Music Reviews



Cryo: Mixed Emotions

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4068)
Dec 03 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Cryo (@)
Title: Mixed Emotions
Format: CD EP
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
It’s the first time that the Swedish label Progress Productions takes a little risk and decides to release an EP, instead of a full-length album. After the victory in the contest "newcomer of the year" at the Swedish SAMA event in April and regarding the fact that CRYO a.k.a. Martin Rudefelt could gain a lot of international attention with his debut album "Cryogenic", this EP seems to be a consequential continuation. As usual for an EP, this "Mixed Emotions" are presenting the rather danceable side of Martin’s music, which still installs a cold and static mood on veteran-like EBM arrangements. "My Wall" and "Inhale/Exhale" are both the main tracks for this EP. Besides the original version of "My Wall", Martin has created a special Club Edit of this track to open this EP. This version of course turns sooner into the straight rhythmically part and offers more rotating bass line sequencing-work – I nevertheless still prefer the original because of its darker mood. Always a conspicuous point is the diverse usage of vocal manipulation effects on Martin’s voice, "My Wall" presents both, natural sounding to monstrous growling. "Inhale/Exhale" is a bit slower constructed in its original version and receives here two remix works provided by TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE (we recently presented an interview with this act...) and the newcomer duo of TRAKKTOR, one of the upcoming talents Sweden has to offer. While the TRAKKTOR-remix offers different pads and a straight-forward, nearly comparable to up-to-date productions dancefloor compatibility, the TPS-remix comes out with supporting guitar riffs and a generally American-like Coldwave attitude. At least, and to me still the most accessible track is "Freedom" with its nice vocoderized vocals and right speed to storm the dancefloors – this track got already previously presented on the last label compilation "Born/Evolve/Progress 2" earlier this year. Another so-called "b-side" is featured with "Go To War", where Martin picks up some related voice samples, plus he added a cover version of "Body To Body" (FRONT 242) to accomplish this EP. I guess this cover does work well on live performances, but finally I still think the original is unreachable. A good, in parts very good EP which features both, Martins rather cold and static sound-design and the required dancefloor compatibility. It’s cold in the Cryodome, but hot enough to move your body!

ISIS SIGNUM: Communication

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (4067)
Dec 03 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: ISIS SIGNUM (@)
Title: Communication
Format: CD EP
Label: Advanced Synergy (@)
Distributor: A Different Drum
Rated: *****
Second pre-release for ISIS SIGNUM a.k.a. DJ Helder before the upcoming full-length album "Electrosensual". "Communication" is another danceable club-oriented track taken out of this album and it features Kindel, maybe better known with her music project, the female-driven US-based act LIQUEFACTION (has released 2 full-length albums on DSBP). As usual, Helder takes care on all production terms including the lyrics, his chosen guest vocalists only offer their voice. For this EP he has again invited some talented acts to provide different reinterpretations of his original version. Best known act can be named with the French act PEOPLE THEATRE, lately often active with some conspicuous remix works mainly based into the Synth-/Futurepop genre, providing a straight, rather near to EBM-related remix work. KOPLIK is a name I haven’t discovered so far, they’re hailing out of Puerto Rico and offer the opening remix for "Communication". Best remix work got provided by the UK-based act FAKE FUR transforming the "Communication" original into a rather 80ies-inspired Synthpop-work. Their remix also features a tasteful FX manipulation on Kindel’s vocals and includes it better than any other version here into the mix. Another UK-based act is featured with HIDDEN, who like to push a bit the speed of the original by turning it to the best danceable Futurepop-oriented track here. With "Superficial" Helder has included an exclusive b-side, plus you’ll get a remix of TECNOMAN SF on the track "Liberty", which features vocals by Jennifer Parkin (AYRIA). And as usual (seems to become a trademark...), Helder has produced a video clip on "Communication", which is attached to the end of this EP. Good stuff mostly provided by names out of the scene, which still have to wait for some international response.

