Music Reviews



HEAD-LESS: Rouge Et Noir

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 04 2007
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Artist: HEAD-LESS (@)
Title: Rouge Et Noir
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Icare Media
Rated: *****
Hailing out of Germany we like to welcome the trio HEAD-LESS to the international Electro/Industrial scene, providing with this limited DCD set a remarkable official debut release. This album is completely self-produced and you can easily recognize on its kind and the glossy art with a colorful digi-pack the huge amount of work behind it. A funny note asides of this, I received this item by the field mailing out of Afghanistan – one band member was based there under the command of the UN freedom corps – Electro/Industrial rivetheads know where the hot places are. Musically HEAD-LESS are based into wide field between Synth-/Future- and Electropop up to EBM tunes. As a strange and rather not expected ingredient they like to offer as well some accomplishing guitar riffs ("Catch A Bitch", "Rouge et Noir"). The music follows mostly the expected and similar formula provided by better known acts like ASSEMBLAGE 23, CULTURE KULTÜR and/or ANGELS & AGONY – while not playing in the same league. Here and there some better worked-out harmonies and a concentration on more melodic synth textures would help. The vocals are provided clear and natural sounding, while the lyrics in both languages German and English deal mainly with greed, sexual devotion and all the bitter-sweet experiences with love relationships. It is conspicuous how they manage to offer a dramatic lyrically outcome – but too much theatric is a bit confusing and lets me rather think on some Goth-inspired works ("Ehrenfeld"). So "Rouge Et Noir" has for sure its remarkable moments and offers with "Ship Of Agony" and "Seelensturm" the best tracks. I also like to mention the instrumental works with "Marthes Garden" and "Valentine" for being more dedicated to the darker and harder side of this act. No wonder that especially "Ship Of Agony" got some extra recognition on the second CD, which features several different versions by HEAD-LESS and remix works on this track. The names which could lay their skilful hands on the HEAD-LESS stuff can be seen as the creme of the creme: ASSEMBLAGE 23, ACCESSORY, RECTOR SCANNER (all have worked on "Ship Of Agony"), COLONY 5 ("Licht Im Grau", a small club hit for HEAD-LESS in their area – also featured in its original version) and CEPHALGY ("Adore"). Maybe a bit too similar sounding acts, but I guess the interested audience and the fans of these acts will appreciate this effort. With the support of Hardbeat Promotion and the distribution through Icare Media some recognition also in the clubs should be guaranteed.

WHITE ALIEN: Albatron

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 02 2007
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Artist: WHITE ALIEN (@)
Title: Albatron
Format: CD
Label: Frost Foundation (@)
Rated: *****
Italian band born a couple of years ago, White Alien are a sort of personal project of Mannequeen7317 because he's the composer of the lyrics and of the tracks. ALBATRON is their first album and it's released by Frost Foundation, a new label/studio/promotion agency based in Milan which previously released a CD by Gloria Nuda. The twelve tracks of the album present a sound in balance from industrial e.b.m. and goth metal (it isn't a case if the band recently did a Ministry cover of "We believe"). The sound is convincing and powerful and some tracks, once remixed, could work well also on alternative dance floors ("Mechupid" or the following "Untilted). Some other songs are based on an industrial approach to sounds and for this reason sound less melodic compared to the two titles I mentioned (see "Stranger" "Who are the aliens?" and "Void"). The vocals are often treated and the lyrics aren't intelligible but the whole atmosphere shows the good work that the band did.

VV.AA: Elektrisch! 2

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 29 2007
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Elektrisch! 2
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Major Records (@)
Rated: *****

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New chapter of the ELEKTRISCH compilations series, this second one brings to the attention of electro fans a massive amount of new remixes (twenty six, because the last two songs by Nono and Motus are original versions) that will please their hunger for danceable electronic tunes. The double compilation gathers bands coming from the Major label's roster ( IAMX, X-perience, Boytronic, Celluloide) as well as really famous names like Erasure or Goldfrapp along with well known and appreciated acts of the electronic scene (Iris, Tecnoir, Assemblage 23, Unheilig to name few) and its peculiarity is of presenting danceable remixed versions of original tracks. In this way bands that plays different kinds of electronic music, like Client, Goldfrapp, Camouflage or Erasure, are re-processed through a sort of future pop filter and see their tracks living a new life. There are also bands that have been remixed that remix other acts. Here few examples: this is the case of Client that see their Adam And The Ants cover remixed by Mechanical Cabaret and remixPurwien feat. Witt, of Mechanical Cabaret that remixed Mesh, Client and is remixed by Nesh and it's also the case of Celluloide, who remix Neuropa and have been remixed by Dekad. Synthpop, future pop, e.b.m., electro are well represented in this compilation and there are no weak moments. Be sure to follow the different release parties that will be held in different German cities. Here's the full tracklist for your reference:
cd 1:

