Music Reviews



DYSTOPIATE: Feral City

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 04 2006
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Artist: DYSTOPIATE (@)
Title: Feral City
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hailing from Winnipeg we got here the self-produced debut release of Skot Moat, the man behind DYSTOPIATE. Skot presents us here 9 tracks based into the Dark Electro/Industrial genre, but with some peculiarities. The kind how Skot arranges and uses his self-created drum patterns and bass lines has got a kind of special, even not heard before. A bit hard to find some possible comparisons, I tend to use elements of the early FORMA TADRE, IMPLANT to their CCP times, and parts of TYPE001with a lesser EBM attitude as a possible try. Add to this a more American-like drum pattern programming and you’ll got a hint how it is. The music is well and intelligent arranged, also the lyrics aren’t like anything else discovered before, and Skot seems to put some efforts in it, not to fall into EBM/Electro-like cliches. The vocals seem to be kinda manipulated, but still understandable – they may could need a bit more of a "human factor", some more kind of singing than trying hard to act like a news reporter. Although some tracks like "Paranalysis" or "Holocaustic" can provide some dancefloor action, I don’t think that this is the intention of Skot’s music - the stuff works better under a good pair of headphones. So we have a nice done and professional looking debut release of one of Canada’s up and coming artists. Thanks to his given talent, I’m sure we haven’t heard for the last time of this promising act. Recommend!

DIE SEKTOR: To Be Fed Upon

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 04 2006
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Artist: DIE SEKTOR (@)
Title: To Be Fed Upon
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
DIE SEKTOR could already earn some recognition with some well placed compilation appearances on the Alfa Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Vol. 1" and the NoiTekk compilation "United" with their track "Scrape The Flesh". The signing to NoiTekk was already announced some time before, so here comes finally the long awaited debut release of this three men output hailing from the USA. Another Harsh EBM, kinda Hellektro assault some people might to say, but carefully – DIE SEKTOR have much more to offer than drowning in redundancy. Hard to believe that in this overpopulated style of music can still offer some ideas to make a step out of the average and known kind. Of course, also DIE SEKTOR have enough bullets on board to offer some dancefloor action for the purists like "When Porcelain Bleeds", "Mother Hunger" or "Prey To The Razor". This stuff also should work well to torment some faint-hearted minds including your neighbors – it is nevertheless more and better worked out. The bass lines and rhythm patterns – although straight and hard punching – offer so much detailed filter sweeps and integrated effects – it’s pure fun to listen to it! The synth generally sounds modern and up-to-date without falling to deep into Techno-like attitudes. The vocals are – genre-like - highly pitched and distorted while the lyrics offer some deeper maturity and give always the impression to listen to some "real" compositions. Also a nice idea to include some slower, more dark-minded instrumental pieces like "Revelation None", "Through Glass" and "All Turns White". This tracks work well as a kind of bridges and they offer an easier and more enjoyable listening. A crystal-clear production, a nice looking artwork – so here you got one of the best releases this genre has to offer! Pick it up and let it work on you!
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Artist: IMPLANT (@)
Title: Audio Blender
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Hard to believe that also Belgium’s most talented studio wizard Len Lemeire aka IMPLANT has to celebrate 10 years of being an active musician bringing out more or less constant a new studio album. This is already the 7th full length release for this act and like on almost all releases before, it can be heard something new and not discovered so far. Len produces his stuff with dedication and works hard to deliver always something special, no matter if some critical reviewers like me try hard to bind him into musically genres and sub-genres. Is there really a style out there which Len hasn’t touched or used before? The thing is, that his talent is so well and obviously present, that it doesn’t matter what kind of stuff he’s figuring out. Alfa Matrix tries to explain this musically phenomenon with descriptions like Electro-Clash, Industrial and Techno. This fits well, but here can be also found Trance, Trip-Hop, EBM and IDM/Powernoise efforts, so every track here has its special thing. Nevertheless Len decided to include some well known forces for the vocals, mostly provided by people he has produced or collaborated with. Jean-Luc de Meyer of FRONT 242 can be heard here on "The Creature", the charismatic voice of Anne Clark is featured nice on two tracks here, "Was It Always This Way" and "Your World". UNTER NULL aka Erica Dunham can be heard on "You Push Me", which is my favorite here, turning the music into a hardcoristic Powernoise monster, much harder than the latest UNTER NULL releases. We have also a decent work by Jennifer Parkin aka AYRIA on the track "Fuck Things Up". Although that Len always brings some special food for some dancefloor compatibility – and – the styles he works on and includes so well are mostly typical club-based themes – it is still fun to listen his stuff under a good pair of headphones. Be a bit open-minded – and storm your brain with this new IMPLANT!
Oct 03 2006
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Artist: STERIL (@)
Title: Realism
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact / Endless-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
We had already a small review on this album, but for Europe we got now this release in our hands, thanks to a license deal between the Canadian Artoffact label and the German Endless Records. That the North-German act STERIL would make a comeback after almost 5 years in silence since their last studio album, is one surprise. That they got signed to the Canadian Artoffact label and could release a "Best off..." compilation earlier this year is another surprise. But that STERIL would find their way back to their musically roots – well, that’s the biggest surprise at all!!! "Realism" features 11 new tracks and one special Club Version of one of the best tracks here, "Statik". Almost all tracks are based on pounding old-school EBM-like bass lines, Mähne Meenen’s still charismatic vocals nowadays range between catchy and melodious to rough and destroying, and some harsh guitar riffs, like you’ve heard it on "Egoism" back in 1996, are of course featured. I tend to say "hooray" for finally playing that kind of stuff which made them that well known all around. The years of experimentalism, of trying hard to find an own authentic style seem to be over, "Realism" is musically mostly based back to the times between the release of their debut "Transmission Pervous" and the studio work on "Egoism" – only with the respect of the growing of technology and recording possibilities now 10 years later. If you would like to pick out "No Remission" or "Caelestis Index" taken out of "Transmission Pervous" you may have found a perfect comparison how the new tracks sound. The often in earlier works heard PUPPYan influence is still removed, so this is not the return to some classics like "Pervous" or "Distance" – but it’s also not the re-animation of some first Techno-like bass lines subtle heard on "Egoism" for the first time. Also the courage to include German next to English lyrics both found on "Realism" and "Statik" should work well here – both tracks can be seen as some funny side-kicks to the current overpopulated and repetitive Harsh EBM/Electro genre. We all get older and hopefully wiser – so STERIL in 2006 is back again and more refreshing like ever before. This is the style how we want to hear them – now it’s time to storm the stages again to present this stuff to the audience!

DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: In Depth

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 03 2006
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Artist: DEPRESSIVE DISORDER (@)
Title: In Depth
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
Indeed, Czech Republic’s most famous EBM/Electro act couldn’t find any better name to describe their musically evolution since their debut "Ultima Ratio". This is an "in depth" piece of quality Electro/Industrial music, pressed on a silver circle and hidden in a well designed digi-pack. Also the Czech label Monopolrecords marks with this new output their return after having released not lesser than six releases in 2005. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER did grow and could win a lot of more musically maturity. While the charismatic vocals provided by Patrik Lev still offers all paths between emotional and melodious up to raging and screaming, the music and so the synth play has reached a not expected complexity. Same I can say about the rhythm programming. This is not that stupid 4/4-on-the-floor beat, almost all tracks show some diversity on that term, but still featuring a tough slap-in-your-face attitude. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER play a fine and well worked out of Dark Electro with thick and ominous synth layers and a unique kind generally. They also now included some guitar riffs added into some tracks like "Abyss", "Underneath", "TV-Freak" and "Blind" – only to strengthen some arrangements and – of course – not to satisfy some Metal headbangers. "Abyss" and "Blind" get my vote for bringing on the most addictive melodious content, both can be named as favorites of an overall amazing release. This release is one of the huge amount which needs to get heard without doubt by the masses of the genre. You’ll get also a video clip of the track "TV-Freak" which surely doesn’t fit with the tastes of the VIVA/MTV (de-)generation. Go out and purchase this masterpiece!!!


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