Music Reviews



MARINA SIERTIS: Disease

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (3280)
Dec 14 2006
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Artist: MARINA SIERTIS (@)
Title: Disease
Format: CD EP
Label: Shadowplay Music (@)
Rated: *****
It’s quite some time that Marina Sirtis (now Marina Siertis) weren’t releasing something new. Their latest one was released back in 2003 and it was their full length "Delay And Depression". This new release DISEASE it’s the first single coming from the next album (the second) titled "The much needed second cold war". Respect the old recordings "Disease" seems to be focused on the electro goth influences that the band already had along with a bit of synthpop. The main title is a upbeat ballad focused on the vocal line (the guitars and other sounds come and go while there’s a synthetic bass line always present) that sounds a little like the Cure of the "Disintegration" period meet the Depeche Mode. The song is good but I feel it lacks of energy: it’s like when you are waiting for the explosion and it never happens. The following track "I never went to the English beach house" is a nice ballad with violins, picked electric guitars and everything and it is doing its work really well and it sounds more balanced respect the main title. There are also two bonus tracks, two versions of "Disease". The first one is sounding more like Sisters Of Mercy on acid and maybe I prefer this one to the "single version". The second one is the "Mad club mix" and it’s a nice version but don’t wait for a dance floor killer, because on this version after the opening phase the band followed the principle that less is best and they substituted some instruments with synth sounds. Nice single that it’s making me think that the next album we’ll see something new about Marina Siertis sound respect their old releases.

ENDIF: Meta

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 13 2006
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Artist: ENDIF (@)
Title: Meta
Format: CD
Label: Crunch Pod Media (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is the first "real" full-length by this one-man act leaded by Jason Hollis, if we don’t count the split-release with CAUSTIC to the discography, and I can still remember hearing about this act 3 – 4 years ago coming up through the Thirdwave Collective, which is still active (www.thirdwave-collective.com). A track like "Ashes" caught really my attention and got released on a collective compilation. That it took some more years until this act could leave its hidden status wondered me a bit. So here we have this full-length release out on Crunch Pod Media – and I’ve seldom heard this year anything comparable intense like this one! This isn’t the straight and monotonous beating Powernoise someone may expects, it goes deeper and shows a lot of depth, details and facets. There’s a real intelligent kind behind this 13 tracks, which take influences out of Electro/Industrial, Powernoise (of course...), IDM and Electro-Clash. This is somehow that kind of music where INDIVIDUAL TOTEM at their heydays ("SETI"-era...) have stopped and wouldn’t mind to integrate the "noise" component in their music. Hard electronics filled with real authentic ideas, can you remember to which other release you’ve been said this for a while? "Ashes" is included, but also "Sleeper Cell" which took place on the quadruple Alfa Matrix compilation Endzeit Bunkertracks 2. All relevant older tracks of this act got revamped into this new style, and nothing’s gonna disturb the float of this album. Some well-done co-operations with some different musicians are featured as well, J. Conley aka SAEMSKIN, an act I also lately discovered has laid his hands on "Blotter", one of the outstanding pieces here by combining noise aggression with a constant good but dark melodic content. "Gritscape" is one of the few harsh and fast-forward beating tracks and got manipulated by Mort Rigdon of POLLUTED AXIS. "Totenplatz", a more Dark Electro-oriented track which also has found a free slot on BLC’s Interbreeding VII compilation features lyrics and guest vocals in German by Siren313 of APRAXIA. If you have only a small sense of dedication to hard but still diverse pounding Electro/Industrial/Powernoise music provided with intelligent arrangements and structures, you’ll need to purchase this one. I tend to call this a milestone. Doubleplusgood!!!

