Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Freestyle Candies Vol.2

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2874)
Jul 05 2006
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Freestyle Candies Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: Klang Elektronik (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Compiled by Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke of Alter Ego, the second chapter of the FREESTYLE CANDIES series come along with a particular DVD. The particularity is that the videos are made by students of the "Hochschule für Gestaltung" in Offenbach am Main under the direction of Professor Heiner Blum. I watched four videos at the label website and I can tell you that they are made using basic computer animation, simple elaborations of tv programs (a football match), elaborations of what it seems to be a home made video of old people dancing, etc. I had the occasion to watch only to small excerpts, so I can’t judge the DVD contents, basically. Anyway. This compilation greets the 100th release of the label and it gathers fourteen tracks. It starts with the minimal techno of Donna Regina remixed by Isolée just to pass to Farben's minimal electronics. The third track changes the atmosphere introducing to the audience the Latin electro of Lucien N. Luciano. Smith N Hack introduce some funky disco with their "To our disco friends". The rhythm became quieter with Slop Shop who, with the sensorama remix of "Tranzendenz express", presents a gentle electronic moment. The electro wave sound is here thanks to Rework with "Amoureuse". Bergheim 34 with "Oscillations" revive the CD with a dancey electro tune while Alter Ego presents two tracks of minimal ambient techno with little jazzy inserts on the two lone swordsmen remix of "Mescal". Closer Musik bring their experiments with lo-fi techno with "2 the beat 2 the rock" while Electronicat with "Where were you tomorrow?" are a good example of electro wave (even if this instrumental tracks is nice but it ins’t too thrilling). Eight Miles High play a kind of slow minimal techno with "Katalog". The sensorama remix of Denky Groove’s "Smoky bubbles" is a light lounge electro ambient track while Sikøra closes the compilation with "Public private moments", a sort of minimal experimental soundtrack. The compilation is various but most of the tracks focus their sound on gently electronic sounds with few electro wave or techno episodes. If you are into these sounds check it out.
Artist: NEC PLUS ULTRA (@)
Title: Nec Plus Ultra
Format: CD
Label: Zona Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is another excursion into Eastern European music efforts, this time published by the Lithuanian / Latvian based label Zona Records. This label is already active since 1991, first of to serve the USSR market with Independent music. After the fall of the iron curtain and the join of the Baltic states to the EU, they redefine their structures now to introduce Independent music to the Western world. Their label program features a huge diversity featuring styles like Hard-Rock, Hip-Hop, Alternative, Ska-Punk, Electronica, yes, and this very extraordinary Russian project named NEC PLUS ULTRA. NPC is the solo effort by Leo Botzmann and hails from Perm, a city based in the Ural mountains (!!!). Life there must be hard, because so is his music. Leo’s music features definitively ideas and structures out of the EBM/Electro scene, but he combines it with several noises taken out of Experimental/Field Recordings sessions. Machines, noisy Industrial areas, driving trains – almost everything can be an inspiration for Leo. He seems to be one of the very few artists on this world who seem to see music still as a kind of art. So this whole album is filled with extremely noisy sounds, which easily can lead a track into a total climax ("Morgen" for example). The other strange point: when Leo integrates vocals into his tracks, he "sings" in German. I don’t know how, when and where he has learned my mother tongue, also it’s mostly quite funny for me to hear his accent and grammar, but I mostly understand what he tries to express. "Der Mensch kaput" gets my vote for the best track, it reminds me a lot on a classic old-school EBM piece, but of course well done with an own authentic touch. If you wanna discover something really unknown and new, then make sure to purchase this release from the growing Zona Records label. I hope the best for Leo and his cool project, that he can earn some international recognition which he surely deserves. Weiter so, Leo!

