Music Reviews



THE MAGICAKE: Botoxxx

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: THE MAGICAKE (@)
Title: Botoxxx
Format: CD
Label: Piloft Recordings
Rated: *****
The Magicake are an Italian band formed on 2002. BOTOXXX is their first album and even if four years has passed since their early days, the band has already collected a certain success into fashion shows (where their music is used) or in Milan at clubs like the Glitter or the Rocket. DJ Pisti (ex Subsonica), which is now working with Motel Connection (along with Subsonica's singer, Samuel) is involved into the production along with the band and Marco Bertoni (Confusional Quartet's band member and now producer or active with his own experimental electronic project). The Magicake album gathers classic electro song with catchy tunes and dancey rhythms (see "I was dancing with Boy George", "Black leather" or "I don't care" where the electro clash meets a certain punk atmosphere) with obsessive tracks where one pattern is looped while Lulu's vocals sound sometimes seducing and sometimes detached (see "Latex dreams" or "When I was a girl") . There's also a good variety of influences that affect the band's music: if "Mary Ann" and "Man in make up" sound a little like Le Tigre, "Plastic divas" remember me the homonymous Client's track. New wave, electro dance, punk and dj culture are all blended just to looking for a new form of beauty. Sometimes the glamour factor seems to be more important respect the music but after a few listenings, you realize that there's fire under the ashes. This is the game and The Magicake are good at it!

MANES: [View]

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: MANES (@)
Title: [View]
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Aural Music (@)
Rated: *****
After various line-up change during the years and after releasing two albums and several demos, the Manes see the release of their new EP titled [VIEW] that will be their last release for the Italian label Code 666/Aural Music. This new EP contains two new songs ("The neoflagellata revision" and "Knife & kleenex"), two covers ("Cinder alley" originally by 16 Horespower and "Title" which is somewhat inspired by Duran Duran) and three remixes de-constructed by Cordell Klier and DJ Don Tomaso. The two original songs are good mixture of melodic goth metal with powerful electronic e.b.m. arrangements (a sort of Metallica plays Nine Inch Nails). The two covers are two melancholic metal ballads (I don't appreciate the genre, so I can't tell you it they are good or not. Certainly they are well recorded and all, but I'm not a lover of this stuff). The two Cordell Klier remix ("Terminus deconstructus" and "Terminus dei profundis") balance well the industrial and the electronic sources. The latter is a little extreme (hisses and digital noise are the main elements) but it's the only noisy track of the lot, so it's ok. DJ Don Tomaso's remix of "Terminus" make of it a dub track without deleting its goth vein. A good track but it doesn't evolve during it six minutes lenght.
At the moment the band is without label but Kyrck Productions just reissued their three demos on one CD, so you can check their music anyway.

ROTERSAND: Dare To Live

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: ROTERSAND (@)
Title: Dare To Live
Format: CD EP
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Under the moniker "perspectives on welcome to goodbye" the trio ROTERSAND presents us here a remix EP picking up the lines and the success of their last year’s full length release "Welcome To Goodbye". Entitled to be the best "Electro-Album 2005" (Zillo – Musikmagazin) this album could enter the 2nd position on the DAC year-end album charts – only DEPECHE MODE with their "Playing The Angel" could hold the top position. So that’s of course a not expected success for this German act and so no real wonder, that a follow-up needed to be produced and released. First off, the concept of this EP differs from any usual compareable release because it focuses not only on some more or less worthy remix contributions, this EP is holds also asides this two new tracks "Give It All Away" and "Drop Your Education", and ROTERSAND themselves reworked their own tracks. The result is satisfying, the new versions of "Dare To Live" and "Almost Wasted" can more convince here. But the highlights are both new tracks, especially "Give It All Away" has an extremely remarkable melodic content, also the vocal duet between Rasc and Julia Beyer of the new Alfa Matrix signing TECHNOIR can totally convince. SOMAN ("By The Waters") and haujobb. ("Strom") offer the mentioned remix contributions and make this EP complete. 9 tracks in all, only "Almost Wasted" is featured in two different versions – if you liked somehow "Welcome To Goodbye" you have to buy this new one as well. Also for me personally this EP convinced me easier then the full-length. Hats down, guys, good and modern Electro/Futurepop stuff!

