Music Reviews



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Artist: PUNX SOUNDCHECK (@)
Title: When Machines Ruled The World
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Pale Music (@)
Rated: *****
Meeting on late nineties djs and producers John Taylor and Arif Salih decided to start the Punx Soundcheck adventure in 2002. Four years has passed and the duo didn’t release many things with only their name on them (they did only a couple of E.P.s and a 7" with Marc Almond) but they did remixes for a lot of people (Dead Or Alive, Frau Doktor, Atomizer, Duran Duran, Tigerbeat, etc.). Anyway, now the waiting is over because Punx Soundcheck’s (now joined by Kidrobot) debut album WHEN MACHINES RULED THE WORLD is here and it is double! Divided in two sections ("Home" and "Club") the album brings to the attention of the audience (and not only to club lovers!) twenty top notch tracks of electro influenced by new wave (they pay their tribute to 80s electro wave on "Monument" where they use John Foxx’s "Underpass" melody at the beginning of the track), house and techno. The first CD contains a lot of catchy songs sounding so 80s thanks also to guest like Steve Strange (he sing "In the dark"), Boy George (he’s on "Idiot crowd", an electro melancholic danceable tune where you won’t hear him sounding like on Culture Club), Marc Almond (here you can find the beautiful "Neo burlesque", the B side of the limited 7" "Vanity, poverty, revenge"). Beside these icons you can find also Mr Cormac & Kidrobot, Gene Serene, Princess Julia and Giorgia Alberti giving their help on vocals. This CD is an electro gem but its twin brother is also an amazing one where the electro sound influenced by 80s turns into an hypnotic trip into house and techno. Also on this CD you can find guests like Susanne Aichele (on "Giving me the bleeps", a seducing track based on analog house bleeps and techno melodies), Maria Gutierrez, Larry Tee (he’s on "Creep", a pumping Berlin electro song) or Avenue D ("You don’t know jack" is her tune). The "Club" section sounds raw and it’s impossible to stand still while distorted basses break the silence of your room. We had to wait all this time for WHEN MACHINES RULED THE WORLD but it was worth it!

boris hauf: clark

 Posted by John Gore   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2701)
May 01 2006
Artist: boris hauf (@)
Title: clark
Format: CD
Label: sijis (@)
boris hauf – clark (CDR)

1. SHE WAS A STATE TROOPER

solemn entrance by sharp noise braking the silence – electro-drone laying a bed of electric roses preparing us for ominous washes of vibratory silk

2. HIT ME WITH YOUR PET SHARK-

intertwining beats of wood and steel and skin – borg inplants squealing for attention

3. ANNIE, ARE YOU PUKING ON ELVIS?

naive rhythm – questioning bass – noisus interruptus

4. NON STOP FLIGHT

static entropy brings about electronic ripples of insect intelligences – factory floor dancing – cartwheels of delight and abandon – waiting in line with tinnitus and the awareness of electricity

5. LE CHIEN

do robotic dogs dream of electric cats? – fleas of discontent feeding off the static charge – burying the battery-powered bone – take a nap fido!

6. KEN DOLL IN THE WIND

wind tunnel reverberant plastic hair parted on the girl’s side sending messages of pain and embarrassment to the central core of being without member and less than needed flexibility – oversize the ambient wave for a well needed rest

7. YOUR AUNT'S TRIPE

heart and mind and stomach beat as one – the wonder of essential juices – dissolve! dissolve!
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Artist: NERVE FILTER
Title: Linear
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
This is the experimental side project of Tom Shear AKA ASSEMBLAGE 23 – yes, I said experimental, so don’t expect ANYTHING which could somehow compared with Tom’s main and very successful project. No Synth- or Futurepop anthems available here, but that does of course not mean that this debut of his already 11 years active side-project can’t offer anything interesting. If you look back on some more or less known compilations you might find here and there some remix works he did under this NERVE FILTER moniker – a remix for CONVERTER’s track "Be Broken" for example can be found on the compilation "Proven in Action" released by the small Swedish label First Aid Recordings leaded by my special comrade Anders Karlsson (www.thepainmachinery.com). So this side-project was through the years well hidden in the big and successful shadow of ASSEMBLAGE 23. Thanks to the fact that this side-project totally differs, makes it also so quite impressive. It is a fantastic journey through very diverse styles of electronic based music, it is only seldom that the tracks are that straight arranged, like my both favorites here, "Option.One" and "Auto.Mat", which do fall under the Electro genre. Further styles are present here with D’n’B, IDM, Techno – yeah, and some Trance elements as well. The songs are filled with almost dark inspired Synth layers, a very effective ingredient, which keeps the whole interesting and filled with complexity. What noone expected comes finally true after the listen of this album: Tom Shear is a well talented electronic musician, who has much more to offer than the known paths of ASSEMBLAGE 23. That several reviewers out of the scene (... no names here...) aren’t able to pick up this content and wrote some stupidity isn’t acceptable. This is a great example to explain the sense of a side-project, thumbs up, Tom!

