Music Reviews

Title: Greifenkeil
Format: CD
Label: GrenTzwert (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
This is the first release of the new German label Grentzwert, which looks out for acts playing music which doesn’t follow any trendy hypes. Electronic music which doesn’t know boundaries – and the male/female duo (until now) GREIFENKEIL fits excellent into this agenda. Musically they take their influences out of some Dark Electro, Industrial/Powernoise, Ambient and Ritual tunes, and so you’ll get a really dark and scary full length release somehow comparable with acts like the great yelworC, ARCANA OBSCURA or some dark ANDRACULOID tunes. Yeah – it is in no way related to some stupid dancefloor stuff hidden under the Dark Electro genre – moreover you have to invest several rotations of this CD to get an entrance to the given content. I find it quite impressive how this act deals with ominous synth layers, strange and disruptive percussion efforts and their scary mood generally, but also the lyrically content has some interesting things to tell us. A big theme is the kind and responsibility of the church and Christianity generally – they’re arguing here against a deadly exorcism on a real happened tragedy in the last year through the Rumanian-orthodox church ("Irina", "Memoriam (For Irina)") – a happening which the church hasn’t condemned until today. Another theme is the origin of Europe and the meaning of some rivers ("Indus", "Oxus Underearth"). GREIFENKEIL avoid it to fall into any "good-bad-evil-devil" cliches, which we often get heard out of this music genre. No, this release has definitively a strong intellectual content – and so is also the artwork featuring some nice photos related to the songs. It’s really hard to pick out a favorite, moreover this release has to be seen as an entirely work of art – music, lyrics, art – the formula is well chosen. GREIFENKEIL are also looking for some artists for performance, dance, drama and singing. If you’re interested and talented, please make sure to contact them.
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash Frequency 02 - Australian Independent Darkwave
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
The Australian Crash Frequency strikes back, this time with a DCD set to gain some international and world-wide attention. It was lately Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY who told us in our current interview (please look for it somewhere else here...), that the Australian Electro/Industrial/Goth scene has reached a special point of evolution, where some good recognition occurs and that the included bands, especially the ones presented through this collective – show a lot of diversity and originality. His words got proven right with this compilation featuring almost all Crash Frequency bands – I miss only SOBIQUET, INTRA-SONIC and STARK here. The first disk named "Arrival (Home)" features 15 tracks of – so-called - "radio versions" featuring mostly the best pieces taken out of the latest albums of each band, but also some goodies and unreleased new tracks. Opening act marks – like expected – the currently striking duo of ANGELSPIT with their track "Vena Cava". If some of you really haven’t checked out their new CD "Krankhaus" – an epic in both parts, Industrial-Metal music and artwork – I then advise you to do so! Goth Rock was and is not my cup of tea, but the famous IKON give a well done piece here and their "Sunset At Golgotha" is still unreleased. To the straight and melodious EBM/Electro music of ANGEL THEORY I don’t have to give any further explanations, because this act is maybe together with IKON the most known act internationally. "Human", out of Charles’ last and highly recommended full length CD "Re-Possession" is one of the best tracks he has ever composed. Comes then N0N-PLUS, a relatively new member of the collective and musically based into the Powernoise/Ambient genre. I haven’t heard anything from this act before, so that’s a bit hard to start comparisons, but this decent track featuring ominous synth layers and a steady beat makes me hungry for more. Follows then the great duo TANKT with a new and unreleased track "Surveillance". You remember their well done "Club Life" CD, also licensed to Static Sky Records? Well, forget it, because this "Surveillance" knocks almost all tracks from "Club Life" out of the field! Comes then the duo of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT and so the journey into a musically more strange copulation, because they mix Electro elements with Trip-Hop efforts mostly guided by decent female vocals. Their track here, "One Time In Life" taken from their new EP "Blurred Edges" is a well done example for the more Trip-Hop-based kind of this duo. LUX VOLTAIRE is also an act I haven’t discovered so far, I can only remember their funny "Oberheim" contribution from the first chapter of this compilation series. Their new and unreleased "Dreamtime" is a straight and modern arranged Electro dance track with a duty guitar riff in between. They are followed by THE PROCESS VOID coming up with a new instrumental cut and the Synthpop act TYCHO BRAHE with a track of their latest release "Atlantic", out on the US-based label Coohagen Music. RESURRECTION EVE have already produced more remarkable tracks than "Embrace", which was also available on their great last CD "Ascension", out on GUP/Endless Records. PLAQUE SEQUENCE follows and they are totally new to me. "Futuristic Techno, Cyber-Electro, Psytrance and Technosexual Fetish-Industrial", so the description on their music – nothing what could help to make the things clearer. Lee Bulig of STARK has done some additional music and Pete Crane of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT seems also to be a member.
