Music Reviews



HIOCTAN: Headscan

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 12 2003
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Artist: HIOCTAN (@)
Title: Headscan
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
More typical German/NoiTekk electro = gloomy atmospheres, fat programmings, and a taste for distorted, quasi-black metal vocals (see Tactical Sekt, Grendel etc.). 12 tracks, including the cover of "Someone Somewhere" by Klinik. This is not bad and it's not that good, the problem is that I find it more and more difficult to tell one project apart from the other in the flood of German electro acts. Again, I'd expect layout to be better, a record company should hire more talented artists.

ASLAN FACTION: Sin-drome of separation

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 12 2003
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Artist: ASLAN FACTION
Title: Sin-drome of separation
Format: CD EP
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Five new tracks from AF and seven remixes by Feindflug, Dioxyde, davaNtage, Slaave, Retrosic, C-Drone-Defect and Weapons Grade, for 66' of music. I won't talk of the obvious dose of redundance involved in operations like this, where you get 3 or 4 slightly different versions of the same track, since most of the projects involved have very similar styles and approaches... AF follow the path of their previous releases, with hard-hitting electro with aggressive beats, gloomy keys and hyper-filtered and distorted vocals. In the line of heavier projects like davaNtage, Grendel or Tactical Sekt. Thumbs down for the very mediocre layout, with beyond lame font.

APOPTYGMA BERZERK: The Singles Collection

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 10 2003
Artist: APOPTYGMA BERZERK
Title: The Singles Collection
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Tatra
Distributor: Audioglobe


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Now that Apoptygma Berzek passed to a major, their old label Tatra decided to gather all their previous singles into two CDs and to satisfy all their old fans that, in this way, could get eight singles for a fair price. The singles cover ten years of the band and the they are coming from their first four CDs: "Soli Deo Gloria", "Apopcalyptic Manifesto", "7" and "Welcome To Earth". The thirty tracks comes from the following singles: "Ashes To Ashes", "The 2nd Manifesto", "Bitch", "Deep Red", "Non Stop Violence", "Paranoia", "Eclipse" and from the fabulous "Kathy's Song". THE SINGLES COLLECTION is a perfect way of remembering the highlights and remixed tracks of one of the most well known electro pop act of the last decade.

HOCICO: Disidencia Inquebrantable

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 25 2003
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Artist: HOCICO
Title: Disidencia Inquebrantable
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Out Of Line
Distributor: Audioglobe


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After ten years of activity and five album (without counting the live CD, the "El Dia Del La Ira" reissue and the previous MCD "Untold Blasphemies), Hocico are slowly refining their sound. Keeping their distinctive sound and themes, the duo is opting for a reduction of distortion and for a diversification of the "in your face" formula. The five tracks of this new MCD take inspiration from the old and experimented Hocico formula but including more ambient layers along the usual bleeps and distorted rhythms. In this way the tracks sound fresher than before but they keep the distinctive sound of the band thanks to the angry vocals and to their imagery of death and desolation. As on their latest releases the two cousins use both their mother language along with English and if on some tracks, like on "Grito De Las Entranas", they use few sounds (sometimes you can hear only the bass line along with the vocals and the distorted drums) on "Ruptura" or on "Silent Wrath" they use multi layered structures which help diversificating their sound. Even if Hocico have reached a certain position in the e.b.m. industrial scene, they are still looking for new solutions and sounds and this is good.

