Music Reviews



May 10 2005
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Artist: VIRUS SYNDICATE
Title: The Work Related Illness
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
This is an easy review. I could end it right now by saying that if you are into rough hip hop and you are dead tired of the Hollywood people (Eminem, Snoop Dog, etc) Virus Syndicate is the altenative you have to check. It would be too easy to say that even my wife, that don't know what the hell the word "grime" means, dug THE WORK RELATED ILLNESS immediately! The fact is that each track has got a different arrangement and if "Slow down" is based on gregorian choruses with distorted drums, "Major list mcs" is almost influenced by electro, "Clockwork" is beatifully influenced by cool jazz and "Throwing in the towel" and "Karma" by middle Eastern melodies. The sound is really pumping, the songs are amazing (see also the humor of "Girls" where the song starts with a host that introduce you to a show about guy / girl relationships), the melody is catchy and the Mcs do their work really well. Do yourself a favor, don't miss this one! It will be out at the end of May...

JERRY COLBURN: Smell The Love

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 10 2005
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Artist: JERRY COLBURN (@)
Title: Smell The Love
Format: CD
Label: A Strip Mall Of Sound (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
After beating the drums into a garage punk bands in Arkansas, Jerry Colburn decided to try something different but without forgetting his rock roots. Having this in his mind, he composed twentry three tracks influenced by different kind of music: latino, rock, i.d.m., '60s soundtracks, hip hop, electro, etc. Each influence has been blended into short tracks which, even if the longest one is about three minutes, are capable of painting a personal picture that works. Not each of the twenty three are memorable ones but most of them succeed into entertain the listener and I appreciated the attitude of the whole project.

AESTHETIC PERFECTION: Close to Human

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 03 2005
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Artist: AESTHETIC PERFECTION (@)
Title: Close to Human
Format: CD
Label: Out of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
German label Out Of Line made a very right decision and licensed the debut of one of the most promising acts currently hailing from the USA, AESTHETIC PERFECTION, out on Bractune Records. This band produces floor-filling, hard and dark Electro music with some surprising ingredients here and there, but more with an excellent vocal performance which is below that average "use-of-x-times-distortions" behavior that comparable bands offer. The vocals here can really transmit the "human factor" to the music, the lyrics also avoid that "Psycho-Killer-Massacre" attitude and are intelligent written and done. Musically this piece reminds a bit on IMPERATIVE REACTION’s first release "Eulogy For The Sick Child" but with an own identity of course. Hard pieces like my favorites "Fix", "I Belong to You" and the new recorded version of their known track "Sacrifice", which entered the third chapter of the highly recognized "Septic" compilation series, can easily cause that typically "head-banging" syndrome, if not more – it is music for a movement therapy, best done on the dancefloor! The musically surprising pieces are present here in a track like "Overcast" which slows down the bpm a bit and give an undistorted vocal performance. A strong HAUJOBB influence on this track is obvious. This band is also able to deal with well-thought instrumental pieces, one example is the marvelous "Ersatz". Check this out if you like cinematic styled Electronics. One flaw I finally found after this up-to-date and refreshing hard Electro album and this belongs to the too short running time of this release. 44 minutes of quality Electro/Industrial music are far not enough offered here, give us more! An excellent debut which is worth to be picked up!

State of Being: Haywire Remixes 1:2

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 02 2005
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Artist: State of Being (@)
Title: Haywire Remixes 1:2
Format: CD EP
Label: Reverse Image
Distributor: Metropolis
Rated: *****
Haywire Remixes 1:2 is the follow-up EP to State of Being’s third album, Haywire. State of Being is comprised of Christopher, Shara, and Scott Foldi, Rayanne Turek, and Randy Blaire. H.R.1:2 is a catchy and danceable step forward from the industrial rock-fused sounds of Haywire.

H.R.1:2 opens with Andy (Stabbing Westward, Prick) Kubiszewski’s steroid-charged version of "Beneath the Skin," who also closes the EP with his alluringly somber update to "Levity." Kubiszewski sets the standard for the other remixing artists to live up to, and that is exactly what they do.

It is obvious why these artists were chosen for H.R.1:2, as the respect and thought put into the mixes is undeniable. The downside to this respect is they didn’t take many chances with the vocals. While Christopher Foldi’s vocal style is well suited for Haywire’s industrial rock sound, they sometimes seem awkward and out of place in the more electronic/EBM environment of H.R.1:2.

H.R.1:2 is infectious. From the hard-pounding beginning to the quiet and earnest mix of "Levity," HR 1:2 gets into your head. The EP actually ends with a remix of "Take Me Away," but following after two other versions of the same song, it seems more like a bonus track or space-filler than anything. Kubiszewski’s mix of "Levity" really feels like the perfect end, and that’s the way I prefer to leave it.

