Music Reviews



XP8: HRS:MIN:SEC

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2406)
Dec 31 2005
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Artist: XP8 (@)
Title: HRS:MIN:SEC
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah (@)
Rated: *****
XP8 is the growing EBM power-offering by Nilaihah records, boasting production by Icon of Coil’s Sebastian R. Komor. XP8’s line-up is Marco Visconti, Marko Resurreccion, and Paul Toohill. As I’ve come to expect from Nilaihah, HRS:MIN:SEC is cut from the purest technological stock; Sharp, clean, and precise.

XP8’s sound reminds me of Icon of Coil, Imperative Reaction, and even tidbits of NCC. The programming is top notch, and definitely XP8’s most stand-out quality. The vocals are distortion-free and complimentary to the infectious beats that demand movement and dance-floor play.

All in all, XP8 makes for a convincing EBM act. HRS:MIN:SEC is practically packaged and ready for dance floors, and will, no doubt, be a hit (if it isn’t already). I don’t know if it will pass the home-listening test of time, but XP8’s HRS:MIN:SEC is a solid album none the less.
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Artist: STERIL
Title: 400 Years of Electronic Music
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Artoffact (@)
Distributor: Storming the Base
Rated: *****
Although this German trio has never reached that age to report us stories from the early beginnings of electronic based music generally, they can be called veterans of the Electro/Industrial scene. It was back in 1991 when I discovered this band the first time, they opened a gig of the both Swedish EBM classic acts SCAPA FLOW and POUPPEE FABRIKK in a small town in the north of Germany. To that time they were young and musically maybe a bit SKINNY PUPPY influenced, but they shocked some Goth chicks well with the use of some fake blood on stage. So I know this band since almost 15 years and we are based in the very north of Germany, only a few miles away. We have become friends through the years and had a lot of funny parties and meetings, especially when they got signed to the long dissolved Off Beat label. So for me this is a review on friends – friends, whose contact I have lost after their not expected end with Off Beat through some different reasons. So now, 15 years after their start, they are back on the Canadian Artoffact label with a "Best of..." collection featuring almost all important tracks through the years. So you get here remastered versions of also international recognized tracks like "Egoist", "No Remission" "Deep" (here in two versions, original and a remix by the SWAMP TERRORISTS) or "Zap". As a fan and supporter of them from the early, PUPPYan influenced years I find it a bit sad, that they couldn’t include some more classics like their smasher "Pervous" for example. "No Remission" is unfortunately the one and only piece taken from the "Transmission Pervous" debut CD of them. Their second CD "Egoism" out on Off Beat was licensed to the USA through 21st Circuitry Records in 1996 and it is with the tracks "Lies", "Temper", "Overgod" and of course "Egoist" rich present here. 13 tracks in all which give a good overlook to all different music attitudes and surprises this band has had always to offer, although without any new pieces here. STERIL are back on track for sure, new stuff seems to be almost ready for a new CD called "Realist". Rumors speak about a concentration on a sound in the direction of "Egoism" and that’s for sure a good decision. This collection is nice for all of you who aren’t familiar with their music.

Snog: Real Estate Man Plus

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 27 2005
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Artist: Snog
Title: Real Estate Man Plus
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Rated: *****
This new Snog CD on the German Hymen Records label features ten different versions of the same song, "Real Estate Man Plus", originally available on the "Third Mall from the Sun" album. If you are afraid that ten versions of one song might sound boring or excessive, rest assured that David Thrussell's infinite creativity's got you covered: altough overall you'll recognize many similarities between the different versions, you'll get electronica, rave sounds, short-spaced rhythmical edits of voice and vocal bits, an ebm version and even a folk version of it with a trashy vocal and an acoustic guitar. The CD also features a ROM track with the 2002 "Ubin mix" version (the opening track of this CD) video clip of the song, which brings us the political side of Snog that we are well accustomed to.

