Music Reviews

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Title: Artefacts
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
With the second CD release of Lukas Schneider the German label Dependent brings out just one of those beloved, but also courageous and in some phases strange release for which this label has reached a fine name world-wide. AUTO AGGRESSION isn’t at all like your daily and usual Electro/Industrial listening and like on his debut Lukas provides again a rather diverse and experimental minded kind of work. The concept for this "Artefacts" (NO typo here...) means to collect and to re-assemble audio byproducts out of digital sound manipulations. What sounds in this description as a real inaccessible extreme experiment isn’t at all that strange. Musically he offers his fine worked out mixture which combines Electro (A Thousand Fires"), rhythmically Powernoise ("Blame", The Sky Is Not Yours", "Speed"), Ambient, Electronica ("Mechanical Sun") and Pop art ("Shallow Things"). Definitively from the intelligent side of music, the used sounds are of course self-created and arranged. Mostly instrumental tracks, Lukas could add again Nives Garasevic doing the female vocal parts on two tracks, and Eskil Simonsson of COVENANT to perform on the track "A Thousand Fires". Always cool to discover something different, unfortunately also this release will be one of the last of this fine label.

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Artist: BATTERY CAGE (@)
Title: A Young Person's Guide To Heartbreak
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records / Alive
Rated: *****
BATTERY CAGE infected by the Dark Romantic virus? BATTERY CAGE goes BLUTENGEL? Nah, not really. Back with a new full-length album after their successful Metropolis debut release "World Wide Wasteland", BATTERY CAGE know well how to surprise the audience. Regarding the new "lovely" looking cover artwork someone may can expect a different musically course inspired to the mostly in Germany based Wave/Romantic attitude. But luckily musically not too much has changed in their known formula, maybe the guitar parts are more integrated. They still produce a convincing kind of Electro/Industrial music featuring Tyler Newman’s rough, but mostly clear performed vocals, attacking guitar riffs and a satisfying amount of Electro bass lines and textures. Their dedication to some classic Coldwave/Industrial influences is obviously, but no real wonder, since they are active since 12 years. The title maybe announces it a bit, BATTERY CAGE have produced a conceptual album, which draws all facets of a love relation starting with the first meeting ("This Party Sucks, Let’s Leave), building attraction ("Hustler", "Single"), intercourse ("I Want To Take You Home"), the connection generally ("Something Wonderful"), desire up to slavery ("Lethal Angel"), starting routine and first doubts ("Compulsive Behavior"), to the creeping and heart-breaking dying of a relation ("Do You Even Remember Me Now", "All Because Of You") up to a horrible requiem-like end ("Fatal Skull Penetration"). No more content of mankind’s failures, no more political and social-critical content – BATTERY CAGE seem to leave this playing field to Mr. "Cyberlord 575" producing some tunes with soundcard and PC. Here are real compositional efforts, real hand-made Electronic music, real guitar riffs, produced under best conditions in 6 different studios in San Francisco and Boston, finally mastered by Mr. Magic himself, Da5id Din, Tyler’s partner in crime (when do we get a new INFORMÄTIK release???). They’ve produced this "guide" in a chronological manner to give the interested listener an easy to follow story board. No need also to pick out the best track here, this album has to be consumed in one turn to get the full dedication on a thematically content, which all of us have more or less experienced. With 19 tracks and more than 76 minutes playing time this album also fulfills the term "full-length", so for what are you waiting for...?

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.

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