Music Reviews



VEX'D: Degenerate

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 23 2005
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Artist: VEX'D (@)
Title: Degenerate
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing three 12" ("Function" for Drum+Breaks and "Pop pop" and "Lion" for the Subtext label), Jamie and Roly landed on Planet Mu with the single "Gunman" / "Smart bomb". Now, after some months they release, for the same label, their first album titled DEGENERATE. The album contains new versions of their previous cuts "Pop pop" and "Lion" plus ten new tracks of grime sounds. The duo focus their music on low frequency sounds and on distorted tunes. The effect created make me remember of a distorted and dilated version of Prodigy of the "Fat of the land" era plus a dub attitude which gives to the tracks a dark intriguing aspect. About this, check the first part of "Thunder" where the dark ambient sounds are mixed with the distorted and pumping bass drum. Mostl of the tracks are instrumental ones and they create a strange ambience in the room while you listen to them. Is like a dreamy landscape disturbed by living nightmares that bleeps in and out of the room. If you are willing to try something different from the Cold Meat old dark ambient sound you could try Vex'd and even if dark ambient isn't exactly your cup of tea, DEGENERATE is always a good grime record full of breakbeat sounds and rhythms. If you are a vinyl purist you can get the ten tracks vinyl edition but I suggest you to get also the double CD edition as it contains twelve tracks on the first CD and the tracks coming from the two Subtext 12" plus "Smart bomb" (from their first Planet Mu's 12") and a new track titled "End of line" (which features Search & Destroy).
Aug 21 2005
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Artist: SCI-FI INDUSTRIES
Title: The air cutter
Format: CD
Label: THISCO (@)
Rated: *****
Cool!! According to the good remarks I've wrote in the review of three way split cd on Thisco, here it is, Sci-fi industries which features Luis van Seixas (one of the founders of the portuguese label). Believe it or not this "picciotto" knows how to do it and the result is delicious: rhythmic electronica with heart-striking melodies. I'm sorry to repeat myself again but here we have another guy who's probably grown breathing air and Warp and it enlightened his brain enough to give us a juicy fruit like "The air cutter". Pulsing electronic music with a foot in the nineties, comparison could be misleading but it gave me the same beautiful impression of Black Dog, somewhere else it was like giving a listen to Two Lone Swordsman at their top (damn what a band they were!!!). I've happened to listen bands that were good but a blatant replica, for Portugal sake, Sci-fi industries is not a clone but a sort of re-edition, since you hear this' not old fashioned music but just something loyal to its root but at the same time the songs express a strong personality (like the english debut of Passarani). Electronic lover from the old school will love this for sure.
Aug 19 2005
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Artist: Liquid Divine
Title: Interface
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah Records (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
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.


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