GLENN LOVE: Belle Epoque

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 27 2005
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Artist: GLENN LOVE (@)
Title: Belle Epoque
Format: CD
Label: Sonic-X (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Glenn Love is a sole underground musician and successful live performer at some dark raves in his home country. With this full length CD now released under the wing of the German Sonic-X label he presents his second official studio release. It is music based globally on Dark Electro themes which plays and combines with several different elements like Electronica, Trance or Ambient. Instrumental music more designed for some Chill-out areas than any straight dancefloors – I would recommend the use of a good pair of headphones. This CD features 11 original tracks done by Glenn Love plus two remix works constructed by ANTISTASIS and T.H. INDUSTRY to make sure a straighter and dancefloor-friendly attitude. The best tracks here are to my taste the more darker pieces like "Walking Dreams" because of the thick synth layers, and the easy-listening "Airships", which features some Trance elements. I like the own identity of the sounds and the ideas behind this project. This music is something special asides all hyped styles and trends. Congrats to the artist and Sonic-X for this courageous release – moreover because I think that any bigger commercial success will not happen in our "short-hair-rivethead" generation. I see it quite difficult to earn any recognition without the use of vocals – so is life and unfortunately an unwritten rule of the scene. Nevertheless it is nice and enjoying – I hope it will enter unforeseen success!

VV.AA.: Electro/r/evolution Vol. 1

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 27 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro/r/evolution Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Static Sky Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
The young and upcoming Static Sky label celebrates its first anniversary with this limited to only 500 exemplars full length compilation. Next to most of the signed acts of this label like FAKE, SMP or CAUSTIC, they present a wide and musically very diverse collection of more or lesser known acts which service all kinds of Electro/EBM, Industrial and the Gothic genre. 17 tracks in all and most of them are previously unreleased, unreleased remix works or rare to get pieces. The most skilful tracks are offered here by the SYSTEM SYN side-project FAKE with an system critically track "I Voted and it Didn’t Count", which is another nice example of more straightness and a rougher mood to Clint Carney’s main project. SYSTEM SYN are also present here and offer their cover of MENTALLO & THE FIXER’s track "Ruthless". Well – you won’t come to the idea that this track is really a cover version, it sounds more like a typical SYSTEM SYN track. Apropos MENTALLO & THE FIXER: here they are back with a new and unreleased track called "Signaljammer"!!! I have to admit that I played this track five times in advance before listening to all other tracks here. It marks the return of this US legend and it is the best piece since their "Burned Beyond Recognition" album. Now signed to Static Sky, this is an excellent appetizer for a glorious return in 2006 for this band. The Metropolis recording artist BATTERY CAGE offer a remix of their track "Caged" done by the talented Estonian band CYCLONE B, which is of course without any guitar sounds and pretty much placed into a classical old-school EBM design. PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 from Greece get also a new comp appearance with their strong "Lethal Defense Systems" track, although I hope that this band will have several more and different tracks in stock, because this track can also be heard on the quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks" out on Alfa Matrix. They are now signed to the German Infacted-Recordings label and work hard to get their debut out soon. Another fine surprise is the Dark Electro track "Our hatred" done by Static Sky’s own INFINTY MACHINE. This act is leaded by Mark Stagliano, who is the label chief behind Static Sky, and he gets a helping hand of SYSTEM SYN’s Clint Carney on the production of this track. The duo BRAINCLAW returns here and give us one of their best ever done tracks named "Fallen (Terminal Velocity Remix)", which totally grabs my attention with the strong melodic synth layer line. REAPER, another act licensed from Infacted-Recordings, can satisfy here with the SOMAN remix work on their track "Angst" – strong pulsating EBM with some noisy undertones. Check the track list below – you’ll see there are several more acts which I could mention here and this comp is for sure worth any investment to get purchased. It is designed to be an ongoing comp series – after this first nice experience I can’t hardly await the second volume out anytime in 2006. Good stuff here – get it!

Tracklist:

1. Stromkern - Stand Up (Army of Darkness Remix)
2. Fake - I Voted and it Didn't Count
3. Penal Colony - Anomalous
4. Ikon - Psychic Vampire (Full Moon Mix)
5. Mentallo & the Fixer - Signaljammer (unreleased demo)
6. Battery Cage - Caged (Cyclone-B Remix)
7. Infinity Machine - Our Hatred
8. SMP - Beta Male
9. System Syn - Ruthless (Mentallo & the Fixer cover)
10. Preemptive Strike 0.1 - Lethal Defense Systems
11. Doomsday Virus - Catastrophic Error
12. Brainclaw - Fallen (Terminal Velocity Remix)
13. Caustic - Drag Show Gone Wrong
14. Stochastic Theory - In Time
15. The Flying Buttresses - Song 13
16. Reaper - Angst (Soman Remix)
17. Fektion Fekler - Addict's Lullaby




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