Music Reviews



NEWCLEUS: Destination Earth

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 16 2006
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Artist: NEWCLEUS (@)
Title: Destination Earth
Format: 12"
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Originally released back in the early 80's on their first two albums, "Destination earth" and "Why" were two tracks that met an unlucky destiny because on those releases they had been remixed by Jonathan Fearing who shortened the first one, rearranged it and made it into an instrumental. Also "Why", which wasn't intended to be released by the band because to them it was an experiment about funky reggae / Hip-Hop / Dance, met a similar destiny because Fearing put the stereo strings out of phase and faded them in and out, and he did the same with the beautiful programmed piano solo. The band was very unhappy with those treatments, so they took these beautiful tracks and decided to dismiss everything that wasn't originally intended to be part of them and they re-released them in their recent compilation "Destination: earth - the definitive Newcleus recordings". Dominance Electricity, which is one of the best electro music labels, noticed the release of the revamped versions and decided to put them out as a brand new EP, also adding two remixes of "Destination earth" reworked by two bands of the label's roster: Sbassship and Reeno. If you don't know Newcleus you have to realize that they were one of the first band who started the electro funk movement. At the end of the seventies a collective of DJ's know as Jam-On Productions decided to form a group called Positive Messenger, which soon turned into Newcleus. They started doing block parties as well as recording demos. At the end of one of their tapes they recorded "Jam-On's Revenge". The song impressed producer Joe Webb more than the other Newcleus material, so the song became their first successful single. After that the band released two other singles that did well and then two albums that didn't really sell all that much. Unfortunately their mixture of funk and electro in the early 80's had to face the advent of rap with Run-D.M.C. so they soon had to face facts. Now you have the opportunity to check out two great songs where synth rock and the soulful melodies of Ben "Cozmo D" Cenac, Yvette "Lady E" Cook, Monique Angevin and Bob "Chilly B" Crafton are capable of thrilling your senses. Be sure to also check the two remixes BY Sbassship and Reeno, where they re-arranged the main track giving it a modern electro treatment but staying true to the original version! Beware: this stuff rules!
Mar 16 2006
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Artist: EDENYZED (@)
Title: Vanity Moves The World
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Edenyzed are an Italian duo that wanted to go beyond the barriers of musical genres. If we were in the 90s we'd call this way of melting genres, cross over but since in this case we aren't talking about rock we coul say that VANITY MOVES THE WORLD is a good record of symphonic black metal played with electronic instruments and with e.b.m. attitude. Try to imagine Hocico that do a carcrash with Burzum and the result would be Edenyzed. I'm not a black metal lover because many times melody is buried under tons of growlings and everything is so speeded up that you can't hear a thing. I prefer good old hardcore for instance, anyway... The eleven songs of the duo debut CD are capable of creating a good dark atmosphere without forgetting melody, energy and a certain theatricality. If you like e.b.m. and you don't give a damn if the tracks have also grinding guitars and a wolf that tries to find his way out from despair, well, you could check this out!
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Artist: YUKI KAWAMURA - YOSHIHIRO HANNO
Title: slide
Format: DVD
Label: Lowave (@)
Rated: *****
The joyful wedding between Yoshihiro Hanno's musical gift and the enchanting images of Yuki Kawamura gave us a pure piece of art, I still can’t say if this a must have but it’s top class for real. As many of you can probably deduce a series of clips appropriate for Hanno's melodies necessitates a couple of important characteristis: the first one is an strong lyrical power, the second one is an (apparent) simplicity with which the afore mentioned power is articulated. Different videos for different atmospheres, but there's a "file rouge" that links the nine videos (ten including the bonus one) of this dvd, here your eyes are gonna meet sliding doors, the womb of a void warehouse, breaking pieces of glass, leaves...beautiful leaves, clouds and an ocean of colours. If you think (like I do) some contemporary japanese electronic music is strongly emotionally charged but also gentle and shy (think of Sawako or Minamo for example): the images featuring Kawamura's clips are made out of the same fabric and embody the same spirit. It's hard to choose between the different clips but it's also so easy to fall in love with episode like "Slide" or "Jour de reve" or "Play at dusk"?!...above all in the last case how can you resist to dive plunge your thought s into such a good-looking cumulus of clouds?. When the images aren’t rendering beautifully the unseen passing of time they will guide you into the secret life of elements (take "Ve" for example). In the last case the view I probably really close to that of a an insect or a rock thus we can say the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hanno's music keeps its enchanting effect intact but with the aid of Kawamura the inward eye experience brings into another dimension.

BELTANE: Spell Of Harmony

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 15 2006
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Artist: BELTANE (@)
Title: Spell Of Harmony
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Electron (@)
Rated: *****
Beltane released in the past two albums and an EP. Their newest release SPELL OF HARMONY isn't exactly a new album, because it collects seven reworked versions of their previous songs. This EP isn't a dj remix collection of band's songs, because Paul Handley (the man behind Beltane's lyrics and music) did all the work. The MCD contains "Spell of harmony" (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "On the fly", "A self willed commission" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Dyonisian blood" " (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "The enchanted ocean" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Foreign shore" (coming from "World of dreams" CD), and "Impasse" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD). The new versions present a sound that convinced me more respect the original ones. This time the dancey rhythm and the electronic arrangements are the main elements of the tracks and in my opinion this helped giving to the female vocals a support that wasn't present on the old versions. In this way the old electro goth sound is revived and it finds new energy thanks to the new sound.

THE MAGICAKE: Botoxxx

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: THE MAGICAKE (@)
Title: Botoxxx
Format: CD
Label: Piloft Recordings
Rated: *****
The Magicake are an Italian band formed on 2002. BOTOXXX is their first album and even if four years has passed since their early days, the band has already collected a certain success into fashion shows (where their music is used) or in Milan at clubs like the Glitter or the Rocket. DJ Pisti (ex Subsonica), which is now working with Motel Connection (along with Subsonica's singer, Samuel) is involved into the production along with the band and Marco Bertoni (Confusional Quartet's band member and now producer or active with his own experimental electronic project). The Magicake album gathers classic electro song with catchy tunes and dancey rhythms (see "I was dancing with Boy George", "Black leather" or "I don't care" where the electro clash meets a certain punk atmosphere) with obsessive tracks where one pattern is looped while Lulu's vocals sound sometimes seducing and sometimes detached (see "Latex dreams" or "When I was a girl") . There's also a good variety of influences that affect the band's music: if "Mary Ann" and "Man in make up" sound a little like Le Tigre, "Plastic divas" remember me the homonymous Client's track. New wave, electro dance, punk and dj culture are all blended just to looking for a new form of beauty. Sometimes the glamour factor seems to be more important respect the music but after a few listenings, you realize that there's fire under the ashes. This is the game and The Magicake are good at it!


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