Music Reviews



BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION: Exoskeleton

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2506)
Feb 10 2006
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Artist: BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION (@)
Title: Exoskeleton
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is a side-project by the excellent French act E.S.R., consisting of both multi-talented artists Vince Puyol (E.S.R.) and Tommy T Rapisardi (label-owner DSBP, DIVERJE, IN-FUSED). Internet and so world-wide connection makes it possible to take easily the distance between France and the USA. Musically this project is focusing on several sci-fi themes, modern Electro sounds, experimental programmings and arrangements – not too surprising if you are already familiar with the sounds and music especially from E.S.R.. You will find a lot of similarities in style of composing, used sounds, also several tracks would do also well on a E.S.R. release ("Virus (Infected Mix)"). The influence of DIVERJE is reduced here, most recognizable on the tracks which feature Tommy’s lyrics and vocals like "Dead Inside", a track which receives here also a nice remix by the talented, but extremely underrated act TYPE001. The order of the track list also features an interesting concept, because after an instrumental track follows always a track with vocals. The colorful cover design done by Vince Puyol fits also well with the musically mood. This is a cold and very mechanized Electro/EBM album filled with a lot of impressive sounds above the average. For fans of E.S.R. and related a must-have, but also an impressive alternative besides the overrated styles – one of the finest pieces currently out there.

LARVA: Diogenes Sindrome

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 10 2006
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Artist: LARVA (@)
Title: Diogenes Sindrome
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This is the debut release of a new project hailing from Barcelona, Spain, consisting of four members – and also another proof that Spain has to offer here and there some talents behind the known CULTURE KULTÜR, PAIL or ALLIED VISION. The presented 10 tracks on this release here spin a wide range of diverse styles, ranging mainly from minimal EBM structures ("Ojos Secos") to some experimental, up to Powernoise-like efforts ("Larvas I", "Larvas II"). There is also space for some good Dark Electro themes with a remarkable melodic infiltration like on "Religion", as well as a scary, intense and slowed down track like "No Soy Nada", which is my favorite here. This act shows its talent – but there’s for sure a lot of room for some improvements, timing and recording quality aren’t fully convincing here. They are looking for label to get signed, but I would say that this would come a bit to early for them. This CD can be more seen as a first demo output to the audience and I would like to advise them to use the possibilities to get on some compilations at first. Be sure and check also back their nice web shop where they offer some nice shirts, stickers and this CD of course.
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Artist: ANDREW COLEMAN (@)
Title: Tony Alva's hair
Format: CD
Label: Cocosolidciti (@)
Rated: *****
This autumn I've seen "Lords of Dogtown", an ok movie, nothing special in comparison to the documentary "Dogtown and the Z-boys", but definitely worth of the ticket (above all if you're into skateboard, or underground culture). Even if the average skater nowadays listens to crappy third rate punk bands or even worse to cheap gangsta rap, this work has nothing to do with the afore mentioned categories. Cocosolidciti is interested in high-quality electronic music and judging by they back catalogue and listening to this their costumers won't be disappointed. The menu is: electronic music with a 4/4 relaxed beat, sometimes it recalls some stylish Warp artist like Prefuse 72 or Savath and Savalas minus the post rock/instrumental feel, but that's just one percent of the whole mixture. With a such a cool rhythmical skeleton I was awaiting some rapping and it finally came with the third track ("Not a speculation" where Dose One is the mc!) and the song is a pure kick ass hit. Another interesting characteristic of this release is represented by its heterogeneity, one good example could be the electro-jazzy sketch of "Fingertip control". Andrew Coleman put together a smart tracklist and while listening you won't have the time to get bored by a single kind of song, just give a listen to such another great stylish exercise like the piano of "Rain and dogs" or to the acoustic guitar of "Constraints, huddles and hoops". Melody, melody and again melody, a great dose of class and if you're into hip-hoppish rhythm, electronic music, melody and post jazzy influences I think you outta add "Tony Alva's hair" to your want list.

ABSURD MINDS: Noumenon

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 06 2006
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Artist: ABSURD MINDS (@)
Title: Noumenon
Format: CD
Label: Scanner (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****

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This trio hailing from Landau/Germany is maybe the most successful act recording for the Scanner label and they give us here just another example of a continuous good work on their known success formula. While I made my fun with their kind to win a "singing like Peter Spilles" contest in the early days, I recognize that this obviously intended sound of male vocals works well with their fat arrangements. It is Dark Electro in vein of IN STRICT CONFIDENCE or comparable acts without that scary and mystic feeling – maybe mass compatible Dark Electro? Anyhow – music and production are worth to listen to and flawless. For the vocals – well, that’s a kind of taste. ABSURD MINDS remain mostly in their one and only style globally. There are some hints here on this 14 new tracks, some alternative beat programmings on "Lord", or the use of some guitar sounds in "Stop The Fall" and "A Man Received The Answer 05". Especially the both last tracks I would call outstanding here, because also the Synth layers offer some more life and seem to be better worked out – while I am not sure if I really should advise them to concentrate more on guitar efforts... The one and only flaw is that this band cannot really surprise with anything else what couldn’t be compared with their earlier works. I would like to advise them to change something that can be called a real improvement. Try to compose different, change the kind of vocals – simply do something that nobody would expect from you. Globally a well done release which gets a few rotations, but nothing what can become my favorite. This release is also available as a limited DCD edition with 5 extra tracks, remixes of three album tracks, a remix of their classic "Damn The Lie" and a new unreleased piece called "No Saints, No Sinners".

SPIRITUAL REALITY: Fear Future

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2498)
Feb 06 2006
cover
Artist: SPIRITUAL REALITY (@)
Title: Fear Future
Format: CD
Label: Scanner (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
A new release on the Scanner label, out of the Dark Dimensions label group. SPIRITUAL REALITY is a German male/female duo presenting here their second full-length release. They already printed a nice style description on the sleeves of their CD, "Electronic – Independent – Pop". Well, that fits it for sure – I would maybe add a constant Futurepop feeling to almost all of their tracks here. The chosen sounds and arrangements do not offer any sense of experimentalism, almost all structures are known and can’t surprise – with the one and only exception named "The System (TRITOXIN Remix)" placed on the last position, track 13. I haven’t heard about this project named TRITOXIN, but this remix finally shows a harder and more experimental side falling into some Powernoise efforts. Nothing against their good sounding vocals which are their main used "instrument" and perfectly placed into the mix. But I would like to advise them to try at times something different. A lot of tracks walk on the same level – you hear them once, you hear them twice – but after this they are forgotten. Nice exceptions are luckily included here with "Lost In Lust", "The Way Is Not Clear" and of course with their best track "What Can I Do?" – it is one of the very few tracks which has the right balance between dancefloor attitude and slow melodic phases. There is also to mention the remix of the highly recognized band like MASSIV IN MENSCH on the good piece "The Way Is Not Clear" – but to destroy the given dark but melodious mood of the original with the replacement through some more dancefloor attitudes can’t end in a satisfying result. This isn’t at all a bad release – I recognize their good compositions, their tasty arrangements and the good production – but I do miss that surprising element which could help this duo to left the average behind.


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