Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Decadence Vol.1
Format: CD
Label: Koldfinger (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Limited to only 300 copies DECADANCE Vol.1 is a compilation of bands who performed at the Decadence nights. The CD isn't available at shops and you can find it only at the Decadance event or through the label. The album contains fifteen bands/tracks which include Spiritual Front, :Bahntier//, Chants Of Maldoror, Alien Vampires, Ballistic, Lia Fail, Violent Diva, Bohemien, Monolith, Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte, XP8, Blue Velvet, Noorglo, Blank and The Frozen Autumn. Most of the tracks are already available on the bands' releases and only five of them are new or remixed versions. As you can see the track list is varied and presents e.b.m., electro goth, industrial, rock folk and electro and you don't know the nowadays state of these genres you could have a sort of idea. On the interactive partition of the CD you can find a three minute video where you can have an idea of what you can find at the Decandence nights: people who let loose their inhibitions and abandon themselves to fetish extravaganza and perversion...

MILANESE : adapt

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3762)
Jun 29 2007
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Artist: MILANESE (@)
Title: adapt
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
What a name?!... and what a release!! For non-Italians readers: a "Milanese" is a an habitant of Milan, this Milanese instead comes from England and only hell knows where he’s found out this funny moniker. The cover may look naive but you can’t even imagine how it embodies vividly the essence of the music featured on the cd until you’ve heard it. "Adapt" is a rhythmical release where "negritudo" and "africanism" are pumped at their maximum level. Milanese pays an heavy tribute to jungle music but while many of the vocals and the most of the beat patterns can make you think to Busta Rhymes??? Plunged in more minimal and electronic salsa (and above all with a sober production), the general atmosphere is dark as fuck!. At last as you can see from the cover, the black girl wearing a Milanese tattoo on her shoulder is a vampire (I think it comes from an eighties’ movie but I can remember which... "Space Vampires?") and as I’ve already said it’s a quite explicit manifesto of the music. The ninety per cent of the beats and many of the bass lines are saturated or simply distorted and they keep marching strong and mechanical like the heartbeat of an android. In most of the tracs the rhythmical patterns constitute more than the mare skeleton and you can easily guess he did a really good work to make them sound this way. The "flesh covering the skeleton" is made out of simple and well arranged sounds, while the bass lines are often crossed by some vocals. Sometimes the ambience reminded me "Meat Beat Manifesto in dub" if it was not for the fact "adapt" is far from dub except for those fast rappin’ who’s origin lays in jamaican. Without any doubt this one is one of the best blend of jungle influences, black music and electronics I’ve heard so far and it’s one of those records that really deserves the term: "boombastic!". While coming from a different scene, it’s surprising how close this release is to some of the things done by latest Techno Animal, Ice and Scorn. For example think to Kevin Martin and how he went deep into the process of extremization of drum and bass with his project named The Bug. Yo nigga!! Wake up nigga!!... "How can you say to me yo my niga, cursin' up a storm with your finger on a trigger, feelin' all the girls like a big gold digger... " (Public Enemy).

SPLYNTR: Noise And Brotherhood

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3756)
Jun 26 2007
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Artist: SPLYNTR (@)
Title: Noise And Brotherhood
Format: CD
Label: Waar Media
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, we like to welcome the brothers Matthew and Peter Kwantes with their debut release to the internationally Electro/Industrial scene. Being active in musically different acts before, they’ve never produced music together, until they’ve decided to unite and to create SPLYNTR in the fall of 2K4. "Noise And Brotherhood" is a 9 track full-length album taking its musically influences out of the works of classic SKINNY PUPPY recordings, PLACEBO EFFECT, older INFORMÄTIK or ABSCESS – without being a clone. It is definitively not another addition to the Hellektro army, they rather share the classic form of compositions, textures and sounds pretty along the line of the mentioned artists. "The Tortured Beginning" opens this CD and like the track "A Thousand Fists" it is the one which follows the nearest the mentioned PUPPYan structures, while there’s diversity in the provided male vocals ranging from melodious singing along the line up to energetic screaming. Slightly integrated riffs of an acoustic guitar even strengthens the impression. Next track "I Swear" offers the most catchy content of all their tracks so far and is quite dedicated to bring some action on the dancefloors. Another favorite to point out are the companion tracks "Acid Rain" and "Acid Flowers". "Acid Rain" marks a kind of instrumental introduction featuring some well integrated piano sounds, until - without a real break – the rather danceable "Acid Flowers" invades the scenario. This CD ends with a fine sinister instrumental tune aptly entitled "The End" on which SPLYNTR once again can convince with nice synth layers, piano sounds and an in-depth programming. "Noise And Brotherhood" offers a lot of interesting aspects and is a must-have release for friends of the "PLH" organization ("Play-Less-Hellektro"). Although inspired out of different music styles, SPLYNTR offer from the first to the last track a matured and experienced work. For sure one of the best surprises of this year so far.

