Music Reviews



MATRIX: Deus Lo Volt

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 03 2006
cover
Artist: MATRIX (@)
Title: Deus Lo Volt
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
A new release for the New York-based act MATRIX, it’s already their third full length album. After their time of being signed to the German Out Of Line label they needed a pause to concentrate again on producing music and on the fact that they now have to do all terms of a CD production on their own. This is a self-released and so self-funded work which continues the earlier works of this act presented on both predecessor albums "The War Is Over" and "Dreams Are Real". So you’ll get some Electropop music ranging between smooth Synthpop up to beating Futurepop, and – with "Turn To Dust" a never expected harsh Electro tune. John Sepulveda has added Ania Koslowska as a full member and she does some fine vocal performances on tracks like "Sweetest Illusion" and with a bit more aggressive tone on "Culture Of Shame", which is maybe the best known track here, because it was already featured on one of the Out Of Line label compilations. The strongest moments can be heard when both, John and Ania, start a duet like on "On Angels Wings". Also the ballad-like "Eastern Sky" gets my vote for being the most emotional piece here. Gary Suarez and Luis Brito of GASR helped out again with some further composing, guest vocals ("Senseless Game") and production – like they’ve done it on the bands’ earlier albums before. Three remix works can be heard here as well done by CGC, the Argentinean act ALIEN PRODUKT and from the Synthpop act IN-A-SENSE. So you’ll get a 73 minutes long full length CD of one of America’s most talented and experienced act around out of this genre and it would wonder me if this act got not signed soon again. Quality Synthpop music with a strong dancefloor attitude as well.

UNTER NULL: Absolution EP

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 23 2006
cover
Artist: UNTER NULL (@)
Title: Absolution EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The second chapter of the new UNTER NULL twin EP set is only limited to 1000 exemplars – and I really must ask why? So only 1000 people world-wide will be able to unite the "twins" here and can get the fully special artwork. Come on, which sense does this make? So one thing is for sure – this EP will be sold-out soon, if you think on the unexpected success Erica Dunham could earn with only one EP and CD released before. This "Absolution EP" features like the twin 8 tracks in all, 3 originals including the marvelous "Prophecy" and the both pieces "Disgrace" and "Endtime". "Disgrace" features again (and again, and again...) the ominous synth layers, which get more and more to a special trademark in Erica’s music. The magically "Prophecy" is again featured in its original version, While "Endtime" can be called as being the main track here, because this one receives here 3 very different remix works by MNEMONIC, SCHLAUT and XP8. The MNEMONIC remix has a special IDM feeling while offering the scary mood of the original version. This marvelous remix seemed to impress also the responsible people at Alfa Matrix, because it got placed to the first position to open this EP. I have never heard before of a project called FIRST BLACK POPE, but their remix on "Prophecy" brings another interesting element to UNTER NULL’s music with some heavy guitar sounds turning it almost into a Metal/Crossover piece. Well, the well done original tracks do it again for me, although there’s no really need to include the original "Prophecy" again. Of course you now have to hurry up to pick up both EP’s, because especially this "Absolution EP" should be soon a hard-to-get item.

UNTER NULL: Sacrament EP

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 23 2006
cover
Artist: UNTER NULL (@)
Title: Sacrament EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
It was indeed a doubtful and not very tasteful promotional effort to announce the news that Mrs. NULL aka Erica Dunham would be pregnant and would give life to "twins" – real babies. But however – it has worked very well and here we have the "result". A double EP set with a special kind of artwork which shows only the real kind if you add chapter two, the "Absolution" EP to this first edition, which comes in a special DCD jewel case. Although that the given stuff here of both EP’s offers in all 16 tracks and the playing time of a filled full length release, the Alfa Matrix HQ decided to offer this special package, so I see it also as two different releases and therefor it receives two reviews. So here’s the start with this "Sacrament EP", which offers 4 new tracks originally composed by Erica and some remix works. "Prophecy" is the main track here, a Dark Electro track featuring ominous synth layers, diverse rhythm patterns and also some experiments on Erica’s angry vocals. A little compositional masterpiece, although not very dancefloor-friendly – this of course changes with the both tracks "This Is Your End" and "Playing The Fool". Although that Erica still got thrown into the harsh EBM scene with the related domination of SUICIDE COMMANDO and comparable colleges, I see UNTER NULL musically in a different kind. Her combination between real Dark Electro-inspired synth layers and rhythm patterns taken out of different styles like Electro, Trance, up to IDM is unique and authentic. This is surely also the result of the work of Len Lemeire of IMPLANT, who has done some production on this twin EP set. Another fine example of her style is the track "Watch You Die". Although starting simple with an often heard bass line, Erica shows some musically depth by including some subtle and melodic piano play. As for the remix works, 4 tracks got here some manipulation. "Endtime", originally available on the mentioned "Absolution EP", got reworked by the great label colleges of INURE and it gets my vote for being the best piece here. This remix unites well the mood of UNTER NULL with the refreshing Electro arrangements of INURE. The further remix works done by ADAM X ("Disgrace", also originally available on the "Absolution EP"), T3CHNOPHOB1A ("This Is Your End") and BLANK ("Prophecy") aren’t bad at all, but they stand a lot in the shadow of the originals. From her kind and from her presence on stage, Erica surely fits with the mentioned leading acts of the Harsh EBM genre, for the music I beg to differ. Here are so much more ideas and musically depth available, that it would almost an insult to press this fine female-leaded act into a redundant genre. Well done release, let’s have a look to the twin EP now...