VV.AA.: Septic VI

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 10 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Septic VI
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
With the sixth release of the renowned Septic" compilation series the founding label Dependent celebrates a little anniversary, because this is the 100th release for this German label. This is for sure a milestone and a number of releases which should make somebody proud of. The concept and so success formula of the "Septic" series still remains the same also for this new chapter. Label chief Stefan Herwig could again compile a lot known and international successful acts, of course several taken out of his own label. Most of the present new recording or they offer unreleased remix works and special versions. Also the artwork and style remains the same from the first to the last issue, also a fact, why this comp is so well recognized. Musically I am longing for some surprises and the "Septic" had in the past here and there a few new and not heard before appearances. ENCEPHALON can be named here, but have hard to bite on the previous placed known acts with the best stuff offered by DISMANTLED, FRACTURED with a new piece and the very cool arranged remix by MIND.IN.A.BOX. Other favorites can be heard with the new SEABOUND track as well as the track of EDGE OF DOWN – so we have here the fact, that vocalist Frank M. Spinath is featured here with his both music projects, the very first time that this happens in the "Septic" history. Also both members of the Dependent sublabel NTP, the Polish act CONTROLLED COLLAPSE and the Belgium veteran act INSEKT make here their first steps under the main label flag. The track list alone stands for diversity and more important – for quality. Check out this comp, it is recommend like all chapters of the ongoing success story of a compilation series called "Septic"...

Tracklist:

1. Dismantled "Anthem" (unreleased)
2. Pride And Fall "Border" (Club Edit)
3. Fractured "Paralyzed Paradise" (unreleased)
4. Covenant "The Men" (Extended Remix Version)
5. Stromkern "Stand Up" (Extended Remix)
6. mind.in.a.box "Lament For Lost Dreams" (space.mix)
7. Seabound "Scorch The Ground" (unreleased)
8. Encephalon "Responder" (RMX)
9. Schwefelgelb "My Pornoshow" (unreleased)
10. Klangstabil "Kill All Lifeforms" (Clashed Edit)
11. Juno Reactor "Mutant Message" (Full Length Version)
12. Controlled Collapse "Inject" (unreleased)
13. Insekt "Lost Myself" (unreleased)
14. Flesh Field "Forgotten Trauma" (unreleased)
15. Edge Of Dawn "Elegance" (On The Floor Remix)

Mar 09 2006
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Artist: ROBERT NEITELER
Title: ihbaiklhikö
Format: CD
Label: Einzeleinheit (@)
Rated: *****
Damn, the world is not always round as it looks, this cd is not definitely the kind of music I would have expected from Einzeleinheit, but it's good to see you don’t have to take anything for granted. Robert Neitheler plays electronic music with a rhythmical edge and with a crippled feeling for abstract melodies, I think if it would get improved a bit and with an addiction of more rhythmical asymmetries "ihbaiklhikö" wouldn't be that far from some releases on Planet Mu. The most of the sound made me think to analogic sources processed through a laptop, Neitheler keeps the beat going on and rhythm is the main thing on which these six tracks are fixed (but some acid melodies appear every once in while). The beat in many case gets even hypnotical or acid (track 4 and 5), therefore take the "Rave is on!" as a direct consequence of this mixture, at last I think also Afx wouldn't dislike this idea. Even if that's not properly 80's influenced electronic music there are some reminiscences of those sounds, but at the same time this product probably owes much more to the rave culture than to Warp records' back catalogue. I don't say the melody is completely absent from this record but I'm sure this electronic musician is much more into "dance till you drop", at the same time he likes to move the rhythmical ground that you walk upon. Not always incisive but interesting.


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