Music Reviews

Battery Cage: World Wide Wasteland

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 02 2004
Artist: Battery Cage
Title: World Wide Wasteland
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Batter Cage's "World Wide Wasteland" represents a blend of trance, EBM, synthpop and industrial (granted, these are all related in one way or another, but I can detect distinct elements). Vocally it isn't quite the clean cut smoothness of Apoptygma Berzerk, for example, but neither is it the total aggro distorted vox of the likes of Decoded Feedback, et al. It's sung, not distorted or grinding, but it is a bit throaty and deepish, so you still get vocal elements of melody while also a slight feeling of pain or aggression. The BPMs are fast but not furious, making Batter Cage danceable but not exhausting. The electronic melodies are layered nicely, keeping the music from being too spartan; neither are they too dense. Some of the melody lines represent the darker, goa-ish side of electro while others are more synthpoppy or EBMish. Guitar also pops up a wee bit, a nice touch that waves distantly at the harder levels of industrial. Overall, Batter Cage is a nice middle ground standing between the pop realms of electronic and the dark spheres of aggro-electro-industrial.

Punto Omega: s/t

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 18 2004
Artist: Punto Omega
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Integrating orchestral elements with EBM/Darkwave this Argentinian duo hits Metropolis Records and the ears of thier listeners full force. Vocally much like Hocico but musically unmatched stylistically, Punto Omega, also have very strong esoteric interests. This self-titled release seems to document the band's perspectives on the legends of the fallen angels and the human quest for enlightenment. Lots of heavy guitar-driven EBM, this release even features bagpipes and other celtic instrumentation. Versatility and artistic creation show through strongly with this project with tracks like "La Caida" being piano and choir based and electronic rhythms following up. However, the title track is a dancefloor pounder. "La Fusion" even sounds a bit reminiscient of Kurt Weill. An excellent release for anyone who likes agressive EBM and for those with mystical interests. Punto Omega describe themselves as "We are heading a final borderline, in which there will be no extintion, but the step into a new reality: Past and Future get merged, that is the Omega Point."

VV.AA.: Electro-Age 1 (The Awakening)

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 15 2004
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro-Age 1 (The Awakening)
Format: CD
Label: Latex Records
Electro-Age 1 (The Awakening) is the first release by Latex Records and is, I quote, "the beginning of a compilation series by RhythmUS Network which features electronic artistts of various genres whose music relates to a spirituality theme ... alternative music of ritual, magic, myth and transformation of consciousness." I must say, some of this industrial is thick and dark and bleongs on the shelf next to, say , Front Line Assembly. However, your ears will also be surprised by, for example, subdued tribal/ambient, thick but trancy EBM/synthpop, chilled beats over ambient melodies, dark and Spartan industrial vaguely reminiscent of NIN meets synthpop, tribal/world music industrial and more. While the collection is somewhat eclectic, it isn't so much so that an even flow is disrupted. Rather, the multi-faceted aspect of this compilation makes it a heady piece of electronic listening that covers a broad range of styles but within a certain sphere of musical intent. Well done selection of moody, shadowy electro-industrial.

Asmodeus X: Morning Star

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 15 2004
Artist: Asmodeus X
Title: Morning Star
Format: CD
Asmodeus X presents an interesting challenge to the reviewer's ears, because, on one hand, the music has a certain minimalist quality to it. It isn't as thick with gobs of layers or anything, but at the same time, there is an undeniable pull to the semi-spartan beats and electronic melodies of this EBM release. The vocals are somewhat flat, but in a good way, in that vocal approach very common to EBM and synthpop. It gives sort of a darker edge, sort of an implication of apathy, befitting the darkness of the proceedings. Because, you see, as pretty and absorbing as this music is in its own way, it's also got plenty of gothic sensibilities, not so much in an oh-wow-this-is-goth-music but just in the general shadowy quality of the music. This would be great music for nighttime driving through the streets of Europe. If that imagery makes any sense to you then maybe you should check this out.
Jul 15 2004
Title: Skeak-Thief Vs Polygamy Boys
Format: CD
Label: Gingerbread House Records (@)
Rated: *****
Sneak-Thief and Polygamy Boys are two projects which involve Michel Morin (on the first one there's Lindsay - J helping him on vocals and flute while on the second one there's involved Stephan Busche who also released stuff as Dj Gitano and Fancyman) and for this reason this live album SNEAK-THIEF vs POLYGAMY BOYS is something different from the usual dj set or live show. First of all Michael doesn't use vinyl or laptops as his show is totally based on synths and samples. Second: the album presents to the audience sixteen tracks of both the projects as they would be a long mix. This is a strong point because the tracks sound all pumping and interesting but at the same time it's also a weak point as Michel had to use the same bpm on each passage between the tracks and having twelve instrumental tracks out of sixteen make the album sound too homogenous. Most of the tracks are dancey instrumental tunes inspired by '70 funk and '80s Italian disco music (few names I remember are: Hi-Fi Bros, Cube, Den Arrow, Gazebo and Gary Low) and this thing keep the project fresh and energic anyway. This is a good record / performance but I preferred the Polygamy Boys' 12" I received along with this live CD, for instance (soon I'll review it). Check the band's website to get more infos and to download each track of the previous releases.

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