Music Reviews



HIOCTAN: Concentration Overload

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2087)
Jul 28 2005
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Artist: HIOCTAN (@)
Title: Concentration Overload
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****

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This is already the second release of this one man project hailing from Rostock, Germany. Like on his first CD, Michael Senft presents here his version of harsh EBM/Electro music with already heard distorted vocals, rough and steady beats and overdriven sequencer bass lines. Comparable to older SUICIDE COMMANDO stuff like the "Critical Stage" era is surely a possible reference, but unfortunately are HIOCTAN not able to play in the same league like his alter ego act. Here is a lot of repetition on almost all tracks, a lift up in song structuring wouldn’t be bad at all. Also the choice of synth sounds cannot really convince me, most bass line and melodic strings are sounding careless and old. It is a pity that here isn’t too much interesting stuff which would help this project to gather a higher level than average. If you look out for some stuff with an edge, with a musically demand, you are wrong with HIOCTAN. This album (excellent cover artwork with nice photos by the way...) is only dedicated to harsh EBM short-cut-hair rivetheads.

GRENDEL: Soilbleed

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2086)
Jul 28 2005
cover
Artist: GRENDEL (@)
Title: Soilbleed
Format: CD EP
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
A new EP for currently Netherland’s finest Dark Electro acts GRENDEL which avoids to follow the trend to release too much of remixes done by some dear colleges with some payments here and there, that’s indeed a good initiative. Grendel do offer here mostly new tracks which are all very well worked out with a rich melodic content combined with the usually distorted male vocals and the driving Dark Electro bass lines comparable to synonymous acts ala SUICIDE COMMANDO. The idea to use voice samples taken from "Full Metal Jacket" is surely not new at all. On the other side I have never heard a music project which uses this samples that fine and rhythmically well placed like GRENDEL here on their title track. So we have finally three fine new tracks, 2 remix works done by OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF and Mr. Mike Johnson himself, AGONOIZE, a new version of the rare to get track "Zombienation", which was only available on the limited and long sold out DCD "Prescription: Medicine", plus finally a more atmospheric track named "Dream II (feat. ORDO ROSARIUS EQUILIBRIO). This last track surely is the strangest piece here, it goes to a musically different direction with the use of some melodic piano sounds, undistorted vocals and a really dark mood. I have noticed also – as far as recognizable through the use of FX on the vocals – the use of some engaged and socio-politically lyrics here and there. So the music of GRENDEL is not new at all, but it features an almost perfect combination between the roughness and the remarkable melodic synth layers. I would rate their stuff to be authentic and this EP will totally please you.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash01 - Crash Frequency Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
Crash Frequency is the name of a new community of bands out of Down Under, Australia. Force through unity, so could maybe the motto sound. It is target to help each out, sharing opportunities, organizing gigs, doing promotion – simply to speak with a mighty voice of a whole Electro/Industrial scene – no matter if and where the bands are signed or not. So this 10 tracks represented by the members of this community is a first mutual sign of life, I must say, a musically very diverse one. ANGELSPIT, opener on this comp and a driving force of this community start with a danceable, classic Industrial inspired track, distorted female vocals and some guitar riffs, comparable somehow with an act like MMTM. ANGEL THEORY is surely one of the most acclaimed and known act here, signed to Australia’s Ground Under Productions, and here present with a good remix done by New Zealand’s THE MERCY CAGE (signed now to DSBP) of their track "Ease the Pain". Next remarkable piece comes from THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT which combine beautiful female vocals with Electro and some Trip-Hop elements. Globally nice done and finally no wonder, that the Polish label Black Flames picked them up. Australia’s Gothic-Rock legend IKON is also available here and can satisfy with good vocals and a rich amount of electronics. LUX VOLTAIRE prove that there is enough humor in Down Under with a track name in German "Ich liebe mein Oberheim" – well, music seems to produced with synths of this manufacturer. Best track to me – obviously following trendy hypes like Futurepop – is the piece of RESURRECTION EVE, also signed to Ground Under Productions. Well worked out sequences, no minimal structures, good vocals made an easy to following track of this mentioned genre which deserves a wider recognition. Also TANKT offer a good and diverse piece with "Bush on Fire" – be sure that they do not referring on forest fire. Unfortunately this comp stops after 10 tracks and almost 49 minutes. I can see on the members list that there are a lot of more bands involved, and especially my personal favorite STARK is missed hard here. Anyhow, there are a lot of different music styles here and a nice proof of activity and life still to come from Down Under. Next releases in co-operation of this community are already in plans, look out for this comp as well as for new releases by ANGEL SPIT, TANKT, IKON or THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT.

