Music Reviews



VV. AA.: VAWS vol. II

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 09 2005
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Artist: VV. AA.
Title: VAWS vol. II
Format: CD
Label: Vaws-musicfactory (@)
Rated: *****
Another german electro-goth product for your ears and this time it's Vaws' turn with a fresh new sampler. A lot of rock-pounding electro-goth tunes german style (mainly for the first half of the cd), read "4/4 dance beat that pump in a lot of tunes", most of the tracks therefore combine melody with a disco beat framework. To be sincere I'm not that acknowledged about this style but everything seems to have the best possible result, I'm sure this could be the best soundtrack if you want to dance to an alternative beat in a really cool goth-disco. A good production add some extra points to the release, it reminds me of some old releases on E.N.D.E.: martial, romantic and fetish. The only possible remarks is that most of the tunes from the first half of the cd are a bit too similar one to each other above, not just for a matter of keyboards or for the beat but also for the whole songs' skeleton. The first big change from introducing the second half of the cd is represented by KCN and PREUSSAK that drives toward a more rave-oriented stuff. VERSTARKER instead using some mechanical loops brings into a noise-electro and "brain devastating" field (remember the review of the sampler came out on Plutonium?). W.O.M.P. could be more old fashioned industrial music, akin to LAIBACH during their disco trips, imagine these germans are more melodical and less pompous and you get the thing. I'd say the end of the compilation is more industrial-rave oriented since the same adjective could be referred also to A INDUSTRYA, 1979 and above all to PANZER DIVISION that maintain the expectations you have by reading such a name, if you know the track is titled "american forces Vietnam network" find your conclusions. The first part of the sample is the most accessible but a bit too generic sometimes, the second part drives to insanity in full effect but I think it's a good fucking blast: destroy!.

Things Outside the Skin: You Knew it all Along

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 07 2005
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Artist: Things Outside the Skin (@)
Title: You Knew it all Along
Format: CD
Label: Facility Records
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
Things Outside the Skin are back for their fifth release, "You Knew it all Along." TOtS is Chvad SB (vocals/programming), Blight Productions (bass), and The 1-2-3-4 (drums), interesting names to add to the curiousness of this colorful new release. TOtS’s sound is composed of, basically, dirty gangster rap above spooky and aged sci-fi themesor, better put, a nightmarish amusement park moving in slow motion.

My first impression about this release was that it would be blatantly evil with not much intrinsic value, however; upon listening and reading the lyrics I was quick to discover this band actually has a healthy(?) sense of humor, and a smart approach to their subject matter that is quickly infectious.

While I’m not a big fan of industrial rap, Things Outside the Skin does an extremely convincing job of merging the two genres, and does it better than most acts I’ve heard. TOtS is not, by any means, limited to rapas they show an affinity for EBM and touch on a variety of other genres. Regardless your interests, though, TOtS’s violating cover of the Spice Girls’ "Spice up Your Life" alone is well worth any price asked for this album.

