Music Reviews



Black Heaven: Kunstwerk

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 11 2007
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Artist: Black Heaven (@)
Title: Kunstwerk
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This is a new release by this German one-man project, which has been active and brought out some releases before through the German label Trisol. Now signed and published by Scanner of the Dark Dimensions label group, BLACK HEAVEN is leaded by Martin Schindler and with this album he likes to present us his very own view on Electro/Industrial music. The lyrics are completely in German and deal with a lot social-critically things, politics, globalism and, and, and. My deepest bow that at least somebody is able to address the things which have to be said in German without falling into embarrassment. This "Kunstwerk" (work of art) is lyrically one of the strongest releases in years. Musically Martin likes to present a subtle kind of Synth- and Futurepop, on some tunes pending near to Electro/Industrial, but the music generally doesn’t live from some fantastic-sounding effects – it seems he knows well about the weave of his lyrics. Of course his voice sounds clear, natural and undistorted, however else you would be able to understand the rich lyrics when he’d insist to yell through some distortion effects? I tend to compare his voice in a same register to Tom Shear of A23, also musically there can be surely found some relations to the world-wide known Accession/Metropolis-recording artist. Although – and that’s a good point as well – the music isn’t afraid to integrate here and there some acoustic elements like guitar ("Schwarzes Loch", "Zentrum") or piano sounds ("Zweite Sonne"). Also a must: check out the marvelous ballad "Dieser Weg" - definitely the highlight here! 14 tracks are available here on "Schindler’s list" (ha-ha), composed and arranged under the moniker "Kunstwerk" - Martin couldn’t find any better name for this work, applause!

APOPTOSE: Schattenmädchen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 10 2007
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Artist: APOPTOSE (@)
Title: Schattenmädchen
Format: CD
Label: Tesco Organisation (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the cover's showing a little girl (the CD title means "Shadow girl"), which wasn't making me suppose to find the kind of music I'm going to talk you about, Apoptose's SCHATTENMÄDCHEN is a well done mix of dark ambient / electronic music with great sounds (you can also find some industrial sounds here and there) and a very deep and involving ambience. The album collects old reworked tracks (the opening "Asche" was titled "Eichensiechtum" on "Infernal proteus", "Ba-137m" was originally titled "137Cs" when released on the "Statement 1961" compilation while "2wei sonnen" had its original version released on "Solaris collaboration" as well "...und null sekunden" which originally was released as "Null" on "...in the crystal cage") and three new tracks ("Violet silence", "Schattenmädchen" and "Karla") which with the new version of the old tracks form a strong work which is taking you through hypnotic places made of drones, humming loops, rumbling noises and spoken word vocals. Concerning the spoken word parts, we have Kenji Siratori (this is the third CD I received this month which sees Kenji's participation) as guest on the main track. Getting back to the music issue, I have to tell you that also synth pads have played a large part on this album and they create a dense layer which help so much into the creation of the sound-scape created. Tension also is a great element onto Apoptose's music and is good to see how it has been used. Check "Ba-137m", for example: see how the tension/noise grows during its nine minutes just to be released on the last two minutes, here the noise decrease but there's always a certain feeling of disturbance in the air. You can find some excerpts on Apoptose's website. Check them out...
Aug 03 2007
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Artist: DAS PRÄPARAT (@)
Title: THX LD50
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
After a 5-track EP "Mein Schmerz Trägt Deinen Namen", this German male/female duo returns now with a complete full-length album. DAS PRÄPARAT, consisting of Dr. Hyde and Nachtschwester K., continue in their style by providing a rebelled kind of Electro/EBM with charismatic vocals, musically somehow influenced by acts like WELLE:ERDBALL, old DORSETSHIRE or THE PSYCHIC FORCE. The lyrics are provided mostly in German always dealing with some human failures regarding the choice of wrong medicines ("THX", "LD 50"), diseases, scandalizing professional blunders, or illegal mortal help ("Psyche Amor") – at times very bizarre and drastically formulated. They like to stir up a filthy impression over their whole work, i. e. you’ve got always the feeling that they point out the opposite of things you would expect of being a patient, like sterility, anonymity, etc – a portion of disgust is always included. Also conspicuous is the fact that they have avoided on some tracks that genre-typically quantisizing of some instruments, mostly on the piano/organ-driven works ("Das war noch nie ein Liebeslied", "Da Vinci" or "La Croix") – they sound as they would have been live recorded, featuring the factor "human". Of course – and I guess I’ve said this already on their debut EP – this all is a matter of taste. Applause for sure still for their tracks "Euthanasie" or "Maschinenherz", both are real smashers, but generally the Electro/EBM purists may can find their efforts as being too Goth-infiltrated. Solid and satisfying for sure, this duo reflects both styles on this album.

