Music Reviews



BEAMSHIP: Big Brother

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 21 2006
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Artist: BEAMSHIP (@)
Title: Big Brother
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
With a look on the cover art and regarding the band name I can assure you that this trio hailing from Brno, Czech Republic, hasn’t got anything to do with the Klingon empire out of Star Trek :-). It’s moreover a self-produced debut of this newcomer act, from whom some of you have maybe heard the name Martin Pavlik before. He’s a constant member with the DEPRESSIVE DISORDER front man Patrik Lev of the Dark Electro/Ambient side-project HEEL, which could release an amazing debut last year on Monopolrecords (www.monopolrecords.cz). BEAMSHIP has something different to offer. It is globally placed into the Dark Electro/EBM genre, but with some hints to different music styles like Techno and IDM. They’re also not afraid in the use of some guitar riffs here and there. This all builds a diverse sounding Electro/Industrial album and the dark and deep male voice of the singer reminding me a bit on a rough intoned J.-L. de Meyer. Favorites can be named with the catchy title track, the dark arranged "Mind Control" and for sure "Welt Gegen Welt", featuring some German lyrics. Two tribute tracks are also featured to conclude this CD, "Radioactivity" (KRAFTWERK), and "Monument" (DEPECHE MODE), but both can’t grab too much attention. Not to forget the video part at the enhanced CD, a 3-D clip of "Welt Gegen Welt". The globally content of this release features a critical view on ovious state control of the USA and has several critical reports about George Orwell’s famous book "1984" with the "Big Brother Is Watching You" theme. It also features some reports on the CIA programs "MK Ultra" and "Echelon". Interesting stuff to read and to listen to, get it!

PORTION CONTROL: Filthy White Guy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 21 2006
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Artist: PORTION CONTROL (@)
Title: Filthy White Guy
Format: CD
Rated: *****
After two years from their 2004 comeback welcomed by the double CD "Wellcome" and after the 2005 "Stansted" EP, Portion Control release a new full length titled FILTHY WHITE GUY. If you hadn’t the chance to listen to their previous release and you have still in your ears tunes like "Chew you to bits" (my favourite track of their old period), well, the fourteen tracks of this new album can somewhat recalling those old atmosphere even if the sounds are been refined being now more sophisticated. If that track was sounding rough and powerful at the same time the new tracks are still powerful but are more permeated by a sense of isolationism. New songs often play around a bass line melody and then some sounds are added to thicken the structure. This way of concentrating the track around an idea for almost the whole length make arise a certain sense of claustrophobia and by the cover used (a picture of snarling teeth) I think this is the effect Portion Control wanted to have. Fortunately the tracks don’t sound boring because they aren’t all sounding the same thanks also to Dean Piavani who used different style of vocals. If "Wellcome" tracks were varied by containing elements of ambient, electronic a la Clock DVA and e.b.m., FILTHY WHITE GUY have a radical approach to sounds and themes (they also collaborated with the Japanese cyberpunk writer Kenji Siratori for the lyrics of "Susano"). Probably the creation process affected the tracks as the band choose different locations like a caravan park in Peacehaven, a power sub station, a front room, a chapel of rest and a bingo hall. They linked two different laptops that were running Cubase SX3 and they used uniquely software keyboards and effects. Sometimes I feel the lack of roughness that the analogue gear was giving to their sound but it is a good thing that Portion Control are back and I feel that they are here to stay!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Decennium Sturm
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
Another label compilation for the Latvian Sturm label, created and released to celebrate their already 10th anniversary. Unbelievable, that this Sturm collective has already worked hard that long time almost without any knowledge and attention from some western audiences. And this compilation has something special to offer – NO track titles are included here. The bands of this label all give here new and unreleased stuff to the listeners, but there’s no track name. ANOCODAINE made the start here and already this track turns after an unspectacular melodic intro into a pounding Electro instrumental piece. KNAUZERS UN ZEME offer a military marching piece with several noisy samples featuring bombing and firing airplanes and war noises and vocals pending between dark and distorted. ROSEWATER offer the best work here, a hard straight-forward moving Dark Electro pearl with harsh Powernoise-inspired rhythm patterns and rough distorted vocals – their enjoying and successful formula, but this piece I would qualify as their most straightest track so far. Almost in a same vein hits the project LIVING NIGHTMARE, which I haven’t discovered before, no matter also for the Metal-like guitar riff included here. With LS TUR, STROPS, BARODARHO and KAUNA TRAIPS the music here turns more and more into the martial and experimental noisy kind this label has so much to offer. Also MARCHWITZA give a rather chaotic piece, but I’m sure that I have heard it before on their full-length "Have A Hard Day". Also an untitled act offers a track tending more into a slower Ambient-like tune, and more in silent style this CD turns off. Check also out that video file done by CYBERPUNK to conclude this valuable compilation. Interesting concept, but very unusual, too. Worth to start some investment.