State of Being’s Haywire Remixes 1:2 is well produced and is a smart, club-friendly follow-up to Haywire. The competence and care of the remix work makes this an accessible release that is sure to draw attention for both State of Being and the remixing artists.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Interbreeding IV: Gefährlich
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
A new "dangerous" release by the US label BLC Productions of the highly acclaimed Interbreeding compilation series and this is without any doubt again the must-have buy for all you addicted rivetheads. BLC shows no tiredness and announces already two follow-up companion single CD releases, "Interbreeding V: Terrorland" and "Interbreeding VI: Subhuman: The Alien Agenda" out NOW while you read this!!! But with this current DCD you have enough new and interesting stuff of dark and harsh EBM/Electro/Industrial music produced by veteran and well-known, as well as new and never heard before acts from the whole world. Please forgive me that it would take days of my rare time and too much space on our website to go into a completely detailed review of all 34 tracks here. I will name here only the most outstanding pieces to my poor and subjective opinion. But believe me – this whole DCD set features strong and excellent stuff on almost all 34 tracks and it is worth your money. CD X-1 starts with the Opener THE RETROSIC with an enhanced version of their track "The Storm". If you think that :WUMPSCUT: has lost a lot of his aggression you must check out this, "The Storm" is pretty much along the line where Rudy’s "Embryodead" finally ended. Another remarkable pieces are offered here by STARK from Australia. Often compared with big ones like :W: or HOCICO this solo project by Lee Bulig has finally arrived its own unique style caused through several distorted sound in higher frequencies. Their new CD should come out soon. Also outstanding and maybe one of the best tracks I have ever heard from this swedish duo is "Massive Democratic Maintenance (Remix by Soren Jensen)" by SEVERE ILLUSION. This track combines monotonous bass lines with distorted rhythms, a cool amount of voice samples and a strong disturbed vocal performance. It doesn’t follow any similar line and has surprising ideas and noises, great done here. Also a newcomer, but maybe one of the most talented ones is FRACTURED from Canada. Their track "She" taken from their almost sold out CD-R "Contami-Nation" shows well that there is no need to have a rich studio gear, the bass line sequences are the most outstanding part of this track here. ALASKA HIGHWAY surprises pretty much with a very melodic track, strong lyrics and (luckily) without any guitar sounds – well done! SCHATTENSCHLAG offer an energetic piece, rough distorted vocals and nice sounds. Maybe a bit in some HOCICO lines, but still unique enough to grab attention. ENDIF surprises with some dark German lyrics ("Totenplatz") and musically with some strange frequented noises. The best surprise is finally the comeback of a French Electro/EBM legend, K-BEREIT (remember the old days of the German Machinery label with their debut MCD "A Forest" back 1992???) presenting us an energetic and harsh EBM track full of tempo variations which left me breathless. Then let’s take a listen to CD X-2 which has also some fine pieces on board. The already veteran duo BRAINCLAW, musically active since almost 15 years, give as usual an excellent track between decent Electronics and classic US-like Industrial music, recommended as ever! Canadian shooting-star Justin Tripp alias RE_AGENT comes next and gives the audience a new track named "In Your Eyes" which dwells pretty much in his very own music style between Dark Electro combined with Powernoise elements – this time maybe a bit more melodic than on previous works. PROSPERO made a co-operative track with Metropolis recording artist BATTERY CAGE and features an excellent vocal performance by Tyler Newman woven in Powernoise-like music. RETRACTOR offer a floor-filling Dark Electro piece hellish distorted vocals in style of AMGOD, unfortunately with retarded lyrics, while SIN make with a new track with Spanish lyrics the better input. Tremendous and surprising is also the new THIRTEENTH EXILE track "Generation Hate". I have never heard them that strong before! Also TYPE001 are well known guests on this comp series here and give the audience an unreleased track dwelling in Dark Electro with a surprising danceable attitude in a kind which is almost missed on their still refreshing debut "Multi-Track Alignment". I have to mention again that this comp series is one of the best, if not THE BEST series in our life time. Also graphically here is a lot of eye-catching stuff, the inlay features "The story so far" of this Alien inspired story right in a comic drawn by the talented Stephane Dumais, www.raisinlove.com, as well as again a perfect sleeve design by the BLC artwork guy Wilhelm "Deaddreamer", www.deaddreamer.com. Hurry up and get it – get all volumes of the legendary Interbreeding series!!! New stuff is on the trail!!!


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