Music Reviews

THE-PULSAR: Awakening

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 12 2005
Artist: THE-PULSAR (@)
Title: Awakening
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Electro/Industrial music awakes currently in East Europe and Advoxya Records is present at the frontline to service us with some not expected talented acts like they did with the Estonian band CYCLONE B. THE-PULSAR is a three men outlet from the heart of a growing Russian scene which has found its home in St. Petersburg. The band already exists since 10 years but their output is limited to only three demo with the last one released back in 1999. And now, 6 years and a lot of more experience later, this trio is now ready to release its debut called "Awakening" with 11 tracks and 63 minutes playing time. Their music is influenced by diverse EBM structures but they have also to offer some not expected programming surprises. I would tend to qualify their music in far away vein of acts like NOXIOUS EMOTION for example. Most steady EBM beats, some nice old school influenced EBM sequences and here and there some melodic ingredients as well. The vocals are dark, melodic but mostly without overwhelming distortions, sometimes they add some vocoder effects to it. Personal favorites I have found in "Huge Satisfaction", an excellent played EBM piece with hard ripping sequences and in the bombastic melodious piece "Father" with a very personal lyrical content. Another remarkable piece is the track "Stalker" with some cool sounding Russian voice samples and a globally dark atmospheric touch. THE-PULSAR have produced a nice and diverse debut album and they are acting well for a newcomer. There is still enough music to discover behind the iron curtain and THE-PULSAR give a decent release to follow this trend. Well done, guys.

COSMICITY: Definitive

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 09 2005
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Artist: COSMICITY (@)
Title: Definitive
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Kiss My Asterix Records (@)
Rated: *****
After riding the synthpop waves for seven years Mark Nicholas decided to give an end to his project Cosmicity. For about a decade the name of the band has been linked to A Different Drum label as they kinda "grew" together. DEFINITIVE is a good sum of what Cosmicity have been but it hasn't been released by ADD as the Kiss My Asterix label released it giving to it also a visual counterpart because along with the nineteen songs compilation you can find an hour long DVD titled TWO CAMCORDERS & AN iMAC. The DVD contains different moments of private life deeply connected to Mark's music. It is a sort of home made documentary of the band story and by watching it you'll realize that behind the melancholy taste of Cosmicity's music there's a funny guy who's trying to have fun with people/friends bonding with them kindly. So, you'll find the different recording sessions of the five Cosmicity's albums (one of them actually is a fun re-creation of the recording session with trained actors....yeah, you wish they were! Actually they are Mark and his wife Sara). Along with tour shots and sessions you'll find also the "Technology" and "Sedgwick" videos. After watching this DVD you'll have the impression of knowing Mark a little more, you'll appreciate his attitude and you'll realize that his music is genuine. The CD compilation will make you know a little bit more the band's music, if you haven't listened to them yet. Only the first two pre A Different Drum CDs have been excluded, so if you want to check them you've got to get "The vision / The moment" double CD separately. Strangely enough, the compilation go backwards starting with the tracks from the last album "Escape pod for two" (four tracks are included from this album) and arriving to four tracks picked up from "Isabella" (passing through Pure's "I want you", "The princess of Detroit" and "Hotel Allegro Chicago", The Binary Language Of Love's "This city", "Digital delays" and "Technology", Resynthesized's "Orange", Reinassance's "Too far gone" and "Fate and time" and Forgive My Sins' "As long as it takes"). With nineteen tracks you'll have the opportunity to check Mark's synthpop dancey melancholy and you'll ask yourself how will sound the new tracks his preparing. Well, you can check two of them at his new website they sound less melancholy, they are more pumping and a bit distorted. Also the lyrics seem different: they sound darker than usual. Anyway... I think at this point if you have already checked the Kiss My Aterix website to purchase your copy for 18$ and checked the new tracks leaving to Mark your thoughts about his new stuff. ;-)

