Music Reviews



VNV NATION: Judgement

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 04 2007
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Artist: VNV NATION (@)
Title: Judgement
Format: CD
Label: Anachron Sounds/Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
This is for sure the most awaited and anticipated release of the year and I guess it’s not required to introduce this duo nearer. Since some of you readers out there may think it’s cool and funny to get some stuff heard several days before the official release date (which is in this case TODAY for Europe, at 10th of April available for North-America), let me tell you, that this is a promotional copy.

We at the Chain D.L.K. are maybe not in the position to start any new endless debates about the currently hard times with dropping sales near to zero for all participating bands and labels. Several labels – mostly the better known having some established artist in their roster – are seriously looking out to save costs and have switched their promotional efforts completely on a digital downloading procedure. Some others do press special promotional CD often under-toned with a voice telling you two times per track that "you’re listening to the XY album of ... (fill in artist)" – not fine at all, but at least you CAN get an impression of the album content. But this "new" idea of the VNV NATION release is the top of impertinence. I see the fact that some so-called journalists are feeding some illegal downloading portals with some new stuff earlier than the official release date, but this "item" I tend to call irreverent and pure paranoia.

This promotional copy features one full-length track ("Farthest Star"), one near-to-full-length special edit ("Nemesis") and five additional snippets of album tracks featuring at best a verse and the refrain of the track. With a playing time of 17 minutes some professional hard-working journalists which take their "job" (...and nobody pays us!!!) seriously should be able to give a quality review on the new complete album? We’re talking on VNV NATION, a scene-leading act which has taken influence on styles like Synth-/Futurepop like no other act else. Where’s the sense in this promotional item – okay, this time a journalist won’t feed the mostly in Russia placed illegal piracy servers – but a buyer soon will, face the facts!

Okay – "The Farthest Star" is definitively a new club filler with a decent melodic content and Ronan’s smooth vocal performance – straight and catchy arranged – it simply features all well-known elements which have made VNV NATION that famous. "Nemesis (Divine Command Edit)" differs a lot – it’s maybe one of the hardest tracks ever composed by them. Old-school EBM-like bass line and a much more angry vocals, some acoustic guitar elements to strengthen the refrain which proves their lately recognized dedication to some more Alternative-influenced styles – this all results in one of the most unexpected tracks of VNV NATION but in a good quality.

And the snippets? No, thanks – not with me, because these files are definitively too short to give out any tendency. VNV NATION and the label want a perfect promotion – the best with interviews? Well, then offer a full-length album with a complete artwork. No rating on this new release from my side, because the given stuff is too limited to give a quality judgement.

HEAD-LESS: Rouge Et Noir

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 04 2007
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Artist: HEAD-LESS (@)
Title: Rouge Et Noir
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Icare Media
Rated: *****
Hailing out of Germany we like to welcome the trio HEAD-LESS to the international Electro/Industrial scene, providing with this limited DCD set a remarkable official debut release. This album is completely self-produced and you can easily recognize on its kind and the glossy art with a colorful digi-pack the huge amount of work behind it. A funny note asides of this, I received this item by the field mailing out of Afghanistan – one band member was based there under the command of the UN freedom corps – Electro/Industrial rivetheads know where the hot places are. Musically HEAD-LESS are based into wide field between Synth-/Future- and Electropop up to EBM tunes. As a strange and rather not expected ingredient they like to offer as well some accomplishing guitar riffs ("Catch A Bitch", "Rouge et Noir"). The music follows mostly the expected and similar formula provided by better known acts like ASSEMBLAGE 23, CULTURE KULTÜR and/or ANGELS & AGONY – while not playing in the same league. Here and there some better worked-out harmonies and a concentration on more melodic synth textures would help. The vocals are provided clear and natural sounding, while the lyrics in both languages German and English deal mainly with greed, sexual devotion and all the bitter-sweet experiences with love relationships. It is conspicuous how they manage to offer a dramatic lyrically outcome – but too much theatric is a bit confusing and lets me rather think on some Goth-inspired works ("Ehrenfeld"). So "Rouge Et Noir" has for sure its remarkable moments and offers with "Ship Of Agony" and "Seelensturm" the best tracks. I also like to mention the instrumental works with "Marthes Garden" and "Valentine" for being more dedicated to the darker and harder side of this act. No wonder that especially "Ship Of Agony" got some extra recognition on the second CD, which features several different versions by HEAD-LESS and remix works on this track. The names which could lay their skilful hands on the HEAD-LESS stuff can be seen as the creme of the creme: ASSEMBLAGE 23, ACCESSORY, RECTOR SCANNER (all have worked on "Ship Of Agony"), COLONY 5 ("Licht Im Grau", a small club hit for HEAD-LESS in their area – also featured in its original version) and CEPHALGY ("Adore"). Maybe a bit too similar sounding acts, but I guess the interested audience and the fans of these acts will appreciate this effort. With the support of Hardbeat Promotion and the distribution through Icare Media some recognition also in the clubs should be guaranteed.