Nordschlacht: Silence, Beauty and Cruelty

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4066)
Dec 03 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Nordschlacht (@)
Title: Silence, Beauty and Cruelty
Format: CD
Label: Klangdynamik Records (@)
Distributor: Mono-Culture
Rated: *****
This is the debut release of one of Germany’s most sought-after Dark Electro/Industrial-acts, which has finally found a decent label home with the Bavarian-based Klangdynamik Records. Consisting of Arnte and Schmoun, this female/male-leaded duo presents a sort of Dark Electro music in a classic manner. Heavily inspired by the works of acts like MENTALLO & THE FIXER, older X MARKS THE PEDWALK, PUPPY or PLACEBO EFFECT, the dark-minded sound of the early 90ies generally, can be found and discovered in the music of NORDSCHLACHT. For some of their tracks you’ll have to add a rather sedating IN THE NURSERY-like cold mood ("Strokes", "The Sear And Yellow Leaf") to get a nearly complete idea for a comparison. While the band name hasn’t any further or historically explainable meaning, NORDSCHLACHT offer an outstanding debut from the very first instrumental track "Fortune Of Humanity" to the last tune, "Forrester (FAZE remix)". Their well-thought arrangements and synth-textures can be called epic, they always fill in thick, melodious, but also cold-minded synth layers. Dancefloor-compatible and beat-oriented tracks are in a minority ("Adrenaline Overdose", "Forrester (FAZE remix)") here, this music is rather constructed to get consumed on your home entertainment or a good pair of headphones. Mostly Arnte takes care to provide the main vocals, which are sort of distorted whispers mostly subtle integrated in the mix. Schmoun gets her inserts too, offering a clear, almost romantic sounding performance ("Causality Paradox", "Don’t Let It Go" – what a catchy track!). Besides the known formula of reflecting social-problems and failures of mankind, some rather scientific content like cybernetics ("Forrester") or mathematically problems ("String Theory (Album Mix)") can be discovered in their lyrics as well – quite unusual and unexpected. The whole album comes out quite tastefully arranged and aggressive moments are really reduced. I guess seldom before a debut release could impress that much with such a coherent and majestic outfit like this one. Take the recent OBJECT-recordings or FIX8:SED8 and fill NORDSCHLACHT in this fine line – Germany’s multi-layered and complex arranged Dark Electro-league marches forward and grips to the stars.

[:SITD:]: Bestie:Mensch

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (4060)
Dec 01 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Bestie:Mensch
Format: CD
Label: Accesssion-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
New full-length for this well-known and internationally renowned German Electro/Industrial trio. Since they’ve done some remix contributions for some Chart-breaking acts like OOMPH! or ONETWO, it seems to be only a question of time, until [:SITD:] themselves can look on Chart positions. Enough capable stuff is featured for this on this new album, while the harder-minded EBM/Electro-listeners will even find a fair amount of some straighter oriented stuff ("Stammheim", "Kreuzgang V.2", "Propaganda"). Musically not too much news can be reported from this new album, it seems that the earlier years of experiments and the finding of the right sound direction have a bit gone towards to routine. Nothing wrong on this, since the studio work and the arrangements of [:SITD:] can be named as being one of the best and tastefully produced around. What is definitely new is the fact, that also Tom now picks up the microphone for one or another track to offer his vocals. And mostly the result is satisfying, Tom’s voice sounds a bit smoother compared to Carsten and it works the best on the rather slow, nearly Synth-/Electropop-like tunes ("Reincarnation", "Displaced" or the engaged dual performance with Carsten on "Herbsterwachen"). I guess it can be realized that [:SITD:] do concentrate the most to polish a bit their outfit, maybe with the side-effect, that their music sounds lesser aggressive than before. But it’s still an experience to discover the sinister sounding works with its epic and multi-layered arrangements, "Telepathic" has to be named, for sure one of the favorites out of this album. Lyrics got as usually provided in both languages, German and English, and like the title of the album announces it a bit, [:SITD:] deal with a lot of things related to the human kind and behavior. "Herbsterwachen" can be interpreted to be a reflection of the happenings in the ex-eastern part of Germany during the fall of the GDR-regime, but it can be also seen as a statement against the ongoing inertia of the people for taking all politically decisions without protest. Engaged lyrically content, music and production without failure, [:SITD:] are offering once again an album which defines standards. Their successful way will continue, no doubt.

cover
Artist: MANMACHINE (@)
Title: The Military Death
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Although album and band name are sounding pretty much dedicated to the EBM/Electro-scene, the solo project of the German musician A. Schwarz hasn’t too much to do with this style. MANMACHINE stands for a rather harsh and noisy outfit, variable styles between Powernoise, Experimental and Cold Meat-like Electronica can be discovered. As I could see on some photos, A. Schwarz doesn’t seem the be the youngest horse in the SkullLine-stable and has followed the creation of Synth-driven music since the early beginnings. So he has very late decided to record and to release his very own Experimental Electronic-recordings. It shouldn’t therefore wonder, that most of the provided instruments seem to have a veteran and analogue-based background. MANMACHINE’s tracks are pending at times drastically between the styles, even if you think a song would follow a foreseeable line, the complete track fades over to just another quite different mood. Mostly the music is instrumental arranged, even some sparse and pitched down vocals here and there got integrated. "I Have A Dream", aptly named after the legendary words of M. L. King which got sampled here, comes out like a screaming monster with several live improvised noise elements. Even more static and dark comes "Im Fleische Des Krieges", while "Menschfabrik" creates fat sound layers completed with some subtle distorted rhythm patterns. MANMACHINE’s debut surly isn’t the hi-end solution of Electronica arrangements, but a quite fair and experimental-minded kind of work. Strictly limited to 100 exemplars and again provided in a special package, as usual for the most releases of the SkullLine-label.



Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha