Music Reviews

Mar 22 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: International Deejay Gigolos CD Ten
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Gigolo Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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A compilation of the International Deejay Gigolos series is always something particular and also this time, the tenth, Dj Hell decided to surprise us with 11 tracks of label’s newcomers, four tracks for the first time on CD and several new tracks of Gigolo bands already on the roster (see the beautiful new Mount Sims’ track "Nailed to the wall", for example). 26 tracks for an amount of 156 minutes (18 of them are unreleased!) of electronic throbbing club tracks which span from minimal house, passing through electro and techno. The first CD opens with a new Gigolo act coming from Berlin, Woody. His long "August (appetizer version)" is a pumping instrumental track, a little minimal its melodic lines, but it’s an appetizer. Kikumoto Allstars, Sebastien Sen and Outlander remixed by Kevin Gorman keep the heat high proposing tracks based on rhythm and distortion just to prepare the field to the new smashing Mount Sims song. "Nailed to the wall" is an amazing electro track which will please the fans of his previous album. Herman Schwartz proposes a variation of the Blade runner theme on his "Replicant’s suffering". Lady B changes the ambience with a particular atmospheric techo electro track based on vocal samples. Evol, presents a track with an opening driven by a distorted guitar just to turn into an instrumental electronic tune. Paul Chambers is on with a techno tune while Foremost Poets present a smooth electro funky track. Voltique are a DJ duo and are in with "Supersmile". The CD closes with the cool electro ambient extravaganza of Felizol (music project of Greek film director Yiannis Veslemes) and with Moonbeam Presents Pak&Vak that with their "Vision (Main mix)" bring to the attention of Gigolo lovers a track which starts like a minimal tune just to turn into an electro hypnotic one. The second CD opens with Kevin Gorman and his sampled experimentations (it sounds like Pacman on acid) and follows with an electro version of "Jack your body" thanks to Jamie Anderson & Jesse Rose. Minimal distortion is the way chosen by Inge Neuss and following, for those who missed the 12", you can find Dibaba with "Happy birthday Mr. President". After that one a couple of released tracks thanks to Huntemann ("37°" is coming from his latest album on Gigolo) and to Sebastien San. Igors Vorobjovs comes from Lithuania and his "Intelegencija" is a good mysterious electronic instrumental track. Dj Hell is following with his remix of Human Resource’s "Dominator" and ninth come The Presets with their smash hit "Are you the one?". Rebecca Von Kalinowsky is another newcomer and her "Dance" is an hypnotic track based uniquely on a looped bass line, drums and her treated voice. Arbotique heads from Belgium and his "Chin eater" is a techno hammer. Close the compilation The Model with "You are always on my mind" and The Activator with "Hate lazer city". There’s enough for everybody and if you are curious to discover the next sound of the label this is the starting point!


 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3477)
Mar 21 2007
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Title: The Room
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
This Swedish Dark Electro duo returns with its second CD release, again signed to the uprising Progress Productions label. Oscar Holter and Henrik Bäckström are keeping faithful their already known sound, they offer once again Dark Electro/EBM/Industrial music heavily influenced of the traditional Vancouver-school, i. e. SKINNY PUPPY to their "Too Dark Park" heydays with a small relation to FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. Well, a lot of acts have been tried through the years to copy more or less the PUPPYan sound attitude – but I’ve never heard such a perfect kind like the efforts of this duo. It’s more than the same arrangements and sounds – they can really integrate the right mood, the broken song structures, some background guitar riffs - also the vocal performance could be seriously done by Ogre himself. Therefore this release is a kind of a long missed friend – I don’t like to argue against PUPPY’s drastically change of style, but to me their best times were the pre-"The Process" days. I’ve lost a lot of interest in them after "The Last Rights", like it or not. Tracks like "Dogma", "Anubis" or "The Box" are definitively the closest to the PUPPYan kind, while "Kite" with it whirling bass lines rather reminds on FLA – anyway, this duo has its patterns and I like to respect and support this. Finally it’s much appreciated if authentic Dark Electro won’t get thrown into the same musically drawer like Hellektro/Harsh EBM – although I see already some tacky arguments about "not offering an own musically identity" in some forums. At least it needs hefty to criticize that this 1 CD standard release of "The Room" is with only 38 minutes playing time unacceptable short – the addition of maybe two more tracks would help out of this misery. Of course – like with every Progress Productions release – there’s available a limited 2CD edition, so you’ll have to act ASAP until it’s sold-out.

MORGUE: The Dark Files

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 21 2007
Artist: MORGUE (@)
Title: The Dark Files
Format: CD
Label: New Will Productions
Rated: *****
A rendezvous with the past – with some personal issues for me.

