Music Reviews



Jul 30 2006
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Artist: BRIAN ENGLISH
Title: Beyond words
Format: CD
Label: Record Label (@)
Rated: *****
After Fluorescent Grey and Sote another cd with the Record Label trademark and it’s actually well done, thus I'm taking into consideration this label has an high profile. Mr. English’ electronic music is not weird/unconventional like the releases we've already reviewed from this label, but he probably doesn't even care, electronic for the electronic?...maybe, but he likes good melodies too and it all make the record accessible to a wide crowd of listeners. I've read Brian has a large collection of sounds he captured here and there but don't expect it to be an experimental release or else you'd be dissatisfied. "Beyond words" is based on soft rhythms far from being too fast or even worse obsessive, but the emphasis is mainly concentrated on song-structure and melody, according with these basic informations the end result is far from cold electronic music fixed on being the coolest Autechre replica of the block. This salsa has a soft Eighties savour that can recall some Mix Master Morris’ masterpieces but you hear the cd has been produced now, even if another name that I've been thinking was dear ol’ Plaid. This label has still to find its own outsider but it's again a good release.

Datafreq: Fun For The Whole Family

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2897)
Jul 20 2006
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Artist: Datafreq (@)
Title: Fun For The Whole Family
Format: CD
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Rated: *****
First CD for Das Drehmoment records after the release of six vinyls (four compilations, a MLP for Divider and an LP for Ich), FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY is the first Datafreq album. Hailing from Toronto, Canada and headed by a guy called Dave Rout, Datafreq isn't the project of a youngster in love with '80s synthetic sounds. Dave already worked with different musical projects since the mid '80s. You want to know the names? Here are some: Methods Of Danse, Technique Berlin and Rational Youth. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY contains eleven songs deeply influenced by '80s synthpop, new wave and by arcade games. As you can see on the photos contained into the booklet, Dave used early '80s gear like Roland TR 606, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS 20, Clavia Nord Lead 2, etc. He also used along with a vocoder, those educational keyboards called Speak And Spell, creating a retro atmosphere that with the retro gaming visuals of the booklet creates a particolar atmosphere especially if in your teens you owned a Commodore computer or a Spectrum. Talking about the songs, Datafreq doesn't sound exactly like a synthpop band because even if on tracks "Just like 1981", "I desire" or on the instrumental "Circuitropolis" the influence of that genre is clear, on "Diskophonic" new wave and techno are the main references (and that is a really catchy track) while on "Silhouette city" I can hear echoes of the early John Foxx. Blending instrumentals, electro pop songs and new wave sythetic tracks Datafreq succeeded into creating a multifaceted album that convince for its freshness. Daring to experiment a little bit with genres without sticking the songwriting on synthpop and with the right dose of irony, Dave did the right thing and also Das Drehmoment showed its will to produce different kind of bands always being true to the electronic world. P.s. The CD contains also the nice "Arcade junkie" videoclip.
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Artist: OIL 10
Title: Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Funk Welten (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing several albums during the last decade, Gilles Rossire with BEYOND releases his first full lenght for Funk Welten, the Black Rain sublabel focused on ambient and futuristic sounds. Influenced deeply by Kraftwerk, Vangelis and J. M. Jarre, Gilles takes the sound of European electronic music precursors just to re-process it into a modern blend of ambient, dance and techno, succeeding into the creation of a convincing mix. If the opening "Synchro 4 all" is a technoid dark ambient intro based on bleeps, pulsating rhythms and pads, the following one, "High adventure", is like a Kraftwerk ambient dance track. "Tele tone" is more electro and if "High adventure" was recalling the Kraftwerk for the use of vocoder, this one remember them for the use of scales made by those carachteristics synthetic tones (do you remember "Pocket calculator"?). "Grand illusion" expand even more the concept of ambient dance music, because it seems to listening to a dance version of early Biosphere. "Far & away" recall me the last Bartos album but shifted into a space scenario. "X fleet" is a little more techno / early e.b.m. but Gilles mix it with a sound that seems coming from the sci-fi movies of the '50s: something similar to a theremin but with a better control of melody. "Departure" recall J.M. Jarre way of using melody just like its following "Boarding pass" make the French way of playing electronic music revive. "Mach III" is a potential dance floor killer while the closing "My neighbor Hayao" is a beautiful electronic ballad that has a bitter taste that make you want to play the album from the start and nowadays this isn't a common thing! Great album, indeed!