VV.AA.: Noise Terror Volume One

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2870)
Jul 03 2006
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Noise Terror Volume One
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Don’t let this title lead you into the expectation that you’ll get here a Powernoise-inspired compilation. No, this is nothing else than the first label compilation of Germany’s Dependent evil twin, the division for hard and merciless EBM/Electro/Industrial music, Noise Terror Productions, leaded by Johan Van Roy alias SUICIDE COMMANDO. Mr. label chief himself is also responsible for the collection of the different artists, a mix between both, newcomers and established acts. That Johan has the ability to compile a well recognized compilation is not really a secret, just remember the legendary Voltage and Decoder series he compiled in the together with labels like Possessive Blindfold, Dying Culture or Infacted-Recordings. Now on his very own NTP label, this compilation follows a similar line, also nice to see that "label politics" don’t play a serious role and several already signed acts found a free slot. The very own NTP acts are featured here (SUICIDE COMMANDO, INSEKT, CONTROLLED COLLAPSE, FRACTURED and DIOXYDE) of course, but also acts signed to Noitekk (LIFE CRIED, DAWN OF ASHES, FGFC820), Alfa Matrix (UNTER NULL, LEAETHER STRIP) and Pandaimonium (SCHATTENSCHLAG) are on here. Excellent names generally someone would say, but the refreshing part comes as usual from the more or less unknown and so unsigned acts. CAPTIVE OF SOCIETY give a social critical "Das Tier", but more than this RO1OR, a new project of NOICE PROCESS mastermind Michael Renfield, giving us an amazing "Brain Dead" are definitively to mention here. I would have seen maybe 2 – 3 more unsigned acts, but okay – that’s not really a valid point to criticize. The best of this comp is the fact that almost all acts present us a special remix only designed for this comp or they give a new and still unreleased tune. With a sales price lesser than 10,-- Euro there’s no real reason not to purchase this well done compilation.

Track listing:

01 Distatix - Replicant
02 Schattenschlag - Sentenced To Death (noise terror edition)
03 minDecease - Tears Of Redemption (industrial accident mix)
04 Controlled Collapse - Insane Asylum (Naked Beat remix)
05 Insekt - Isolated (Anschlag edit)
06 Fractured - All That's Left
07 Leather Strip - Sleep Is Only Heartbreak (Jesper Schmidt remix)
08 Captive of Society - Das tier
09 Life Cried - Hallowed Be Thy Name
10 RO1OR - Brain Death
11 Dioxyde - Words Of Judas
12 Suicide Commando - We Are The Sinners (club edit)
13 Dawn Of Ashes - Maximum Damnation
14 FGFC820 - GBA
15 Unter Null - Your Nightmare (Grendel remix)

DAS PRÄPARAT: Mein Schmerz Trägt Deinen Namen

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2869)
Jul 03 2006
Artist: DAS PRÄPARAT (@)
Title: Mein Schmerz Trägt Deinen Namen
Format: CD EP
Label: Scanner (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This is a German male/female duo consisting of Dr. Hyde and Nachtschwester K. and they present us here their 5- track debut release on Scanner out of the Dark Dimension label group. Musically this release features mostly EBM/Electro structures filled with a few splatter/horror images. I don’t know if both band members have a serious medical or surgical background which would explain the band name and the inspiration of the presented images on this release. The vocals, on 4 out of 5 tracks mainly provided by Dr. Hyde, are dramatically filled in while the lyrics take their inspiration out of Goth/Neue Deutsche Todeskunst-inspired themes. Somehow this whole release awakes remembrances on early DAS ICH or DORSETSHIRE – not very new and original, but I think we haven’t had anything related for a while. The best piece here can be named in "Maschinenherz", which fits best with bands’ image and it is well arranged – a real cold thriller! The one and only conceptual exception here is the third track on this release, a piano–driven ballad called "Ist Das Leben Nur Ein Spiel?" leaded by thoughtful lyrics dealing mainly with the sense of life provided by the female band member Nachtschwester K. – this duo shows herewith musically and lyrically depth, this deserves respect. If this act can reach any comparable success like the above mentioned acts has to be proven, but some good first signs are available here.

CYBORG ATTACK: Stoerf***tor

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2864)
Jul 03 2006
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Title: Stoerf***tor
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****

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After several years from their debut album "Blutgeld" and after being joined by the new member Enrico Laukner (a.k.a. Cyborg Of Tactical Noise) on samples, Cyborg Attack are back. Cyborg Attack is one of those bands that have always being true to their style and the second album STOERF***TOR follows the steps of its predecessor. Their classic German e.b.m. in your face style is always joined by the growls of vocalist Sandro and the basic melodies of the tracks are helped by obsessive rhythms and industrial attitude. Even if this music is followed mainly by a fanbase tracks like "Hammer smashed face", "Born dead", "Trauma" or "Blasphemie" are good dance floor potential hits.

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