Music Reviews

Feb 22 2007
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Artist: IMMUNOLOGY (@)
Title: Fallen Angel
Format: CD EP
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
Somehow this Czech act is to me the lost child of the Advoxya label. Long awaited, here comes their second release on this Russian/Hungarian label. "Fallen Angel" is the most recognized title available originally on their last full-length CD "New Gate", which got released already two years before. It’s a bit hard to categorize the sound of this act. Diversity is richly given, elements of Electro/Industrial, Metal and some chaotic Punk-like styles can be heard in a very explosive and energetic mixture. Also the chosen remixing acts prove their abilities and offer some not expected surprises. IMPACT PULSE have to be mentioned, available here with two different remix works (Hungarian and Russian Modul remixes) on "Fallen Angel" – both offer linearity through straight Electro-styled arrangements). The Czech fellowmen of DEPRESSIVE DISORDER can surprise with a spherical cover version of "Fallen Angel" – I have indeed never before heard about that a band creates instead of a remix a cover version – what a brilliant idea. The Russian act SANGUIS IN NOCTE has instead to the other remixing acts worked out two different remixes on "Hunter", originally also taken from "New Gate". Guitars aren’t foreign for them, but they use it wise in these tracks and can offer an American-like Coldwave feeling. Two new tracks are available as well plus a special live video of "Fallen Angel" to conclude this 45 minutes long EP. IMMUNOLOGY seems to be for Advoxya the act to explore the rather guitar-driven genres and you’ll need to be a bit more open-minded to find the right access on their stuff

Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electronic Manifesto
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Rated: *****
A DCD compilation set brought to us by the Spanish label Caustic Records which provides the excellent idea to collect several rather underground acts of both countries France and Spain. It is a fine collected initiative to offer these acts a platform to publish some promising material. And indeed, I have found here several tracks and artists on which it is hard to believe that they haven’t been yet recognized by a wider audience. Also the both compilers of the darkest pieces out of both countries speak for quality. CD 1 got compiled by Pedro Penas Y Robles – better known under his band H.I.V.+, while the second CD was compiled by DJ Dogme, who stands behind the French label and online community Axess Code. Additional help they received on the production and the artistic concept by Caustic Records label chief Manix S. and from Yann Soutre of the French act REMAIN SILENT (...why not on here with a new track???) providing the mastering of this DCD set. The French act NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT opens this compilation with a new and rather slow tune, which once more approves their status. PUPPYan-like ominous synth layers, complex programmings and the authentic vocals of Laurent K. (STIGMA) celebrate a strong recommendation to check out more of their stuff – now signed to the US-based Vendetta Music/Electro Aggression Records there should be something out soon. Pedro aka H.I.V.+ has united here with THE HACKER and offers a rather danceable version of "Növö Disko". The "black sheep" on this whole compilation is the guest appearance of PSYCHE providing an updated version of the classic track "Unveiling The Secret 2.0". CHRISTOFFER KAH has to mentioned here too and can totally convince with a danceable track featuring rather old-school EBM bass lines, dark restranged vocals and great melodic content. And have you ever thought about that the French old-school EBM act VOID KAMPF can provide a convincing Dark Electro-minded instrumental tune, instead of "body-muscle-machine" shouts? They can – hats down – but have I heard an obviously use of a FLA sample ("Infra Red Combat") in their track? However, it’s one of the best surprises here! PAIL, the Spanish project leaded by Manix S., comes up with a new euphoric and danceable Dark Electro track, which makes hungry for more! TANNHAUSER, next to PAIL also signed to Caustic Records, is an act which – to my shame – I haven’t discovered anything about. What a big mistake, as they can prove here. A lot of fine tunes to check out here and while CD 2 maybe features the lesser known artist names, it stands head to head in quality to CD 1. SENSORIAL RESPONSE is a new signing for Caustic Records and their first audio sign of life is a fine worked-out instrumental piece. EMBRYO is a new cooperation project by Bruno L. of NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT and Dominique Debert of BRAIN LEISURE – they aren’t afraid to use some guitar riffs to provide a different kind to their rather classic EBM-inspired tunes. Comes then one of my most favorites, E:S.R. with a new and unreleased alternative version of "Regression", which should even raise the collector’s value of this compilation – excellent quality as usual from this fine French act. Musically in a comparable style comes then a collaborative effort by both relatively known French acts BRAIN LEISURE and SKOYZ, while the following cooperation between H.I.V.+ and DEADCELL (= Bruno of NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT) reminds strong on some INTERLACE/NECRO FACILITY tunes featuring a fine but dark melodic content. Best surprise to me is the return of the French act DATA RAPER aka Anthony Dupre. He has released one album called "Carbon Flora" on the French label Brume Records, but afterwards it got silent around him. Fantastic programmings, rich and detailed synth textures, vocoderized vocals – let’s hope and keep all the fingers crossed that he will return. We then get into the part where the searching qualities of DJ Dogme are asked for, because behind names like MIND NECROSIS FACTOR, QUANTIC CHURCH, ZAUBER and SPLATTERPUNK are hiding mostly undiscovered acts – not lesser talented for sure, but they stand mostly in their very first beginning of a career – as far as this is possible in this poor scene. EX_TENSION I need to mention as well, and I hope that this French act will finally soon coming up with a long announced CD release on Cortex Records. The veteran act K-BEREIT also receives a free slot providing straight EBM bass lines with rather chaotic textures. This is globally one of the finest compilations around of the last six months for sure, especially and thanks to the fact that the generic Trance/Techno-inspired Hellektro formula hasn’t find any free slot. The compilers have done a great job and could collect quality, congrats to all of you. Some more and mostly known names I miss here (TAMTRUM, ALLIED VISION, CULTURE KULTUR, OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF...), but this maybe would mean they have to replace some talented newcomer... However, I hope for a continuation, the second chapter has to follow, please...