HIV+: Overdose Kill Me

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jul 16 2006
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Artist: HIV+
Title: Overdose Kill Me
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: DSPB
Rated: *****
After the demise of his past label Black Flames Records of Poland the Spanish act HIV+ aka Pedro Penas y Robles is back on track. He could sign a deal with the up and coming Spanish label Caustic Records, although Pedro lives since several years in the south of France. The name HIV+ is well known in the international Powernoise/Industrial scene, also thanks to several live performances like the last year’s gig at Infest, surely a highlight in the history of this act. Pedro also made himself a good name of being a DJ at several different locations. His new CD features 8 real audio pieces, different – as usual – it its kind and art. A lot of collaborations also happened again and Pedro does well to integrate several guests hailing out of different music genres to fill in his rich diversity. Three tracks here ("Suicide Diva", "Vicious Death" and "Eternity") he has composed on his own with a little production help of the Swiss act STENDECK. His famous track "Havoc 2027" is again available, this time in a remix work by both favorite members of the Powernoise legend ESPLENDOR GEOMETRICO, Saverio Evangelista and Frederico Spini). We have then some noisy instrumental remix of the track "Break It Loud" done by NÖVÖ and a great reconstruction by Pedro on a track of the totally underrated French act DATARAPER, from which I haven’t heard since a long time, my favorite piece here. A real Electro tune is also available, French mad man Remzi Kellici aka OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF created a stomping EBM piece out of the HIV+ track "Schäden". Please check also out the enhanced video of two further HIV+ tracks, live recordings taken from the mentioned Infest 2005 gig. Like every release Pedro has conducted so far, also this new one is worth any investment. It is not the fast speedy monotonous Powernoise, no, this one has its own authentic style. Also the artwork featuring the hot cutie named Vanessa really got me here...
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Artist: WYNARDTAGE meets ACYLUM (@)
Title: Lords Of Darkness EP
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem (@)
Rated: *****
Yes, both favorite acts hailing from the German X-Cem collective return here with new and previously unreleased stuff. Both actors behind these successful Dark Electro/Industrial acts, Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE) and Pedro Engel (ACYLUM) also teamed up here to produce as a duo the title track "Lords Of Darkness" as well as the dark instrumental piece "Without Breathe". "Lords Of Darkness" is the main track here, a danceable club smasher and available here in 4 different versions, one remix was done by the new collective partners DAVANTAGE, which I would call the best out of the four mixes. Then both acts present themselves 6 tracks each consisting of a few new pieces, alternative versions and remix works created by different friends out of the scene. WYNARDTAGE offers excellent remix works by FORMALIN ("I’m Not Your God") and LA MAGRA ("Du Hast") and an own created remix of the club hit "Waste Of Time". Three new tracks are on here from which "Suicide" gets my vote for the best piece, while "No Confidence" is a bit too simple structured and turns into some useless Hellektro attitudes. I have the slight impression that WYNARDTAGE turns more and into some harder areas while growing on equipment. A new full length release of this promising act is scheduled to the fall of this year. Comes next ACYLUM with their unbreakable kind of Dark Electro/Powernoise-inspired music to offer 6 pieces, but unfortunately with only two new tunes. But these two tracks, "Rape" and "My Pressure Is Hate" are worth every investment, especially "Rape" will drive the tormented souls of the dark club visitors for some Pogo-action on the dancefloors – effusions of blood guaranteed! WYNARDTAGE and MAY-FLY offer well done remix works more based onto the Electro side, while the Sonic Violence Experience remix of "War" turns this track into that what this cool name offers: a sonic violence experience. So we have still the remix of "Black Virus" created by POLARLICHT 4.1, but – it can’t follow the rough coarse of destruction! Something specially stands behind this release. It will be soon a hard-to-get item because it is strictly limited to only 160 numbered exemplars. Plus it is also only available directly from the X-Cem community, so don’t ask your dealer. Make sure to contact Kai Arnold under the given contacts here and try ASAP to order this great release.


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