Music Reviews



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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!

ALIEN PRODUKT: Ignorance

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3401)
Feb 12 2007
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Artist: ALIEN PRODUKT (@)
Title: Ignorance
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Second official CD release for this Argentinean act, again presented and brought to us by the Arkansas-based label BLC Productions. Currently active with the line-up Ricardo Alien, UTB and Loregore they’ve recently added another female member, Laura M, providing the smooth vocal counterpart to the rough and menacing male vocal performance of UTB. While their signature regarding chosen sounds and arrangements compared to their debut "Revenge" almost remains the same, some development in their work can’t be ignored. Their compositions have won a lot of maturity, the synth textures received more details and complexity, and their music is generally stuff designed for some bass line fetishists – real and well-thought compositional work instead of switching some aperggio-generated sounds. Here can be recognized their best ability, their music is rather dedicated to some classic European EBM influences ("El Proceso"!!!), instead to follow the often proclaimed comparison by some bored wannabe-journalists, they would "sound like another HOCICO clone". Also the new female band member Laura M needs to be mentioned, because of the fine idea to add a more extreme contrast to the deep male voice of UTB. This concept works decent on several pieces like "Reality (Out Of Control)" or "Involution" – but at best on the slow ballad "Reign Of Ignorance". Some instrumental pieces, also rather slow and more depending on melodic synth textures, provide a satisfying listening also at your home entertainment, although globally the ALIEN PRODUKT sound works at best in the dark clubs. Two additional remix works by their fellow colleagues of SUICIDE SOLUTION ("El Proceso") and the Brazilian DEAD JUMP ("City Of Fakes") providing a welcome different view on ALIEN PRODUKT’s music. A good album far away from the usual Hellektro formula, which should be able to lay some more attention of the international Electro/Industrial patrons on this act.

TOTAL PAIN KOLLAPZ: Hell is Not Heaven

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3400)
Feb 12 2007
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Artist: TOTAL PAIN KOLLAPZ
Title: Hell is Not Heaven
Format: CD
Label: Hypervoxx Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
A new signing for the South-Florida based Hypervoxx Recordings label, a sub-division of Telegrammetry. TOTAL PAIN KOLLAPZ is a one-man project hailing from Sweden providing us a very "own" version of Dark Electro/Industrial music – but I miss any hint for a website, or simply a Myspace account. Described as being an "anger management project" Tony Pettersson is on work here, but at least mostly caged in his very own world. Somehow the terms of the intended label politic of Hypervoxx came to my mind, although I’m not sure if I have read those content on the Telegrammetry website or if it was a comment done by label chief B.A. LaRed via email. It was about that "Hypervoxx will not only focus on the linear and known Electro/Industrial formula, also more experimental and different styles of music will be presented". This project, although musically based in the above mentioned genres, tends to differ from the known formula. For TPK I can agree that this stuff is experimental-minded, although the used sounds are rather old-fashioned and lack of surprising moments – somehow I feel remembered to some very old SUICIDE COMMANDO recordings out of their early demo tape phase. It is rather unconventional how Tony likes to arrange his stuff, this counts especially for the synth textures. I have at least the impression that a lot of his tunes are trying to integrate the term improvisation – the textures at times don’t follow the harmonic theory. This counts also for the sparse integrated rather whispered vocal performance mostly based on a repetitive "murder-death-suicide-motherfucker" content. Here and there the needed precision seems to be vanished on some tracks, although his stuff is rhythmically arranged. But which sense makes an "anger management project" if the tracks with the few exceptions "Where Are You", "U Can’t Kill Me" and "Faithseeker" are hard accessible, uninteresting arranged and drown into repetitions? For me personally this rather causes anger! After the good releases of TAXIM and the highly anticipated MORDACIOUS I would tend to say, that this Swedish episode is a step back – mankind will survive it...