AND ONE: Traumfrau

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3273)
Dec 13 2006
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Artist: AND ONE (@)
Title: Traumfrau
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
AND ONE return and release with "Traumfrau" their already third single out of the successful album "Body Pop". I think the high and not expected high entries at the German Media Control Charts of the predecessor "So Klingt Liebe" have played a role for this release. Against to both previous released singles "Military Fashion Show" and "So Klingt Liebe", "Traumfrau", available here in two different versions, reduces the speed a lot, while this track isn’t lesser attractive. The catchy and addictive refrain is one of the finest Naghavi-works for sure. Still good to see that AND ONE don’t need to "sell" their own created style and identity for having the current success, their 80ties influence is still alive and kicking. You’ll got also here a danceable Club Hit remix of "Body Company", two new B-sides with the instrumental "Naghavigationssystem" (funny title...) and the also slower interpreted "Tonight". And to make the good things complete, you’ll get the two video clips pressed on the enhanced part of this good release. If you wouldn’t mind to buy this SiCD for the title track, the good additional B-sides make this release worth to purchase. Note also the cover painting done by F. Naghavi (www.naghavi-kunst.de).
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Artist: BLUTENGEL (@)
Title: My Saviour
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
It was about time for Chris Pohl and his both female vocal princesses to return with a new audio sign of life, just right and dedicated to some colder dark days and to help the tended listener through some gray autumn depressions. I think I don’t have to repeat something about the music style BLUTENGEL offers with a growing success, do I? The acceptance is increasing and entries in the German Media Control Charts – just like their label colleagues AND ONE and CLIENT - are only a matter of time. "My Saviour" features three different versions of this danceable main track, one original and two remix works by CEPHALGY (a real alternative version, but lesser dancefloor-compatible...) and ADAM (offers a harder stomping version...). Add to this the fine track "Verdammnis" with German lyrics, to my taste the better one compared to the title track because of the better included female vocals. With "In Winter" you’ll got another track showing the more ballad-like and orchestral arranged side this act has to offer. BLUTENGEL of course walking the same successful formula like they’ve done before, the Dark Romantic Electro/Futurepop style on which they can be called leaders of the genre. It’s like the daily burger: you’ll know what you’ll get. Definitively quality stuff which has my acceptance and best wishes for success, but no need to praise it like heaven. The Goth-kids will dig it a lot, a must-have for the fans.

Strange Attractor: Everything Is Closer

 Posted by John Gore   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3260)
Dec 11 2006
Artist: Strange Attractor
Title: Everything Is Closer
Format: CD
Label: Music For Speakers
This project is comprised of the duo Niels van Hoorn (soprano sax, etc.) and Richard van Kruysdijk (Electronics, softsynths, samples, etc.). When there’s a sax player anywhere in the mix you immediately think jazz, and there’s plenty of that kind of thing ging on here, but this is modern jazz, and a bit RIO. All kinds of music is presented here, from traditional arrangements to abstract noise and atmospherics. This was originally released as vinyl as Rorschach & Rorschach II. But here’s the tracks individually:

1. Rorschach

angular soprano sax melody, dissonant harmony, busy jazz drumming, buzzy electro bass in a repeating pattern with various embellishments added each time the theme comes around leads immediately into

2. Black Earth

synths set up an harmonic tension underpinning with harmonized soprano sax in delay mode on top, various electronic effects for added sonic seasoning, busy drumming to hold it all together

3. Alpha

heavy halting drums over delayed electro tones, white noise, leading into

4. Omega

jazzy electric piano and female vox and drum programming, reeds and flutes in accompaniment mode

5. Simulcra

scratchy samples in loop mode, noisy percussion added to repeating synth melody figure, slowly building and changing form, new melodies and patterns added but holding the same center of melodic gravity held in place by bass clarinet

6. The Mind Travels Further Than The Body

ominous, dissonant voices, a pulse, a distant calling horn

7. Never Say Never

the voice of LPD tells us another of his strange stories in his usual style

8. In the End It’s All Pretend

jazzy fretless bass sets the tone of rain on windows, slowly moving crowds with heads down staring at the sidewalk, living inside their own heads

9. Dreamtime

treated vocals (by Richard Sinclair of Hatfield and the North) on a bed of wispy synths, driven by a repeated bass figure saxes and drums

10. Scrap Metal

back beat with dissonant melody and counterpoint, cute/creepy I would describe this

11. Fishface

vocals by the LPD guy again using the melody line from the previous track , dark atmospherics added for extra depth, "feed me" he says, a fishy tale, water samples used as rhythm section is a nice touch

12. 26 September

a musical question mark for electronics and soprano sax

13. Five Below Nothing

Sax section of Tenor, Bari, and Bass all played by Hoorn. Good drum programming since the track credits list no one else helping. Goes straight into

14. Melancholy Station

vocals by Marie-Claudine Vanvlemen of Sonar Lodge, with vibe based jazz combo, nice

15. Undone

I think I recognize a Mahavishnu Orchestra sample being used or am I going to get someone in trouble here. The looped sample is accompanied by a bass clarinet, and more vocals by Marie-Claudine

16. Fifteen Years Of Sorrow

same MO sample used but with soprano sax accompaniment this time, vocals by Ka-Spel this time, dreamy synth pads and deep bass add to the mood, aha, I think I hear a Soft Machine sample too! track builds nicely around the vocals


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