Music Reviews



STARK: Brave New Desire

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 14 2006
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Artist: STARK (@)
Title: Brave New Desire
Format: CD
Label: Endless Records / GUP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
News from the rotten and distorted world of the Surgical suite, Lee Bulig is back on track! This Australian act could already receive a lot of attention with its both debut releases, the "Wield" Si-CD as well as with the full length "The Surgical Suite". Often compared to known "big players" of the hard Electro/Industrial scene like :WUMPSCUT: or SUICIDE COMMANDO, I must say – and so I did on Lee’s both debut releases – that STARK have more and better elements to offer, than simply being a victim of useless comparisons. STARK show much more efforts here and can include refreshing ideas to bring life into this music genre. Sure, "Recreational Flesh Abuse" or the already on an Interbreeding compilation discovered track "Blossom" will lead some dark troops to the dancefloors. But mostly Lee’s tracks show a wider progression and complexity in its arrangements. A simple reason for this can be seen in the fact that Lee has also a Powernoise-inspired side-project called NEON WOMB on board. So a few tracks here taken from "Brave New Desire" can simply play also in that genre ("Kong", "Desire"). Another favorite can be easily named with the track "Nursery Rhyme", seldom before I have heard that steady aggression combined with melodic synth lines. Lee Bulig has worked out a full-scale Dark Electro album with some noisy undertones which gets a totally recommendation. While it is still hard for acts hailing from Australia to earn globally success, the leading bands from this country joined the forces and built up a mutual community called Crash Frequency (www.crashfrequency.com), and so also STARK is an active member of it. The idea is to help each other – more acceptence through united forces – and I hope the best that this community will reach its targets. Please make also sure to check out this cool digi-pack design for this release and the amazing artwork done by Scott Craig (www.cancerbox.com) – it is one of his finest works and fits with the music.
Apr 11 2006
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Artist: Preussak
Title: Werkschau 1989-2005
Format: CD
Label: Vaws (@)
Rated: *****
Presented as electro-industrial/EBM (old school) Preussak respect the premises from the very first second in which you'll be holding the booklet in your hands. Vaws' profile as a label was quite clear with the sampler I happened to review a while ago, but brick after brick their target is always clearer. Dark electronic with a straight beat not so far from that scene that originated bands like Front 242, Dive, Insekt or 808 State...somebody said "keep it authoritorial and martial"!?!. And what could someone expect if not a cover of Joy Division immortal hit "We walk the line"? If your answer is a cover of Killing Joke you’ve won the supergenius award of the day: "Aufruhr" aka "Follow the leader". Music to mach on, yes, but only if you’re wearing a pair of black leather trousers and you're completely into the style. The beat is pulsing, straight and quite often fast, but on such a long record probably it gets to linear that's why is easy to be left thinking there are a bit too many tracks at the end of the cd. Strong vocals and a layout that leaves no hesitation on the fact Preussak comes from the hard core of the scene, therefore be prepared for a demonstration of strength thru the kick ass rhythm of the songs. The lesson is: if you're into the style that's addressed to you... if you're not you'd better relax to the sound of Bob Marley.

the Evolutionaries: Exoskeleton

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 10 2006
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Artist: the Evolutionaries (@)
Title: Exoskeleton
Format: CD EP
Label: Latex records (@)
Rated: *****

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The Evolutionaries' new EP "Exoskeleton" (released by our dear friend and partner TG Mondalf at Latex records) is the long due long awaited follow up to their 2004 "Normalized". With these five tracks, Kristian Stout, the main character behind the Evolutionaries, succeeds at "framing" his fashination for "the decay of modern civilization in expectation of the rise of the next" within a sonic context that borrows heavily from the style of Marylin Manson (especially vocally), but can also be compared (at times) to Dope Stars Inc., Eye, Mindless Self Indulgence or even Skinny Pupy at times. Think of the Evolutionaries as an industrial-glam-rock band with an edge (some might call it industrial-goth, but since I'd resent that...).
I believe they are not putting together a remix album, which will be interesting, so if you have chops you might be interested, as that outta be interesting.

