Music Reviews



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Artist: BOUNDLESS / LITTLE SAP DUNGEON (@)
Title: Geist
Format: CD
Label: Dungeon-Recordings/Backscatter (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Surprise, surprise, a new collaboration project release done by two of the leading Electro/Industrial acts out from the Salt Lake City area which grabs my whole attention. And what a release this is!!! The package itself left breathless. This full length split-CD is hidden in a kind of sharp aluminum case which is hold together with a screw. You need some tools to open it, a kind of package which reminds me on some Powernoise works done by a label like Ant-Zen. Comes next to this that this release is limited to 100 numbered exemplars. This will surely cause that you are able to buy it lately in two years, but then via Ebay for a horrible high price if you not act now! This will be a rarely collector’s item and I am very happy that I received one (thanks Kevin!!!).
To the music: It was indeed a hungry longing to get to hear some new stuff from BOUNDLESS, the solo effort by Xon, one half of the legendary SYMBIONT (see interview here somewhere...). Still in a good memory is Xon’s debut CD "Perpetual" out somewhere in 2003 on DSBP/Backscatter. Here we have 9 tracks of this project which can be called an addition to his highly underrated debut. The opener "Vext" I have discovered already on the "Hotgoth Vol. 1" compilation a few weeks before (see also review somewhere here on this website...), but this version here is a new edit of this glorious track which unites all good aspects of the music from BOUNDLESS. Danceable surely, rich melodic layers, excellent sequencing and vocals ranging between undistorted soft to harsh screams are the trademarks of this track. Comes then a good and dancefloor oriented remix of SYSTEM SYN for "Predatory" which was one of the best pieces taken from the "Perpetual" release. Third we have a remix done by LEXINCRYPT (right – the other SYMBIONT member...) for the depressive track with a German title "Allein Stehen". Xon’s vocals are more tormented here and the whole track received some massive steady beatings. It is such a pity that SYMBIONT is now almost in hiatus because when I hear this remix and the strong vocal efforts by Xon, it could easily be a new SYMBIONT track! Follows then DA BEST BOUNDLESS TRACK EVER, "Grace of God", also a new one with outstanding synth layers, Xon’s distorted vocals, great samples, and, and, and. This is the piece on which I penetrate my "Repeat" button over and over again – more, more, more, what a marvelous track! Back in reality comes then a remix done by CARPHAX FILES for "Vext". This one is more EBM oriented and features excellent baseline sequences – well done, although I hear here some arrhythmic patterns near to the end of this track. Best remix work and to me personal the biggest surprise is the "Dancefloor Quarantine Mix" done by LITTLE SAP DUNGEON on "Club Trash", a track also out from "Perpetual". From LSD I do normally expect a somewhat dark, harsh, scary-like piece – but not a total EBM smasher which KICKS ASS!!! LSD will burn the dancefloors and it is one of the very few exceptions on which I prefer a remix work more than the original version! C2 give us then a remix of "Predatory" which consisted mainly of distorted break beats and fuzzy undertones - interesting work but not my cup of tea. "Imprisoned" is surely one of the darkest pieces out from "Perpetual" and here it gets a remix work done ROSES AND EXILE. Some nice reverberations and a overall dark mood – but not too far away from the original version. Finally then we have an incredible instrumental piece here, "Unjust" on which Xon performs with some excellent layers and piano sounds.
Track 10 is a short "Backscatter / Dungeon Recordings Segue" which marks the change from BOUNDLESS to LITTLE SAP DUNGEON.
The latest LSD album "Silent Entities" is still fresh and often present in my discman and so this band takes the chance to offer their growing audience some revised works of older recordings. It starts with the track "Through the Abyss of L. S. D.": dark melodic layers breeding a scary tension until the steady beatings hit your brain. Follows then some rough vocal performances with some more dark played guitar riffs and ready is a hard-in-ya-face stomper which ends almost in chaos! I am always again impressed how this band is able to create different dark moods and how tough they can destroy it in the very next moment. "Love Vs Hate Vortex" features some excellent melodic layers which make me forget some SKINNY classics!!! Marvelous played with some great distorted drum patterns near to the end of this track. Follows then the Acidland 25 Mix of the track "Ask Alice" originally from the "Ten Strip Sacrament" CD in 2001. I am not sure if this is a remix work by another band or simply a cool name for an own remix work. Anyway, this remix differs a lot to the original which is sample loaded and overall dark and atmospheric. This remix takes a step to a higher speed and includes some steady beatings here plus also some real sung vocals. I would say a kind of a real new track. Also the revised version of "Phantasm", originally also out on "Ten Strip Sacrament is of course totally improved and the whole sound quality is not to compare with original. Then we have the "Neu Tötland Remix" (Aaahm,... German here?) done by BOUNDLESS of "Never Ever Land" which can surely be described as one of the outstanding tracks from their marvelous last CD "Silent Entities". BOUNDLESS re-designed this track completely with adding a more dancefloor oriented beat and modern sounding synths. This gives the whole track a very different feel far away from the original. Finally we have a slow, scary piece with some great piano sounds, dark synth layers reminding me on haujobb.’s "Skull Fision" taken from their first "Homes And Gardens" and a surprisingly undistorted vocal performance by Kevin J. Cazier. This is one of their most intense works up to date, so must a slow and dark Electro piece sound! Marvellous track and one of my long list of favorites here.

