Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Global Surveyor: Phase 2
Format: CD
Label: Dominance Electricity (@)
Rated: *****
Global Surveyor: Phase Two is a compilation of electro funk artists featured on the German label, Dominance Records. Though I don’t speak the language to read the liner notes, this release appears to be futuristic in theme, based in the electro-funk-punk wastelands of 3004. An odd concept, but a concept that works out to be a lot of fun, for sure.

The basic sound of Global Surveyor: Phase Two falls somewhere between upbeat Kraftwerk mixed with 80’s beat-box, meshed together by trance and IDM. Of all the bands on this release my definite favorites are Dagobert, E-Control, and Mandroid. These three bands seemed to be especially versed in what this genre is trying to accomplish, while also going that extra mile and creating dynamic, envelope pushing sounds. The rest of Global Surveyor: Phase Two is good, as well, as there is rarely a lull in quality or sound, but those three are the ones that cried out for repeated listens.

I’m not a fan of compilations at all, but since I’d never heard anything from this corner of electro this actually wound up being an interesting and enlightening journey. While the end times probably will not include an electro-funk-punk movement, Dominance Electricity’s Global Surveyor is a promising thought, and an enjoyable listen.

Primes: Self-Titled

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2323)
Dec 02 2005
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Artist: Primes (@)
Title: Self-Titled
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Action Driver (@)
Rated: *****
Primes is the new project of JJD/Jack Duckworth (Radio Berlin, A Luna Red) and Miss X/Michelle Synnot, both hailing from Vancouver, Canada. This self-titled album is their debut full-length release, following their popular self-released Life in the Pit demo.

Primes S/T is a high-energy album that fuses the sounds of noisecore, punk, IDM, and EBM into something new and much more listenably dynamic than any particular genre by itself. Primes’ sound favors bands like My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Atari Teenage Riot, and Error; all the while not sounding like any of the previously mentioned bands at all. It’s both refreshing and confusing to my sensibilities, which is something I definitely appreciate in new music.

Primes’ sound is just about as difficult to describe as it is to categorize. This is a release for anyone who is tired of listening to the same genre sound over and over again. Every track has a new sound and edge to it, challenging preconceptions without challenging the listener’s ear. I’ve never heard anything else by JJD and Miss X, but based on this album alone I’m convinced they can do no wrong.
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Artist: NEGATIVE FORMAT (@)
Title: Moving Past The Boundaries
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
The well known US project NEGATIVE FORMAT consisting of Alex Matheu returns with a new full length CD and sets some new standards into the Techno/Trance/Electro/EBM genre. It was his classic release "Result Of A New Culture", released back in 1997 on both defunct labels Gashed (for North America) and Zoth Ommog (for Europe), as well as his own released debut CD "Pathologic Syndrome", which brought me to this project. All further releases then turned into a more Techno/Trance up to Futurepop oriented direction which I haven’t found too impressive at all. "Moving Past The Boundaries" can be seen now as a reminder of the good old days while not a stop of the latest evolution of Alex’ music. 13 new tracks are available here, most of them with a long enough playing time to produce fat and resonated filter loops in and out of the tracks – yes, that Techno/Trance element in Alex’ music is still richly present. I of course prefer the tracks which leave a bit the current NEGATIVE FORMAT mood, the tracks which can be called near and comparable to the past "Result..." influenced era. Here are the marvelous tracks like "Centralized" and "Focus" to name. Also well done and worth to mention are the female vocals by Rashree Matson thrown into 3 tracks, the slow and smooth "Sustain", the already named "Centralized" and "Heterodox", on which male and female vocals start a duel. This is a very modern sounding piece of fat and well produced electronic music, and of course way back better than his last releases. Maybe the right step to bring NEGATIVE FORMAT back to that outstanding era on which it all begun. Strange for me is the fact, that this release will distributed and marketed world-wide by Metropolis-Records and that there is no license deal to the German Out Of Line label, which was lately responsible for the last NEGATIVE FORMAT releases. Who cares finally – check this out, listen to yourself and enjoy this modern and technically rich produced album!

TERRORFAKT: Cold World Remixes

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (2311)
Nov 29 2005
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Artist: TERRORFAKT (@)
Title: Cold World Remixes
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
A Powernoise/Harsh Industrial act signed to the big Metropolis Records label is a rarity, but it shows that the huge stable of them is growing into all genres and styles. TERRORFAKT are releasing herewith their remix companion to their last year debut, so you get here 10 remix works done by more less known artists like ANGEL THEORY (created lyrics and added their vocals on their more Dark Electro inspired remix for "No Frequency" – a rarity for the Powernoise genre and I can’t find enough praising words for this almost new track...), PNEUMATIC DETACH (offer as usual an excellent remix for "Arsenal" – of course the most harshest piece here...), TOTAKEKE (a heavily Dark Ambient inspired remix for "Zero" with uncountable layers – excellent!) or the always fine RE_AGENT (defines the standard to a high quality level between Dark Electro and Powernoise on their "Arsenal" remix...). Further remix works are done by CERVELLO ELETTRONICO, DISPLACER, SYNTH-ETIK, E-CRAFT, LIFE CRIED and IMPERATIVE REACTION. There is no really bad or boring remix here – I only picked out the four mentioned outstanding works. There are also 5 new harsh tracks at the end of the CD and also here are some nice surprises worth to check out. While "An Age Of Terror", "Corrupt" and "God Of Killers" offer new food to storm the dancefloor, the slow and dark "Elimination Chamber" offers some great delay and reverb effects. But the best piece is the duel with PNEUMATIC DETACH on "Black Hoods In Brooklyn", which features the best elements of both acts. I would like to hear about a further cooperation between this both excellent acts! You’ll get with this remix companion disc a marvelous release which can impress by the good choice of different remixing acts out of different genres. You’ll get too 5 new and worth to get heard tracks by TERRORFAKT, so – what are you waiting for? Get it!

LUJHBOIA: Spiral Nerve

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2310)
Nov 29 2005
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Artist: LUJHBOIA (@)
Title: Spiral Nerve
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This is a new and until now almost undiscovered talent out of Argentina, from where we already received some nice tunes done by PUNTO OMEGA, LAMIA or ALIEN PRODUKT. While somebody should teach me a lesson how to speak out correctly their band name, I am sure that this act will also soon get that international response it deserves. Musically I would like to compare them with the old HOCICO, the mentioned PUNTO OMEGA, TAMTRUM or AMDUSCIA on the harsh and danceable tracks – so you’ll get a straight, hard-in-your-face full scale dose of harsh Electro/EBM. Tracks like "Ominous", "Looser’s Letter" or the well hidden 10th track "Punisher Kids" can easily fill the dancefloors of the dark clubs. They offer also some nice instrumental takes like "The Insanity about Flowers" or the title track on which they show a wide musically background with some piano sounds and some decent melodies. While the title names are all in English language, the lyrics and so the rough vocals are without any exception in Spanish. So I don’t know on what they refer in their lyrics here, but they included precautionary the often used "Parental Advisory – Explicit Lyrics" warning sticker on their cover art. The tracks are well done and tasty arranged – a real "rocking" alternative to the lately toothless looking HOCICO. This full length CD is completely self-released and produced – it may could need some more polishing production, but it nevertheless features a remarkable talent. I am sure that we will hear soon more from this band. Check out their website mentioned above, make your contacts and order their stuff - especially if you are familiar with the named acts here.


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