Music Reviews



KOBOLD: A Taste of Copper

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3248)
Dec 08 2006
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Artist: KOBOLD (@)
Title: A Taste of Copper
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Distributor: Storming The Base
Rated: *****
Hailing from New Mexico, USA, this duo was already announced as being a newcomer signed to the fine Canadian label Artoffact. And as the good label name obliged to – also this release features that something special musically, which drifts away from your usual Electro/Industrial listening. First, this release needs some time and a bunch of more rotations until some one can find the real entrance to this music. KOBOLD surprise with some unheard experimental electronic tunes, which offer fantastic programming abilities. Think on some works of INDEX on the more up-beating tracks (I wouldn’t tend to say danceable...) like "Puzzlebox", "Rubicon" or the nice "Intrinsic", combined with a rough influence of some classic SKINNY PUPPY/early NEW MIND ("Fractured"-era) works on the slow and creepy pieces like "Murmur" or the ominous title track. The comparison to INDEX isn’t that far away, because one of the additional musicians is Cody Cast, who has built INDEX together with Eric Chamberlain in their early years. Although this release can be called modern and up-to-date, the older PUPPYan influence adds an interesting and long missed component to KOBOLD’s music. Two remix works by BIAXIAL CREEP on the tracks "The Other Side" and "Human Cages" are also featured here, offering some IDM influences to the originals. This is an addictive and marvelous release, but surely no stuff to listen in addition while doing some household work. What a pity, but I fear that this fine act will be totally underrated.

DERMA-TEK: Corpus Technological

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 08 2006
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Artist: DERMA-TEK
Title: Corpus Technological
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The debut of this male/female-leaded US-duo was already awaited thanks to some well placed compilation appearances on the various all-time favorites "Endzeit Bunkertracks" and "Interbreeding" series. DSBP finally received the rights on this highly sought-after act and it seems to me a bit, that this label has picked up an act which can promise a not expected success, which this label deserves like no one else. See it, Tommy T. is working his ass off to promote his acts on his label, some more national and international recognition is required to reach some better sales. So this could happen with DERMA-TEK, consisting of Joe Cains (vocals, machines) and the hot Miranda St. Croix (machines). They are of course not the immediately follow-up act to some DEPECHE MODE-sounding Synthpoppers, they rather more spread their hatred seed out on some Hellektro/Aggrotech fields. They would musically fit excellent into the NoiTekk roster, but note that finally almost all labels at the scene have signed at least one act providing the known success formula with highly distorted whisper-like vocals, hard, head-nailing danceable beats at 140 bpm, rough, monotonous bass lines and some hints into some Trance-like programmings. So you’ll got here an intro piece and nine pounding assaults which make it impossible to sit still to. DERMA-TEK have learned their lessons well and a track like "T.W.E.P." can combine excellent a fairytale-like kling-klang melody with the hard-driving aggression, one of the best works here. Another remarkable piece can be heard with "Less Important", which is a collaboration composition with the up and coming US act XENTRIFUGE. It can be called conspicuous, that DERMA-TEK take care to offer socially and politically critical lyrics, the globally fine worked out mix and end mastering (by Alex Matheu of NEGATIVE FORMAT) and the artwork done by no one else than Willi "Deaddreamer" speaks for and shows well the professionality which stands behind this release. The best seems to be just good enough for this release, although – and this needs to be said, too – DERMA-TEK cannot offer anything new or innovative to the listener. This should be the target for some future releases, to develop and to work out an own authentic style. DERMA-TEC offer a well-done scene-related debut above some usual and comparable productions, while still leaving some free space to reach a wider musically diversity.

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Artist: THE MERCY CAGE (@)
Title: Scree: Transmissions
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Before some etlitic people start complaining that this release isn’t really new, lets mention that New Zealand’s finest act now is a member of the Australian Crash Frequency collective. Indeed – this is a required and welcomed addition, this also explains, why I received this release to my surprise directly from the band. The display of my Discman shows me 23 tracks and more than 70 minutes playing time – damnit, that’s a lot of stuff to discover here. THE MERCY CAGE also do themselves the best to a offer a varied acoustic experience and provide a wide diversity of different music styles. Influences are pending between Electro/Industrial, Synth-/Futurepop, Gothic/Wave up to classic Coldwave Industrial following some famous US patterns. Globally they remind me on some decades of the US act SPAHN RANCH. It seems a bit that they try to represent with their diversity also the different flavors and cultural influences of their home-country. Favorites are hard to named, because this depends on your personal taste. For me "Reduce.Distill.Purify.Teach" really hits the target, maybe the track with a constant huge Electro/Industrial influence. There’s still the unsolved secret, why this release got not released by BLC Productions as intended, but I don’t wanna go on to spread some salt into open wounds. A nice full-length release available and presented by the DSBP, give it a try. We’re gonna wait for new stuff, by the way...

MARK LANE: Inner Most Folds

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 06 2006
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Artist: MARK LANE (@)
Title: Inner Most Folds
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Editions Mark Lane
Rated: *****
Mark Lane released his latest CD two years ago, when Metawave printed the "Creepy a la weepy" CD. After two years he come back just in time to celebrate his 25th anniversary as a musician. This celebration include the release of three different things: a MCD titled INNER MOST FOLDS (this one), a 7" (including a different mix of "Elephant" plus "Atomium", a non CD track) and a 24 tracks double CD compilation with classic, rare and unreleased tracks. INNER MOST FOLDS MCD has four tracks and on this one Mark’s style span through dramatic electronic instrumental pieces (the main track), tracks similar to John Foxx of the "Golden section" period but with a massive use of string sounds ("The wealth of experience" is the one), and tracks like "Halcyon sentimental" that melodically sounds like John Foxx singing a Gary Numan’s song (but Mark’s vocals make it turn into a fresh electro wave tune). The closing tune is an instrumental version of "Elephant" and it’s the one that is less catching my attention, maybe because being without vocals it is less efficient but it is a nice track anyway. I liked this release as well I liked the old one so, at this point... let’s celebrate!

POST INDUSTRIAL BOYS: Trauma

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 06 2006
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Artist: POST INDUSTRIAL BOYS
Title: Trauma
Format: CD
Label: Max Ernst (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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George Dzodzuashvili created Post Industrial Boys some time ago but at the beginning of the 90s he created Mjava Message, his first project. This was the first effort that brought him to join other people and to form the group Goslab. The Post Industrial Boys moniker born two years ago with the release of the first self named album. Now, two years later, with the help of different people on lyrics and vocals, George release TRAUMA. Containing 20 delicate acoustic electronic songs The album also contain "Benzilina", a track originally from the Mjava Message period. Since the first listening it is clear how much the collective from Tblisi / Georgia worked on this release: it has so many moods (if "Stay mute" and "Afternoon" are a sort of acoustic electronic version of Belle And Sebastian, the following "Iced sea" or the opening "Two in one" are dark intimate electronic songs) that sometimes it seems to listening to a compilation of a band. The songs are now jazzy with light electronic orchestrations and then minimal and melancholic. Sometimes it seems to listening to an updated version of Orange Juice. Very creative indeed...


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