Music Reviews



Jun 25 2005
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Artist: NON TOXIQUE LOST (@)
Title: /bin/med/usa
Format: CD
Label: Dossier (@)
Rated: *****
Never heard of a band called Non Toxique Lost? If you're into industrial music you should, they put out their first record during the eighties, then 20 compact cassettes, 3 lps and a couple of cds. "/bin/med/usa" cuts it short showing these three "guys" from Ger-money are not newjacks: industrial music in the way it was meant to be...but not just that. The deutsche style you can hear while listening the "early" (not so early) Einstruerzende Neubauten is evident, but as you can read in the few lines they left at the beginning of their website: "style is irrelevant". Obsessive patterns "industrial-style", old-fashioned-drum machines, analogue synth, filters and guitars, the vocals is both martial (...deutsche speakers' emphasis, how could we live without it!!) and visceral up to the different song, I think if you're into this style of music well you'll love it 'cause it's sexy or violent as it should be. Musicwise Non Toxique Lost moves from "industrial-psychic-warfare" to "fetish-electronica" (hey they're on the same label of Front Line Assembly should I add something more?), a flavor of "eighties" and let's say it looks like they'd like to play with the listeners' secret fears. Also the recording somehow sounds old-fashioned and don't come to easy conclusions, when I say "old-fashioned" I don't mean the Berlin combo is completely "surpassed", I just mean it all sounds "retrò" and in a good way, at last on this release. "Dark landscapes and modern obsessions" if you love things like these and the way the industrial-electronica used them, I'm sure you're ready for Non Toxique Lost.

DISMANTLED: Breed to Death

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2001)
Jun 24 2005
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Artist: DISMANTLED (@)
Title: Breed to Death
Format: CD EP
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
A more than 50 minutes long EP considered to be the appetizer for the forthcoming new full length CD "Standard Issue" by DISMANTLED should be easily reason enough to get purchased. And this EP spins over to be a perfect bridge from the past "Post-Nuclear" by presenting a few remix works of the most remarkable track "The Swarm" done by big names like :WUMPSCUT: or HAUJOBB up to some new tracks. So were also my thoughts at the beginning and my expectations were big. Finally and overall too big - and after listening this new release I am rather disappointed. I know that DISMANTLED did experience a wider musically evolution with the release of "Post-Nuclear" for sure – but this EP has nothing of the old and magical moments this band was able to produce with their self-titled debut CD. Where are all the sick atmospheric layers, where are the terrific samples and where are some marvelous vocals as well? Whoever has advised Gary Zon to "sing" without the FX machinery? Sorry to say it, but it sounds a bit that it would be better for Gary to cure at first his bad cold...
The music finally – and so to come back to the main flaw here – lacks a lot from inspiration. All what I am missing here has changed to a lighter sound and yes – it drowns from times up to danceable Futurepop music ("The Swarm (Easy to Swallow-Version)"). Also the funny cover version of Paula Abduls "Straight Up" can’t be taken too seriously for sure. Good moments are sparse filled in here, the new instrumental track "The Blind" awakes a bit some remembrances how it was and how it could be. And their new Metropolis label mates of PSYCLON NINE did their best to fill in diversity through including thick synth layers to the title track "Breed to Death" and finally the :WUMPSCUT: remix of "The Swarm" gets my respect for the handling with different tempo changes in the track. The rest dwells in uninspiring average and I keep my fingers crossed that Gary will remember his talent for his upcoming full length CD.
Jun 22 2005
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Artist: Infinity Interrupt (@)
Title: Hybrid Still Life
Format: CD
Label: 1over0records
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
"Hybrid Still Life" is the newest release from Chicago's "Infinity Interrupt". Riddled with oppressively dark moods and textures, "Hybrid Still Life" plays from beginning to end like a detailed soundscape to a life gone wrong. You can still see glimpses of a beauty that used to exist but now only shadows and detached memories of what that beauty was remain. It sounds great I know BUT I'm a bit split over this release. When sticking to ambient textures, tones and whispered story telling (used to great effect here) "Hybrid Still Life" excells. Haunting, dark and always intriguing. If this were the entire CD the review would end here and I'd say run out and get it. However, not everything is rosy in this darkland. "Hybrid Still Life" starts to lose ground a bit when Infinity Interrupt moves away from the previously described textures and start to employ more arpeggiated synths and drums. The songs aren't bad... they just aren't inspiring and seem flat when compared to the more texture oriented tracks. These tracks just take on a generic tone that don't match up to the coolness of the ambient stuff. All that said... I still recommend this disc for anyone who is a fan of relentlessly dark music and for those fans of Cold Meat material, you will find a good deal to like in "Hybrid Still Life". Stand out tracks: "Still Life" and "Crawl".

Richter: Cost of Living

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1988)
Jun 15 2005
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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.
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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 (www.jillianann.com) done by Jeffery Scott (www.factory1019.com), 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???

Tracklist:

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


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