We have then two tracks done by DOMINO THEORY (dark Pop with Trip-Hop attitudes leaded by female vocals) and DANDELION WINE, who could lately get a deal with the German Ars Musica Diffundere, a division of the Black Rain group. DAZY CHAIN give us their track "Hush" taken from their last full length – a track which starts peaceful and calm, but then to come out in a rough and angry Punk/Metal-like raging piece. Last track of this first CD then is provided by the new collective member THE TENTH STAGE musically ranging between Goth Rock and Electro. I dig this track a lot, it mixes up both styles with some good male vocals. So 15 tracks in all on the first CD, let’s check out the content of CD2, called "Departures (Club)" and so – like the name explains it – turns the music into a more club-oriented field.
ANGEL THEORY now opens the second disk, again with "Human", but this time in remix version created by John Van Loon out of the Netherlands. The rhythms are now a bit updated, John has also done some further production and he added his voice for a kind of guest singer appearance – in all a very satisfying remix work. THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT now show with their second track "Only You Can See You" their other side, musically more depending on a modern kind of Electro dance – it’s a great and previously unreleased track. ANGELSPIT send out another invitation to join them on the dancefloor for some crunchy Industrial/X-over actions with a new "Pill Binge" remix of their "Elixir", originally another fine piece out of the "Krankhaus". I then see the difficulty to offer a club-friendly track from IKON – finally they present here with "Ghost In My Head (Adam Cal Remix)" a track of the 1998 album "This Quiet Earth". Also some unreleased stuff is offered by TYCHO BRAHE with their track "Avarice", which got by the way remixed by another Australian legend alive again, George Pappas of REAL LIFE. It’s a great Synthpop tune with some female vocals integrated, which doesn’t leave any wishes open. Also the newbies of THE TENTH STAGE give a second track "Criminal World", which got remixed by Dave Foreman of TANKT. Have a clear listen to the great and alive-sounding synth layers. Next are TANKT with the title track of their past full length CD "Club Life", here in a special remix created by Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY. Please note also his special guest vocal appearance on this great track. PLAQUE SEQUENCE return with a modern dance track taking influences out of Trance and Techno. Pete Crane of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT does his best here, although the adding of some more vocals wouldn’t be wrong. The rough tunes of THE PROCESS VOID – here "Lethargy" taken from their debut - also got a remix here, this time done by LUX VOLTAIRE. Relatively danceable, but mostly instrumental. RESURRECTION EVE then show themselves from their very best side and offer a new remix of their track "Forever" – be sure and listen only 1 – 2 times the refrain, it will be undeletable burned in your mind - one of the finest Synthpop tune this act has ever produced! Comes then DOMINO THEORY with an "Apology" – but there’s nothing to excuse, because the track grows on you after a few rotations. But don’t ask me who the responsible remixers ROMUS & REMULUS are, if we don’t think of the historically meaning. DANDELION WINE have again the flute in action, their at times strange female vocals and some guitar riffs as well – it’s always hard for me to sort them in, but I take it as sports – they are another proof of the diversity offered out of Down Under. Last but not least we get an unreleased track by LUX VOLTAIRE, "Australia’s Premier Neuropunk Outfit – whatever this means. After an acoustic opening the track "Despite You" turns into an acceptable and danceable electronic track, well done, Gentlemen.
A final and special note has to be taken for the brilliant artwork created by Destroyx of ANGELSPIT - indeed it has some relations to that famous "Krankhaus" art, plus also the great "flying skull" logo craeted by Roberto Massaglia of TANKT/THE TENTH STAGE. Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY finally has collected this well done comp.
I of course have some personal favorites here on this compilation, but I try to avoid to pick them out specially. It is because that the Australian Electro/Industrial/Goth scene has so much diversity and surprises in all genres to offer that every listener will find his/her very own favorite. Come on and take a steady listen to Down Under and the leading Crash Frequency collective – satisfaction guaranteed!

