Music Reviews

Artist: VV.AA.
Title: American Gigolo II - Mixed Compiled By Abe Duque
Format: CD
Label: Gigolo (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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After the first chapter of the American Gigolo series and after Tiga here it is volume two that contains twenty one tracks compiled, mixed and sometimes remixed by Abe Duque. Abe picked up tracks from the Gigolo catalogue spanning from #86 to #181 (only Jeff Mills’"Shifty disco" is older as it was included into Gigolo #2). He did a good work as he didn’t present them "as they are" because, where needed, he pumped a bass, added a vocal, etc. In this way he created a massive dj set with a great impact by focusing the first half selection on electro techno (Foremost Poets, Crack We Rock, Abe Duque, Psychonauts, Freaks to name few). With Felix Da Housecat remix of P.Diddy’s "Jack U" (the central section) the atmosphere changes from electro influenced tunes to pure acid/techno (with Terence Fixmer, Traxx & Deecoy, Jeff Mills and Richard Bartz). The effect created by this radical change is of a sudden lack of melody. The atmosphere changes again with David Carretta just to close with an 80’s electro house track thanks to The Dominatrix. I found the first half of AMERICAN GIGOLO II really solid and intriguing but on the second half the acid took an hold all in a sudden and this ruined the tracklist that was running smoothly. This compilation is worth a listening and no one can stop you by listening to the two sections separately and digging the CD anyway...

ANHEDONIA: Destructive Forces

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (2728)
May 11 2006
Artist: ANHEDONIA (@)
Title: Destructive Forces
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
The debut CD by this young and extremely talented young Czech Republic project consisting of Vojtech Smetana should surprise the audience world-wide. The Slovakian label Aliens Production is known to bring out talents of Eastern Europe, which do all mostly concentrate on some cold and Dark Electro anthems, just think on both DISHARMONY and/or the last discovery GAPING CHASM. But this strong produced, and only instrumental-based album gives this real underground label some new exposure. Ladies and Gentlemen, Aliens Production proudly presents with ANHEDONIA the legitimate follow-up to the now defunct well known US act GRIDLOCK!!! I think this comparison fits the best to describe the thick and scary atmospheres which ANHEDONIA produces here. Don’t think about a copycat or soemthing like that, ANHEDONIA offer somewhat more straight structures. Tracks like my both favorites "Icecold" or "Chiba City Blues" should be able to let some dark people do some moves on a stage, in that case that an open-minded DJ would play stuff out of this intense listen experience. 13 tracks in all here, plus a well done remix by their label comrades of DISHARMONY on the trakc "Stir Up The Dust", this is for sure one of the strongest debuts I heard in a while.

GOJ / H2S: Split

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 11 2006
Artist: GOJ / H2S (@)
Title: Split
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Snuff / Biostasi Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Italy, Goj and H2S are already active since 1999 the first and 2001 the latter. They have in common a friendship and a similar musical feeling. They know that their stuff could be filed under "no-music", but listening to the eight tracks I must say that what they do is emotional music and emotions could also find their way through sounds and noises where melody is only a surplus. This common aim made they produce a split mini CD with four tracks each. Goj presents four tracks of what he calls "neuroambient". Trying to explaining how "neuroambient" could sound let’s say that each track could have a different approach to sound/structure and if the opening "Flat-E" is made out of distorted drums and a rarefied distorted organ sound the following "Lotta vs Sonia" changes radically with its looped electronic structure. "Kingdom" sounds like the early Earth (distortion, reverb and chorus on a bass guitar) and the last track "Non, je ne suis pas du tout un excentrique" is an ambient experimental short track with treated radio sources on background of a synthesizer pad. H2S approach to experimental sounds is different because he mix new wave intuitions (see the chorused guitar of the opening "Fragmentation") with industrial taste. In this way the tracks sounds now more noisy and then a little more ambient with noise inserts (like on "Kafka’s parallel dimension" or "Allen mistress on the snow"). The closing "Bondage in the wood" sounds like post punk meets Cabaret Voltaire. Some naivety are evident but this split is definitely worth you attention.