WHITE ALIEN: Albatron

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 02 2007
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Artist: WHITE ALIEN (@)
Title: Albatron
Format: CD
Label: Frost Foundation (@)
Rated: *****
Italian band born a couple of years ago, White Alien are a sort of personal project of Mannequeen7317 because he's the composer of the lyrics and of the tracks. ALBATRON is their first album and it's released by Frost Foundation, a new label/studio/promotion agency based in Milan which previously released a CD by Gloria Nuda. The twelve tracks of the album present a sound in balance from industrial e.b.m. and goth metal (it isn't a case if the band recently did a Ministry cover of "We believe"). The sound is convincing and powerful and some tracks, once remixed, could work well also on alternative dance floors ("Mechupid" or the following "Untilted). Some other songs are based on an industrial approach to sounds and for this reason sound less melodic compared to the two titles I mentioned (see "Stranger" "Who are the aliens?" and "Void"). The vocals are often treated and the lyrics aren't intelligible but the whole atmosphere shows the good work that the band did.

VV.AA: Elektrisch! 2

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 29 2007
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Elektrisch! 2
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Major Records (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
New chapter of the ELEKTRISCH compilations series, this second one brings to the attention of electro fans a massive amount of new remixes (twenty six, because the last two songs by Nono and Motus are original versions) that will please their hunger for danceable electronic tunes. The double compilation gathers bands coming from the Major label's roster ( IAMX, X-perience, Boytronic, Celluloide) as well as really famous names like Erasure or Goldfrapp along with well known and appreciated acts of the electronic scene (Iris, Tecnoir, Assemblage 23, Unheilig to name few) and its peculiarity is of presenting danceable remixed versions of original tracks. In this way bands that plays different kinds of electronic music, like Client, Goldfrapp, Camouflage or Erasure, are re-processed through a sort of future pop filter and see their tracks living a new life. There are also bands that have been remixed that remix other acts. Here few examples: this is the case of Client that see their Adam And The Ants cover remixed by Mechanical Cabaret and remixPurwien feat. Witt, of Mechanical Cabaret that remixed Mesh, Client and is remixed by Nesh and it's also the case of Celluloide, who remix Neuropa and have been remixed by Dekad. Synthpop, future pop, e.b.m., electro are well represented in this compilation and there are no weak moments. Be sure to follow the different release parties that will be held in different German cities. Here's the full tracklist for your reference:
cd 1:

01. Alphaville - To Germany With Love (Sebastian R. Komor Extended Remix) *
02. Camouflage - We Are Lovers (!Distain Remix) *
03. Client - Zerox Machine (Mechanical Cabaret Extended Remix) *
04. Deine Lakaien - Where You Are (Memphis Remix)**
05. X-Perience - Return To Paradise (The Promise Remix) *
06. Erasure – All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love (Shanghai Surprize Radio Edit) **
07. Mechanical Cabaret - Disbehave (Mesh Asbo Remix) *
08. Goldfrapp – Ooh La La (When Andy Bell Met The Manhattan Clique Mix) **
09. Iamx – Spit It Out (Alexander Kowalski Remix)
10. Mesh - Step By Step (Mechanical Cabaret Extended Remix) *
11. Assemblage 23 - You Haven´T Earned It (The Loge Remix) *
12. Unheilig – Ich Will Alles (Elektronik Club Mix) *
13. Boytronic – Little Italian Feeling (Days Of Fate Remix) *
14. Purwien Feat. Witt - Alle Fehler (Client Remix) *

Cd 2 (Limitierte Erstauflage):
01. [:Sitd:] - Suffering In Solitute (Empathy Mix) *
02. Code 64 - Guardian (Bariuz Remix) *
03. Psyche - Angel Lies Sleeping 2007 (Extended Neuropa Remix) *
04. Iris - It Generates (Darker Days Remix) **
05. Lowe - The Vanishing (Steve Wasabi Remix) *
06. Celluloide - Who Is The Angel (Dekad Remix) *
07. Scarlet Soho - Modern Radio (Menichal Servants Remix) *
08. X-Divide - I Don´T Care (Trance Club Mix) *
09. Obscenity Trial - Here And Now (Syrian Remix) *
10. Technoir - Manifesto (Beborn Beton Club Edit) *
11. Neuropa - Blitz (Celluloide Remix) *
12. Eden - Electric (Obscenity Trail Remix) *
13. Nono – Geisha (Original Version) *
14. Motus – Leave (Original Version) *
* Exclusive remix
** Rare remix

K-NITRATE: Active Cell

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3496)
Mar 27 2007
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Artist: K-NITRATE
Title: Active Cell
Format: CD
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Back after 13 years from their full length debut, K-nitrate (now formed by Graham Rayner and Christian Weber) present a new album titled ACTIVE CELL. The ten new tracks see the duo using real synthesizers only (as stated inside the CD booklet) to create their mixture of acid techno electronic music. With a different kind of sounds we could call it danceable industrial music but, in this case, I can hear echoes of 90’s acid music (don’t ask me names, because acid music isn’t my cup of tea) that mixed with distorted lead synth lines form a new kind of explosive mixture. If you want me to compare the sound to something I know, try to imagine The Prodigy of tracks like "Hyperspeed (G-Force part 2)" but add an aggressive tone and raise the techno influence. The choice the band did of making instrumental tracks increase the effect of a dancehall in distortion. With vocal lines they could smash the charts just like the Prodigy did...


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