Music Reviews



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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!!!

NOIZ + ZILENTH: Noir Tag

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 03 2006
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Artist: NOIZ + ZILENTH
Title: Noir Tag
Format: CD
Label: NEIN Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Ultra complex and intense sounding CD – a mix of Industrial and Power Electronics – Are you ready?", so the slogan of the label info sheet. Well, I can only advise: "FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!!!" – There’s no "Zilenth" all around here!!!. This new release for the R.A.I.D. (R.hythm A.nalog I.ntelligent D.istorted) specialized Nein Records label is not like anything else lately heard out of the Power Noise/Electronics genre. Man behind this project is Fco. Alejandro Maldonado M., a young musician based in Tijuana, Mexico, and this is his debut. The 10 tracks are almost all very rhythmic constructed and the arrangements are indeed full of complexity and strange ideas. It’s definitively not that kind of danceable minimal Power Electronics, moreover it can be discovered some really effort and dedication to more and better worked out tracks. The result is amazing and this release doesn’t take any prisoners. Strongest moments can be discovered on the straight and aggressive pieces "Guia-Zkull" or "Mental Recreation", both pieces should be able to appeal the fans of harsh Electro/EBM/Industrial as well. It doesn’t need to be signed on Ant-Zen or Hands to bring out such a pure and authentic noisy CD. The final mastering done by John Sellekaers in his famous Metarc studio is just one more proof of the professionalism behind this fine output. If you are into this genre, this one is a must-have and comes highly recommend!

MATRIX: Deus Lo Volt

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 03 2006
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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.


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