Music Reviews



hEADaCHE / Various Artists: fULLY aUTOMATED: The hEADaCHE re:mixes

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 06 2005
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Artist: hEADaCHE / Various Artists
Title: fULLY aUTOMATED: The hEADaCHE re:mixes
Format: CD
Label: Uncoiled Loops
Distributor: Metropolis
Rated: *****
Compilations are always a risky fair, loaded with bands both familiar and completely unknown, the listener can be either blown away by fantastic material or have their eardrums tortured for the length of the CD. The material can often be inconsistent thematically or have varying degrees of production quality. Fortunately, none of the these potential problems plague "fULLY aUTOMATED: The hEADaCHE re:mixes". The compilation consists of 14 remixes from a relatively diverse collection of bands all remixed by CEOXiME founder, hEADaCHE (who also provides us with a 15th track, a previously unreleased CEOXiME cover of Radio Head's "Exit Music {for a film}") . hEADaCHE levels the playing ground here. While the songs still maintain their original characteristics, going through hEADaCHE's blender-like maelstrom of beats and song reconstructions has unified them into a fantastically consistent CD that delivers the goods. Dance-floor remixes are more or less cast aside leaving room for more creative arrangements that are engaging, unpredictable and great for multiple listens. Bands featured on the compilation are Collide, Hypoid, Diverje, Soul Circuit, Croc Shop, Silvercord, LiveSexAct, Noxious Emotion, function13, things outside the skin, Bottomfeeder, Endif, Flood Damage, Five Star Reject and CEOXiME. Stand-out tracks: Endif "Ashes", Hypoid "Deprogramming Deposits of Fat" and Bottomfeeder "Maybe Someday".

Stormdrain: The Immovable Objection

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 06 2005
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Artist: Stormdrain
Title: The Immovable Objection
Format: CD
Label: Subterreign Media
Rated: *****
San Francisco Bay Area based duo Stormdrain has been around for a few years now, and they've been able to gain some exposure in the past years with the inclusion of one of their songs in TV shows such as The Sopranos and Making The Band. "The Immovable Objection" is their third album and is presented as the album of their artistic maturity. Ex-Invisible records promo rep and Pigface roadie Scott Reyns and his trusty studio-mate Ninos Oshaana, have produced an album packed with exciting electro-rock tunes (some may call it industrial trip-hop, but that might be a little misleading in my opinion). Trip-pop would actually be a fair use of words to describe their sound, which definitely preserves the pop attitude in the catchy and meloic un-distorted (finally, how refreshing!) vocals, but the deeply-rooted electronic production and the heavy use of distorted rock (not metal) guitars, make it even more exciting, more powerful and, why not, more radio-friendly. In other words, by learning the lesson of those who have done it before and by keeping a viivid memory of those who didn't by choice, Stormdrain have been able to find a viable way to make commercially-valid indiependent electronic music with a pop feel to it. Well done! Buy it at a very fair price of $7.99 from their website!

VV.AA.: Eklectra

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 03 2005
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Eklectra
Format: CD
Label: Elusive recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Elusive's third release is a 20 track sampler CD featuring 20 Irish artists that have been keeping busy with electronic music. Surprisingly the mixture of talents and names (pretty much all newcomers, at least to the US market) appears to be very contiguos in style, very consistent in quality and very cohesive all around. It's actually awesome to find about all these names with one single CD, considering how small the island is and how much more there has to be outside and beyond these acts and their genre. Cool warm downtempo chillout moods with swinging trippy beats and warping sounds whose atmospheres embrace you like those of your favourite idm artists. You'll come across vocal and instrumental pieces, but the common denominator remain the plush sonorities and the stylish sleekness. Discover: Jimmy Behan (his debut is also available on the same label and reviewed elsewhere on these pages), Townparks Foundry, Illegal Kids, Halfset, Stereo Nimrod, Ebauche, Schtat, Leonids, Chequerboard, Merlot, Thalamus, Herv, Psy, Colourfast, Formica v MUX, Roytron, Murmansk, Samadrone, Felix Rex, Eddie Rocket, Bill Nelson (the only non-Irish in the batch). Gorgeous, creative, impressive, hypnotizing and "elusive", just like the artwork by Japanese artist and Psychology Professor Akiypshi Kitaoka.

Jimmy Behan: Days Are What We Live In

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 03 2005
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Artist: Jimmy Behan
Title: Days Are What We Live In
Format: CD
Label: Elusive recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Irish producer Jimmy Behan is one of the figures that stood out in Elusive's compilation CD "Electra" (reviewed elsewhere on these pages) so the label, also Irish, has made a move and signed Behan for his debut (fourth disc for the label). "Days Are What We Live In" is a collection of ten nordic ambient-electronica compositions with flavors of lounge music, experimental music and idm. His uncompromisingly organic and wholeheartedly lush magmatic blend, sounds like a vivid and fruitful encounter of Autechre, Boards of Canada, Bjork and others. Beautiful debut indeed!

AntiQuark: Neon H

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 03 2005
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Artist: AntiQuark (@)
Title: Neon H
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After "Mask" the AntiQuark girls Maren and aunt Ant (you might remember their names from interviews on Chain D.L.K.) are back with their new album "Neon H". As I expressed my honest (not too positive) opinions about their debut, which I didn't like very much, the two lovely chicks might expect me to be evil again, but this time around, although perfection hasn't been reached yet, they definitely got a better shot at it. Written, arranged, produced, recorded and mixed by the couple, based out in San Diego, California, "Neon H" is definitely an improvement over its predecessor. A layered structure of electronic music provides for soft grounds on which samples, strings and eccentric vocal parts are laid down in multiple tones and approaches, recalling memories and influences spanning from germaniac ebm to more american experimentation. You can buy this for very cheap off of their site. Eight tracks of this will accompany for a shy half hour and will prepare you for their upcoming remixes album.


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