Music Reviews



TAMTRUM: Elektronik Blakc Mess

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 05 2006
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Artist: TAMTRUM (@)
Title: Elektronik Blakc Mess
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The French mass destruction machinery aka TAMTRUM returns with a completely new studio album, their first on the rising Alfa Matrix label. Their signing nearly to the end of the last year has caused some confusion, because only a few weeks before Christmas they’d re-released their successful debut "Some Atomik Songz 2K5" at the US label DSBP in collaboration with their first French label La Chambre Froide. Surely the hopes were high at the DSBP to have them now on board, until Alfa Matrix intervened and gave them a contract "they could NOT resist". Somehow understandable, the possibilities with the Matrix are multiple, especially for the European continent. So here is the newest onslaught of this Punk- and Terror-inspired act, which now has became a trio. This new album is again an elementary assault against the fainthearted of us here, TAMTRUM again mix their influences well to a another explosive slop. Their typical speedy and straight Electro richly influenced by some Punk- and Death Metal attitudes, added male shouted vocals full of hate, sexism, sickness and perversion and a globally rebellious behavior are documented here already with the title of this CD (no typos here!!!). For the opening track of this CD "In A Little Skull Box" they could also add Rose Hreidmarr of the Black Metal act ANOREXIA NERVOSA for some guest vocals behind the microphone. Other outstanding tracks here can be named in the ultra-fast piece "Paranoiak, Hypokondriak and Toxicomaniak" (what a cool title!!!) and "Abort The Pope" (Yeah, this act doesn’t like to be sparse against religious themes...). That TAMTRUM are besides all rebellious and "Against Everything"-mood some well producing Electro musicians goes somehow a bit under. So please check the musically strong pieces here with "Deshumanization" or the surprising melodious track "My Fall". TAMTRUM take again no prisoners at all and you should pick up these piece somehow. Please note also the release date, 06th of June and so their number constellation: 6.6.6. Of course, this hellish stuff RAWKS again!

TACTICAL SEKT: Syncope

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 05 2006
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Artist: TACTICAL SEKT (@)
Title: Syncope
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
No other act signed under the German label NoiTekk has formed the typical sound and attitude of this label like Anthony Mather’s project TACTICAL SEKT. Having started as a solo effort to waste some time between releases for his main project ASLAN FACTION, TACTICAL SEKT became more successful with both previous releases "Geneticide" and the EP "Burn Process". Yes, this act is nowadays a big player in the hard Electro/Industrial scene, highest chart positions at big mail order services like Metropolis for example prove this well. No real wonder that the audience was waiting anxiously for this new full length. Too much hasn’t changed in the direction and the style of music for sure – why should it? Anthony again combines mostly hard and straight rhythm patterns with Tekkno-sounding bass lines and synth play, plus he adds his ultra-harsh distorted voice to the tracks. Definitively the kind of music nobody really can really sit still to – it works the best on the dancefloor of the dark clubs. It’s also a hard and noisy listening for your home entertainment, maybe a bit to much and overdone for the fainthearted of us. The stupid genre name "Hellektro" comes here definitively to mind and the music of some other acts like RETRACTOR, AGONOIZE or VIRTUAL EMBRACE offer allowed comparisons. Of course it is solid done and maybe the quality of TACTICAL SEKT lays in some thicker and more complex bass line sounds, but it definitively holds nothing surprising in the background. It is the expected kind of EBM/Dark Electro dose, which has some highlights, for example in "Awaken The Ghost (Final Awakening)", "Waiting For The World To End" which both offer a strong dedication to some changes of the snare and kick sounds. Also "Dark Sky" offers some well done breaks, while "American Me" brings in some heart-felting voice samples all based on the tragic happenings at 9/11. Maybe this track is meant as a special "welcome back" statement to the Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, because Anthony lately decided to go back to the States and he’s currently on the move back to his home area in California. So we have in all 12 very satisfying tracks which once more will mark TACTICAL SEKT’s status to be one of the leaders of hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music in the world. I had also the luck to receive a piece of the limited and numbered of 2000 exemplars box set as a promotional copy for this review (thanx Marco!!!). It features an extra disc with 8 new and previously unreleased track of TACTICAL SEKT. Normally bands out of this music genre do offer more less tasteful arranged remix works done by mostly well known scene acts – but not TACTICAL SEKT. Again – this 8 tracks are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED!!! EXTRA TRACKS for your hard earned money!!! The quality maybe alters a bit on a few tracks, also some long-time running instrumental pieces are on here, but the die-hard fans of this act know very well, which issue they have to pick up. Hurry up and ask for this limited box set - it should be sold out soon and become a collectors item.

