Music Reviews



MASTERMIND: Power

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2055)
Jul 12 2005
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Artist: MASTERMIND (@)
Title: Power
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Entitled to play modern Electro/Futurepop this side-project of Czech Republic’s finest artist DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offers here its official debut CD. But I am really not sure if too much Futurepop supporters will dig this piece, because mostly the used sounds are a bit away from that style. Not that this is a flaw but I fear that a lot of the tracks are too rough structured or they are sounding too experimental. On the other side some of the tracks like "No Place" are musically really pearls, but could do better with some progression on the vocals. On some tracks MASTERMIND do not hit the target in this point, more over when tracks like "Playboys and Girls" leave some doubts about the lyrical content. I personally prefer the more darker and Electro-minded tracks, to name here with "Technical Process" or "Phobia", second features some excellent played break beats to the straight rhythm. Also the vocals on both tracks show more diversity and are not the main lead "instrument". So nothing is really bad here and MASTERMIND offer a good quality debut. Finally I am not sure if their style will earn too much attention. Give it a few rotations, this stuff needs to grow on you.

PAIL: Towards Nowhere

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2050)
Jul 08 2005
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Artist: PAIL (@)
Title: Towards Nowhere
Format: CD
Label: Negative Gain Productions (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
It took almost 6 years after the release of his marvelous debut "Epidemic" that Manix Salazar hailing from Spain celebrates his return on top of the Electro-/Industrial scene with this new full length CD "Towards Nowhere". Although there was a vinyl only release with 4 tracks in the meantime, this is for sure a long time for a band coming out of this music scene, long enough to get forgotten. The music of PAIL has also experienced some changes, globally said it turns from the wide diversity of the debut more into the Dark Techno/EBM genre with some possible comparisons to DECODED FEEDBACK mixed with a strong ABSCESS influence. Especially the dark pieces like the slow "Where We Are" or "Today the Wind blows from the North" show Manix’ development as a musician and can fascinate with a remarkable melodic content. The most straight piece here is "Que hable el silencio", a real floorburner which has also made its way to be available on the Alfa Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". So very positive my opinion on this release from track 1 to 7 is, after this the whole CD dwells into more different directions like some Futurepop influences, richly presented on "Senseless Words" sung by Salva Maine of CULTURE KULTÜR. Three instrumental tracks are here also present and finally you could get the feeling that the last pieces of the CD are created to increase the running time. So I concentrate myself more on all really excellent produced pieces from track 1 to 7 and they prove once again, that there is no need to disqualify music under the moniker "Dark Electro" to a redundant hammering. PAIL’s music is rich in detail and thrilling arranged and can easily nail down. Good news also for all interested listeners in North America: Negative Gain Productions (www.negativegain.com) has committed a license deal with Caustic Records so that this nice release will be soon available officially. Check it out!

MORTICIANS: Mutilation Recreation

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2042)
Jul 05 2005
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Artist: MORTICIANS
Title: Mutilation Recreation
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Plutonium Distribution (@)
Rated: *****
This is the right occasion to greet a new label born from the Swedish Plutonium Distribution, a small distribution which aim is to support the sounds they love. Morticians' MUTILATION RECREATION is the first label's release. The duo coming from Sweden, just like the label, produced a demo tape more than ten years ago just to reuniting nowadays to start where they left. The limited to 500 copies double CD contains the original demo recorded back in 1993/94 along with new recordings (the opening "Zombie centerfold", "Repeat reassemble" and "Mortal death" which has been recreated in 2004). The first thing to notice is that the sound hasn't changed that much even if more than ten years have passed: well, the new tracks have got a better balanced sound and they sound clean even if distorted while the old ones sound less produced (just think that on early '90s PC weren't massively used for home recordings even if the band had already the opportunity to use sampler machines). Morticians were already ahead of their time, their songs were aggressive and catchy at the same time and they succeeded into having a personal style: dark, crawling and melodic electro e.b.m. The second CD contains remixes and covers from bands such as: Cryo, Project-X, Sophie Rimheden, Severe Illusion and The Pain Machinery, etc. A good thing that the label decided to mix remixes and covers just to break the remix fashion and to give to the bands more freedom into the re-interpretation of the original song. Well, to close this review I've got only to tell you to follow my advice and to try to catch this release. Remember, it's a limited release of 500 copies only...P.s. The band is working on new fresh tracks, it will be a sure success!

