Music Reviews



Angina P: 8 Rooms

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 24 2006
Artist: Angina P (@)
Title: 8 Rooms
Format: CD
Label: Notochord (@)
Distributor: Psychostatic
Rated: *****
Angina P is a very talented Austria electronic music artist who has seen her work featured in films/tv, compilations, video games and the in the top-selling download pages of sites like mp3.com. The young Dutch label Notochord recordings releases Angina P's first full length CD, featuring five original tracks of fast-paced breakbeat/drum'n'bass/ambient/IDM as well as three remixes by Semiomime, Edgey and Larvae. Beautifully packaged and produced, "8 Rooms" is really a vivid testament of Angina P's abilities and strengths. Obviously her music is so versatile that you could dance to it in a club, chill to it in a lounge or let it aid your vision of a movie. But don't wait for any of those to happen to you, go out and order this record. You can get it from Europe through the artist or the label or in the US through the distributor. If you are into Squarepusher, Plastikman, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Underworld, Apollo 440, Goldie etc or labels like Warp, Hive etc definitely give this a try.
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Artist: DIGITAL GEIST (@)
Title: The Zero Engine
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
With a first look only on the cover art you may expect a kind of Techno/Trance-based music effort, and indeed – these elements can be discovered here besides some others. This is the debut full-length CD of Alex K and Newt, who are hiding behind this moniker and they offer as an interesting mixture of the above mentioned styles combined with some IDM/Electronica influences, Futurepop and a slight excursion into Electro-Clash music. So you’ll get a fine and detailed arranged album which will easily push your body to the dancefloors. With the track "Someone Like Me" they also have a piece on board which features real male vocals (though well manipulated with some vocoder effects...) and a real compositional background. Several "spoken word" inputs done by Krista Dragomer can be heard on 4 different tracks. This release also attracts attention because it has several collaborations and remix works available. With FRONT 242 working on "Someone Like Me" they could indeed win one of the biggest players internationally, also the Danish act NEOTEK has a good name in the Electro/EBM/Industrial scene. But it should be mentioned that both their remix works don’t push the sound of DIGITAL GEIST any nearer to EBM or Electro/Industrial music – they swim with the stream. Favorites next to "Someone Like Me" can be named with "Earworm (No Light Guides Us)" (what a fine synth layer work!) and the dry Techno-styled "Keep The Faith (featuring Christian K. of DHARMA LAB)". There’s a lot of talent and real effort behind this album and if you dig some of the above mentioned styles, you would be surprised by the diversity this release has to offer.

RAN: Ran

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 22 2006
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Artist: RAN (@)
Title: Ran
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Ran is a new project of a duo formed by Giorgio (ex Templebeat) and Romina (ex Antinomia and estAsia). Their music blend elements of ethereal/fairy music (thanks to Romina’s vocal style) and electronic music with some industrial arrangement. They are experienced musicians and you can hear that thanks to the atmosphere they are able to create but I must admit that I liked mostly the musical part respect the vocal parts. Unfortunately for me when I listen to female singers that use that style automatically I compare them with Lisa Gerrard or Elizabeth Fraser and even if I don’t care if technically we are facing the same level, I like to be carried away by the personality of that voice. Romina is a good singer but her voice don’t make me feel the emotions I would expect to. Ran’s music seems to be built around her voice because the tracks are based on mid tempos and there’s lack of a carrying melody. To be sincere there are also good tracks like "The great below" or the closing "Splinters" where there’s also a certain amount of energy that exalt Romina’s vocal qualities but, for my tastes, this is what is missing on the previous ones.

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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