ROTERSAND: Welcome to Goodbye

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 05 2005
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Artist: ROTERSAND (@)
Title: Welcome to Goodbye
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
I have still the well done appetizer "Exterminate Annihilate Destroy" in my ears but now this talented German act is ready to release their first full length release on their new label Dependent. "Published by stark-n/BMG UFA/Warner Chappell", so I can read on the backside, "The definitively best Electro album of the year" or "10 out of 10 points" are the praising words of two leading German print magazines, which stab in my eyes on a sticker on the front side. So it must be any good, right? Better asked: How can I have doubts?
Well, I have now listened this album 10 to 20 times and I still don’t get what it makes that outstanding that so-called "experts" do make such ridiculous ratings. This release is a classical example of how a band fails to fulfill too big expectations. ROTERSAND are producing Electro-, Synth- or Futurepop music with some stylish acceptable ingredients. There is an unavoidable VNV-inspiring syndrome on this whole album, but only at a very few times this band is able to play in the same league. First main flaw is the turn out bad track list producing nothing else than boredom from track 1 to 5. Track 6, "By the Waters" is more calm, features a nice acoustic guitar, and the melodic content co-operates much better with the vocals and the globally mood. The already mentioned "Exterminate..." is still present here and I get slowly the idea that this album gets better and better on the latter placed tracks. Right, so it is and ROTERSAND can finally pay back some credit of the high expectations with the calm melodic last two tracks "All in All" and moreover "Angels Falling". They have definitively their best moments when they leave their rich studio/producer abilities to concentrate on the essential part, the composition and the perfect collaboration to the music itself. Against to this I like their strong studio abilities they have had proven with mastering works for bands like [:SITD:] or PAINBASTARD. But to produce sounds simply taken out of unadorned Tekkno-inspired productions and to bow them like a Tekkno-DJ on his turntables (very bad examples: "Dare to Live" or "Storm") is without claim or innovation. Also to swim hard along the VNV NATION success formula is a point which this band should avoid on future releases. It is for sure easier to be a good copy then to create something individual, but I hope that they have enough inspiration not to repeat this mistake. ROTERSAND suggest here their talent but they do not reach complete originality. There is enough space to develop, so let’s start here!

CYSTO: Built For You

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 04 2005
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Artist: CYSTO (@)
Title: Built For You
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Being a personal project of a Toronto based musician Voytek Iwasiuk, Cysto saw the light in 2004. On his youth Voytek focused his efforts into the study of guitar and into hard rock, jazz and blues. When years after he felt that that way of creating music was kinda stagnating, he decided to convert his analog home studio into a PC based studio where he could create a kind of music more pumping, dancey and distorted. BUILT FOR YOU is the first Cysto album and offers to the electro lovers twelve sincere tracks. Cysto has got good skills about creating energetic tracks, but I think that Voytek should diversificate the vocals on the songs. The sound production is good enough to understand his style, but the sounds aren't always clear and the same kind of vocals isn't helping into the fruitiong of the song. The CD contains good tunes that would need a little more production. If you want to know how Cysto is sounding like, the first name that popped in my mind was Matrix (if you don't count the guitar riffs). Check the first five tracks on Cysto's website and write your impressions to Voytek.

CYCLONE B: Consequence of Hidden Truth

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 04 2005
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Artist: CYCLONE B (@)
Title: Consequence of Hidden Truth
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Electro/Industrial music makes a step forwards to conquer Eastern European states and sets a mark in Tallinn, Estonia with the debut of CYCLONE B. They are not really unknown and have made some remarkable appearances on highly acclaimed compilations like "Cryonica Tanz Vol. 3" or the quadruple CD box "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". The new Russian label Advoxya Records finally could get the deal with this 3 men outlet and so we have here a 11 track debut release which is – and I can take this realization in advance – one of my personal favorites of this year. CYCLONE B have produced a fine Dark Electro/EBM album which shows the listener with simple but effective means how to create and compose remarkable tracks which surely deal with several already known ingredients. I would qualify and compare this band with the recent works of PAIL and DEPRESSIVE DISORDER but of course without any clone syndrome. Tracks like "Reflection" or "Deathember" are playing skilful with decent melodic synth layers and also the almost distorted vocals show some progression to a more melodic content. Nice and remarkable done, but be sure that this band will not fall into any Futurepop cliche. "Agony" is more slow and filled with a depressive mood, while tracks like "Sputnik U.S.S.R.", "Nothing" or "Razor" will let the rivetheads invading any dancefloor in some dark clubs. Nice to hear are also the variations and progressions on the vocals. There is not the same singer at all, but CYCLONE B have also a fine taste to include some different effects like a vocoder or different kinds of distortion. Here is also no lack of ideas regarding the bass line sequencing, almost everything is filled with inspiration. And so we have a well done CD which can set some standards. This is a marvelous release of a promising band which seems to be soon a giant.


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