Music Reviews



Aug 19 2005
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Artist: Liquid Divine
Title: Interface
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Interface, the debut release from eastern German duo Liquid Divine, is easy to like--at first. The media kit nails their influences: Haujobb, Front Line Assembly, Recoil, Kraftwerk, and Tear Garden all describe their pedigree very well. The lyrics, all in English, are actually a strong suit for once, coming from the Continent. In fact, the tracks that seem to work best contain odd passages spoken in a low, gutteral drawl, like some post-apocalyptic Romeo whispering to his teenage date. Check out this line describing a sunset: "How fucking wonderful it is to watch that big ball of fire melt into the ocean...!" At last, someone who REALLY knows how to get romantic in a song.

At the middle of the disc, the promising pace ebbs. The trip-hoppy track number 8, "9 to 5", finally rescues my wandering attention from total distraction with more of that cool crypto-poetic speak. After that, however, the rest of the CD becomes filler, losing my attention for good. About four songs pruned from here and there (including that meritless and patronizing 9/11 soundbite at the end of the last track) would do some justice.
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Artist: REMAIN SILENT (@)
Title: Dislocation
Format: CD
Label: Axesscode (@)
Rated: *****
Okay, get-hard-be-strong Electro artists, keep your fingers away from your equipment and give your attention to this new and second release by this French project, because THIS stuff will teach you a lesson. This 76 minutes long conceptual release can be easily seen as a textbook about how to produce complex and innovative soundtrack music stylistically designed for a never released Science Fiction movie. This is the impression I had by listening through this album. Also a feast for the eyes is the excellent artwork which shows diverse industrial landscapes and machine impressions. Musically this album offers a wide range of diverse styles almost based on Dark Electro structures while integrating elements taken out of Industrial, Electronica, Ambient up to Powernoise. It is an instrumental album filled with uncountable FX samples, atmospheric layers and a depressive mood. The programming abilities are a next outstanding point, I have found here some references to FLA, SKINNY PUPPY or NUMB and it is not too far away from this handicap. Think about FLA’s track "Infra Red Combat" on the first half of this track and you maybe get an idea how this release will be. 12 tracks are here, and all have the name "Dislocation", no any other name. My favorites can be found with the tracks # 2, # 4 for the Dark Electro style with a light Powernoise touch, while # 7 and # 9 feature some guitars and break beats as well in this two overall very danceable efforts. This release is created as a whole floating unit, that means, the are no empty spaces in between the tracks. Please make sure to check this band out, it is a kind of demonstration and you won’t regret it. Get this sci-fi odyssey!!!
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Artist: MIKROBEN KRIEG/SCIENCIA/SHHH...
Title: Give me ambiguity or give me something else
Format: CD
Label: Thisco (@)
Rated: *****
First off, since this' not the first release on Thisco I happen to review, let me tell I think this label is doing a really god job (and that's not just my opinion), the quality of their releases is often good and I'm into that idea of the 3-way split series, they assembled a god number of interesting cds. This time it's not extremely experimental electronic music but it's bread for those who have been "electronic-aficionados" for a long time. The first one of the lot is Mikroben Krieg, you know it has to go deep starting from the skeletal titles, and you won't be disappointed, above all the tracks in the middle of this split cd (consider the artists have n alternate-random order inside the tracklist). Rhythmically this artist make me think of the coldest beat created by Photek (not that super-structured) but it has also that rhythmical skill of many releases on Planet Mu, the melodies are obscure and have that north european feeling, good. Shhh... has a strong rhytmhical framework as Mikroben, but the beat is more eighty-fashioned, the songs are less "into your guts" if compared to the previous musician and the atmosphere is that of some old anthems on Warp: imagine the darkest L.F.O. tracks, maybe a bit of the early Black Dog and U-ziq, his remix of Sciencia's "At the gate" is boombastic. Sciencia still works a lot on the beat and is not that far from that Warp influence you hear in Shhh... even if it's even more into the best works of Warp's golden age. I found there's something of the early Autechre (Anvil Vapre-era) even if Sciencia is not that "ambiental" and less fragmented than the english godfathers. Danceable electronic music with a "late at night-rave" feeling.

NOISUF-X: Antipode

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (2125)
Aug 17 2005
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Artist: NOISUF-X (@)
Title: Antipode
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****

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If you read this strange band name backwards, you get it that this is a side-project by Jan of X-FUSION, a good known German Electro/Industrial project. This NOISUF-X project was created to share the more Powernoise-influenced side of the main project. And so you get here 15 noisy tracks with distorted beats, never-ending monotony and some harsh structures. The main difference to other bands out of the Powernoise genre could be the fact that all this stuff is produced by somebody who has found his home in the Electro/Industrial genre. It could surely be that real Powernoise supporters would rate this release as too danceable Electro-minded. Indeed, Jan can not forget his influences here, so this release should also be able to please the fans of harder EBM/Electro/Industrial music. The whole stuff is of course reduced to a minimal composition effort, the destroying beats rule this scenario. Adding to this some more or less well chosen voice samples ("Die Tam-Tams klopfen nicht mehr", here available in three different versions) with the outstanding work "Happy Birthday", a track with funny voice samples which can also be discovered on the Alfa Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". I have found also some outstanding pieces which provide several effected rhythm patterns to avoid too much monotony, for example "Apocalypse", "Das Ende der Welt" or "Axion". This release walks on the thin line between harsh EBM and Powernoise, so if you like this sound you should give this a try.

XOTOX: [PSI]

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (2123)
Aug 15 2005
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Artist: XOTOX (@)
Title: [PSI]
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****

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To produce rhythmic Powernoise with all included ingredients like endless monotony and redundancy in music and composition still drags the black-dressed masses to the dancefloors of all dark clubs. German one man act XOTOX consisting of Andreas Davids returns here after two not expected successfully releases to present the newest effort [PSI]. The success of the previous releases made it also possible that the label Pro Noize decided to release next to the normal jewel case edition of [PSI] a special and limited DCD in a digipack. The normal CD (and so the part of this review) contains 17 new rhythmic sound manipulations, mostly integrating with steady distorted, sometimes destroyed rhythm patterns. The mood is hard, rough and disturbing, a real feast for the noise junkies. Some pieces stand out here, the opener "[Xo]toxic" presents a not to often heard diversity in the rhythms programmings. "Winterblut" does surprisingly add "real" vocals, hard and cold performed by Jan Lehmkämper from the German Electro/Industrial act X-FUSION. "Bohrung 25" earns as well a good rating for not depending on the overrated distorted Tekkno-like bass kicks and can submit the real Powernoise feeling. On the other hand I have noticed some tracks here which cannot convince by using of too ridiculous samples ("Tote Bäume", "Lass Mich", "Roboterkrieg") or they do not offer anything interesting because of the lack of inspiration ("Fieber"). Anyhow, as long as the distortion goes there will be a public form and an interest in this stuff. XOTOX can and will not reach the throne of some highly acclaimed acts like CONVERTER or IMMINENT. But this project also doesn’t need to hide its talent. An acceptable release for this music genre.



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