Electro Synthetic Rebellion: Scars And Wounds

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 20 2006
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Artist: Electro Synthetic Rebellion (@)
Title: Scars And Wounds
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
With his already fourth full length album, the third under the wings of the US-label DSBP, this well known Electro/EBM act hailing from France returns and has grown to a constant number in the DSBP stable. Vince Pujol can easily be called an established act of this label, also thanks to his numerous activities with his side project BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION, his uncountable collaboration efforts for DIVERJE, plus several remix works for some label colleges like FREQUENCY CONSTRUCT or TYPE001. "Wounds And Scars" now is the new opus of THE Sci-Fi/Electro specialist alive and provides 12 new tracks and two different and alternative versions of the both tracks "It Hurts" and "Humanity Collapsing". Needless to say that you’ll get again the full dose of futuristic Electro/EBM/Industrial music, modern sounds and skillful arrangements, highly pitched and distorted vocals and complexity in all compositions. Vince’s work is again a little masterpiece and can be used as a demonstration lesson for all the retarded "get-hard-be-strong" artists out there. Also this workbench shows some development and maturity since his past album, Vince now also adds here and there some guitar riffs to strengthen the globally rough mood of some tracks ("Blood On The Walls", also featured on the last Interbreeding 8 compilation, "Final Dream" and "Humanity Collapsing"). Maybe a "slap-in-face" for the purists here, that also ESR tends to use that hatred acoustic instrument, but be sure that Vince hasn’t become a Metal-head or something alike. The guitars are mostly subtle placed, more a kind of background noise, maybe somehow comparable with the current works of DEPESSIVE DISORDER. There can be also noticed a stronger dedication to fill in well worked out synth sweeps and layers, which is also a development of the harder attitude of his predessor album "Persistence". Lyrically Vince takes besides some sci-fi influenced parts a very critically look on the behaviour of mankind regarding nature, pollution, violence and infernos generally – but I’ve (may) also found some depressive content placed in "Nothing Stays" (no CYBERAKTIF here!!!) which could be seen as an autobiographical comment – the artist needs to be asked for this. So if you have already the one or another output of this talented act in your CD collection, then – no doubt – you’ll need this new one as well! As usually after receiving a new ESR album, there's only one open question: how to top this album?

WAVEFALL: Huge Frustration

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3043)
Sep 20 2006
cover
Artist: WAVEFALL (@)
Title: Huge Frustration
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
To discover new Electro/Industrial music hailing out of the unknown territories of Russia has still a kind of an exotic touch, no matter how much signs of movement lately came alive. Also this Moscow-based duo of WAVEFALL doesn’t need to fall into "huge frustration", because they got wisely picked up by the Russian/Hungarian label Advoxya-Records. Luckily this label has still an open ear to the musically evolution of their home countries and/or Eastern Europe generally, the mostly Western-oriented scene surely could spend some more attention. Otherwise we would miss this fine – maybe finest – musically effort so far coming out of this area. WAVEFALL present us a 13 track debut release, which will leave you knocked out on the dancefloor pummeling for more! They surely fall into the harsh EBM/Electro category and take some influences out the well known works of HOCICO, PUNTO OMEGA or some acts of the NoiTekk roster. It can be fine recognized the globally try of this duo, always to integrate complex melodic hooks into their arrangements, maybe more than any other else act playing related stuff. Unbelievable that this is a debut, because the music already stands all possible comparisons. These Russian duo stands eye to eye on the same quality level like the mentioned patterns, so let’s hope that they get heard. Favorites are rich included, the opener "On My Knees" and the following pieces "Eclipse (Brute Version)", "Dedication" and "Love Consumer" are tough and rhythmically-oriented tracks. The next pieces to mention are "Loneless" and "Damnation", which both slow down the tempo, while offering a more catchier Dark Electro melodic content. Double plus-good also for the most authentic work here "New Form", which offers a more alternative and more experimental kind of rhythm programming. This release is for sure one of the most outstanding works so far of the quality label roster. Hopefully the audience pays the well deserved attention...


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