Music Reviews



Sep 14 2005
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Artist: DJKEYONE
Title: bio.turn.mek device
Format: CD
Label: Green (@)
Rated: *****
This italian label is probably best known as one of the pillars italian hard core music during the nineties. Djkeyone comes from another planet and we'll use the label "dj culture" if it still make any sense. That's not such a weird surprise since the history of "hip hop" and the "Dj culture" in Italy passed also through the squats and from the same alternative culture of the late 80s/early 90s that nourished the punk movement. The real "aficionados" of Green records probably know Giulio (the label master) has always loved some of the early hip hop (one of the first release of the label was a demo by the hip hop duo Sacco e Vanzetti) and we can say this release is not that far from these cartesian coordinates. To get deeper into the real essence of this cd don't think of any b-boy thing with "rapping" overwhelming every single second of music, Djkeyone belongs to that breakbeat, dj background that has been the cradle of Dj Shadow, Dj Krush, Mo Wax or Cold Cut's Ninja Tune label. A pulsing rhythm and a squared beat follows the tradition, between the samples I've also heard Dj Gruff's "Questione di stile" (god bless that guy) that shows this turntablist is into the old school thing and sometimes that's plain evident in the shape of the cuts. Dj Shadow and Dj Krush could have mystified your ideas since this record is absolutely far from sounding "chillout" or even "jazzy", here you got stoned dark melodies and 4/4 beats where the dj shows his scratching-talent. People into this style of music should get it above all those who can appreciate the technical side of it all.

A.SET: A Deadly Past Raises The Future

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 13 2005
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Artist: A.SET (@)
Title: A Deadly Past Raises The Future
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Coming from Brazil A.Set ideally continue the tradition of Aghast View / Biopsy music by presenting a distorted e.b.m. based on linear bass lines and focused on a less distorted vocal which gives the rhythm by following the 4/4 drum beats. Hilton Seawright is the man behind the project and he started in 2002 with a black metal band called Diatribe which he produced two demos with. As the time passed he feeled too many differences with the black metal scene so he decided to focus his efforts on electronic music (he's following that kind of music since the '80s when it was impossible to get a synth in Brasil). A DEADLY PAST RISES THE FUTURE is the first self released album by A.Set and it already shows a good level of personality where industrial attitude meets e.b.m. rhythms creating a good mix of melodic anger. The twelve tracks have a simple but efficent structure and for sure Hilton will gather a good amount of people interested into his sound. You can check some tracks at his website www.a-set.com.

THE-PULSAR: Awakening

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 12 2005
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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 www.marknicholas.org: 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.


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