Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Violent Nation Vol. 1

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3314)
Jan 02 2007
cover
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Violent Nation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem/Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
A compilation of four acts out of the German X-Cem roster, released under the Rupal Records fanatic series. Compiled by Pedro Engel of ACYLUM this release features 6 tracks by his very own side-project CHROME DIVISION, 7 tracks by SONIC VIOLENCE EXPERIENCE, 3 tracks by FORMALIN and 2 tracks by SENSOGEN. The musically content tends into rhythmically Powernoise, here and there combined with Dark Electro. CHROME DIVISION are opening loud and merciless this comp. While Pedro’s highly recognized main project already offers several elements out of the Powernoise genre, CHROME DIVISION differs a bit. Remove the vocal performances of Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE), reduce the nightmarish Dark Electro-inspired melodic ingredients and add just more pounding dissonance. His signature of course remains here, how could you expect anything else? SONIC VIOLENCE NATION consists of R. Kulawik and he continues to produce pounding Powernoise efforts here, maybe with a bit more reduced musically attitude. It seems a bit that only rhythm counts, they offer a rather minimal and monotonous approach and this 7 tracks can be named a kind of debut. The German male/female duo FORMALIN I’ve already discovered with some excellent remix works for WYNARDTAGE and a comp appearance here and there for the X-Cem collective. Their music is rather based on energetic Dark Electro but it takes some hints out of Powernoise. Very rhythmically structured of course, too, but with changing vocals and diversity in the textures and arrangements. Their three tracks are the outstanding work on this comp for sure. Finally last but not least two tracks of Kai Arnold’s side-project SENSOGEN providing his vision of aggressive Powernoise besides his currently very successful WYNARDTAGE project. He won’t get mad with me when I take ACYLUM as a reference, lesser dark and melodic but harsher. Valuable stuff as well, which keeps the hopes high for an own SENSOGEN release. The mostly Dark Electro-inspired sound of the X-Cem collective has already attracted several people, but the more harsh and noisy kind isn’t lesser interesting. There’s more to come from this collective, make sure to watch out for it in 2K7...

MIND:STATE: bbbc2x

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3313)
Jan 02 2007
cover
Artist: MIND:STATE (@)
Title: bbbc2x
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
First EP release for this Swedish newcomer signed to the Belgium Alfa-Matrix label group. MIND:STATE is the solo project of Per Holmström and he provides us his version of danceable Electro/Industrial music – as expected after some compilation appearances – pretty much along the same formula which made acts like ASSEMBLAGE 23 that big and appreciated. Also in the kind how Per provides his good sounding male vocals here allows for sure to take those comparisons. Recorded and produced under the magically hands of Len Lemeire (IMPLANT), 4 new tracks are featured on this EP, and the most catchiest track "Close Your Eyes" gets my vote for being the best tune here. Also 4 remix works are featured here, which don’t leave you unimpressed. Great to see and hear the US cult act CUT.RATE.BOX back in front of the scene offering here the finest remix works on the track "Black Angel". Thumbs up also for both works of STATE OF THE UNION and IMPLANT, while the remix of AURAL VAMPIRE moves far away from the original. This one provides minimal 303-like bass lines – interesting work, but it tends to burden the melodic content of the original. Catchy arranged lighter Electro music for sure without any loss of quality, but Per has to take the reproach not to work out a sound which the audience hasn’t discovered before. An own signature and authentic style is still missed, also after this four tracks. Nevertheless it’s a good appetizer for the first full-length album "Decayed, Rebuilt" which doesn’t shrink the expectations.
cover
Artist: NEIKKA RPM (@)
Title: Rise Of The 13th Serpent
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
New full-length release for this New York-based female-leaded act. The charismatic Dominique tries to solve the riddle of the 13th Serpent here and acts with their vocals contributions between whispering and gasping like the serpent conjurer. Somehow her kind to place her voice between her most danceable produced songs has become a kind of trademark, it gives the tracks a very mysterious and icy feeling. Musically the whole disc is influenced by Dominique’s own style combining danceable Electro with IDM and Electro-Clash. Think of a straight-forward producing Len Lemeire of IMPLANT – this could be a possible comparison of the music. Other influences can be taken out of the guest vocal performances of some well-known scene acts and people. Claus Larsen (LEAETHER STRIP), Claus Kruse (PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE), DJ Rexx Arcana (BRUDERSCHAFT, FGFC820), J3 (à;GRUMH...) and the already mentioned IMPLANT-mastermind Len Lemeire are featured here and offer quality performances – especially the raging Claus Larsen on "Sacrifice (Sever The Delusion)" earns a special vote! Another favorite is Dominiques’s very own performed track "Spread Myself / My Sex On You" – not for her (hot) performance, moreover for the excellent ripping bass line arrangements. This is a straight produced and very club-oriented quality Electro album, which has ist own identity thanks to the mysterious edge Dominique brings in here. Good stuff.
Dec 28 2006
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anymore
Artist: UTOPIA : BANISHED
Title: Dirtward
Format: CD
Label: Aentitainment
Rated: *****
If you are a Napalm Death fan, beware, this band has nothing to do with them, even if their name is the same of one of the early albums by the English grind band. Utopia:Banished is the personal project of a guy called Chris. I don't know anything else. The only thing I know is that he previously released for Aentitainment two EPs "Nano" and "Innocent pt.II". His songs sound like a hardcore version of early Nine Inch Nails and if I never been involved by their music, instead, Utopia:Banished sound make me feel a lot more tension. If you listen to "Spare time" you'll understand what I mean: on this one there are a couple of whispered vocals, a drum machine and a light distorted guitar that sometimes plays some arpeggios or is being lightly beaten. For all its length this song is about to explode but if you want a real explosion you can check the opening "This is my platoon" or "The hedonist". Chris did all by himself (but the sound engineering) and the album sounds convincing, tense, industrial and with the right blend of apparently quiet tracks and semi industrial punk cavalcades.

ASTARIEL: Let's Kill Fame

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3306)
Dec 27 2006
Artist: ASTARIEL (@)
Title: Let's Kill Fame
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Rated: *****
Astariel is the personal musical project of A. Taylor. He sent me this CDr and I don't know if its already commercially available. I doubt this has been released by a label, because the sound is a bit rough even if functional. Anyway... Astariel plays something between electro wave influenced by Bowie, Marc Almond and The Associates. He's quite good and his tunes are catchy melancholic minimal electro pop/rock songs. With a little bit of production he will find a wide audience. You can check his three tunes on his myspace page at www.myspace.com/astariel.


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