AGENT SIDE GRINDER: Agent Side Grinder

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 25 2007
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Artist: AGENT SIDE GRINDER
Title: Agent Side Grinder
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Heading from Sweden, Agent Side Grinder is a duo who perform their songs using only analog synths and a drum machine. Also on their gigs they don't use even backing tapes and the "special effects" are reproduced live using tape loops. The two tracks on this limited 7", "Me, me and me" and "Ricocheting Memories", are minimal electronic tracks in the tradition of bands like Suicide (this is the comparison which fits most) and Throbbing Gristle. The tracks don't have many melodic changes and their sound is characterized by a central theme with slight changes of the background sound effects where the overwhelming despair of the cold vocals create that sensation you have listening to the old Cabaret Voltaire records. I also listened to their other tracks on myspace and there, they sound a little more melodic. Check "Container baby traffic blues", I really appreciated that one.

R010R: Gradual Destabilization

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 18 2007
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Artist: R010R (@)
Title: Gradual Destabilization
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The first time I’ve discovered an audio result of this act was the fine compilation appearance of the R010R track "Brain Death", released on "Noise Terror Vol. 1" (NTP/Dependent) – to me already an outstanding piece of work, which kicked hefty into the asses of some so-called global scene-players like LEAETHER STRIP or SUICIDE COMMANDO. Packed in a DVD case, here comes the first solo onslaught of the NOISE PROCESS musician Michael Renfield, who lately has made a highly recommended comeback with his NP partner Tim Garelick and the release of the long anticipated "Groundzer0" album (www.dsbp.cx). An interview with Michael explaining the details behind the long hiatus of NOISE PROCESS and the finding of R010R should be up here on the site around the next days. Thanks to the unclear future of NOISE PROCESS, maybe also thanks to the separation of both band members being living in different US states (Michael has moved to New York, while Tim is still based in Arizona), this side-project has come to life. "Gradual Destabilization" therefore features all of Michael’s works through the years, it is self-released and offers 13 tracks with 74 minutes "of intense anti-genre Electro".

"Anti-genre"? Let’s say that Michael tries to point out that R010R isn’t trapped into a tight musically corset, which may counts more for NOISE PROCESS. He simply reflects with R010R his own audio preferences, which break here and there with some known boundaries. Therefore I tend to compare the musically output of R010R as a fine mixture of the works of NOISE PROCESS, DIE SEKTOR and new MENTALLO & THE FIXER. Not only regarding the opening track "Exist (Override)" I’m surprised by the offered speed on the first tracks and the provided complexity well-balanced in the arrangements and textures. The works of NOISE PROCESS can already be called high-energy and modern, but R010R definitively kicks more asses.

As a musician I would rate Michael’s at times unconventional efforts to integrate harsh and noisy textures as being inspirational – not to forget his fine sense to place the right and not-heard-before synth layer to offer a small catchy attitude ("Hypocrite"). Another striking exclamation mark he sets with the track "Soul Destruct" by providing distorted drum patterns, heavily manipulated textures and a strange disturbing vocal performance – a track which would be a pearl on every release out of the rhythmical Powernoise genre. "Brain Death" – for sure one of the most melodic tracks, while not at all offering a smooth mood - can’t be praised enough for its classic Dark Electro attitude. Be sure that this for sure best known track of R010R isn’t an exception – "Field Mechanik" or moreover "Peripheral" are standing in their starting-places to storm the international clubs immediately. With the track "Human Circumference", Michael likes to show his audience that he’s capable to offer a real Hellektro/Harsh EBM track featuring all the typical elements, which can cause envy to some artists out of the NoiTekk roster – a top-notch work musically and technically. Finally the above mentioned comparison to the latest MENTALLO & THE FIXER works finds its perfection with the track "Room With A View" – all I can see/hear is a massive wall of epic sound - hard, unconventional, disturbing, creeping, but also addictive – Gary Dassing would be proud to hold such item! Last, but not least, the final track "Crystal Cells" slows down the tempo and comes rather sedating thanks to a "Crucified Division"-like (:WUMPSCUT:) rhythm programming and melodic layers, while still offering a huge complexity.

So after this now more than 15 times consumed diverse and authentic sounding Electro/Industrial album, I come to the conclusion, that there are only two small riddles to solve:

1. What has Michael Renfield driven to use the pseudonym Michael McNulty?
2. And more important: why is this album self-released? Come on, it totally RAWKS and it is that awesome that it needs to be signed!!!

A top-notch album and a constant rival for the "album of the year" contest!



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