Music Reviews



Aug 01 2006
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Artist: MASSIV IN MENSCH (@)
Title: Klang Der Unsterblichkeit
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
I should admit that this "release" is a digital-only download item available on iTunes or related. But the label Artoffact from Canada made themselves the effort to send it out as a promotional copy, so there’s no real reason, not to review it. As usual, you have to take a MASSIV IN MENSCH release with a sense of humor. This 6-track EP is a teaser to the upcoming full length CD "Clubber Lang" of this German act, also out soon on Artoffact. And of course – like expected – this release features almost straight produced stuff somewhere between EBM and Futurepop with both lyrics in German and English to storm the dancefloors of the clubs. But it’s doubtful if this "sound of immortality" deserves its name – if so, I wanna die immediately! It’s a dance track available in two versions, yes, but reduced to the message itself and so not a compositional highlight. The second version, a remix work done by THE PROMISE, concentrates a bit more on the music part which is a wise decision. We have then a cover of the female German Pop music icon Sandra and her big media Control hit "Around My Heart", which I would review funny but irrelevant. Same I would say about the featured live version on another classic hit "You’re The Greatest Lover." These both pieces would work well at a drunken beach party. Finally there two more tracks, which can satisfy, a Re-Edit of the track "Morsch" and a B-side named "Secret Side", which features some well done tempo changes. To poke fun on scene to which this act of course counts is not always the fine kind and does not always earn respect. MASSIV IN MENSCH will for sure go on in their style, so lets look forward to the upcoming boxer story of "Clubber Lang".

SEVERE ILLUSION: Panopticon

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2911)
Jul 30 2006
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Artist: SEVERE ILLUSION (@)
Title: Panopticon
Format: CD EP
Label: Plutonium Distribution (@)
Distributor: Plutonium Distribution
Rated: *****
After their participation on the last Plutonium Distribution compilation "Showcase V. 2" the future sound of this band was a bit questionable, because their track "In Your Hostile Little Face" was a rather minimal EBM piece, which left out any huge integrated distortions and also the vocals were less effected. With this 5-track EP they luckily go back to that chaotic/Punk-like EBM-attitude this band is known and beloved for. Not that this means the comp appearance was any bad, but to me personally this band has found their very own place and niche in their own authentic style. The first piece here, "I Am The First Commandment" is a straight 4/4-on-the-floor smasher with a rotating old school EBM bass line. It may can be called the most "friendliest" and mass-compatible track here, because already with the next piece "Too Many Years" SEVERE ILLUSION fill in the purest chaos already with the kind how they programmed the rhythm part. Atonal noise collages also mark the start for the third piece "Cancel All Your Beautiful Plans", which furthermore kicks some serious asses through its attacking EBM bass line. Track 4 then turns into a rhythmic instrumental Powernoise effort which doesn’t take any prisoners, somehow comparable to some early works of CONVERTER ("Shockfront" era). The effective chaos also finds a new home in the last track here, "Walking On Glass" – but take care, your feet maybe bleed! I have again no doubts that SEVERE ILLUSION will find their deserved attention and success. It’s only a pity that this release finds its end after 5 tracks – but hey – this is a great possibility to use your "Repeat" knob. I can’t await the upcoming new full length, then again out on the rising DSBP label.
Jul 30 2006
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Artist: BRIAN ENGLISH
Title: Beyond words
Format: CD
Label: Record Label (@)
Rated: *****
After Fluorescent Grey and Sote another cd with the Record Label trademark and it’s actually well done, thus I'm taking into consideration this label has an high profile. Mr. English’ electronic music is not weird/unconventional like the releases we've already reviewed from this label, but he probably doesn't even care, electronic for the electronic?...maybe, but he likes good melodies too and it all make the record accessible to a wide crowd of listeners. I've read Brian has a large collection of sounds he captured here and there but don't expect it to be an experimental release or else you'd be dissatisfied. "Beyond words" is based on soft rhythms far from being too fast or even worse obsessive, but the emphasis is mainly concentrated on song-structure and melody, according with these basic informations the end result is far from cold electronic music fixed on being the coolest Autechre replica of the block. This salsa has a soft Eighties savour that can recall some Mix Master Morris’ masterpieces but you hear the cd has been produced now, even if another name that I've been thinking was dear ol’ Plaid. This label has still to find its own outsider but it's again a good release.

Datafreq: Fun For The Whole Family

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2897)
Jul 20 2006
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Artist: Datafreq (@)
Title: Fun For The Whole Family
Format: CD
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Rated: *****
First CD for Das Drehmoment records after the release of six vinyls (four compilations, a MLP for Divider and an LP for Ich), FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY is the first Datafreq album. Hailing from Toronto, Canada and headed by a guy called Dave Rout, Datafreq isn't the project of a youngster in love with '80s synthetic sounds. Dave already worked with different musical projects since the mid '80s. You want to know the names? Here are some: Methods Of Danse, Technique Berlin and Rational Youth. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY contains eleven songs deeply influenced by '80s synthpop, new wave and by arcade games. As you can see on the photos contained into the booklet, Dave used early '80s gear like Roland TR 606, Roland Juno 106, Korg MS 20, Clavia Nord Lead 2, etc. He also used along with a vocoder, those educational keyboards called Speak And Spell, creating a retro atmosphere that with the retro gaming visuals of the booklet creates a particolar atmosphere especially if in your teens you owned a Commodore computer or a Spectrum. Talking about the songs, Datafreq doesn't sound exactly like a synthpop band because even if on tracks "Just like 1981", "I desire" or on the instrumental "Circuitropolis" the influence of that genre is clear, on "Diskophonic" new wave and techno are the main references (and that is a really catchy track) while on "Silhouette city" I can hear echoes of the early John Foxx. Blending instrumentals, electro pop songs and new wave sythetic tracks Datafreq succeeded into creating a multifaceted album that convince for its freshness. Daring to experiment a little bit with genres without sticking the songwriting on synthpop and with the right dose of irony, Dave did the right thing and also Das Drehmoment showed its will to produce different kind of bands always being true to the electronic world. P.s. The CD contains also the nice "Arcade junkie" videoclip.
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Artist: OIL 10
Title: Beyond
Format: CD
Label: Funk Welten (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing several albums during the last decade, Gilles Rossire with BEYOND releases his first full lenght for Funk Welten, the Black Rain sublabel focused on ambient and futuristic sounds. Influenced deeply by Kraftwerk, Vangelis and J. M. Jarre, Gilles takes the sound of European electronic music precursors just to re-process it into a modern blend of ambient, dance and techno, succeeding into the creation of a convincing mix. If the opening "Synchro 4 all" is a technoid dark ambient intro based on bleeps, pulsating rhythms and pads, the following one, "High adventure", is like a Kraftwerk ambient dance track. "Tele tone" is more electro and if "High adventure" was recalling the Kraftwerk for the use of vocoder, this one remember them for the use of scales made by those carachteristics synthetic tones (do you remember "Pocket calculator"?). "Grand illusion" expand even more the concept of ambient dance music, because it seems to listening to a dance version of early Biosphere. "Far & away" recall me the last Bartos album but shifted into a space scenario. "X fleet" is a little more techno / early e.b.m. but Gilles mix it with a sound that seems coming from the sci-fi movies of the '50s: something similar to a theremin but with a better control of melody. "Departure" recall J.M. Jarre way of using melody just like its following "Boarding pass" make the French way of playing electronic music revive. "Mach III" is a potential dance floor killer while the closing "My neighbor Hayao" is a beautiful electronic ballad that has a bitter taste that make you want to play the album from the start and nowadays this isn't a common thing! Great album, indeed!


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