CD1 selected by HIV+_

2.LAAG "submit"
3.MAURI "critical day (feat. Victor HAZE)"
4.THE HACKER & HIV+ "növö disko"
5.TERENCE FIXMER "substance"
6.PSYCHOSOMATIK "release me (industrial mix)"
7.PSYCHE "Unveiling the secret (PEOPLE THEATRE ext. version) "
8.CHRISTOPHER KAH "urban night"
9.VOID KAMPF "restore hope (instrumental)"
10.PAIL "dignity corrosion"
11.TANNHAUSER "born in fear"
12.GEISTFORM "alter"
13.LTNO "lucyfer rising (SCHOOLBUS TEENAGE Rmx)"

_CD2 selected by DJ Dogme_

01.SPROG "discordia ( M-linc vocal)"
02.SENSORIAL RESPONSE "Your life is mine (instrumental)"
03.EMBRYO "save me from myself "
04.E.S.R "regression ( Human wasteland mix)"
05.BRAIN LEISURE vs SKOYZ "the maze"
06.HIV+ vs DEADCELL " transmutation (rmx)"
07.DATA RAPER "prosium"
08.MIND NECROSIS FACTOR "senescence"
09.QUANTIC CHURCH " millenium jihad"
10.ZAUBER "funeral imagination"
11.EX_TENSION "freedom (Ultimate mix)"
13.K-BEREIT "blue halo"
14.MUCKRACKERS "fraktion 27"

MANDROID: Futurefunk

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3408)
Feb 15 2007
Title: Futurefunk
Format: 12"
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from England, Mandroid is the project of Adrian D. Rataj. Memberof the Defcon 5 crew in Leeds, he's best known for his previous releases on Breakin Records that is run by Ed DMX (DMX Krew) and on the USA-based label FBI Recordings. After two albums and six 12" E.P.s, Mandroid has landed for the second time on Dominance Electricity (the first time has been for the compilation "Global Surveyor Phase 2") with a seven tracks E.P. that will satisfy your analog electro funky needs. King of the vocoder, Mandroid influences span from John Carpenter (do you remember the atmospheres of the Halloween soundtrack?) to Kraftwerk passing through Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby and obscure '80s synth heroes. The tunes are upbeat tracks with a dancey flavor and bleeping analog sounds with a certain dark catchy atmosphere. The main title is a short electro instrumental track that closes the 12" but before that you will for sure be delighted by the opening "Jupitor" or the intriguing atmospheres of the following "Population overdrive". Check also the beautiful cover where I think is pictured a robot version of Adrian surrounded by robot whores...
P.s. The release is available also as a promo CDr and as digital download.
Feb 13 2007
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Artist: MARK LANE (@)
Title: Anti-Tech Testament 1981-1985
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Editions Mark Lane (@)
Rated: *****

