Music Reviews



TAXIM: Ecclesiophobia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 24 2006
cover
Artist: TAXIM
Title: Ecclesiophobia
Format: CD
Label: Telegrammetry Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is a release published by the new Miami-based label Telegrammetry, which we at the Chain D.L.K. like to welcome to the world of Electro/Industrial music. With the German one-man act TAXIM, this label presents here after a compilation called "Weatherhead" and a release by ELEMENT 104, their third official CD release. Shame on me that I haven’t heard before of and about TAXIM, although we’re countrymen! TAXIM, consisting of Alex Ney, plays generally a fast paced Dark Electro/Industrial music, mostly aggressive and straight – that kind of "4/4 on the floor" that keeps some bodies of the Rivethead culture in motion. The speed of the tracks can be seen as a difference to other acts out of the scene, especially for Dark Electro music. I nevertheless got the feeling that TAXIM’s music is generally more leaded by its dark melodic mood, which turns at times into a diabolic attitude (nothing wrong with this – a lot of bands tend to "play" with related things...). The fast tracks here get also some well played interruptions with the calm and with piano sounds arranged pieces like "Freier Fall" or "Das Schwarze Kreuz". Take the music efforts by acts like FEINDFLUG or the BLC Productions recording artist BETA as possible comparisons and you maybe get an idea, how the stuff of TAXIM sounds. Here we have the little flaw of this release, which I would like to criticize: as much I am impressed by the music efforts and abilities of TAXIM (check back the outstanding "Das 25. Jahr"), I am a bit disappointed how poor and sparse Alex decided to fill in his vocals. Some more tracks which can be seen as real compositions also for the lyrics wouldn’t be bad. That he can do it well, he proofs on the final track "Time Out" – it is definitively next to the hard driving and pummeling "Inkompatibel" the highlight of this CD. Check back the given resources here and/or the cool DSBP mail order service and get this promising release of this new and refreshing artist.

CRYO: Cryogenic

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 24 2006
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Artist: CRYO (@)
Title: Cryogenic
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
Another fine debut for the growing Armada of the Swedish Progress Productions! The long awaited first CD for Martin Rudefelt’s project CRYO is finally out now and – to make the diversity of the label program perfect – his musically direction tends to integrate the ideas of some old school EBM classics played with the technique of the current times. What I’ve already discovered with the marvelous track "The Pain" appearing on the Plutonium Showcase Vol. 2 compilation, finds here a well and full of decent ideas produced continuation. It is always great to hear a release based on this old school vibe without falling into that "copying old NEP bass lines with shouted vocals" syndrome - this syndrome is without doubt also heavily based in Sweden, but Martin has spend a lot of efforts not to fall into this cliche. His music is cold and machinated, also mostly very static along the lines. Nevertheless his tracks offer a lot of free space to express some nice worked out effects, just use this CD under a good pair of headphones – you’ll be amazed about the used stereo mix! I also don’t share the opinion, that "Cryogenic" sounds "like a logical follow-up of COVENANT’s "Sequencer" – a few similar bass lines like presented in "One" do not at allow a comparison between apples and pears – I would moreover say that CRYO can be the Swedish answer on acts like the French E.S.R., only focusing on the more minimal and old school influenced part of EBM/Electro. Another winning point of CRYO is the sound and diversity of Martin’s vocals – no matter if clear ("The Pain"), filled with distortion effects ("Does It Hurt") or vocoderized ("Want It" or "Uniform"). I hope the best for a total breakthrough for this amazing project with a similar success like his label comrades of HYPE could earn, they entered lately the official album sale charts of Sweden. Well, that’s maybe a bit too pompous for CRYO, but the hope dies at last...

MENTALLO & THE FIXER: Commandments for the Molecular Age

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 24 2006
cover
Artist: MENTALLO & THE FIXER (@)
Title: Commandments for the Molecular Age
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
America’s most influential Electro/Industrial act returns with this 5-track EP, now signed under the wings of the Belgium Alfa Matrix label. It was also determined to be released at Static Sky Records in the USA, but unfortunately this label has closed its business until further notice. Still in a good memory is also their contribution "Signaljammer" to a compilation out on Static Sky, a track which can be seen as a first hint of what to expect from Gary Dassing this time. The new MENTALLO sound luckily makes a step back into a pure electronic-based sound design and you won’t find any further strange experiments with acoustic instruments. Nevertheless I find it also a bit early to celebrate the return to the good old days, the new MENTALLO sound here has to grow long and often on you. 5 tracks and a playing time of 52:00 minutes, this already gives you hint, how long the pieces are running here. Also that this release is an EP – real club-feeling will never come up. Gary Dassing offers ultra-complex Electro/Industrial tracks, at times monotone and diving into some Ambient-like styles ("My Fondest Drug Related Memory (Chimora Mix)"). The included sounds, noises, scratches and effects generally are quite impressive arranged, although it needs the totally attention of the listener to recognize all ingredients. A good pair of headphones and some patience are needed to get a satisfying result. It is hard to point out a favorite track of this 5 remix versions, somehow all of them turn into the vain. Impressive especially for sound freaks, for which no kind of music can be complex enough. It is an interesting release globally, but nothing which can create any body motion. Listen this and check yourself, I look forward to hear the stuff of the upcoming new full length CD "Enlightenment Through A Chemical Catalyst".

