "Kung i drift"). Keeping a minimal approach to sound the duo tend to create a looping kind of sound where synth pads duet with retro drum machine sounds and samples (like on the instrumental "Landing") where detached vocals help into the creation of a cold hypnotic atmosphere. Check some samples here http://www.enfant-terrible.nl/pe004.htm and mind... this is a 300 copies limited release!

INFORMÄTIK: Beyond

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 05 2008
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Artist: INFORMÄTIK (@)
Title: Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
It has been announced almost a year before from the BATTERY CAGE mastermind and INFORMÄTIK musician Tyler Newman in an online forum, that Da5id Din would "forget" for a few tunes his studio and producing work for foreign bands to compose a new INFORMÄTIK album. Said and done, the new album "Beyond" hits the shelves and got released of course via Metropolis Records. "Beyond" globally picks up the musically identity of this project discovered in parts for the first time with the 2002-album "Nymphomatik", followed by the 2004-remix-collection "Re:vision", but in a new manner. INFORMÄTIK have made a big step away from the Dark Electro/Industrial of their early days, the current dedication is more based on a Electro-/Futurepop-oriented base, which definitely allows to break with some boundaries to an Alternative/Pop music kind. This has surely something to do with the grown meaning of Tyler Newman to this project, mostly all of the 10 new tracks got "strengthened" with some guitar riffs. Still more based into the background compared to the latest BATERY CAGE-recordings, all Electro-purists and older fans can be assured that INFORMÄTIK won’t mutate to a calm BATERY CAGE-rip-off, since also Da5id’s influence and his compositional abilities are alive for this release. Also Da5id’s vocal performance comes out for the most part clear and sounds naturally, no comparison to highly manipulated kind presented of the earlier INFORMÄTIK-albums "Direct Memory Access" or "Syntax". "Beyond" is the release of two experienced musicians, which awakes the rich content of the Boston-based Electro/Industrial scene (now based in SF, but both are hailing originally from there...), which had its heydays 12 years before. The perfect and crystal-clear studio production (...as expected from someone like Da5id Din...), the tasteful arranged songs and the clever and intelligent lyrical content touches hearts and minds. But if it also touches the legs of the club-goers has to be proven – this album offers a lot of tracks between slow and mid-tempo, but not at all a track like the Techno-inspired classic "Watching You, Watching Me" or something related. Since Tyler has mentioned somewhere else the problems of BATTERY CAGE to accepted as being a club-oriented act even if they’d decided to produce obvious club-food, I doubt a bit that this will change with INFORMÄTIK – at least only for this album.


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