VEX'D: Degenerate

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 07 2005
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Artist: VEX'D
Title: Degenerate
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
There's a big dub aftertaste hidden between the lines of Vex'd "Degenerate" (above all in the second of the two cds). This London duo has an interesting way to mold drum and bass and breakbeat to make it all sound "kicking ass" electronica "ready-made for any unconventional dancefloor" (!?). I can't say if this people has ever been into Adrian Sherwood, Photek or anything on Possible records (above all Mick Harris during is drum and bass trip), but somehow these could be some of the weapons from their arsenal. "Hard core" electronica for "diehard rave believer"!? sure this'an aggressive record, add some of these "old-synth" sounds (it's not the first time I'm saying that but have you noticed how many artists from the old school are reusing those sounds?). A friend of mine said if 808 State were from today and would have been more into breakbeat they could have sounded almost like that, personally I think that's a misleading description, but the idea of the "hard electronic beat" is similar and the dark mind-blowing atmosphere is there too (man..judging from the cover it could have been an industrial record!). If you hate "sassy electronica" and you're into rhythmical beats and jawbreaking beats you'd better give a listen.

Indicia: Identifying Marks

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 26 2005
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Artist: Indicia
Title: Identifying Marks
Format: CD
Label: Kanpai records
Distributor: IDN Innovative Distribution Network
Rated: *****
Indicia is a relatively new duo from the west coast. They present a powerful, well-balanced, skillfully-produced and aggressive mixture of electronica and trip-hop. The band comes through as a professional act and their sound is very mature, more than you'd expect from a debut. Musically speaking Indicia is pretty minimal, but manages to still be pretty raw and powerful. Deep bass lines, sizzling drum sounds, careful and never excessive programming of pad layers and texture sounds all work together towards awesome sonics that are beautifully complemented by the sexy, versatile, eclectic and talented vocals of the female singer. Very impressive indeed.
Aug 26 2005
Artist: STROMKERN (@)
Title: Light it up
Format: CD
Label: Dependent, WTII (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
I don’t like to hold back an original quotation by J. Ned Kirby, vocalist and main head behind STROMKERN out of the info sheet to this new release:

"In the past I was generally careful to keep politics out of STROMKERN but it has simply become impossible. I find myself struck dumb on an almost daily basis by the events that are taking place. It has become increasingly clear that a war is underway, a culture war, being waged by fanatical, hyper-religious conservatives against anyone who questions their religious, moral, political or economic agenda. All of which seem to have the maximum disregard for the personal freedoms of others as well as the safeguarding of the planet for future generations."

Well, I am not here to arguing on this. I would like to say: "Hello and welcome to the daily madness", because it seems to me that STROMKERN have developed a lot since their latest full length CD "Armageddon", which is already now three years old. To include some more or less decent guitar riffs into the already stylistically diverse sound of the multi-talented musicians, J. Ned Kirby and Kelly Shaffer, is surely more than a hint. "Electro/Industrial/Alternative" – well, so it is! Some European Electro purists will be surely get shocked by listening to the new STROMKERN sound, but here are still some remarkable tracks which can easily show all the rich musical talent in production and composition. STROMKERN have grown up not only musically, also for the lyrically content with a more critically interpretation of the current politically situation (excellent example: "Reminders"). This is surely not that typically STROMKERN release of early days, it needs some more rotations until it can satisfy. The title track of the previously released Single-CD "Stand Up" is of course still present here, as well as the track "Slow Cascade", both tracks can be called next to the already mentioned "Reminders" to the favorite of the purists. This been said we can noticed some prominent help on the vocals done by F. Spinath of SEABOUND performing on "Sentinel", while Victoria Lloyd (CLAIRE VOYANT) helped out on the slow "Hindsign". Also a favorite is the slow track and with a nice piano performance done by J. Ned Kirby, "Forgiven" which melodic insult will not leave your head... Congratulations again to the German label Dependent (for the USA: WTII Records, check out: for picking up one of the leaders of complex and innovative electronic-minded music. Make sure to visit a gig of their current tour to watch these guys with the Metropolis recording artist BATTERY CAGE. Nice done!!!

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