CELLULOIDE: Passion & Excitements

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 07 2007
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Artist: CELLULOIDE (@)
Title: Passion & Excitements
Format: CD
Label: Boredom Product (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After delivering the "Bodypop" E.P. in 2006, Celluloide worked to their third album developing the refined style they already presented with the songs released the last year. After listening to PASSION & EXCITEMEMTS a couple of times the best way to describe it is: minimal electronic pop. The elements that cooperate to fulfill the process are the cold/detached way of singing of Darkleti and the bouncing and bleeping sounds provided by Patrick Holdwem and Member U-0176. The album starts with a couple of good songs "Make things last" and "Second chance" where the band bring to the attention of the listeners a cool kind of upbeat electronic pop. At a first listening you could feel that the sounds don’t change that much on the whole CD and that at a long distance it is a little difficult to cope with the "cold" vocals style. Fortunately this change totally with the following spins of the CD you realize that the songs’ structure is rich and multi-layered and most of the tracks have enough energy and catchy melodies to satisfy your electronic needs. Tracks like "Puzzled" or "Translation of love" could also succeed into clubs as they are or remixed.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Born/Evolve/Progress 2
Format: CD
Label: Progress-Productions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Winter time – compilation time # 3: Well, that’s a fine label compilation. The Swedish label Progress Productions likes to celebrate the new year with their second edition "Born/Evolve/Progress" on which all signed label artists provide new and unreleased tracks. No compiling of known smash hits, no releasing of unnecessary remix works by more or lesser known "stars" of the scene – luckily only new and never-heard-before stuff. Also a nice introduction to the new signings this label has recently picked up. TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE, thankfully featured with a Swedish solo project by John Karlgren has already worked hard to create a satisfied and complex sound for years reaching the level of some classic FLA works. It was about time and a consequential must, that this fucking-great artist finally has found a label home in Progress Productions. Already appearing with an enthusiastic track on the beloved Interbreeding VII (BLC Productions, www.blcmusic.com), this is an act to follow immediately. Opening act is CRYO aka Martin Rudefeldt, maybe the most underrated act on Progress, also present with two new pieces – it’s hard to find any better opener than this new track "Freedom", combining vocoderized vocals, cold melodic synth textures and rather old-school like bass lines. Follows the second new signing MOMMY HURT MY HEAD with a pounding Harsh Electro piece. This act hails from Denmark and can be seen as a follow-up act to the legendary ARZT + PFUSCH, a well-known act still in hiatus. Also the young NECRO FACILITY return with two Dark Electro tunes following more or less obviously some similarities to classic SKINNY PUPPY and/or INTERLACE works – good stuff. RED CELL then marks one of the surprises of this compilation. Wasn’t it this act which could grab some attention by some Swedish Metal music magazines? Where are the guitars? It looks like a huge stylistically change, because this track is a real Futurepop piece somehow comparable to CULTURE KULTÜR and PRIDE & FALL. Mr. JONES MACHINE and HYPE offer late 80ties-inspired Synthpop tracks and especially HYPE’s vocal performance by Robert Enforsen (ex-ELEGANT MACHINERY) can convince totally. SYSTEM continue with a rather minimal early 80-ties, KRAFTWERKian piece, while 8KHZ MONO joining this comp with a surprising hard Electro/EBM piece. Also IAMBIA, hailing out of Greece, are pushing the hard and stomping beats forward to some dark dancefloors featuring once again their fine worked-out signature. STURM CAFE could to my impression really improve their knowledge in German language, while the music formula with NEP-like bass lines and a solid kick and snare work remains the same. Finally the last new signing comes up with the last track, KOPFER KAT with "Spike" providing a rhythmically Powernoise effort which really shatters some walls to dust. Not that Tekkno-based 140 bpm and faster kick/open hi-hat work, but real distortions, easy, but effective produced. Regarding the "limited to 1000 pieces world-wide" special this compilation features as well, there can’t be any real reason not to purchase this fine collection. Progress Productions concentrates on quality releases and has grown in the past two years to much more than only a secret tip. The next label giant after the coming demise of Dependent? Well, let’s see how far it goes...

01: Cryo "Freedom"
02: Terror Punk Syndicate "Dysmorphia" (Epicentre Version)
03: Mommy Hurt My Head "Nothing Zero Option (After the pills)"
04: Necro Facility "Tuxedo"
05: Red Cell "Lust"
06: Mr Jones Machine "Vilda Drömmar"
07: Hype "Love-o-lution"
08: System "No Man"
09: 8kHz Mono "Crash Course"
10: Iambia "Program K"
11: Cryo "Rage"
12: Terror Punk Syndicate "Wish I Was Retarded"
13: Sturm Cafe "Weltliches Leben"
14: Necro Facility "Dope"
15: Kopfer Kat "Spike"


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