VV.AA.: Lost in Darkness III

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (2722)
May 09 2006
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Lost in Darkness III
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
Already the third volume of this underground compilation series, which lately brought a lot of attention to the X-Cem acts like WYNARDTAGE, MAY-FLY or ACYLUM. Like on both predecessors the main number of acts is somehow related to X-Cem or it is done directly by mastermind Kai Arnold presenting one of his numerous side projects. Add to this some new and rarely heard talents of the German Electro/Industrial scene and you’ll got a decent compilation musically mainly based on Dark Electro/EBM, also filled with some Powernoise undertones. Besides WYNARDTAGE or ACYLUM, here are some better known names presented with the Black Rain recording artist DAVANTAGE, the well recognized act TO AVOID, which could release a strong debut-CD as the last official release of the now defunct Dark Wings label, or the Danish classic act NEOTEK, a duo which had seen its best days signed to the Hard Records label. The German one man project VIRTUAL VICTIM is also present here and this act could win surprisingly a talent contest done by the German print magazine Sonic Seducer. Best tracks can be named here in the straight and alternative remix version of "Dead Culture" provided by the X-Cem act ACYLUM, wich finds again the perfect mix to combine Dark Electro with Powernoise elements. Also the track "Love Is Suicide" done by DVATION defenitivly gets my vote for creating a harder Dark Electro piece with known elements comparable near to acts like AGONOIZE – luckily without sounding like a clone. Other pieces worth to mention here are the already named VIRTUAL VICTIM, TO AVOID and also WYNARDTAGE gives a new and unreleased piece here. With the talented duo FORMALIN the included stuff of this compilation turns into harder, noisier and more minimal arrangements – Powernoise is offered on two tracks by SONIC VIOLENCE EXPERIENCE and SENSOGEN. Not in the same league like XOTOX or NOISUF-X, but a welcomed change of style. You’ll get here a real piece of Underground music mainly focusing on Dark Electro/EBM. A well compiled compilation with many up-and-coming acts, from which will be may one a global big player of the scene. This release is at this time the last one ind cooperation with the German SXDistribution. So if you are a distributor, please make sure to contact Kai Arnold of WYNARTAGE to work out a deal...

Track list:

May 09 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 5th Anniversary Compilation - Vol 1 + Vol 2
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Rated: *****
Based in Berlin Das Drehmoment started its activity as a record shop but the passion of the owners made them create also a label soon after. In the past five years they didn’t release a lot of stuff but the quality is always at the top if you like analogue sounds and electro music. If you had the opportunity to check one of their first compilations "... Dreht weiter!" (where you can find Super 521, Aurica, The Rorscach Garden, Lokate, KeenK & Dorian E., Quakes, Solenoid, Die Liebe, TecROc, Smäg and Beta Evers) you already know that they are deadly serious into bringing to the attention of electro lovers good stuff from underground acts (unknown for the MTV people). To celebrate the fifth year of activity (started with a compilation co-produced with Genetic Records) Das Drehmoment produced two vinyl album compilations. 5TH ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION VOL.1 gathers eleven tracks/bands for a total length of forty two minutes. The album opens with the instrumental 80s e.b.m. of OstZilator while Keen K’s "TRI - ID" follows (he’s a producer from Berlin which started to do music in the 80s with Kinky Roland, Boy George’s producer) with a track of ambient electro, catchy and hypnotic. Third we find a band we already know (see my reviews of their album here and wait for their next album for Das Drehmoment and for Kinetik Media in the U.S.A.), Kitbuilders which with "Disco Obsession (RZCZ Mix)" brings a minimal remix of their tune released on the same E.P. back in 2001. Mas 2008 is next with "Du!" (a track of their distinctive new sound really influenced by early e.b.m. and D.A.F.). With Lesbian Mouseclicks the atmosphere gets smoother with their electro pop. Datafreq from Toronto (which will release a new album for Das Drehmoment really soon) presents "Just like 1981" a nice electro wave song with retro bleeping sounds. Minimal electro comes from Slovakia with Imiafan while Beta Evers (founder of the female music network called Kommando 6) is here with "Dry Tears". The Quakes with "Caligula" spice up the compilation with a little bit of industrial guitars while Keen K with Pmuench refresh the air with the synthpop of "Spring". Last but not least comes Jaques Dubroix with "Electronic Age", an hypnotic electronic soundtrack for a futuristic thriller. After few months from the release of VOL.1 here it comes VOL.2. This time Sneak Thief have the honour of opening the dances with "Material Nights", a dance electro tune that sounds like a New Order meet Prince track. Makina Girgir from France are proud to present "White eyes" while Divider (a Kenn K side project) with "Cold eyes" sounds like Jean Michael Jarre playing electro pop (this is a really nice track). FBS (a new band from Berlin) are here with "Don’t touch" (pretty but too minimal) and Aurica follows with "Hypothenuse". Side B sees Electrosexual hailing from Tolouse with their electro dark wave with an edited version of "Trapped inside". Electro wave doesn’t stop here, so Silent Signals from Dortmund are ready for "Waiting for reaction" while Ich helped on production by Keen K did a night version of his "Aberglaube" (a Kraftwerk meet D.A.F. cool track). Legopop (he’s present with "Legopop", a minimal electronic retro tune) and Zhark (his retro industrial e.b.m. with raw analogue samples is here with "Eisenzeit") close the second volume of this celebrative collection. If you are looking for retro sounds and fresh ideas (only few bands need a little tuning up for a whole release) you should definitely give a listen to these compilations. They are limited and you’ll realize that keeping your turntable at home was the right move for your ears!

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