TWZ: B-Sides 0

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 05 2006
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Artist: TWZ (@)
Title: B-Sides 0
Format: CD
Label: Void Recordz/Deathproganda Records (@)
Distributor: Void Recordz
Rated: *****
The promising Swedish duo of TWZ returns here, this time in collaboration with the underground label Void Recordz hailing from Portugal, which musically program is dedicated to all forms of Experimental Electronics up to some real sick Powernoise efforts. Packaged in a cool DVD box, this edition features – like the title said already – a collection of some b-side tracks, which somehow do not fit with the typically sound of TWZ. That’s also a matter of taste I think. It is still amazing how this act spins and produces their Dark Electro, I kindly prefer that they not focus on the newest Tekkno-inspired synth machinery. It is a purest analogue sound machinery and the band have a lot of ideas in the back to keep their arrangements interesting. Just check out some bass lines they produce ranging between purest simplicity up to thick complexity. There's a fine old-school blood floating in their veins, and this does of course not mean that they would produce minimal NEP-like music. I would take some PUPPYan, at times some KLINIK-like efforts as a possible reference, but please note and check out their own authentic kind. Best tracks here are "Purge" and "Terror Cell", a track I could also thankfully discover on the last Plutonium Distro "Showcase 2" compilation. Check back their website, where this up and coming act offers some more stuff, visit also the given references of Deathpropaganda Records as well as Void Recordz and place an order. While you read this review this Swedish should have already out another new album.

SKOIZ: Hologram

 Posted by Kaf Mardel   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 02 2006
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Artist: SKOIZ (@)
Title: Hologram
Format: CD
Label: Cortex Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is the second work written by Skyoz, an ebm duo from Lyon.The band exists since 1995 and their electronic style is built up by using analog machines which create that typical atmosphere you can find in records such as VNV Nation’s ones or other names lake this. In fact, in the year 2000 the duo played as a support act for VNV themselves... But the most interesting thing is that Skyoz, this year, played with Front 242 for their 25th anniversary! However, this album has to be listened to, most of all for the perfection which can be found in each composition. The most appealing song are Cold Colour and Distorted Dreams, catchy tunes with nice synths stuctures.I am not an ebm freak but when this kind of music is played with passion and control of the synthesizers I must admit it makes great impact! In cases like these it’s not just a question of dancing (as it sometimes occurs with some ebm bands) but a nice occasion for listening to the choices of sounds as well.

SKOYZ: Hologram

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 01 2006
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Artist: SKOYZ (@)
Title: Hologram
Format: CD
Label: Cortex-Records (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution / DSBP
Rated: *****
This second full-length release of the both French Electro/Industrial musicians Stephane Ayas and Nicolas Ussel aka SKOYZ is a long-awaited one. It was entitled to be out on the Polish Black Flames label in summer 2005, but shortly before it got released, the label quitted its business. So SKOYZ had to look for a new label and after a while they got picked up by their fellowmen of Cortex-Records, the label which brought out the excellent NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT. It has taken a long time after the release of their promising debut "Decay" on the German Matrix Cube label, but to wait for this new one was worth it. A lot of stuff they’ve been produced and conceived as well, and so this CD really can be called a "full-length" with a playing time of about 73 minutes. 9 new track including the well placed compilation appearances "Dark Energy" and "Distress/Signal" are on here, plus you’ll get 6 remixes done and recreated by good names like the mentioned NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT, DESTROID, INTERLACE THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT, POLYGON and SKOYZ themselves, offering a lighter version of one of the best tracks here, "Cold Colour". SKOYZ play a refreshing kind of Dark Electro with cold distorted vocals, thick arranged atmospheric synth layers and rotating bass lines, at times with some filter manipulations reminding on some Techno productions. This "Hologram" release got mastered by Mike Johnson in his renowned Mao-Music studios (AGONOIZE, INFEKKTION, VIRTUAL EMBRACE...), so the result is a well produced Electro/EBM album which is not like anything else. It features of course a lot of pieces which go straight forward to storm the floors of the dark clubs on this globe, although it avoids a curry favor of too often heard Hellektro releases. Rich and detailed programming work also give a total satisfying experience under some good headphones as well. SKOYZ are for sure next to the already mentioned NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT and some others like E.S.R. or TAMTRUM one of the leading acts playing hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music France has to offer and this "Hologram" is an excellent example of this from track 1 to track 15. What are you waiting for? Get it!!!


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