Music Reviews



VVAA: Songs From The H-Bar

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 14 2007
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Artist: VVAA
Title: Songs From The H-Bar
Format: CD
Label: Momt (@)
Rated: *****
Formed at the end of the '80s and active for almost the whole '90s Chemlab toured with NIN and recorded for Metalblade, Invisible and Underground Inc. The original band disbanded in 1997 and in 2004 the band re-born with the release of "Oxidizer" with Jared Louche helped by different guests. This tribute compilation sees sixteen bands of the alternative electronic industrial scene giving their version of Chemlab songs. FleshField, Cyanotic, UCNX, 16 Volt, Hindu Pez, Infocollapse, Fetish Project, K-Nitrate, Insight 23, Typozorg, Cross Contamination, Upon Eventual Collapse, Amorphite, Idiot State and D.Grey give their best creating a mixture of electro industrialism always in balance between pure electronic (see 16 Volt with their dreamy version of "Neurozone", Fetish Project with "Derailer", K-Nitrate with their "White line fever mix" of "Codeine, glue & you", The Vinegar Works with their acid industrial version of "Pink" and D.Gray with a minimal experimental "Suture"), industrial electro guitarism (Fetish Field with "Chemical Halo - Brusied Regeneration Suture", Cyanotic with "Suicidal jag", Ucnx with 21st Century - Head Like A Whore Mix or Hindu Pez with "Exile on mainline" to name a few) and goth electronics with Amorphite (their version of "Pyromance" isn't perfect and sometimes it seems out of sync but it is a particular one). The various tracks work and also Jared Louche wrote to Momt to express his satisfaction...
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Artist: HERRSCHAFT
Title: Architects of the Humanicide
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Will giving a check to their website I've found this combo from Paris made it on Code666 and that makes definitely sense. This "digital-futuristic-black-metal", or at least let's say this music, is deeply influenced by many black metal listening in the past, but there's a good quantity of techno/ebm/neo-goth electronics to supplement the heavy guitars and the scream "till you drop dead" vocals. This mcd won't probably add nothing incredibly avant-gardist under the sun of electronic-metal, but the kick ass production and arrangements makes it relly "thick".. Every time I listen to modern "post-metal meets electronics" bands I can't but think to Ministry, N.I.N., or to the incredibly "underrated" Pigface but that's probably another story anyhow it probably will help your older brother to get the picture. This blend of techno beats and heavy rifforama plus black metal made me think immediately to Aborym, there are considerable differences but also a lot of common characteristics the mutually share. In all probability this mini is more addressed to those who're deeply into the genre, and if that's your cup of tea I’m sure you’ll appreciate the good quality since as I've told it's really well done.

May 13 2007
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Artist: MIRIAM (@)
Title: When Beauty Is Invisible
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Miriam is an Italian band formed back in 1998. They took their name from the Italian title of the 1983 movie "The hunger" (it was "Miriam si sveglia a mezzanotte"). After a demo CD and a member line up change (Massimo Bandiera joined them) the band released their first official album for Decadance Records in 2002. After five years of work they are releasing this month their second album titled WHEN BEAUTY IS INVISIBLE. Since the first songs of the album you can realize how much care they put into production. Their style, which I'll call "shoegaze electronics" due to their electronic instrumentation and to their lushious atmospheres which recalled me Breathless and Cranes, is able to create an good ambience made of fluctuating eletronic layers and reverbered guitars. For sure you have to be in the right mood to listen to this CD because most of the the tracks are mellow melancholic mid tempo songs with whispered female vocals. After five tracks I must admit that even if the band is able to create a good encharmed atmosphere I had to take a break. Sometimes some upbeat rhythms surfaces like on "Endless", a track which remembered me the old Clan Of Xymox atmosphere with updated sounds. A cover of "Nightporter" closes the album: the band did a difficult choice because Daniela vocals can't recreate the emotions I felt with David Sylvian but I must admit that the instrumental part is good. If electronic wave is your style check this out...
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Artist: KEVIN DRUMM
Title: sheer hellish miasma
Format: CD
Label: Mego (@)
Rated: *****
I think there's no need to introduce mr. Drumm, but recently I've found he appears on Wikipedia alas if you never heard his name that's a good opportunity to learn something more about this geat experimental artist. In the past I bought a couple of good records featuring this Chicago based musician, but this repress will help me and you to understand why he has become such a popular name for what concern experimental (and electronic) music. Being a Mego release realized in 2002 you know it's both top notch, smart, but at the same time muscular infact get ready because when Kevin is in for the explosion he’s gonna do it hard. This five legs journey begins with a buzzing drone that grows progressively screwing your ears even if you can’t but notice there a gloomy melody that drives the trip. "Turning point" moves the ground you walk upon by presenting a distorted noisy and altered electronical sound which gets deformed as if it was from Merzbow. This "deformed" digital sensation remains unaltered also in the next episode, this time it’s mostly based on high frequencies thus take for granted the listening is even more "painful" (for those who remember Massimo’s work on Mego, you know what I mean). What can you expect from a track titled "the inferno"? I can’t say if that’s the sound you’re gonna hear while crossing the doors down at "south of heaven", but to quote Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers: "Well, what about anarchy? Please don't ask it no more cos’ we're already living in it". It’s funny for I can imagine Kevin Drumm when choosing the closing track of the album probably felt fter all this "controlled digital violence" melted in "distortion" it was time for a break. Well, "Cloudy" closes this cd with a soft and odd dronical misty... hem... cloudy journey heading nowhere. Ladies and gentleman that’s Kevin Drumm: love him or leave him.

VV.AA.: Ghost Busters III

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 09 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Ghost Busters III
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Record Label Records (@)
Rated: *****
This sampler came out on Record Label offers a morsel of music from many artist coming from their catalogue and as I've wrote reviewing their last releases, their output normally are really good. Here you have rhythmical electronic music not so far from recordings out on Warp records (Sote also put out something on this glorious british label), Hefty, Bip Hop or in the likes, and as you can easily guess the most of the artists combine rhythm and melody to a maniacal sound definition. The majority of the tracks is well done and although the sampler is varied it maintains its "modern" electronic identity, sure there are some highlights. Dalgish cold glitching a la Coil meets Alva Noto is catchy and Fluorescent Grey crippled-cut up-melodies kept faith to the good impression I've had while listening to his album. Some of the tracks can be easily filed under "electronic music for the electronic people" (that's the case of the LFO-inspired Mike Dunkley but also that of Kush Arora), some other tunes are weird like the "exotic mixture" of Sote and some other are chaotic and the mighty Farmers Manual (you probably know for their Mego releases), and Brian English give sense to this sentence. This sampler could be a good way to give a try to some Record Label related musicians and to some strange hosts like Ruzerlstirn and Gungelstock or Farmers Manual. If you are deeply into electronic music you probably know many of the names featured on this cd and this is a good product.



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