Music Reviews

Richter: Cost of Living

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1988)
Jun 15 2005
Artist: Richter (@)
Title: Cost of Living
Format: CD
Rated: *****
The soon to be released "Cost of Living" by the Canadian trio Jack & Lizz, known as Richter, bring an interesting combination of sounds the table. Compared to bands like Apoptygma Berzerk, Covenant, and Wolfsheim, I found some rather undefinable combinations involved as well. There seems to be a bit of New Order and Caberet Voltaire influences on the very synthpop "Come Clean". The follow-up "Dirty Prophet" takes us right into industrial territory showing a bit of KMFDM, 242, as well as the afforementioned associations. Richter definitely seems to create a fluid expression which combines the best of 80's wave and industrial bands with those of the modern EBM and synthpop arenas. They also create a smooth combination of analog and digital instrumentation without overdoing the guitars. Instead they are pleasantly blended into the overall texture of the project. The driving male vocals tend to have a bit of that 'android' feel to them that gives a sort of 'clinical' impression, much like early Gary Numan. The backing female vocals add to the atmosphere and enforce what the rest of the project is already doing. In other words, there is no vocal clash you might get in some projects where it seems like both are trying to lead. Instead they both work very well in combination and support everything else going on. Many styles combine to create a fluid translation of a uniquely new style, a bit monocrhomatic but with some interesting layering and mixing. While there is lots of activity, it maintains a very smooth texture that is somehow 'soothing' even while dark and kinetic.
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Interbreeding V: Terrorland
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Part 5 of this stellar compilation series full of hard and dark Electro/Industrial acts features some slight changes in direction, art and also the music which could surprise. While the choice of combining already known acts with some hot and promising newcomers is still the same on the highest level of quality, Interbreeding V comes this time only as a single full length CD. This seems to be also a cost-wise decision by the label BLC Productions, on the other side it is also easier to follow all remarkable acts. This been said, "Interbreeding VI: Subhuman: The Alien Agenda" which is also a single CD was also released as a companion disc to this one. Also musically this comp series has experienced a slight change in direction. Here is still included a wide range of diverse music styles based on Dark Electro/Industrial/EBM, but I can hear a growing dedication to some dark and expressive instrumental pieces as well as some Powernoise efforts offered here by one of two ENCODER (new signing of BLC, out soon with an EP named "Supernatural") tracks, KALISHNIKOV (only one example for a new Industrial wave hailing from the east...) and the Alfa Matrix female artist UNTER NULL (excellent distortions in the mix...). Other outstanding tracks are offered here by FURY 162 (brilliant Dark Techno with Powernoise undertones, seems to be a side project by the Black Flames artist RETRACTOR...), RE_AGENT ("Never Satisfied (Krzon Remix)" of Canada’s finest solo project...) and of course IMPLANT ("My Gun" remixed by French artist SKOYZ). The new signings next to the already mentioned ENCODER of the BLC label are also present, PARA NORMAL and ALIEN PRODUKT give a dense appearance and will let you ask for more. ENCODER presenting us next to their Powernoise-like effort another rollicking instrumental piece which does nevertheless not uncover too much details of their upcoming music. As usual on this comp series the artwork has some big and eye-friendly surprises to offer. A special photo session with the international renowned model Jillian Ann ( done by Jeffery Scott (, which fits totally with the main theme all Interbreeding comps has to offer, the story board from and about Aliens. And be sure to check out also Jillian Ann’s music (!!!) project ELUCIDO here available with a very cool piece aptly called "Cold" as the final track. Once again and like any other part of this compilation series, "Terrorland" is an essential release. How could you watch innocent your face in a mirror if you do not try to purchase this???


1. Fury 161 : decay of time
2. Fake : blood & skin (Imperative Reaction Remix)
3. Encoder : Soulcrusher
4. Kalishnikov : Pravda (Truth is a Dream Remix)
5. Re_agent : Never Satisfied (Krzon Remix)
6. Pecadores : Priest (Come to Daddy Mix)
7. H.I.V.+/Wired Brain : Havoc 2027 (Tamtrum Remix)
8. Unter Null : The End of Sleep
9. Implant : My Gun (Skoyz Remix)
10. Schattenschlag : One Shot
11. Encoder : Illuminati
12. Alien Produkt : Detestable Envy (Simulating Peace Remix)
13. Para Normal : Under the Light
14. Neikka RPM : Storm of Hell (Broken Seal Mix)
15. Severe Illusion : Girl with Knife in Hand (Depressive.Disorder Remix)
16. Elucido -- Cold