01. Alphaville - To Germany With Love (Sebastian R. Komor Extended Remix) *
02. Camouflage - We Are Lovers (!Distain Remix) *
03. Client - Zerox Machine (Mechanical Cabaret Extended Remix) *
04. Deine Lakaien - Where You Are (Memphis Remix)**
05. X-Perience - Return To Paradise (The Promise Remix) *
06. Erasure – All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love (Shanghai Surprize Radio Edit) **
07. Mechanical Cabaret - Disbehave (Mesh Asbo Remix) *
08. Goldfrapp – Ooh La La (When Andy Bell Met The Manhattan Clique Mix) **
09. Iamx – Spit It Out (Alexander Kowalski Remix)
10. Mesh - Step By Step (Mechanical Cabaret Extended Remix) *
11. Assemblage 23 - You Haven´T Earned It (The Loge Remix) *
12. Unheilig – Ich Will Alles (Elektronik Club Mix) *
13. Boytronic – Little Italian Feeling (Days Of Fate Remix) *
14. Purwien Feat. Witt - Alle Fehler (Client Remix) *

Cd 2 (Limitierte Erstauflage):
01. [:Sitd:] - Suffering In Solitute (Empathy Mix) *
02. Code 64 - Guardian (Bariuz Remix) *
03. Psyche - Angel Lies Sleeping 2007 (Extended Neuropa Remix) *
04. Iris - It Generates (Darker Days Remix) **
05. Lowe - The Vanishing (Steve Wasabi Remix) *
06. Celluloide - Who Is The Angel (Dekad Remix) *
07. Scarlet Soho - Modern Radio (Menichal Servants Remix) *
08. X-Divide - I Don´T Care (Trance Club Mix) *
09. Obscenity Trial - Here And Now (Syrian Remix) *
10. Technoir - Manifesto (Beborn Beton Club Edit) *
11. Neuropa - Blitz (Celluloide Remix) *
12. Eden - Electric (Obscenity Trail Remix) *
13. Nono – Geisha (Original Version) *
14. Motus – Leave (Original Version) *
* Exclusive remix
** Rare remix

K-NITRATE: Active Cell

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 27 2007
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Artist: K-NITRATE
Title: Active Cell
Format: CD
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Back after 13 years from their full length debut, K-nitrate (now formed by Graham Rayner and Christian Weber) present a new album titled ACTIVE CELL. The ten new tracks see the duo using real synthesizers only (as stated inside the CD booklet) to create their mixture of acid techno electronic music. With a different kind of sounds we could call it danceable industrial music but, in this case, I can hear echoes of 90’s acid music (don’t ask me names, because acid music isn’t my cup of tea) that mixed with distorted lead synth lines form a new kind of explosive mixture. If you want me to compare the sound to something I know, try to imagine The Prodigy of tracks like "Hyperspeed (G-Force part 2)" but add an aggressive tone and raise the techno influence. The choice the band did of making instrumental tracks increase the effect of a dancehall in distortion. With vocal lines they could smash the charts just like the Prodigy did...

Virgins O.R. Pigeons: Place No Reliance

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 26 2007
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Artist: Virgins O.R. Pigeons (@)
Title: Place No Reliance
Format: CD
Label: Cure (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
This is a debut release by a trio hailing out of Greece. I’ve never heard of them before, and that they got signed to the Japanese, rather Goth-Rock inspired Cure label (leaded by Kiwamu of BLOOD) made the surprise perfect. I got some doubts into the provided music as I saw at first the band photo printed at their label info sheet – with limy white make-up they rather look like KISS-copycats – furthermore the statement that two of the three band members are playing guitars made me thinking on a Black/Death-Metal act. Well, do not judge a band on their pics and info, he-he – this is a fine and well-worked out Dark Electro music, here and there with some hints into Hellektro, but generally without the Trancewhackedgoregalore (copyright by electrofreak, cheers!). And guitars – oh yes – available only on "Reach Out" and the second version of "Let Them Die" (provided by BLOOD-mastermind Kiwamu) – but this are rather exceptions. Favorites? Well, "Let Them Die", available here in two different versions – surprises with a clear and natural sounding vocal performance for the refrain (...of course, heavily distorted vocals are present on almost all tracks here – how could you expect anything else???). "NASA’s Lullaby" – well it’s rather seldom that a foreign band likes to take care on the spaceship dramas of Columbia and Challenger – musically, and not only on this piece they remind me a bit on acts like PUNTO OMEGA, maybe HOCICO. Finally also the satanic piece "Existe", which can be also found on the new Cure label compilation "Darkest Labyrinth" (more on this release soon...), has to be named to be one of the outstanding pieces here. It is a surprising good debut release – nothing new at all – but this scene has already endured a lot of weaker stuff, so let’s hope for some more international exposure for this fine act!


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