SMP: Crimes of The Future

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 10 2006
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Artist: SMP
Title: Crimes of The Future
Format: CD
Label: MRE (Music Ration Entertainment)
Rated: *****

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SMP (Sounds of Mass Production - a.k.a. Jason Bazinet) is a one-man band that's been around for a long while, and you can hear that. SMP's long discography and extended experience in the art of making powerful and exciting electronic music has been redefined with each and every one of their releases, all the way up this last one: "Crimes of the Future". This is probably their most mature, well-produced and (at the same time) commercial-friendly release to date. Mixed by Wade Alin (Volatile Coldwave Act, Christ Analogue), "Crimes of The Future" comes at you like a freight train packed with modern urban anthems, trippy skippy beats, powerful treated distorted guitars, blazin' rapping vocal parts and an attitude that says a lot. If you haven't lived under a rock these couple of years listening to some of these tracks will merely feel like listening to MTV bands such as Linkin Park (and I don't mean that in a bad way, you may like that type of band or not, but they still have an amazing production behind). On the other hand you can still clearly hear the EBM roots of SMP and their influence on their work. The record plays out nicely but has some klinkers (or I should say, some tracks that are not up to spec with other better tracks in the album). I see the growth of the band and I personally wish he'd embrace his new direction and close the previous chapter, instead of flipping the pages back and forth. There's a lot more potential in the new stuff, and I am not talking (just) money. Maybe the answer would have been a killing EP instead of a half and half LP.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Pandora's Box, Invasion And Friends 2k6
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Rated: *****
A couple of years ago on the "Invasion and friends" serie compilations you could find mostly unknown bands and, most of the times, bands coming from the same Ambassador 21 area. With the years and with the different European tours made by the band the friends have increased and you can check it out by reading the tracklist of this new compilation. On PANDORA’S BOX, INVASION AND FRIENDS 2K6 most of the bands are already signed to a record label: see Dive, Synascape, Converter, Mimetic and Iszoloscope that collaborated for a track titled "Heard Voices", P.A.L. or Projecto Mirage, to name few. As you can notice most of the band are under contract with Ant Zen, label that is taking care of the distribution of the Invasion Wreck Chords releases. Anyway, if on the early volumes of the serie industrial distortion was the way to go, this time the seventeen bands try to explore every dark corner of melodic distortion mixed with rhythm hysteria. The wildness and the rage are now under the wise control of people that during their years of activity reached a good balance between philosophy and action. The sign that something has changed find the confirmation into the fact that the last name of the tracklist is Dalek, a band of electro hip hop (their track seems a My Bloody Valentine track with rappers). Something changed and this is good because music needs fresh ideas!

01. DIVE - Insanity [live at Razzmatazz 3 - Barcelona 12.04.03]
02. SYNAPSCAPE - White Trash [2005 edit]
03. AMBASSADOR21 vs. FRAGMENT KING - The Ballet Of Bullets
04. CONVERTER - Be Broken [unbreakable rmx by NERVE FILTER]
05. SUICIDE INSIDE - Angel
06. MIMETICISZOLOSCOPE - Heard Voices
07. CTRLer - Nuclear Device
08. RASPUTEEN - Auf Der Flucht
09. P.A.L - Overlap [slow strokes mix]
10. KLANGSTABIL - Wir Sind Ganz Zusammen [live in Leipzig]
11. ROGER ROTOR - Drown Delay [live in Morbio Inferiore'05]
12. MONOID - Credit
13. PROYECTO MIRAGE over BUBBLE GUM - Energy
14. SHORAI - U R My Self Destruction Button
15. NOT HALF - Become A Being Of Light
16. NTT - Defeatist
17. DALEK - Ever Somber


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