Music Reviews



ALIEN PRODUKT: Revenge

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1978)
Jun 13 2005
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Artist: ALIEN PRODUKT (@)
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!

SUPREME COURT: Yell It Out

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1972)
Jun 10 2005
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Artist: SUPREME COURT (@)
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.

STROMKERN: Stand Up

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1970)
Jun 08 2005
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Artist: STROMKERN (@)
Title: Stand Up
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
I have been following this Madison based Electronic act since the very first years with "Flicker Like A Candle" and I was always surprised how strong their musically evolution finally went. The last full-length "Armageddon" was a kind of outstanding highlight in their discography. And now with their first release on the German Dependent label they pick up all good ingredients from their predecessor like Ned Kirby’s staccato-like vocals (which some ignorant people would call RAP...), melodic synth lines and excellent compositions to a wider musically horizon on this pre-up Single-CD. "Stand Up" features all this well, but this track doesn’t surprise. Much better to my taste works "Slow Cascade (Version)" here because it is less driven by the vocals and has some brighter synth lines. Both tracks will be available in their original versions on the soon to be released new full length CD "Light it Up". Adding to the three different versions of "Stand Up" and the one mentioned "Slow Cascade" an unreleased track named "Can’t Believe", which has some light guitar sounds next to Ned’s still unique vocals included, this pre-released single-CD makes an acceptable warm-up while not being outstanding. Good release in all, but I am sure that this band will prove their abilities more and better with their upcoming full-length CD.
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Artist: MIND.IN.A.BOX.
Title: Certainty
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Only a very few months after the release of their successful debut "Lost Alone" this German duo presents a new single-CD which gives already an outlook to the soon to be released new full length album "Dreamweb". Consisting of Stefan Poiss (music) and Markus Hadwiger (lyrics) this project has received a never expected success and genre-bending recognition with their debut, so that the title "Newcomer of the year 2004" is surely well deserved. MIND.IN.A.BOX are outstanding for their strong ability to combine several music styles ranging from Electro, Synth Pop, Trance and Ambient-like elements to an innovative mixture which is above averages. You won’t find any weak parts in their music when you try to figure out in which music style you would fill them in. Everything is well and majestic arranged - I would go so far to use a BIG word like "innovation" in a pure form. And this "Certainty" will be certainty enough to pick up a new and promising foretaste on the new album. 35 minutes placed on 6 tracks can be discovered here, the title track comes along in four different versions (Single Edit, MIAB Alien Mix and two remix works by SEIZE and THEE HYPHEN). While THEE HYPHEN filled in some additional analogue sounds to the original, the SEIZE remix is a bit more straight to hit the dancefloors. Excellent produced is also the b-side "Beyond the World (Original Version)", a marvelous track to convince a non-electronic music listener how full of emotion and brilliant this music can be! This single-CD was also one of three parts of the now totally sold-out "Dependent Club Invasion" box DCI2 which is a limited collectors-item with which you get the chance to get three different single-CD’s for the price of a full-length album in advance before this singles will be released on a regular base. No matter if you have purchased "DCI 2" or this alone released single-CD – this is a must-have!
May 31 2005
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Artist: SEVERE ILLUSION (@)
Title: Accomplishments of Leopold II
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
After having heard and enjoyed their previously released stuff I really thought I would know this band and their music very well. Well, I have to revise my judgement on this Swedish duo, because this new full length release surprises me in many ways. First I am wondering how this guys came to the idea to work out a conceptual release with the happenings – better said atrocities - of the Belgium king Leopold II in Africa more than 100 years before. This is thematically far away from all "end time visions" any other current EBM/Electro band would offer. And also musically is this new release of Sweden’s power-hitters No. 1 far away from any trendy SC/HOCICO clone. I get hold of myself often that I think: "Oh-no, this is stupid, it sounds chaotic and/or imperfect – they can not do this and take it seriously." Well, I’ve missed the target again! Where other bands of this genre wouldn’t waste any further second to use some more experimental and disturbing noises, here comes SEVERE ILLUSION to show and teach us how they can. I would describe SEVERE ILLUSION’s music as a mixture between old-school EBM lines with a rich amount of static and unconventional noises mostly arranged in a chaotic style, combined with some extremely rough distorted vocals. This explosive mixture awakes some real Punk-like feelings in me and has more life and identity than any other current release can offer. I have to admit that this new output of this duo needed a lot of time to grow on me. I still had in mind the long and often heard predecessor "Discipline is Reward Enough" which features more the classic EBM patterns which I enjoyed so much. And so this new and MUCH MORE destroying release needed several rotations before I recognized the whole potential this fantastic disc has to offer. Some memories on classic swedish EBM-tracks like "Keine Zukunft" or "Die Jugend" of the veteran POUPPEE FABRIKK they awake with the opening track "Genau wie Ich" where the try to sing in German. My favorites can be found with the track "Beautiful" which follows much the sound of the predecessor and with fast pieces "Stay Away From Us" and "Open Rebellion" which can cause simply some injuries by hitting your head against a wall! Also the almost Powernoise-like effort "Congo by Force" impresses totally where they give the overall distorted track some nice melodic layers.17 destroying tracks full of madness far away from any hypes and a playing time of never boring 75 minutes make this release outstanding. This is once again an extremely good release by the DSBP label and I can only congratulate Tommy T to have this great artist under his wing. Bad luck for the European audience that they still have to wait to get this release official. The German label Celtic Circle Production has the rights to release this masterpiece as a limited double CD with a slight different track list and artwork (done by Anders Karlsson of the legendary Powernoise act THE PAIN MACHINERY by the way...), but it is still delayed. This stuff doesn’t take any prisoners and needs some more rotations to get fully enjoyment. Give it the needed time and you will be richly rewarded.


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