MIND.IN.A.BOX.: Dreamweb

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 04 2005
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Artist: MIND.IN.A.BOX.
Title: Dreamweb
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
I must admit that I am one of maybe three persons on this world who hasn’t heard their highly recognized debut album "Lost Alone". Shame on me, I have simply missed the album of the year 2004 from the newcomer of the year. On the other side I come here into the real treat of a new full length by this duo from Austria. It is a bit early to start a discussion which release could be the "Album of the Year" contender but I am sure that this new "Dreamweb" would be on the list by a lot of people. MIND.IN.A.BOX. simply offer here "the second reflection in a mirror of our reality". Behind this cool and in the art aptly designed release this duo hides their internal feelings no matter if positive or negative. The music they produce is a kind of valve and MIND.IN.A.BOX show us their philosophy of life with every sound and every note they play. What makes them so outstanding is the fact that they are able to deal with a lot diverse music styles in their tracks. Electro, Ambient, Synth Pop or Techno are used here and they do not have any problems to mix all styles to their very own kind. Take the track "Machine Run" which starts with some near Metal-like guitar riffs and some rough vocals. 5 seconds later the whole track breaks down to restart with a typical Synth Pop theme and the vocals are now clear and melodic. The conceptual work on the vocals is another remarkable point in the music of M.I.A.B. They are pitching their vocals sometimes high and sometimes to express different feelings ("Lament for Lost Dreams" or "Out of Time"), but it is finally the same vocalist. Personally I like the more calm and melodic pieces like "Loyalty", "Sun and Storm" or "Escape" to most and these tracks could be the outstanding examples for every listener to grow into the fantastic world of MIND.IN.A.BOX. The already released dancefloor killer "Certainty" is also included and the whole album is flawless produced. Take this fragile-like "Dreamweb", open your ears and you get an experience in simply good music!
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Interbreeding VI: Subhuman: The Alien Agenda
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
This sixth release of the successful Interbreeding series is the companion disc to chapter V, "Terrorland". Also released as a single full length CD this new part offers again a strong quality in art, this time influenced by the classic "Alien" movie themes conducted again by Wilhelm "Deaddreamer" (www.deaddreamer.com). As usual also the music has some nice surprises and exclusives to offer. Spain’s best act PAIL make an excellent Dark Electro opener with "Society in Ruins", while BLC’s own THE PAIN MACHINERY return with splendid combination between Electro and Powernoise called "Active Armour". A new full length CD by this marvelous Swedish Industrial acts called "Hostile" is already on it’s way. RETRACTOR, signed to Black Flames from Poland, give an unreleased track "The March to Stalingrad" and like the title aptly describes – so it is! Hard and uncompromising Terror-EBM for the march on the dark dancefloors. The always well productive duo BRAINCLAW return on this Interbreeding comp with a promising outlook to their next CD with a special remix of the title track "Dead Monsters". With TACTIL VISION we have here the first time that an act can get a three-play appearance on this comp series. This one-man project combines dark Electro-influenced themes with some live experimentations – well, not my cup of tea. BLC’s own SYNAPTIC DEFECT return with a cold and almost Powernoise-like instrumental piece called "Morgue" and the Metropolis recording artist BATTERY CAGE give a special remix in their typical American-influenced Industrial style with some guitar sounds. Former BLC act AGONOIZE return with an unreleased remix of their track "Sexual Violation" which is miles better than the original version. And also FILAMENT 38 created a special Interbreeding Mix of their track "Suffocate" which follows their remarkable EBM/Electro lines. As I said, also this new and already sixth part of the Interbreeding series has a lot of goodies on board and it is worth the investigation. You have to hurry up because both Interbreeding V and VI are almost sold out and only a few are still available from the BLC website. Track listing:Part I : Act Of Coercion01. Pail - Society In Ruins02. The Pain Machinery - Active Armour03. Retractor - The March To Stalingrad04. Pine Tree State Mind Control - Incinerator05. Y-Luk-O - Ein Lied Von Der Freiheit06. Brainclaw - Dead Monsters ( Remix )Part II : Interlude In Experimentalism With Tactil Vision07. Tactil Vision - Escala08. Tactil Vision - Fleshtone09. Tactil Vision - Mass TransitionPart III : Destruction by Inches10. Synaptic Defect - Morgue11. Battery Cage - Dead Morning ( Vers Remix )12. Agonoize - Sexual Violation ( Dark Edit )13. Filament 38 - Suffocate ( Interbreeding Mix )Part IV : Benediction14. My Villain - Man Himself15. Para Normal - Numbers


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