TAMTRUM: Some Atomik Songz

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1980)
Jun 14 2005
Artist: TAMTRUM (@)
Title: Some Atomik Songz
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: La Chambre Froide (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
La Chambre Froide is a relatively young and unknown label from France focusing on Dark Electro/Industrial music. On their release catalogue you will find two chapters of a compilation named "In this Cold Terrific Room" (review of Vol. 2 will follow soon...), the debut CD of the BLC Productions artist OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF "Yell of Fright" and two releases by this energetic French duo. TAMTRUM combining typical Dark Electro layers with some furious and steady beatings and a rough distorted but very intense voice of the singer. If I should try to compare them, I would take the destructive force of early HOCICO mixed with speed. So here is no cloning syndrome of the Mexican masters when some of the tracks will set fire under your boots by reaching a speed higher then 145 bpm. To combine this merciless aggression produced through the vocals with a neck-breaking speed seems to be the main musical characteristic of this band. All sounds are well sorted and arranged and the naked aggressive attitude doesn’t take any prisoners. I am impressed by the overall "hard-in-ya-face" - attitude this band has to offer. "My Vile Venom" and of course "Datura Dream" are here to name as excellent examples, second of the both tracks gets also a remix work by the French Powernoise legend H.I.V.+. Also included are a few more darker and slower pieces, still infiltrated with a steady beat of course, like "In Blood We Trust" or "Extazy" which are nearer dedicated to some atmospheric layers but they don’t change the globally impression. On a track like "Industrial Room (Porno Suicide)" they are playing with some Powernoise elements and show a wide range of talent. As I said, this band left me breathless and if you have the same low opinion on the final HOCICO efforts you should give this band some recognition. There is existing also a limited edition of this CD packaged in a DVD box with some extra merchandising items. Anyhow, try to get it!


 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1978)
Jun 13 2005
Title: Revenge
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
I am always impressed that Electro/Industrial music grows in all countries on this planet and this project from Argentina is no exception. Surely not the first band from this country (think of PUNTO OMEGA...) this 3 men/1 woman project presents with "Revenge" it’s first CD under the flag of the US-based label BLC Productions. They play a kind of modern EBM/Industrial music, programming reminds me on traditional EBM structures of some veteran artists but the sounds are updated and well chosen. ALIEN PRODUKT try to avoid this currently hype to sound exactly like SUICIDE COMMANDO or HOCICO although the vocals of band member U-TB are harsh and almost dark. Musically I would say that AP could be a kind of a calm form of EBM/Electro, I feel on every track the effort to fill in thick synth layers to build a more complex musical content. Another outstanding point is the very good mix and mastering, everything from the deepest bass kick to the highest synth sound is well placed. ALIEN PRODUKT are pushing the masses to the dark dancefloors with tracks like "Artificial Intelligence", "Detestable Envy (Album)", "Strategies of Destruction" or "Worthless Symbolism" and I would consider this danceable side of their music to be their strongest efforts. There are also 4 different remix collaborations with musically very different acts like H.I.V.+ (marvelous Powernoise from France), Out of Line recording artist MATRIX (F-Pop), SCHATTENSCHLAG (Dark Electro), and the excellent newcomer THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT (Dark Electro/Industrial from Australia). Unless like on usual releases all remixes are well sorted in the track list and give the floating of this album a remarkable diversity. Not to hide I want also the fact that some synth layers and bass line sequences would work better with a bigger diversity in the choice of the sounds. To use the one and only same sound keeps away some surprising programming ideas from the attention of the listener. Also it wont be wrong to give the female band member Loregore 2 – 3 more solo vocal appearances because she did a fantastic job on the track "Into the Abyss". But overall I don’t see and hear any reasons why this quartet from Argentina shouldn’t reach the same success like their fellowmen of PUNTO OMEGA. Worth to check out!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1972)
Jun 10 2005
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Title: Yell It Out
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Kay Härtel of Davantage just released his second release as Supreme Court. The new album YELL IT OUT for sure takes inspiration from classic e.b.m. bands but luckily it is enough inspired of its own to result a hell of a record. You know, on these days it's really difficult to face this musical genre because there are so many Hocico clones and sometimes the bands loose the point and tend to forgot why they are playing what it should be considered "their music". Kay succeeds into the difficult mission of merge classic e.b.m. solutions with personal songwriting alternating powerful solutions, industrial moments (see "Mass media murder" or "Terror Chat"), dance rhythms and tons of intriguing melodies. In this way the album results well balanced offering different solutions that save the listener from a bad purchase.

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