NOISUF-X: The Beauty Of Destruction

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Aug 02 2007
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Artist: NOISUF-X (@)
Title: The Beauty Of Destruction
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
After having recently released a new album "Rotten To The Core" under his main project X-FUSION, Jan L. has still a lot of productive fire under his roof. The result is a new album by his Harsh EBM/rhythmically Powernoise project NOISUF-X. The title of this album somehow marks the program of this recording: hard and mostly straight forwarding beats and bass lines, here and there accomplished by some voice samples. It is against to X-FUSION the rather reduced and minimal output of Jan, but at least with a comparable success. NOISUF-X has grown besides XOTOX to be one of the outstanding acts of the ProNoize roster, although it needs to be asked if NOISUF-X really fits any longer to this label. The EBM/Electro content of Jan’s work is almighty here, therefore it may fits better to be placed on Scanner. Tracks like "Distorted Self-Perception", "Fine Line (Between Genius And Madness)" or "Toccata Del Terrore" could be easily fit on a X-FUSION release. "Hit Me Hard (And Hit Me Fast)" – well, this fast-paced track with its featured voice sample should be soon invade the clubs in your area. Same vote goes out for "Geh Zur Hölle", available here in two different versions, featuring some amusing German voice samples. It is generally again a quality work out of Jan L.’s very own X-M-P studio, while it doesn’t at all provide any surprising or innovative moment. The EBM/Electro-minded audience will for sure offer thankfully reactions in form of a higher frequented dancefloor movement – the real Noise-oriented listeners will definitely find this release as being too smooth and EBM-oriented. There are harder, more Powernoise-minded artists available at ProNoize, that’s for sure.
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Artist: Deadburger (@)
Title: C'e' ancora Vita su Marte
Format: CD
Label: Goodfellas (@)
Rated: *****
Deadburger is one of the smartest and most interesting bands to come from Italy's underground scene of envelope-pushing avantgarde-electro-rock bands. Their sound is eclectic and mature and their lyrics are intelligent and thought-provoking. In fact Deadburger walks the fine line between definitely underground and potentially mainstream (since bands such as C.S.I., R.S.U., Subsonica have broken through mainstream media before) and add fruition-friendly meaningful words and mysterious poetry into the mix (like C.S.I. or Battiato have done). However if Deadburger were a product of the States, you know they'd be a recurring name on the bill of the ex-Tonic in NYC (r.i.p.) or of similar avantgarde-downtown-music joints.
I had heard a pre-release version of this record some time ago. The final version of "C'e' ancora Vita su Marte" (which is italian for "There's still Life on Mars") comes with a beautiful super-glossy art work and thick booklet with lyrics to complement the 22 tracks. The album also features a number of collaboration with prominent local instrumentalist which add that touch of collaborative magic.
I think this record has a lot of great songs and some fillers (but with 22 between songs and interludes it couldn't be otherwise) and could have maybe be more direct and immediate with a shorter and more selective track list.
However, the average quality of the songwriting is still really high and makes for a completely enjoyable record. I strongly urge anyone interested in original music to give this album a serious listen. If you happen to understand Italian you really have not excuse not to, but in either case you should!


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