Music Reviews



davaNtage: unholy

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 06 2004
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Artist: davaNtage
Title: unholy
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media Distribution
Rated: *****
Even though it's got 13 tracks and 1 hour running time, "Unholy" is referred to as a CD EP, mostly because it features seven tracks (one of which is a cover version of the punk band Skeptiker's "Ja Ja Ja") + six remix versions by Suicide Commando, Soman, LC, Echorausch, Supreme Court, Solitary Experiments. The german trio carries around the word of electro body music with well programmed sequences, drum machine patterns and vocals that are treated with the same old distortion or sometimes with less distorion and more reverb, which isn't bad. Some remix versions are interesting and worthy of mention: Suicide Commando's version of the title-track is more martial/minimal/apocalyptic; Soman go for minimal electro-rhythm in Daft-records style (even though it assumes more dance-friendly shape later on); Echoraush's remix of the afore-mentioned punk classics brings back some guitar rings and more noises, and also slows it down, making it more evil-sounding. "Unholy" is a nice EP and davvaNtage are a good trio of musicians that spend muchh of their time polishing and arranging well written material, too bad the genre itself just seems to be stuck in itself...

STOCHASTIC THEORY: Soliloquy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 31 2004
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Artist: STOCHASTIC THEORY (@)
Title: Soliloquy
Format: CD
Label: Sonic Mainline (@)
Rated: *****
Stochastic Theory is the personal project of Chuck Spencer, who has been a premiere Midwest electro/industrial/synth DJ for over half a decade. Feeling the urge to express his own musical taste and his own feelings, he started to compose his own music in the fall of 2001. SOLILOQUY is the first Chuck's album and musically the eleven tracks (the last four are remixes of tracks here already present in their original version. The remixers are: Epsilon Minus, Null Device, Blind Faith / Envy and Echo Virus) are a blending of synthpop and electro e.b.m. If you want me to do a comparison I could name Icon Of Coil (for some melodies and for the e.b.m. side) and for the synthpop / new wave side I could hazard a mixture of Dead Or Alive (see tracks like "Blurry lines") and Ultravox (see the introspective "Demons"). Fortunately in this case influences are just influences and SOLILOQUY isn't a copy of the forementioned bands. Even if at a first listening the sound of the first four tracks wasn't that original, luckily the songs from that point on, show a certain personality and the CD changes little by little catching the attention and becoming a good album full of energy and pathos.
Artist: mindFIELD (@)
Title: Singularity
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This Boston based electronic project is run by Gabriel Shaw. Shaw, who is known as a prolific keyboardist, has collaborated with such well known projects as Fear Factory and Killing Joke. He has toured live with Chemlab on their 2005 tour and has been hired by Apple Macintosh to perform at thier computer shows as well as touring as the drummer for MonoChrome. When he tours live he takes fellow keyboardists Regan Miller and Stacia Tucker. Heavily influenced by early 80's bands as well as projects like Orbital Gabriel combines the emotionally driven sounds of the early Wave bands with well structured loops and bass lines to create a sound all his own. Singularity was recorded entirely at home on his PC, a mode many modern electronic independent musicians are taking these days as the album ends up in MP3 format eventually anyway. Singularity tends to be dark and melodic, music that is good for lounging or the dancefloor. Evidently mindFIELD has seen some earlier success when MP3.com was alive and hopefully this release will help to revive Shaw's recognition to the public audiences. There are many nearly ambient backing elements to support the dance rhythms and smooth vocals which comprise this release which I find a welcome compliment as I prefer music that is versatile to different moods and environments, something this definitely fulfills in a skillful and artful manner at that. Gabriel's eclectic tastes and love of music definitely show through fluently within this release. The album follows a rather consistent trend until you come to track six titled "1:1.618" which was initially released as free download from the band's website which features a bit more of a drum-n-bass beel to it with heavily vocoded vocals. This and track nine "An Antiphon Cure" are the most obvious standouts on the disc but not because they are better, just much faster. It's rather difficult to choose any tracks on this release as 'better' than others as they are all unique in their own ways and all beautiful in others.

Ego Likeness: Water to the Dead

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 29 2004
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Artist: Ego Likeness (@)
Title: Water to the Dead
Format: CD
Label: Noir
Rated: *****
After a remix for the new Cruxshadows remix album "Fortress in Flame" as well as upcoming remix work for Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Voltaire, the six-piece band Ego Likeness present some of their own material with "Water to the Dead". The album is divided into two parts: the "In the Water" part, including the first eight tracks, and the "In the Ground" part, featuring the last three songs of the album (the third of which is a traditional southern folk hymn called just like the southern folk band "Wayfaring Stranger". The elegant mixture of gothic, ebm and dark is focused around the vocals of Donna Lynch and Steven Archer, who are the main songwriters. Slow rhythms, nice beats, piano parts and long guitar chords, synth pads represent the playing ground for these poets of the noir sonic affair (speaking of noir, this album comes out on Dancing Ferret Discs' division called Noir records). All photography in the beautiful album's art work is by Lauren Simonutti.

the Cruxshadows: Fortress in Flames

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 29 2004
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Artist: the Cruxshadows
Title: Fortress in Flames
Format: CD
Label: Dancing Ferret Discs
Rated: *****
After the success of "Ethernaut", the Cruxshadows have decided to ride the wave of that success with a remix album featuring exclusive remix versions of "Ethernaut"'s songs by Clan Of Xymox, Subway to Sally, Razed in Black, Neuroactive, Iris, Trevor Brown, Eyes to Heaven, Absurd Minds, Alice2, Ego Likeness, In Strict Confidence, plus a couple of redux/revox versions and the tracks "Dragonfly" and "Edge of the World". 60 minutes, 14 songs and an array of names like this surely will keep fans of one of the most popular electro-goth acts from the US warm and fired up for their next release.


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