Music Reviews



NOISE PROCESS: Groundzer0

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 19 2007
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Artist: NOISE PROCESS (@)
Title: Groundzer0
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: Icare Media
Rated: *****
I should admit in advance that I received a self-produced copy of this album from the band leader Michael Renfield more than a year before. So somehow I’m a bit familiar with the content of this new and second full-length album of NOISE PROCESS. After their remarkable debut release "Neural Code" and the follow-up Remix-EP "Synapse (The Dead World EP)", both out around 2002/2003 on the German Wire Records, there was a long time gap in between.
This happened due to the fact, that Wire Records has held back the recordings for "Groundzer0" and has left the band in unclear conditions. Finally and after almost three endless years it happened, what rumors out of the scene have expected before, Wire Records stopped all business activities in 2K6. What a shameful behavior of this label to sit out of childish reasons on a ready done recording until a band gets almost forgotten – this has had a damaging effect on the band evolution and I also guess that Michael Renfield has created his Harsh-EBM side-project R010R only "thanks" to the fact that "Groundzer0" was laying on ice and that the whole existence of the band NOISE PROCESS was quite questionable.
Luckily (...and with the help of some loud voices out of a forum... well, TEH FORMU...lol) Tommy T of the DSBP has paid attention and - as usual – he washes his ears from time to time. It would have been a real disaster if this top-notch Electro/Industrial album wouldn’t be released, so after E.S.R. NOISE PROCESS is the second previously-signed-to-Wire-Records act now collaborating with the NM-based label and mail order service.

"Goundzer0" has matured and evolved since the initial recording, with now 78 minutes playing time it fulfills the description "full-length" release. Also musically there are worlds between the now five years old debut "Neural Code" and "Goundzer0" – NOISE PROCESS have heavily worked on their sound and compositions through the years and could reach a modern and up-to-date sounding outcome. What has sounded as some easy-to-follow arrangements on "Neural Code" has grown to more complex structures and textures, "Half-Life" also featuring some cool vocoderized vocals is a fine example and proof for this. With "Desolation" they like to present an ultimate follow-up smasher for "Dying World", rather melodic with a clear verse-bridge-refrain arrangements.
No doubt - "Groundzer0" has to be named to be one of the best releases of this year for the hard Electro/EBM/Industrial scene so far. This is an aggressive and intense assault from the first to the last track which won’t leave any listener unimpressed. Last but not least the excellent abilities to create a dark, mechanical and futuristic looking artwork has to mentioned – "Neural Code" was already awesome, but "Groundzer0" is the masterpiece. I like to advise you to check out the special "art" folder on the NOICE PROCESS website, which features all relevant music projects and a tremendous designed look

Nohno: Metropolis

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 18 2007
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Artist: Nohno
Title: Metropolis
Format: CD
Label: Out to Lunch recordings
Rated: *****

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Nohno is UK-based Dean Dennis, also known as Sector and previously member of Clock DVA and The Anti Group Collective. Obviously with that kind of experience it's pretty safe to assume that whatever Dennis will do is going to sound pretty damn good, or, at the least, it is going to be based on the knowledge and taste acquired in over 20 years of music making. However don't expect the Dennis of Sector. Nohno was created as an alternative to those techno sounds and an opportunity to explore a larger variety of sonic combinations, a more IDM album of sorts, if you will. Specifically, "Metropolis", as the title suggests, intends to evoke the multifaceted atmosphere of a big city, its ocean of lights and it's patterns of revolving sounds and throbbing beats. Voices, thick layers of sounds, incessant and driving beats symbolizing the rhythms of the city, ethereal Mills-like piano parts... Think of it as standing in the middle of a busy Tokyo intersection in the middle of a lively Saturday night, looking up to the skyscrapers and the billboard-lit sky, while fast moving cards leave slow-motion yellow and red light rays all around you in all four directions and you experience the symbiotic relationship between lights and darkness, between slow and fast, between outside world chaos and innermost quiet, between swift terrestrial movements and a still sky.