REIN[FORCED]: Futile Longings Of A Condescending Man

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 21 2006
cover
Artist: REIN[FORCED] (@)
Title: Futile Longings Of A Condescending Man
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This review starts unfortunately with the horrible News that Ben Bloom, responsible for composition and production for REIN[FORCED] died a few weeks before, just after the release of this CD. Our sincere condolences go out to Ben’s family, as well to the both other band members Jim and Turner and to the label DSBP. It’s a bit hard now to come back to the daily business, to write this review.
This release is not really a debut, it is moreover the second release of a band called FORCED, which could release its debut "Cherophobia" also on DSBP in collaboration with the side-label Optikon Records. The original band quitted its business somewhere in 2003, but Jim Semonik could integrate new members, he changed the band name into REIN[FORCED] and here I hold the result thankfully (probs to you, Tommy!) in my hands. Globally there aren’t too much changes in the style of this act, but why change a style if this act has found a very special niche and authentic sound? Also REIN[FORCED] provide the FORCED-like dual voice attacks, high-speed EBM tracks with rotating sequences and ass-kicking d’n’b flavors mixed in the straight arrangements. No European EBM band will ever be able to produce such stuff in this very unique style, that’s for sure. The EBM content placed in the kind how to produce pummeling bass lines maybe has lost a bit of intensity, therefore this act has grown a lot musically, mostly all tracks show some special things which proof a big knowledge in production and arrangement. The biggest winning point of this release is for sure the fact that it is able to cause a hurricane on the dancefloors, while it is still listen- and enjoyable at your home entertainment. Best worked out tracks can be named here with the opener "Waster", "Commitment Suicide" and "Cyn-Dicated". Note also the last track "Crisis", which features a female voice input done by Dagny Neel. As usual for the DSBP label – this release deserves a big recommendation and features outstanding stuff regarding music, production and style!

ENCODER: Supernatural

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 20 2006
cover
Artist: ENCODER (@)
Title: Supernatural
Format: CD EP
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
"Engineered for Maximum Dancefloor Impact", so it is printed in black letters on a white info sheet. Should this be taken as a warning? Nah, take it as a hint of what you get here. This Cleveland based duo, consisting of DJ Cable and Pat Berdysz (the BRUNO of a US-legend called UV, www.uv-wavelength.com) has finally released its debut CD, this one here called an EP, but with a playing time of more than 78 minutes. So you’ll get a really filled CD for your money, just check back the nice DSBP mail order service for this. Some comparable similarities in comparison to the mentioned UV are of course given. The concept of this release reminds me a lot on the self-released UV debut "Refractions: Remixes In A Different Light". First of the long playing time, then we have on both some original tracks and several remix works, although on the ENCODER EP are more original tracks featured – and then finally we have on both releases the appearance of Romell Regulacion of the Hawaiian act RAZED IN BLACK. He has done the lyrics and vocals for the track "November", a sentimental Futurepop-inspired track here which is available in its original version and in a remix done by BRUNO. So you get it already on the first 3 tracks on this EP here, where the musically journey goes and where to find the biggest differences between UV and ENCODER. ENCODER definitively presents the softer side, Synth/Futurepop and only with a very few EBM influences. The title track "Supernatural" is well done, available here in its original version plus in three remix versions done by good names like BRAINCLAW, INTERFACE and DECODED FEEDBACK. The second main track "Dancemotherfuckers" is mostly a fast paced instrumental piece simply containing the command "Dance Motherfuckers!" with modern dancefloor rhythm patterns and well played bass lines. Not the greatest composition in lifetime for sure, more a track to show technical abilities, but damned catchy. Remixers at work here are DJ CABLE himself, FLESH FIELD, TERRORFAKT and the German act SCHATTENSCHLAG. So we have finally a few other tracks available in their original versions – and that's for sure is the best part of this EP, it gives a better introduction to the ENCODER sound than any remix work. Worth to mention are here "Rush", "Now You’re Gone" and of course the harsh piece "Contraption" – all tracks feature darker instrumentals and rougher vocals as well. On the other side we have two more tracks, "The Killer’s Last Stand" and "Erased" which give me the impression that they are musically ready produced – but someone has "forgotten" to include the vocals. Really – these tracks would work a lot better if they would feature a singer – for instrumental pieces these tracks are too uninteresting produced, the vocalist is hardly missed here. Please note also the eye-catching artwork featuring the Goth beauty Malice (www.beautydestroyed.com) – the info mentioned, that "it is still better to purchase this CD than downloading it". I would say, it is the best to know her somehow personal – but don’t tell this my wife...Although it is a bit strange for me to get mostly Futurepop-inspired stuff from the DSBP label, I’ll find this one impressive, the more I listen to it. Musically diversity is presented rich, also thanks to the valuable remix contributors presenting different styles of electronic-based music. Also the long playing time of this release makes it to get purchased.


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