Track list

1/ ANOCODAINE
2/ KNAUZERS un ZEME
3/ ROSEWATER
4/ LIVING NIGHTMARE
5/ LS TUR
6/ STROPS
7/ MARCHWITZA
8/ BARODARHO
9/ RADIO KAPUT / 3OT
10/ KAUNA TRAIPS
11/ UNTITLED BAND, 1921 vs RUDENS LAPAS
12/ GAS OF LATVIA
13/ CYBER PUNK (video)

DANZ POETA: Pray For Rain

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 19 2006
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Artist: DANZ POETA (@)
Title: Pray For Rain
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Indianapolis brings out the debut of Jamie Vitro, who stands behind this solo project. It’s a musically combination of classic and melancholic Synthpop themes with danceable Futurepop tunes – Jamie names ASSEMBLAGE 23, MESH or COVENANT to his influences – and this fits globally. He also could already open a gig for the famous RAZED IN BLACK and also this experience has formed him towards a more electronic-driven sound. Unbelievable, that he was a guitar player for some Goth-inspired local bands before – but this only shows his musically talent. So this release features 10 tracks of well worked out Synth-/Futurepop music which has all smooth and catchy attitudes to offer. It isn’t the newest sound and machinery in use for sure, but it’s damned effective arranged. These tracks wont let a fan of the mentioned genres unimpressed, favorites featuring the most melodic content can be named with the opener "Mortal Coil" and "Breath Of Time" on the danceable side – and of course the strong "Dante In His Fire", a beautiful and slowly arranged ballad. Another winning point of this act are the well included vocals – of course they are genre-like deep male and crystal-clear recorded. Also impressive are the kind of lyrics providing a romantic up to poetic background – and so drifting a bit away from the usual "fighting-for-a-better-world" monotony. DANZ POETA prove with this self-released album, that real talent wont be undiscovered. This is a strong – maybe a bit more thoughtful alternative to some above mentioned famous acts of this genre. Available via CDBaby.

IMIAFAN / MACHINEPOP: Split EP

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3199)
Nov 19 2006
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Artist: IMIAFAN / MACHINEPOP (@)
Title: Split EP
Format: 7"
Label: Electronic Obsession + 4mg Records (@)
Rated: *****
Born from a collaboration between two labels (Electronic Obsession and 4mg Records), the split Imiafan/Machinepop 7" is a good example of what a do it yourself attitude could produce: fresh good stuff. The two Imiafan tracks "Toothpaste" and "Televizor" are two songs of electronic dark new wave, simple but efficacious. "Toothpaste" is the one that will catch the attention of early Die Form fans while " Televizor " will convince the lover of robotic spatial sounds. Machinepop side sounds more rough with its analogue squares and bleeps. "Stroboskop" and "Electronic dream plant" are a wild ride trough early Devo/Residents sounding like Atari computers that went crazy. The single is printed in a limited edition of 250 copies and if you still have a turntable and if you are a lover of 80's electronic and you appreciate also electronic pop experiments, you could check this one.


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