So we have here an outstanding Electro/Industrial release from two highly underrated acts which surely deserve more attention. This piece in style, art and music is a MUST-HAVE! Finally I am not sure if this release will ever be distributed through DSBP or Metropolis, so it is better to make your contacts with mentioned acts and ask to get this collector’s item. This is one of my all-time favorites!!!

AMATEUR GOD: Around The Corners Of Our Mind

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1678)
Jan 17 2005
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Artist: AMATEUR GOD (@)
Title: Around The Corners Of Our Mind
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Amateur God is a particular band in the electronic scene. I hadn't the opportunity to listen to their first release "Near Life Experience" (released by Wampus Multimedia back in 2002) but this new AROUND THE CORNERS OF OUR MINDS shows really well the peculiarity of the project. There are different aspects of the CD that make me think about Amateur God as a multimedia band (the video of "Openmindead" won an award at Festival of Slovene Animation as the best animated musical video. It was also accepted on V.A.I.A 2004, International Show of Video Art of Alcoi in Spain and Dark Light Festival in Ireland), something that link the music deeply to the visual side. Most of the tracks haven't got a defined melody with a refrain and the structure of a classic song. Their songwriting seems to be focused mainly on the effects and the ambience they could create. Musically the voice of Spela Podgornik could remember the Cranes and listening to all the tracks in a row there's a certain feeling of melancholy and emptiness. The only note I can report is that all the album deals with the same atmosphere, so you've got to check if it catch you immediately.

VV.AA.: Compendiu de Muzica Electronica

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 12 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Compendiu de Muzica Electronica
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: FIR (@)
Rated: *****
After focusing its releases on Narkoleptic albums FIR is proud to present their first electronic compilation wich gathers fifteen Romanian bands for seventeen tracks (Mort La Creier and Infectator Com have got two tracks each). I don't know why, but at first I was waiting for a CD based on harsh sounds and industrial craziness. Fortunately COMPENDIU DE MUZICA ELECTRONICA is packed with really good material which span through the IDM, Industrial, Ambient/ Dark Ambient, Triphop, Breakbeat genres. As far as I know each band is a young one but each one has got already its own sound which for sure is influenced by bands and musical genres of the last ten years like Scorn, The Prodigy, Warp bands or so but it is a natural process, you know. Anyway, the quality of the seventeen tracks you can find into this compilation is really amazing and for sure you could find one that fits your taste. Sound production is good enough to join each band and if electronic and ambient music is your favourite genre, here you can find a lot of stuff to dig!

VV.AA.: Condominium

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1662)
Jan 09 2005
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Condominium
Format: CD
Label: Mousike Lab (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****
Mousike Lab is a small italian label run by Lino Monaco and Nucola Buono (Retina.it, Qmen, Resina) and Marco Messina (99 Posse, Nous, Resina). Inspired by JG Ballard's book, "Condominium" represents Mousike Lab's small contribution to that cause (or better yet, to the cause that opposes the future described in that book, considered one of the milestones of cyberpunk), as well as an attempt to create a physical structure where artists sharing the same vision can meet. These artists are: Mondii, Claudia Bonarelli, Ether, Dj Vadim, Populous, Slicker, Mum, Modern Institute, Frame, Tadd Mullinix, Pentole & Computer, Tarwater, Retina.it, Velma, FM3. Musically speaking, "Condominium" brings you idm, electronics, ambient, glitch electronics. The level of quality is very high, especially if you consider it's a compilation of mostly rather sectorial names. Once again, Mousike Lab has proven that there still is quality around, you just have to look harder. Welcome to their first sonic building.

Retina.it: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 09 2005
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Artist: Retina.it
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Mousike Lab (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****
Retina.it is a duo based in Pompei, near Naples, Italy, who, ever since the early nineties, when they met, have been making music together under different monikers (primarily as Qmen, and most recently as Resina) and they've been keeping busy collaborating with DRM, Nous, 99 Posse, among others. Once they put aside their interest for techno music, today Retina.it is a careful and skillful research in the fields of refined electronic sounds and sophisticated atmospheres. Their fine blend of minimal beats and waves wouldn't look bad at all in the Warp catalogue, as they explore the thin boundaries of the semantics of today's digital music's denominations, from glitch electronics to idm, from ambient to trance, and from chill out to lounge, where you'll only hear sparse and distant echoes of what once was a techno outfit. Although their history demonstrates that it's no big deal for them to be noted by international labels, this time around they've decided to use their own label to put out their new record. This self-titled CD comes in a beautiful digipack with art work inspired by fractal design and represents nothing short of their fifth release, after their 2001 debut "Volcano.Waves 1-8" on Chicago's Hefty records, and their three 12" and one EP entitled "Nulla", "Manifesto", "Strutture" and "Immediate Action". In my book they're highly recommended.


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