Track listing:

1.ANGELSPIT – Head Kult (Head Fuck Mix)
2.ANGEL THEORY – Ease the Pain (Placebo Mix by THE MERCY CAGE)
3.THE BOM – Machine Men
4.THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT – Why Do I Hate Myself?
5.DANDELION WINE – Begin Journey (Rejiggered)
6.DOMINO THEORY – Kill You
7.IKON – Psychic Vampire
8.LUX VOLTAIRE – Ich liebe mein Oberheim (Electrolux Mix)
9.RESURRECTION EVE – Wine
10.TANKT – Bush on Fire (John Von Ahlen’s Leather Mask Mix)

P24: Weit entfernt

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2077)
Jul 25 2005
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Artist: P24 (@)
Title: Weit entfernt
Format: CD
Label: Calyx Records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Behind this modest name we have a duo which hails from Berlin and Schwedt, Germany, and consists of Daniel Lemke (music) and Rico Ferenc Piller (vocals), who was active in a well known band like D.-PRESSIV (3 albums released on Maschinenwelt...r.i.p.). P24 are producing music somewhere between Synth- and Future-Pop with some harder efforts up to EBM. Extraordinary is the fact that all of their lyrics are written and sung in German – you won’t find any English lyrics here. This debut CD offers 5 original tracks plus tons of remix works by more (HAUJOBB or Marc Werner of SABOTAGE) or lesser (their label comrades of FP or ORPHEÉ for example) known acts – so in all 14 tracks and a long playing time with more than 73 minutes. With the exception of the German vocals you wont find too much surprises here, because musically the band follows similar ideas and styles like big names out of the Futurepop-genre have already presented. I wouldn’t count this a flaw, moreover I would say that the vocals could need some refreshing production. I like really the sound of the vocals but a bit lesser use of reverb effects on it could help. So it is no wonder, that he best and strongest moments this duo offers with melodic refrain of "Offenheit". Best track overall is to my taste the melancholic remix of the track "Niemand", done by Nico of CONDITION ONE. This is indeed a decent debut, which seems to get some interest in Poland (a little wonder, as I said, they sing in German...) in the official charts. Well, good luck to the next superstars...
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: SIGNS Sampler
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Folded in a paper booklet with an excellent artwork comparable with some works of Ant-Zen, here comes the newest release by the Slovakian label Aliens Productions, home of the great and well known act DISHARMONY. This compilation unites 12 more or less known bands out of the Dark Electro/Industrial and Ambient genre hailing mainly from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Two "guests" which became friends of the label in the years are also present here with the German Dark Ambient artist POLYGON, solo effort of Ingo Lindmaier (MORTAL CONSTRAINT), and the French Ambient/Powernoise act FLINT GLASS leaded by Gwen Tremorin, who is also behind the label Brume Records. So musically you get a fine collection of dark and less danceable music stuff which will give you an up to date overview about the currently rising scene in both brother countries. What makes this release worthfull is the fact that all music here is currently only available here, so you get some previously unreleased and exclusive stuff from already known acts like DISHARMONY (new CD is out now in co-operation between Aliens Production and Monopolrecords from Czech Republic), TERMINAL STATE (released a debut in co-operation between Aliens Production and the German label Broken Seal three years ago and seem now to work on a comeback...), OXYD (the more Ambient-like side-project of DISHARMONY, debut CD is now out...) or the great Czech Electro/Industrial act DEPRESSIVE DISORDER (outstanding debut on Monopolrecords). Make your contacts out to Aliens Production to purchase this fine release. I am really looking forward to hear more dark music hailing from Eastern Europe...

Track listing:

1. ANIMA MUNDI – Oscillate
2. SAMHAIN – Subsist
3. FLINT GLASS – Deliverance
4. DISHARMONY – Repulse
5. VORTEX – Illusions
6. TERMINAL STATE – Systematic Failure
7. MINDMAP – Akusia
8. GAPING CHASM – Only Shadows will Survive
9. OXYD – Empathic Clone
10. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER – Schizophrenia
11. TENSION – Room No. 5
12. POLYGON – Wo a



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