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As anticipated on my "Inner most folds" review, Mark Lane has released for his 25th music anniversary a double CD set that contains tracks of his 1981-1985 period. THE ANTI-TECH TESTAMENT 1981-1985 contains 24 tracks coming from his early releases. Just to go a little deeply on the tracklist you can find 3 out of 6 tracks coming from "Misselijkheid ist niet intellectualistisch" a 6 song 7" EP, 1 out of 3 from "Love is so aggravating", a 3 song 7" vinyl EP, 1 out of 2 from "The reflection" a 2 song 9" opaque blue flexi-disc, 5 out of 5 from "Who's really listening?", a 5 song 12" mini-LP, 1 out of 1 from "Pleasure heist", a 1 song 7"vinyl picture-disc. The remaining 13 tracks are rare ones and some of them found already place on "Kill joy", a 17 song CD-R album released by Spider-Disc Int. on year 2000 and on "Who's really listening?+", a 12 song CD released by MetaWave Classix/Germany on year 2001, at the same period of the "Creepy a la weepy" MCD. Listening to the CDs I realized that Mark was sons of his times as the early songs sound like cold wave experiments that had a lot to share with the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget and Bauhaus and a lot of other bands that grew with the sounds of Bowie, Roxy Music and punk in their ears and that lived on their flesh the new sounds and ideas of the post punk movement. Even if coming from the U.S., Mark had a lot of contacts in Europe where he released a bunch of his records and where he shared some gigs with Klinik. By listening to THE ANTI-TECH TESTAMENT 1981-1985 it's difficult for me to explain what you can find inside because I like it so much: I can hear so many influences that have been re-processed that I can't name other bands without underlining that Mark succeeded into giving his own print on all the tracks. Some of them are synth based rough melodic songs while some others like "Il pluet a Bruxelles" sound like little post punk gems and if the minimal approach of"3rd party" can catch your attention, the hypnotic "Tsar" will be able to stick its almost theatrical vocal lines into your memory. The pity is that the double set contains only less than 90 minutes of music, while it could contain all the whole first releases which aren't that easy to find. I hope that Mark will reissue all his stuff but without waiting other 25 years! Wait for an interview to Mark Lane on Chain D.L.K. anytime soon...
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Artist: AKRON (@)
Title: Origins Of The 7 Deadly Sins
Format: CD
Label: Hypervoxx Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
What can compositions like "Chariots of Fire", "Lucifer", "Popcorn" or "Zarathrouska" have to do with this release? Well, above mentioned pieces are so-called "Synthesizer Classics" and got coupled and re-assembled several times, those tracks are undying melodies which will survive milleniums. If the tracks of this new signing for the Hypervoxx label will reach this status is rather questionable. But musically the compositions of this duo hailing from Greece tend into the same direction. I could resist to have a listen of their stuff in advance through their Myspace account, as I’ve heard about their signing. So the surprise was on the side of Simon and Yiannis and the label. AKRON, written originally with the Greece letter O (Omega) simply to document their belonging, play a sort of instrumental Industrial-Orchestral music. It is a never heard before mixture featuring several string and classic sounds, human voice sounds, warm synth bass lines and a mostly straight forward attitude. The result is remarkable, real and experienced synth play is balsam for my wounded ears. Comparisons are hard to figure out, parts of ENIGMA, INTERMIX or ALAN PARSONS (also regarding "Lucifer") come to mind. One and only point to criticize is the too short playing time of only 39 minutes. Nevertheless it is somehow to hope that this project will earn the deserved attention. I agree totally with the label sheet talking on "the most innovative duo of the century". Applause for this courageous release!

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