The Brazilian Electro/Industrial act MORGUE, also known with the ridiculous addition MECHANISM (for the European listeners), have decided to bring out a collection featuring several unreleased goodies, remix works and a huge amount of impressive live recordings of their uncountable performances in Brazil.

For all of you who haven’t ever heard of them, MORGUE have started their musically activities now almost 15 years before as a duo, consisting of vocalist Rene R. S. Menezes and Gil O. Santos. Those were the days when CD contracts were hard to get, and where demo tapes were the only way for young and unknown acts to gain some international attention. MORGUE therefore can be called as some true innovators of the scene in Brazil, maybe asides the same-time starting AGHAST VIEW. They’ve recorded two studio demo tapes, "Breaking All The Bones", which was a kind of a first testing and to collecting some experiences. The second demo was the legendary "Scatology" tape, which caught some attention and it has been sold quite well. At least this demo made it possible for them to sign a contract with the Brazilian label Cri Du Chat for the release of a first CD called "The Mind Is A Labyrinth". This CD has featured nothing else than the recordings of the "Scatology" demo tape – this fact finally gives you a hint what kind of good quality this demo tape was.

"The Mind Is A Labyrinth" got also licensed to Europe to the German-based Subway Records. MORGUE were able to break out of their home country and could gain some international attention, some one-man gigs in Bratislava/Slovakia and Bremen/Germany (unforgettable!!!) happened as well, also stories, interviews and reviews in cult magazines like Crewzine, Vertigo and Side-Line could prove their acceptance. With the addition of Marcelo Manieri as a third musician they’ve started to work on a follow-up release. Since the situation with Subway Records was quite unacceptable, the band started to hunt for a new European label. A deal with Celtic Circle Productions at least came never to life "thanks" to the irresolution of this label – finally, as the history teaches us well, it was the best which could happen to them. Several months in unsafe conditions happened and at least they took again the option to release their second full-length CD "Sweet Apology Of Death" through Cri Du Chat.

This new album was a milestone away from the known stuff – MORGUE became more rough and could present the amazed audience much more musically maturity. Also real guitar riffs provided by the new band member Marcelo got easily integrated into the sound. Now the wonder happened: "Sweet Apology Of Death" got licensed to the German Off Beat label with a new artwork (I definitively prefer the old and original one...) and the band name addition into MORGUE MECHANISM. Suddenly MORGUE were signed to the same label like some "big players" like FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, the upcoming VELVET ACID CHRIST or MENTALLO & THE FIXER.

The sudden end of all business actions of Off Beat then also brought a long period of silence to MORGUE. Bad things happened as well, the third band member Marcelo died suddenly in 2K4 (R.I.P.) and MORGUE were in hiatus. Musically preferences have changed as well and both remaining band members have found different relations and got thrown away from their home.

Recently Gil O. Santos has reanimated this project and his very own label New Will Productions to release this collective effort, which I now can hold proudly in my hands. "The Dark Files" features 18 tracks, starting with two tracks originally featured as exclusive recordings for some magazine CD compilations, "Nature’s Freak (Fallen Angel Remix)" for the legendary US-based Culture Shock magazine, and "Light Of Suicide", available on the German Vertigo magazine compilation 1/96. Their cover version on NEW ORDER’s "Thieves Like Us" is also present as well as the studio version of the only on a Side-Line compilation tape released track "Antidogma". Several surprising well recorded live tracks featuring their biggest smashers like "Forever", "Coma" or "Promising Future" of their uncountable performances around the Sao Paulo area will give you a hint, how powerful their gigs were – I still hold all their "live action" demo tapes in my collection. Some remix works done by APOLLO IX, some recordings from their first demo "Breaking All The Bones" are featured as well and will give you a completely stylistically overview of all phases of the band. Of course, you shouldn’t expect a high-end sound quality – this release rather has a historically meaning. Let’s hope the best, that the dark and evil side in Gil O. Santos is alive and present – a continuation of MORGUE is required!