CODEC & FLEXOR: Killer Machine

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2698)
May 01 2006
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Artist: CODEC & FLEXOR
Title: Killer Machine
Format: CD
Label: Kitty Yo (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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Already been in a band together (was 1992 and they were into Atomic Comic), Codec & Flexor decided to collaborate again on year 2001 and the year after they released their first album "Tubed" for Christian Mongerstern’s Forte Records. Due to the club success of the song "Time has changed" they had a deal for the license of the album in the USA through Emperor Norton Records. Now the time has come for a new album and Kitty Yo proudly presents KILLER MACHINE. The twelve tracks of the new album show some slight changes from the previous one because KILLER MACHINE sounds more melodic and it has more new wave influences. If you listen to the first two songs "Do what you want" and "Nothing to hide" you’d ask yourself if this is the new Heaven 17 album because the electro wave of the duo has a certain funk flavor. The following "Step by step" steer the wheel toward a dance electro wave while "Welcome" seems coming from the latest Tiga release. The album, in this way, is capable of catch the electro fans, the new wave orphans and the dance floor fanatics and this is damn good!
Apr 28 2006
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Artist: ELLEN ALLIEN & APPARAT (@)
Title: Orchestra Of Bubbles
Format: CD
Label: Bpitch Control (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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A year has passed since the release of "Thrills" but Ellen Allien is always at work to find out new ways of experimenting with rhythms / sounds / emotions. This time she collaborated with Sascha Ring/Apparat (he also run the label Shitkatapult with T.Raumschmiere) to create ORCHESTRA OF BUBBLES, an album containing thirteen new tracks where the distinctive sound of the duo find a new expression. Apparat’s orchestrations of i.d.m. sounds and Ellen’s capability of creating a web rhythmical sounds match perfectly creating something that sounds new, fresh and deep. The album opens with "Turbo dreams", the single released on early April, that contains some of the principal elements present on the album: melody, rhythm and a certain sense of suspension given by the cyclic structure of the tracks. Some other surprises are ready to be unveiled already with the second track, because "Way out" (the single that will be released at the end of May) is a beautiful track that melodically recall me Marco Passarani’s "Criticize", with a delicate vocal line sung by Ellen herself. The following track "Retina" changes everything with an opening cello that duet with a bass line and some other layers (string orchestrations and several synth lines) that are added during its length. "Jet" is based on the same concept having a cyclic structure with brass sounds that duet with a pumping rhythm (I found amazing the effect of the guitar distortion that arrive suddenly creating a blast of a jet). Respect "Thrills", ORCHESTRA OF BUBBLES sounds more elaborated and generally with more melody (not melodic, because this isn't techno pop). The techno minimal experimentations dear to Ellen’s style are still present (see "Under" or "Metric") but Apparat presence worked really well and created tracks like "Edison" (where the glitch sounds create a delicate rain effect while a melancholic melody draw by a bass guitar lead you through its four minutes length) and "Leave me alone" (a track album where Apparat lightly sing on cut up violins while bass and drums sign the time of a broken heart). On the definitive version of the CD you can find two tracks that have been added just before the release of the album because the promo copy have been put on the p2p networks. Now you’ve the opportunity to find "Rotary" (a Detroit electro track really intriguing) and "Sleepless" (a beautiful song with Ellen’s vocals. I really dug the harp sound combined with the distorted synth). If you want some in depth info about the project check the website http://www.orchestra-of-bubbles.com.


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