TAU FACTOR: Second Stage Ignition

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 17 2007
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Artist: TAU FACTOR (@)
Title: Second Stage Ignition
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: Icare Media
Rated: *****
A new signing for the NM-based DSBP label, but with TAU FACTOR a relatively known name. Hailing out of Seattle, this one-man project led by Carsten P. could already release a debut CD called "Prototype" on the ADSR Musicwerks label (NOXIOUS EMOTION) back in 2K2. Several live performances around the Seattle area have happened through the years and TAU FSACTOR could open the shows for some international renowned acts like THE CRUXSHADOWS, GRENDEL or IMPERATIVE REACTION. So live performances have always had an essential point for Carsten, and this will continue, since he prepares for a tour later this year. Thanks to this, but also musically Carsten likes to prove very well his artistic background – this isn’t the musically output of a lonely PC musician installing some preset loops. The music of TAU FACTOR is a very own mixture out of acts like UV, early INFORMÄTIK, Germany’s ACCESSORY and some early 90ies EBM/Dark Electro flavors. The overpopulated Hellektro-virus got luckily left outside of this production, it is a rather moody Dark Electro album which allows to offer danceable tunes ("Dissolution", "Cold Core" or "Overpressure") as well as music to expand your mind ("Fade From View"). Carsten for sure doesn’t use the freshest water to cook his music soup, but otherwise music banned on a real silver circle which avoids the trendy styles is highly appreciated. This CD features 10 new compositions, one cover version of "Inhumanities" by MENTALLO & THE FIXER (blessed by Gary Dassing), a new version of the older track "Convolution" and a remix work on the track "Motionless" provided by the Greece act PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1. Also included is a nice music video on the track "Motionless". This is a very detailed arranged, high-quality Dark Electro album, which currently lays like lead in my home entertainment. Authentic old-school Dark Electro music which avoids a pseudo-aggressive attitude – another fine addition to the rich roster of the DSBP label.

Apr 16 2007
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Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 (@)
Title: Drunken, Crazy, With A Gun
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
It's good to see that in five years Ambassador 21 succeeded into making their band and label grow so much. Since the first day they have been hyper active and created a web of links with similar realities all over Europe. With the previous album "Weight Of Death" they also passed from CD-r to factory pressed CD and in this period of mp3s craziness it's a symptom of wellness. This new album DRUNKEN, CRAZY, WITH A GUN celebrates these years of activity proposing 14 remixed tracks picked up mostly from their previous album. As usual the remixers re-worked the tracks adding to the aggro industrialism of the Byelorussian duo their typical sound. We have the rhytmic noise with P.A.L, Mimetic and Asche), industrial e.b.m oriented tracks with :Wumpscut:, Suicide Inside, Ah Cama-Sotz, S.K.E.T. and Monolith, ambient with This Morn Omina and Contagious Orgasm and industrial breakbeat thanks to Bak XIII, Iszoloscope, Hypnoskull and Tamvred. For the remix lovers this is an interesting release but if you want to approach the sound of the duo I suggest to check their previous release.

NEONGRAU: Spam N Space

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 13 2007
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Artist: NEONGRAU (@)
Title: Spam N Space
Format: CD
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
Seventh release for Das Drehmoment and first full length release for Neongrau, who, after his first 12" released for LoFi Stereo and already out of print, produced an amazing album of retro electronic music with an eye toward the future. Since the first tracks of the album we can listen a certain Gary Numan influence along with echoes of early John Foxx but everything has blended with an electro attitude which takes inspiration from the past (fall 70's / early 80's in this case) without forgetting the modern way of playing electro music by blending different genres (think about the nowadays electro funk scene or bands like Legowelt or Bangkok Impact). The bleeping sounds typical of Roland/Korg drum machines/synths see a new life thanks to the musical attitude of Oliver. The sounds are filtered through two decades of music, mixing post punk vocals (sometimes he recalls me Peter Murphy), synth pop sounds and dark melodies. Try to imagine early Depeche Mode (it isn't a case if on this CD you can find a cover of "Photographic"), The Normal, Soft Cell and Fad Gadget cloned and aware of what had to come. I really appreciated the dark vein of the songs along with the catchy sounds. This is a must have. Check it by visiting Neongrau's webpage!


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