Music Reviews

Aug 08 2004
Artist: DJ SMEGMA (@)
Title: Smegma Bitch Up
Format: CD
Label: Lupinaria
Rated: *****
Totally dedicated to craziness and to sampling creativity, SMEGMA BITCH UP is the first effort of Dj Smegma. Known to take part to the Lupinaria crew, I already talked about Dj Smegma into my latest Lupinaria's compilation review where we already found "Arrotino trance-national". Listening to all the twenty tracks I can't decide if Dj Smegma is a bored guy who's trying to do something fun or if he's just a genius who doesn't care about conventions. Each track is composed of various sources samples: phone recordings, adverts, other people's records, everything is fine if it's a new source for a track and there aren't restrictions or censorship. In this way we know that the mistress of "Ricordate, servo" costs less than shit and that she's the only one in Rome who's coming from Switzerland or that Godzilla took a trip in Mexico (on "Gozzilla in Messico") and you can see a snapshot of the event on the front cover or the CD. You can also find an electro-core cover of Amanda Lear's "Tomorrow" and other stuff for only less than four bucks. To tell the truth the tracks aren't all good but at least half of them are worth your money. You could also (as stated on the inner cover) get this CDr along with a friend and then make copies and distribute it as this is a no copyright and no profit project!

FINAL SELECTION: Heading For Graceland

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1443)
Aug 05 2004
Title: Heading For Graceland
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames (@)
Rated: *****

Heading from Germany, Final Selection is a duo which is active since 1992. In these years they produced different tapes and an album "Antihero". This new E.P. "Heading for graceland" gathers five new tunes ("Fade into you" is a cover of a Mazzy Star's song) and six remixes of two of the new tracks and of three tracks coming from "Antihero". All this thanks to D.s.o.t.m., Asian Faction (really powerful and cool their e.b.m. version of "I never wanted more", E.s.r., Z Procheck (their kinda jazzy industrial version of "Tears" is really functional and fresh), Rector Scanner and Nam Nam Bulu. Having new songs and remixes, the band ideally divided the work in two parts: "Daydreams" and "Nightshades". The new tunes show the band at the top of their personal mix of melancholic future pop, e.b.m. and ambient which sometimes show also light Cure influences. Get ready for their next album...

Battery Cage: World Wide Wasteland

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (1440)
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
 Edit (1422)
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
 Edit (1419)
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.

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