CYANIDE REGIME: Visions Of Order

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3475)
Mar 20 2007
Title: Visions Of Order
Format: CD
Label: Gorestone
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
After having thankfully received a pre-demo of this Florida-based male/female-leaded duo, CYANIDE REGIME now can present earlier than expected their first official full-length release on the new label Gorestone. This new label seems to be rather a kind of community which shares mutual efforts, CYANHIDE REGIME are just one part. Other also Florida-based acts will follow soon with STAINED GLASS INCUBUS and RC DRONE. These acts share the opinion that the times of starting a mutual label in times of the still growing use of digital downloads and recognition of internet portals like Myspace can’t be any better – let’s hope they’re right with this. What we’ve noticed since a while, has become reality – after RETRACTOR there’s a constant growing movement of Harsh EBM/Industrial acts hailing out of this part of the United States, other names to come up soon asides both above mentioned have to be named with DOT EXECUTE or FORCE.IS.MACHINE. Back to CYANHIDE REGIME and their 12-track full-length CD – the first 6 tracks are known to me, including the powerful track "Die Bitch", which was – intentionally or not – the hidden 6th track of the demo. The smasher is definitively the harsh pounding "Vanquisher" with some nice stereo effects on the pulsating bass lines and a remarkable dark-melodic content. Conspicuous is still their kind to concentrate on catchy synth textures nice to listen on tracks like "Prevail" or "Imperio" – it is really played instead of using known Trance-/Techno-inspired arpeggio programmings – an appreciated attitude which pushes them above the average. The alien-like vocal performance of front man Fernando Silva comes genre-typical heavily distorted on all pieces – here and there some additional flanging effects ("Die Bitch") can be heard, too. Also the second half of this CD has my attention – "Apathy" can easily take the speed of "Vanquisher", while "The Threat" starts slow and melodic – until the speed invades with the refrain. All in all you’ll got a well-done Harsh EBM debut release which has its depth and edges to stand all comparison to some scene-leading acts. Good work, keep it on!

VV.AA.: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 1

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 19 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
This is a new German Electro/Industrial label leaded by a radio DJ ( known under his pseudonym Intrendent, a long-time and experienced member of the scene. You’ll get here a first compilation featuring mostly new and relatively unknown names asides of some old-school veteran acts like THE WEATHERMEN, STRATIS or TWILIGHT RITUAL – while they all don’t offer the highlights here. As usual for compilations I tend to name only the most recognizable pieces here. The compilation starts with HUMAN DECAY providing a remix work of the Belgian sound wizard Len Lemeire aka IMPLANT. While I dig Mr. Lemeire’s modern IDM/Electronica efforts, the provided distorted vocals can’t come to a satisfying result and are rather disturbing – somehow it doesn’t fit to the music. C8K – I guess a German project – have listened a lot FLA’s "Tactical Neural Implant". They’ve learned well: convincing and catchy synth layers meet fine worked-out textures and arrangements and a well-tuned vocal performance not to far away from Mr. Leeb – it results in the best appearance here above all averages. A promising newcomer act to follow immediately! EISSCHOCK comes next with a speedy EBM piece featuring whispered female vocals – not bad, keep it on! SUKKA are also traveling on the EBM train and their "Renn!" comes musically to a satisfying result, while the vocals really sound "tormented". Electro with a doze into the Goth/Wave genre you’ll got serviced by WARFORGE – successful composition, one of the better pieces. AD:KEY with their track "Lass Mich Los" like to offer a NEP/ORANGE SECTOR-like old-school EBM tune. Shouted vocals, ripping minimal bass lines, a solid bass kick and snare work – this formula works once again fine for this RECTOR SCANNER/ARMAGEDDON DILDOS side-project. Hungarian-based acts CONSECTUM vs. SERVO.HATRED take up some speed by offering a Harsh EBM/Hellektro-like track in vein of some global players like TACTICAL SEKT or DAWN OF ASHES; especially SERVO.HATRED could recently convince with an appearance on BLC Productions Interbreeding VIII compilation. STANDGERICHT then adds another color to this comp by offering a rather noisy inspired instrumental tune. At least INDUSTRIAL WAVE STUDIO – well, this "band" name sounds rather like a software title – offer a calm instrumental outro. Diversity is rich present here – while there’s no extremely course into Synthpop or IDM-related styles. The emphasis is concentrated on EBM/Electro in all variations and luckily without any overwhelming concentration on the still creeping Hellektro virus. Not bad at all for a first compilation, while the second volume is already in the works and promises a lot with the appearance of some German favorites like OBJECT, MC1R, FIX8:SED8 or ALPHA QUADRANT...

Tracklist Electro Arc Compilation Vol. I

01 Human Decay - Anti-Fate (Agnostic mix by Implant)
02 The Weathermen - Scan me
03 First Aid 4 Souls - Seelenlos
04 C8K - Storm
05 Eisschock - Panic attack
06 suKKa - Renn !
07 takhtahk - Dropdown
08 Slipstream One - Bloodlust
09 Warforge - Rage
10 Stratis - Crossing borderline
11 AD:key - Lass mich los
12 Hertzinfarkt - Stell lauter
13 Ferus Odium - The ceremony EE
14 Consectum vs servo.hatred - Sewn in rapture
15 Twilight Ritual - Wired to the machines
16 Standgericht - Broken life
17 Industrial Wave Studio - Mountains of madness

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