Disc CF01 : Arrival [Home]
1. Vena Cava - Angelspit
2. Sunset At Golgotha - IKON
4. Of The in Visible - n0nplus
5. Surveillance - Tankt
6. One Time in Life - The Crystalline Effect
7. Dreamtime - Lux Voltaire
8. Skyro - The Process Void
9. Don’t Feel That Way - Tycho Brahe
10. Embrace - Resurrection Eve
11. Oblivion - Plague Sequence
12. No Apology - Domino Theory
13. Tulip Eyes - DandelionWine
14. Hush - Dazychain
15. The 10th Stage - The Tenth Stage

Disc CF02 : Departures [Club]
1. Human (JVL Mix) - ANGELTHEORY
2. Only You can See You - The Crystalline Effect
3. Elixir (Elixir Remix) - Angelspit
4. Ghost in My Head - IKON
5. Avarice (George Pappas Real Life Remix - Previously Unreleased) - Tycho Brahe
6. Criminal World (Exclusive) - The Tenth Stage
7. Club Life [Club Mix] - Tankt
8. Take The First Step - Plague Sequence
9. Lethargy - The Process Void
10. Forever - Resurrection Eve
11. Apology - Domino Theory
12. Arc - Dandelion Wine
13. Despite You (Previously Unreleased) - Lux Voltaire


 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2934)
Aug 11 2006
Title: Die By Echoes
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
This is another newcomer hailing from Lemgo/Germany and musically globally based in kind of Dark Electro. THE DARK UNSPOKEN present her their debut which is a self-produced one released on their Rat Records, which also got picked up for some promotion through Codeline Records ( and SX Promotion, and so the distribution help through SX Distribution. The main member calls himself Darkun, but lately he got some additional help on the synth work by Kaiser, who hasn’t anything to do with the famous German chief organizer of the soccer world championship. Lately this band also could produce some music for two horror b-movies "The Butcher 2 and 3". Dark Electro, at times danceable ("Seed Of Time" or the most angriest piece "Visions Deceased", from which here’s also a video file available...), at times slowly ("Sehen"), but it sounds a bit dated and old-fashioned. It’s surely not the newest water which is in use here regarding the sounds and the production – also regarding for the changing vocals depending between melodious to rough and distorted (decent example: the title track "Die By Echoes"...) there’s still room for some development. A track like "Gothics Never Go Sick" caused a smile in my face, ha-ha! But musically spoken the band offers some solid work and with a well recognized background through some instrumental tracks "Hexen" and "Kinderschreie". In all it is an average debut, but some refreshing is required for the next release. Until then – keep on and develop.

Ether: Intimo Personelles

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2932)
Aug 10 2006
image not
Artist: Ether (@)
Title: Intimo Personelles
Format: CD
Label: MousikeLab (@)
Distributor: MDM Mutialism Distribution
Rated: *****
Ether is an all italian job: a Dj and two electronic musicians wheeling and dealing in the midst of electronic music, IDM, breakbeats and instrumental hip hop. They formed back in 2001 in Florence and have brought some attention upon themselves with the inclusion of a couple of tracks on random compilations. Although there's been an EP ("Quasi Quasar"), "Intimo Personelles" is really their debut album and comes out on a Neapolitan label that's been releasing a slew of good electronic discs. Well produced and put together, this disc interweaves unsaturated minimal electronics with breakbeat-influenced idm in a way that you might find familiar if you like the label Hive, for example. A noteworthy effort from the three-colored boot.

FIX8:SED8: Humanophobia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2929)
Aug 09 2006
Artist: FIX8:SED8 (@)
Title: Humanophobia
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hailing from Wiesbaden, Germany, we are proud to present another well talented act which could earn some attention thanks to some well placed compilation appearances like "Endzeit Bunkertracks Vol. 2" ("Monolith") published by the Alfa Matrix label or the Zillo Clubhits Vol. 10 ("Blasphemia"). Behind the funny play with words of the band name hides only one person, "Sane", who follows musically the given tradition of old SKINNY PUPPY, MENTALLO & THE FIXER, VELVET ACID CHRIST and INFORMÄTIK in a darker vein. Here’s no overdone aggression provided through some Techno-like bass kicks beating in a 4/4 marching step, it’s more the kind to puzzle out complex and melodic synth lines – in short the ability which made the mentioned acts that strong and well recognized. The used sounds are therefore not taken and comparable out of the newest technology, they are more arranged to leave space for some wide atmospheric undertones. It can be said that Sane doesn’t arrange his music to storm some dancefloors, but Electro/Industrial is a club-based music, so here are some pieces which could be used for some mass motions like "Oblivion", "Blasphemia" or "Ultraviolent". I do personally prefer the slower pieces like "Monolith" – a track on which I thought Da5id Din personally would offer something new – "Minotaurus" and "Tranquillized". There’s also a harder arranged track called "Dementor" which holds some more disruptive rhythm parts on board. 13 tracks in all and no space for any filling fodder – for a debut, especially regarding the fact that this act is unsigned – a remarkable effort. Here’s so much talent under the roof that I’m sure we haven’t heard the last time from this act. Sane's efforts are to name in the same breathe with related German acts like OBJECT and MC1R. To purchase directly from the band by using Paypal, just use the given contacts here. Get it!!!

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