Deadburger: s.t.0.r.1.e

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 08 2003
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Artist: Deadburger (@)
Title: s.t.0.r.1.e
Format: CD
Label: Wot 4 (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe (Italy), Shellshock (Europe & Australia)
Ready to put aside that politically-lousy, nutritionally fat, all together disgusting McDonalds burger that you are getting your greasy fingers on for a buck badly spent to taste a much better one? How about a dead one? The Deadburger have been around for a long while (1995) but unlike any other burger I know of, they get better every year that passes (more like wine, really, so they tell me). So instead of being putrid and rotten, the mutated murder-burger from Tuscany is ready to unleash a new sonic assault on you that is completely different from their previous material. The Deadburger are an open collective of artists and musicians orbiting around founding members Vittorio Nistri (electronics) and Alessandro Casini (guitars and graphics), who also work under Microonde (symphonies for microwave oven) and Vibroplettri (guitars played with rotating machines) monikers, respectively. These dudes have always have been ahead of the curve in the Italian scene, and were doing things that few others were doing when they were, and even hit the sweet spot well before the Italian-sung electronica-rock formula even appeared on mainstream radio and tv. The new breed of bread that these "good guys" have baked for us, defies expectations for those who were familiar with their previous musical course; as a matter of fact the new album "s.t.0.r.1.e" (which, once you replace the 0 with an "o" and the 1 with an "i", in Italian means "stories") definitely goes down a new road and initiates an all new artistic evolution that embraces rock and electronics (better interacting and merging than ever before) but integrates and interfaces them with bits, samples, loops, parts and influence from territories as wide apart as theater music, hip-hop, classical music, dark wave, punk, hard core, psychedelia, free jazz/no wave you mention it... Deadburger also have a new singer, whose vocal characteristics (ranging from dramatically melancholic to screamingly angry) many Italians will appreciate, I can tell. Of course the fact that they choose to sing in their own language takes this to a different level and if you are familiar with the lame Italian music scene you'll think of some of the better bands from that scene (such as C.C.C.P., C.S.I., CP/01, Subsonica, La Crus and many other bands from the post-punk post-core post-rock post-fuck scene now going digital)... Unfortunately the Deadburger didn't think of providing translations of their lyrics for non-Italian speaking folks, but those who understand Italian will be delighted to find out that there are still bands out there that really care about and work on their lyrics, passing from intimate and personal to thought-provoking and political to some extent. As db themselves point out in their bio-burger «the goal was to make a record where words and music were of equal importance; and where the two components aren't just "layered" on top of each other, but actually interact with each other, in a mutual exchange of input». I gotta say these words hit the nail on the head and they sure don't fuck around, they are truly committed and they put their money where their mouth is (hopefully not chewing on a dead meat hamburger). All in all this burger is dripping with many sauces and is most definitely very tasty. If you need to be enlightened in terms of references, and you have a grasp on the Italian scene, names such as QuintoRigo, Otto P' Notri, Diaframma, Marlene Kuntz, Jacopo Andreini, Bz Bz Ueu, Jitterbugs, Erpice (and many others I can't think of right now but that I am alarmingly aware) of should give you the best idea, but unless you lived in Berlusca-land I don't expect you to know these names, which makes for a perfectly good additional reason why you should immediately buy this very record and get an idea of what else is out there... If you are sick of hearing Cold Play tune into the burger's airwaves and get a bite of what for all of you out there who don't know who the hell I am talking about, could roughly be considered a sandwich of Pink Floyd (for the psychedelia), Jeff Buckley/Bob Dylan (for the songwriting intimacy), NIN/Stabbing Westward (for the industrial component and the pop feel), Sonic Youth (for the scratchy guitars), Muslimgazue (for the worldly vibe of some songs), Beasty Boys (for the rock-biased hip hop stuff), Adrian Sherwood (for the dubby tweaking), Tom Waits (for the lo-fidelity originality), John Zorn (for the free/jazz/wave approach), My Dying Bride (for the dark violin/viola strings arrangements), Underworld (for the watery dance sounds) - beware, if you take any of the above international names as a standalone reference it won't likely be true to the Deadburger sound (most of this stuff doesn't make any sense to me, unless I consider is as a whole, and I am really just mentioning these far out names to try to give you an idea, because this is 100% original Italian stuff)! As multifaceted and variegated as it is, this album also offers you a dynamic line up that includes many national guests (including trumpet virtuoso Roy Paci) making the burger even spicier and multi-dimensional (bet you didn't hear any burger referred to as being multi-dimensional in McShitDonalds' dollar menu...).The CD is released by a very cool little label called Wot 4 based in the Netherlands and in the UK, run by some cool eco-anarchic mate called Charlie Holmes who lives and pro-actively works and organizes things in Tuscany, where he lives part of the year.And because today is your lucky day, let me tell you about the cool full-color 28 page booklet that comes with the CD, where you'll find lyrics, credits but most importantly graphics that are supposed to go along with the saucy sounds. I think if you buy the CD from them or from the label directly, you also get a full-size A4 32 page xeroxed b/w enhanced booklet.It's your turn now. You can get this from Audioglobe in Italy and from UK's Shellshock 4 in the rest of Europe and Australia. Run out to your local burger factory and buy "s.t.0.r.1.e", because if I write a review this long you can bet your ass it sure as hell outta be real good!


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